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September 23, 2011
Each week, Rivals.com's college football experts give fans things to keep an eye on over the course of the weekend. Here are some key things to watch in Week 4.
Arkansas' offense. I'm interested in seeing whether Arkansas can consistently move the ball on Alabama's defense. Though Arkansas was one of just four teams to score more than one touchdown against Alabama last season, the Razorbacks still managed only 20 points - and that was with Ryan Mallett, Knile Davis and D.J. Williams. QB Tyler Wilson is good, Ronnie Wingo is running well and the Hogs still have excellent receivers, but can they score at least 20 points again? If they can, that could be enough to win this season.
- OLIN BUCHANAN
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd. Boyd, a sophomore, enjoyed a breakout game last week in a 38-24 victory over Auburn, going 30-of-42 for 386 yards and four touchdowns in helping the Tigers roll up 624 yards. The victory announced that the Tigers may be a contender in the ACC. Can they keep it up this week against a Florida State squad coming off a tough 23-13 loss at home to Oklahoma? It will be up to Boyd, who needs a similar effort going against a tough FSU defense. Boyd will be working against one of the top secondaries in the nation, but will need to continue to work his mojo with true freshman WR Sammy Watkins, a Florida native who caught 10 passes for 155 yards and two scores against Auburn.
- TOM DIENHART
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller. Buckeyes coach Luke Fickell announced true freshman Braxton Miller would be his starter this week against Colorado rather than senior Joe Bauserman, who had a miserable game against Miami last week. That gives Miller two games to get his legs under him before the return of WR DeVier Posey, TB Dan Herron and OT Mike Adams from suspensions. Miller, the second-ranked quarterback in the 2011 signing class, was supposed to use this season watching Terrelle Pryor. I'm curious to see what happens now that's taking the spotlight nearly a year earlier than expect.
- DAVID FOX
The defenses in the Oklahoma State-Texas A&M game. These are two of the most potent offenses in the nation, and the winning team has scored at least 34 points in four of the past five meetings. Will either defense be able to slow the opponent's offense? I think A&M's secondary is better than Oklahoma State's, and that might be the game's determining factor.
- MIKE HUGUENIN
Georgia Tech's offense. There might not be a better matchup this week than the confrontation between Georgia Tech's potent triple-option attack and North Carolina's star-studded front seven on defense. Tech leads the nation in rushing yards per game (427.7), total yards per game (247.7) and points per game (59.3). The Yellow Jackets can score from anywhere on the field, and they have scored on their first offensive play in each of their three games. But they haven't faced a defense nearly this strong. UNC DE Quinton Coples, DE Donte Paige-Moss and LB Zach Brown are potential first-round picks. Tech is averaging 7.9 yards per rush, while UNC allows just 2.4 yards per carry.
- STEVE MEGARGEE