By Stewart Mandel
October 09, 2009
College Football Week 6
Saturday, October 10
8 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 1 Florida (4-0) at No. 4 LSU (5-0)
There's no way to forecast this game without making a completely uninformed guess as to whether Tim Tebow will play, so here's mine: he won't. As a result, the Gators will run early and often and rely on their loaded defense to carry them. LSU's offense may move the ball between the 20s, but I don't see the Tigers reaching the end zone very easily.
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 3 Alabama (5-0) at No. 20 Ole Miss (3-1)
If history tells us anything, it's that this game will be close -- Alabama has won by four points or fewer in each of the past four seasons. The Tide have also won all but two meetings since 1989. The Rebels will not go down easily this year, though. They need this win to have any shot at reaching Atlanta. But with Alabama's pass-rush forcing a couple untimely Jevan Snead turnovers, that'll be tough.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Wisconsin (5-0) at No. 9 Ohio State (4-1)
A year ago in Madison, then-freshman Terrelle Pryor led a game-winning 80-yard drive, sending the Badgers' season on a downward spiral. Wisconsin boasts a much more formidable offense this year with efficient QB Scott Tolzien and punishing RB John Clay. But OSU's ninth-ranked defense should slow down the Badgers enough for Pryor to inflict more damage.
8 p.m. ET (ABC) Michigan (4-1) at No. 12 Iowa (5-0)
Exhausted Michigan QB Tate Forcier was barely standing by the end of last week's overtime loss to Michigan State. Now, he gets to face an Iowa defense allowing just 13.4 points per game. The Hawkeyes' offense is not exactly explosive (No. 74 nationally), but QB Ricky Stanzi just needs to avoid mistakes against an otherwise vulnerable Michigan defense.
Noon ET (ESPN) No. 17 Auburn (5-0) at Arkansas (2-2)
Expect a lot of offense in this one; Auburn is averaging 512.8 yards per game, Arkansas 441. The Razorbacks' defense did a good job of slowing down Texas A&M's frenetic attack last week, but the Tigers bring a whole different level of creativity, trickery and efficiency. They're also extremely balanced. It's hard to see Arkansas keeping up for 60 minutes.
Noon ET Boston College (4-1) at No. 5 Virginia Tech (4-1)
Frank Spaziani's Eagles have defied all reasonable expectations with their 4-1 start, particularly considering their early uncertainty at quarterback. This week, however, they run into an aggressive defense that will look to pressure quarterback David Shinksie much the way it did Miami's Jacory Harris. And as always, it'll be tough to beat the Hokies in Blacksburg.
8 p.m. ET (ESPN2) No. 22 Georgia Tech (4-1) at Florida State (2-3)
Following a humbling loss at Boston College and a turbulent week off the field, the Seminoles could respond in one of two ways: Their struggling defense could give up 400 yards rushing against the Jackets' triple-option attack ... or the players could get angry and put on a BYU-type performance for their embattled coach. I'm expecting the latter.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Connecticut (3-1) at Pittsburgh (4-1)
The Panthers have quietly put together a productive offense: QB Bill Stull has thrown 11 touchdown passes and just one pick, while freshman RB Dion Lewis is averaging 116 yards per game. They'll be facing a Huskies defense that ranks third nationally in yards allowed (232.3), but UConn's lack of offensive firepower will hurt it in this road test.
7 p.m. ET (FSN) Stanford (4-1) at Oregon State (3-2)
The Cardinal have been the toast of the Pac-10 thus far, but their last road trip came four weeks ago in a 24-17 loss at Wake Forest. Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart (130 yards per game) should be able to keep up the pace against the Beavers, but Oregon State can counter with the Rodgers brothers, Jacquizz and James, who average a combined 257 yards of offense.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 13 Oregon (4-1) at UCLA (3-1)
Upset Special: It's been a rough week on the injury front for the Ducks. QB Jeremiah Masoli is nursing a knee injury and isn't expected to play, while CB Willie Glasper -- himself a replacement for injured star Walter Thurmond -- suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Conversely, QB Kevin Prince returns for UCLA. The stars are aligning for the Bruins.
Record Last Week: 6-4               Overall: 26-24

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