By Stewart Mandel
October 15, 2010
College Football Pickoff: Week 7
Saturday, Oct. 16
7 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 1 Ohio State (6-0) at No. 18 Wisconsin (5-1)
Some eye-opening numbers, courtesy of FanHouse's John Walters: Ohio State has won its last eight road games against Top 25 foes and 19 of its last 20 Big Ten road games. Look for Terrelle Pryor to play it safe most of the night, then strike with some long passes. Badgers tailbacks John Clay and James White will get some yards, but the Buckeyes defense will clamp down in the red zone.
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 12 Arkansas (4-1) at No. 7 Auburn (6-0)
The chess match between master play-callers Bobby Petrino and Gus Malzahn should be fascinating. Razorbacks QB Ryan Mallett will likely throw for 350 or more yards against the nation's 91st-ranked passing defense. But Arkansas often has trouble finishing off drives because it's so one-dimensional. Auburn, on the other hand, has the ultimate red-zone weapon in run/pass threat Cameron Newton.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Texas (3-2) at No. 5 Nebraska (5-0)
Nebraska is hardly the ideal opponent for a Texas team trying to get its bumbling offense going, but that doesn't mean this will be a rout, either. Nebraska has fumbled 17 times this season, and redshirt freshman QB Taylor Martinez is bound to make some mistakes against Texas' tough D, creating short field opportunities for the 'Horns. Texas will make it interesting.
6 p.m. ET (ESPN2) No. 10 South Carolina (4-1) at Kentucky (3-3)
Kentucky has become the SEC's proverbial "trap" game. Auburn barely escaped Lexington last week, and the Gamecocks may be ripe for an upset after toppling 'Bama. Steve Spurrier's team has mastered the midseason meltdown in recent years, but this is his best SC team yet, and even a subpar performance should be enough to beat a UK team playing without injured RB Derrick Locke.
Noon (BTN) Illinois (3-2) at No. 13 Michigan State (6-0)
Congrats, Coach Zook, on your big win at Penn State last week. Your reward? Another road trip, this time to play the Big Ten's hottest team. Don't be surprised if the Spartans come out flat after last week's win over Michigan, but Mark Dantonio's offense will keep running the ball until someone (Edwin Baker, Le'Veon Bell) eventually rips off a big play.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 15 Iowa (4-1) at Michigan (5-1)
Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi is the nation's third-ranked passer, working with arguably the Big Ten's best receiving corps and going against one of the nation's leakiest secondaries. The Hawkeyes won't put up 40, but they won't need to, because Adrian Clayborn and Iowa's swarming defensive line are ideally suited for shutting down Denard Robinson and the Michigan spread offense.
3:30 ET p.m. No. 20 Oklahoma State (5-0) at Texas Tech (3-2)
Oklahoma State hasn't won in Lubbock since 1944 (though there were two ties in the '50s and a 1988 win in Tokyo). This may be its best chance to end the drought. But as prolific as the Cowboys offense has been, their defense is allowing more passing yards per game (290.8) than all but two teams in the country. Mike Leach may be gone, but Tech still loves to throw it.
Noon (FSN) No. 21 Missouri (5-0) at Texas A&M (3-2)
Don't look now, but Mizzou has found itself a defense. Even with pass-rushing beast Aldon Smith injured, the Tigers rank third nationally in scoring defense (11.2 points per game) and seventh in pass efficiency defense. They should be able to pressure Aggies QB Jerrod Johnson and force a couple picks. Assuming he's not slowed by his hip flexor, Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert should have no such troubles.
3:30 p.m. ET (FSN) Cal (3-2) at USC (4-2)
Take away its disastrous performance against Nevada, and Cal's defense has actually been exceptional, ranking sixth nationally against the pass and 21st against the run. But the Bears are nothing if not inconsistent and seem unlikely to shut down Matt Barkley and USC the way they did UCLA last week. Plus, QB Kevin Riley has shown little evidence he's capable of exploiting USC's flimsy secondary.
11:30 p.m. ET No. 19 Nevada (6-0) at Hawaii (4-2)
UPSET SPECIAL: While Colin Kaeperick and Co. have been deservedly racking up headlines, Hawaii has quietly put together a nice team itself behind national passing-yards leader Bryant Moniz (2,245 yards). The opening-week scare Hawaii gave USC was no fluke. The Warriors won't be scared of the Pistol (they run their own version, the "Kiko"), and they haven't lost at home to Nevada since 1948.
Record Last Week: 7-3               Record This Season: 46-14

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