Week Six What to Watch For
Week six is a very intriguing week of college football. Five top 25 matchups, including one that has importance on the SEC East race. There are more games than those top 25 matchups, like an old rivalry coming back in Miami vs. Notre Dame. With all that in mind here is what to watch for in week six.
Big game weekend: With so many games to watch for other than the top five I will list later, here is the list of other games to watch this weekend: USC/Utah, Utah State/BYU, Northwestern/Penn State, Virginia Tech/North Carolina, Viginia/Duke (yes Duke is 4-1), Arizona/Stanford, Oklahoma/Texas Tech, Iowa State/TCU, Michigan/Purdue, Texas A&M/Ole Miss, Miami/Notre Dame and Florida State/N.C. State all are intriguing, so there is always a game to keep an eye on.
What will Geno Smith do for an encore?: After a 656 yard, eight touchdown performance, you wonder what is up next for the Heisman favorite. This weekend is Texas, and while this West Virginia offense is as great as any, the Texas defense is a lot better than Baylor’s. Smith should be able to have another big day however, he and this offense is just too explosive to keep down for long.
Will Texas Tech pull off another upset of Oklahoma?: After the Red Raiders shocking upset of Oklahoma last year, both teams have gone separate ways. Oklahoma has been very inconsistent, including losing at home to Kansas State this year. Texas Tech however found an identity after that upset and while struggled last year, they built that success into a 4-0 start this year and takes on a reeling Sooners team coming into Lubbock this weekend. Do not be surprised for the second year in a row if the Red Raiders beat the Sooners.
Oregon State, Notre Dame, and…Louisiana Tech?: You would have expected Notre Dame to contend for 10 wins but the Beavers and Bulldogs were not supposed to be on the script. Alas, Oregon State and Louisiana Tech have evolved into two of college football best surprises this early into the season. Notre Dame will take on a familiar rival in Miami this weekend in hopes of starting 5-0. Oregon State is now a favorite with a Pac-12 opponent in Washington State coming into Corvallis. Louisiana Tech is 4-0 this year, with wins over Houston, Illinois, and Virginia, and will take on UNLV this weekend.
With that, here are the top five games to watch for this weekend:
5. Washington at Oregon: This last week would not have been on my top five list, but Washington upset Stanford in Seattle last Thursday and with the Huskies getting into the rankings at 23. For Washington, Keith Price is a key factor in the Huskies success against the Ducks. Oregon will face better tests from USC and Oregon State but they should not overlook the Huskies defense, which dominated Stanford. Look for this one to be an upset alert but if you are an Oregon fan, you can feel confident playing at home.
4. Nebraska at Ohio State: For a team that has nothing to play for other than winning, Ohio State isn’t doing the Big Ten a favor by being a favorite in every game they play and win. Then again Ohio State may not be the most caring team and will play the role of spoiler in any sort of way they can. Next up is Nebraska, who overcame a 17 point deficit to Wisconsin last week at home and won. If the Cornhuskers got behind by 17 again this weekend, they will not come back in the Horseshoe. Braxton Miller is key to the Buckeyes success in this one as the defense may be called upon to stop Nebraska’s high powered offense and Taylor Martinez. This will be a game the Big Ten watches as they ponder what would have happened had the Buckeyes players hadn’t committed NCAA infractions a couple years ago.
3. LSU at Florida: This game has many storylines throughout this key SEC showdown. First is how is LSU more prepared after having a struggle of a game against Towson? Second, will Florida exceed expectations by beating what is widely regarded as the second best team in the SEC West? Third, how packed will the Swamp be on Saturday? All that and more is in line this weekend, and the key will be between Zack Mettenburger and Jeff Driskel, the quarterbacks. The team that has the better quarterback in this game will win and for the other, they will be behind the top team in either the East or West division of the SEC.
2. West Virginia at Texas: This is a big game in the Big 12 but the overwhelming storyline will be what Geno Smith will do in this game. The Texas defense will have to be on their game if they want to stop Smith from throwing it all over the yard. David Ash will have to be on his game for Texas to have a chance in this game and if he is, then this will come down to which defense makes the most stops in this game. It may come down to quarterback play in this one and if history says anything, West Virginia should be in good hands over Texas unless Texas steps up big.
1. Georgia at South Carolina: College GameDay is in Columbia and so is the #1 game to watch this weekend. #5 and #6 face each other in right now could be the game of the year. So much hinges more on Georgia than on South Carolina because Georgia’s defense has been lackluster of late, including giving up 44 points to Tennessee. South Carolina struggled against Kentucky but put up a very solid second half to put the Wildcats away. This may be one of the most highly anticipated games in South Carolina’s history and a win here solidifies the Gamecocks as a national title contender. For Georgia they haven’t had this high a ranking in a while and a win will go a long way towards a possible national title contender as well and Aaron Murray will have to be on his game to win this for the Bulldogs.