Welcome back for another week of college football! For west coast fans, the Stanford Cardinal get going early this morning with a 9 a.m. PT kickoff at Army. It will be interesting to see how the Cardinal come out of the gates with such an early start. For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.
It's a full day for Bay Area football fans, as Cal hosts No. 4 Ohio State at 4 p.m. The Buckeyes are a 15.5 point favorite, coming into Memorial Stadium a week after Cal had to scratch and claw its way to a 37-30 victory over I-AA Portland State. The Sonny Dykes era is off to a bumpy start, so we'll see if they can manage even a moral victory against Ohio State. For more on Cal, check out California Golden Blogs. For more on Ohio State, check out Land-Grant Holy Land.
The big game of day, however, is at 12:30 when No. 1 Alabama heads into College Station to face off against No. 6 Texas A&M. From a pure football perspective, this game is huge considering the Aggies went into Tuscaloosa and shocked the Tide last year. Alabama will be looking for revenge in a game with early national title implications. Of course, this is also going to be just as much about Johnny Manziel. CBS apparently will have a dedicated Johnny Football camera keeping an eye on the always interesting quarterback. To learn more about this game, checkout Roll Bama Roll and Good Bull Hunting. GBH has a great graphical preview of the game.
From Trevor Woods: While A&M has the advantage of home field, Manziel is going to have his hands full against a stout Crimson Tide defense. Bama linebacker C.J. Mosley has the ability to bottle Manziel up and limit what he does running the football. I expect to see Mosley spying Manziel for most of the game, this will be a fun matchup in the game. Mosley is an All-American who possesses great instincts, a solid run stopper, and capable of playing pass coverage. Last season, Mosley put up 99 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions.
A prime sleeper candidate in this years draft could be A&M running back Ben Malena. Now a senior, Malena looks to improve on his 808 yards on just 138 carries (5.86 yards per carry) and 8 touchdowns. If the Aggies are going to beat Bama again, they're going to need Malena to have a decent game, and that is going to be an uphill battle against the best defense in college football. Last season he had 14 carries and 50 yards.
For West coast fans, there is also an interesting UCLA-Nebraska matchup in Lincoln, as the No. 16 Bruins look to build on last week's blowout of Nevada (sorry Kap!). For more on UCLA, check out Bruins Nation. For more on Nebraska, check out Corn Nation.
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