Upset watch: Undefeated Clemson, Washington face tough tests
With help from our own Dougstradamus (ASN's Doug Chapman), we look at three upsets to watch that might stir up some drama:
Syracuse at Clemson
3:30 p.m. ET Saturday
First-year Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, who developed a MAC power at Bowling Green, isn’t counting his team out against No. 3 Clemson.
“We would have to play our best game," Babers said Monday at his weekly news conference. “They'd probably have to play not their best game. ... If we can get a couple bounces our way, then maybe, maybe we have a chance. But don't bet the house on it, brother."
The seasoned Tigers are determined to reach their second consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff. But keep in mind Clemson has survived some close calls while Syracuse is rolling after a 31-17 upset win against Virginia Tech.
Clemson is 3-1 against the Orange, but the Tigers can’t forget that they have only escaped by 10-points in the last two wins. Syracuse shouldn’t be overlooked by Clemson this weekend as they are going to come out with a point to prove.
Would you “bet the house” on this one?
BYU at Cincinnati
3:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Both teams sit at 4-4 this season, but we have to take into account how tough the BYU’s schedule has been. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati is pretty fortunate to be .500 with its offensive struggles this season.
But BYU is coming off a 28-27 loss to Boise State and they are going to either show up hungry for a victory, or beaten down after this rough 2016 schedule. Both of these defenses have had a tough time this season, so it’s going to come down to who can take advantage of the other's disadvantage.
If Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill can avoid turnovers and Jamaal Williams gets going, then BYU should run away with this one. But if Cincinnati can find a way to get their offensive rhythm and stop Williams on the ground, then they are going to put up a tough fight.
Washington at California
10:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Washington survived a scare last week against Utah that almost ruined their 8-0 record.
What we saw from sophomore quarterback Jack Browning was less than spectacular against Utah as he completed only 12-of-20 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Nonetheless, the Huskies offense for a majority of the season has been great.
The advantage for Cal is the experience in their veteran quarterback Davis Webb — but their disadvantage is the obvious roller-coaster that the team has been riding this season. The Bears could easily be 6-2 right now as two of their losses have been separated by one score, but their defense is going to be their Achilles heel in this matchup.
Washington shouldn’t take this matchup lightly, especially on the road. But it is going to be hard for Cal to deal with the kind of offense that the Huskies bring to the table. Will the Bears be able to get off the up-and-down ride, or will the Huskies move to 9-0?