By Stewart Mandel
October 04, 2012
College Football Pickoff: Week 6
Saturday, Oct. 6
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 4 LSU (5-0) at No. 10 Florida (4-0)
LSU's continued offensive woes -- in particular, its rash of turnovers (eight) -- is admittedly alarming. But the Tigers' deep, swarming defensive line hasn't lost a step. Here's guessing they spend the day collapsing early and often on Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel, who has already been sacked 12 times and hasn't faced a defense of LSU's caliber.
7 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 5 Georgia (5-0) at No. 6 South Carolina (5-0)
The Gamecocks' No. 4 rushing defense (2.24 yards per carry) will slow Georgia's freshman tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall (192.8 yards per game). But the Dawgs' explosive and balanced attack, led by quarterback Aaron Murray, is hard to completely shut down. Though South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw will have a big game, the Gamecocks lack Georgia's offensive firepower.
7 p.m. ET (FOX) No. 8 West Virginia (4-0) at No. 11 Texas (4-0)
Geno Smith takes his 84.4 completion percentage to face a thus-far underwhelming Texas defense that's allowing 6.2 yards per play -- worse than West Virginia (5.8). But the Mountaineers don't have the type of offensive balance Oklahoma State deployed to gain 576 yards on the 'Horns last week, and David Ash will pick apart the WVU secondary.
7:30 p.m. ET (NBC) Miami (4-1) vs. No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0)
Miami's first test against a ranked opponent -- a 52-13 loss to Kansas State Sept. 8 -- did not go well. The 'Canes have won two ACC games since then, but Notre Dame's front seven will shut down Miami's running game, rendering it one-dimensional. Meanwhile, the stagnant Irish offense will wake up against the young 'Canes' 109th-ranked defense (6.36 yards per play).
8 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 21 Nebraska (4-1) at No. 12 Ohio State (5-0)
Braxton Miller accounts for 72.5 percent of the Buckeyes' offense. If you can shut him down, you will beat the Buckeyes. Unfortunately for the Huskers, their defense is not equipped to do it. Much like UCLA's Brett Hundley in Week 2, Miller will use his feet to buy time and make big plays in the passing game. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez will not keep up.
10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 23 Washington (3-1) at No. 2 Oregon (5-0)
The Huskies gained some momentum with last week's 17-13 upset of then No. 8 Stanford. The Ducks are about to squash that. Even if coordinator Justin Wilcox's defense holds Oregon below its usual 500-plus yard output, the Ducks' top 20 defense (4.55 yards per play) will overwhelm Washington's offensive line and make it difficult to sustain drives.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 17 Oklahoma (2-1) at Texas Tech (4-0)
It's the moment of truth for Texas Tech's defense, which is ranked No. 1 the country right now (3.12 yards per play) but has played soft competition to date. Landry Jones and the Sooners' struggling offense likely won't shred the Red Raiders, but Mike Stoops' 26th-ranked defense is in much better shape than a year ago to shut down Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege.
3 p.m. ET (FOX) Arizona (3-2) at No. 18 Stanford (3-1)
How much has Stanford's offense regressed in a year? After losing four All-Americas, it's slipped from No. 6 nationally (6.8 yards per play) to No. 100 (5.02). Fortunately, it runs into a mediocre Arizona defense this week ranked just 65th against the run (4.1 yards per carry). The Wildcats won't slow down star running back Stepfan Taylor (103.3 yards per game).
Noon ET (ESPN) No. 24 Northwestern (5-0) at Penn State (3-2)
A week after shredding Indiana for 704 yards, Kain Colter and the Wildcats' offense take a step up in competition against the Nittany Lions' 14th-ranked scoring defense. But despite beating three straight mediocre foes, Penn State ranks just eighth in the Big Ten against the run. Colter and Venric Mark will produce enough big plays for the Wildcats.
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (BTN) Michigan (2-2) at Purdue (3-1)
Don't look now, but the Boilers are the best Leaders Division team that could actually go to a bowl this season. Star defensive tackle Kawann Short and cornerback Ricardo Allen lead a defense primed to cause problems for Denard Robinson, while Purdue quarterback Caleb TerBush and running backs Akeem Shavers and Akeem Hunt lead the nation's No. 3 third-down conversion offense (58.5 percent).
Record Last Week: 7-3               Record This Season: 32-18

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