College Football Week 5 Preview

Writer: Joseph Ralston

Last week was a great week for football and all those who watched, played, and coached, with a Washington St. and UCLA game that may go down as one of the most exciting games of the season. However, it was not a good weekend if you were Jim Harbaugh or a Michigan fan, who seemingly shocked everyone by getting dominated by Wisconsin, but left no one surprised. Week 5 brings in a fresh slate of games, a new week for teams to get back on track, another week for PAC-12 teams to destroy their hopes of being in the Top Ten, and another week for the top teams to continue to prove why they deserve to be up there. 

Games to Watch:

Arizona State (3-1) @ #15 Cal (4-0): This matchup has two teams no one expected to have their records, especially Cal being ranked 15th in the Nation, but here we are. Both these teams have big upsets, and they will both look to make their case in the wild PAC-12. Arizona State is coming off a close loss to Colorado where they put up at least 30 points for the second time with season. Herm Edwards and his Freshman QB Jayden Daniels look to take down the Golden Bears in a big road game. Cal looks to continue their run and stay in the College Football Top 25, and another win will definitely keep that dream alive. Last week Cal took down a solid SEC team in Ole Miss on the road, and earlier in the season took down a 14th ranked Washington team on the road. If Cal can continue their run, they could see themselves in breaking to Top Ten and playing in the PAC-12 Championship game. That will all depend on the play of the Golden Bears, but they’ve got hope, and sometimes that’s all you need.

How to Watch: Friday, 9:30 pm, on ESPN. Bets: ASU +4.5 (+175). CAL -4.5 (-200). Over/Under: 42. Prediction: ASU-18 CAL-24

#18 Virginia (4-0) @ #10 Notre Dame (3-1): This could be a big ACC matchup if Notre Dame ever wants to join a conference, but it’s still a huge non-conference game for Virginia and a recovery game for Notre Dame. Last week, Notre Dame did not look very good against SEC powerhouse Georgia, but they’ll look to right the ship this week and prove themselves as a National powerhouse again. Ian Book have an average game but he, and the Notre Dame offense, should fair a little bit better this week against a Virginia team that has allowed an average of 18 points a game. Virginia however, looks to be the front-runner to win the ACC Coastal division and will need to continue their winning streak to have a shot at Clemson for the ACC title. A big upset of Notre Dame could be a big win to give Virginia the confidence to believe they MIGHT be able to take down Clemson in the Title Game. Virginia’s QB Bryce Perkins has looked good enough all season, but he will need to control the ball a lot better if they hope to take down Notre Dame in what could be a closer game than some are predicting. 

How To Watch: Saturday, 2:30 pm, on NBC. Bets: UVA +12.5 (+400). ND -12.5 (-500). Over/Under: 48.5. Prediction: UVA-24 ND-27

#21 USC (3-1) @ #17 Washington (3-1): The PAC-12 has 5 ranked teams and these are two of the more interesting teams. Both have bad upsets on their schedule, but big wins as well, so a matchup between these two teams is going to be very interesting and exciting. USC continues to the improbable. One week they lose their starting QB and almost lose to Fresno State, another week they lose BYU, and another they take own PAC-12 favorite Utah. USC gives up an average of 24 points a game, and Washington is scoring an average of 40 points a game, which could mean bad news for USC. With that being said, Washington is going to throw everything they got at USC as they hope to distinguish themselves in the PAC-12 North after being upset Week 1. Washington needs to compete with Oregon a win over a ranked USC team could be a big win for them before they take on Stanford away, Arizona away, and then Oregon and Utah at home. That’s four big games and Washington is going to want to go into that stretch 4-1 instead of 3-2. 

How To Watch: Saturday, 2:30 pm, on FOX. Bets: USC +10.5 (+290). WASH -10.5 (-360). Over/Under: 61.5. Prediction: USC-21 WASH-38

#24 Kansas State (3-0) @ Oklahoma State (3-1): Kansas State finally breaks into the Top 25 after starting 3-0 and taking down a big SEC team in Mississippi State. Oklahoma State looks to recover after a tough lose to Texas last week. Kansas State and Oklahoma State are averaging the same amount of points a game, with 44; however, their defenses are where they differ. Kansas State has allowed an average of 12.7 points per game, whereas Oklahoma State is double that at 26.8. This game is going to come down to the defenses and who can get stops and when. Both offenses should take care of their jobs but if their defenses do not get important stops, then the game could get out of control. Oklahoma State Freshman QB Spencer Sanders should shine again this week, and even if the Cowboys lose the game, they should be happy with the effort their QB gives them for the next few years. 

How To Watch: Saturday, 6:00 pm, on ESPN+. Bets: KSU +4 (+160). OKST -4 (-180). Over/Under: 60.5. Prediction: KSU-33 OKST-30

Marquee Matchup

Washington State (3-1) @ #19 Utah (3-1): If this game matches the quality of the games the two teams played last week we are in for a good one on Saturday Night that you are going to want to stay up for. Both teams are coming off bad upsets to PAC-12 rivals. Washington State looks to get back in to the Top 25, while Utah looks to make a run at the PAC-12 Championship game. However, when two high powered offenses like these two meet, they’re going to make for a crazy back and forth game. Washington State is averaging 52 points a game, and Utah’s defense is only allowing 14.8 points per game. On the flip side, Washington State’s lack of defense should allow for Utah’s offense to explode this game. Washington State’s QB Anthony Gordon looks to continue his crazy run this season, but he’ll run in to a defense heavy Utah game so it will be interesting to see how he and Mike Leach try to overcome them.  Utah looks to get back in to the good graces of the committee after being taken down by USC last week, and show how good their offense is against the weaker Washington State defense. 

How To Watch: Saturday, 9:00 pm, on FS1. Bets: WSU +6 (+190). UTAH -6 (-230). Over/Under: 56.5. Prediction: WSU-36 UTAH-30