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Keep an eye on local Tony Jones in the Notre Dame-Georgia showdown

More national college football: Jimbo Fisher, meanwhile, should be hyper focused on his quarterback, who hasn’t looked all that spiffy this season. Plus staff predictions.
Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) runs through a hole in the line during the first half against Louisville on Sept. 2. [TIMOTHY D. EASLEY | AP]
Published Sep. 20
Updated Sep. 20

Local of the week

Notre Dame running back Tony Jones (St. Pete Catholic)

There is, rightfully, plenty of attention on Georgia’s backfield, but don’t ignore the one on the other sideline. Jones, a St. Petersburg native who finished his high school career at IMG Academy, rushed for 110 yards in the Irish’s season-opening win over Louisville and will likely need a big performance to crack the Bulldogs.

GameDay breakdown

Although Notre Dame has double-digit wins in four of the past seven seasons, the Irish haven’t been able to compete against elite talent. Notre Dame is 0-4 against top-five teams under Brian Kelly. Given how well Kirby Smart has recruited at Georgia and the intense environment expected in Athens, it’s hard to see Kelly finally getting his marquee victory.

RELATED: Georgia football’s rise comes at the expense of Florida, in more ways than one

Harbaugh’s Alabama hire

No. 11 Michigan was supposed to spruce up its offense by hiring coordinator Josh Gattis away from Alabama. The Wolverines are still waiting for those points. Gattis’ offense ranks No. 98 nationally in yards per play and is 74th in the advanced metric SP+. And that’s before facing No. 13 Wisconsin, which shut out USF and Jim McElwain’s Chippewas in its first two games.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Jim Harbaugh Effect: More sizzle than steak?

Second-generation Nix

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher calls plays against Lamar during the second on Sept. 14. [SAM CRAFT | AP]

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher should know all about Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. Two decades ago, Fisher was the quarterbacks coach for Nix’s dad, Patrick, who started for the Tigers in 1994-95. The connection is cool, but Fisher needs to focus on his own quarterback. Kellen Mond has been mediocre (No. 63 nationally in passing efficiency) after a breakout sophomore season and will be challenged by one of the country’s best defensive lines.

Week 4: By the numbers

16 — Average fourth-quarter points allowed per game by FSU. Only Texas, Colorado State and Troy are giving up more

299 — FSU wins at Doak Campbell Stadium

221.50 — Passing efficiency for Samford quarterback Chris Oladokun, a USF transfer and Sickles High alumnus. That’s No. 2 in Division I-AA.

5 — Consecutive times Oklahoma State has beaten Texas in Austin

4.21 — Yards per play for Florida Atlantic and supposed offensive genius Lane Kiffin. That’s second-to-last nationally

4.11 — Yards per play for UCLA and supposed offensive genius Chip Kelly. That’s last nationally.

Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for week 4

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