What to Watch this Weekend

BY MICHAEL LEESE

No. 9 TEXAS A&M (4-1) at OLE MISS (3-2) Two weeks ago Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace said “We can score on anyone”. Guess what Bo, you’re gonna need to score at least 35 points this weekend to get a victory! Texas A&M is fresh off a bye week and gets two key defensive performers back this week. Johnny Manziel is connecting on 71-percent of his tosses and has thrown for 1,489 yards and 14 touchdowns. Leading receiver Mike Evans has hauled in five touchdown passes good and has 691 yards receiving.  This is the first of six straight home games for the Rebels.  After opening with three wins, the Rebels have dropped their last two games. Last season the Rebels had the Aggies on the ropes with a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but didn’t hang on. The Rebels will score 35 points, problem is, they will give up more than that. A&M 48 Ole Miss 35

No.17 FLORIDA (4-1) AT No.10 LSU (5-1) This will be the third start for Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy since taking over for Jeff Driskel. Murphy has been solid completing 72-percent of his passes and adding a running threat to the offense. The Gators have relied heavily on the duo of tailbacks Matt Jones and Mack Brown.   For Florida to have a shot here, those two will need to have a big game. On defense, the Gators have suffered big losses due to injury the past few weeks, but remain solid, allowing only 12.2 PPG.  Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger is finally enjoying the breakout type of season that many thought he was capable of. He has completed 68-percent of his tosses and has 1,738 yards and 15 touchdowns!  Receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry have combined for 1,302 yards and 13 touchdowns. This is a huge game for LSU as they cannot afford another loss in SEC play!  Start the jambalaya, I’ll go with the home cooking here. Tigers 33 Gators 24

No.25 MISSOURI (5-0) AT No.7 GEORGIA (4-1) For Tigers fans, what a difference a year makes! Last year, Mizzou played their first season in the SEC and were over-matched, due mostly to decimating injuries! Gary Pinkel’s club has stayed healthy this year, they are sitting at 5-0 and ready to make a statement in league play. Quarterback James Franklin has been impressive hitting 68-percent of his passes, good for 1,407 yards and a 13/3 touchdown to interception ratio! The Tigers also feature four running backs who have rushed for more than 250 yards. The Bulldogs are coming off two emotional wins over LSU and Tennessee.  But injuries have continued to bite the Dawgs, as they also lost two more key offensive weapons last week.  Running back Todd Gurley, injured against LSU, is doubtful to return for this tilt.   Quarterback Aaron Murray has been brilliant, despite all the injuries, throwing for 1,534 yards and 14 touchdowns. I am finding myself questioning just how much fight is left in the Bulldogs. My guess is NOT enough! Missouri 33-Georgia 30

No.9 NORTHWESTERN (4-1) AT WISCONSIN (3-2) Both these clubs come into this game off a loss to Ohio State. The Wildcats played the Buckeyes tough this past weekend but turnovers in the 4th quarter did them in. Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian will try to exploit the Wisconsin defense. The Wildcats average 39 points per game and should get a boost from Venric Mark who returned last week. Wisconsin comes into this home game with a week of rest. Coach Andersen made some adjustments on both sides of the ball, that he hopes will pay dividends. The Badgers average 37.6 PPG, and have a defense that allows only 14.6 PPG, good for 10th in the country! Quarterback Joel Stave used the extra week to get more in sync with his receivers. I believe this really pays off down the stretch for the Badgers. It all starts this weekend as the Badgers take a bite out of the Wildcats. Wisconsin 41- Northwestern 30

No.2 OREGON (5-0) AT No.16 WASHINGTON (4-1) Marcus Mariota is now getting Heisman notice! The Oregon gunslinger has now thrown for 1,358 yards for 14 scores and he has NOT thrown an interception. The Duck offense is averaging 59.2 PPG, good for second in the country. The rushing attack averages 336 yards per game good for No.3 in the nation. Let’s not forget about a defense that sits at No.2 in the country, allowing only 11.8 points per game.  The Huskies will counter with a solid offense of their own and a much better defense than in years past! Keith Price is having a monster senior season, completing 71-percent of his tosses, for 1,394 yards and 11 touchdowns. Joining Price in the backfield is the nations leading rusher, Bishop Sankey.  He has 732 yards on the ground and seven TDs.  Even though the Ducks have won nine in a row in this series, this should be a great game. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Mariota will throw his first pick. But I think that’s about it for bad news for the Ducks. There is a chance DeAnthony Thomas might be back this week, but it won’t matter.  The Ducks make it 10 in a row. Oregon 45-Huskies 30

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

OREGON STATE 48-WASHINGTON STATE 45 – The other half of the Washington-Oregon War.  Last team with the ball probably wins this one.  The Cougars need this one if they hope to go bowling.

USC 31-ARIZONA 24 Ed Orgeron makes debut as head coach for the Trojans, and Silas Redd returns. The Trojans will play with fire and passion this week!

OKLAHOMA 38-TEXAS 21 Oklahoma is just simply the better team. The “Belldozer” could have a monster game on the ground, as the Longhorn rushing defense has simply been non-existent.

 

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