College football TV schedule: N.C. State-Clemson highlights big week


With five games featuring two ranked teams, Week 5 sees the college football season finally shifting into second gear, with just about everyone beginning conference play in earnest. Could be a fun one.

Iowa’s dinosaur offense has failed to exceed one touchdown in three of its four games, the latest a 27-10 win over Rutgers in which it needed an interception return for a touchdown and the return of a recovered fumble to reach its final total. Nonetheless, the Hawkeyes are 3-1 entering their home game against fourth-ranked Michigan, and home has been a very good place for Iowa against top-five teams in recent years. In six home games since 2008 against teams ranked in the top five, the Hawkeyes are 5-1. Two of those wins came when Iowa was unranked and at least a 20-point underdog, and the Hawkeyes are getting somewhere around 11 on Saturday against the Wolverines. Kinnick Stadium is where “top-five teams go to die,” Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh said this week, and he would know: His second-ranked Wolverines were one of those victims when they lost, 14-13, in 2016. Michigan has won its past two meetings with Iowa, however, the most recent one a 42-3 demolition in last season’s Big Ten championship game, and the Wolverines have won their four games this season by an average of 50-11. …

Alabama travels to Arkansas, and the Crimson Tide hasn’t exactly lived up to its marauding reputation in true road games of late. Alabama is 4-1 in its past five such games, yes, but three of those wins came by one, two and two points (at Texas this season and at Auburn and Florida last season, and only the Gators were ranked at the time). Earlier this season, Tide Coach Nick Saban chalked up his team’s road struggles (such as they are) to Alabama’s lack of “hateful competitors” compared with previous years, when his players “were mad at 100,000 people, not just the 11 guys they were playing against” during road games. Saban’s players seem to be getting the picture. “Coach Saban always talks about these hateful competitors, and I’m starting to kind of see what he was saying — it’s fun,” linebacker Will Anderson said this week. “Last year, we had a couple of road games that were kind of bumpy, but I think it’s really fun. We want fans to leave their own stadiums, and I think the message this week is we want fans to leave their own stadiums, and we’re going to try to preach that all week. But go out there, have fun, do your job and make sure the fans are leaving by the time halftime comes or at least by the end of the third quarter.” The Tide has won seven straight games at Arkansas, by an average of 27.7 points. …

Both North Carolina State and Clemson have had games this season that threatened to take the shine off their hotly anticipated ACC Atlantic meeting Saturday. The Wolfpack, a top-10 team for the first time in 20 years, survived East Carolina in its season opener after the Pirates missed an extra point and a field goal in the fourth quarter. The Tigers barely survived Wake Forest last week, winning by six in double overtime. Clemson’s defense was without four key contributors because of injuries — safety Andrew Mukuba, cornerbacks Sheridan Jones and Malcolm Greene and defensive end Xavier Thomas — against the Demon Deacons, and it showed in the box score: Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 337 yards and six touchdowns, with no interceptions. Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney has been mum on whether any of those players will be back, and N.C. State quarterback Devin Leary has steadily improved since a ho-hum debut against East Carolina, throwing eight touchdown passes and completing 68.5 percent of his passes.


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