By Stewart Mandel
October 07, 2011
College Football Pickoff: Week 6
Saturday, Oct. 8
Noon (ABC) No. 3 Oklahoma (4-0) vs. No. 11 Texas (4-0)
Texas has made great strides on offense over the course of the season, and its defense remains exceptional. The 'Horns should be able to bottle up Oklahoma's running game, and Landry Jones won't throw for 400 yards against them. But it's tough to expect two relatively new quarterbacks (Case McCoy and David Ash) to keep up against the Sooners' talented defense.
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 17 Florida (4-1) at No. 1 LSU (5-0)
The Gators managed just 15 rushing yards last week against Alabama, and they might not fare much better against the Tigers' No. 3 rushing defense. That puts more pressure on Florida freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel. Florida's best hope is an implosion from Tigers quarterback Jarrett Lee, who was 8-for-21 against Kentucky last week. Expect Les Miles to go conservative.
7 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 15 Auburn (4-1) at No. 10 Arkansas (4-1)
Auburn's defense played its best game of the season last week against South Carolina, but it's hard to say how much of it was the Tigers' doing and how much was Stephen Garcia's doing. Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson and his receivers will cause Auburn far more problems, though Auburn's multi-faceted offense will keep it interesting throughout.
7 p.m. ET (BTN) No. 12 Michigan (5-0) at Northwestern (2-2)
This could certainly be the week the Wolverines go down, as Wildcats quarterback Dan Persa (fine after last week's injury scare) and his receivers will cause problems for Michigan's still-suspect secondary. But Michigan's defense inspires far more confidence than Northwestern's, which will have another long night in its first meeting with Denard Robinson.
8 p.m. ET (ABC) Ohio State (3-2) at No. 14 Nebraska (4-1)
Ohio State lacks a competent quarterback and will be without suspended running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey longer than expected -- but at least it's a model of compliance. A full-strength Buckeyes offense may have had a shot against the Huskers' vulnerable defense, but as it stands, Nebraska can survive a couple Taylor Martinez turnovers and still win.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Missouri (2-2) at No. 20 Kansas State (4-0)
While Mizzou decides whether to stay in the Big 12 or go, its 2011 football team is still trying to forge an identity. James Franklin has proven to be a dynamic dual-threat quarterback (291 yards passing, 103 rushing against Oklahoma) and will give the Kansas State defense problems, while the Tigers will slow down the Wildcats' run-heavy offense.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Miami (2-2) at No. 21 Virginia Tech (4-1)
Both teams lost their ACC openers, making this a must win to keep their respective division-title hopes alive. The Hokies' offense is a mess, but they can at least count on running back David Wilson (127.8 yards per game), who ranks one spot above Miami's Lamar Miller (127.8) on the national charts. Expect corner Jayron Hosley and the Tech secondary to make the difference.
7 p.m. ET (FX) No. 24 Texas A&M (2-2) at Texas Tech (4-0)
A&M has to get over its second-half collapses if it's going to save its season, and its defense has to be ready for an aerial assault from Tech quarterback Seth Doege (73.3 percent completions, 14 TDs, one INT). The Raiders have thus far played four terrible opponents, yet still rank 102nd nationally in total defense. Aggies quarterback Ryan Tannehill should have a field day.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Iowa (3-1) at Penn State (4-1)
Kirk Ferentz is Penn State's Kryptonite; he holds an 8-2 record against the Nittany Lions. Penn State's defense is far superior to the Hawkeyes', but Iowa at least has a quarterback, James Vandeberg (10 TDs, one INT), who is capable of making plays. JoePa continues to trudge along with Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden. Interceptions will follow.
3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU) Pittsburgh (3-2) at Rutgers (3-1)
UPSET SPECIAL: I vowed to get back to more under-the-radar upset picks, so here we go. Pitt's defense has looked dominant its past two games, but did not fare as well in its lone game on the road (at Iowa). Rutgers' defense is underrated and can slow down torrid Pitt running back Ray Graham while making the most of prolific kicker San San Te and a Panthers letdown.
Record Last Week: 5-5               Record This Season: 31-19
Week 6 Preview
Source:SI previews the best of the Week 6 action, including an undefeated Red River Rivalry showdown.

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