Week 5 College Football Preview and Predictions
#12 West Virginia @ #25 Texas Tech
Kickoff: 12:00 P.M EST
Spread: West Virginia-3.5
Preview: This game is most likely going to come down to which defense can make the final stop. This is going to be a very high scoring game with both teams capable of putting up over 50 points. Look for Will Grier to put up huge numbers in this game that help boost his Heisman stock. Grier is coming off a very good game against Kansas State and Bill Snyder’s defense, and this Texas Tech defense has a lot more holes than Kansas State. How will Alan Bowman handle yet another test after going into Stillwater and knocking off #15 ranked Oklahoma State? I think that Mountaineers are going to get the best of the Red Raiders in this one with Will Grier, David Sills, and Gary Jennings putting up big numbers.
Prediction: West Virginia55- Texas Tech41
Syracuse @ #3 Clemson
Kickoff: 12:00 P.M EST
Spread: Clemson -25.5
Preview: This is a revenge game for Clemson after Syracuse stunned the #2 Tigers in the Carrier Dome last season. Kelly Bryant exited that game last year due to injury very early, and Clemson will be without him this year, but in a completely different situation, after he announced his intentions to transfer earlier this week after losing his starting job to true freshman QB Trevor Lawrence. Trevor Lawrence is a much better QB than Bryant’s backup last year, Zerrick Cooper, who played most of last years game against Syracuse. I think Clemson is going to be extremely fired up for this game and their defense is going to come out thirsty for revenge. ‘Cuse QB Eric Dungey is a pretty good quarterback, but Trevor Lawrence and Clemson are going to get their revenge.
Prediction: Clemson 49- Syracuse 21
Virginia @ NC State
Kickoff: 12:20 P.M EST
Spread: NC State -6
Preview: NC State and QB Ryan Finley look to remain unbeaten taking on ACC opponent Virginia in their first test of the season after their week 3 matchup against #14 West Virginia was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Finley has looked good early in the season, but look for the Wolfpack to try and get Reggie Gallaspy going early against a team in Virginia that gave up over 200 yards on the ground to Indiana freshman running Stevie Scott. NC State looks to contain a Virginia team that has several playmakers in QB Bryce Perkins, RB Jordan Evans, and WR/RB Olamide Zaccheaus who is a threat to have a big play whenever he touches the ball. I think, however, that NC State comes away with the win at home.
Prediction: NC State31- Virginia 20
Tennessee @ #2 Georgia
Kickoff: 3:30 P.M EST
Spread: Georgia -31
Preview: Tennessee just got stomped on at home by Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators, committing 6 turnovers in a 26 point loss. Georgia is coming off an impressive victory on the road against Missouri, beating the tigers 43-29 in Columbia. Things are going to get worse for the Vols before the get better, as they play Georgia, Auburn, and then Alabama in the next few weeks. Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs are going to take care of business in this one, and true freshman 5-star QB Justin Fields will get a lot of run in the second half.
Prediction: Georgia55 – Tennessee10
#18 Texas @ Kansas State
Kickoff: 3:30 P.M. EST
Spread: Texas -8.5
Preview: Is Texas truly back? The Longhorns are coming off back-to-back wins against #22 USC and #17 TCU. This is a game that Texas will have to start out strong, or it could be a classic let down game. Kansas State is making a QB change, switching from Skylar Thompson to Alex Delton after only putting up 6 points against West Virginia. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger should look to find big WRs Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan (best name in college football) Humphrey against a Kansas State secondary that gave up 3 touchdowns to 6’4 West Virginia WR David Sills last week.
Prediction: Texas35 – Kansas State17
Purdue @ Nebraska
Kickoff: 3:30 P.M. EST
Spread: Purdue -3
Preview: Look for Purdue senior QB David Blough to carry his stellar play from last week into Lincoln, Nebraska against Scott Frost and the Cornhuskers. Purdue true freshman WR Rondale Moore, a longtime Texas commit, is a fun player to watch, and the Boilermakers will try to get the ball in his hands a lot. Scott Frost has had a rough start to his tenure at his alma mater, but I believe he is going to eventually turn things around but just not this week. Nebraska freshman QB Adrian Martinez is going to be a very fun player to watch for years to come, but he is going to hit some more bumps in the road like he did last week against Michigan. I like Purdue in this game.
Prediction: Purdue44 – Nebraska 23
Pittsburgh @ #13 Central Florida
Kickoff: 3:30 P.M. EST
Spread: UCF -13
Prediction: This is a big game for UCF because Pittsburgh is the Knight’s only Power-5 opponent this season after their game against North Carolina was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. McKenzie Milton and the Knights look to return to a New Year’s Six Bowl and will take care of the Panthers.
Prediction: UCF45 – Pittsburgh20
Utah @ Washington State
Kickoff: 6:00 P.M. EST
Spread: Utah -1.5
Preview: Yes, Washington State lost a tough matchup last week against USC, but I really liked what I saw from East Carolina grad-transfer QB Gardner Minshew for the Wildcats. Utah QB Tyler Huntley has not looked as sharp as I thought he would to start his junior year, but RB Zack Moss has gotten of to a pretty solid start. Moss will look to break out a couple of big runs against a Washington State team that allowed a lot of big runs to a USC run attack that was not playing well before last weeks matchup. Utah will also look to get the ball in the hands of WR Britain Covey, who is back from his two-year Mormon mission after a stellar freshman season. If Covey is not brought down immediately, it can be costly for Washington State. I like Washington State to come away with the win at home.
Prediction: Washington State 38 – Utah 28
Florida@ #23 Mississippi State
Kickoff: 6:00 P.M EST
Spread: Mississippi State -7
Preview: The main storyline in this game is the return of Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen to Starkville, where he was the head coach from 2009-2017. Dan Mullen recruited almost every player that is on the Mississippi State roster, so he knows some of their strengths and weaknesses, including those of QB Nick Fitzgerald. Mississippi State and Florida are both 3-1 with Kentucky being both of their lone loss. Mississippi State looks to rebound after a 28-7 loss to Kentucky, while Florida looks to carry the momentum from a 47-21 thumping over SEC rival Tennessee. Mississippi State’s defensive line consisting of Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons, and Chauncey Rivers is loaded with talent, and the Gators will need Feleipe Franks to have a big game in order to win. I believe that Franks makes a couple of mistakes which end up costing the gators in this one.
Prediction: Mississippi State31 – Florida21
#4 Ohio State @ #9 Penn State
Kickoff: 7:30 P.M EST
Spread: OSU -3.5
Preview: QB Dwayne Haskins and #4 Ohio State look to continue their hot start against #9 Penn State. This game is going to have an incredible atmosphere with a whiteout in Happy Valley. Penn State RB Miles Sanders is no Saquon Barkely, but he has proved to be a competent replacement for the Giants #2 overall pick. Dwayne Haskins is making a lot of people question why he was starting over J.T. Barrett last year, and is currently #2 on my Heisman rankings, only behind Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. This is going to be a really fun battle between Penn State QB Trace McSorley and Haskins. Ultimately, I think that the Ohio State defense makes a couple of big plays and comes away victorious.
Prediction: Ohio State 41– Pen State 26
South Carolina @ #17 Kentucky
Kickoff: 7:30 P.M. EST
Spread: South Carolina -1.5
Preview: While Kentucky’s defense and Josh Allen, who I have going in round 1 of my mock draft, have looked very good to start the season, they have not had to face a passing quarterback like South Carolina’s Jake Bentley this season. The two SEC QBs that Kentucky have faced this season are Feleipe Franks and Nick Fitzgerald, two quarterbacks that are not at the same level as passers as Bentley. I have a feeling that this game is going to come down to whether Kentucky QB Terry Wilson can make key plays down the stretch with South Carolina most likely going to stack the box to stop Kentucky RB Benny Snell.
Prediction: Kentucky 21- South Carolina 17
#7 Stanford @ #8 Notre Dame
Kickoff: 7:30 P.M. EST
Spread: Notre Dame -5
Preview: I really like Brian Kelly’s decision to make the switch from QB Brandon Wimbush to QB Ian Book, who looked very comfortable in last week’s victory over Wake Forest. Stanford, on the other hand, is coming off an improbable come from behind win against Oregon, who was most likely 2 QB kneels away from victory last week. K.J. Costello looks like the real deal which is no surprise when you have a WR like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside who catches almost every 50/50 ball. Bryce Love has not had the year that many people expected, but Stanford’s passing attack is much improved this year with Arcega-Whiteside, TE Kaden Smith, and TE Colby Parkinson. This game could be all that is standing between Notre Dame and the playoffs, as their schedule does not look nearly as tough as it did in the beginning of the year with USC, Virginia Tech, and Florida State all struggling.
Prediction: Stanford 27 – Notre Dame 24
#20 BYU @ #11 Washington
Kickoff: 8:30 P.M. EST
Spread: Washington -17
Preview: BYU has been one of the surprise teams of the 2018 season, already defeating Arizona and #6 Wisconsin. BYU’s defense has been dominant at times this season and completely shut down Arizona’s dynamic QB Khalil Tate. BYU looks to shut down Jake Browning, who has made several mistakes this year that have seemed a bit uncharacteristic. Washington’s defense has been stellar this season, and Washington would have been undefeated if their offense could’ve made a couple more plays down the line against Auburn. I think Washington’s defense will be too much for BYU in this one.
Prediction: Washington 27 – BYU 14
Ole Miss @ #5 LSU
Kickoff: 9:15 P.M. EST
Spread: LSU -10
Preview: Ole Miss’ defense has been atrocious this year. Southern Illinois scored 38! points in the first half against Ole Miss. This should be a game that LSU QB Joe Burrow looks to air it out to WRs Justin Jefferson and Dee Anderson. The most interesting matchup in this game is the Ole Miss passing attack under QB Jordan Ta’amu and receivers A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf matched up against LSU CB Greedy Williams and S Grant Delpit. I think LSU ultimately takes care of the Rebels.
Prediction: LSU 37 – Ole Miss 27
#19 Oregon @ #24 California
Kickoff: 10:30 P.M. EST
Spread: Oregon -2.5
Preview: Oregon is coming off a devastating loss to Stanford(as mentioned above), but QB Justin Herbert and WR Dillon Mitchell played fantastic games. Cal, coming off it’s by week, has flown somewhat under the radar this season. Their victory over BYU looks a lot better now than it did when it happened. California is starting to transform into a pretty solid defensive team under coach Justin Wilcox and looks to have found it’s QB in redshirt freshman QB Chase Garbers. I think that Oregon rebounds this week and defeats Cal.
Prediction: Oregon42 – California24