'Saturday Storylines' — High drama at Horseshoe

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  • Will USC turn the football over enough for Ohio State to post an upset at The Horseshoe? Freshman quarterback TPryorVSnavy.JPGA couple extra possessions would come in handy for Terrelle Pryor, who only got a handful of snaps last season against USC. This time around, he’ll shoulder most of the Buckeye offense as it looks to test a Trojan defense that has not done particularly well against running quarterbacks during the Pete Carroll era. Remember Vince Young?
  • Jimmy Clausen vs. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. Charlie Weis vs. Rich Rodriguez. Sounds like fun. Notre Dame vs. Michigan . . . welcome back to the national spotlight. We missed both of you, but there’s only room for one of you to stay.
  • How effective will Oklahoma freshman quarterback Landry Jones be in his first start, filling Sam Bradford‘s cleats? We know the Sooners will win — they’re playing Idaho State — but the real goal will be to instill some confidence within Jones and among his teammates. Getting the running game revved up and into shape is also recommended.
  • Most would have thought it would be the other way around as Oregon and Purdue get set to meet in Eugene. The Ducks with the dynamic offense and the Boilermakers desperately grasping at straws under the direction of their new coach. But it was Oregon that barely survived a disastrous opener against Boise State. Purdue, on the other hand, got 234 yards rushing from Ralph Bolden in a 52-31 victory over Toledo.
  • South Carolina and Georgia each only scored one touchdown in Week 1. It was enough for the Gamecocks, but not for the Bulldogs. As they go head-to-head on Saturday, it’ll be interesting to see which one finds their offense first.
  • The ACC has some much needed opportunities to play catchup . . . or fall deeper into a hole. Last week was littered with disastrous non-conference results. Saturday sees Virginia hosting No. 16 TCU, Wake Forest welcoming Stanford and North Carolina visiting UConn. In addition, Duke plays Army, but that won’t matter much either way.
  • How many punts will North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter block at UConn? He probably won’t snuff three against the Huskies as he did last year, but who would have ever thought he’d do that? After you get one, you’re usually done for the day. Two, and somebody’s getting fired. It’ll be fun to see if he gets anywhere near that punter this year.
  • For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Golden Gophers will be playing on campus . . . and outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium. It’ll be a lot of fun with some pomp and circumstance, but will it include a victory over Air Force?
  • It’s a big week for Conference USA, which has five games against teams from automatic-qualifier BCS conferences and one against BCS contender BYU. Can Marshall (at Virginia Tech), Houston (at Oklahoma State), Tulane (hosting BYU), East Carolina (at West Virginia), Rice (at Texas Tech) or UTEP (hosting Kansas) rise up and shock the college football world on Saturday.