(CBS Local Sports)– Week 5 of the college football season is here, and CBS Sports Network has a slate of some of the best games across the nation this weekend. The action begins on Friday, October 1 when #13 BYU and quarterback Jaren Hall travel to enemy territory to take on Utah State. The Cougars haven’t lost a game yet and have scored at least 20 points in every single game this season.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith spoke with CBS Sports college football host Brent Stover to get his thoughts on the big time matchup and a whole host of games on Saturday, October 2, which includes an intriguing matchup between two 3-1 teams in Liberty and UAB. Stover explains why he likes BYU on Friday, what Liberty will need to do to win on the road and the expectations for Fresno State in Hawai’i.
#13 BYU vs. Utah State: Friday, October 1, 9pm EST/PST CBS Sports Network
“It’s probably one of the best matchups we’ve had on CBS Sports Network this year,” said Stover. “I like BYU and last year was not a mirage and I think they’ve proven that through the first third of the season. I think the quarterback situation is the big question. It sounds like Jaren Hall was all but ready to go last week. I expect him to start, but Baylor Romney was awesome. He threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns. I think BYU is going to be a little bit too much for Utah State, but the Aggies are off to a great start as well. I think it is going to be a fantastic game, and with home field, it probably evens it out a bit. I would pick BYU in this game.”
Western Michigan vs. Buffalo: Saturday, October 2, 12pm EST/PST CBS Sports Network
“It’s interesting because Western Michigan is off to a good start, and it’s good to get conference play going in the MAC,” said Stover. “You can kind of wipe the slate clean a little bit for Buffalo, because they’ve been a little bit up and down. They looked terrible against Nebraska and bounced back since then. This is a tough matchup for me to pick as well, but with Buffalo you have to look at that running game. They’re scoring 33 points per game, and that’s second in the MAC. Kevin Marks is back this year with Dylan McDuffie. I think Buffalo has an opportunity perhaps to win the MAC, but this is a big opportunity against Western Michigan to get things going.”
UCF vs. Navy: Saturday, October 2, 3:30pm EST/PST CBS Sports Network
“Navy is just not there. Go back over the last half of last season and the first three games of this season, and it’s hard to pinpoint what might be going on,” said Stover. “Ken Niumatalolo has built such a phenomenal culture there, and all he has done is won games, but something is just not right for them. UCF got that great win to open the year against Boise State, and they have an extra week to prepare coming off that loss to Louisville, and I don’t think Louisville is any slouch. I like Dillon Gabriel. He is one of my favorite quarterbacks in the country. If you look over his career, he wins games, and he is not one who plays down to his competition. He’s thrown 42 touchdowns in 16 conference games with only eight interceptions. He doesn’t make mistakes, and he’s good for the big play and deep ball. I think UCF has a big advantage in this game, even though it is on the road.
Liberty vs. UAB: Saturday, October 2, 7pm EST/PST CBS Sports Network
“My guy Kevin Carter, who I work with on Fridays and Saturdays, thought Malik Willis should’ve been in the top five for the Heisman last year, and I can’t disagree,” said Stover. “He’s an Auburn transfer, and he played there in 2017 and 2018, and he was phenomenal last year. The beauty of Willis is he is one of these typical dual-threat guys that a lot of people maybe haven’t paid enough attention to because he is at a school like Liberty. He’s only run for 274 yards and four touchdowns this year, and he’s already thrown for over 800 yards and 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. The guy doesn’t make mistakes. They came up just short last time out, and they’re 3-1. With UAB, we know what Bill Clark has done there, and this is a brand new stadium. These folks have been waiting for a long time, and this program was dead. Not only is it back and not only are they contending for conference titles, but they’ve got an incredible downtown stadium in Birmingham. I think it is going to go down to the wire. This one is tough to pick for me, but it’s going to be exciting. And I think there are going to be a lot of points and a lot of yards. These are two really exciting teams to watch.”
#18 Fresno State vs. Hawai’i: Saturday, October 2, 10:30pm EST/PST CBS Sports Network
“What fascinates me is that when you go to Hawai’i, it’s not a foregone conclusion just because of the trip,” said Stover. “That’s just the way that it is. One advantage that the Warriors have is they’ve already played five games. They could be tired, but playing at home and having five games under your belt gives you the advantage there. Jake Haener is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Not only did he beat UCLA with a game-winning drive, but he showed toughness on the field with a hurt left side the whole time. Last week they were a little bit sluggish in the first half, but then in the second half we saw what they can do. I’m not as concerned with the UNLV game as a lot of people might be. It’s human nature to have a letdown, and Fresno State had that letdown. But the bottom line is they won the game. They’re 4-1, and their only loss is to a top three team in Oregon. This Fresno State team for my money — and I think Nevada and Boise State might have something to say about that — Fresno State is the best team in the Mountain West. Right now outside of Cincinnati, I would pick them to be the best Group of Five team.”