Football is back. Everything is going to be OK.
That uneasy, restless, empty feeling we get during the sports abyss known as summer has come to an end. Those few of us lucky enough (ME!) to be able to watch the Texas-Rice game on Longhorn Network have plans for Saturday night. But there are a few other games worth setting the DVR for as opening week unfolds. Two of these games kick off at the same time of the Rice game, so if you don't have a dual-tuner DVR, better get one within the next 24 hours.
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU
Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. CT
This one is happening a little more than three hours north of the Texas-Rice game in what's known here in Dallas as "Jerry's Tomb" or "Jerryworld." It's a top-five match-up with a lot of storylines. LSU QB Jordan Jefferson and LB Josh Johns are suspended indefinitely after being arrested earlier this month. That gives Jarrett Lee the start, but it has to shake things up significantly for the Tigers, who are expected to have one of the most complete teams in the country.
Oregon QB Darron Thomas and CB Cliff Harris have also recently run into some legal issues, but both are expected to play Saturday. RB LaMichael James is a legit Heisman candidate and well worth watching. He led the country with 144.3 rushing yards per game and 24 total touchdowns in 2010.
Two more games to watch after the jump...
No. 5 Boise State at No. 19 Georgia
Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. CT
This one goes down tomorrow night in the Georgia Dome. Boise State has never beaten an SEC school, and, of course, they are fitting in a new offensive coordinator. QB Kellen Moore leads the way but will be without receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis. The Broncos' defense allowed just 12.8 points per game last season.
Appalachian State at No. 13 Virginia Tech
Saturday @ 11:30 a.m. CT
What? Don't tell me you have already forgotten how App State embarrassed a highly ranked and unprepared Michigan team in 2007. You can bet that Virginia Tech isn't overlooking the Mountaineers. Plus, the Hokies started last season with two losses, but then racked up 10 wins and an ACC title. Ending the season getting trounced by Stanford has got to give them motivation to come out on fire this year. Add that to the fact that Virginia Tech hasn't won a season opener since 2007. But they will be without offensive threats Tyrod Taylor (QB) and Ryan Williams (RB), who are now in the NFL. Junior David Wilson takes over at RB and could be huge for the Hokies, as he averaged more than 9 yards per touch last season. WRs Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale are two of the best in the ACC.
App State QB DeAndre Presley is back after totaling more than 3,600 yards and 34 TDs throwing and running last season. Aptly named WR Brian Quick returns as the leading receiver. Senior tackles Dan Wylie and Chris Aiken lead the defense.
Interesting note: Va Tech Coach Frank Beamer sits at 198 wins with the Hokies, and App State Coach Jerry Moore has won 199 games with the Mountaineers.