Welcome back! We almost had a very wild week last week with Clemson being taken to the wire without Trevor Lawrence. On top of that, we had five ranked teams fall with Michigan being the most surprising of those upsets. This week we see the addition of the PAC-12 to the mix and 22 ranked teams in action. A lot of crucial games will be going on around the country but none bigger than the 4 games taking place between ranked opponents. We dive into those games and much more in this week’s preview.
To open up the week, we have a Friday night game that pits #9 BYU against #21 Boise State. This is really the last test BYU has to grow their resume in their pursuit for the playoff. Zach Wilson continues to shine as he threw for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns in their win against Western Kentucky last week. He also added 35 yards with a rushing touchdown. Boise State will really try to key on him to shut down this BYU offense. Boise State narrowly avoided an upset last week as David Moa came up with a big sack late to beat Colorado State. Patrick O’Brien looked good going up against the Bronco defense, throwing for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. Colorado State had 4 receivers average over 10 yards per reception. This does not bode well for the Broncos as BYU has the firepower to rattle off big plays against this defense. If that happens, will Boise State be able to get into a shootout against a team that is only allowing 13 points per game
Spread: BYU -2.5
Total: O/U 61.5
Prediction: BYU 41 Boise State 34
The SEC game of the week will determine who takes the lead in the SEC East as a top 5 game between Florida and Georgia takes place at 3:30 on CBS. Georgia has dominated this side of the conference for the last three years but Florida is knocking on the door with an impressive offense looking to take the Bulldogs down. The key to the game will be who is able to prevail between the Florida offense and Georgia defense. Florida ranks 3rd in the SEC behind Alabama and Ole Miss in yards/game and have done a good job converting in the red zone as they average 42 points per game. On the other side, Georgia leads the way in the SEC in both yards/game and points/game. This includes 3 games against ranked opponents that sees those teams averaging 22 points/game. That does include Alabama who is in a class of their own in terms of scoring points. At the beginning of the year, I thought this might be the year that Georgia gets dethroned in the East but Stetson Bennett has been just good enough to keep them going and let the defense do the work. I expect them to give up more points than they are used to but Kyle Trask will make a mistake late to give Georgia the victory.
Spread: Georgia -3.5
Total: O/U 52.5
Prediction: Florida 27 Georgia 31
Michigan squandered their chance at being considered in the top tier of the Big Ten falling to Michigan State last week. Joe Milton was praised before the season as being the quarterback that will take the Wolverines to the next level but I don’t see anything to tell me that will happen. The stats may be a little misleading from last week as he threw the ball over 50 times after falling behind. Indiana will try to continue their magical start to the season and move to 3-0. The key will be if Indiana is able to slow down the running game of Michigan as they allow over 180 yards/game so far this year.
Spread: Michigan -2.5
Total: O/U 54.5
Prediction: Michigan 17 Indiana 20
The biggest game of the week and the game I’m most excited for is the showdown between #1 Clemson and #4 Notre Dame. Unfortunately, we will not see Trevor Lawrence as he continues to recover from COVID. Notre Dame’s Ian Book will look to get his defining win as the Fighting Irish quarterback by taking down the #1 team. The real question is if they have enough weapons on the outside to stretch this Clemson defense. Ian Book will have to make plays on early downs to keep them in 3rd and manageable to have a chance to win this one. D.J. Uiagalelei was able to stay calm in his first game under center for Clemson and help lead the comeback against Boston College. A win for Clemson will depend on if Travis Etienne is able to get anything going against a good Notre Dame front 7. He has to be the upper classman that takes some pressure off of the youngster but at the end of the day I don’t think it will matter. I think Clemson has too much firepower on both sides of the ball and I think this is a great spot to jump on Clemson and make some money.
Spread: Clemson -5.5
Total: O/U 51.5
Prediction: Clemson 24 Notre Dame 13