Some things to check out this Saturday:
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan
Michigan put 59 points on Central Michigan in its opener, the most it has scored since 1905. And you thought playing Eastern Washington was easy. Notre Dame will offer resistance, though how much is in question. Temple was able to move the ball effectively at Notre Dame, gaining 362 yards, but could not finish drives.
What will Johnny do?
Texas A&M hosts Sam Houston State this weekend and will have QB Johnny Manziel the entire game, giving him a full 60 minutes to do something stupid. He played just the second half last week. He taunted Rice — yes, Rice – for much of it. The edge is good, the feistiness is good. Taunting an opponent you should crush is not.
Stanford will have a challenge
Former Washington wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty didn’t leave to become offensive coordinator for your average state school. The Spartans lost by just three, 20-17, in last year’s opener against Stanford and finished 11-2. San Jose State is in the Mountain West Conference for the first time this year. Based on the showing from Boise State last Saturday, San Jose State could take over the top of the conference.
Can Oregon State recover?
Eastern Washington is a tricky FCS opponent, as Washington can attest. But, to not be able to stop the Eagles in a home opener is unacceptable for a top-25 team. The Beavers are no longer in the rankings and have a get-well card in Norm Chow’s disjointed Hawai’i team heading to Corvallis this Saturday. The start of Pac-12 play for OSU is plenty soft — Utah, Colorado, WSU and Cal — to get back into the mix.
Illinois vs. a real opponent
Washington has the week off. Next week, it travels to Soldier Field in Chicago to play Illinois. The Illini beat FCS opponent Southern Illinois 42-34 to end a nine-game losing streak. Saturday, Illinois hosts Cincinnati which blew our Purdue 42-7 in its opener. The game is on ESPN2 Saturday at 9 a.m., if you want to scout what should be Washington’s next win.