By Andrew Zuhosky
I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s Labor Day weekend. Man, where did summer go? I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Around here, this weekend can mean a final barbecue, a last swim in the pool or a trip to the Canfield Fair.
Labor Day weekend also means the start of one of my absolute favorite sports: college football. Can anyone else smell the pork chops cooking at a tailgate lot like I can right now?
Yes, we had two games last week in Division I, California and University of Hawaii in Australia, which featured a crazy onside kick to start the game, and Charleston Southern University against North Dakota State University in the FCS Kickoff.
This weekend gives us the first full slate of the new season and proves to be action-packed with exciting contests, such as the University of Southern California and the University of Alabama on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, Georgia Tech and Boston College in Ireland (that one kicks off just after 7:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday) and Louisiana State University and the University of Wisconsin from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Youngstown State University kicks off its season this evening with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Stambaugh Stadium against Duquesne University. I am encouraging you all to be in attendance tonight. If you can’t be there, ESPN3 will stream tonight’s match-up live.
Now, let’s talk a little about some of this weekend’s games. I don’t know about you, but I’m curious to tune into the USC vs. Alabama contest to see how well the Trojans play.
It’s going to be interesting to see how USC performs without Cody Kessler, who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns this past spring. There’s no easy task in replacing a quarterback who threw for over 10,000 yards and 88 touchdowns in college.
Max Browne, a redshirt junior quarterback, was tapped as the starter for USC a few weeks back. This is a man who backed Kessler up over the past few years. I’m interested to see how he progresses through the season as a starter.
Another game that I’m interested in watching over the weekend is the University of Notre Dame at the University of Texas contest on Sunday evening. Notre Dame’s key in this game is to simply tune out distractions and focus on the contest on the field.
Notre Dame’s football team made some headlines over the past few weeks for off-field transgressions which resulted in arrests, a suspension and a dismissal.
Max Redfield, a safety on the team, was booted by head coach Brian Kelly a week and a half ago, while cornerback Devin Butler remains suspended after being arrested Aug. 19.
Notre Dame’s athletes have a high standard that is expected to be met. Hearing about these off-field incidents is shocking to me. I applaud Kelly for doing what’s right.
Lastly, a big game that piques my interest has to be the Labor Day match-up between the University of Mississippi and Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Think about it, this game has Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference juggernauts squaring off. It’s a perfect way to end the first full weekend of the season.
With that, I have nothing more to say to all of you but “let’s play some ball!” Enjoy this weekend, my friends!