2017 Week 5 NCAAF Weekend Preview

September 29, 2017
By K. Becks

Last weekend we finally got the upsets that were somewhat lacking through the first three weeks of the season.

And as a result, I did horribly in the head-to-head prediction game.

Jack is the first guest to beat me this season, propelling the guests to an overall lead in the standings:

K. Becks – 11-9

Guests – 13-7

This week, my buddy Nate will try to keep things headed in the right direction for the guests. And before we even begin, I apologize to Nate and everyone else who likes reading my in-depth analysis of the games each week. I simply had to mail it in due to time constraints.

But hey, who am I kidding? This is the age of eight second attention spans – no one wants to read the long stuff.

Let’s take a look at the games you should watch this weekend.

5 Games to Pay Attention to This Weekend

#5 Southern Cal at #16 Washington State (Friday, 10:30 PM ET)

Last time I picked against the Trojans, they thoroughly beat the opponent (Stanford). Although I’m not a huge fan of Washington State, a team with tremendous potential offensively but with the tendency to play sloppy football, it’s just a matter of time before Southern Cal goes down. Great teams that force six turnovers by their opponent don’t win by just 10 points.

This one could end up being the Luke Falk vs. Sam Darnold show, which is something college football fans would love to see.

My Pick: 44-38 Washington State

Nate’s Take: To hell with Clay Helton! In 4 games he’s turned Sam “Oh my darling” Darnold from future Browns QB to Matt Barkley Jr. Give me Luke Falk! With 14 TDs to just 1 INT over four games, people are saying Falk is the hottest cougar since Mariah Carey. The Falk/Leach tag team is a sure fire cure to your Sam Darnold blue balls. Go Cougs!

WSU 35 USC 27

Maryland at Minnesota (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Terrapins may end up being the mystery of the Big Ten this season. One week, Maryland goes down to Texas and surprises everyone with a victory over the Longhorns. Another week, and we see the Terrapins getting smacked by Central Florida at home, scoring only 10 points. The Maryland offense that shows up in this one should dictate the result.

If it’s Week 1 Maryland offense, the Terrapins win. If it’s Week 3 Maryland offense, D.J. Durkin’s squad loses a close one. Since Minnesota has the second best defense in the Big Ten, I’m comfortable predicting the latter of those two options for the Terps.

My Pick: 17-14 Minnesota

Nate’s Take: Row row row the boat, gently to victory, Maryland Maryland Maryland Maryland, their QB is fourth string.

MINN 28 MARY 14

#7 Georgia at Tennessee (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

How many times am I going to pick against the Bulldogs, only to be disappointed? Potentially one more. Tennessee was on the wrong side of a Hail Mary pass against Florida two weeks ago, perhaps the first time in the Butch Jones era in Knoxville where the Volunteers haven’t been the ones celebrating after a play like that.

That being said, Tennessee should be able to slow down Georgia’s offense, which has a major decision to make this weekend: stay with true freshman Jake Fromm at quarterback, or switch back to original starter Jacob Eason. Despite Georgia’s defense playing well thus far, Kirby Smart’s pick for who will be under center Saturday afternoon could make all the difference in what should be a close one.

My Pick: 28-27 Tennessee

Nate’s Take: See link for game preview.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nwdAtkE8mws

It feels like Georgia begins the season hot each year, only to have their championship aspirations crushed by Bama. I can’t in good conscious pick Georgia knowing poor UGA the bulldog is subjected to this animal cruelty each year.

TENN 24 UGA 20

#24 Mississippi State at #13 Auburn (Saturday, 6 PM ET)

The Bulldogs came back to earth last weekend in Athens, making college football fans question just how poorly LSU’s defense may be if Mississippi State could be beaten so soundly by Georgia. There is no rest for the weary in Starkville, however, as Dan Mullen’s team must regroup to face an Auburn team whose defense hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in any game this season.

I see much of the same happening for Mississippi State this weekend, as the Tigers should be able to stifle the Bulldogs’ run game. Unless some major changes were made in the past week, Coach Mullen is going to face the reality that he needs a more balanced offense to contend in the SEC this season.

My Pick: 27-14 Auburn

Nate’s Take: Ahhhhhh the ol Cam Newton bowl. Like Cam, I’ll sell my picks to the highest bidder.

AUB 24 MSU 21

#2 Clemson at #12 Virginia Tech (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

No one has truly challenged the Tigers yet, despite some scores challenging that notion. But Bud Foster’s defense has been heralded as the barrier that could prevent Clemson from walking all over the ACC this season. Virginia Tech nearly took down West Virginia in the season opener despite allowing nearly 600 yards of offense to the Mountaineers, but the defense appears to have righted itself since then.

If the Hokies can get pressure up front and truly test Kelly Bryant’s ability to throw downfield, then this one will be interesting. Fortunately for Virginia Tech, Clemson’s offensive line has already shown issue with keeping Bryant upright.

My Pick: 34-31 Virginia Tech

Nate’s Take: Expect Kelly “Kobe” Bryant to complete more passes in this one game than the Black Mamba did his whole career.

CLEM 38 VT 17

5 Games to Flip To

#14 Miami at Duke (Friday, 7 PM ET)

Duke is undefeated and not afraid of Miami like they likely were 10 years ago.

Indiana at #4 Penn State (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

After a last second touchdown saved Penn State’s unbeaten season, the Nittany Lions will need to contain an Indiana offense that has looked very potent at times but can’t seem to put together a four quarter performance.

Iowa at Michigan State (Saturday, 4 PM ET)

Each team was handed a loss in a primetime battle last weekend, but only the Spartans were humiliated. A classic Big Ten battle should ensue between squads looking to avoid spiraling out of control.

Memphis at Central Florida (Saturday, 7 PM ET)

These two shouldn’t even be playing each other this weekend, but Mother Nature forced the hand of the AAC. Both are undefeated and looking to get an early leg up in the conference title race.

#15 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

Neither one of these teams really seems to care much about defense, which should provide some late night entertainment for those that prefer the new-age style of college football (i.e. air it out).

If you would like to become a guest prognosticator like Nate did this week, please let me know in one of the following ways: email me at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com, send me a message on Around The Corn’s Facebook page, post a comment under this article or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. Opportunities to become a guest prognosticator will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Thanks everyone.

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