(CBS Local Sports) — College football season continues with another full slate of action on CBS and CBS Sports Network this weekend. Top-ranked Georgia looks to shut down Florida in an SEC battle. Fresno State tries to loosen #21 San Diego State’s grip on the Mountain West. And Boise State faces Colorado State. CBS’s Norm Elrod talked to CBS Sports’ Randy Cross about the matchups.
#1 Georgia @ Florida, October 30, 3:30 p.m. ET on CBSREAD MORE: Boyle's Buffs Eyeing Rare Road Win vs. Ranked Opponent
Can Florida score or even move the ball at all on this Georgia defense?
“If you look at talent on talent, probably. You look at the tradition of this game, and it kind of says yes, they should be able to. The problem is then you start looking at the numbers. How much how many points do you have to score to beat Georgia? My guess is, when you start playing the better teams, you’re going to have to be able to score at least 23 points to beat Georgia. Who’s the offense on their schedule, including Florida [on] Saturday, that can score 23 points on this defense, when everybody else is averaging less than seven a game? That’s sort of the Rubik’s Cube that teams have to figure out how to solve. If there’s a game in the country where you’ll see those problems solved regularly, it’s college football, because it’s it’s so emotional. It’s different. It’s not as analytical, it’s not as cut and dry as pro ball. So they get human on a more regular basis. And will they do that Saturday? That’s sort of what Florida’s hoping for.”
The Georgia offense tends to be overshadowed by their defense. But outside of the Clemson game, they’re averaging about 43 points per game. How much of Georgia’s dominance can be credited to their offense?
“I think a good bit. The problem is the defense gets the back the ball regularly, so they have a good number of possessions. They do have the great choice of JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett at quarterback. Not completely unlike which ball carrier you hand the ball to. Zamir White, seems like Zeus could go the distance every time he touches the ball. But they’ve got a really good offensive line. They’re starting to really get comfortable with their toys on the outside. Because going into the season, guys were hurt. They have some toys now. And what are they going to do at quarterback with Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels? They can score.”
Fresno State @ #21 San Diego State, October 30, 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
San Diego State remains undefeated and hosts the 6-2 Fresno State this week. San Diego State has a strong defense and a good running game. What does Fresno State need to do to stay competitive?READ MORE: 'Georgia's Defense Is Just So Good': CBS Sports’ Houston Nutt Previews SEC And Conference USA Championships
“I think stay patient. You’re looking at a team that Brady Hoke has. It’s not completely unlike with Rocky Long did four years at San Diego State, and that’s run the ball and play really tough defense. They’re extremely physical, Bell at running back, among others. Another one of those teams where they throw two or three at you, but Bell is the lead sled dog. He takes advantage of what those guys do. And they run an offense that, at times, can be kind of a siege cannon that just pounds you and pounds you. I love the way they play defense too.
I have Fresno State, and we saw them early, with some of their big games and the way that their their offense with Haener, their quarterback, the way he can throw it. They stretch it across the field, and they stretch it down the field. And being able to do both, which they can do, puts pressure on a team.
The problem is, when you’re playing a team like the Aztecs, they make every single possession count. And they make you be patient. Let’s say you have the ball five plays and you punt. You kick it to them, and they have it 12 plays and they get a touchdown or a field goal. Then you get the ball back. You have three plays and you punt. When you get the ball back again, and maybe you’re down 10-0, and you start calling plays that are a little out of your box.
And that’s what that kind of a team wants you to do. They want you to take chances, so you can get another turnover. They can add more points and then you really start to panic. And when you start panicking against those kinds of teams… Good defensive teams that run the ball well and are really physical are like pythons. The more you struggle, the tighter they squeeze you. And the tighter they squeeze you, the harder it is to struggle. And then they start crushing you. That’s kind of what helps San Diego State beat you, they slowly crush you.”
Boise State @ Colorado State, October 30, 7:00 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
Boise State had the week off. Colorado State got edged out by Utah State. How do you see this one playing out?MORE NEWS: Two Broncos Are In The Running For NFL Rookie Of The Week
“For both of these schools it’s kind of an uncharacteristic season. More so Boise State than Colorado State. Boise has the tradition, they have the offensive toys and personnel, when healthy, to stay with anybody in the conference. I expect Boise to be able to put up enough points against Colorado State to win this game. Colorado State’s got to have some help. Boise has got to go out of their way to help Colorado State to win this game.”