Week six is upon us and I am finally done attending fall weddings so I can watch all of these incredible games with everyone (you are all welcome to blame my sister for last week). Week six brings us a few intriguing matchups and multiple games we did not think would be important. This week features multiple games from the Pac-12 as the conference begins to figure out who the true players are. The SEC was expected to have a strong slate but a few upsets have changed the perception for this weekend. The weekend will still be full of action which is a win for college football fans.
5 – Washington State vs #6 USC (7:30 EST FOX) Spread USC -13.0: Washington State bounced back from their first loss of the season to defeat Cal 28-9 last week. The Cougars continue to be one of the most surprising teams in the country even if their offense struggles to score points. The Cougars scoring offense ranks 73rd averaging just 29.6 points per game. Cameron Ward was one of the best players in FCS last season before transferring to Washington State. Ward has struggled in his transition throwing seven interceptions through the first five games. He has done a good job of spreading the ball around to different receivers as five different players have at least 12 catches and over 100 receiving yards on the season. The defense is going to be the biggest key for Washington State because they need to slow down the USC offense. Daiyan Henley continues to be a force on defense registering 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks on the season. USC’s Caleb Williams is likely to be a Heisman finalist when the season is completed. Williams has thrown for over 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has added an additional 144 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. USC’s defense has done a fantastic job at pressuring opposing quarterbacks this season. The Trojan’s defense currently has 19 sacks from 11 different players. The pressure has helped force 12 interceptions, three of which have been returned for touchdowns. Washington State will have their hands full Saturday with USC likely being too much for the Cougars.
4 – #14 NC State vs Florida State (8:00 EST ACC Network) Spread NC State -3.0: NC State was expected to contend for a College Football Playoff spot before the season began. The Wolfpack have struggled on offense where many expected to be their strong suit. NC State is 57th in scoring offense with 32.8 points per game. Devin Leary’s completion percentage has dropped almost three full points from last year to this year. NC State’s defense is going to be the focal point moving forward this season. The Wolfpack defense has already intercepted seven passes this season. Jordan Travis for Florida State has only thrown one interception and has avoided any major miscues this season. The rushing attack for Florida State had been one of their strengths until Wake Forest held them to only 112 rushing yards. Treshaun Ward has rushed for 437 yards and three touchdowns this season. NC State and Florida State both need a win in order to stay competitive in the race for the ACC championship.
3 – #8 Tennessee vs #25 LSU (12:00 EST ESPN) Spread Tennessee -3.0: Tennessee is making their first trip to Death Valley since 2010 this weekend. The 4-0 Volunteers will face the 4-1 Tigers. Tennessee currently boasts the best offense in the country averaging 559 yards per game. Hendon Hooker is playing like a Heisman finalist throwing for 1193 yards and eight touchdowns. Hooker has also added an additional three rushing touchdowns to his stats. Cedric Tillman, Bru McCoy and Jalin Hyatt have become his main targets with each player recording at least 13 receptions and 200 yards on the season. Tennessee’s defense only had one player with more than one sack. The Volunteers may not need the pass rush this weekend but they will as the season gets tougher. LSU is a team many college football fans wrote off after their loss to Florida State in week one. Brian Kelly has his squad on the rebound and a win against Tennessee would vault them up the rankings. Jayden Daniels has been the main rushing and passing threat for the Tigers. Daniels has rushed for 321 yards and three touchdowns to go along with his 915 passing yards and six touchdowns. LSU has forced 10 turnovers already this season and they will need to force a few against Tennessee to have a chance. If the Tigers can force Hooker to make mistakes and give the ball away, they will have a chance on Saturday.
2 – #11 Utah vs #18 UCLA (3:30 EST Fox) Spread Utah -3.5: Utah stumbled in their first game of the season against Florida but the Utes have bounced back to a 4-1 record. The Utes have been led by quarterback Cameron Rising. Rising has thrown for 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions through the first five games. Utah’s defense has been one of the best in the country. The Utes only allow 278 yards per game which ranks 13th in the country. Clark Phillips has been one of the best defensive players in the country this season. Phillips has registered four interceptions this season with three coming last week against Oregon State. UCLA has been one of the most surprising teams of the season. The Bruins are currently 5-0 which is their best start since 2013. UCLA’s offense is averaging over 506 yards per game which ranks eighth in the country. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been one of the main reasons for the resurgence of UCLA. He has been efficient with the ball throwing 11 touchdowns and only one interception. Jake Bobo is a big play threat averaging over 17 yards per catch this season and leading the team with three receiving touchdowns. Utah’s pass defense will be the biggest key in this game.
1 – #17 TCU vs #19 Kansas (12:00 EST FS1) Spread TCU -6.5: If I said Kansas would be part of this list, let alone hold the top spot before the season began, how many people would have called me crazy? The Kansas Jayhawks are a legit team and we might need to start considering them as contenders for the Big 12. Saturday is another test for the Jayhawks and a win would place them in serious contention for a conference championship. Jalon Daniels has thrown for 11 touchdowns and rushed for an additional five. Lonnie Phelps has been a star on the defensive side of the ball for the Jayhawks. He has recorded 7.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks already this season. Kansas needs to be ready for a fight because TCU is not going to be a push over. TCU is third in the country in scoring offense averaging 48.5 points per game. Max Duggan has been one of the primary reasons for the offense’s success. Duggan has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. TCU’s rushing attack is averaging over 7.0 yards per carry while their rush defense is only allowing 3.4 yards per carry. TCU’s defense has struggled to create turnovers which is an area to watch in this game. Whichever team creates the most turnovers will likely put themselves in a spot to win but this game will most likely be a shootout. Look for the team with the last possession to be the winner.
Honorable Mention: Arkansas vs #23 Mississippi State, Texas vs Oklahoma, Texas Tech vs #7 Oklahoma State, ECU vs Tulane, North Carolina vs Miami FL, South Carolina vs #13 Kentucky, #16 BYU vs Notre Dame, Iowa vs Illinois, Texas A&M vs #1 Alabama