7:00 AM ET

ESPN Staff

This Saturday, a full schedule of spring football games will give fans a first look at the upcoming fall college football season. And in some cases, fans will be able to see their team play in person for the first time in over a year.

From quarterback battles to walk-ons showing what they can do for the team, here are the games we’re following.

Alabama Crimson Tide
1 p.m. AND on ESPN and ESPN App

It’s time to see what Bryce Young has to offer. The former five-star aspirant replaced Mac Jones as a rookie and showed some good touches in limited appearances. He has a strong arm and is very athletic. But can he handle the attack? This is a big question that will determine if he wins the starting job over Paul Tyson and Jalen Milro. While he relied mostly on his instincts last year, Nick Saban said he has seen Young’s confidence improve offensively. If he can find his niche in front of the home crowd on Saturday, it could solidify his position. -Alex Scarborough.

Arkansas Razorbacks
3 p.m. AND on SECN+ and ESPN App

The Razorbacks enter the spring with depth at the running back position that could be one of the highlights of their offense in 2021. Trelon Smith took on the bulk of the 2020 workload due to injury and the cancellation of Rakim Boyd, and should do so again in 2021. In addition to Smith, the Razorbacks can count on a combination of Dominique Johnson and freshmen A.J. Green and Havion Hunt to help them along the way. — Harry Lyles, Jr.

Auburn Tigers
2:00 PM ET on SECN+ and ESPN App

For new coach Brian Harsin, there is no more important task than developing the Bo Knicks’ quarterback. No one doubts Nix’s abilities. In two seasons as a starter, he has shown strong arm, athletic ability and playmaking ability. But he has also proven to be a very flawed quarterback who lacks accuracy and gives the ball away too often. Some of that may be due to Gus Malzahn and the previous coaching staff, but they’re gone, and now it’s up to Harsin and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to steer the Knicks in the right direction. Otherwise, Auburn could be in big trouble this season. — Scarborough.

2 Connected

Georgia Bulldogs
2 p.m. ET on SECN+ and ESPN App

Beware of the wide receivers. George Pickens suffered a torn ACL in late March and is certainly a big loss to the Bulldogs’ offense, which finished the 2020 season on a high note. Outside of Pickens, the Bulldogs are currently in bad shape at that position. Dominic Blaylock returns after tearing his ACL last year, as does Marcus Rosemi-Jexane, who suffered a devastating ankle fracture against Florida. This has opened up new opportunities for young players like Arian Smith, Justin Robinson and others, while Blaylock and Rosemee-Jackson remain limited. — Liles.

MSU Tigers
1:00 PM on SECN+ and ESPN App

No one expects a decision in Saturday’s quarterback race. Coach Ed Orgeron said he gave all four QBs – not just Max Johnson and Myles Brennan – first-team reps. Other than that, you’re looking at a defense that desperately needs to rebuild after last season, where every possession seemed like a failed mission. New defensive coordinator Daront Jones is tasked with simplifying the scheme and improving communication. Returning to a quick, confident defense this spring would be a big step in the right direction. — Scarborough.

Miami Hurricanes
11 p.m. ET on the ACC network and ESPN app

With D’Eric King rehabbing from a knee injury, the Hurricanes have spent the spring giving playing time to rookies Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia, so they will be the focus of the spring game. At quarterback, keep an eye on receiver Charleston Rambo, who came to Miami from Oklahoma. Rambo made a big impression this spring. He finished the second scrimmage with seven catches for 107 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown after a trick play. Coach Manny Diaz said Rambo gave us a great opportunity. He joins a deep and talented group of receivers, but there is still room for someone with his big-play ability in Miami’s offense. – Andrea Adelson

I worked on Greentree all week so I could go to the Hard Rock last night pic.twitter.com/pTCTywBqdj

– Canes Football (@CanesFootball) April 11, 2021

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Noon ET on SECN+ and ESPN app

You may have seen that ESPN’s FPI (our statistical ranking and prediction system for every FBS team in college football) ranks Mississippi 8th. One reason is the same reason you have to look for in their spring game: Quarterback. The rankings assume the Bulldogs have a better offense because Will Rogers is a young quarterback with experience, or that Southern Miss will be without three-year starter Jack Abraham. Mike Leach said Rogers needs to work to keep his job, so these two are ones to keep an eye on. — Liles.

Ohio State Buckeyes
Noon ET

Who will replace Justin Fields as quarterback is the big question for the Buckeyes right now. Coach Ryan Day said C.J. Stroud did some practice work during spring training, but there wasn’t enough difference between Stroud, Jack Miller and junior Kyle McCord to designate a starter. Stroud and Miller had two rushing attempts but no passing attempts last season, so there’s no real experience difference between them. McCord is ranked 31st in the 2021 recruiting class, but is still trying to acclimate to the college game. Day said the quarterbacks weren’t trying to win by one throw or one day, but focused on improving and competing together throughout the spring. Whether it’s Stroud, Miller or McCord, there will be plenty of help around the starter, as seven of the top eight players in terms of receiving yards are back. -Tom VanHaren

TCU Horned Frogs
midi ET

Gary Patterson probably wants some of his players on the field as the Frogs were defeated in the second half. Patterson has to replace stars Trevon Meurig and Ar’Darius Washington at safety and recently said only one player – Bud Clark – took over at free safety on every replay during the final scrimmage. A running back (Daryl Reynolds) started as a cornerback. Patterson has proven he can put together a good defense by applying the next man up philosophy. Maybe he’ll get that chance this week. -Dave Wilson.

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Noon ET

Air Raid veteran and Tech alum Sonny Cumbie returns from TCU to lead the offense, and the hope is that he will restore the Red Raiders’ classic offense. At the same time, quarterbacks will be the focal point of most storylines of the spring game. Henry Columbi, who started four games last year, returns while Alan Bowman left for Michigan. Oregon transfer Tyler Shaw, who played in every game last season, has impressed Tech’s coaches with his skills and work ethic since his arrival. — Wilson.

USC Trojans
4pm. AND

After playing the pandemic-shortened 2020 season without fans, it will be nice to see fans back at the Coliseum, as USC plans to allow 5,000 fans into the spring game. All eyes will be on Kedon Slovis, who is expected to be one of the best combinations in the country next season with receiver Drake London. After appearing on the scene in 2019, Slovis did not take the step forward last season that many fans had hoped for in Sochi, albeit under unique circumstances, but he still has three years to leave an impressive legacy. — Kyle Bonagura

Take what’s yours. @Kedonslovis @DrakeLondon_#FightOn pic.twitter.com/6rVLUYX1oH

– USC Football (@USC_FB) April 11, 2021

Utah Utes
2 pm. AND

The Utes’ spring game will be the first big chance for transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer to impress his new fans. He will still need to beat Cam Rising to win the job during fall camp, but Brewer has stood out from the rest of the quarterbacks in spring training. In 40 starts in four years at Baylor, he has thrown for 9,700 yards and 65 touchdowns and is a source of optimism for the Utes heading into the summer. — Bonagura

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