It’s crazy when you realize that the college football season is halfway over. We are heading into week seven with some premier matchups and teams that may also have their season on life support. October is when we start weeding out the pretenders and begin finding out who the real contenders are. As always, let’s recap last weekend’s bold predictions.
Tez Walker finishes with over 150 receiving yards – Tez Walker had a good day, finishing with just 43 yards, but he managed to haul in six receptions and will continue to be a focal part of the offense moving forward.
Missouri defeats LSU by double digits – Well, Missouri lost. They played well but ultimately fell short.
Texas A&M registers at least 8 sacks against Alabama – We got close on this one. A&M finished with six sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Ohio State holds Maryland to less than 200 total yards – Maryland’s offense totaled 302 yards, but a 60-yard drive to close the first half and a 70-yard drive to begin the second half hindered their potential.
Arizona State defeats Colorado – I was off by a week. Arizona State put up a great fight, culminating in a last-second field goal by Colorado. They couldn’t seal the deal like Stanford.
Now that we’ve discussed all of our losses, let’s move on to this weekend’s potential wins. We have some significant matchups ahead, and while we’re being cautious about our upset picks due to recent disappointments, we might still have one in store at the end.
Mitchell Evans torches USC for over 150 receiving yards – Mitchell Evans has quietly emerged as one of the best tight ends in the country. He’s a favorite target of Sam Hartman, with 22 receptions in five games. In his last three games, he has recorded over 71 yards in each appearance. Notre Dame has a history of producing outstanding tight ends, with Michael Mayer being a high pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Notre Dame knows how to utilize their tight ends to create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. USC hasn’t faced a tight end of Evans’ caliber this year. Additionally, USC’s pass defense has been a liability, which is where Notre Dame will seek to exploit them. Expect the Fighting Irish to target Evans early and often, as he has been a reliable offensive option. Given USC’s prowess in rushing the quarterback, quick passes to the tight end should be in play, and Evans is poised for a big day, potentially surpassing 150 yards.
Bo Nix and Michael Penix combine to throw for over 900 yards – All week, I’ve been touting this game as a potential season highlight. It features two veteran quarterbacks with ample experience. Washington won the match in Eugene last year with a score of 37-34, as Penix and Nix combined for nearly 700 passing yards. I expect them to elevate their game this year. Both offenses are stacked with an array of weapons on every play. Washington’s Rome Odunze, Ja’lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan have already accumulated 1,387 receiving yards in just five games this season. Oregon relies heavily on Troy Franklin, with Gary Bryant and Tez Johnson also making significant contributions. Oregon’s secondary will challenge Washington, allowing only 153 passing yards per game, while Washington’s defense gives up more than 240 passing yards per game. Anticipate the Huskies consistently challenging the Oregon secondary and taking shots down the field. This game has all the makings of a shootout.
Iowa and Wisconsin score a combined three touchdowns or less – The over/under for this game is set at 35, so this prediction might not be as bold as it seems. This game also may determine the winner of the Big Ten West. Iowa has a struggling offense but boasts a strong overall defense, while Wisconsin has an average offense and an above-average defense. Iowa has had difficulty moving the ball against tough defenses, as seen when they were shut out by Penn State. They’ll now rely on Deacon Hill, following Cade McNamara’s announcement of an extended absence. Hill’s recent performance, going 6 of 21 for 110 yards against Purdue, raises concerns. Wisconsin has consistently scored at least 22 points in every game but hasn’t faced a defense as formidable as Iowa’s. Despite changes, the Badgers heavily rely on their ground game, led by Braelon Allen, who’s rushed for 472 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The game being on the road for Wisconsin may present challenges, but Iowa’s vulnerability to the run gives Wisconsin opportunities to move the chains and control the clock. Expect a low-scoring contest in Iowa City today.
Arkansas takes Alabama to the wire – Arkansas has been adept at keeping games close this season, with three of their four losses decided by a touchdown or less (excluding the 12-point loss to Texas A&M). Alabama has shown vulnerability and allowed teams to stay in games longer than usual, with only blowouts against Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State. USC, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M all remained competitive against Alabama until the Crimson Tide pulled out the victory. The key to staying close has been limiting the rushing attack and forcing Alabama to rely on their passing game. Arkansas has a strong defense with five players recording double-digit sacks and nine with double-digit tackles for loss. While KJ Jefferson can move the ball effectively, Arkansas can’t afford a shootout to win; their defense will need to step up. Although the spread is 19 points, indicating a potential blowout, I believe Arkansas can keep this game competitive and take it into the fourth quarter.
Miami kneels the ball to win the game – Isn’t it a wild concept that if you kneel the ball with less than 40 seconds left and the opponent has no timeouts, you win the game? Imagine if Mario Cristobal knew that last week; Miami would be undefeated. Miami needs this win to stay alive in the ACC race. They have the skill players and talent on both sides of the ball to secure a victory. North Carolina has looked vulnerable at times, with Drake Maye not performing at his 2022 level until a recent breakout game against Syracuse. The key in this game is Miami’s defense, which forced two interceptions against Conner Weigman and Texas A&M earlier this year. They must pressure Maye to create mistakes and take the ball back in critical situations. Te’cory Couch, with three interceptions this season, including one against Weigman, could play a crucial role. Look for Miami’s defense to step up and secure the win. Cristobal remembers his mistake and kneels on the last play of the game.
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