Live From The Sidelines it’s Time for College Football
Good Morning College Sports Fans! Today is the day we start looking at the games this weekend, and this weekend is going to be INSANE! First off its time to return to Orlando Florida as the UCF Knights open up their 2019 Season at Spectrum Stadium, then on to Jacksonville Florida for FSU vs Boise and then to Atlanta Georgia for the SWAC/MECA CHALLENGE.
There is a new feel for the UCF Knights as they get ready to kick off against Florida A&M on Saturday. Head Coach Josh Heupel’s decision to name Brandon Wimbush the Knights’ starting quarterback didn’t surprise us, but his plan for true freshman Dillon Gabriel to play was. While Wimbush went 13-2 as a starter at Notre Dame before transferring to UCF, Gabriel broke Hawaii high school career passing records and chose the Knights over USC.
The Nation’s Loudest fans return to Spectrum Stadium and the party will start early and end really late!
James Blackman has emerged as Florida State’s starting quarterback and will lead the offensive on Saturday Night at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Florida against the Boise State Broncos and both teams have something to prove.
The Broncos are replacing several star players on offense, including four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien and running back Alexander Mattison, who left after his junior year to enter the NFL Draft.
16 of the top 20 tacklers are returning for the Seminoles with a special secondary that should be able to lock down a good Boise State receiving corps that needs a few stars to emerge from the depth.
After last season, look for the Seminoles to come out with their foot on the gas, and keep it there all game long.
The Jackson State Tigers take on the Bethune Cookman Wildcats in Atlanta on Sunday for the MEAC / SWAC Challenge, the kickoff to the HBCU football season.
This will be the seventh meeting between the two teams with Jackson State leading the series 4-2. However, a very strong Bethune Cookman team will be looking to half their deficit with this year’s game, after coming off a second place finish in the MEAC for the 2018 season. It is also worth noting that both teams’ bands were ranked among the top two in the country by The Undefeated.
In Other games…..
No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16 Auburn (-3.5): Oregon star quarterback Justin Herbert will square off against the ferocious Tigers defense in an opening night matchup for the ages. Bo Nix will be the first true freshman to start the season under center for Auburn since 1946. Buckle up. This one is going to be fun.
Duke vs. No. 2 Alabama (-35): A motivated Bama is a scary Bama, and Duke is in line to get a pounding after the Crimson Tide players had to dwell on getting smoked in last season’s national title game. If you think that Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe can draw up something to take advantage of the Crimson Tide secondary, maybe they can cover?
Georgia Tech at No. 1 Clemson (-36): Clemson has to replace its defensive front, and Georgia Tech has a tough task switching from Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense to first-year coach Geoff Collins’ spread/pro-style attack. It should be interesting to see what the Yellow Jackets do in Game 1 in a new system against the reigning champs
No. 3 Georgia at Vanderbilt (+21): The Bulldogs and Commodores open with a conference game in 2019, and the Bulldogs will be doing it with a brand new wide receiving corps. If Demetrius Robinson, Tyler Simmons and the rest of the wideouts step up, look out for Georgia.
Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma (-23.5): The Jalen Hurts show will get going Sunday night as the former Alabama quarterback will take over for Kyler Murray. Meanwhile, new Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has been busy trying to fix the defense and gets to face Cougars quarterback D’Eriq King in the opener. Good luck with that.
FAU at No. 5 Ohio State (-27.5): Ryan Day will make his full-time coaching debut against Lane Kiffin and the Owls. What’s more, Georgia transfer quarterback Justin Fields will take his first snaps as the signal-caller for the Buckeyes.
No. 14 Utah at BYU (+5.5): The Utes were picked to win the Pac-12 at Media Day and get to open the season on the road against a bitter rival. The rivalry known as the “Holy War” will carry national intrigue.
Georgia Southern at No. 6 LSU (-28): The Tigers have been selling a more exotic offense all offseason and will debut it against an Eagles squad that finished third in the Sun Belt in total defense in 2018.
Middle Tennessee at No. 7 Michigan (-34): Coach Jim Harbaugh handed the keys to the offense to Josh Gattis in the offseason. If the Wolverines can keep up in shootouts, this could be the year they crash the CFP party.
No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville (-20.5): The Fighting Irish and Cardinals will close the week out Labor Day night. Nobody’s talking about Brian Kelly’s crew contending for the CFP, but that was the case last year when they ran the table.
Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas (-20.5): Is Texas back? We will have an idea when the Longhorns host the Bulldogs one week before LSU comes rolling into town.
Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford (-6.5): The Wildcats were on the outside looking in of the preseason AP Top 25, but will get the chance to prove if it’s a mistake on the farm against the Cardinal.