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College football TV schedule: West Virginia, TCU will run and run often

Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia will have to be better at stopping the run against TCU. (Raymond Thompson/Associated Press)

All times EDT.

Weekend kickoff: Washington after dark (too often), and other top story lines

Saturday, Oct. 7

Time Game TV
Noon No. 4 Penn State at Northwestern ABC
Noon No. 5 Georgia at Vanderbilt ESPN
Noon Wake Forest at No. 2 Clemson ESPN2
Noon Temple at East Carolina ESPNU
Noon Ole Miss at No. 12 Auburn SEC Network
Noon Iowa State at No. 3 Oklahoma Fox
Noon Texas Tech at Kansas Fox Sports 1
Noon Eastern Michigan at Toledo CBS Sports Network
Noon Illinois at Iowa Big Ten Network
12:20 Duke at Virginia WDCA-20 (in D.C. area)/ACC Network (elsewhere)
12:30 Pittsburgh at Syracuse CSN (in D.C. area)/ACC Network (elsewhere)
3 Albany at Richmond CSN Plus (in D.C. area)
3:30 No. 23 West Virginia at No. 8 TCU Fox Sports 1
3:30 No. 21 Notre Dame at North Carolina ABC
3:30 LSU at No. 21 Florida CBS
3:30 No. 13 Miami at Florida State ESPN
3:30 Air Force at Navy CBS Sports Network
3:30 Minnesota at Purdue ESPN2
3:30 Charleston Southern at Indiana Big Ten Network
4 Maryland at No. 10 Ohio State Fox
4 Oregon State at No. 14 USC Pac-12 Network
4 Tulsa at Tulane ESPNU
4 Arkansas at South Carolina SEC Network
6 Marshall at Charlotte MASN2 (in D.C. area)
7 SMU at Houston CBS Sports Network
7 Kansas State at Texas Fox Sports 1
7:15 No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M ESPN
7:15 No. 16 Virginia Tech at Boston College ESPN2
7:30 Michigan State at No. 7 Michigan ABC
7:30 Missouri at Kentucky SEC Network
8 No. 9 Wisconsin at Nebraska Big Ten Network
8 No. 11 Washington State at Oregon Fox
8 No. 25 UCF at Cincinnati ESPNU
8 Arizona at Colorado Pac-12 Network
10:15 Stanford at No. 20 Utah Fox Sports 1
10:30 Hawaii at Nevada CBS Sports Network
10:45 California at No. 6 Washington ESPN
10:45 No. 19 San Diego State at UNLV ESPN2

If not for a fourth-quarter letdown Saturday against Florida State, Wake Forest would be undefeated and probably ranked for the first time since 2008. But the Demon Deacons gave up a 40-yard touchdown pass with 53 seconds left against the Seminoles in a 26-19 loss, and the ranking will have to wait. It seems unlikely to happen after this weekend, either: Wake Forest last won at Clemson in 1998. If there’s any hope, it’s that the Tigers could be weary after beating three top 15 opponents over the first month of the season, becoming the first team in FBS history to accomplish that. Clemson has allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points just once this season, and that was an opponent (Louisville) that had the defending Heisman Trophy winner under center. The Tigers still won by 26. . . .

One month in, Clemson looks destined for a title rematch with Alabama

Georgia has won its last two games — against Southeastern Conference foes, no less — by a combined 72-3. Vanderbilt has dropped its last two, allowing 97 points and 1,144 yards of total offense. The thinking when the Bulldogs and Commodores clash is that a third straight Georgia blowout will ensue, but Vanderbilt won last year’s meeting, so who knows? . . .

After years of kind-of relevance, Georgia is making us look

West Virginia averages 7.4 yards per play and quarterback Will Grier averages 9.5 yards per attempt, both numbers among the best in the nation. But TCU is coming off an upset of Oklahoma State, which averages 7.9 yards per play and has a quarterback who averages 11 yards per attempt. So the Horned Frogs should be ready for the Mountaineers in what should be the game of the day (ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in Fort Worth for the first time since 2009, when TCU wasn’t even yet in the Big 12). Both teams have potent run-heavy attacks, but the difference could be defense: TCU ranks 13th nationally against the run while West Virginia comes in at 115th, and the Mountaineers were last seen allowing 291 rushing yards to Kansas’s Khalil Herbert two weeks ago. . . .

Florida State has beaten Miami seven straight times and Seminoles Coach Jimbo Fisher has never lost to the Hurricanes. Miami’s chances of snapping its skid and reclaiming some state bragging rights may depend on running back Mark Walton’s left ankle, which he has hurt twice this season. But Coach Mark Richt said Walton — who rushed for 204 yards against Toledo on Septl 23 — has looked “all right” in practice this week, and he should take the field. . . .

Once focus of national hype, FSU-Miami game is chance for calm in the storm

Thanks mainly to Big Ten stodginess and flinty Midwesternism and the like, Michigan and Michigan State have somehow never once played a night kickoff in the 110-year history of the rivalry. But alas, ABC and the Big Ten didn’t have anything better to fill the Saturday night slot and TV calls the shots and thus: new tradition! Not everyone is a fan — former Spartans coach George Perles called it a “pain in the neck,” according to the Associated Press — and officials reportedly are worried about traffic, parking and additional alcohol use among the tailgating hordes, because apparently no one else in the history of college football has ever dared play at the risky hour of 7:30 p.m. Eastern. As far as the actual game is concerned — provided they don’t cancel it over worries about the players’ vitamin D intake — Michigan will start John O’Korn at quarterback because Wilton Speight is out with an undisclosed injury.

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