Top-25 matchups abound in Week 5
Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @jojocornrow
After a full month of college football, we have learned the only thing we can expect is the unexpected. Last week we saw blow outs that shocked the nation into burying contenders until next year. Arizona didn’t show up to their own house and UCLA made them pay. BYU was shutdown by Michigan at the Big House. Finally, the Utes played flawlessly and pounded the Ducks in Eugene.
This weekend is ripe with top-25 teams pitted against one another. Oklahoma hosts West Virginia in one of a handful of Big 12 games. Alabama visits Georgia in Athens, GA. Notre Dame takes on Clemson in a heavyweight fight. Locally, Utah State hosts Colorado State in a Mountain West battle. Let’s breakdown the games for Saturday
West Virginia Mountaineers at Oklahoma Sooners
West Virginia makes the trip to Norman to challenge Oklahoma in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Mountaineers have not had any problems putting points on the board averaging 43 points per game. An untested West Virginia defense will try to slow down Oklahoma’s offense.
Oklahoma is coming off a bye and looks to open conference play strong by burying West Virginia with their previous opponents. The Sooners have a balanced attack with quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Samaje Perine.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Bulldogs
Alabama looks to continue their road to redemption against Georgia. The Crimson Tide defense was exposed against Ole Miss and will need a strong showing against the Bulldogs to get back in the playoff picture.
Unbeaten Georgia comes into their contest against Alabama without any real tests to date. The Bulldogs boast a stingy defense that is allowing 13.5 points per game.
Baylor Bears at Texas Tech Red Raiders
Baylor will travel to Lubbock, TX to take on Texas Tech in a Big 12 matchup. Baylor’s offense has been putting up video game numbers averaging 767 yards per game. The Bears’ defense will need to make a strong showing this weekend against a potent Red Raiders offense.
Texas Tech narrowly missed snatching victory out of TCU’s fingers last week with a three-point loss at home. The Red Raiders have proven they’re capable of scoring with the likes of Baylor by averaging 54.4 points per game through their first four contests.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Texas A&M Aggies
Mississippi State visits College Station, TX in an attempt to take down the undefeated Aggies. The Bulldogs’ lone defeat this season came at the hands of LSU in a defensive struggle. Quarterback Dak Prescott will look to throw a lot on a beatable Aggies secondary.
Texas A&M aims to remain in the mix in the SEC West with a win over Mississippi State Saturday. The Aggies have been resilient thus far while pulling out wins against Arizona State and conference foe Arkansas.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Clemson Tigers
Notre Dame faces a big road test against Clemson in Death Valley. The Fighting Irish have been dismantling opponents’ offenses and will need to get out to a quick start against the Tigers. Notre Dame will need a big game out of backup quarterback DeShone Kizer to leave with a victory.
The Tigers have been sound defensively allowing just 12 points per game. Clemson boasts one of the loudest stadiums in college football and poses the biggest challenge for Notre Dame this season.
Colorado State Rams at Utah State Aggies
Colorado State will travel to Maverik Stadium to play Utah State. Both teams are looking to challenge Boise State for the Mountain West crown. The Rams have been in several close games to date with two losses coming by a field goal.
Utah State needs find a way to get the offense going without quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury. The Aggies will be looking forward to conference play after taking on a pair of Pac-12 opponents in Utah and Washington.
Arkansas Razorbacks at Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee hosts Arkansas in a pivotal meeting for both teams. Both squads came into the season ranked in the AP Poll’s top-25 but have disappointed so far. Arkansas is solid offensively but struggles with giving the ball away.
The Volunteers have not been able to put a signature win on their resume this season, sitting 0-2 against power 5 opponents. After missing a game-winning field goal by inches against Florida, Tennessee is in desperate need of a win to right the ship this week.
One month into the season we have seen a lot of unexpected things, but the stories are just starting to unfoldl. By the end of the month everything we thought we knew about this season could completely change. That’s one of the things that are great about college football.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.