Week 4 of the college football season was as mundane as a landscape shot of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The action picks up though as the cupcakes head back to their pastry shops and college football teams head into the meaty portion of their schedules.
No. 6 LSU at No. 9 UGA
The prodigal son returns. Three years ago Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger, whose mother is an administrative assistant at UGA, and Aaron Murray were locked in a spring practice death grip over the Bulldogs starting quarterback position. Mettenberger was dismissed during that offseason and Murray was given the job. He’ll enter their Week 5 matchup as a reborn quarterback. Last season, Mettenberger was a disaster until the Alabama game. The arrival of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator has transformed him into a legit vertical passing threat. Fortunately, for UGA the game won’t be played in Death Valley. That may or may not be a good thing. Since 1991 Georgia football has only beaten two Top-6 teams in Athens and have ever beaten two top-ten teams at home in the same season. Aaron Murray may be on pace to rearrange the UGA record book, but he’s not worshipped on campus like most star quarterbacks. He’s has garnered a reputation for faltering against top-15 teams and his relationship with UGA fans has been tenuous. If this loses a battle with Mettenberger, rash fans may start wondering whether the wrong quarterback transferred.
No. 23 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Ohio State
Urban Meyer will face his former Utah Utes defensive line coach Gary Andersen. This isn’t a reunion though. Wisconsin is looking to knock off the returning Big Ten rulers. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are on a quest to recover lost prestige after being exiled from BCS eligibility over the last two years. The Badgers took Ohio State to overtime in their 2013 meeting thanks to a defense that held Miller to a season-low in passing yards and had their running game running in sand for five quarters. Wisconsin’s running back factory is producing another shiny new Ford pickup truck in running back Melvin Gordon who’s put the Badgers offense on his back. Gordon leads the nation in yards per game, despite averaging just 13 carries per game. For comparison's sake, Rutgers' Paul James is second in the nation with 51 fewer yards on 25 additional carries. Don’t sleep on the Badgers. Last November, the Badgers nearly cracked the egg shell in the Buckeyes loss column in overtime.
No. 14 Oklahoma at No. 22 Notre Dame
This is the second year in a row that these two Midwestern powerhouses will clash. It’s also a litmus test for Notre Dame’s defense and Oklahoma’s offense. Last time Notre Dame saw Blake Bell he was a part-time goal line mac truck under center. His first quarter plunge into the end zone was the first rushing touchdown scored against Notre Dame in 2012. That was 32 quarters into the season. This time his arm is guiding what should be an elite aerial attack. Even without Manti Te'o, Notre Dame should still be favored though. They have a 9-1 record in 10 previous scuffles with the Fighting Irish.