2022 College Football Spring Games: Texas, USC, Notre Dame, LSU main schedule this weekend

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As spring training schedules for college football teams across the country wind down, Saturday brings a huge slate of scrimmages that will give some big brands a chance to showcase their programs. For fans yearning for a taste of college football to bridge the gap between bowling games and kicking off the 2022 season, there will be plenty of action to choose from as teams take to the field for the final times before the hot summer days.

Some of the sport’s brightest first-year coaches will be among those in the spotlight as they greet their first training sessions with new programs. Among them are Brian Kelly of LSU, Marcus Freeman of Notre Dame, Brent Venables of Oklahoma, Dan Lanning of Oregon and Lincoln Riley of USC.

None of the new coaches will be eager to show off the nuances of their schematic systems for future opponents to dissect, but that won’t stop fans of these schools from jumping to action-based conclusions. In particular, quarterback play will be under the microscope on Saturday with many programs playing their spring games amid quarterback battles.

Here are some of the main storylines to watch from this spring game series, followed by a preview of the schedule featuring the notable teams in action.

Spring Game Scenarios

Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, LSU and others — new quarterbacks: Among the marquee quarterbacks in new places to watch Saturday will be Quinn Ewers, a redshirt freshman from Texas. The former No. 1 overall prospect for the 2021 class is back in his home state after a brief stint at Ohio State. Ewers competes with Hudson Card, who recorded action in seven games for the Longhorns last season. Ewers is one of the most famous quarterback prospects of all time, and this will be the general public’s introduction to his game after he failed to attempt a pass in his first real season with the Buckeyes.

Among the other quarterbacks transferred for the new teams on Saturday will be former Auburn QB Bo Nix, who is now at Oregon. Nix reunites with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, who served in the same role at Auburn in 2019 during Nix’s true first season. To be Oregon’s starting quarterback in 2022, he’ll have to beat redshirt rookie Ty Thompson, who was the 40th overall prospect for the 247Sports Composite in the 2021 class.

Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel (UCF), USC’s Caleb Williams (Oklahoma), LSU’s Jayden Daniels (Arizona State) and Ole Miss’s Jaxson Dart (USC) are also worth watching.

LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC and others — new head coaches: Spring games are showcase opportunities for freshman coaches who are still enjoying the honeymoon phase with their respective schools. Typically, optimism is high a few months into a new coach’s tenure, and that’s certainly the case for a few top coaches who will get a chance to market their new programs. With LSU doing an attack vs. defense format for its first spring game under Kelly instead of a traditional game due to depth issues, expect the buzz around the Tigers to be strong. Kelly has a quarterback battle on her hands with Daniels joining Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier and vaunted freshman Walker Howard.

LSU fans will yearn for a glimpse of what the program looks like under Kelly, and the added bonus of seeing a QB contest filled with quality candidates on display should make for a reasonably compelling show. The first looks at Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Oregon and USC under their new leadership will also be fascinating. But at the SEC, they say it just means more, and that should be evident in the fan turnout at Tiger Stadium.

Penn State, Oklahoma State and others — new coordinators: Some of the best coordinator hires of the offseason will showcase their new units on Saturday, with Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz arguably the most important of the bunch. After a three-year run as Miami’s head coach, Diaz returns to the role that propelled him to prominence. Diaz has big shoes to fill with the departure of his predecessor Brent Pry to become the head coach of Virginia Tech, but he has previously served as defensive coordinator with the ACC, Big 12 and SEC.

Now he’s adding the Big Ten to his resume, and it’ll be fun to get a glimpse of how his premier league defense is shaping up. Diaz isn’t the only former Power Conference head coach to coordinate a new defense on Saturday. Former Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason’s Oklahoma State defense will be on display as the Cowboys take the field after a 12-2 season.

Mason spent last season as Auburn’s defensive coordinator and faces the unenviable task of taking over a unit that finished No. 5 nationally in total defense last season under Jim Knowles, who is now the coordinator. Ohio State defensive.

Spring game schedule, how to watch

UCLA

12 p.m.

Pac-12 network

Baylor

1 p.m.

ESPN+

our Lady

1 p.m.

Peacock

Ole Miss

1 p.m.

SEC+ network

Texas technology

1:30 p.m.

ESPN+

USL

2 p.m.

SEC+ network

Penn State

2 p.m.

Big Ten Network

Utah

2 p.m.

Pac-12 network

Colorado

3 p.m.

Pac-12 network

USC

3 p.m.

ESPN

Oklahoma

4 p.m.

EarlierSports.tv

Oregon

4 p.m.

Pac-12 network

Virginia

4 p.m.

ACC network

washington state 6 p.m. Pac-12 network
Texas 7 p.m. Longhorn Network
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