TV guide for the bye week

While Florida’s first bye week comes at a good time for the team, it’s a light week of college football games on television.

Tennessee at Georgia (12 p.m., ESPN): This matchup provides an opportunity for Florida fans to watch the team’s next opponent and an important future one. There are still a lot of questions about Tennessee. The Volunteers looked improved against Utah State and Arkansas State to start the year, but a week-three matchup against Oklahoma ended in a 24-point loss. The Sooners were able to exploit the holes in the Tennessee line, something Georgia’s pass rushers will have to do on Saturday.

After losing to South Carolina two weeks ago, Georgia had a chance to lick its wounds in a 66-0 win over Troy. The Bulldogs are right back in the spotlight with Saturday’s game, needing a win to get on the board in SEC play.

Florida State at North Carolina State (3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2):

Headlines in Tallahassee this week have been about what happened last time the Seminoles went on the road to face an unranked North Carolina State team in Raleigh. The Wolfpack pulled off the upset of then No. 3 ranked Florida State by scoring 17 unanswered points to finish a 17-16 win. However, this Florida State team is a lot different than that one.

Jameis Winston is back under center for the Seminoles, and as long as he avoids the mistakes E.J. Manuel made in Raleigh two years ago, Florida State should escape this one with a road win. It does provide Florida transfer and North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett with an opportunity to earn some headlines.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., CBS):

The matchup takes place in Arlington, and it’s an important one for both teams. For Texas A&M, it’s a chance to stay among the elite in the country and a final game before playing four of its next five games against teams ranked in the top 15. The Aggies have been much better defensively this year, but the run defense will get a big test on Saturday.

Arkansas’ improvement might go under the radar this year because of how difficult the SEC West is, but the Razorbacks look much better in year two under Bret Bielema. Arkansas is eighth in the country with 324.5 rushing yards per game behind Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Quarterback Brandon Allen is also improved this year and will challenge the Aggies.

Minnesota at Michigan (3:30 p.m., ABC): Brady Hoke’s job security is the storyline here. The Wolverines are 2-2 but the wins have been against Appalachian State and Miami (OH). Add in a home loss to Minnesota, and the hot seat will reach new levels of heat in Ann Arbor.

Missouri at South Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN): College Gameday is in Columbia for this game, which might actually be the best case to prove how weak the slate of games is this weekend. The Gamecocks had more trouble than expected at Vanderbilt last week, but it came one week after an emotional win over Georgia and before this game against Missouri. Now sitting at 2-1 in conference play, this is a big opportunity for Steve Spurrier’s team with only one ranked conference opponent remaining on the schedule.

For Missouri, it’s a chance to bounce back. The Tigers had a convincing win over UCF before losing at home to Indiana last week, falling to 3-1. While the Gamecocks have already played three conference games, this will be the first SEC matchup for Missouri. They need to get momentum back on their side, as their next three games are against South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Duke at Miami (7:30, ESPN2):

Still unranked in both polls, Duke might be having the best season that no one is talking about. The Blue Devils are 4-0 with an average score of 43.5-11.5. The schedule gets tougher on Saturday against Miami, and it’s an opportunity for Duke to make an argument to be ranked on national television.

The heat on Miami coach Al Golden is starting to turn up, as the Hurricanes sit at 2-2 this season. A loss at home to Duke would only turn the fires up to the next level. Florida State is the only ranked team left on the Miami schedule -- which only has two ranked teams on it to begin with. The Hurricanes, and especially Golden, need this game.


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