This is an open thread for college game chat.
Virginia Tech @ #16 Notre Dame - Can Ian Book recover from embarrassing performance vs. Michigan last week? 2:30 PM ET NBC
What a lopsided loss the Irish picked up last week, courtesy of Michigan? Notre Dame was especially bad because their quarterback struggled. Ian Book went 8 of 25 passing and the Wolverines beat the Irish 45-14. This week, Book needs to rebound in a huge way and thankfully, the Hokies do not have a defense like Michigan. Can the Hokies’ O-line protect against the blitz?
Whether it’s been the defensive or offensive lines, the Hokies have struggled a bit in the brawl zone otherwise known as “the box”. The O-Line has been steadily improving, and freshmen Bryan Hudson, Doug Nester, and Luke Tenuta have added some seriously good surprises to a greatly improved but young 2-deep. The Offensive line absolutely must begin to get control over the box, and start imposing its collective and individual will on the opponent.
Prediction: Irish get back on track with 10-point win over Virginia Tech
#8 Georgia @ #6 Florida - With SEC East’s division lead at stake, who’s got the edge in Bulldogs-Gators? 3:30 PM ET CBS
Both one-loss teams with a whole lot to gain from this matchup. Florida’s loss came to #1 LSU in a tough 42-28 affair. Georgia got upset by an unranked South Carolina Gamecocks squad. Dan Mullen is one of the best coaches in college football and he has Kyle Trask playing at a very high level. The Bulldogs has been in sort of an offensive slump but could rebound in a big way with a win over the Gators. For Georgia to get back on track, they need to run the football and keep this game close:
Georgia has faced Todd Grantham on the opposing sidelines 3 times: 53 rushes for 292 yards against Louisville; 42 for 203 yards against the Bizzarro Bulldogs, and 41 attempts resulting in 189 yards in last year’s WLOCP. One could say Grantham is improving. Or not.
In their key and unlikely win against Auburn, the WarPlainTiglesmen only rushed for 124 yards (3.65 ypc). However this isn’t the same Auburn team – they don’t have a workhorse like Kerryon Johnson, so the passing game is more prevalent with NixBo. Since then, the Reptiles have surrendered 218 yards against LSU and 217 yards from the Gamecocks (only 5.05 ypc for USC, but they tried it 43 times – Bryan McLendon knew something).
Georgia, with all it’s woes over the last 4 games, is still averaging 199.5 yards per contest on the ground. I like this matchup.
Prediction: I got to side with Mullen’s Gators, they are ready to take a step up and beat a team like Georgia. Florida 24, Georgia 21
#22 Kansas State @ Kansas - Big upset win over Sooners gives Wildcats momentum but Les Miles’ Jayhawks can compete - 3:30 PM ET FS1
This has the odor of a letdown for the Wildcats, coming off a huge upset over OU. Les Miles gave Texas all they could handle and he’s ready for a big in-state rivalry game like this. The Wildcats will have to control the tempo and play ball-control like they did against the Sooners because KU will score their fair share of points.
Why Kansas Will Win
The Jayhawks are playing well because the offense is versatile enough for figure things out on the fly.
Against Texas, the running game started working early on, and it kept on rolling on the way for 259 yards. Last week, Carter Stanley and the passing attack got going – after cranking up 310 yards and four scores against the Longhorns – with a few big throws late to get by Texas Tech.
Stanley is on, with well over 900 yards in his last three games with 13 touchdowns and a pick. He should have plenty of time against a Wildcat defense that’s good overall, but can’t get to the quarterback and isn’t anything special against the run.
Again, Kansas should be able to move the ball in a variety of ways. It would love to turn this into a bit of a shootout, with its ability to hit on its third down chances to go along with all of the explosive plays.
Prediction: The BIG-12 is chaos so why not a little more...KU stuns K-State
#15 SMU @ #24 Memphis - Mustangs look to get big road win over Tigers with College Gameday rolling through Memphis - 7:30 PM ET ESPN
The game of the week is between two unexpected teams in the Top-25. The SMU Mustangs live on the big play and that’s where Memphis is going to have to tighten up defensively after squeaking by Tulsa 42-41. Shane Buechele has been rifling the ball downfield and he has plenty of weapons at his disposal:
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers MUST limit big plays and deep balls. SMU quarterback Shane Buechele has a great deep ball, so Memphis’ secondary must be disciplined. As I just mentioned, SMU has been known for making big plays this season. With Buechele, James Proche, Reggie Roberson (status still up in the air for Saturday) and Xavier Jones, the Mustangs have just as many weapons as Memphis.
Buechele loves to push the ball down the field, and he will easily be the best quarterback Memphis has faced this season. Cornerbacks T.J. Carter and Chris Claybrooks and safeties La’Andre Thomas and Quindell Johnson must be disciplined in coverage this week.
If SMU is able to make big plays and score points early against the Tigers, then they could easily be taking a 9-0 record and control of the AAC West back to Dallas.
Prediction: Memphis will do just enough to get the win at home by four points