Games to watch on Bruno’s light weekend

Friday, September 12, 2008

The athletic facilities on campus will be quiet this weekend, as all of Brown’s teams will be playing away from home.

However, with no games to attend on campus, there are several games to watch on TV:

#1 Southern California vs. #5 Ohio State

College football teams generally play the toughest competition in the nation at the end of the season in bowl games, but OSU and USC are going to buck the trend and match up at the beginning of the season with 2008’s first must-watch college football game. Buckeye tailback and Heisman hopeful Chris “Beanie” Wells is doubtful for Saturday’s game and USC’s defense is ready to pounce on OSU’s shaky passing game. In last weekend’s near upset, OSU’s backup tailbacks accumulated 123 yards on 26 carries in a 26-14 win over 33 ½-point underdog Ohio.

Wells carried the load for the Buckeyes last season by averaging 124 yards on 21 carries per game, nearly the same production as his backups were able to tally in a single game. OSU will struggle on offense and USC’s defense will flourish if he is unable to play. The game also features two of the top linebackers in the college game, Trojan Rey Maualuga and Buckeye James Laurinaitis.

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

This classic rivalry will not have the same hype as it has in years past. Two years ago, UM nearly ran the table before a close loss to Ohio State in the season’s final regular season game derailed their national championship hopes. That same year, the Wolverines jump-started their season with an early season win, as they dominated the Irish 47-21. With both teams coming into their meeting last season with 0-2 records, one of the storied programs would end the day with a victory that each team needed to turn their season around. UM owned the game from the start, wining 38-0 and ND’s freshman quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, played like he had just left the high school game. He fumbled the ball and threw an interception, with both turnovers resulting in Wolverine touchdowns.

The UM defense sacked Clausen eight times, with one of those sacks being so vicious that four different defenders were given credit for the sack. He was so beat up by the fourth quarter, he had to sit the rest of the game out. This year, Clausen looks to redeem himself as both teams look to restore the tradition of this rivalry.

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

Tom Brady is out for the season and the new Jets quarterback, veteran Brett Favre, is playing the way he ended last season when the Green Bay Packers reached the NFC Championship game.

Brady left the game in the first quarter of last Sunday’s game due to a knee injury, and with untested Matt Cassel at the helm, the Pats barely pulled off the 17-10 win against the young and struggling Kansas City Chiefs.

The Jets started off this season on a high note, beating the Dolphins on the road 20-14 with the help of two Favre touchdowns. With Brady out and the Jets playing their first game at home, this looks to be a tough game in the AFC East.

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