Week Five Preview
8 must see games this weekend:
1. Missouri at Central Florida-This is “superbowl” type of atmosphere for the Golden Knight who have started the year at 2-1 with the single loss at Ohio State. UCF is lead by a strong defense and a talented soph. RB Storm Johnson. The Missouri Tigers are in an absolute must-win situation after starting the SEC season at 0-2 and standing at 2-2 overall. A loss, even to a top three team in C-USA, would send the Tigers into a tailspin.
2. Baylor at West Virginia—Lets score some points people. The Bears are averaging just a shade over 51 points a contest and the offense has continued to look potent under Nick Florence’s guidance. Williams, Sampson and Reese pose a significant challenge for the WVU secondary. Geno Smith appears to be the early Heisman front-runner and the Bears are not exactly the best defensive unit in the Big 12 giving up nearly 30 points a game. Exciting game in the 40’s but closer than the experts think.
3. Ohio State at Michigan State—The last semblance of a Top 10 team for the Big 10 exists in Ohio State. The Spartans have been terrific on defense allowing only 11.8 points per game this year. However, the offense is averaging only 21 points a game and relies largely on the running game of Le’Veon Bell in order to move the chains. Not sure if Ohio State’s defense is good enough to completely shut down Bell and East Lansing will provide enough of a homefield advantage for the Spartans.
4. Louisiana Tech at Virginia—Okay so we have a new mid-major darling this week in Louisiana Tech. The WAC favorite is 3-0 and the offense behind Colby Cameron is clicking on all cylinders averaging 54.7 points a game and scoring over 50 in every contest this year. The loss of talented RB Hunter Lee might slow the offensive attack slightly this week. Virginia (2-2) simply does not have the firepower to stick with La Tech this week as they are 5 missed FG’s by Penn State away from being 1-3.
5. Texas at Oklahoma State-We are about ready to see exactly how strong the Longhorns are as they head into Stillwater as a slight two point favorite. The Texas was the focus of much despair the last two year but David Ash has guided this team to a 3-0 start and in the process is averaging over 48 points a game. The start-studded defense is giving up only 16 points a contest. OSU is talented but the signal-callers are young and inexperienced. The Cowboys will have to show must improvement since the Arizona game to have a shot in this one.
6. Wisconsin at Nebraska—Both teams still have aspiration of a Big 10 title and yet neither one is exactly please with how the non-conference slate went. Wisconsin has struggled to run the ball (even with Heisman hopeful Montee Ball) and now have turned over the QB duties to Freshmen RS Stave. Not the best recipe for heading into the “Red Sea” of Lincoln, Nebraska. However, for as good as Taylor Martinez has been the Nebraska defense got sliced and diced by UCLA. Expect a close contest with Nebraska winning by less than a TD.
7. Oregon State at Arizona—Oregon State gets two semi-solid (not sure how the win against Wisconsin is at this point) wins and now heads down to Tucson, Arizona to face an Arizona squad that got pummeled in Eugene last week by the Ducks. The Beavers have a very solid defense that should be able to contain Mike Scott and the Wildcats and keep their offense in the 20’s. The Beavers’ Sean Mannion is a very capable passer and should face an easier defense in Arizona then he has previously with Wisconsin and UCLA. Mike Riley is one of the best coaches in America that no one knows about.
8. Texas Tech at Iowa State—Both teams enter the contest 3-0 with Texas Tech ripping off wins against New Mexico, Texas State and NW State. The Red Raiders are averaging over 50.3 points on offense behind Seth Doege and one of the most underrated RB’s in the league in Eric Stephens. Texas Tech has yet to play a solid defense and that is what they will find waiting for them in Ames, Iowa. The Cyclones are 3-0 and have given up only 32 in 3 games against Tulsa, Iowa and Western Illinois. ISU sports one of the best LB combination in the nation in Jake Knott and A.J. Klein and the secondary will need to show continued growth to get this win. A toss up game that will push one of these squads into the Top 25 and will likely be decided on turnovers.