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College Football Picks: Predicting Every Game in Week 6

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The Week 6 edition of picking every game on the college football schedule is highlighted by Miami’s trip to Florida State in an intriguing rivalry game that could have huge implications in recruiting in the state of Florida. Elsewhere, NC State looks to remain undefeated in the ACC when Louisville visits Raleigh; Florida hosts reeling LSU; Washington State makes the trip to Eugene to play Oregon; and Alabama heads to Texas A&M searching for its third straight dominating win. Here is every game on the Week 6 slate:

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Thursday, Oct. 5

Louisville at NC State

NC State has bounced back from its loss to South Carolina by winning four straight, including the last two vs. ACC opponents. A potentially huge home date with Clemson is looming in early November — but that will only be significant if the Pack can get by Louisville (very possible) and Pittsburgh (very likely). NC State 28, Louisville 24

Friday, Oct. 6

Memphis at UConn

UConn is 0–3 against FBS opponents and has given up at least 38 points in all three games. Memphis was humbled Saturday in Orlando, losing 40–13 to surging UCF. The Tigers still might end up being the best team in the AAC West, but they are having significant issues on defense. Memphis 41, UConn 27

Boise State at BYU

Are we witnessing BYU’s slide into irrelevance? The Cougars are a shocking 1–4 (the one win was over Portland State), and the offense has scored a total of 43 points in the four losses. The schedule softens up in the second half of the season, but BYU could be headed to its first losing season since 2004. Boise State 30, BYU 10

Saturday, Oct. 7

Eastern Michigan at Toledo

Eastern Michigan came a few plays away from picking up its second road win of the season against a Power 5 conference opponent. The Eagles, who beat Rutgers 16–13 in Week 2, lost at Kentucky 24–20. This trip to Toledo will be a huge test. The Rockets are 3–1 overall and once against feature one of the MAC’s top offenses. Toledo 38, Eastern Michigan 30

Illinois at Iowa

Iowa is 0–2 in the Big Ten, but the Hawkeyes are embarking on a stretch of three very winnable games — Illinois, at Northwestern, Minnesota. Illinois is fresh off a 28–6 loss at home to Nebraska. This is a must win for Iowa. Iowa 31, Illinois 10

Iowa State at Oklahoma

After scoring at least 40 points in its first three games, Iowa State was shut down by the Texas defense in last Thursday’s 17–7 loss to the Longhorns. The trip to Norman will be difficult. Oklahoma 38, Iowa State 14

Ole Miss at Auburn

Ole Miss returns to the state of Alabama one week after its 66–3 loss at Alabama. The Rebels, who beat the Tide on their last trip to Tuscaloosa, were outgained 613 to 253 and failed to convert a third down. The score won’t be as lopsided this week — but the result will be the same. Auburn 31, Ole Miss 17

Penn State at Northwestern

Penn State showed there would be no hangover from the emotional win at Iowa by jumping to a 28–0 lead in the first quarter against Indiana on Saturday afternoon. I would expect to similar focus from the Nittany Lions in Evanston. Penn State 30, Northwestern 14

Temple at East Carolina

East Carolina has given up a total of 34 touchdowns and is allowing a staggering 50.6 points through five games. Temple has scored only eight touchdown and ranks 120th nationally with 16.2 points per game. East Carolina 34, Temple 30

Texas Tech at Kansas

Texas Tech lost for the first time in 2017 but proved once again, in a 41–34 loss to Oklahoma State, that it is much improved in Kliff Kingsbury’s fifth season. Kansas has shown progress on offense this fall — the Jayhawks have scored 27 points or more in all four games — but continues to struggle mightily on defense. Texas Tech 44, Kansas 30

Georgia at Vanderbilt

Georgia has built one of the finest résumés in the nation through the first month of the season. The Bulldogs have been dominant on defense, giving up a total of three points in their two SEC games. Vanderbilt showed some signs of life at Florida after its 59–0 loss at Alabama two weeks ago, but the Commodores were unable to get enough stops in the second half to win in Gainesville. Georgia 30, Vanderbilt 14

Wake Forest at Clemson

The nation’s leader in tackles for a loss will be on display at Clemson this Saturday — and it will be wearing black and gold (or white). Wake Forest leads college football with 50 TFLs after recording 17 in Saturday’s loss to Florida State. Clemson is tied for eighth in the category, with 40 through five games. Clemson 30, Wake Forest 13

Duke at Virginia

Virginia hasn’t played since its impressive 42–23 win at Boise State on Sept. 22. It was by far the Cavs’ most significant win of the Bronco Mendenhall era. Duke’s offense sputtered for the first time this season in its 31–6 loss to Miami (Fla.) on Friday night. The Blue Devils will be eager to bounce back. Duke 28, Virginia 27

Pittsburgh at Syracuse

These two teams combined for 137 points last year — a 76–61 Pittsburgh win — in what remains the highest-scoring FBS game ever played. Both defenses remain suspect. Syracuse has the better offense. Syracuse 38, Pittsburgh 30

Central Michigan at Ohio

Ohio started its pursuit of a MAC East title with a win at Eastern Michigan two weeks ago. Central Michigan is the only significant hurdle for the Bobcats before an Oct. 31 date with division favorite Miami. Ohio 27, Central Michigan 24

Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio)

Bowling Green is one of seven winless teams in the nation — and looking down the schedule, it’s hard to find a win for the Falcons (maybe at Kent State?). Miami 38, Bowling Green 10

FIU at Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee has found life difficult without starting quarterback Brent Stockstill and wideout Richie James. The Blue Raiders should be able to get past FIU at home without their dynamic duo, but they need to get healthy if they want to be a factor in the C-USA East race. Middle Tennessee 24, FIU 17

ULM at Texas State

The level of competition hasn’t been great, but the ULM offense has been on a roll. The Warhawks have scored a total of 107 points in the last two weeks in wins over Louisiana and Coastal Carolina. Texas State hasn’t scored more than 14 points against an FBS team this season. ULM 38, Texas State 17

Air Force at Navy

Here’s a shocking development: Navy had to replace a bunch of starters but is somehow finding a way to be really good again. The Midshipmen improved to 4–0 with a come-from-behind 31–21 win at Tulsa on Saturday. Air Force is a disappointing 1–3, but the schedule has been tough; the losses are to Michigan and San Diego State, two ranked teams, as well as at New Mexico. Navy 37, Air Force 24

Ball State at Akron

Akron beat an FBS team for the first time this season, topping Bowling Green 34–23 on Saturday. The Zips should make it two straight this week when Ball State comes to town. The Cardinals have been outscored 88–24 the last two weeks. Akron 38, Ball State 23

Charleston Southern at Indiana

Indiana coach Tom Allen announced earlier this week that redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey will be the Hoosiers’ starting quarterback. He unseats senior Richard Lagow. Indiana 47, Charleston Southern 10

Kent State at Northern Illinois

After playing two Power 5 teams (Boston College, Nebraska) and a ranked San Diego State team among the first four games of the season, Northern Illinois shouldn’t have to break a sweat in its league opener against Kent State. Northern Illinois 30, Kent State 7

LSU at Florida

These are trying times at LSU, where the Tigers are attempting to sort through the wreckage of an inexplicable 24–21 loss at home to Troy. Ed Orgeron announced on Monday that Danny Etling will remain the starting quarterback, but it would be a bit of a surprise if the job isn’t handed to freshman Myles Brennan later in the season. Florida, meanwhile, continues to find ways to win; the Gators are 3–0 after a 38–24 win over Vanderbilt — their third straight over an SEC foe to start the league slate. Florida 28, LSU 20

Miami (Fla.) at Florida State

The Hurricanes, fresh off of a dominating win at Duke, are a three-point favorite in Tallahassee — a statement of both how far this program has come in a short time under Mark Richt and how much Florida State has failed to live up to lofty preseason expectations. Miami 17, Florida State 14

Minnesota at Purdue

Minnesota lost for the first time in the P.J. Fleck era, dropping a 31–24 decision to Maryland at home. Now, the Gophers must visit a Purdue team that has had a week off after its competitive loss to Michigan. This is a big game for two teams jockeying for position in the Big Ten West. Purdue 30, Minnesota 24

Notre Dame at North Carolina

North Carolina went a combined 13–3 in the ACC the past two seasons. The Tar Heels are 0–3 in the league this season and just 1–4 overall. Notre Dame is quietly off to an impressive 4–1 start, with the only loss to Georgia by one point at home. The Fighting Irish have been extremely potent on the ground. Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 14

New Mexico State at Appalachian State

Appalachian State returns to action for the first time since a painful one-point loss at home to Wake Forest. This visit from New Mexico State will not be easy. The Aggies have a win at New Mexico on their résumé, and they played well in their Sun Belt opener against Troy (27–24 loss). Appalachian State 24, New Mexico State 21

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Western Michigan at Buffalo

Western Michigan is off the national radar this season, but the Broncos appear to be poised for another run at the MAC West title. They followed up two competitive losses against Power 5 teams (USC, Michigan State) with wins over Idaho, Wagner and Ball State. Buffalo is improved, but WMU is the better team. Western Michigan 31, Buffalo 17

West Virginia at TCU

We’ll see how TCU handles the spotlight as a top-10 team following its big win at Oklahoma State two weeks ago. West Virginia is also coming off a bye. The Mountaineers have scored at least 56 points in three straight games, but they did give up 564 total yards (367 on the ground) in a 22-point win over Kansas two weeks ago. TCU 41, West Virginia 30

Arkansas at South Carolina

South Carolina was riding high after two games — wins over NC State and Missouri. Now, three weeks later, things don’t look so promising for Will Muschamp’s second season. The Gamecocks have lost two of three, with the only win by one point over Louisiana Tech at home. Arkansas is still an unknown commodity. The locals aren’t very pleased with the program now, but they are a play away (vs. Texas A&M) from being 3–1, with the only loss to a top-10 team (TCU) at home. Arkansas 28, South Carolina 24

Louisiana Tech at UAB

Louisiana Tech is 3–0 vs. teams not in the SEC. UAB is not in the SEC. Louisiana Tech 41, UAB 10

Maryland at Ohio State

Maryland improved to 2–0 in true road games, knocking off Minnesota on a late touchdown run by Ty Johnson. The Terps will have a tough time making 3–0. The schedule hasn’t been tough, but Ohio State seems to be figuring things out on defense since its 31–16 loss to Oklahoma. The Buckeyes have averaged 8.5, 7.9 and 9.2 yards per game in wins over Army, UNLV and Rutgers. Ohio State 35, Maryland 14

Oregon State at USC

Oregon State is emerging as one of the worst Power 5 teams in the nation in 2017. It’s a significant step back for a program that appeared to be headed in the right direction. The Trojans should have no trouble bouncing back from last week’s loss in Pullman. USC 41, Oregon State 7

Tulsa at Tulane

This nugget comes from @FeartheWaveBlog: Tulane is favored in back-to-back games against FBS teams for the first time since 2013. #Fritzmas. Tulane 27, Tulsa 24

Colorado State at Utah State

Utah State has won its last two games by a combined score of 101–34, including a 40–24 victory over in-state rival BYU. It’s still doubtful this team can be a factor in the Mountain West Mountain Division race, but at least the Aggies are showing signs of life. Colorado State 38, Utah State 21

Louisiana at Idaho

There seem to be some issues on defense for Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns are last in the nation in scoring defense (53.8 ppg) and 128th in total defense (563.5 ypg). Those are horrifying numbers for a program that has been to a bowl game in five of the last six seasons. Idaho 54, Louisiana 38

FAU at Old Dominion

Lane Kiffin recorded his first win over an FBS opponent as the head coach at FAU as the Owls topped Middle Tennessee 38–20 on Saturday. The Owls are a slight favorite (3.5 points) to make it two straight this weekend against Old Dominion. I’ll go with the underdog Monarchs at home. Old Dominion 34, FAU 30

Marshall at Charlotte

Marshall has already reached its win total (three) from last season, and the Herd’s lone loss was on the road vs. NC State. This team could be a real factor in what looks to be a wide-open C-USA East race. Marshall 37, Charlotte 13

Army at Rice

The struggles continue at Rice, which has scored 10 points or fewer in four of its first five games. Army ranks third nationally in rushing, averaging 363.6 yards per game. In a related note, the Black Knights have completed a total of seven passes. Army 31, Rice 17

Georgia State at Coastal Carolina

Here’s one interesting note about games involving Coastal Carolina: Teams are efficient in the red zone. CCU and its opponents have scored on a combined 30-of-32 trips inside the 20-yard line. Coastal Carolina 33, Georgia State 30

Kansas State at Texas

Texas opened Big 12 play with a nice win at Iowa State last Thursday night. The Longhorns’ defense limited ISU to 256 total yards, including only 10 yards rushing. Kansas State does most of its work on the ground, led by quarterback Jesse Ertz and a nice collection of tailbacks. This is an intriguing game that will give us a good indication where each team is on the Big 12 food chain. Texas 17, Kansas State 13

SMU at Houston

SMU and Houston both hired up-and-coming assistant coaches to take over their respective programs following the 2014 season. Tom Herman at Houston inherited a roster stocked with talent, and the results were predictable — he won immediately. Chad Morris, on the other hand, inherited a significant rebuild, and the results were predictable — he struggled to win games. Now, four years later, Herman is at Texas and Morris appears to be on the verge of a breakthrough season at SMU. Do you know what could expedite the rebuild? A win over Houston. SMU 30, Houston 28

Southern Miss at UTSA

With each week, Frank Wilson’s stock continues to rise at UTSA. The Roadrunners are 3–0 overall, with two of the wins coming on the road. This is a team that has a chance to be 11–0 when it visits Louisiana Tech in late November. UTSA 31, Southern Miss 24

Alabama at Texas A&M

There are a bunch of amazing stats that detail just how dominant Alabama has been the last two weeks. This might be my favorite: Alabama scored more touchdowns (17) against Vanderbilt and Ole Miss than first downs allowed (14). This team will attempt to play a near-flawless game for the third straight week. Alabama 38, Texas A&M 14

Virginia Tech at Boston College

Virginia Tech’s challenge this week: Bounce back emotionally from last Saturday night’s loss to Clemson. Just two weeks ago, Boston College was tied with Clemson (at Clemson) 7–7 heading into the fourth quarter. This is not a gimme. Virginia Tech 24, Boston College 14

Fresno State at San Jose State

It’s a battle between two first-year coaches in the Mountain West — Jeff Tedford at Fresno State and Brent Brennan at San Jose State. Fresno State is 2–2. San Jose State is already 1–5. Fresno State 41, San Jose State 17

Michigan State at Michigan

John O’Korn will be making the start at quarterback for Michigan, which has managed to score at least 28 points in every game despite its relative struggles on offense. Michigan State is hitting the road for the first time after opening the season with three wins in a four-game homestand. The Spartans might not challenge for the Big Ten East title, but this looks like an improved team that should win eight games in the regular season. Michigan 28, Michigan State 24

Missouri at Kentucky

Kentucky has a habit of playing to the level of its competition, which could be a bad thing with Missouri coming to town. The Tigers are 1–3 against FBS opponents with an average margin of defeat of 32.3 points. And in its one win, Missouri gave up 43 points to Missouri State, which has scored a total of 48 points in its other five games (all against FCS teams). Kentucky 34, Missouri 13

Arizona at Colorado

Colorado has followed up its surprising Pac-12 South title season — in which it went 8–1 in the regular season — with an 0–2 start in league games. There’s no shame in losing to Washington or at UCLA, but it’s clear now that the Buffs will take a big step back in 2017 after losing so many key pieces on defense. The schedule lightens up a bit over the next weeks before a challenging trip to Washington State. Colorado 31, Arizona 17

UCF at Cincinnati

UCF is making a strong case as the best Group of 5 team in the nation in 2017. The Knights are 3–0, with dominating wins over FIU, Maryland (which beat Texas) and Memphis (which beat UCLA). Cincinnati, on the other hand, has underwhelmed in Luke Fickell’s debut. UCF 41, Cincinnati 18

Washington State at Oregon

How’s this for a lack of respect: Washington State, undefeated after beating USC last weekend, is an underdog on the road to an Oregon team that will be without its starting quarterback. Washington State 34, Oregon 30

Wisconsin at Nebraska

Wisconsin, already 4–0, could be 10–0 when it hosts Michigan on Nov. 18 — if it can survive this potential speed bump at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are 2–0 in the Big Ten, but it could be the softest 2–0 in the history of the Big Ten — wins over Rutgers and Illinois. We need to see Tanner Lee play mistake-free against a good team before we start believing in the Huskers. Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 17

Western Kentucky at UTEP

In an unlikely turn of events, Mike Price is back on the sidelines at UTEP as the Miners’ interim coach following the resignation of Sean Kugler. Not sure it matters who is coaching this team. UTEP is bad. Western Kentucky 38, UTEP 20

Stanford at Utah

Stanford running back Bryce Love leads the nation in rushing by 265 yards despite ranking 13th in average carries per game. He is averaging an astounding 11.1 yards per carry and 217.6 yards per game. Heisman voters will be forced to take notice if he maintains this pace. Stanford 27, Utah 20

Hawaii at Nevada

Jay Norvell is still searching for his first win as a head coach. If it doesn’t come this week against Hawaii, the next best opportunity won’t be until Nov. 11 when San Jose State comes to Reno. Hawaii 37, Nevada 30

California at Washington

After a surprisingly competitive game at Rutgers in Week 1, Washington has shifted into cruise control with four straight lopsided wins. Cal has been scrappy in the first season of the Justin Wilcox era, but the Bears don’t have the talent to beat Washington — especially in Seattle. Washington 37, California 17

San Diego State at UNLV

San Diego State is mastering the art of the close win. The Aztecs have defeated Stanford by three, Air Force by four and Northern Illinois by six in the past three weeks. This trip to UNLV shouldn’t be as stressful. San Diego State 34, UNLV 20