Top 25 Preview Capsules

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Georgia: QB Aaron Murray. A redshirt freshman who’s never taken a college snap, Murray must avoid temptations of holding the ball too long in the pocket and trying to pass into tight coverage. He is protected by five returning starters on the offensive line.

Facts & Figures

The Bulldogs are 38-4 against non-conference opponents, 25-1 at home, under Richt. … Since coach Rickey Bustle was hired in 2002, Louisiana-Lafayette has blocked 41 kicks and punts. … Under new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Georgia hopes to improve vastly on takeaways. The Bulldogs had just 12 last year to rank No. 118 in the nation. … Louisiana-Lafayette MLB Grant Fleming has moved inside after his 89 tackles were second-most for the Cajuns last year. … Georgia LT Clint Boling plans to make his 26th consecutive start, tops among current Bulldogs. … Georgia TEs Aron White and Orson Charles combined for 374 yards receiving last season.


Coastal Carolina (0-0) at No. 25 West Virginia (0-0), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Line: None.

Series Record: First meeting.

What’s at Stake

West Virginia wants to keep its Top 25 ranking intact and doesn’t need a potential struggle against another Big South opponent like it had last year against Liberty. To get the season off right, Mountaineers QB Geno Smith must be solid in his first career start.

Key Matchup

West Virginia RB Noel Devine vs. Coastal Carolina’s defense. Devine rushed for 1,465 yards a year ago and, while a big game against a FCS opponent doesn’t mean anything for a potential Heisman Trophy campaign, it would start momentum for what could be a stellar senior year. Devine needs 1,784 yards to overtake Avon Cobourne, who set the school record of 5,164 yards from 1999-02. Coastal Carolina returns leading tackler Desmond Seward at LB, three of its four defensive backs and picked up three transfers from Hofstra, which dropped football after last season.

Players to Watch

West Virginia: DL Bruce Irvin. The junior college transfer earned praise in the preseason as a speed rusher in West Virginia’s four-lineman set on passing downs. Irvin was a WR in high school and was recruited to play safety in junior college. He didn’t play defensive end until last year and returned a fumble 96 yards for a touchdown.

Coastal Carolina: QB Zach MacDowall. The Wake Forest transfer had more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (nine), but his top two receivers return from a year ago.

Facts & Figures

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