Wisconsin vs Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are 3-0 with each game having some sort of drama. They enter this week’s matchup against Wisconsin at a neutral site game at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Both of these offenses need some work. Notre Dame’s offense has been spotty, where Wisconsin has failed to complete a pass farther than 20 yards. Graham Mertz isn’t going to take many shots downfield, and that might be a good thing considering Kyle Hamilton will be on the other side of the line. Hamilton has been an absolute ballhawk, and if Mertz is even going to consider “threading the needle” he needs to be aware of Hamilton at all times.
Verdict: (Wisconsin -5.5) The Irish’s luck is going to run out. Notre Dame has had some offensive line issues, and the Badger defense will sure to take advantage of it getting pressure on former teammate Jack Coan. I do believe Notre Dame has the better offense but Wisconsin’s defense is going to put major pressure on Coan. Look for Wisconsin’s defense to give the offense some help, and pound the ball in with Chez Mellusi.
Wisconsin 24- Notre Dame 16
Texas A&M vs Arkansas
Zach Calzada got some confidence back last week against New Mexico, and he is going to need it against this scrappy Razorback defense. Coach Pittman has Hog Nation believing that they can contend with the best in the SEC. They will get their chance this week with the Aggies in Dallas. Can Razorback quarterback KJ Jefferson move the football on Texas A&M’s stout defense?
Verdict: (Arkansas +4.5) The Razorbacks are going to keep this game close with their defense. I am still not convinced that Calzada will be able to be “the guy” with Haynes King out. Arkansas’s offense will put up some points on the Aggie’s but look for a late drive stop by Texas A&M for the win.
Texas A&M 27- Arkansas 23
LSU at Mississippi State
Mississippi State suffered a terrible loss to Memphis due to a horrific missed call that resulted in a Memphis touchdown. LSU has won two in a row since their loss to UCLA in Pasadena. Look for LSU’s defense to try and get some of their swagger back against an SEC team. It won’t come easy for the Tigers with the mad scientist Mike Leach calling plays for quarterback Will Rogers who threw for over 430 yards last week.
Verdict (Miss State +2.5) The Bulldogs are going to be locked in after their loss to Memphis last week and will be looking to take it out on the Tigers. Miss State’s defense has shown signs of improvement and should be able to slow down LSU’s offense. LSU’s defense has plummetted the last two years, I believe the showing against UCLA is who they actually are. Add in that this place is in Starkville, with 60,000 people rattling cowbells, I give the edge to Mississippi State.
Miss State 34 – LSU 31
Clemson at NC State
When is Clemson’s offense going to figure it out? The Tigers struggled last week with a bad Georgia Tech defense. NC State was dominated by Miss State in Week 2. Clemson’s defense is for real and will give their offense a shorter field.
Verdict (Clemson -10) Dabo’s offense takes a huge step forward this week due to their defense leading the way. NC State will have a decent home-field advantage but their offense is going to struggle. Clemson’s offense will score their share of points thanks to the short field given to them by their defense.
Clemson 30 – NC State 10
WVU at Oklahoma
Let’s be honest Oklahoma hasn’t looked like the title contender a lot of people (me included) thought they were going to be. Sooners are undefeated and will be hosting West Virginia for the prime time game. West Virginia looked great in the first half against Virginia Tech, but in the fourth quarter, the Hokies almost completed a comeback. If the game had gone on for 5 more minutes Virginia Tech would still have the Black Diamond Trophy. The Sooners are still having trouble on defense, but this might be the offense they need to go against to get back in the groove. Jarret Doege hasn’t looked great this year, and some costly mistakes almost ruined the Gold Rush last week in Morgantown. The Mountaineers will need Leddie Brown to lead the way once again if they want any shot at Oklahoma.
Verdict (Oklahoma -16) Sorry West Virginia fans, but this one has the makings of a blowout. WVU has a night game in Norman, with a struggling quarterback/offense. Their defense is solid, but this may be the Spencer Rattler coming out party of 2021. I do not like this matchup for the Mountaineers.
Oklahoma 41 – West Virginia 21