Conference play has begun, and the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the Top 25 teams that will hold off a strong challenger this week.
The first few weeks were nice tune-ups for the top squads, but now they must turn up the intensity. Any mistakes in conference play could lead to a big upset.
No. 10 LSU will look to bounce back after suffering its first loss last week. The Tigers will go to Mississippi State, but they aren't on upset alert.
Although TCU is unranked, No. 11 Oklahoma needs to be careful. The Horned Frogs played LSU tough to start the season, and they are more than capable of pulling off the upset. The Sooners are a talented team, but they could be in for a tough game.
Below is a schedule for the Top 25 along with ranked teams that will survive tests this week.
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (at No. 16 Northwestern)
For all of those Buckeye fans who wanted Kenny Guiton to start over Braxton Miller, those fans had to take a seat last week. Miller showed last week that he can still be a big playmaker against the Wisconsin Badgers.
The junior threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first game back on the field. Despite scoring only 31 points, the Buckeyes still have one of the top offenses in the nation. They have scored 48.2 points per game this season, and it doesn't matter who is throwing passes. Even if Miller were to get hurt, Guiton could come in and lead the Buckeyes past Northwestern.
Last week, the defense stood out. Wisconsin entered the game as one of the top rushing offenses in the country, but Ohio State held the Badgers to 104 rushing yards. The Buckeyes can take away a team's strength and force it to try to win in a different way.
Northwestern hasn't beaten Ohio State since 2004. Urban Meyer is 17-0 as Ohio State's coach. Look for both trends to continue as the Buckeyes will be putting up a lot of points.
No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (vs. No. 15 Washington Huskies)
Stanford entered this season as one of the favorites to challenge the SEC. Its defense was expected to lead the way, and so far, it has.
Opponents are scoring only 19.5 points per game against the Cardinal this season. Stanford has kept teams from putting up a lot of points, and its offense has helped out by putting up 41.3 points per game.
After scoring only 34 points in each of the first two weeks, Stanford has improved its scoring output each week. It has scored 97 points in two Pac-12 contests, so Washington will have a hard time keeping up.
The Huskies have been a good story this season. They dominated Boise State and survived a tough test on the road against Illinois. Now they will get Stanford and Oregon in back-to-back weeks. Although Washington's defense ranks among the best with an average of 10.8 points per game against, it hasn't faced a team like Stanford.
Washington may be able to hang around for a bit, but Stanford will survive a tough test.
No. 8 Florida State Seminoles (vs. No. 25 Maryland Terrapins)
This will be fun to watch. Florida State's offense is outstanding, and Maryland's defense has been one of the best in the nation. Both teams are balanced, but those are the strengths of each team early on.
Maryland's defense ranks third in points allowed, so freshman Jameis Winston will be challenged this week. He has completed 73.6 percent of his passes and has 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback is also a threat to run the ball. Winston has over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season.
Florida State has scored at least 41 points in every week. No team has been able to stop it or keep up. Before last week, the Seminoles had allowed only 26 points in three games. Boston College put up 34 points, but Winston was able to outscore the Eagles.
On paper, this is intriguing because each team is ranked. However, it will be a big test for Florida State as its next game will be at No. 3 Clemson. Although the Seminoles will have a bye week after this game to prepare for the Tigers, they can't overlook the Terrapins.
Both teams have been able to put up points and shut opponents down, but Winston will lead his team past Maryland to set up a big showdown with Clemson.
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