Top 25 Games to Watch: Week 7

Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, LSU, and Michigan are all bowl eligible, at 6-0. 16 teams have 5 wins and, with a win this week, can become bowl eligible.  I’ll preview matchups involving Top 25 teams and try to offer some insight regarding the games to watch. All hype scores are out of 10.

#4 Wisconsin (5-0) (1-0 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (1-5) (0-2 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 12:00 PM EST on ESPN2/ESPN3.

Series: Wisconsin leads 37-18-2.

Wisconsin: Offense 9th (Rushing 9th; Passing 41st); Defense 7th (Rushing 22nd; Passing 6th).

Indiana: Offense 82nd (Rushing 92nd; Passing 30th); Defense 97th (Rushing 109th; Passing 48th).

After a three point win over Indiana in 2009, Wisconsin blew the doors off the Hoosiers, winning 83-20 last year. The score may not be as lopsided as last year, but the stats indicate a similar result, this year. Indiana will need more consistent production from the QB position, having used Edward Wright-Baker (925 passing yards, 62% completion, 4 TD, but 2 INT), Dusty Kiel (427 passing yards, 47.6% completion, 3 TD, but 1 INT), and Tre Roberson (148 passing yards, 64.7% completion, 1 total TD, but 1 INT) all this year. QB transfer Russell Wilson (1391 passing yards and 13 passing TD; 140 rushing yards and 2 TD) has played pitch-and-catch with WR Nick Toon (447 receiving yards, 17.9/catch, and 6 TD) and TE Jacob Pedersen (224 yards 16.0/catch, and 4 TD). RB Montee Ball (511 yards 5.5/carry and 14 total TD) and James C. White (329 rushing yards, 5.59/carry, and 3 TD) have led the running attack. Expect Indiana to use their strength passing, early and often; this one should get out of hand early, with Wisconsin dominating the run game, and the line of scrimmage.

Game hype grade: 1.

#11 Michigan (6-0) (2-0 Big Ten) @ #23 Michigan State (4-1) (1-0 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 12:00 PM EST on ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Michigan leads 67-31-5.

Michigan: Offense 14th (Rushing 7th; Passing 73rd); Defense 39th (Rushing 58th; Passing 39th).

Michigan State: Offense 61st (Rushing 79th; Passing 50th); Defense 1st (Rushing 3rd; Passing 2nd).

The 59th edition of the battle for Paul Bunyan’s trophy will take place in East Lansing, with Michigan State holding a three game winning streak; Michigan hasn’t lost four in a row in the series since 1959-1962. Statistically, the Spartan defense has been impressive, improving already gaudy numbers in the past three weeks. The problem? Florida Atlantic’s offense ranks 118th, Central Michigan’s ranks 88th, Ohio’s ranks 105th, and Youngstown is an FCS team. The only good offense they faced, Notre Dame, 21st, was a game Michigan State lost. The teams Michigan State has beaten are a combined 7-15. The offensive line needs to improve for QB Kirk Cousins (1197 passing yards, 67.8% completion, 6 TD, but 4 INT) and RB Le’Veon Bell (267 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 6 TD). The defense could certainly use some help from Denard Robinson (1850 total yards, 57.3% completion, 18 total TD, but 9 INT), who is now averaging an interception per game. This year, the Wolverines have given up an average of 12.5 points (9th in all of NCAA); the Wolverines have also recovered 10 fumbles (1st in all of NCAA). This should be a good one; we’ll finally have a chance to evaluate the Michigan State defense and pass offense.

Game hype grade: 8.

#20 Baylor (4-1) (1-1 Big 12) @ #21 Texas A&M (3-2) (1-1 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 12:00 PM EST on FX.

Series: Texas A&M leads 67-31-9.

Baylor: Offense 3rd (Rushing 10th; Passing 19th); Defense 60th (Rushing 83rd; Passing 35th).

Texas A&M: Offense 12th (Rushing 17th; Passing 48th); Defense 99th (Rushing 7th; Passing 120th).

Coach Mike Sherman lost to Baylor in his first season in College Station, 2008. Since that loss, Sherman is 16-14 overall and 10-9 in the Big 12, but that isn’t good enough for the 12th Man, as there have been rumblings about Sherman being fired at the end of the season. If Sherman expects to keep his job, the defense is going to need to improve (99th – 424.40 yards/game), specifically the pass defense (120th – 347.60 yards/game), but how much of that can be attributed to facing three of the top passing offenses in the past three weeks, with Oklahoma State (2nd in NCAA – 431.2 yards/game), Arkansas (9th in NCAA – 336.8 yards/game), and Texas Tech (6th in NCAA – 354.6 yards/game). Robert Griffin III (1502 passing yards, 280 rushing yards, 80.28% completion, and 21 total TD) has led the Baylor offense, with RB Terrence Ganaway (536 rushing yards, 6.1/carry, and 6 rushing TD) and WR Kendall Wright (690 receiving yards, 14.4/catch, and 8 receiving TD). This should be a good one, featuring two high-powered offenses matching up against weak defenses.

Game hype grade: 6.

#15 South Carolina (5-1) (3-1 SEC) @ Mississippi State (3-3) (0-3 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 12:21 PM EST on SEC Network/ESPN3.

Series: South Carolina leads 7-6.

South Carolina: Offense 47th (Rushing 23rd; Passing 68th); Defense 9th (Rushing 60th; Passing 3rd).

Mississippi State: Offense 67th (Rushing 36th; Passing 72nd); Defense 41st (Rushing 71st; Passing 20th).

Stephen Garcia (844 passing yards, 51.7% completion, and 4 passing TD, but 9 INT) was replaced by Connor Shaw (340 passing yards, 66.7% completion, and 4 passing TD) last week; now he is no longer with the program. Shaw can expect RB Marcus Lattimore (779 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 9 rushing TD) and WR Alshon Jeffrey (427 receiving yards, 17.1/catch, and 4 receiving TD) to help him out. Shaw should be able to relax this week, as the keys to the Gamecock offense are officially handed over to him. South Carolina has had success against the Bulldogs lately, with Mississippi State last winning in 1999. One bright spot for the Bulldogs has been the defense, which has 9 interceptions (tied for 8th in all NCAA). The run offense has been good, too, led by RB Vick Ballard (531 rushing yards, 6.2/carry, and 5 rushing TD). Mississippi State is 3-6 at Davis-Wade Stadium in SEC play under Coach Dan Mullen (average win by 11 points/game, average loss by 10.8 points/game [7.7 points/game since 2010]). If the Bulldogs can curb Lattimore’s production, this could be close.

Game hype grade: 5.

#1 LSU (6-0) (3-0 SEC) @ Tennessee (3-2) (0-2 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 3:30 PM EST on CBS.

Series: Tennessee leads 20-8-3.

LSU: Offense 84th (Rushing 38th; Passing 88th); Defense 5th (Rushing 4th; Passing 17th).

Tennessee: Offense 51st (Rushing 114th; Passing 16th); Defense 32nd (Rushing 55th; Passing 33rd).

Despite Tennessee’s dominance in this series, they have not won since 2005, and haven’t beaten LSU at Neyland Stadium since 2001. CB Tyrann Mathieu, the Honey Badger, has led the Tigers defensively, (2 FUM REC, 2 INTs, 2 TDs), as has CB Morris Claiborne (2 INTs, 365 KR yards, 30.4/return, and 1 KR TD). Offensively, LSU has been led by RBs Spencer Ware (432 rushing yards, 4.1/carry, and 5 rushing TD) and Michael Ford (324 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 6 rushing TD). Tennessee is reeling, with losses and injuries, as WR Justin Hunter (314 receiving yards, 18.5/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) is out for the year, QB Tyler Bray (1579 passing yards, 65.9% completion, and 14 passing TDs) is out for Saturday, and RB Tauren Poole (325 rushing yards, 4.2/carry, and 1 rushing TD) will likely miss the game. With a different QB under center, the Vols will need to rely on WR Da’Rick Rogers (513 receiving yards, 16.0/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). Because LSU’s offense leaves a lot to be desired, Tennessee should keep the game reasonably close, despite the injuries, into the third quarter.

Game hype grade: 3.

#6 Oklahoma State (5-0) (2-0 Big 12) @ #22 Texas (4-1) (1-1 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 3:30 PM EST on ABC/ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Texas leads 22-3.

Oklahoma State: Offense 2nd (Rushing 64th; Passing 4th); Defense 103rd (Rushing 75th; Passing 103rd).

Texas: Offense 69th (Rushing 45th; Passing 91st); Defense 24th (Rushing 27th; Passing 55th).

Last year, Oklahoma State snapped a 12 game losing streak in the series; the Cowboys last win, before last year, was 1997. Texas looks to improve on their 2-6 mark in Big 12 play from last year. They’ll certainly have quite the test, as they face one of the nation’s most prolific offenses. Texas has yet to decide on a QB, using both Case McCoy (451 passing yards, 66.0% completion, and 2 passing TD) and David Ash (320 passing yards, 61.5% completion, and 3 passing TD, but 2 INT), but has been buoyed by the run game, led by Malcolm Brown (381 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 1 rushing TD) and Foswhitt Whittaker (184 rushing yards, 5.4/carry, and 4 rushing TDs). QB Brandon Weeden (1880 passing yards, 75.8% completion, and 15 passing TDs) and WR Justin Blackmon (534 receiving yards, 11.6/catch, and 6 receiving TD) have combined for 6 TDs this season, including 2 against Kansas last week. Expect Texas pride, and a home field advantage to keep this one fairly close; and expect the Texas QB play to step it up, or a half empty stadium by the end of the third quarter, if the QB play doesn’t improve.

Game hype grade: 5.

#12 Georgia Tech (6-0) (3-0 ACC) @ Virginia (3-2) (0-1 ACC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 3:30 PM EST on ESPNU.

Series: Tied 16-16-1.

Georgia Tech: Offense 4th (Rushing 4th; Passing 81st); Defense 31st (Rushing 73rd; Passing 15th).

Virginia: Offense 39th (Rushing 41st; Passing 56th); Defense 23rd (Rushing 35th; Passing 25th).

Coach Paul Johnson’s best start at Georgia Tech was 5-1 (2008 and 2009). Coming into the season, Georgia Tech was picked 4th in their division, now, with a win over North Carolina, Virginia Tech at home, and a Miami team looking for an identity on the road, the Yellow Jackets might be the favorite to win the Coastal. The Yellow Jackets visit fellow divisional member Virginia in what is their first road test of the year. The Cavaliers will need more consistency from QB Michael Rocco (1032 passing yards, 63.1% completion, 2 passing TD, but 7 INT) and QB David Watford (240 passing yards, 50% completion, 2 passing TD, but 1 INT). Expect the Cavs to run the ball, and to have success against the Ramblin’ Wreck’s run defense, led by RB Perry Jones (365 rushing yards, 4.6/carry, and 2 rushing TD) and freshman RB Kevin Parks (282 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 6 rushing TDs). QB Tevin Washington (1361 total yards, 50.7% completion, and 16 total TDs), RB Orwin Smith (464 rushing yards, 14.5/carry, and 9 total TDs), RB David Sims (432 rushing yards, 6.5/carry, and 3 rushing TDs), and WR Stephen Hill (552 receiving yards, 32.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) have led the Jacket offense. Expect Virginia to provide the stiffest resistance to Georgia Tech’s run game to date, and expect Virginia to have success running the ball against the Georgia Tech run defense. This should be a good one.

Game hype grade: 6.

#16 Illinois (6-0) (2-0 Big Ten) vs. Ohio State (3-3) (0-2 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 3:30 PM EST on ABC/ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Ohio State leads 63-30-4.

Illinois: Offense 33rd (Rushing 13th; Passing 53rd); Defense 15th (Rushing 9th; Passing 56th).

Ohio State: Offense 105th (Rushing 48th; Passing 107th); Defense 22nd (Rushing 36th; Passing 21st).

This marks the 85th meeting for the Illibuck; the second oldest rivalry trophy among Big Ten teams. The Illini have won 3 of the last 9 meetings, despite significantly inferior teams, but haven’t won in Champaign over the Bucks since 1991. The Illini haven’t been favored in this game since 2001, and look to assert their dominance, led by QB Nathan Scheelhaase (1238 passing yards, 66.7% completion, and 14 total TD), WR AJ Jenkins (815 receiving yards, 17.7/catch, and 7 receiving TDs), RBs Troy Pollard (361 rushing yards, 9.8/carry, and 1 rushing TD), Donovonn Young (314 rushing yards, 6.7/carry, and 4 rushing TD), and Jason Ford (279 rushing yards, 3.3/carry, and 5 rushing TD). The Buckeyes managed to blow a 21-point lead with a quarter and a half left, losing in Lincoln. They will need RB Carlos Hyde (400 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 5 rushing TD) to have a good day in order to upset the Illini. The run offenses against the run defenses are a key matchup, as both teams prefer to run the ball. Expect this one to be close.

Game hype grade: 7.

#2 Alabama (6-0) (3-0 SEC) @ Ole Miss (2-3) (0-2 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 PM EST on ESPN2/ESPN3.

Series: Alabama leads 48-8-2.

Alabama: Offense 41st (Rushing 19th; Passing 58th); Defense 3rd (Rushing 1st; Passing 4th).

Ole Miss: Offense 114th (Rushing 99th; Passing 108th); Defense 86th (Rushing 95th; Passing 53rd).

Tide fans will tell you Alabama owns Mississippi. Judging based on how this series has gone its hard to argue with that. The last time the Rebels knocked off Alabama, Eli Manning was QB. Eli isn’t coming through the door anytime soon, so don’t expect the streak to end. RBs Trent Richardson (729 rushing yards, 6.3/carry, and 10 total TDs) and Eddie Lacy (397 rushing yards, 8.6/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) have led the Alabama ground game. It appears that Coach Nutt has settled on Randall Mackey (320 passing yards, 46.7% completion, and 2 passing TDs), who led the Rebels to their first FBS win this year, at Fresno State. To ease the quarterback transition, Ole Miss will need better play from their RBs, Jeff Scott (350 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Brandon Bolden (105 rushing yards, 4.6/carry, and 2 rushing TDs). Alabama played Vanderbilt last week, who has been surprisingly decent. Ole Miss is certainly no Alabama, and couldn’t beat Vanderbilt. You do the math.

Game hype grade: 3.

 

#5 Boise State (5-0) @ Colorado State (3-2) (1-0 MWC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 PM EST.

Series: First meeting.

Boise State: Offense 30th (Rushing 59th; Passing 31st); Defense 12th (Rushing 38th; Passing 9th).

Colorado State: Offense 95th (Rushing 91st; Passing 87th); Defense 33rd (Rushing 81st; Passing 12th).

The Broncos will take on Colorado State for their first ever meeting, and the first Mountain West game for Boise State. Boise State has never played in the state of Colorado. Boise State has been gradually getting suspended players back, last week WR Geraldo Boldewijn (33 receiving yards, 11.0/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) was declared eligible, giving QB Kellen Moore (1391 passing yards, 74.0% completion, and 17 passing TDs) another target, in addition to WRs Matt Miller (284 receiving yards, 11.4/catch, and 3 receiving yards) and Tyler Shoemaker (221 receiving yards, 14.7/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). The Rams are led by QB Pete Thomas (1089 passing yards, 67.1% completion, and 6 passing TDs), and WRs Lou Greenwood (257 receiving yards, 17.1/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) and Crockett Gillmore (222 receiving yards, 10.6/catch, and 3 receiving TDs). Colorado State last defeated a ranked team in 2000; don’t expect it to happen this week, as Boise State should dominate early and often.

Game hype grade: 1.

#19 Virginia Tech (5-1) (1-1 ACC) @ Wake Forest (4-1) (3-0 ACC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 6:30 PM EST on ESPN3.

Series: Virginia Tech leads 23-11-1.

Virginia Tech: Offense 54th (Rushing 33rd; Passing 55th); Defense 13th (Rushing 13th; Passing 41st).

Wake Forest: Offense 48th (Rushing 102nd; Passing 27th); Defense 26th (Rushing 21st; Passing 64th).

The Hokies look to extend their streak in this series to five straight, as these teams are only playing for the fourth time as members of the ACC. Both teams have been surprised, as Wake Forest has been better than expected, but Virginia Tech has been disappointing, including a home loss to Clemson. Virginia Tech will need better play from QB Logan Thomas (1196 passing yards, 62.4% completion, and 7 passing TDs, but 5 INTs); RBs David Wilson (767 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Josh Oglesby (179 rushing yards, 4.1/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) have led the Hokie offense. The Deacons are looking to replicate the success they had in 2006, led by QB Tanner Price (1352 passing yards, 62.3% completion, and 10 passing TDs), WR Chris Givens (599 receiving yards, 18.2/catch, and 5 receiving TDs), and RB Josh Harris (412 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 2 TD). Expect Wake Forest to use the passing game to their advantage against Virginia Tech. This one should be close, and good.

Game hype grade: 6.

#8 Clemson (6-0) (3-0 ACC) @ Maryland (2-3) (1-1 ACC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 PM EST on ESPNU.

Series: Clemson leads 31-26-2.

Clemson: Offense 19th (Rushing 43rd; Passing 8th); Defense 48th (Rushing 72nd; Passing 26th).

Maryland: Offense 78th (Rushing 51st; Passing 97th); Defense 84th (Rushing 98th; Passing 44th).

The last time Clemson started 6-0, the year was 2000, starting 8-0 until a loss to Georgia Tech. Clemson might have a chance at starting 8-0, and moving to 9-0 with a win at Georgia Tech, but they will have to first get by a Maryland team who is hungry for a win. The Terps started the year with a win over Miami, but have gone 1-3 since that time. Maryland hopes they can get a win behind the arm of QB Danny O’Brien (930 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 4 passing TDs, but 6 INTs), with help from WR Kevin Dorsey (352 receiving yards, 12.6/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) and RB David Meggett (413 rushing yards, 5.0/carry, and 2 rushing TDs). Clemson has been led by the combination of QB Tajh Boyd (1742 passing yards, 61.3% completion, and 15 passing TDs) and freshman phenom WR Sammy Watkins (623 receiving yards, 16.4/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). RB Andre Ellington (528 rushing yards, 4.6/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) has chipped in on the ground. Expect Clemson to win this easily, unless Maryland eliminates the mistakes.

Game hype grade: 3.

#17 Kansas State (5-0) (2-0 Big 12) @ Texas Tech (4-1) (1-1 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 PM EST.

Series: Texas Tech leads 8-3.

Kansas State: Offense 97th (Rushing 26th; Passing 117th); Defense 17th (Rushing 16th; Passing 39th).

Texas Tech: Offense 7th (Rushing 46th; Passing 9th); Defense 96th (Rushing 115th; Passing 26th).

The Wildcats look to snap a five game losing streak in the series, as they last defeated Texas Tech in 2000. Kansas State looks to move to 6-0, for the first time since 2000. The Wildcats have been playing excellent defense, forcing 7 interceptions (tied for 25th in NCAA). Last year, through this point, Kansas State averaged giving up 25.4 points/game. This year, Kansas State has averaged giving up 16.6 points/game. Coach Tommy Tuberville has utilized the tools from the offense that former Coach Mike Leech instilled, with QB Seth Doege (1706 passing yards, 71.4% completion, WRs Darrin Moore (339 receiving yards, 16.1/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Eric Ward (289 receiving yards, 9.6/catch, and 8 receiving TDs). RB Eric Stephens (570 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 8 rushing TDs) is out for the season, a big blow to the Red Raider run game. Expect Kansas State’s defense to keep this one close, and slow down the Texas Tech passing game. The loss of Stephens may be enough to give Kansas State the road win.

Game hype grade: 6.

#24 Auburn (4-2) (2-1 SEC) vs. Florida (4-2) (2-2 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Auburn leads 42-38-2.

Auburn: Offense 80th (Rushing 27th; Passing 100th); Defense 105th (Rushing 103rd; Passing 81st).

Florida: Offense 75th (Rushing 31st; Passing 85th); Defense 11th (Rushing 32nd; Passing 12th).

War Eagle looks to extend their series streak to three wins, for the first time since 1987-1989. When Cam Newton and Nick Fairley left Auburn, the Tigers expected things would be tougher this year, but Auburn has been a pleasant surprise. RB Michael Dyer (679 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 8 TD) and WR Emory Blake (333 receiving yards, 17.5/catch, and 4 TD) have led the Tigers’ offense. Injuries to QB John Brantley (942 passing yards, 64.7% completion, 5 TD, but 3 INT) and QB Jeff Driskel (73 passing yards, 43.8% completion, and 2 INT) haven’t helped the Gators, neither did facing two top five defenses in back to back weeks. All-purpose Chris Rainey (712 total yards, 5.4/carry, and 4 total TD) and RB Jeff Demps (324 rushing yards, 8.3/carry, and 4 TD) will have to get the Gators back on track. Vegas has Florida as a two point favorite; expect a close one, as the average score for Auburn has been 29-28, in favor of Auburn’s opponents.

Game hype grade: 6.

#7 Stanford (5-0) (3-0 PAC-12) @ Washington State (3-2) (1-1 PAC-12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 7:30 PM EST on Versus.

Series: Stanford leads 35-25-1.

Stanford: Offense 15th (Rushing 34th; Passing 33rd); Defense 19th (Rushing 2nd; Passing 85th).

Washington State: Offense 13th (Rushing 67th; Passing 10th); Defense 51st (Rushing 52nd; Passing 71st).

Halfway through the season and there has been a lot of talk about the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. Before being the NFL Draft’s presumptive first pick, QB Andrew Luck (1383 passing yards, 73.1% completion, and 14 passing TD) would like to win a PAC-12 title, national title, and Heisman trophy. The Cardinal hit the road against a team that they have had success against in recent years. After three years with a combined five wins, the Cougars have been a surprise this year, led by QB Marshall Lobbestael (1570 passing yards, 64.8% completion, and 15 passing TDs), freshman RB Rickey Galvin (308 rushing yards, 6.8/carry, and 3 rushing TDs), and sophomore standout WR Marquess Wilson (633 receiving yards, 21.2/catch, and 5 receiving TDs). Stanford has also been led by the legs of Stepfan Taylor (459 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 5 rushing TD). Stanford should win, but the pass defense will get a real test against the prolific passing offense in Pullman.

Game hype grade: 4.

#3 Oklahoma (5-0) (2-0 Big 12) @ Kansas (2-3) (0-2 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 9:15 PM EST on ESPN2/ESPN2.

Series: Oklahoma leads 68-27-6.

Oklahoma: Offense 6th (Rushing 55th; Passing 6th); Defense 28th (Rushing 30th; Passing 60th).

Kansas: Offense 25th (Rushing 18th; Passing 74th); Defense 120th (Rushing 113th; Passing 119th).

The last time Kansas beat Oklahoma, John Blake was the Sooners’ head coach. The Jayhawks hopes that streak ends this Saturday under second year coach Turner Gill, who is just 1-9 in Big 12 play and 5-12 overall. Under former coach Mark Mangino, the Jayhawks were 23-41 in Big 12 play and 50-48 overall, who has been the most successful coach at Kansas since Jack Mitchell (1958-1966). Kansas has been led by QB Jordan Webb (1130 passing yards, 68.4% completion, 11 passing TDs, but 5 INT) and RB James Sims (380 rushing yards, 4.2/carry, and 5 rushing TDs). The Sooners have been led by QB Landry Jones (1814 passing yards, 69.2% completion, and 13 passing TDs) and RB Dominique Whaley (462 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 8 rushing TDs). Expect Oklahoma to drill Kansas. This could get ugly early, like first quarter early.

Game hype grade: 1.

#9 Oregon (4-1) (2-0 PAC-12) vs. #18 Arizona State (5-1) (3-1 PAC-12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, October 15th at 10:15 PM EST on ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Arizona State leads 16-15.

Oregon: Offense 5th (Rushing 5th; Passing 82nd); Defense 83rd (Rushing 86th; Passing 76th).

Arizona State: Offense 44th (Rushing 76th; Passing 11th); Defense 41st (Rushing 40th; Passing 75th).

The Ducks look to extend their winning streak to a series high seven in this series, but will they have RB LaMichael James (852 rushing yards, 9.0/carry, and 8 rushing TDs)? James suffered a dislocated elbow last week against Cal, and remains questionaboe this week. If Oregon is without James, QB Darron Thomas (1040 passing yards, 59.4% completion, and 15 passing TDs), freshman RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas (286 receiving yards, 16.8/catch, and 6 total TDs), and RB Kenjon Barner (167 rushing yards, 6.2/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) will need to pick up the slack. Arizona State holds a one game lead over UCLA, who they will visit in two weeks; UCLA and Arizona State look to be the teams to contend for the first PAC-12 South crown. Arizona State has been playing good ball, lead by QB Brock Osweiler (1677 passing yards, 66.7% completion, 13 passing TDs), RB Cameron Marshall (421 rushing yards, 4.1/carry, and 8 rushing TDs), and WRs Gerell Robinson (403 receiving yards, 15.5/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) and Aaron Pflugrad (380 receiving yards, 14.6/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). If James plays, he will be severely limited. If I were to guess, James won’t play; the Sun Devils should keep this close; it could be a prelude to the PAC-12 Title Game.

Game hype grade: 7.

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