Friday Oct. 13th 7PM ET ESPN
CLEMSON (6-0) by 11 @ SYRACUSE (3-3)
I have very little doubt that Clemson will win this contest, but don’t expect a blowout. There is general optimism that HC DINO BABERS is the right man for the Syracuse job and that he has the program back on solid ground. There are legitimate questions about the health of Clemson QB/KELLY BRYANT #2. If he cannot go then Syracuse may have the edge at the QB position with Junior QB/ERIC DUNGEY #2. The ‘Cuse has a pair of quality receivers to throw to in #3/PHILLIPS & #8 ISHMAEL, and two tackling machines at LB, both of whom had 100+ tackles last season in #4/ZAIRE FRANKLIN and #30/PARIS BENNETT. The key to the success of Clemson’s D lies in their front 4 which is at the least 2 deep. Can the Syracuse OL protect DUNGEY long enough in the pocket with future NFL DE tandem of CLELIN FERRELL and AUSTIN BRYANT pressuring him all day? Not likely methinks. This game is worth a look-see and you can judge for yourself how BABERS is turning that program around.
Clemson prospects: #55 TYRONE CROWDER/OG; #75 MITCH HYATT/OT/JR; #99 CLELIN FERRELL/DE/RSO; #42 CHRISITAN WILKINS/DE/JR; #91 AUSTIN BRYANT/DE/RSO; #34 KENDELL JOSEPH/OB/JR.
SYRACUSE prospects: #3 ERVIN PHILLIPS/WR; #8 STEVE ISHMAEL/WR; #65 JAMAR McGLOSTER/RT; #30 PARRIS BENNETT/OB; #34 ZAIRE FRANKLIN/IB; #19 DAIVON ELLISON/FS.
Saturday Oct. 14 3:30PM ET CBS
AUBURN (5-1) by 5 @ LSU (4-2)
These two teams were favored to challenge Alabama in the SEC West, but now both are on the verge of dropping out of any legitimate contention for that crown with another loss. Especially LSU which lost a few weeks ago to Troy. Auburn looks like the stronger team right now, with a punishing running game led by the JR RB tandem of KEEYON JOHNSON and KAMRYN PETTWAY, running behind a strong veteran OL. Meanwhile Auburn has a DL with the size to all play in the NFL. QB/JARRETT STIDHAM #8, the Baylor transfer, is improving weekly as he acquaints himself with his new team. LSU also looked to have a strong running tandem in GUICE and WILLIAMS, but GUICE has been hobbling at half-speed all season, so far. This is do or die for Coach O and his boys, but I think Auburn will overpower them over the course of the game. If it should somehow be a close contest to the end then give Auburn another advantage in PK/DANIEL CARLSON who may be the best K in college football.
Auburn prospects: #21 KERRYON JOHNSON/RB; #71 BRADEN SMITH/OT/G; #78 DARIUS JAMES/OT; #38 DANIEL CARLSON/K; #95 DONTAVIUS RUSSELL/DT/JR; #49 DARRELL WILLIAMS/OB/JR; #30 TREY WILLIAMS/OB; #28 TRAY MATHEWS/SS.
LSU prospects: #5 DERRIUS GUICE/RB/JR; #28 DARREL WILLIAMS/RB; #7 D.J. CLARK/WR; #63 KARL MALONE/OT; #18 CHRIS LaCOUTURE/DE; #99 GREG GILMORE/DT; #49 ARDEN KEY/DE/JR; #23 COREY THOMPSON/OB; #2 KEVIN TOLLIVER/CB.
SATURDAY Oct. 14 3:30PM ET ESPN
OKLAHOMA (4-1) BY 4 VS. TEXAS (3-2) In Dallas
The Red River rivalry comes at a strange time after Oklahoma’s upset (big upset) loss to Iowa State. So will the Sooners be so mad they pummel the Longhorns, or can the Longhorns start fast and make the Sooners wonder how vulnerable they truly are this year? I’ll actually project a dog fight to the bitter end in this thing. Once again two top notch college QB in action in this one. BAKER MAYFIELD #6 for Oklahoma is a grizzled vet who can do a bit of everything when his game is on. He still has Heisman hopes if he leads the Sooners to a win. Texas QB SHANE BUECHELE #7 is a true soph but he started all 12 games as frosh and is very dangerous, with both his legs and arm. Neither Defense is dominant but they can turn the ball over. If Oklahoma hasn’t put away the Longhorns by halftime, then be prepared for good old fashioned mayhem in the second half.
Oklahoma prospects: #9 BAKER MAYFIELD/QB; #81 MARK ANDREWS/TE/JR; #78 ORLANDO BROWN/OT/JR; #92 MATTHEW ROMAR/DT; #31 OGBONNIA OKORONKWO/OB; #7 JORDAN THOMAS/CB; #10 STEVEN PARKER/S
Texas prospects: #3 ARMANTI FOREMAN/WR; #47 ANDREW BECK/TE+; #58 ANDREW HODGES/OT, #95 POONA FORD/DT; #40 NAASHON HUGHES/OB; #46 MALIK JEFFERSON/IB/JR; #31 JASON HALL/FS.
SATURDAY OCT. 14 8PM ET ABC
UTAH (4-1) @ SOUTHERN CAL (5-1) by 6
The loser of this game becomes an after-thought for the PAC-12 South title hunt with a second conference loss. The Trojans will be favored at home as they try to find that magic QB play that SAM DARNOLD displayed last season, and has been short of most games this season. His OL is still a work in progress and it shows despite all the skill position stars he has to work with. The Utes have only 9 returning starters on their roster from last season and that has showed at times despite a solid 4-1 record. Keep an eye on Ute DT/LOWELL LOTULELEI #93, who is the younger brother of STAR who plays for the Panthers. He may be just as good as his older brother.
Utah prospects: #3 TROY WILLIAMS/QB; #88 HARRISON HANDLEY/TE; #74 SALESI UHATAFE/OG; #93 LOWELL LOTULELEI/DT; #11 KYLE FITTS/DE; #5 KAVIKA LAUFATASAGA/LB; #22 CHASE HANSEN/SS/JR.
Southern Cal prospects: #14 SAM DARNOLD/QB/RSO; #25 RONALD JONES/BR/JR; #80 DEONTAY BURNETT/WR/JR; #7 STEVEN MITCHELL/WR/RS #74 NICO FALAH/OC; #60 VIANE TALAMAIVAO/OG; #45 PORTER GUSTIN/DE/JR; #42 UCHENNA NWOSU/OB; #35 CAMERON SMITH/IB/JR; #4 CHRIS HAWKINS/S.
Enjoy your college football weekend slate of games as we push through the mid-point of the college football season already.