12 PM ET #6 Michigan at #24 Michigan State on Fox - Have Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines arrived or will Sparty have their number again?
Michigan just got a big conference win over Wisconsin but it’s so hard to trust them, especially on the road. They are 1-1 on the road and this Michigan teams runs a little hot and cold. Besides, the Spartans have won nine of the last ten games against Michigan though they have consistency concerns of their own. The Spartans will have to protect the football if they plan on upsetting again this year:
Brian Lewerke vs. Michigan secondary: Brian Lewerke has to protect the ball better than he has so far this season. His seven interceptions are tied for the most in the Big Ten and his decision-making this season has been questionable at times. Michigan is No. 1 in the nation in passing yards allowed, though they haven’t seen a quarterback of Brian Lewerke’s caliber, besides maybe Clayton Thorson. Michigan also has some grabby players in the secondary (looking at you, Lavert Hill), so Felton Davis and company may be able to draw some penalties in the passing game. Either way, it’s a tough test for Lewerke and his play is crucial.
What to expect: Michigan has made their way into the Top-10 and have a leg up in the BIG-10, it’s time they finally deliver. Give me the boys from Ann Arbor by a touchdown.
3:30 PM ET #16 N.C. State at #3 Clemson on ESPN - These two have a flair for tight contests with each other, can the Wolfpack upset the Tigers?
N.C. State has one of the nation’s top passing attacks and they face off against one of the best defenses in the country in Clemson. The Wolfpack are undefeated but if they want to be taken seriously, it’s time to beat a ranked team, why not Clemson?
This shows how much of an opportunity this week’s game vs Clemson is. Without the WVU game on the schedule, this will be the Pack’s lone chance to play a ranked regular season opponent this season (thanks for the hit on SoS, Atlantic). If your program is truly meant to make a leap, to take that next step, then you have to not only play but beat highly ranked opponents. This is the standard Clemson and other top ranked teams have set for themselves. If NC State ever hopes to grow into that caliber of program, you have to take advantage of the chances when the present themselves.
What to expect: Clemson is going to break the Wolfpack’s heart in the fourth quarter with a seismic score on a turnover.
7 PM ET #22 Mississippi State at #5 LSU on ESPN - Coming off upsetting Georgia, LSU must continue power push in the SEC
LSU is only favored by 6.5 points? Even after knocking off the #2 team in the country? That’s because folks are feeling a letdown here as the Tigers may be looking ahead to Alabama. Don’t get caught being sluggish in this one because fans all over want that LSU-Alabama showdown to be between two Top-5 teams. The Tigers will have to make plays on defense against a Bulldogs offense that has shown it can contend.
As a team, Miss. State averages nearly 431 yards of offense, with 241 coming on the ground and 31 points per game. With such a strong impact, the Bulldogs will look to get the ground game going early against a stingy LSU defense that only allows 120 rushing yards per game (ranked 26th in FBS) and 16.9 points per game.
Considering this, Moorhead’s Bulldogs will be forced to implement the pass into the offense if they want to have a shot at winning. Fitzgerald enters the game completing only 49 percent of his passes, and the Bulldogs ranks 104th in the nation in passing yards per game (190).
What to expect: It’s time for the Tigers to step up and their quarterback Joe Burrow gets it done in a big way this week setting up a showdown with #1 Alabama to start November.
7:30 PM ET #2 Ohio State at Purdue on ABC - The Buckeyes defense can’t afford to struggle with a Boilermakers offense that could make them pay
It was a tough start to the year for the Boilermakers trying to figure out who was going to take the reins at quarterback but David Blough stepped in. The Buckeyes defense needs to show out after Nick Bosa has decided to not return to the program. Their defensive struggles aren’t simply because of Bosa’s departure, they have been allowing too many explosive plays:
What has helped Purdue find success on offense is Blough’s ability to take care of the football. In the four games since taking over as the starting quarterback, Blough has thrown 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. If Ohio State isn’t able to rattle Blough with pressure, it could be another long night for the Buckeye pass defense.
Giving up big plays has been Ohio State’s Achilles heel all year long, and it isn’t likely to get any better against a Purdue offense that feasts on big plays. In six games this year, Purdue has recorded 24 plays of at least 30 yards, which is tied for sixth-most in the country, and is best in the Big Ten.
What to expect: Though Purdue’s offense can put up big numbers and their defense is legit too, the Buckeyes aren’t letting this opportunity at the playoffs slip through their fingertips. Buckeyes win by 10.
7:30 PM ET #12 Oregon at #25 Washington State on FOX - Can the Ducks maintain PAC-12 momentum or will Cougars put on an air show on Oregon’s defense?
The Ducks have been a great story as of late, rising to the top of the PAC-12 but Mike Leach and Washington State is not going to let them off easy. The Cougars are far less prone to mistakes like the Ducks have been. Washington State have outgained their opponents 2,913 to 1,867 while outscoring them 251 to 143. That Oregon secondary will need to be on high alert:
Defense. More specifically, the secondary reverts back to their consistently inconsistent ways. Even with the improvement on defense, it’s still a work in progress. The defensive backs will need to make tackles in open space as the Cougars offense is heavily reliant on quick hitter plays such as slants, screens, and the like. Wazzu’s second leading receiver is their starting running back so expect a lot of heavy usage from him in the short passing game. Gardner Minshew II is the top rated passer in terms of yardage. The Cougs don’t hide what they do and as such, they are the top ranked passing offense in the entire nation. The Ducks corners will get a work out, that’s for sure. We just have to hope that they don’t make game changing mistakes.
What to expect: This game has the smell of an upset coming and Mike Leach is going to make it happen. Who needs to run when you can pass all day long? Cougars by a touchdown.
You can find the full slate of college football games right here.