TCU at No. 5 Boise State
Now with 48 wins, Kellen Moore just passed Colt McCoy as college football’s all-time win leader at quarterback. Now college football’s most successful quarterback faces Boise State’s biggest road block toward another undefeated season, TCU. The Horn Frogs and the Broncos have battled back and forth the last few seasons for the title of the best non-BCS School, including a matchup in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl where both teams were undefeated coming in and Boise eked out a victory 17-10. Two years later, the rosters are almost completely different, but one thing remains the same — both schools are still powerhouses in the college landscape. TCU has experienced a few tough luck losses this season with a last second loss to Baylor and an overtime loss to Southern Methodist University. However it is still a high quality team with a stingy defense and an explosive offense that puts up 41.6 points a game. However, the Broncos numbers on offense are slightly stronger mostly because of the senior leader Moore at quarterback. Expect a close game, but ultimately another win for the Broncos, who are looking to go undefeated once again.
No. 22 Auburn at No. 18 Georgia
After two games, Georgia was 0-2 and its fans were calling for Mark Richt’s job after a pair of tough losses to top-15 teams. But since then all the Bulldogs have done is reel off seven straight wins. They now have the inside track to winning the SEC East division and a shot at the conference title. This week they face perhaps their biggest hurdle in order to reach that championship game, in the form of defending national champions, Auburn. While the Tigers aren’t nearly as potent as they were last season, they are still a formidable foe. Auburn isn’t the most impressive team statistically, as their points-for and points-against numbers are only separated by a positive 1.6 points. This strikes itself as an anomaly for a ranked team, as most good teams usually have a spread of upwards of eight to 10 points. But they find ways to win, mostly through their running game and star sophomore Michael Dyer, who has carried the Tiger offense with 989 rushing yards on the season. On the other hand, the Bulldogs’ offensive strategy is much more balanced, they throw for 253 yards a game and run for 175, keeping opponents honest on defense. While also coming to the field with a stingy defense themselves, that only gives up 19.9 points a game to some of the toughest schools in the country, as a part of the SEC. No matter who comes out on top, expect a close game when Auburn’s involved, but look for the Bulldogs to squeak by to continue their roll.
No. 3 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
Oklahoma State was just involved in one of the best shootouts of the season, in a nail-biting seven point win over Kansas State. Now they should be prepared for another one, as they take on one of the most explosive offenses in the country this week, Texas Tech. If you’re a Texas fan you’re probably at bit confused at this point, as last weekend the Red Raiders were shut down by a strong Texas defense. However, numbers don’t lie and this Tech passing attack is very potent. They average 362 yards through the air, and put up an impressive 36.8 points a game, and that’s after two straight weeks where it only scored 27 points combined which will hurt your average in that short a season. But, as good as the Tech offense is, its defense does a lot to make up for it allowing 34.2 points a game. This is a dangerous precedent for the Red Raiders to set, especially going up against Oklahoma State which features the No. 2 scoring offense in the country. But the Cowboys don’t play the best defense either, giving up 28.6 points a game, which is way down at No. 77 in that category in division one, quite an unusual statistic for the No. 2 team in the land. So either way you can expect an entertaining, up-and-down game between the two.
No. 8 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford
Andrew Luck is college football’s golden boy this season. He is the front runner for the Heisman, the future No. 1 overall pick, and on top of all of that is, he is leading Stanford to a potential Pac-12 title and national championship game. Except there is one more large obstacle in the way for Luck and Stanford: the defending national runners-up, Oregon. Oregon suffered a disappointing season-opening loss to the current No. 1 team in the land, Louisiana State, but since then the Ducks have rolled on to the tune of eight straight wins. Competing for their second straight Pac-12 title, Oregon gets much of their yardage on the ground, being one of the fastest teams in the country. It utilizes that speed to run a hurry-up option offense that is spearheaded by running back LaMichael James, a Heisman finalist himself last season and quarterback Darron Thomas, each of whom put tremendous strain on opposing defenses with their quickness. Stanford on the other hand is quite balanced, relying on its future all-world quarterback to make plays on offense, and a solid defense that only allows 16.6 points. When these two teams met last season, the Cardinal received a beating 52-31 in their only loss of the season, and there isn’t a ton that has changed on these two rosters.