After a week in which several ranked teams demolished their respective opponents, Week 5 features some marquee matchups that will leave some ranked teams with their first loss of the season.
The LSU Tigers have gotten off to an impressive 4-0 start to the season, but they will have all they can handle as they hit the road to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
After a stellar recruiting class came to town during the offseason, the Ole Miss Rebels are flying high thanks to a 3-0 start. That solid beginning to the 2013-14 campaign will end this Saturday against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Oklahoma Sooners haven't seen much of a challenge four weeks in, but their undefeated 3-0 record stands a great chance of falling in Week 5 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Let's break down each of these games and find out why these ranked teams will walk out of their particular games empty-handed for the first time this season.
No. 6 LSU Tigers (at No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs)
LSU has been surprisingly good on offense to start the season, but the Tigers will meet their match in a matchup with the Bulldogs in Week 5.
The Tigers' success on offense has been a bit misleading thus far as it has come against three unranked teams and the once-ranked TCU Horned Frogs, a team that sits at 1-2. There is no doubt LSU's offense will meet its stiffest competition yet against the Bulldogs defense.
On defense, the Tigers have been solid against the pass versus some lackluster air attacks. The Bulldogs have the No. 9-ranked passing attack in college football, so that will present a huge test for the Tigers defense.
The Bulldogs have a rushing attack that must be respected with explosive back Todd Gurley carrying the rock. After establishing the run, the Bulldogs will be able to air it out and move the ball down the field en route to finding the end zone.
Even if this game becomes a defensive showdown, the Bulldogs have enough on defense to keep the Tigers in check while their stellar offense finds a way to put points on the board. The only shot LSU has is to totally shut down Georgia, but that isn't likely as the Bulldogs are averaging 41.3 points per game and have already dropped 41 points on the vaunted South Carolina Gamecocks defense.
Final Score: Georgia 24, LSU 17
No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels (at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide)
In a battle between two undefeated teams, the Rebels will be hard-pressed to get anything going offensively and don't have a shot at derailing the Crimson Tide's hopes for an unbeaten season.
Ole Miss has scored 31 points or more in each of its first three wins. None of those games were against ranked squads, however, and Alabama will be by far the toughest unit Ole Miss sees this season.
The Rebels' No. 21 ranking in the nation in rushing yards per game is a huge plus, but the Crimson Tide have only allowed 368 yards on the ground this season with 98 of those coming from the legs of quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.
Aside from Trey Edmunds of Virginia Tech taking advantage of Alabama's defense not hitting its stride in Week 1, running backs have had zero success against Bama. If Ole Miss can't get the ground game going, that will make it more predictable and should lead to some turnovers from the Rebels' decent passing attack that has yet to prove it can beat a top team.
Judging from a narrow 39-35 win over Vanderbilt in Week 1 and a few other wins over lesser opponents, the Rebels will have their hands full with head coach Nick Saban's team as they fail to match what Bama brings on both sides of the ball.
Final Score: Alabama 31, Ole Miss 10
No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (at No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish)
After a week of rest, the Sooners will travel to South Bend to meet the Fighting Irish in what could amount to their first loss of the season.
Oklahoma has soundly defeated two lesser opponents in Louisiana-Monroe and Tulsa, but it was the matchup with the West Virginia Mountaineers that resulted in only a 16-7 win that was disturbing.
In that game, the Sooners' mediocre passing attack was exposed, and it's clear this team will have trouble moving the rock through the air against tougher opponents. Notre Dame and its defense certainly qualify as such, and Oklahoma will have a ton of issues throwing the football with constant penetration from its opponents also being an issue.
Adding to Oklahoma's problems, the Sooners' normally potent rushing attack will face an Irish run defense that has allowed just 457 yards in three games. If nothing gets established on the ground thanks to the Irish being able to cheat against the run, the Sooners will have to rely on their passing attack, and that couldn't be more troubling.
The Irish have had their own problems on offense with quarterback Tommy Rees struggling last week, but he should bounce back in Week 5 against a far less stingy Sooners defense.
This game may not turn out to be very pretty offensively, but Notre Dame's defense has enough to keep Oklahoma in check and should outscore its undefeated opponent for the win.
Final Score: Notre Dame 17, Oklahoma 14
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