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Saturday Football Primer/Morning Open Thread

Getting you ready for the days games.

Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Game: #25 Michigan (3-2, 2-0) vs. Illinois (2-4, 0-2)

The Broadcast: ABC, 3:30pm

The Line: Michigan -21

The Weather: Mid to low 50's, showers

Previews: Maize n Brew, Mgoblog, Burgeoning Wolverine Star, MZone (Know Your Foe), Who Are You and Why Do We Care, A Lion Eye (Mostly depressed rambling), Touch the Banner, Visitor List (MnB), Tremendous

Full Game Schedule

Best of the day:

- Noon ET, Iowa 3-2 at Michigan State 4-2 ESPN

(4) I love James Vandenberg as a player and a person, and anyone calling for his benching should probably just become a Nebraska fan already, but holy hell has he been a horrible road quarterback. Vandenberg has now started six true road games with a record of 1-5, a 57.5% completion percentage, exactly one game with more than 20 completions, and a pass efficiency rating of 121.3, which would be good for 97th in the nation this season. Of course, that 121.3 rating would place him ahead of 2012 James Vandenberg, who has racked up a 113.0 rating. Only three full-time quarterbacks at BCS-conference programs have been worse this season. By way of comparison, Steele Jantz has a 127.3 rating this year.

- 3:30 p.m. ET 17 Stanford 4-1 at 7 Notre Dame 5-0 NBC

5. GameDay is coming to South Bend! If you were in the crowd, what would your sign say?

The Stepfan Taylor 4 Heisman Runner-Up campaign hit a bit of a snag against Washington, so how 'bout this: "You've got luck, but we've got Nunes."

- 7 p.m. ET 11 USC 4-1 at Washington 3-2 FOX

1. "On The Road Again": How will USC handle the potentially rowdy CenturyLink environment?

Last Thursday, USC got a taste of a loud stadium in Utah, but CenturyLink Field has the potential to be the loudest stadium the Trojans will play in all season. During the fourth quarter of Washington's upset of Stanford, some reporters claimed the stadium was just as loud, if not louder than, as when the Seahawks are playing, which is saying something since the 12th man in Seattle is routinely one of the loudest in the NFL.

- 8 p.m. ET 3 S. Carolina 6-0 at 9 LSU 5-1 ESPN

LSU, on the other hand, showed you its flaws weeks in advance. After a total decimation of Washington in Week 2, Les Miles' machine showed a few creaks and groans. The Bayou Bengals only led Idaho, 21-14, at halftime before pulling away. They never pulled away from a pretty poor Auburn team on the road. They led Towson by only a 17-9 margin at halftime and, thanks to an increasingly sloppy offense, only won by 16. LSU was winning, sure, and for all we knew they were holding something in reserve for the bigger games. But "holding something in reserve" usually means vanilla play-calling, few risks, et cetera. It doesn't mean failing to protect your quarterback (Zach Mettenberger was sacked four times in 30 pass attempts against Towson), and it doesn't mean dropping passes. LSU's offense was either lacking sharpness or ability when it headed to Gainesville the past Saturday.

- 9:15 p.m. ET 22 Texas A&M 4-1 Shreveport 23 LA Tech 5-0 ESPNU

Dick Cheney must have known something. Cause when he pointed his Halliburton Hurricane Machine at Shreveport six weeks ago, we were all baffled that he'd want to ruin the opener of ol' buddy 41's favorite college team. Well, I think we all realize now that, in his replacement heart of hearts, he saw the potential in Summy and Sonny and envisioned this as a Top 25 game in a sold out roadside stadium all along. Nice work, Dick. Nice work.