College Football Picks Week 6: Players That Will Lead Their Teams to Huge Wins

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 5, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 29:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Baylor Bears during the game on September 29, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Geno Smith is beginning to get some well-deserved attention as a legitimate Heisman candidate. He has already led West Virginia to a 4-0 record. Most recently he had a video game-like 656 yards passing with eight touchdowns against Baylor.

The Mountaineers defeated the Bears 70-63 to stay unbeaten.

The senior from Miami has been utterly amazing this season. He has thrown 20 touchdown passes and get this, no interceptions. This is especially impressive because he's thrown the ball 169 times.

This week the Mountaineers have a huge game against No. 11 Texas. With a ton of spotlight on Smith after such a great start, the pressure will be on.

He will rise to the challenge in this one. This Mountaineers team is led by their quarterback, but they aren't a one-man show. Through four games and 169 pass attempts, Smith has only been sacked four times. His offensive line has been nearly as good as he has.

They are scoring 53 points per game, and leading the nation with 441 yards passing, but the run game has been solid as well. They are averaging 157 yards per game on the ground to go with the awesome passing game.

That said, Texas is no pushover. The Longhorns are scoring 47 points per game, and only allowing 21 to opponents. David Ash has been nearly as flawless as Smith this year. He's thrown only one interception in 109 attempts.

As good as Texas' offense is, they can't win a shootout with West Virginia. They need to force turnovers, and keep the Mountaineers offense off the field. That is much easier said than done. Texas won't be able to contain Smith and the nation's best offense.,

This huge Big 12 matchup will further Smith's coming out party, and the Mountaineers will win 46-35.

Here are two other players who will step up to spur their teams to victory,

Everett Golson, Notre Dame

The Notre Dame defense has been the biggest factor in their 4-0 start. The team has allowed an average of nine points per game this year.

When they face the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night, it will represent the biggest test the Irish defense has faced this season. They will need some help from their offense to win this game, and that help can't come solely from the rushing attack.

Golson has proved he is capable of making plays in spots this season, but he's given way to Tommy Rees when he's struggled. The freshman has something to prove if he is to ever take complete control of the job under center.

He needs a big game to keep Rees on the sidelines. The Irish will need quality play from their QB because Stephen Morris is the best QB their defense has faced. 

Golson will answer the challenge with a balanced and poised performance. Expect to see him use legs to make plays a bit more. His performance will be one of the biggest reasons the Irish defeat the Hurricanes.

My prediction is a 24-14 Notre Dame victory.

EJ Manuel, Florida State

Manuel is one of the most underrated players in the country. He has great size at 6'5" 240 pounds, has outstanding leadership, and makes very few mistakes. 

He hasn't thrown an interception since Week 1 of the season. He is the leader of an offense that has tremendous balance, but this week Manuel has a huge game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. NC State surrendered 566 passing yards to Morris of Miami last week, and this week Manuel will prove he can hurt teams through the air.

He showed a glimpse of the dual threat he can be against Clemson. In Week 4, he had 380 yards passing and 102 yards on the ground against the Tigers. The pace of this game will create another opportunity for Manuel to shine.

The Seminoles defense should feast on a Wolfpack offense that turned the ball over six times in Week 5. Quarterback Mike Glennon has already thrown six picks this season, and the Noles figure to bring the heat on him.

The Wolfpack have faced two esteemed opponents this season: Tennessee and Miami, FL. Glennon has thrown all six of his interceptions in those two games.

Florida State is averaging three sacks per game as a team, and that number will increase in this game. The ball will be handed to Manuel frequently after three-and-outs and turnovers.

Manuel and his nasty defense will roll over the Wolfpack. My prediction is Florida St. 50, North Carolina State 14.

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