By Chris Carlson
All hell broke loose in Week 4 to a tune of 7 upsets within the Top-25, 6 of those by the hands of unranked programs. Week 5 features five associated press Top-25 ranked versus ranked matchups and several other games flying under the radar.
#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State: Prior to the season Nittany Lions QB Trace McSorley was near the top of a short list for Heisman Trophy candidates. A month in to the season Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins has outplayed almost everyone in the country, throwing 16 TD’s with only 1 interception. On paper Ohio State is the better overall squad and should be able to do damage behind a solid offensive line. Defensive end standout and one of the most talented players in the nation Nick Bosa will be sorely missed for Ohio State on Saturday. Penn State will have to find a running game to eat up clock and play great on defense. The home field advantage for the Nittany Lions will help keep this one close until deep in the fourth quarter.
The Pick: Ohio State 37 Penn State 30
#7 Stanford at # 8 Norte Dame: The last time 2 top-10 teams met at Notre Dame Stadium was the ‘Push Reggie Bush TD’ game between USC and Notre Dame. Notre Dame got a surprise performance out of backup quarterback Ian Book last week against Wake Forest. The Irish won’t be able to duplicate their Week 4 victory but they will depend on consistency out of the QB position to go along with a destructive defensive. Can Stanford summon the strength and focus the Cardinals will need in back to back high-profile games? It’s a lot to ask for but this hack-of-a-scribe is willing to trust Stanford based on coaching and a battle-tested September.
The Pick: Stanford 27 Notre Dame 23
Under The Radar
#12 West Virginia at #25 Texas Tech: The Red Raiders offense is on a tear over the last 3 ball games averaging 60 points. The Mountaineers our more experienced at quarterback with senior Will Grier and their defense has improved enough to outlast Texas Tech. If the Red Raiders can create turnovers on defense they will win this Big-12 matchup.
The Pick: West Virginia 38 Texas Tech 34
Saturday Upset Special
Virginia Tech bounces back after a horrific loss to Old Dominon by upsetting #22 Duke on the road.
#11 Washington hosts #20 BYU: Don’t let the one-loss a piece fool you this all-west coast contest is very meaningful for late September
#19 Oregon at # 24 California: The Ducks head south to meet an undefeated Bears squad in a must win for Oregon.
Against The Spread
#3 Clemson will definitely defeat Syracuse but look for the Orangemen to sneak under the 25.5 points Las Vegas has them slotted as an underdog.
(Honorable Mention: BYU will keep this one competitive to slide under the 17.5-points Washington is favored by in Sin City)
Quick Hits Recap
-#13 Central Florida extended the longest winning streak in the nation at 16 with a 56-36 over FAU. The Knights stud QB McKensie Milton accounted for 6 total touchdowns.
-The 16th ranked Kentucky Wildcats move into the AP Top-25 for the first time in 11 years after underdog victories over Mississippi State and Florida.
-Virginia Tech gave up 28 points in the 4th quarter as Old Dominion came storming back to pull off a complete shocker 49-35.
-Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pulled the trigger this week deciding to start freshman Trevor Lawrence over senior starter Kelly Bryant. Bryant will now reportedly be a redshirt transfer potientally leaving the Tigers short on depth at quarterback.
-The Gap is Closing: In the last two weeks the Group of 5 has beaten a Power 5 team 8 times, and 18 overall just 1 fewer than last seasons total.
-Notre Dame’s backup QB Ian Book made his first start ever and produced 325 passing yards and 5 TD’s total. The Irish defeated Wake Forest 56-36.
-West Virginia QB Will Grier showed why he’s considered one of the front runners for the Heisman Trophy putting up 356 passing yards and 5 touchdowns in a blowout 35-6 victory over Kansas State.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio