By Chris Carlson
Another week in the College Football regular season, another touchdown pass as time expired. This time it was Penn State quarterback Trace McSorely with a dart in a tight window for a walk-off TD. Week 5 features several key ranked versus ranked conference matchups and other important September games in the SEC and PAC-12. On paper this is the best week of the season hands down with enough depth in case the high profile games become blowouts.
#2 Clemson at #12 Virginia Tech: The defending National Champion Clemson Tigers are they most tested team in nation thus far having faced 3 ranked opponents out of 4. Beyond a decent week 1 challenge against West Virginia, Va’Tech offensive stats are definitely padded. The Hokies will face a stout defense from the Tigers as well as an efficient offense. Home field advantage keeps this ACC matchup close until midway through the fourth quarter.
The Pick: Clemson 33 Virginia Tech 23
#5 USC at #16 Washington State: This game is similar to Clemson/V’Tech because USC has faced formidable opposition while it’s been a bit of a walk in the park for the Cougars besides a down Boise State on the road. Highly-touted USC QB Sam Darnold is clearly a first round quarterback in the 2018 draft but 8 interceptions is ridiculous considering were still in September. The Trojans have played up or down to their competition so I expect that won’t change.
The Pick: USC 37 Washington State 30
Under The Radar
#13 Auburn vs. #24 Mississippi State: The Bulldogs got trampled against Georgia last week and Auburn is surprisingly struggling on offense again this year. Clearly these two programs have talent but their recent losses in no-show fashion places this SEC West matchup way under the radar. Usually I would pick the team with better coach but there’s just not much separating them. I’m literally thinking about flipping a coin to pick a winner because who knows which team will show up on Saturday.
The Pick: Auburn 23 Mississippi State 20
Saturday Upset Special
Tennessee shocks #7 Georgia a week after the Bulldogs looked superb against Mississippi State.
Hardcore Barn Burner
#14 Miami at Duke: Don’t let the near-touchdown favorite the Hurricanes sit on the betting books fool you, this early-season ever so important ACC Coastal game will be decided late in the fourth quarter if not overtime. The last time the Canes played at Duke it was that unbelievable (kind of legal) kickoff return for the Miami win.
Against The Spread
Northwestern will live up to some of that preseason hype, not enough to beat #10 Wisconsin but lose by less than the 14.5 points Las Vegas is favoring the Badgers.
(Honorable Mention: #15 Oklahoma State reeling from being conquered by TCU will struggle enough for Texas Tech to fit under the 10 points the Cowboys are favored.)
Quick Hits Recap
-Penn State RB Saqoun Barkley had a monster game with 28 rushes for 211 yards and a touchdown not to mention 12 catches for 93 yards in a last-second victory 21-19 over Iowa
-Florida State fell to 0-2 on the season which is the first time that happened since 1989.
-#9 TCU RB Darius Anderson had 26 carries for 160 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-31 victory over previously unbeaten Oklahoma State.
-Texas A&M had two 100 yard rushers Kellen Mond (109) and Keith Ford(102) leading the way to a 50-42 epic overtime battle versus Arkansas.
-Miami Hurricane running back Mark Walton made every carry count rushing for 204 yards on just 11 carries in a blowout victory over Toledo.
-#16 Washington State’s QB Luke Falk was masterful in a 45-7 win over Nevada completing 36 of 47 for 478 passing yards and 5 TD’s.
-Navy rushed for an astonishing 569 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 42-32 win over Cincinnati
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available on Apple Podcast (ITunes), Player.FM, Stitcher, Tunein, www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & More! Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio