Week 5 College Football Preview

So far I’m 8-4 on the young season, not bad but could be better.  Anyways let’s begin with a Top-10 matchup between two Pac-12 teams looking to make some hay in the College Football Playoff.

6:00 PM PT ESPN WASH -3.5

7 Stanford

(3-0, 2-0 Pac-12)

3-0

10 Washington

(4-0, 1-0 Pac-12)

How Stanford Wins:  Give the ball to Christian McCaffrey.  He has 436 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the year.  Play Stanford football.  That means pound the rock and play good defense.  If the Cardinal do that then they’ll easily walk out of the Pacific Northwest with a “W”.

How Washington Wins:  They don’t I hate UW!

Just kidding.  As much as I despise Husky fans and how they talk about 90’s football like it’s the present, they actually have a pretty good team this year.  Jake Browning also is a pretty good quarterback.  Not Luke Falk good, but good enough to get UW a win.  904 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns ain’t bad.  Granted it was against lesser competition, but still the numbers are good.

The Bottom Line:  Neither team looked good last week.  Stanford easily could have lost to UCLA and UW to Arizona.  The Huskies haven’t been in this position in a long time, so I’m going with the Cardinal for consistency reasons…and because I hate UW 🙂

12:30 PM PT ABC MICH -10.5

8 Wisconsin

(4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

4-0

4 Michigan

(4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

How Wisconsin Wins:  The Badgers need to re-capture their swagger and momentum from last week’s victory over Michigan State.  Their defense also needs to force quarterback Wilton Speight into turnovers so that their ground and pound offense can take over.  It’ll be a tall task to pull off the upset in Ann Arbor, but it can be done.

How Michigan Wins:  Wilton Speight is a game manager at best, but 875 passing yards and 9 passing touchdowns on the season isn’t bad so far.  What it comes down to is running the ball well with De’Veon Smith, and having star defender Jabrill Peppers do his thing.  This will place more pressure on Wisconsin’s offense and force them into mistakes.

The Bottom Line:  It’s going to come down to which defense plays better and which offense makes the fewest mistakes in this one.  I’m picking Michigan.  Not because my dad installed that bias in me as a former Alumni, but because they are pretty hard to beat in the “Big House”.  It won’t be a blowout like it was over Penn State, but they should win by at least 10 points (see the spread above).

12:30 PM PT CBS TENN -3.5

11 Tennessee

(4-0, 1-0 SEC)

4-0

25 Georgia

(3-1, 1-1 SEC)

How Tennessee Wins:  Joshua Dobbs has another brilliant game and plays like he did against Florida last week.  That should be a lesson for the Vols not to underestimate Georgia, especially since they almost got upset last weekend.  There have been several scares and near-misses with this team so it comes down to not underestimating their opponent, starting out strong, and stopping star Georgia tailback Nick Chubb.

How Georgia Wins:  Jacob Eason is off to a pretty good start as the Bulldogs quarterback, but the real prize on this Georgia team is Nick Chubb.  Chubb has 422 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.  Look for Georgia to pound it early so that they can open up opportunities for Eason to throw the football.  The defense also needs to step up because they can’t afford to be target practice for another quarterback like it was for Chad Kelly of Ole Miss last week.

The Bottom Line:  Georgia has a bright future with Eason, but I need to go with Tennessee on this one.  The Vols have more talent, a few more explosive weapons, and I have a feeling that their defense will be forcing Eason into more mistakes than Georgia’s will with Dobbs.  Close, but the cigar goes to Tennessee.

5:00 PM PT ABC LOU -2.0

3 Louisville

(4-0, 2-0 ACC)

4-0

5 Clemson

(4-0, 1-0 ACC)

How Louisville Wins:  Lamar Jackson! Lamar Jackson! Lamar Jackson!  There is a reason why he’s a Heisman candidate this early in the season.  The Cardinal should be very grateful that they have someone like him going with them into Death Valley.  Their defense will need to stop his counterpart Desean Watson, but they should be up to the task.

How Clemson Wins:  For the love of God do not let Lamar Jackson run.  Make him throw the ball and take his avenues of escape away.  Clemson also plays in a great stadium so they should easily have great fan support for this contest.  The main way they win is they use their experience from a year ago to boost themselves to victory.

The Bottom Line:  Lamar Jackson is just too good, and I think this may be Louisville’s year.  Look for the Cardinal to win a big game in a hostile environment and to move up in the polls.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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