Call it a hunch, or call it stupid, but I have a strange feeling about the Ducks' matchup with Stanford on Saturday. Stanford has an extremely solid defense and have played extremely well in three big games this season.
Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas are two of the best linebackers in the country and will have a lot of responsibility in stopping Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota.
If Skov and Thomas can make plays, it'll be a big strength.
Stanford is strong up the middle but doesn't have a ton of speed, so they'll have to try and stay strong through the middle and try to jam up Oregon's rushing attack.
As far as big games this season, Stanford has had three.
The first coming against a then-second ranked USC team, which Stanford won 21-14, then fought undefeated Notre Dame to an overtime loss and last week, the Cardinals took down then-11th ranked Oregon State.
Oregon has been flying high all season, but Stanford has the capability to slow them down, especially if Oregon has a little bit of an off game.
Clemson faces a North Carolina State team that is only 6-4 but has the ability to take down big names.
The Wolfpack destroyed Florida State's national championship hopes earlier in the season, so they already know what it takes to beat a talented squad like Clemson.
Clemson also hasn't been seriously tested in awhile, and NC State may be able to sneak up and surprise them.
NC State is led by quarterback Mike Glennon, who has one of the best arms in the country. Clemson's defense isn't exactly a stalwart, and its secondary is probably their weakest link.
If the game turns into a shootout, Clemson's speed will probably be too much for NC State to handle.
But if the Wolfpack defense can slow down Sammy Watkins and co. a little bit, Glennon has a shot to torch the Tigers' secondary and wreck Clemson's BCS hopes.
After losing two big games to West Virginia and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks, the Longhorns have been perfect.
Their opponent on Thursday, TCU, has gone a dismal 1-3 in their last four games, but the opponents have been solid: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas State.
With such a tough stretch of games, TCU is bound to be frustrated, which is not good for the Longhorns. If TCU can come out firing on Saturday against the Longhorns' subpar defense, it might be able to jump out too far ahead for Texas to come back.
TCU's freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin will have to look at the tape from the Longhorns' losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma—when they were absolutely destroyed through the air.
If the Horned Frogs can follow that game plan and put pressure on the Longhorns early, they'll be able to take away the home-field advantage and control the clock en route to an upset.
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