Week six in college football is a glorious one. There are so many good games that you don’t even need to have juice on the games to be entertained. But, as good degenerates always do, we never shy away from a weekend of games. There are plenty of intriguing matchups -whether it be tough defenses against great offenses, or just evenly matched opponents facing off against each other. I can’t stop daydreaming about these matchups.
One of the most interesting things I’m seeing is the Stanford defense against the pass. They have allowed less than 300 yards through the air on the season, but have also faced UC Davis and Army. The numbers should be skewed right? Wrong! They have also faced USC and Washington, two teams that have new coaches, but still through the ball around plenty. In those two games, Stanford has allowed 233 yards and just one TD. One game was on the road while one was at home.
This week against Notre Dame poses one of the most under the radar matchups you’ll find: Everett Golson against that Stanford passing defense. Golson now has 11 passing TDs (15 total) to his two INTs. He’s passing at an almost 70% clip and is coming off the best game of his season throwing for better than 80% completion and adding four TDs. Whoever wins this battle will win this game.
Another stellar defense in the NCAA is the TCU run defense. They have held opponents to just one rushing TD and a 2.10-yard per carry average. While Stanford has a few great teams, TCU has faced just one if you even want to call Minnesota that. They have also faced Samford and SMU. Those three teams are pretty weak altogether and make me curious about the validity of the TCU run defense.
In 2013 this TCU team was very good allowing just 14 rushing TDs and a 3.31-yard per carry average. Like I said on twitter the other day, only one team ran averaged over five yards per carry and that was Oklahoma! They ran 38 times for 203 yards and two TDs. TCU faces Oklahoma this week, but Keith Ford nor Samaje Perine or Alex Ross played in that 2013 game. With Keith Ford out, it makes the Sooners’ run game weaker. It also makes Perine a better play, but not necessarily a good play. He’s got a tough matchup on his hands Saturday.
Auburn has ran the ball extremely well in the last two seasons and I think it continues this week against LSU. They get to face LSU, who ranks 70th in rushing yards allowed per game and have an offense that is rolling. I think Mississippi State is a poor man’s Auburn run game and they gashed this LSU run defense just a few weeks ago. In that game, they ran for 302 yards, a 6.16 average, and two TDs.
A starting defensive tackle will either be playing with two hurt arms or will be out for this game, which should open up the middle of the line for a good downhill runner. Does Auburn have any of those? Oh yea, they have Cameron Artis-Payne, a running back averaging over 115 yards and one TD per game.
When Nebraska faces off against Michigan State Saturday night, you will see me own zero Cornhuskers. The Michigan State defense isn’t quite what it used to be, but they’re still pretty darn good. They rank sixth in rushing yards allowed per game and 33rd against the pass. It also looks like two contributing defensive tackles will be back for this game. While Ameer Abdullah has been unbelievable this season, it really feels like you’re chasing points and paying a high price for a guy with that kind of matchup.
I was very high on JT Barrett last weekend against Cincinnati, but I’m unsure what to think of him this week. Two weeks ago I would have said he has a great matchup against a Maryland team that just allowed over 500 passing yards and four TDs to West Virginia. Now, they have come off back-to-back game with less than 225 passing yards allowed. On the season, James Madison, South Florida, Syracuse, and Indiana have combined for 660 of the 1,171 passing yards and five of the six INTs. This should mean bad things for Barrett, but he does have ten TDs and 642 passing yards in his last two games.
Who is all aboard the Andrew Hendrix train this weekend? When Miami (OH) faces off against UMass this weekend a 0-5 team will come away with a win. Impressive right? Well, the only thing I think I’ll be caring about is how that Miami (OH) offense does and if it’s anything like Bowling Green’s passing attack last week then I’ll be very happy.
BGSU threw for 443 yards, three TDs, and three INTs in that game and many a BGSU player came away with great fantasy totals. UMass hasn’t been that bad against other teams besides Colorado, keeping Penn State, Vandy, and Boston College all to just one passing TD a week. Hendrix has 500 passing yards to go along with five TDs in his last two games.