I unknowingly made six predictions last week. It was Halloween so we decided to get spooky. As is tradition, let’s start with recapping our picks from last week.
Georgia throttles Florida, wins by 30 – Georgia won by 23. This games was never close. The Bulldogs controlled this game out of the gate.
Kansas Takes Oklahoma to overtime – You don’t need overtime when you win the game in regulation. I thought Kansas would keep the game close but did not think they would be winning when the clock struck zero.
Joe Milton has his best game of the season against Kentucky – Milton had a good game. He finished 18/21 for 228 yards and a touchdown. Not his best game of the season but certainly not a bad performance from the Tennessee starting quarterback.
Carson Steele runs for 200 yards on Colorado – Steele actually had one of his worst games of the season. he finished with 75 rushing yards and he fumbled twice. Steele did find the endzone with a receiving touchdown.
Maalik Murphy throws three interceptions against BYU – Murphy threw just one interception. I thought BYU would challenge him in his first start but Murphy played well.
Ohio State holds Wisconsin’s Braedyn Locke to less than 125 yards passing – Locke finished with 164 yards passing. Ohio State’s defense did a good job limiting Wisconsin but not enough to keep Wisconsin under 125 passing yards.
Unfortunately I do not get to watch as much college football. I will be on a trip to the Caribbean so maybe it’s worth missing some football games? Send prayers and hope I have good WIFI on the plane. I actually made five bold predictions this weekend and a few could be labeled as very bold.
The Big 12 gets eliminated from the College Football Playoff – Texas and Oklahoma both face tough matchups this weekend. If the Sooners and Longhorns both suffer losses, neither program will have a chance to make the College Football Playoff with two defeats. Currently, there are still too many undefeated teams and numerous contenders with just one loss. While there’s a remote chance they could work their way back into the discussion, it would require a lot of help. Oklahoma will travel to Oklahoma State for the final installment of the Bedlam Series. Ollie Gordon, perhaps the best running back you’ve never heard of, has been on a tear in recent weeks, rushing for over 800 yards in the last four games. He’s in excellent form, making it hard to bet against him. Oklahoma State is also playing their best football of the season and faces their biggest game of the year. Speaking of teams in top form, Kansas State will take on Texas after winning their last two games by a combined score of 82-3. DJ Giddens has played a significant role in the Kansas State offense, accumulating 962 yards from scrimmage and scoring eight touchdowns. Texas will once again start Maalik Murphy, who has proven to be a serviceable starter. I still have my doubts about his ability to lead Texas to a Big 12 championship, as Ewers might provide a better opportunity. The Big 12 will effectively be eliminated from College Football Playoff contention if both contenders suffer a second loss.
Jayden Daniels registers five total touchdowns – I have determined that for LSU to win this game, Daniels will need to play one of the best games of his career. He has had three five-touchdown games in his 51-game career, and he’s poised to add another to his total in his 52nd career game against Alabama. Daniels is currently playing the best football of his collegiate career in his final season. Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. are proving to be one of the best wide receiver duos in the country and will test the Alabama secondary on Saturday night. Daniels’ legs are what make him so dangerous. He is the second-leading rusher on the LSU team with 521 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and registering five rushing touchdowns this season. An explosive performance from Daniels should give LSU a chance to beat Nick Saban’s squad.
USC and Washington combine for more than 100 total points – We all love to talk about how bad USC’s defense has been this season. Alex Grinch is almost certainly on the chopping block this offseason. If he manages to keep his job, he must have some serious leverage on Lincoln Riley at this point. USC ranks 113th in scoring defense and 114th in total defense. Anyone who has watched Washington this season knows they should have a field day against the Trojans. Washington’s offense is led by Heisman hopeful Michael Penix, who has a plethora of weapons at the wide receiver position. The Huskies boast one of the best offenses in the country and are likely to put up impressive numbers against the USC defense.
Now, what if I told you I expect USC to have similar success against Washington’s defense? Washington ranks 98th in total defense, allowing 400 yards per game. The Huskies do a good job preventing teams from scoring, allowing just 20 points per game. Washington’s pass defense will be the focus on Saturday as they rank 118th in pass defense and will now face the reigning Heisman trophy winner, Caleb Williams. While Williams hasn’t played up to Heisman caliber, he remains one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Expect Penix and Williams to face off in a high-scoring matchup, with both teams combining to score more than 100 points on Saturday.
Georgia holds Luther Burden to less than 50 yards – Luther Burden has been held to less than 90 yards just once this season, managing only 14 yards when playing against Kentucky earlier in the year. Burden is one of the best receivers in the country, living up to his five-star hype from high school. Now, he faces one of the best defenses in the nation. Georgia has yet to allow a 100-yard receiver this season, with Ricky Pearsall coming close at 99 receiving yards in one game. The Bulldogs’ defense ranks 14th against the pass, allowing less than 180 yards per game. Expect the Georgia defense to focus on Burden, knowing he’s the player most likely to cause them problems. Double coverage and bracketing will likely force Brady Cook to rely on other players to make plays rather than forcing the ball to Burden. Theo Wease and Mookie Cooper will need to step up if Georgia aims to limit Burden.
Clemson wins by two scores over Notre Dame – The prediction I have the least confidence in this weekend is Notre Dame’s performance. They lost Mitchell Evans for the season, which has lowered my confidence in their offense. Although the Irish played well against Pitt last week, it’s important to note that Pitt has a 2-6 record. Dabo Swinney is fired up after a recent comment from Tyler in Spartansburg questioning his salary, especially with a 4-4 record. Expect Clemson to come out motivated on Saturday night.
Clemson tends to perform at its best when their backs are against the wall and when people doubt the program. Dabo Swinney hasn’t lost five games in a season since 2009, and that fifth loss that season came in the ACC championship game. While this Clemson team might not make it to the ACC Championship, they can still salvage something from the season.
Clemson’s offense has been plagued by bad luck, with turnovers occurring inside the 10-yard line. Consistency has been their biggest issue. Fortunately, the defense has managed to keep them in the game, allowing less than 270 yards of total offense per game. Look for Dabo and his team to approach this game with a different swagger and potentially dominate the Fighting Irish at home.
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