Game capsules for Saturday's college football games - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Game capsules for Saturday's college football games

Vols put youngsters to the test against Montana
When Tennessee senior defensive tackle Malik Jackson looks at the Volunteers' depth chart peppered with freshmen and sophomore, he sees something more than youth.

He sees players who have a lot of talent and who are the best guy at their position.

The Vols are expected to start 14 underclassmen in Saturday's season opener against Montana. And while second-year coach Derek Dooley feels better about his team's size, speed and ability than a year ago, he won't go so far as to say he's more comfortable than he was heading into last year's season opener because of how young the Vols still are.

Grizzlies coach Robin Pflugrad isn't caught up in Tennessee's youth, either. He sees a team loaded on talent and speed.

Franklin knows time to produce on field is now
James Franklin has been very busy since arriving at Vanderbilt. Now his first kickoff comes Saturday night, and the new coach knows it's time to start producing where it matters most.

On the field.

Franklin says they have to change the perception of who the Commodores are and that result will happen on the field. He says results are what's going to change the perception of Vanderbilt in Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference and nationally.

Franklin and the Commodores get an easier opening opponent Saturday night with their first ever game against Elon of the Football Championship Series. A year ago, Robbie Caldwell made his coaching debut against Northwestern of the Big Ten and lost 23-21 before finishing 2-10.

Saban keeping Alabama's QB starter a mystery
No. 2 Alabama's opener comes with a little mystery attached.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban is keeping nearly everyone in suspense over whether AJ McCarron or Philip Sims will start at quarterback Saturday against Kent State.

He says coaches have a plan for both passers and won't yank them from the game over a mistake.

The game appears to be one of the bigger mismatches of opening weekend, judging by the 38-point spread. But it has plenty of meaning for both Saban and countless Tide fans who were impacted by a deadly April tornado.

Saban has two degrees from Kent State. Former coach Don James hired him as a graduate assistant and Saban said he "probably did more than anybody in this profession to influence me."

Trotter leads Auburn against Utah State
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -
Barrett Trotter is now a big man on Auburn's campus, just not THE big man.

Trotter replaces Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton as the defending national champions' quarterback starting with Saturday's opener against Utah State.

Trotter probably won't lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing for the 23rd-ranked Tigers like Newton did. And he insists plenty of people still don't recognize him around town.

The fourth-year junior and new graduate student will get both his first start and first significant college experience. He's only been seen in occasional mop-up duty and threw just 12 passes in the spring game.

This much seems certain: He's unlikely to alternate between bulldozing and outrunning opposing defenders with the regularity of Newton.

He'll face a Utah State defense now run by head coach Gary Andersen.

No. 10 Nebraska to unveil new offense against Mocs
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -
Big Ten newcomer Nebraska goes into its opener against Chattanooga on Saturday with the same quarterback but a new offense.

The 10th-ranked Cornhuskers lost three of their last four games as Taylor Martinez struggled with injuries. The fleet-footed sophomore will be working in an up-tempo system more tailored to his skills under first-year offensive coordinator Tim Beck.

The particulars of the offense have been kept under wraps to people outside the program. Players have said the offense runs with or without a huddle and includes the power running game, some triple-option and lots of quick passes.

Chattanooga is the second Football Championship Subdivision opponent in two years for Nebraska. The Mocs are coming off back-to-back 6-5 seasons and return NFL prospect B.J. Coleman as starting quarterback.

No. 3 Oregon v. No. 4 LSU quite a showcase opener
Third-ranked Oregon and fourth-ranked LSU are meeting at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night.

This showcase matchup is a rare treat for college football fans. It will be the first game pitting top-5 teams since 1984.

Oregon will be looking to bounce back from losing the national championship game to LSU's conference rival, Auburn.

The Tigers will be looking to extend a run of 33 straight wins over nonconference opponents. It's the longest such streak in the nation.

Both teams are also dealing with suspensions. LSU will be without quarterback Jordan Jefferson and receiver Russell Shepard. Oregon will be without cornerback-punt returner Cliff Harris.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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