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College Football 2014: Week 4 Preview
Thursday, 2014 September 18 - 6:54 pm
Michigan will be tested by Utah; N.C. State plays Presbyterian Girl's Junior High School.

Michigan vs. Utah
Utah is no joke. They're a lightning-tempo spread-offense team similar to Indiana; the coach, Kyle Wittingham, is an Urban Meyer disciple with a pretty stellar record. Utah joined the Pac-12 last year and managed to go 8-5 against stiff competition. This is a legitimate team, not some mid-major cupcake.

They've won two games against inferior competition, so it's hard to know much about them yet. But I'd predict it will be difficult for the defense to keep up, particularly matching up against talented senior wide receiver Dres Anderson, who is looking like he'll be an early NFL pick. Michigan's defensive performance against high-tempo spreads has not been stellar. The good news is that this year's defense looks to be a significant improvement over last year's.

We don't have any word on whether Funchess will return for this game; if not, the pressure on the running game to control the ball will be much greater. There are signs that the OL is coming together and that Derrick Green is learning to find the holes; they just need to continue their steady improvement.

Prediction: Michigan 39, Utah 38.

N.C. State vs. Presbyterian
Presbyterian's two wins have come against some school called Bluefield College (a NAIA school), where they won 69-14, and against Furman, where they won 10-7. Their opening game was a 55-3 loss to Northern Illinois. Unless something ridiculous happens, this game will not be close.

Prediction: N.C. State 63, Presbyterian 3.

Games to Watch on TV
Tonight there's a good matchup as #5 Auburn plays #20 Kansas State on ESPN at 7:30.

Saturday's noon slate looks pretty dismal. Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech might be the best matchup; that's on ESPN. Or if you enjoy torture, you might watch #11 Michigan State shred Eastern Michigan into tiny little bits on BTN.

At 3:30, Florida plays #1 Alabama on CBS; here's hoping the Gators can put up a fight. The Michigan-Utah game is on ABC or ESPN2. Virginia plays #21 BYU on ESPN.

At 7:00, Mississippi State plays #8 LSU on ESPN. That should be a dandy. At 7:30 #4 Oklahoma plays at West Virginia.

At 8:00, your Game of the Week is #22 Clemson at #1 Florida State on ABC. But keep an eye on the Return to Faded Glory Bowl as Miami FL takes on #24 Nebraska on ESPN2.

Cal plays Arizona at 10:00 PM on the Pac-12 Network.

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