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CFB Week 5

College Football TV-Watching Guide – Week 5

As the fallout from Ryan Day v Lou Holtz trickles throughout the sport (among other more important things), we turn the page to Week 5. Conference play gets underway for everyone across the country, and there are a couple opportunities for teams to make major statements. Let’s dive in. 

MUST WATCH GAMES

12:00 PM: #8 USC Trojans @ Colorado Buffaloes (+21.5) – FOX

After a proper humbling from the hands of Dan Lanning and Oregon, the Buffaloes take on the second leg of its conference-opening struggle at home against the Trojans. What was questioned against Colorado State was exposed against Oregon, as Colorado’s offensive line and secondary got demolished. 

This also serves as the first true test for Southern Cal, who have cruised to a 4-0 start against a weak non-conference slate so far as well as wins over bottom-tier Pac-12 teams Stanford and Arizona State. It wasn’t all easy against the Sun Devils last week as ASU hung around for much longer than was comfortable, but the Trojans pulled away late for a 42-28 win.

The common theme of Lincoln Riley-coached teams have been the mighty struggle to tackle and stop competent teams defensively. Despite the blowout and knock back down to early Colorado took, this is still the best offense USC will have faced this year. 

Expect a LOT of points, but once again Shadeur Sanders will be facing pressure all game and I don’t believe he’ll be able to hang for 60 minutes to score with Caleb Williams and USC. Trojans win, but Buffaloes cover the three-touchdown spread. 

 

3:30 PM: #24 Kansas Jayhawks @ #3 Texas Longhorns (-16.5) – ABC

 The **Kansas Jayhawks** are 4-0. In football. AGAIN. The Jalon Daniels-led offense has been putting up big stats and will head back to Austin, the same place where they knocked off the Longhorns in an overtime thriller 57-56 in 2021.  

Unfortunately for Kansas, this Texas team is miles better than the Texas team they beat two years ago. QB Quinn Ewers has been throwing darts to his elite wideouts, completing passes at a 65 percent clip with no interceptions this season. 

But most importantly for Texas on the larger scale, the Longhorns defense have been suffocating teams. The unit has only allowed three touchdowns in the last three games (including against Alabama). 

Kansas will have major issues moving it up the field, and Texas should cruise to a win ahead of Red River next Saturday.

 

7:00 PM: #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ #17 Duke Blue Devils (+5.5) – ABC

Notre Dame got pounded on Saturday against Ohio State, but not on the scoreboard. Ignoring the fact that Marcus Freeman played the two most important snaps with 10 guys on the field, the Irish were out muscled (is that a word?) by the Buckeyes on the ground. Ohio State is a team that you would think is a speed and skill based offense with its plethora of wide receivers, but the Buckeyes gashed Notre Dame in the run game when it mattered the most.  

Duke may not have the same offensive line that Ohio State does, but the Blue Devils do have a few weapons on the ground. RB Jordan Waters leads the team with seven touchdowns at over 6.5 yards per carry. QB Riley Leonard is more than a threat with his legs, and Jaquez Moore adds a solid depth option. 

I really worry about the Irish’s ability to bounce back this week. Maybe I’m overreacting to one game, but after considering Notre Dame to be one of the four best teams before last Saturday I came out of the Ohio State game thinking they were…just good. Not great. Duke can play a little defense, and if Notre Dame comes into this game expecting the Blue Devils to roll over for them they will be in for a rude awakening. I will reluctantly take Duke in an upset, ending Notre Dame’s playoff hopes. 

BACKGROUND NOISE

FRIDAY 9:00 PM: #10 Utah Utes @ #19 Oregon State Beavers (-3.5) – FS1

  • College football on Friday, we do not acknowledge you. But if we did, we would probably say something like this. Utah squeezed the life out of freshman QB Dante Moore and UCLA in a 14-7 win last week, and face an Oregon State team coming off of a conference loss in desperation mode. Utes QB Cam Rising is taking first-team reps in practice and is looking to make his comeback this week, taking the Utah offense to a new level and a 5-0 start

12:00 PM: #22 Florida Gators @ Kentucky Wildcats (-1) – ESPN 

  • Another entry on the ‘Wait you’re undefeated too?’ list, meet the Kentucky Wildcats. Florida has lost three of the last five in this series, and will have to slow down a pass-happy Kentucky offense. Transfer quarterback Devin Leary has been a little loose with the football, already having five interceptions on his game log this season and struggling to get momentum against Vanderbilt last week. 

3:30 PM: #1 Georgia Bulldogs @ Auburn Tigers (+14.5) – CBS

  • Auburn got drubbed last week at Texas A&M, QB Payton Thorne has been thoroughly unimpressive, and a change might be in order. Carson Beck is looking better and better every week, and things could get very ugly for the Tigers if they don’t come out of the gates quick in this game. 

7:30 PM: #13 LSU Tigers @ #20 Ole Miss Rebels (+2.5) – ESPN  

  • LSU squeaked through a scare against Arkansas a week ago, and now hit the road in the SEC to face an Ole Miss team looking to bounce back after its loss to Alabama. I still have a ton of faith in LSU’s ability to run the table and stay in the playoff hunt, but they will need to prove it in a tough road environment. Jaxson Dart has had tough outings the last two weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lane Kiffin make a change during this game if the Rebels are in it. Quinshon Judkins needs to be let loose too as he gets fully healthy.

THE ‘STOP, STOP, HE’S ALREADY DEAD!’ GAMES OF THE WEEK

12:00 PM: #6 Penn State Nittany Lions @ Northwestern Wildcats (+27) – Big Ten Network

6:30 PM: #9 Oregon Ducks @ Stanford Cardinal (+27) – Pac-12 Network

7:00 PM: Iowa State Cyclones @ #14 Oklahoma Sooners (-20) – FS1

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