With eight weeks down and six weeks remaining, only four teams remain unbeaten. Will one lose this weekend? There are several great games, but only two games featuring two Top-25 teams.
TEMPLE (4-2) AT CENTRAL FLORIDA (4-2) This is a key game for both teams in the battle for American Athletic Conference supremacy. The Owls have been a huge surprise and have already doubled their win total from last season. Quarterback P.J. Walker has been solid under center, tossing 10 touchdown passes. The Owls also feature the ninth best defense in the country, allowing only 17 points per game! The Knights have won four straight after opening losses to Penn State and Missouri. I like the way the Knights have been playing, I feel they are the better team at this point. KNIGHTS STRIKE DOWN OWLS 23-16.
TEXAS (3-4) AT No. 11 KANSAS STATE (5-1) The Longhorns defeated the Wildcats last season 31-21 behind 181 yards rushing by Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 at 3-0 and will be eager to get payback for last year’s loss in front of what will be a raucous homecoming crowd. Texas heads to Manhattan looking to build off last weekend’s win over Iowa State. A win for Kansas State would be the 500th in program history! They’ll get it, as Jake Waters to Tyler Lockett will be the difference! WILDCATS BBQ STEERS 31-21.
No. 20 USC (5-2) AT No.19 UTAH (5-1) This could be the game of the week. Can Utah continue their dominance on defense? The Utes have the top pass rush in the nation, averaging 5.5 sacks per game! They will need it to keep Cody Kessler from finding his weapons, if they have any hope to win this game. Kessler is coming off a record-setting seven touchdown performance over Colorado. I’m not sold on the quarterback play from Utah, as both Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson have struggled at times. Since they joined the Pac-12, the Utes are 0-3 against the Trojans. UTES FIGHT, BUT TROY FIGHTS ON, USC 36-31.
No. 22 WEST VIRGINIA (5-2) AT OKLAHOMA STATE (5-2) This is a tough spot for the Moutaineers. Last week they had an emotional home win over previously unbeaten Baylor and next weekend, they host TCU. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen will have to have his team focused for this one, a road game against a dangerous opponent. A look inside the numbers, shows me that one team is clearly better than the other. Clint Trickett has thrown for 2,525 yards and 15 TDs, compared to Daxx Garman’s 1,493 yards with10 TDs. The Mounties have the better rushing attack and have a 1,000 yard receiver in Kevin White. Even though both teams are 5-2, the Mounties have played a tougher schedule! THE MATH POINTS TO WEST VIRGINIA, MOUNTAINEERS 41-27.
No. 3 MISSISSIPPI (7-0) AT No. 24 LSU (6-2) If you like defense, this game is for you. The Rebels have the top ranked stop unit in the country allowing only 10 points per game. The defense also has scored four touchdowns and leads the nation in interceptions with 15! On offense, the Tigers have been up and down to this point. Les Miles has been frustrated by inconsistent quarterback play and Anthony Jennings will get the start this week. The Tigers defense is stout, ranking eighth in the nation, allowing 17 PPG. Ole Miss Quarterback Bo Wallace will have NO room for error against the Tigers. The Rebels have yet to have a running back rush for 100 yards in a game this season. This is a tightly contested series, in which four out of the last five games, have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Rebels are the better overall team, but I just have to side with the Tigers who are playing at night, at home in front of a homecoming crowd. TIGERS DEFEND THE BAYOU, REBELS MARCH HOME, LSU 17-16.
NORTH CAROLINA (3-4) AT VIRGINIA (4-3) The Cavaliers have had a solid season to this point. At 4-3 they have already doubled last seasons win total and are two victories away from a bowl invite. After a slow start, Tar Heel Quarterback Marquise Williams has really found his groove. In the past two weeks against the quality defenses of Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, Williams has been phenomenal. The Tar Heels and the Cavaliers have met every year since 1919, the longest running series in the ACC. North Carolina has won four straightby an average of 25 points per game! How can I buck that trend? I can’t, HEELS TAR CAVS 45-20.
PICK-SIX SPECIALS, SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS
- MISSISSIPPI STATE AT KENTUCKY – Bulldogs turn Wildcats into mild kittens, Georgia 43-17
- MIAMI (FL) AT VIRGINIA TECH – Hurricane-force winds blow through Blacksburg, ‘Canes 24-21
- GEORGIA TECH AT PITTSBURGH –Panthers avoid being stung at home, Pitt 30-23
- SOUTH CAROLINA AT AUBURN – Gamecocks got game, so do Tigers, Auburn 37-20
- UNLV AT UTAH STATE – Another set of Rebels turned back, Aggies 41-17
- OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE – Beaver Stadium whiteout won’t be enough, Buckeyes 38-21
SEASON RECORDS PICKING WINNERS:
- WHAT I’M WATCHING 25-10
- PICK SIX PACK 15-9
- UPSET EXPRESS 6-2