Week 6 Preview
8 must see games:
1. Utah State (4-1) at BYU (3-2) Friday—Utah State comes into Provo looking to get the sweep of major schools in Utah having already notched a 27-20 victory over Utah. Points should be difficult to come by as the Aggies are yielding only 14.2 points per game and the BYU Cougars only giving up 10 points. The Aggies are must more diverse offensively as BYU continues to struggle to develop a passing game.
2. Northwestern (5-0) at Penn State (3-2)—Homecoming for Penn State and Bill O’Brien seems to have righted the ship after the 0-2 start. Penn State’s defense has continued to be excellent this year yielding only 13.6 points per game and relying on the play-making abilities of MLB Michael Mauti. The Wildcats are undefeated and ranked which is a rarity. The offense is dynamic but this will be the best defense they have faced to this point. (No offense Vanderbilt)
3. Virginia Tech (3-2) at North Carolina (3-2)—The ACC is simply not that good and the only reason this makes the list is because someone has to win the Coastal Division and this appears to be the two likely contenders. The Hokies offense is a mess and too reliant on Logan Thomas. UNC has looked great at home but has struggled to be consistent. UNC gets the win at home.
4. Oklahoma (2-1) at Texas Tech (4-0)—The Sooners head to West Texas and I think they are headed into a hornet’s nest. The Sooner offense has looked very pedestrian against UTEP and Kansas State. In addition, Texas Tech scored an impressive victory in Ames 24-13 last week over Iowa State. The Red Raiders have transformed a defense that gave up over 39 points last year into an unit that is yielding only 10.8 points this year. Texas Tech is a fast athletic defense and they will create havoc for Landry Jones and that offensive line. Upset in Lubbock.
5. LSU (5-0) at Florida (4-0)—Are the Florida Gators back?? Is LSU a national title contender? We should get some answers to both of those questions on Saturday afternoon. LSU is clearly not the same team defensively. Whether that can be attributed to the general disinterest against lesser opponents or the loss of the “Honeybadger” who knows. Probably a little bit of both. However, Florida’s defense has been focused and offensively Jeff Driskel appears to be competent. Gators get a “mild” upset in the Swamp.
6. Georgia (5-0) at South Carolina (5-0)—The Bulldogs are averaging 48.2 points a game on offense and the Gamecocks are yielding only 11.2 points a game. Georgia has a potent offense with Aaron Murray and a running game with Keith Marshall and Gurley that is outstanding. The Gamecocks have the SEC’s 2nd best defense and a steady offensive unit. Tough to win on the road in the SEC against a great defense but it appears the Bulldog offense might be good enough to get the road win.
7. Miami (Fla) (4-1) at Notre Dame (4-0)—The Hurricanes failed miserably in the initial road test at Kansas State. Now they go against a better defensive squad in Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are giving up 9 points a game and have faced Michigan and Purdue; two fairly solid offensive squads. The Irish is still a work in progress but as long as Rees or Golson take care of the ball the Irish should win. The Hurricanes are scoring at a 35.6 point per game clip and should put up at least 20 on the Irish. This one is closer than the experts think.
8. West Virginia (4-0) at Texas (4-0)—Should be the best game of the weekend as Geno Smith is sure to get tested against a Texas defense that has slightly underachieved this year but has a ton of talent. The Mountaineers scored 70 last week and are averaging 53 points a contest. However, Smith and company will need to score at least 40 because the WVU defense is giving up 32.5 points a game. Texas QB David Ash is finally coming into his own and the offensive line should open up some major holes on the ground. The Longhorns are averaging 47.3 points on offense and yielding 21 pts a contest on defense. Texas is better and the Longhorn D will give an inspired effort. Longhorns by more than two touchdowns.