Another week is here for some really exciting college football games for our enjoyment. We’ll look at the best games around the country this week as we hit the halfway point, already, in the 2018 season. We had some huge upsets last week, could we see another week of big upsets? Let’s discuss.
Syracuse @ 3 Clemson
BIG NEWS out of Death Valley early this Wednesday morning; senior QB Kelly Bryant announced that he will be transferring, after head coach Dabo Swinney opted to go with true freshman Trevor Lawrence as the starter. Bryant had a 16-2 record with the Tigers so this news was huge. Lawrence’s first start is up against one of the strongest Syracuse (4-0) teams ever. Cuse QB, Eric Dungey is looking electric with almost 800 yds and 9 TDs. A dark horse Heisman pick for sure. Syracuse definitely has a chance because of their powerhouse offense, but they haven’t played a defense quite like #3 Clemson’s (4-0), with only 251 yds allowed so far this season. Lawrence has everything to prove in this game now that he is a starter and I think he’ll do just that.
I’m taking the Tigers over the Orange, 37-17.
12 West Virginia @ 25 Texas Tech
The #12 Mountaineers of West Virginia (3-0) head down to Texas to take on the #25 Red Raiders of Texas Tech (3-1) in a Big 12 conference showdown. Senior QB Will Grier is back and looking electric as ever for WVU, with 1,117 yds and 14 TDs. This is WVU’s first big test against a ranked Power Five conference. Texas Tech has an incredible run game in RB Ta’Zhawn Henry with 231 rushing yds and 6 TDs already. The Red Raiders are truly a formidable opponent for WVU and has a defensive game that has held then #15 Oklahoma State to just 17 points.
I’m giving Texas Tech the upset over West Virginia, 38-20.
Baylor @ 6 Oklahoma
Heisman hopeful Kyler Murray (not starting due to suspension) and #6 Oklahoma (4-0) welcome unranked Baylor (3-1) in what should be a fairly easy game for the Sooners, as a 23.5 pt favorite. Kyler Murray has been playing incredible ball after taking over responsibilities as QB1 after #1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield, without a beat. Murray has thrown 60/88 for 1,028 yds and 11 TDs. Baylor offers no defensive stop to this offense and has little to no chance of stopping the Sooners’ quest for a National Championship, however, most thought the same of Army last week and they just about toppled Oklahoma. Be careful here…
Oklahoma takes out Baylor easily 48-14.
Florida @ 23 Mississippi St
After a tough loss against then unranked Kentucky on the road last week, #23 Mississippi St (3-1) welcomes Florida (3-1), a team who also lost to Kentucky on the road. As I mentioned last week, Mississippi St is a force to be reckoned with, however QB Nick Fitzgerald failed to produce last week going 16/32 with 0 TDs and 1 INT. Granted UK’s defense is stacked and Florida’s is not, but Fitz really has to show out this week to prove he’s dark horse Heisman worthy. Florida has not been playing up to SEC standard since really the departure of HC Will Muschamp so I don’t necessarily see much of a challenge against the Bulldogs.
Mississippi St over Florida, 38-28.
Virginia Tech @ 22 Duke
Duke? A basketball school, ranked in the CFB AP Top 25 poll? What the hell is going on? I’ll tell you, the Blue Devils (4-0) are playing great football so far. They welcome unranked Virginia Tech (2-1) Saturday for a battle in the ACC. This will be Duke’s first in-conference game this season and their first true test. Duke’s game isn’t in its offensive skilled players, but in its ELITE offensive line and defense. Duke has held opponents to just 333.3 total yds and that says a lot. Duke has not played an offense as tough as VT’s however.
I think this will be a fairly close game, going with Duke over VT, 27-24.
7 Stanford @ 8 Notre Dame
One of the best games of the week, #7 Stanford (4-0) heads to South Bend to take on #8 Notre Dame (4-0). A lot of talk on this game is on Stanford after last week’s overtime win over Oregon, such as should this team be as high as it is in the Top 25. KJ Costello, Stanford QB, is playing great football throwing for 1,056 yds and 10 TDs so definitely a player to watch this week. Tony Jones Jr is ND’s big guy this year in this rush game. Jones has 263 yds for 3 TDs and is just getting started. This will be a game won in the trenches and will be a blow for blow battle in the first game since 2005 where two Top 10 teams will play in Notre Dame Stadium.
I’m taking Notre Dame over Stanford in a barnburner, 33-27.
4 Ohio State @ 9 Penn State
The Game of the Week is upon us, the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) head west to Happy Valley to take on conference rival #9 Penn State (4-0) in one of the most electric atmospheres in CFB, Penn State’s whiteout game. This is the decision on who will win the Big Ten East and play for the Big Ten Championship game against (probably) Wisconsin. The biggest test for the Buckeyes as well as the Nittany Lions. After OSU’s win over TCU, it was clear this Buckeye team was something special. HC Urban Meyer announced earlier this week all-star DE Nick Bosa, would miss a few more weeks after abdominal surgery, which will be a factor in stopping the QB-RB combo of Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders, respectively. Sanders has filled the shoes of Saquan Barkley quite well, with 495 yds and 5 TDs. This is OSU QB Dwayne Haskins defining moment in Saturday night’s game. He has a lot to prove against a team as tough as Penn State, which will need a incredible rush on him if they intend to do so.
Unbiased, but kind of biased pick: Ohio State 43, Penn State 31.
Unfortunately, I finished this late as it’s Saturday at 11:30 so these are all the games I have time to talk about for this week. Other games to watch: 20 BYU @ 11 Washington, 19 Oregon @ 24 Cal, & Ole Miss @ 5 LSU. Sorry for the lack of picks, but I was caught up in the college life this week. Hit me up on Twitter @saintnik56 and I’ll be back Sunday for this week’s CFB Winners & Losers.