College football 2014: Michigan State vs. Oregon tops this weekend's action

The Spartans travel west to meet the Ducks in one of the big college football games Saturday.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS
Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) makes a throw against the South Dakota Coyotes at Autzen Stadium Aug. 30, 2014, in Eugene, Oregon.

Labor Day weekend saw some interesting matchups on the college football landscape, including No. 1 Florida State hanging on to beat Oklahoma State.

This weekend, most of the Football Bowl Subdivision schools take to the field as the 2014 college football season fully gets underway.

Ranked No. 3 by the Associated Press this week, Oregon plays host to No. 7 Michigan State. Both teams are coming off big wins at home last week – The Spartans beat Jacksonville State, 45-7 while the Ducks rolled over South Dakota, 62-13.

Oregon is led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, who threw three touchdown passes against the Coyotes. Two of those TD passes went to Oregon's all-purpose threat, Byron Marshall.

Michigan State's offense is directed by quarterback Connor Cook, who also threw three touchdown passes – in the first quarter –  as the Spartans pulled away from the Gamecocks early.

You can watch Michigan State vs. Oregon at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time Saturday on Fox.

Next up on our preview – Virginia Tech travels to Columbus, Ohio, to meet eighth-ranked Ohio State. Last Saturday, the Buckeyes struggled on offense in the first half as they adjusted to life without injured quarterback Braxton Miller. Freshman J.T. Barrett and a tough Buckeye defense did enough in the second half to wear down Navy.

The Hokies posted a 34-9 win over William & Mary last weekend. Tech quarterback Michael Brewer was also part of the three touchdown passing club against the Tribe.

Virginia Tech - Ohio State will be televised on ESPN, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Saturday.

A terrific Pac-12 conference game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern in Palo Alto, California. 14th-ranked Southern California plays No. 13 Stanford at Stanford Stadium. This game will be televised on ABC.

USC beat Fresno State last Saturday night, 52-13, as Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns. The Cardinal shut out California-Davis, 45-0. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan and all-purpose receiver Ty Montgomery led a balance Stanford attack.

Finally, it's the end of an era. Notre Dame will play Michigan for the final time Saturday night. With some two-year gaps, these two schools have played every year since 1978. The reasons for stopping the series are myriad, but this will be it ... for now.

The 16th-ranked Fighting Irish beat Rice, 48-17, last Saturday. Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golston returned after missing last season due to academic suspension.

The Wolverines opened at home last weekend with a dominating 52-14 victory over Appalachian State. Multi-talented quarterback Devin Gardner threw three touchdown passes in the Michigan win.

Notre Dame and Michigan will kick off shortly after 7:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday on NBC.

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