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College Football Picks: Predicting Final Scores for Every Game in Week 6

Benny Snell and the undefeated Wildcats visit Kyle Field

The Week 6 edition of picking every game on the college football schedule is highlighted the annual Oklahoma-Texas game, a showdown that has added intrigue thanks to the Longhorns’ three-game winning streak, and a pair of interesting battles in the SEC — LSU’s visit to Florida and Kentucky’s trip to Texas A&M. Here is every game on the Week 6 slate:

 

Thursday, Oct. 4

 

Georgia State at Troy

Georgia State opened up its Sun Belt slate with a surprising 46–14 win over ULM — a good thing considering that the Panthers’ next two games are at Troy and at Arkansas State. Troy has won four straight since a Week 1 loss to Boise State. Troy 38, Georgia State 20

 

Tulsa at Houston

Houston has not played since beating Texas Southern 70–14 in Week 4. The Cougars are 3–1 and have scored at least 45 points in all four games. Tulsa is 0–3 against FBS competition, but two of the three losses have come by nine points or fewer. Houston 45, Tulsa 21

 

Friday, Oct. 5

 

Georgia Tech at Louisville

Georgia Tech hasn’t won a road game since beating Georgia 28–27 in the final week of the 2016 regular season. The streak will continue against a Louisville team that played relatively well last week before collapsing late against Florida State. Louisville 28, Georgia Tech 24

 

Middle Tennessee at Marshall

Thanks to Middle Tennessee’s thrilling win over FAU last Saturday, this is now a huge game in the C-USA East Division race. Marshall 28, Middle Tennessee 27

 

Utah State at BYU

BYU was humbled last Saturday in its 35–7 loss at Washington. The Cougars netted only 34 yards rushing and were held to a season-low 194 total yards. Utah State has been very good through the first month of the season, winning three straight following a 38–31 Week 1 loss at Michigan State. Utah State 33, BYU 23

 

Saturday, Oct. 6

 

Alabama at Arkansas

Nick Saban referred to this trip to Arkansas as a potential trap game. Most outside the program view it as another easy win for the Crimson Tide. Alabama 49, Arkansas 7   

 

Buffalo at Central Michigan

Buffalo had its momentum slowed last week with a 42–13 loss to Army . The Bulls are still 4–1 overall and 1–0 in the MAC. Central Michigan dives into league play after facing three Power 5 teams in the first month of the season — losing to Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State. Buffalo 34, Central Michigan 31

 

East Carolina at Temple

East Carolina continues to show signs of progress under third-year coach Scottie Montgomery. The Pirates improved to 2–2 with a 37–35 win over Old Dominion — the same ODU team that beat Virginia Tech the previous week. ECU has a big challenge this week. Temple took Boston College to the wire last week and handed Maryland its only loss of the season in Week 3. Temple 34, East Carolina 27

 

Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan

This might sound familiar: Eastern Michigan lost a close game last week. The Eagles lost 26–23 at home to Northern Illinois, one week after losing 23–20 in overtime at San Diego State. The previous week they dropped a seven-point decision at Buffalo. And last year, EMU lost six games by seven points or fewer. Eastern Michigan 28, Western Michigan 23

 

Illinois at Rutgers

Illinois finds itself favored over another Power 5 team for the first time in two years — the last time it traveled to Rutgers. The Fighting Illini won that game 24–7 and should beat the Scarlet Knights this time around as well. Rutgers has not scored more than 17 points in any of its last four games. Illinois 20, Rutgers 17

 

Kansas at West Virginia

West Virginia, as expected, has been prolific throwing the ball. The Mountaineers rank third nationally with 372.8 passing yards per game and are one of six teams averaging at least 10 yards per passing attempt. West Virginia 51, Kansas 17

 

Maryland at Michigan

Michigan is still a work in progress on offense, but the Wolverines’ defense continues to dominate. They lead the Big Ten in both yards allowed per game (232.6) and yards allowed per play (3.6). Maryland is 2–0 against Power 5 teams, with wins over Texas (34–29) and Minnesota (42–13). Michigan 28, Maryland 10

 

Missouri at South Carolina

South Carolina dropped to 1–2 in the SEC with a 24–10 loss at Kentucky. The Gamecocks made too many mistakes — four turnovers, sacked four times — to beat a good team on the road. They return home to face a Missouri team that did some good things offensively — 393 yards, 29 points — against Georgia two weeks ago. South Carolina 31, Missouri 27

 

Northwestern at Michigan State

One thing has become apparent in Michigan State games this season: Neither team is going to run the ball well. The Spartans lead the Big Ten in rushing defense (40.3 ypg) but rank 13th in rushing (129.8 ypg). Northwestern struggled to run the ball last week against Michigan in the first game without Jeremy Larkin (though most teams will struggle to run the ball against Michigan). Michigan State 20, Northwestern 17

 

Texas vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)       

Texas has won four straight games for the first time since winning six straight in the middle of the 2013 season. Oklahoma has had at least one four-game winning streak every season since 2010. What does this mean for Saturday’s game? Not much. Oklahoma 33, Texas 24

 

Tulane at Cincinnati

Tulane broke through with a much-needed big win, dominating Memphis with surprising ease last Thursday night in New Orleans. Now Willie Fritz and Co. head to Cincinnati to play the undefeated Bearcats, one of the surprise teams in the nation. Cincinnati 24, Tulane 20

 

Syracuse at Pittsburgh

Syracuse earned more respect nationally from last week’s loss at Clemson than from any of its four wins — and that includes the 30–7 victory over Florida State. Syracuse 37, Pittsburgh 31

 

Boston College at NC State

NC State is 4–0 and playing very good football — but the Wolfpack’s best win was over Virginia at home. Tougher tests await down the road. Boston College is eager to return to form after a lopsided loss at Purdue and a closer-than-expected win over Temple at home. NC State 34, Boston College 26

 

Northern Illinois at Ball State     

Ball State is above .500 in the MAC — the Cardinals are 1–0 — for the first time since 2015. Northern Illinois is also 1–0 after beating Eastern Michigan 26–23 in Ypsilanti on Saturday. The 26 points were the most scored by the Huskies this season. Northern Illinois 28, Ball State 17

 

Bowling Green at Toledo

Mike Jinks needs to get things turned around quickly at Bowling Green. Jinks went 6–18 in his first two seasons and is 1–4 in 2018, with the only win by seven points over Eastern Kentucky. Toledo has had some issues on defense so far in 2018, giving up 49, 44 and 49 points in its three games against FBS competition. Toledo 45, Bowling Green 31       

 

Clemson at Wake Forest

It appears that Trevor Lawrence will be back at quarterback for Clemson. That should remove any thought of a Wake Forest upset. Clemson 37, Wake Forest 14

 

Florida State at Miami (Fla.)

News flash: Florida State has won two straight games after rallying to beat Louisville 28–24 on Saturday. News flash No. 2: This is still not a good team. Miami, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Noles last season, should make it two straight in this once-great rivalry. Miami 30, Florida State 17

 

Iowa at Minnesota

Dating back to last October, Minnesota has scored 13 points or fewer in five of its last six Big Ten games. Don’t expect the offense to break out this week. Iowa 21, Minnesota 10

 

Iowa State at Oklahoma State

Iowa State, considered by some to be a potential contender in the Big 12, is off to an 0–2 start in league play. The schedule has been tough — vs. Oklahoma and at TCU — but this is not the start Cyclones fans envisioned in Matt Campbell’s third season. Oklahoma State 34, Iowa State 31

 

Kansas State at Baylor

Kansas State has scored a total of 30 points in three games against Power 5 teams — losses to Mississippi State and Texas at home and at West Virginia. This could be the worst K-State team of Bill Snyder’s second go-round in Manhattan. Baylor 27, Kansas State 15

 

LSU at Florida

These two teams have played in the SEC Championship Game a combined 17 times (12 by Florida, five by LSU) but have yet to meet in Atlanta. And barring a major surprise in both divisions, it won’t be happen this season either. Florida 23, LSU 20

 

Miami (Ohio) at Akron

Akron, which had its opener at Nebraska cancelled due to weather, has played only three games. Miami has already played five games. What does this mean? Not much, but Akron, which has a win at Northwestern on its résumé, appears to be the better team. Akron 30, Miami 20

 

Navy at Air Force

Air Force’s struggles continued last week with a home loss to Nevada, dropping the Falcons to 0–3 against FBS opponents. Troy Calhoun, once a hot commodity in the coaching world, could be in trouble at his alma mater. Navy 34, Air Force 17 

 

Ohio at Kent State

It’s been a rough stretch for new Kent State coach Sean Lewis. After a respectable 31–24 loss at Illinois in the opener followed by a 54–14 win over Howard, the Golden Flashes have lost consecutive games — at Penn State, Ole Miss and Ball State — by a combined score of 153–51. Ohio 44, Kent State 21

 

South Alabama at Georgia Southern       

Georgia Southern took a big step forward in the first full season of the Chad Lunsford era last week, knocking off Sun Belt power Arkansas State 28–21 in Statesboro. Georgia Southern 31, South Alabama 20

 

San Diego State at Boise State

Boise State plays its three toughest Mountain West opponents at home, starting with this visit from San Diego State and including later dates with Fresno State and Utah State. San Diego State is 3–1 but has had some struggles on offense, scoring no more than 28 points in any game this season. Boise State 30, San Diego State 20

 

South Florida at UMass        

South Florida is a perfect 4–0, but it hasn’t been easy. The Bulls rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to beat Georgia Tech in Week 2, rallied from 12 down in the fourth to beat Illinois in Week 3 and then survived a scare from East Carolina the following Saturday, beating the Pirates 20–13 in Tampa. This game shouldn’t be quite so challenging. South Florida 48, UMass 17

 

Arizona State at Colorado

Colorado has impressed with a surprising 4–0 start, but keep in mind that the Buffaloes’ four victims — Colorado State, Nebraska, New Hampshire and UCLA — have defeated a total of one FBS team (Colorado State beat Arkansas). Still, this is a good team that is fun to watch. Colorado 37, Arizona State 27

 

Indiana at Ohio State

Indiana has been solid defensively, allowing no more than 350 yards (or 5.3 yards per play) in any of its five games. The Hoosiers don’t have the firepower on offense to truly make Ohio State sweat, but this could be a sluggish win for a Buckeye team dealing with a hangover from last week’s victory at Penn State. Ohio State 31, Indiana 14

 

ULM at Ole Miss

Ole Miss has averaged 53.7 points in its three non-conference games and 11.5 points in its two SEC games. ULM is not in the SEC. Ole Miss 54, ULM 12

 

New Mexico at UNLV

UNLV dives into Mountain West action after a 2–2 mark in non-conference play. The Rebels will be without quarterback Armani Rogers, who is out with a foot injury. In steps Max Gilliam, who began his career at Cal and then made a stop in junior college. UNLV 28, New Mexico 17

 

Old Dominion at FAU

Old Dominion followed up its shocking win over Virginia Tech with a loss to East Carolina. FAU is desperate for a win after blowing an 18-point lead and losing 25–24 at Middle Tennessee on Saturday night. The Owls have still not scored more than 36 points against an FBS team. FAU 44, Old Dominion 21     

 

Louisiana at Texas State     

Louisiana is 0–2 vs. SEC teams, losing at Mississippi State and Alabama by a combined score of 112–24. Fortunately for the Ragin’ Cajuns, it’s all Sun Belt competition the rest of the way. Neither of these teams has defeated an FBS opponent this season. Louisiana 28, Texas State 20

 

SMU at UCF            

UCF has rushed for at least 200 yards and thrown for at least 250 in every game en route to a dominating 4–0 start. This team has no weakness on offense. SMU has won two straight since an 0–3 start to the Sonny Dykes era. That modest streak will end in Orlando. UCF 48, SMU 24

 

UTSA at Rice

UTSA is in the final stage of quite possibly the easiest three-game stretch — against FBS competition — by any team in several years. The Roadrunners beat Texas State (No. 128 in the latest Athlon Sports rankings) on Oct. 22, UTEP (No. 130) last week and now play at Rice (No. 126). UTSA 33, Rice 23

 

UAB at Louisiana Tech         

It flew under the radar — as most games in Conference USA do — but Louisiana Tech recorded a really nice win last week, knocking off previously undefeated North Texas 29–27 in Denton. That win came on the heels of a solid showing in a 38–21 loss at LSU. The Bulldogs now have to be considered the team to beat in the West Division. Louisiana Tech 37, UAB 30

 

Connecticut at Memphis      

Here’s a fun stat: UConn has allowed 46 plays of 20 yards or more, the most in the nation; Georgia, the leader in the category, has allowed a total of five. Let that sink in. Memphis 48, UConn 21

 

Kentucky at Texas A&M       

Few teams have been as impressive as Kentucky, which has wins — each by at least 11 points — at Florida and over Mississippi State and South Carolina at home. Benny Snell and the offensive line have received much of the praise, but it’s the Kentucky defense that has made the difference. The Wildcats have allowed a total of four touchdowns in three SEC games, a year after allowing 31 in eight league games. This trip to College Station could be UK’s toughest test to date. Texas A&M is 3–2, with the losses by two points to Clemson at home and 22 points at Alabama. Texas A&M 27, Kentucky 20

 

Auburn at Mississippi State 

Both teams were expected to be potent on offense. Both teams are struggling to move the ball against SEC opponents. In conference games only, Mississippi State is last in the league in both yards per game (201.5) and yards per play (3.4). Auburn is two spots higher in yards per game (276.5) and only slight better (11th) in yards per play (4.5). Could we be headed for another 3–2 game? It’s not that bad. Auburn 21, Mississippi State 13

 

Nebraska at Wisconsin

Nebraska’s woes continued last week with a 42–28 loss at home to Purdue.

Dating back to the end of the 2016 season, the Cornhuskers are 4–14 in their last 18 games — astonishing for such a proud program. Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 20

 

North Texas at UTEP

North Texas hit a speed bump last week, dropping a 29–27 decision at home to Louisiana Tech that snapped a season-opening four-game winning streak. The Mean Green should have little trouble getting back on track, but that loss to Tech was a huge blow to their chances of repeating as champs of C-USA West. North Texas 44, UTEP 14

 

Vanderbilt at Georgia

Fun fact about Vanderbilt’s 17–16 win in Athens in 2016: The Commodores were only the third team since 2000 to win a game while having less than 175 yards of offense and giving up more than 400 yards. Georgia 41, Vanderbilt 20

 

Washington at UCLA

UCLA has scored a total of 68 points in four games. Oregon averaged 49.6 points per game in 2013, Chip Kelly’s final season with the Ducks. It’s still very early, but the rebuild is going to be painful. Washington 34, UCLA 13

 

Liberty at New Mexico State

This is the first of two games in 2018 between these two schools, two of the six FBS independents. The Flames host the Aggies in late November. Liberty 38, New Mexico State 21

 

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech

No one expected to see an Ian Book vs. Ryan Willis quarterback battle when we were discussing this game in the offseason. The two backups — Book in for performance reasons, Willis due to an injury to Josh Jackson — are a combined 3–0 as starters, with wins over Wake Forest and Stanford (by Book) and Duke (by Willis). Notre Dame 28, Virginia Tech 20

 

Washington State at Oregon State

Washington State had a net of zero rushing yards (35 yards gained, 35 yards lost) in last week’s win over Utah. This week, the Cougars face an Oregon State team that ranks 128th in the nation in stopping the run, allowing an average of 303.4 rushing yards per game. Will Mike Leach relent and run the ball … or have Gardner Minshew throw the ball 50-plus times as per usual? Washington State 49, Oregon State 17

 

California at Arizona

Cal suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to Oregon 42–24 in Berkeley. The Bears’ defense, which had been so strong, gave up season highs in total yards (485) and yards per play (7.6). Arizona, for all of the issues with Khalil Tate’s lack of rushing production, ranks third in the league in total offense with 481.4 yards per game. Arizona 30, Cal 20

 

Colorado State at San Jose State 

San Jose State flirted with its first win of the season last week but ultimately lost to Hawaii in five overtimes. Colorado State is fresh off of a 35–19 loss at home to Illinois State. Neither team is good at football. Colorado State 27, San Jose State 24

 

Fresno State at Nevada

Nevada, 1–0 in the Mountain West with a win at Air Force, has an opportunity to make a major move over the next two weeks with home games against Fresno State and Boise State. A split would be a huge step forward for Jay Norvell’s program. That, however, will be difficult. Fresno State 31, Nevada 23

 

Utah at Stanford

Utah is a surprising 0–2 in the Pac-12 after last week’s loss at Washington State. The South Division is still wide open, but it will be tough for the Utes to recover from an 0–2 start — and nearly impossible if that becomes 0–3 after this week’s trip to The Farm. Stanford 27, Utah 17     

 

Wyoming at Hawaii

Hawaii has played one more game, but the Rainbow Warriors have scored 16 more touchdowns than the offensively challenged Cowboys from Wyoming. Hawaii 31, Wyoming 17

 

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