Northwestern/Michigan Headline What To Watch This Weekend In College Football

Northwestern/Michigan Headlines What To Watch For This Weekend. Who would have ever thought that a few months ago? There are some other huge games as well, like Georgia/Tennessee and Cal/Utah.

 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) vs Texas Longhorns (1-4), noon

The Texas heat is scorching right now in Austin. Can Longhorns coach Charlie Strong stop the bleeding against their arch-rival Oklahoma? They face the Sooners at high noon in Dallas.

Everyone in the Big 12 is talking up TCU and Baylor but don’t sleep on unbeaten Oklahoma. They are better offensively with new quarterback Baker Mayfield and the defense is improved. So this is a tall order for the Longhorns.

For Texas to have any kind of chance I am going into the bag of clichés. The Lornhorns must win the field position and turnover battle and strike some balance on offense and control the football. It’s a rivalry game and you never know.

Georgia Bulldogs (4-1) at Tennessee Volunteers(2-3), 3:30

The Volunteers are 0-2 in the SEC, losing a heartbreaker in Gainesville and then again last week at home against the Razorbacks. They appear out of the SEC East race but could certainly play spoiler here when they host Georgia.

The Dawgs still control their own destiny, though it appears they will have to win out. That means its starts in Knoxville in this huge road game for Mark Richt and the Bulldogs.

How does UGA respond after last Saturday’s humbling home loss at the hands of Alabama? Minus the late, long touchdown by Nick Chubb, Georgia failed to get this super sophomore running back on track against the Tide. They need him and Sony Michel to have monster games to take some heat off the passing game. That means they must win first down.

With Tennessee, they have to learn how to finish off an opponent.

I expect an angry Georgia squad tomorrow and this has the makings of a terrific SEC East game.

Northwestern Wildcats (5-0) at Michigan Wolverines (4-1), 3:30

If you would have told me two months ago that one of the big things to watch for in week six of this college football season was the Big Ten battle between Northwestern and Michigan than I would have said to put the Big Ten kool aid away!

In all seriousness, the Wildcats and Wolverines both find themselves inside the Scout top 20 power rankings. Northwestern upset Stanford in week one and remain unbeaten. Michigan stumbled at Utah out of the gate and won every game since.

Both teams are playing very well, especially defensively. They have combined for four shutouts. Both teams are giving up seven points a game.

Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines have been on quite a roll. In their last four games the Michigan defense has only allowed two touchdowns. That’s an amazing turnaround in Ann Arbor.

This is a must game for both teams, as they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Points should be at a premium. Can the Wolverines shut down the run game of Justin Jackson and the Wildcats and make Clayton Thorson beat them through the air?

For Michigan it’s pretty simple, quarterback Jake Rudock has to play efficient football. Manage the team and don’t throw interceptions. One errant throw could be the difference in this game.

Miami (Fl) Hurricanes (3-1) at Florida State Seminoles (4-0), 8:00

It’s ‘Canes and ‘Noles. That’s all you need to know in this one. Maybe it’s not quite the rivalry it once was but this should still be an exciting game.

It’s s shame Miami lost last Friday night to Cincinnati or both teams would be unbeaten. But it is what it is and right now Al Golden is coaching for his job. A win over their in-state rival would be huge for him and the Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, FSU flirted with disaster on the road at Wake Forest one week ago but they survived. In that game, star running back Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring. Being from Miami, you know Cook wants to be himself in this one, especially matching up with many friends on the other side, most notably Joseph Yearby. For those that don’t know, Cook and Yearby were teammates at Miami Central.

So keep a close eye on the rushing battle between these two.

No question that FSU has more talent. But they replaced their offensive line and have a new starting quarterback. The defense in Tallahassee is stout and matches up well against the Hurricanes.

Still, this is FSU/Miami and anything goes. Cook and or Yearby could be the difference.

California Bears (5-0) at Utah Utes (4-0), 10:00 

This is your classic battle of offense/defense, physical versus finesse as Cal travels to Utah. They are the two remaining unbeaten programs from the Pac-12 with so much on the line.

Behind quarterback Jared Goff, Cal has a high powered offensive attack. He has played very well over the course of this young season, throwing for 1,630 yards and 15 scores while completing 70% of his passes But there's balance, as Cal has already rushed for over 1,000 yards in five games. Can the Bears keep it going against the physical defense of the Utes? It's a terrific front seven in Utah and the secondary is underrated. But you know this unit will be tested and tested often by Goff and his bevy of wide receivers.

Then you have the other side with Utah quarterback Travis Wilson and running back Devontae Booker. Wilson is having a super senior season while Booker is one of the best backs in college football. You know they will want to control the football, which will mean a steady diet of Booker. Meanwhile, the much maligned Cal defense has really shown improvement since last season. The Bears have produced 18 turnovers and have recorded 18 sacks as well. 

Something will have to give in this Pac-12 battle.

 


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