This weekend features great games from coast-to-coast, and gets us to the mid-way point of the season. The featured game on the left coast will pit Washington at Oregon. The middle of the country will see another edition of the “Red River Rivalry.” Can Texas turn their season around? A peek into the south, reveals Alabama at Arkansas and Tennessee first ever trip to Texas A&M. Finally on the right coast, Florida State invades Miami, LSU vs. Florida has been postponed. I have all the winners below.
A QUICK LOOK BACK AT WEEK FIVE
The fall of Michigan State and Oregon have left many wondering if either team, has what it takes to right the ship. The Spartans fell to Indiana in overtime, dropping them to 2-2 on the season. Spartan running back L.J. Scott tweeted before the game, “God forgive me, for what I am about to do.” Scott then went out and rushed for a mere 38 yards on only 11 carries! The Spartans need four more victories to get bowl eligible, but that might not be attainable with a daunting schedule ahead. A game against a tough BYU team this Saturday has become a must win.
A three-game losing streak for the Oregon Ducks has the fans turning up the heat on Head Coach Mark Helfrich. There is talk that Helfrich might turn to Frosh QB Justin Herbert this week, in place of Dakota Prukop. The funny thing is, the offense has not been the problem. During the three-game skid, the defense has given up 127 points! The Ducks will need to go 4-3 down the stretch to get a bowl bid and with games against three-ranked teams and three other very good teams, it won’t be easy!
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK SIX
#5 WASHINGTON 5-0 AT OREGON 2-3 The Ducks will be a home underdog for the first time since 2009! Last week I wrote about a divide in the Duck locker room, that needed to heal. Things didn’t get any better as they were beaten soundly by Washington State. The defense remains a major concern, and they’ll be taking on a Husky team that has a balanced offense. Everything is good in Seattle, as the Huskies come to Eugene, bringing a swagger to their game. The Ducks have won 12 in a row in this series, but these are two teams going in opposite directions. For the Huskies, domination of Stanford was a litmus test — they scored a lot of points and they shut down Christian McCaffrey. They’ll do the same this weekend. DUCKS LIMITED BY DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES, U-DUB 42-27.
#23 FLORIDA STATE 3-2 AT #10 MIAMI 4-0 I was all over the Hurricanes before the season started, but I would have never thought that the Canes would come into this game as the higher ranked team. Head coach Mark Richt, has worked his magic with quarterback Brad Kaaya, while defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has turned a talented but young defense into one of the best in the country. The Seminoles are coming off a heartbreaking home loss to North Carolina. Head coach Jimbo Fisher was critical of his team after the loss. The Seminoles are better than their 3-2 record, and they have owned this series of late, winning six straight. Motivated by last Saturday’s loss, the Seminoles should be playing at an elite level. NO SIGN OF SEBASTIAN, SEMINOLES HANDLE HURRICANES, 33-30.
#1 ALABAMA 5-0 AT #16 ARKANSAS 4-1 Alabama has won eight straight in this series. The last time they played traveled to Fayetteville, they escaped with a 14-13 win. So far this season, the Tide have been impressive on both sides of the ball and will look to continue their mastery of the Razorbacks behind quarterback Jalen Hurts. This is the beginning of a four game gauntlet for the Tide. They Have Tennessee, Texas A&M and LSU on deck! The Razorbacks will be able to play toe-to-toe on defense, it’s the offense that concerns me. I really believe this is a four quarter game that goes Alabama’s way in the end. RAZORBACKS FALL JUST SHORT 20-17.
#21 COLORADO 4-1 AT USC 2-3 It is s time to give the Colorado Buffaloes a little love. This is the first time Colorado has been ranked since 2005, as the Buffs have started 4-1 and are primed to go to a bowl game for the first time since 2007! They are led by an offense averaging 43 points per game, good for sixth in the country. Quarterback Steven Montez has stepped into the starting role and been magnificent. The 6’5″ gunslinger has thrown eight TDs in two games. USC started the season ranked, before getting blown out by USC, followed by losses to Stanford and Utah. The Trojans may have turned the corner last week with a resounding 41-20 win over Arizona State, and QB Sam Darnold has the offense humming after a slow start. The Trojans are 5-0 against Colorado since they joined the conference, and this game is in the Coliseum. RALPHIE’S RUN STOPPED BY TROJANS 41-23.
#25 VIRGINIA TECH 3-1 AT #17 NORTH CAROLINA 4-1 This is my favorite game of the weekend, as it features two of the top quarterbacks in the country. Hokie quarterback Jerod Evans has been lights out in his first four games, completing 67-percent of his passes. Mitch Trubisky has been even better hitting on 76-percent, tops in the nation! The winner of this game will have a leg up in the ACC Coastal Division. The Tar Heels are in a classic sandwich game, coming off an emotional win over Florida State, with Miami up next week. I like the fact that Tech is coming off a bye-week and has the better defense. That should be enough for the Techsters to steal a road win. HOKIES 44, TAR HEELS 40.
NOTRE DAME 2-3 AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE 3-1 I was just in Raleigh last weekend to watch the Wolfpack hand Wake Forest its first loss. The Wolfpack looked good on both sides of the ball and easily handled the Demon Deacons offense. Notre Dame has far more explosiveness on offense than Wake Forest. Irish QB DeShone Kizer will be the best player on the field. He is coming off a career best 471 yards and three touchdown game versus Syracuse. I expect more of the same from Kizer, as he will lead an underdog Irish team to victory. GOLDEN DOMERS PREVAIL 45-21.
SUPER SIX PACK: SIX WORDS, SIX GAMES, SIX PICKS
BYU 2-3 AT MICHIGAN STATE 2-2 East Lansing is not the place, SPARTANS 24-21.
#9 TENNESSEE 5-0 AT #8 TEXAS A&M 5-0 Time finally runs out on Cinderella, AGGIES 34-28.
TEXAS 2-2 AT #20 OKLAHOMA 2-2 Charlie Strong is not the difference, SOONERS 45-37.
#4 MICHIGAN 5-0 AT RUTGERS 2-3 I’ll bear witness to a rout, WOLVERINES 49-14.
MARYLAND 4-0 AT PENN STATE 3-2 A Terrapins win means Top 25, TURTLES 33-24.
LSU at FLORIDA – Postponed
LAST WEEKS RESULTS
FEATURED GAMES 4-1
UPSET EXPRESS 1-0
SUPER SIX PACK 4-2