Can Garrett Gilbert lead Texas to a rebound victory over Oklahoma?
I know what you're thinking: Why are you starting at week 5? Well, I didn't have a lot on my plate with the NBA season 30 days away, so I decided to give it a go . Last week I did alright with my prediction of picks (http://qhaynesworld.tumblr.com/post/1158036254/ncaa-week-4-picks) and I figured to bring them to Bleacher Report and get some opinions. So, without further ado, here are my week 5 picks!
I only breakdown six games a week (depending on matchups) with my other picks on the last page. Thanks for the checkout, and also view my other articles on basketball, football and even baseball on http://qhaynesworld.tumblr.com/
Run Denard Run. Last season, Robinson was just a change of pace player for Michigan. Now? He's the man who's leading a Wolverine team back into the top 20.
Last season, Indiana upset the Wolverines. But last season the Wolves weren't running on all cylinders with Denard Robinson. Robinson currently has 731 passing and 688 rushing yards. Michigan could be still be tested here, though, with Indiana's 11th-ranked passing offense.
The key for this game is the Michigan D. The offensive has been great, but the defense has been below average at best. If Michigan could limit the big play, this is another easy win.
Prediction: Michigan 34, Indiana 10
Last season, Locker had some magic vs USC. Can he repeat it?
Similar to the Michigan-Indiana game, Washington upset USC last year in Washington. Now the Trojans get to come back with a home game. Washington is a competitive team, but they're not successful yet. Jake Locker has made a step up with his throwing and running abilities, and the offensive has grown around him, with running back Chris Polk and receiver Jermaine Kearse playing well this season.
But USC has Matt Barkley. Barkley has already shown me that he's the best QB in the Pac 10, with 941 yards and 12 touchdowns already. The unknown factor is the running backs. Marc Tyler, Allen Bradford and Dillon Baxter have all got some touches, and seem to be solid. The USC defense started slow, but they got the ball rolling against Washington St.
USC's running game and defense should be the go-to here.
Prediction: USC 34, Washington 20
Run Clay Run
Big Ten football part 1! The Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan State Spartans. Let's look at it:
Both Wisconsin and Michigan St are big-run teams, both in the top 20 for rushing yards on the season. Wisconsin has a monster 2-headed running attack in John Clay and James White. Clay is more of a build power back while White is a speedster. Scott Tolzien is a solid game manager who keeps Wisconsin in games.
Michigan St has a lot of momentum. Kirk Cousins has played well so far this season (863 yards, 6 TD's) and is helped by his own 2-man backfield in Edwin Baker and La'Veon Bell. The defense is a big question—I'm interested to see how they can contain the Wisconsin backfield.
Wisconsin has a better rated defense, but Michigan State hasn't allow a lot of points this season, other then the Notre Dame game. This could be a test—Wisconsin is good at controlling the clock.
Final Score: Wisconsin 30, Michigan St 23
Can Boldin keep Penn State undefeated?
The second matchup with two Big 10 teams. I'm not high on either team really. Both have shown me reasons not to like them.
Iowa is bad at pass-defense. They can really allow some points in the air. Penn State hasn't pulled away in any game I saw. They just feel like they always need a quarter or a half to fully hit there stride. However, both teams have some bright spots. Ricky Stanzi has played well this season, very efficient and he's not turning the ball over (999 yards, 9 TD's). The Hawkeyes lost Jewel Hampton again for the season but Adam Robinson ( 385 yards, 6 TD) has the position and should be able to handle the duties for the rest of the season.
Penn State's Robert Bolden has a solid season to me. His numbers aren't great (823 yards, 3 TD's and 5 INT's) but he has already played Alabama's strong defense. I believe this is his 2nd real big road game. Since he's on the road, Evan Royster HAS to step up. I don't know if it's an injury or what, but he hasn't played well. It's time for him to help his freshman QB.
Final Score: Iowa 24, Penn State 10
After a comeback win against Arkansas, what will Mark Ingram and the Tide do for an encore?
I'm not high on Florida. With that being said, I think in 3-4 weeks they're gonna be the team who everyone is going to like. John Brantley (700 yards 6 TD) has looked lost at times but I expect him to fully get it and once he finds his #1 WR he should be alright. Jeff Demps is a beast running the ball, he's too fast for most defenses to even put a hand on him. I'm not however, overrating the defense based on performance so far, as none of the teams Florida played has a solid offensive playmaker on their team.
Alabama seems to have hit their stride. After trailing in the 3rd to Arkansas, Alabama stepped up and took the game over with their Mark Ingram/Trent Richardson combo. Both will factor into this game. Greg McElroy should have another good game (I predict 18-25, 230, 2 TD's), and Julio Jones (if he can catch the ball) should play well too.
Final Score: Alabama 31, Florida 20
The 2nd top 10 matchup. How many TD's will Luck throw? How many pushups for the Oregon duck?
Both top 10 teams, Stanford and Oregon are looking to continue their climbs. With the Pac-10 up for grabs, this is a must-win for both.
Oregon has utterly dominated every team they played this year. Besides the Arizona State game—which was almost close despite Oregon forcing 7 turnovers—no one has even come close.
Oregon is fast and they have the weapons to outrun their opponents. Darren Thomas (822 yards, 10 TD, 102 rush yards, 1 TD) has played well. Oregon has 5 players with at least 100 rush yards, led by superstar LaMicheal James (475 yards and 4 TDs)
Could Stanford stop that? The Cards have a top-12 defense, and Andrew Luck has a win over Oregon last year. I'm interested to see if Stanford can not stop Oregon, but contain them, limit the big plays and turn this game from a potential shootout to a balanced game.
Final score: Stanford 31, Oregon 28
Is the Horns up for Jackson Jeffcoat and Texas against Oklahoma?
Tough game here. Texas is coming off a really bad home loss to UCLA. Garrett Gilbert has had some growing pains and hasn't taken the step up that Texas fans hoped for. This is a really young team and they haven't really taken the leap. The defense is young as well, but I saw some improvement in that loss vs. UCLA.
Texas may not be overpowering, but Oklahoma has scared me all season. They are not a closing team. Other then the whooping they laid on Florida State, Oklahoma has allowed average teams to stay in games with them. I contend the Landry Jones is the QB the nation hasn't fell in love with yet. I've loved DeMarco Murray since he was a freshman, though and Oklahoma has some defensive pieces that I like.
Prediction: Texas 27, Oklahoma 24
I think it'll be an upset. Yes, they got ran on by UCLA and that pistol offense, but I don't see it happening against Oklahoma. And Texas is a fast team. I believe Texas will go back to their fundamentals: run, run, run and get play action. I think Texas will be able to beat Oklahoma not by deep passes but by short 5-7 yard passes. I expect Gilbert to have a solid game.
Russell Wilson and #23 NC St faces VT this weekend
Here are the other picks, or, as I call them, "the best of the rest." I'll put my upsets with a (U) next to them
#25 Nevada vs UNLV: Nevada
#10 Auburn vs LA-Monroe: Auburn
#3 Boise St vs Colorado St: Boise
#2 Ohio St vs Illinois: OSU
#23 NC St vs VT: VT (u)
Notre Dame vs Boston College: BC
Georgia vs Colorado: Georgia
#12 LSU vs Tennessee: LSU
#16 Miami (FLA) vs Clemson: Clemson (u)