Another great week of college football with multiple top 25 matchups. There’s a couple of top tier matchups in the Big 12 with TCU and Baylor battle not only for Big 12 title position, but for a College Football Playoff berth. Also, Oklahoma and Texas renew the Red River Shootout.
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(11)Oklahoma 23, Texas 17
With how good the Longhorn defense is playing, don’t expect a shootout nor a Sooner beatdown. Samaje Perine has been great filling the gap that Keith Ford has left, and they’ll need to pound it against a Texas defense that’s absolutely been shutting down the opponent’s passing attack giving up just 134.6 yards per game in the air. Sooners pull it out late.
West Virginia 49, Texas Tech 24
Here’s a fun fact: Texas Tech opponents are averaging 40 points a game. Predictably, the Red Raiders scoring defense is ranked 120th nationally — which is worse than Georgia State, Idaho, and Vanderbilt. Just keep repeating what I say each week: until TTU can stop someone defensively, they aren’t going to win very many games.
(5)Baylor 38, (9)TCU 32
Oct 4, 2014; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) scrambles with the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
It’s crazy to think that both these teams have some of the best defenses in the nation, yet I’m expecting a score in the 30’s by both teams — if not higher. That’s a testament to how great these offenses are. Trevone Boykin and TCU are at a much higher level than I thought offensively. Boykin is a great dual-threat QB that is completing 61.5 percent of his passes and has five times more touchdowns (10) than interceptions (2). That doesn’t include the three TDs he’s picked up with his legs. In total, Boykin has 1,436 all-purpose yards (260 on the ground).
You know what Baylor has on offense with Bryce Petty, Shock Linwood, and Antwan Goodley to name just a few studs. These defenses will be put to the test and while there will be some gaffs on both sides (similar to Oklahoma-TCU), expect the Bears to hold on and continue their march to the CFP. This game will live up to the hype, and it will be better than the RRS.
Toledo at Iowa State — Read the preview and prediction here.
(16)Oklahoma State 45, Kansas 10
The Cowboys will have all their points by the time the Jayhawks put up any.
(13)Georgia 33, (23)Missouri 23
Generally, losing a big time player is the moment where Mark Richt loses his second game of the season and the Bulldogs aren’t a factor for a national title. But I really don’t think the Tigers are that good. They’ll have an inflated record because they play in the garbage SEC East and only face Texas A&M from the West Division, but seriously — they lost to Indiana at home. GA takes this without the services of Todd Gurley, who got screwed by the NCAA because the organization that cares about student-athletes were tired of the NFL grabbing all the headlines.
(3)Mississippi State 24, (2)Auburn 21
Oct 4, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) drops back to pass against the Texas A&M Aggies at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
“Really, Brian? Two SEC games? I might as well be listening to The Paul Finebaum Show at this point.” I get it. But despite the SEC West being a touch overrated, they still have great teams. This game could be one of the fastest games in history as you’ll see two prolific rushing attacks go after each other. Auburn senior QB Nick Marshall, along with senior running backs Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne average a combined 228.2 yards per game on the ground with 11 touchdowns collectively.
Some fun stats entering this game: The Bulldogs are actually horrible at stopping a passing attack (they give up 328 yards per game in the air, 119th nationally), but that doesn’t matter because Auburn doesn’t pass. In fact, through five games this season, both teams combine for 263 pass attempts to 485 rush attempts. That’s nearly double the amount!
In the end, I’ll take the feel-good story of the cowbell-touting Mississippi State team because I love head coach Dan Mullen and Prescott is freaking awesome to watch. I’ll be honest, if there’s ever been an SEC game I’m excited to follow, it’s this one.
(10)Arizona 38, USC 31
Speaking of feel good stories, how about RichRod and the Wildcats? Football’s finally become relevant and Rodriguez has slowly but steadily built a solid team. They’ve taken down Oregon twice in a row now, and all of a sudden the boost to the top of the Pac-12 and find themselves in CFP contention — above the Ducks and UCLA. The Trojans were in contention for one hot minute before the Boston College loss. Now they’ll try to keep Arizona from staying in contention, but I think they press on and continue to represent the top of the conference with their 7th-ranked passing offense.