12 PM ET: Tennessee at #21 Auburn on SEC Network - Auburn is one angry football team after first month of football but the Vols are well-rested
After being defeated by Mississippi State, the Tigers now have two losses on the season in the SEC. Tennessee is coming off their bye week and they know a thing or two about losing, having lost 11-straight conference games. The Vols are going to hope that the rest will do them good as they take on a reeling Auburn team:
Mississippi State proved that it wasn’t so tough to shut down the Auburn offense, particularly the run game, and the good side about that is the Volunteers have an all-junior and senior-laden front seven. They may not have the talent of the Bulldogs but with the Auburn offensive line as beat up as it’s been, an experienced defensive front like the Big Orange has can certainly cause some problems and keep them in the game. It’s hard to believe that the Tigers have now gone three straight games with under 100 rushing yards. And that’s against defenses like Arkansas and Southern Miss.
What to expect: Though Auburn is struggling to run the football and keep the offense balanced, this Tennessee team is prone to making mistakes. I don’t see them breaking their conference losing streak. Tigers by 7.
3:30 PM ET: #2 Georgia at #13 LSU on CBS - Georgia begins the toughest part of their schedule against an LSU team fired up from their loss to the Gators
We picked the LSU Tigers to struggle last week to beat an opportunistic Gators defense and that’s exactly what transpired with Joe Burrow’s costly interceptions. This game is still a big one for the Bulldogs, who have looked every bit a lock for the National Championship game. For the Bulldogs to get there, here’s comes the part of their schedule that will test them:
While LSU has been tested from the opening gun, with wins over Miami and Auburn in its first three weeks, Georgia is only just beginning the most difficult part of its schedule. The Bulldogs’ conference wins have all been comfortable, but South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are the SEC East’s bottom-feeders—a combined 2-8 in conference, with both wins coming against each other. If Georgia is the national title contender it is purported to be, it needs to prove itself in a challenging setting, and it doesn’t get more hostile than Death Valley.
Jake Fromm has been outstanding at home and in neutral-site games, but as a road favorite during his tenure, Georgia is just 3-2 against the spread. Meanwhile, LSU is 6-2 ATS at home under Ed Orgeron. Finally, as a home underdog of seven points or more, LSU is 5-2-2 ATS since November 1999.
What to expect: It’s going to be an ugly game for the better part of three quarters but the Dawgs will get the win by two touchdowns late.
3:30 PM ET: #7 Washington at #17 Oregon on ESPN2 - Big PAC-12 matchup between the Huskies and a Ducks offense led by draft darling QB Justin Herbert
Washington will have a difficult task stopping the ddraft campaign being built by Justin Herbert, the Ducks’ QB. This Oregon football team has a history of running all over Washington in recent memory. Though the Huskies are much better, they will have to limit what Herbert can do to them through the air:
Despite the proclivity of the pistol offense to produce strong rushing attacks, Oregon is arguably stronger through the air, lead by junior QB Justin Herbert. He’s got excellent ball placement, a super strong arm, size, and athleticism to escape the pocket and make teams pay with his legs. He had an up-and-down first 3 games, completing less than 60% of his passes with 4 total picks, all against a pillow soft schedule of Bowling Green (bad), Portland State (FCS), and San Jose State (probably the worst FBS team overall). But, he’s been very consistent in his last two against Cal and Stanford completing 75% of his passes for 571 yards and just 1 pick. Herbert does not get sacked too much either, with a sack rate ranking 38th in the country.
What to expect: The Ducks are for real and this is the upset pick for the week, if you can call it that. It’s a perfect storm where Washington is weaker in areas that Oregon likes to exploit. Ducks win by 10.
3:30 PM ET: Baylor at #9 Texas on ESPN - BIG-12 football just got a lot more interesting after huge Red-River win by the Longhorns
TEXAS IS BACK! After beating OU, the Longhorns are in the Top-10 but they have to keep pace with #6 West Virginia as they seem to be on a collision course for November. Baylor has been a lot better than a rebuilding program should be though they have two losses. Last week, they got past the Wildcats, a team the Longhorns beat one week earlier. Texas cannot get caught napping now:
A win over Baylor puts the Longhorns at 6-1 this season and most importantly would reveal that Texas didn’t overlook an inferior opponent — every team’s biggest worry after a momentum-building rivalry win. The Bears escaped Kansas State over the weekend and appear to have found some semblance of an offense this season. The Longhorns have won three straight in the in-state rivalry series and a loss to Baylor would derail what’s shaping up to be a special season for Texas.
“We have to (stay focused),” Texas coach Tom Herman said after Saturday’s win over the Sooners, via 104.9 The Horn‘s postgame show. “Baylor is not going to care that we beat Oklahoma. Just like winning ‘ugly’ in Manhattan you don’t get half a ‘W,’ they don’t give you 1.5 for beating Oklahoma.”
Herman continues to drive home the point that his team isn’t getting too high or too low this season and is taking the schedule one week at a time. It’s a popular cliche’ used in coachspeak, but it has certainly worked for the Longhorns thus far with wins over TCU, USC and now Oklahoma over the last month of the season.
What to expect: This is going to be sort of a statement win for the Longhorns. A statement that they’re not going to revert to playing down to competition. Longhorns win big and keep momentum rolling.
7 PM ET: #6 West Virginia at Iowa State on FS1 - QB Will Grier looks to keep Mountaineers as a BIG-12 Powerhouse beating all opponents by seven or more points
Another draft darling, QB Will Grier has his team in position to spoil the Longhorns return to the conversation. He must first engineer a win against an 2-3 Iowa Cyclones team that has found ways to play spoiler. Will they get up for this game after beating the OK State Cowboys or will it be a quick trip for these 5-0 Mountaineers?
In the OK State game, Iowa State QB Brock Purdy logged 318 yards with four TDs and one pick, and also led the rush on 84 yards and a TD. Tops for the Cyclones in receiving was Tarique Milton, with 98 yards and a TD from four grabs.
There’s not much doubt that West Virginia is one of the powerhouse teams in the country, and they’ve won by more than one score in all but one game. The Mountaineers have a couple of very winnable games coming up, so they need to stay focused before looking ahead to Texas on November 3.
As for Iowa State, they’re riding high after that unexpected win over Oklahoma State, which was their finest offensive performance of the year.
What to expect: West Virginia is a different animal for the Cyclone, an animal they can’t handle. We’re destined for a BIG-12 showdown in week 9 when West Virginia makes their trip to Austin.
You can find the full slate of college football games here.