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10 One-on-One Matchups to Watch in Week 6

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIINovember 6, 2016

10 One-on-One Matchups to Watch in Week 6

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Three tantalizing Top 25 matchups will give college football fans plenty to look forward to in Week 6.

    Heisman Trophy hopeful Jameis Winston will face the toughest defensive test of his career when No. 8 Florida State hosts No. 25 Maryland. 

    Another preseason Heisman favorite, Braxton Miller, could be poised for a big day in a potential shootout between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 16 Northwestern.

    Washington also boasts one of the nation's best players in running back Bishop Sankey, who leads the NCAA in rushing. Sankey, Keith Price and the No. 15 Huskies will have their hands full when they take on No. 5 Stanford's stingy defense. 

    Check out full breakdowns of those tilts, as well as a number of other intriguing battles to come this week.

    Note: All rankings based on the Week 5 AP Top 25 and all statistics via CFBStats.com.

Jameis Winston vs. Maryland Defense

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    Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    Jameis Winston has looked almost superhuman so far in his freshman campaign.

    The Florida State signal-caller has amassed 1,048 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions in four games. He has also run for 111 yards and two scores.

    However, this week when Maryland heads to Tallahassee, he'll face the toughest defense he has seen in his young career.

    The Terrapins rank No. 3 in scoring defense, No. 6 in total defense and Nos. 13 and 14 in the nation in rushing and passing defense, respectively. They are in the top five in the ACC in all four of those categories.

    Something has to give this weekend and it looks like Winston's astronomical quarterback rating, currently at 209.5, will take a dip.

Stefon Diggs and Deon Long vs. Lamarcus Joyner and FSU Secondary

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    Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    On the other side of the FSU-UMD matchup, a wealth of talent will tangle between the Florida State secondary and the Maryland receiving corps.

    Led by All-American cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State ranks No. 4 in the nation and No. 1 in the ACC in passing defense, allowing just 136 yards per contest.

    Joyner and company will be tasked with stopping the passing attack led by quarterback C.J. Brown and receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.

    Diggs is No. 24 in the nation, averaging an even 100 receiving yards per game and has three touchdowns on the year. Long isn't far behind, averaging just shy of 70 yards per game. 

    Their success has come thanks to the play of Brown, who ranks No. 4 in the ACC in passing, with 260.8 yards per game, just 1.2 yards behind Jameis Winston.

    UMD and FSU will play on ESPN at noon EDT.

Keith Price and Bishop Sankey vs. Stanford Defense

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Washington will head to Stanford feeling like it has what it takes to knock off the nation's No. 5 team in Stanford, and rightfully so.

    UW boasts the No. 1 running back in the country, Bishop Sankey, who has tallied just shy of 152 yards per game. The Huskies also have a talented and experienced quarterback in Keith Price.

    The senior signal-caller has accounted for 272.5 total yards per contest.

    Together they'll take on a Stanford defense that is strong, but not quite as suffocating as it has been in recent years.

    The Cardinal are best against the rush, where they rank No. 21 in the nation. However, their secondary has been suspect, allowing 238.5 passing yards per game to rank No. 78 nationally.

    If Stanford keys in on Sankey, the game could be on Price's shoulders.

Braxton Miller vs. Northwestern Secondary

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller returned to the field last week in Ohio State's 31-24 win over Wisconsin and didn't seem to miss a beat.

    The junior completed 17-of-25 passes, totaled 281 yards passing and rushing and tossed four touchdowns.

    Now he is poised for a monster day against the Northwestern secondary. The Wildcats have allowed 307.5 passing yards per game, ranking them No. 119 in the nation.

    ESPN's College GameDay will be on site as NU will be out for a massive upset of OSU. But looking at the matchup between Miller and the Wildcats' secondary, it might be the Buckeyes who end up having the enormous day.

Alex Collins vs. Florida Rush Defense

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Alex Collins has been off to a fantastic start as a true freshman. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native leads the SEC in rushing with 597 yards.

    This week, however, he'll return to his home state to take on the best defense he has ever seen.

    UF is No. 2 in the country in total defense and No. 1 against the run. The Gators are allowing only 53.5 rushing yards and 202.5 total yards per game.

    The Razorbacks' passing game has been very poor, not even averaging 180 yards per game through the air. So if UF can bottle up Collins, it'll be a long day for the Hogs in The Swamp.

Blake Bell vs. TCU Secondary

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    Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

    Blake Bell has been outstanding this year for Oklahoma and is 2-0 as a starter.

    In the process, he has thrown for 683 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions, leading OU to a 43-point-per-game average with him at the helm.

    He will be in an interesting matchup with TCU this week. The Horned Frogs secondary is laden with talent, namely safety Elisa Olabode and All-American corner Jason Verrett. 

    However, that secondary hasn't played well so far this season and will have a golden opportunity to prove its worth against the Sooners.

    TCU needs its secondary to find its way back on track too, as another loss could knock the Frogs out of Big 12 title contention.

Baylor Offense vs. West Virginia Defense

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Last year's Baylor-West Virginia matchup ended up looking more like a basketball game, as the two teams traded scores all afternoon in Morgantown until the Mountaineers eventually won out 70-63.

    This year, the game will likely look a bit different, or at least that is what WVU should be hoping for.

    Baylor's offense has looked unstoppable, averaging a nation-leading 69.7 points and 751.3 yards per game. WVU, meanwhile, has made major strides defensively.

    The Mountaineers are No. 37 nationally in total defense and 31st against the pass. They have also given up less than 20 points per game on average thus far. 

    If the Mountaineer defenders can continue their strong play, they will have a chance at the upset. If not, it could get ugly.

Minnesota Rush Offense vs. Michigan Rush Defense

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    Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    The theme for the Minnesota offense this season has been "run or bust." 

    The Gophers trounced their first four opponents and amassed 1,129 rushing yards in the process for an average of 282.3 rushing yards per game.

    Last week, Minnesota was stopped cold by Iowa and managed just 30 yards on the ground, marking its first loss of the season.

    The slow day wasn't a surprise, as the Hawkeyes rank No. 7 in the nation in rush defense. Now, though, the Gophers will take on the No. 6 rush defense in Michigan.

    The Wolverines have only given up 79 rushing yards per game. If the Gophers can establish a ground game, they can knock off the Wolverines, though it doesn't look likely.

LSU Offense vs. Mississippi State Defense

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    It's amazing what good quarterback play can do. Thanks to the exemplary play of signal-caller Zach Mettenberger, LSU has one of the most dangerous offenses in the SEC.

    The Tigers have averaged just shy of 43 points per game, good for No. 3 in the conference.

    This week they'll face a tough challenge in Starkville against Mississippi State, which boasts the No. 3 scoring defense in the league. 

    The two teams will be in very different mindsets, as well. The Bulldogs will be backed into a corner and desperate for a win after starting 2-2 and 0-1 in the SEC.

    Meanwhile, LSU might be caught a little down after an emotional loss to Georgia. If that's the case, don't count out the Bulldogs and their strong defense at home.

Jeff Scott vs. Tre Mason

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    John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott is the only running back in the SEC to have more than 40 carries and an average greater than eight yards per rush.

    The explosive senior could be poised for another big day when he takes on the porous Auburn rush defense. The Tigers have been gouged for 175 rushing yards per contest.

    Auburn boasts a talented running back of its own in Tre Mason and Mississippi has also struggled against the run. While Auburn is No. 12 in the SEC, Ole Miss ranks ninth in the league against the run, allowing just shy of 150 yards per game.

    This game could come down to whoever has the bigger day between Scott and Mason.

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