College football Week 4 TV schedule: Oklahoma State steps up in class against TCU

All times EDT.

Thursday, Sept. 21

Time Game TV
7:30 Temple at No. 21 South Florida ESPN

The Bulls average 522.3 yards per game (14th nationally) and put up 680 yards in an easy win over Illinois last Friday. They also have scored at least 30 points in 20 straight games, the longest Football Bowl Subdivision streak in the country right now. Three South Florida players rushed for at least 100 yards against the Illini, and three Notre Dame players rushed for at least 100 yards against Temple in the teams’ season opener. All of this is to say that South Florida’s offense likely will be too much for the Owls, who needed a late field goal to beat Football Championship Subdivision team Villanova and struggled to put away winless U-Mass. in their other two games.

Friday, Sept. 22

Time Game TV
8 Virginia at Boise State ESPN2
10:30 No. 23 Utah at Arizona Fox Sports 1

Rich Rodriguez has a 4-1 record against Utah over his first five seasons as Arizona’s coach; he’s gone 14-25 against everyone else in the Pacific-12. This year’s Wildcats-Utes game should be a battle of strength vs. strength, with Arizona averaging 328 rushing yards per game (fifth nationally) and Utah allowing only 49.3 rushing yards per game (second nationally). Rodriguez’s Wildcats have run well against the Utes, averaging 269 rushing yards per game and 5.8 yards per attempt in the four wins, but could muster only 129 and 3.7 in last year’s 36-23 loss.

Saturday, Sept. 23

Time Game TV
Noon Kent State at Louisville Comcast SportsNet (in D.C. area)/ACC Network (elsewhere)
Noon N.C. State at No. 12 Florida State ABC/ESPN2 (check local listings)
Noon Texas Tech at Houston ABC/ESPN2 (check local listings)
Noon Texas A&M vs. Arkansas ESPN
Noon West Virginia at Kansas ESPNU
Noon U-Mass. at Tennessee SEC Network
Noon UNLV at No. 10 Ohio State Big Ten Network
Noon Army at Tulane CBS Sports Network
12:20 Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech WDCA-20 (in D.C. area)/ACC Network (elsewhere)
1:30 Maine at James Madison MASN (in D.C. area)
3 Central Florida at Maryland Fox Sports 1
3:30 Toledo at No. 14 Miami Comcast SportsNet Plus (in D.C. area)/ACC Network (elsewhere)
3:30 No. 1 Alabama at Vanderbilt CBS
3:30 No. 5 Southern Cal at California ABC
3:30 No. 16 TCU at No. 6 Oklahoma State ESPN
3:30 Boston College at No. 2 Clemson ESPN2
3:30 Duke at North Carolina ESPNU
3:30 Louisiana Tech at South Carolina SEC Network
3:30 Rutgers at Nebraska Big Ten Network
3:30 Georgia Southern at Indiana Big Ten Network
3:30 Cincinnati at Navy CBS Sports Network
4 No. 8 Michigan at Purdue Fox
6 Nevada at No. 18 Washington State Pac-12 Network
6:30 No. 3 Oklahoma vs. Baylor Fox Sports 1
7 Elon at Richmond Comcast SportsNet Plus (in D.C. area)
7 No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia ESPN
7 Syracuse at No. 25 LSU ESPN2
7 No. 22 San Diego State at Air Force CBS Sports Network
7:30 No. 4 Penn State at Iowa ABC
7:30 No. 15 Auburn at Missouri ESPNU
7:30 No. 20 Florida at Kentucky SEC Network
8 Notre Dame at Michigan State Fox
10 No. 7 Washington at Colorado Fox Sports 1
10 No. 24 Oregon at Arizona State Pac-12 Network
10:15 Hawaii at Wyoming ESPN2
10:30 UCLA at Stanford ESPN

Florida State hasn’t played since its season-opening loss to Alabama, with its game against Louisiana-Monroe wiped out by Hurricane Irma and its follow-up against Miami moved to Oct. 7 as the state continued its recovery from the storm. The long hiatus is nearly unheard of in college football, and it got to the point where reporters covering the team ran out of football-related things to ask Seminoles Coach Jimbo Fisher. So they asked him what he did on his rare in-season Saturdays off (he spent time with his kids). Now Florida State returns against North Carolina State with a new quarterback, true freshman James Blackman, who takes over after Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Crimson Tide. The extra practice time will likely be a good thing for Blackman, who replaced Francois in the fourth quarter against the Crimson Tide and didn’t attempt a pass. …

There are only two matchups between ranked teams this weekend, and the first is TCU-Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have hardly been challenged so far, winning their three games against Tulsa, South Alabama and Pittsburgh by an average score of 54-17, and quarterback Mason Rudolph hasn’t had to play in a fourth quarter yet this season. He’s still averaging nearly 400 passing yards per game and threw for a program-record 423 yards in the first half alone against the Panthers. Horned Frogs Coach Gary Patterson seems to have righted the ship after a 6-7 season in the wilderness last year, and his team certainly has faced stronger competition than Oklahoma State this season with FBS wins over SMU and Arkansas. Patterson sees that as an edge. “If there’s any advantage, to me, going into the ballgame, it’s that we’ve played two teams that had a high level of something,” he told reporters this week. “I think that’s the only advantage we have over Oklahoma State, that we’ve had to be in two battles and they’ve only played until halftime.” … Vanderbilt has lost 21 straight games to Alabama, last winning in 1984. In 14 of those losses the Commodores failed to reach double digits. But Vanderbilt is 3-0 this season thanks to a defense that is yielding just 3.4 yards per play (third in the nation) and an FBS-best 4.3 points per game. This year’s matchup might be a little closer than usual. …

Mississippi State and Georgia have played only 23 times even though they’ve been SEC brethren since the conference’s founding in 1932, and both sets of Bulldogs were ranked in exactly zero of those matchups. So this year’s matchup, between No. 17 Mississippi State and No. 11 Georgia, will be a little different. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald played high school football in Georgia, but the state’s top college football power passed on him because he started for only one season and in a triple-option offense, to boot. Dan Mullen and Mississippi State did not pass on him, and in his first season as a starter last year he broke nine program records. In last week’s upset of LSU, Fitzgerald passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more, furthering comparisons to another lightly recruited, bulky quarterback who ended up thriving under Mullen: Dak Prescott.

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