The Saturday 5This is a new addition to the site, every week I will preview the 5 biggest games of the coming weekend.
Missouri vs #7 South Carolina: 411: Missouri got their intro to SEC life two weeks ago against Georgia and now they get their first taste of life on the road in the Southeastern Conference. They will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to face the ole ball coach and his Gamecocks. The (3-0) Gamecocks are coming off two easy wins vs ECU and UAB, in which they racked up a total of 97 points, stark contrast to their 17-13 controversial win against Vanderbilt. Missouri bounced back from their loss to Georgia with a 24-20 win over ASU.
Keys to the game: South Carolina tactically is at a disadvantage in this game, because Missouri has a pretty solid run defense. Dylan Thompson concerns me starting in his first real test. Marcus Lattimore will need to pick up the slack and carry the load. On defense, get pressure on whoever it is at quarterback for Mizzou, probably Corbin Berkstresser who did okay last week filling in for the injured James Franklin.
Missouri: This one is easy, pray James Franklin can play. Because he makes this offense go, and when they go they have the potential to put up points. USC will not fare well in a shootout. If he doesn’t play give it to Kendial Lawrence and hope for the best.
Pick: Look for Lattimore to wear down the Missouri defense, I hope James Franklin play because it makes this game very interesting. But if he doesn’t, the offense will struggle. 27-10 USC
#18 Michigan @ #11 Notre Dame:
411: Notre Dame has surprised us and Michigan has disappointed us. The Wolverines got run by Alabama, barely escaped Air Force at home, and then rolled UMass. Notre Dame ripped Navy, slipped past an experienced Purdue team, and dominated a very strong Michigan State team on the road. Michigan needs this as an identity win, but Notre Dame need it to validate their success.
Keys to the game: Notre Dame needs to keep a balanced attack. I think Everett Golson is the better choice due to his dual threat capabilities. They have a good stable of running backs and 5 or 6 solid receivers. Golston has only thrown 1 int this year and last week he already looked like he was progressing in the decision making category. 14-32 and 178 yds isn’t pretty, but he threw a touchdown and ran for one without throwing an interception against one of the best defenses in the country.
Michigan: Denard Robinson will have to put his quarterback helmet on, because Notre Dame’s run defense is great. Some say their front 7 is one of the best in the country, and that spells trouble for the run dependent Wolverines. Notre Dame safety Jerome Slaughter is out for the season and the Wolverines need to pick whoever the Irish put to fill the spot, this means the deep ball needs to be in effect. The Wolverines need to get into a shootout.
Pick: Too much Notre Dame front 7 in what will be another close game, 24-17 Irish.
#15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma: 411: Collin Klein leads the K-State rushing attack into Oklahoma where they will meet Landry Jones and the high-powered Sooner offense. UPSET ALERT..... MAYBE. Red flag #1 is that Oklahoma hasn’t really played anyone yet. Kansas State has played Miami, and they beat the hell out of the team. Granted, Miami isn’t fantastic, but they are better than UTEP and FAMU.
Keys to the game: KSU, do what you are good at, pound them early and open up the play action pass. Even though both defenses rank in the top 25 for points against, I am feeling a shootout coming. And unlike many teams, this team I think has the firepower to hang with Oklahoma. If the defense plays well, and gets stops when needed we could easily see an upset in Norman.
Oklahoma: Damien Williams needs to be effective and make every touch count, if he does this, K-State will not be able to stop both the run and the high-octane passing attack. Look for Landry Jones to go to Kenny Stills early and often. He is averaging 8 catches and 120 yards in the first 2 games. He also has caught 2 touchdowns. If the offense is clicking, then the 8th ranked defense may not need to be effective, but in the event they don’t attempt to do your thing.
pick: Oklahoma will escape at home, they will get hit hard with a harsh reality and will adjust quickly. 42-41 Sooners
#22 Arizona @ #4 Oregon: 411: Who is Nick Foles? This is what some Arizona Wildcats fans might be saying after these first 3 weeks of the season. There is only one way to describe Matt Scott, quarterback of the Wildcats. Matt Scott gets buckets. He is throwing for over 330 yards per game, he is only 5 yards away from eclipsing 1,000 yards on the season. Their rushing attack ranks 19th in the country, and 6 different receivers have already caught touchdowns..... Other side of the coin, Oregon. If you like points, you will be up at 10:30 watching these two teams go off. DeAnthony Thomas is averaging 15.3 yards per touch, that’s not bad. He already has 9 total touchdowns, oh yeah don’t forget Kenjon Barner one of the most dangerous running backs in the country.
Keys to the game: Arizona’s gotta bring an offense that rivals Oregon’s because this might be an Oregon team that could get behind and not respond well. Rich Rodriguez better be gearing up for a shootout. It might be Matt Scott’s first year, but he is a senior. Give him full control of the offense and let it all hang out because I can guarantee good things will come from it
Oregon: Give this defense all the Barner and Thomas they can handle. Mariota will take care of the rest.
Pick: Two of the best coaches with the spread option offense, it’s going to be no huddle all night. I’m high on Arizona, but Autzen Stadium is hard to snag a W in, 56-49 Ducks.
@10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State: 411: After watching my Deacons get B-slapped by Florida State, I might be a FSU believer. Wake has been their kryptonite in the last few years, and if they can get by Clemson now the Atlantic divisional crown is all their’s. Tajh Boyd and the high powered Clemson Tigers offense comes rolling in. Fisher vs Sweeney, Boyd vs Manuel, Ellington vs Thompson. The offensive matchups are great.
Keys: Clemson. Sammy Watkins needs to have a breakout game following his suspension. He has been pretty ineffective to date, but this game is perfect for a breakout performance. They need to find matchups they can exploit. And those opportunities will be few and far between considering how tough this FSU defense is, they must go after Greg Reid’s replacement, 5-10 sophomore Nick Walsome, who has done well so far, but Deandre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins are a whole new animal. Defensively, they must stop the big play ability of Manuel and RB Chris Thompson, who ran for 197 yards and 3 TDs against Wake Forest.
FSU Keys: Chris Thompson needs to have a repeat performance this week and that will open things up for Manuel and the passing attack, the defense is the best in the country.
Pick: I do not know why.... Clemson 31-27