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LSU hosts Florida; OU battles Texas and Georgia takes on the Vols
By Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
Here's a look at every game of the Week 6 college football schedule.
No. 5 Boise State at No. 89 Fresno State
Fresno State plays its old nemesis Boise State, which has jumped to the MWC after dominating the WAC for the pat decade. The Bulldogs gave up 38 points last week in a home loss to an Ole Miss team that had scored two touchdowns in three previous games vs. FBS opponents.
Boise State 41, Fresno State 10
No. 56 Vanderbilt at No. 1 Alabama
Vanderbilt is good enough on the defensive end to keep things relatively interesting for a while, but the Commodores’ offense — statistically among the worst in the nation — is going to find yards extremely difficult to come by against a dominant Alabama defense.
Alabama 38, Vanderbilt 7
No. 19 Florida at No. 2 LSU
LSU’s Tiger Stadium would be very close to the top if you are making a list of venues that would not be ideal for a true freshman to make his first collegiate start. One positive for Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel: At least the game is not at night.
LSU 21, Florida 10
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Texas (Dallas)
Texas has some decent wins — BYU at home and UCLA and Iowa State on the road — but we’re still not sure if the Horns are good enough to challenge OU and Oklahoma State for the Big 12 title. The big key is at quarterback: Are Case McCoy and David Ash good enough to make plays on a big stage against an elite opponent? We’ll find out.
Oklahoma 26, Texas 17
No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 68 Kansas
What happens when one of the nation’s elite offensive teams plays one of the worst defensive teams in the country? A lot of points. That’s what happens.
Oklahoma State 55, Kansas 21
No. 85 Boston College at No. 8 Clemson
One team is undefeated with quality wins over Auburn, Florida State and Virginia. The other team has yet to beat an FBS opponent. Go with the good team.
Clemson 44, Boston College 10
No. 82 Colorado at No. 9 Stanford
When Colorado opted to bolt to the Pac-12, I’m pretty sure the Buffs weren’t planning on losing at home to Washington State in their first game in their new league.
Stanford 48, Colorado 14
No. 45 Ohio State at No. 11 Nebraska
What had the potential to be one of the most hyped regular-season games in recent Big Ten history is almost an afterthought.
Nebraska 24, Ohio State 10
No. 57 Maryland at No. 12 Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech has scored at least 35 points and accumulated at least 400 yards of offense in all five games this season. This team is a legitimate threat to win the ACC title.
Georgia Tech 41, Maryland 20
No. 18 Auburn at No. 13 Arkansas
Auburn keeps finding ways to win. The Tigers had been dreadful on offense yet managed to shut down South Carolina in a 16–13 victory in Columbia. Slowing down the Hogs will be a much more difficult challenge.
Arkansas 41, Auburn 33
No. 35 Miami (Fla.) at No. 14 Virginia Tech
The teams picked by many, including Athlon Sports, to finish 1-2 in the ACC Coastal Division, are each 0–1 in league play. The key in this game will be Miami’s ability (or inability) to stop Hokie tailback David Wilson.
Virginia Tech 20, Miami (Fla.) 17
No. 15 Illinois at No. 104 Indiana
The Fighting Illini hit the road for the first time this season after sweeping a five-game home stand — the final three by exactly three points. Indiana showed some fight last week in a 16–10 loss to Penn State, but the Hoosiers will have to play a perfect game to beat Illinois.
Illinois 28, Indiana 13
No. 16 Michigan at No. 55 Northwestern
This game opened with Michigan as a 3.5-point favorite but quickly shot up to over a touchdown. That’s quite interesting, especially since Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa has been cleared to play after tweaking his Achilles in last week’s loss at Illinois.
Michigan 34, Northwestern 27
No. 84 Connecticut at No 17 West Virginia
Connecticut’s three losses have come by an average of 4.7 points, but those defeats haven’t exactly come against the most formidable foes — Iowa State and Western Michigan at home and at Vanderbilt.
West Virginia 30, Connecticut 10
No. 77 Kentucky at No. 20 South Carolina
South Carolina lost to Kentucky last year yet still won the SEC East for the first time. The Gamecocks, still smarting from last week’s loss at home to Auburn, will send out Connor Shaw at quarterback for the second time this season.
South Carolina 27, Kentucky 10
No. 21 Arizona State at No. 50 Utah
The Utes are still looking for their first Pac-12 win, and the quest must go on without starting quarterback Jordan Wynn, who is out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury.
Arizona State 28, Utah 20
No. 33 Missouri at No. 22 Kansas State
Missouri is one of the better two-loss teams in the nation, with its defeats coming at Arizona State in overtime and at Oklahoma, by only 10 points.
Missouri 30, Kansas State 21
No. 23 Texas A&M at No. 46 Texas Tech
The last two weeks have been quite painful for Texas A&M fans. For the season, the Aggies have outscored their opponents 115–34 in the first half but have been outscored 59–35 in the second half.
Texas A&M 34, Texas Tech 27
No. 24 Florida State at No. 41 Wake Forest
This game will test Florida State’s mental toughness. Wake Forest, arguably the most improved team in the nation this season, is good enough to win if the Noles aren’t ready to play.
Florida State 28, Wake Forest 20
No. 52 Air Force at No. 25 Notre Dame
The Irish are over .500 for the first time this season and are playing very good football. They have given up an average of 12 points in their last three games.
Notre Dame 31, Air Force 17
No. 42 Iowa State at No. 26 Baylor
Baylor lost a nine-point lead in the final six minutes last week at Kansas State. Iowa State, too, suffered its first loss of the season, getting pounded at home by Texas, 37–14.
Baylor 41, Iowa State 21
No. 76 Louisville at No. 28 North Carolina
We thought Louisville would take a few steps back this season, but we didn’t foresee losses at home to both FIU and Marshall.
North Carolina 28, Louisville 10
No. 29 Georgia at No. 34 Tennessee
With John Brantley’s injury at Florida and South Carolina’s surprising loss at home to Auburn, this game suddenly takes on great importance in the wide-open SEC East.
Georgia 35, Tennessee 30
No. 31 Pittsburgh at No. 60 Rutgers
Pittsburgh’s 44–17 win over South Florida last Thursday was among the most impressive performances of the week. Tailback Ray Graham ranks third in the nation in rushing (146.8 ypg).
Pittsburgh 27, Rutgers 16
No. 43 Iowa at No. 36 Penn State
Penn State has been brutal on offense this season against teams not named Indiana State and Eastern Michigan, scoring 11 points against Alabama, 14 against Temple and 16 against Indiana.
Iowa 24, Penn State 14
No. 38 TCU at No. 61 San Diego State
TCU hasn’t had two losses at this juncture of the season since 2007. Loss No. 3 might be right around the corner. San Diego State is a solid team with very good talent on offense.
San Diego State 27, TCU 24
No. 39 Mississippi State at No. 110 UAB
UAB is one of four remaining teams without a win, but the Blazers haven’t played that badly over the past two weeks, losing 28–23 at East Carolina and 24–23 at Troy. Starting quarterback Bryan Ellis remains sidelined with a concussion.
Mississippi State 38, UAB 17
No. 79 at East Carolina at No. 48 Houston
East Carolina ranks 100th in the nation in scoring defense, which is a huge improvement from last season (120th). Case Keenum and the Cougars shouldn’t have much trouble putting some points on the board.
Houston 50, East Carolina 28
No. 51 Southern Miss at No. 49 Navy
Southern Miss has played very well since a Week 2 loss at Marshall, stringing together wins over SE Louisiana, Virginia and Rice. Navy must regroup after a heartbreaking overtime loss to rival Air Force.
Navy 33, Southern Miss 28
No. 114 Eastern Michigan at No. 53 Toledo
Toledo deserves a ton of credit for the way it bounced back from the controversial overtime loss at Syracuse. Beating Temple so soundly, 36–13, on the road made quite a statement.
Toledo 48, Eastern Michigan 10
No. 54 Temple at No. 53 Ball State
Temple followed up its 38–7 win at Maryland with a head-scratching 36–13 loss at home to Toledo. Ball State is improved under first-year coach Pete Lembo, but the Cardinals have a tough time stopping the run. Expect to see a heavy dose of Bernard Pierce
Temple 28, Ball State 21
No. 58 Arizona at No. 100 Oregon State
Arizona finally gets a bit of a break after playing three top-10 teams (Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon) and USC in consecutive weeks. Winning in Corvallis is never easy, but Arizona should be able to score enough points to knock off the Beavers.
Arizona 38, Oregon State 28
No. 62 Washington State at No. 67 UCLA
The Cougars are only three games away from bowl-eligibility after opening the season with a 3–1 record. Marshall Lobbestael has been great at quarterback in relief of the injured Jeff Tuel. The guess here is that the Cougs keep the magic going for at least one more week.
Washington State 28, UCLA 17
No. 90 San Jose State at No. 63 BYU
San Jose State has won two straight for the first time since October 2008, beating New Mexico State at home and winning at Colorado State. BYU is winning despite not playing very good football. The Cougars were fortunate to beat UCF and Utah State on consecutive Friday nights at home.
BYU 21, San Jose State 17
No. 92 Central Michigan at No. 65 NC State
The Pack are 2–3 but have yet to defeat a FBS opponent. This isn’t what NC State was expecting to see in the fifth year of the Tom O’Brien era.
NC State 27, Central Michigan 13
No. 69 Ohio at No. 107 Buffalo
Ohio didn’t play its best last week in a 17–10 win over Kent State, but the Bobcats are having a really nice season. This is a road game Frank Solich’s team needs to win to remain a strong contender in the MAC East.
Ohio 27, Buffalo 17
No. 70 FIU at No. 119 Akron
FIU has lost back-to-back games after its 3–0 start, but the trip to Akron should get the Panthers back on the right track.
FIU 34, Akron 10
No. 74 Marshall at No. 71 UCF
This is a key MAC East showdown between a Marshall club that already has a win over Southern Miss (and Louisville, out of conference) and the defending division champs.
UCF 21, Marshall 18
No. 72 Syracuse at No. 108 Tulane
Syracuse is a very uninspiring 3–2, with overtime wins over Wake Forest and Toledo (thanks to the Big East refs) and a seven-point victory over Rhode Island. Tulane has lost to Duke and Army in back-to-back weeks by a combined score of 93–33.
Syracuse 21, Tulane 17
No. 98 Western Michigan at No. 98 Bowling Green
WMU quarterback Alex Carder was brilliant in the Broncos’ 38–31 win at UConn last week, throwing for 479 yards with five touchdowns and no INTs. Three different Western Michigan players had over 100 yards receiving.
Western Michigan 37, Bowling Green 27
No. 78 Arkansas State at No. 111 UL-Monroe
Arkansas State avoided what would have been a bad loss last week, holding on for a 26–22 win at Western Kentucky. UL-Monroe has been pounded by three very good teams (Florida State, TCU and Iowa) and beat Grambling with ease. We’ll find out more about the Warhawks this weekend.
Arkansas State 27, UL-Monroe 14
No. 116 UNLV at No. 81 Nevada
The Wolf Pack are playing at home for the first time this season after opening the year 1–3 on the road. UNLV shouldn’t put up too much of a fight. The Rebs are bad.
Nevada 41, UNLV 13
No. 97 Wyoming at No. 86 Utah State
At some point, Utah State will catch a break. Right? This team is too good to be 1–3 at this point.
Utah State 31, Wyoming 17
No. 117 Memphis at No. 87 Rice
Memphis showed signs of life last week but couldn’t make a stop on defense when it counted in a 38–31 loss at Middle Tennessee. So was this a one-week blip or are the Tigers really getting better? We’ll find out (but my guess is the former).
Rice 41, Memphis 17
No. 102 Minnesota at No. 88 Purdue
I think Jerry Kill was a great hire and still believe he will do well at Minnesota, but his first season with the Gophers has been a disaster.
Purdue 31, Minnesota 17
No. 115 Kent State at No. 93 Northern Illinois
The Huskies’ 48–41 loss at Central Michigan was one of the more surprising scores last weekend. You have to beat the teams you are supposed to beat to stay relevant in the strong MAC West.
Northern Illinois 37, Kent State 12
No. 94 Troy at No. 101 UL-Lafayette
UL-Lafayette is off to a solid start under first-year coach Mark Hudspeth. The Cajuns are already 2–0 in the Sun Belt — highlighted by a win at FIU — and will be in great shape in the league race with a win over Troy.
UL-Lafayette 28, Troy 27
No. 96 Army at No. 105 Miami (Ohio)
As expected, the Black Knights have the most unbalanced offense in the nation, ranking second in rushing (368.4 ypg) and 120th in passing (45.0 ypg).
Miami (Ohio) 31, Army 21
No. 99 Louisiana Tech at No. 112 Idaho
Idaho came close to a shocking upset at Virginia last weekend, falling to the Cavs 21–20 in overtime. Louisiana Tech, like Idaho, is looking for its first win over an FBS opponent.
Louisiana Tech 27, Idaho 17
No. 117 FAU at No. 103 North Texas
FAU is on stop No. 5 of a five-game, season-opening road trip. All four have ended in defeat, though the Owls are showing signs of improvement.
North Texas 27, FAU 20
Last week — 41-12
Season — 273-50