Edited by: Matthew Ruskan (@MRuskan)
Follow us on Twitter! @OS_Report
Some highlights of the OSR Pick ‘Em group chat last week: Mikey Valacer, the Notre Dame graduate “I’ve long said that Purdue is my favorite Indiana team.” Matthew Ruskan, a Kenyon College (it’s D3, ok?) graduate “There are other college football teams in Indiana?” And Justin Wagner, the Alabama graduate “As you all know, I have been a Rondale Moore fan for years.” Notably absent were the Ohio State fans who founded this esteemed website. It was glorious. And John Bray was right.
We have some great games this week, so take a look before as the OSR staff gives you their thoughts!
Baylor (4-3) vs. West Virginia (5-1)
Thursday, October 25 - 7:00 PM ET
Milan Puskar Stadium – Morgantown, WV – FS1
Preview: The West Virginia Mountaineers are coming off of what can only be described as a long bye week. Nothing like taking your first L and then having to deal with an extra week of practice with coaches yelling at you. That should give the Mountaineers all they need in terms of motivation when Baylor comes to town. Baylor, despite their 4-3 record, has been a solid team. They took Texas to the brink last week, and know that they are going to have to beat some good teams if they want to be bowl eligible come season’s end. Baylor is going to make it interesting, but I think that the extra week of preparation for West Virginia will mean it is Bear season for the Mountaineers.
BU Key Players QB Charlie Brewer, LB Clay Johnston
WVU Key Players: QB Will Grier, LB David Long
Georgia Tech (3-4) vs. Virginia Tech (4-2)
Thursday, October 25 - 7:30 PM ET
Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, VA – ESPN
Preview: Virginia Tech may be tops in the Coastal division of the ACC, but it sure feels shaky. Add in a Thursday night game against Georgia Tech and the Triple Option? Oh boy. Fortunately, for the Hokies they had a bye week to prepare for the Yellow Jackets offense, but Georgia Tech can claim the same. Both teams will be well rested, meaning we might actually see some good football on a Thursday for once (I’m looking right at you, NFL). For the Hokies, offensive consistency will be key. Can they move the ball and give their defense time to rest? While the battle between the offensive line of GT and defensive front for VT is rightly in the spotlight, there will be pressure on the Hokies’ corners to stay ready for the few deep shots the Yellow Jackets will take. If GT hits on those, the game totally changes. This should be fun.
GT Key Players: QB TaQuon Marshall, DB Malik Rivera
VT Key Players: RB Steven Peoples, LB Rayshard Ashby
Miami (5-2) vs. Boston College (5-2)
Friday, October 26 – 7:00 PM ET
Alumni Stadium –Chestnut Hill, MA – ESPN
Preview: This should be a fun Friday night game. This will be the Red Bandana game for the Eagles, which means they’re gonna come with a lot of emotion and passion. Their defense will bring their squad of ‘dudes’ to the field and will try to take advantage of the currently wild QB situation for the Canes. Not to mention, their star RB AJ Dillon is back and ready to roll. The Canes have some issues to work out after coming off of a BYE week after a really bad loss to Virginia. They’ll go back to Malik Rosier this week and see where that gets them, but they will need to bust out that turnover chain a few times and get the train rolling again in Coral Gables.
UM Key Players: RB Deejay Dallas, DB Jaquan Johnson
BC Key Players: RB AJ Dillon, LB Connor Strahan
#2 Clemson (7-0) vs. Florida State (4-3)
Saturday, October 27 – 12:00 PM ET
Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL - ABC
Preview: This game is always a great one, it’s a rivalry game and it has made for some great football games in the past. Clemson has looked like Clemson and with Trevor Lawrence at the helm, they look even better, Travis Etienne looks like a Heisman candidate and their defense looks as dominant as ever. Florida State has really stepped it up going 3-1 in their last 4 and almost went 4-0. Their team is starting to click and in a rivalry game as Dabo said this week, “records don’t matter”.
CU Key Players: RB Travis Etienne, LB Tre Lamar
FSU Key Players: WR Nyqwan Murray, S Hamsah Nasirildeen
#9 Florida (6-1) vs. #7 Georgia (6-1)
Saturday, October 27 – 3:30 PM ET
TIAA Bank Field –Jacksonville, FL – CBS
Preview: This is the most interesting Florida v. Georgia matchup in a few years, Georgia is coming off of a BYE after taking a big loss to LSU and Florida is coming off of a scary win against Vandy. Both teams are 6-1 and looking to come out strong in this rivalry game. This game will come down to QB play and turnovers. Jake Fromm vs. Feleipe Franks and who can make that extra play and on defense who can create turnovers and then again which QB can capitalize on said turnovers. Jacksonville is going to be rowdy.
UF Key Players: QB Feleipe Franks, S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
UGA Key Players: QB Jake Fromm, DB J.R. Reed
#18 Iowa (6-1) vs. #17 Penn State (5-2)
Saturday, October 20 – 3:30 PM ET
Beaver Stadium – University Park, PA – ESPN
Preview: Holy crap, guys, Iowa needs to be taken seriously in the Big Ten. Maryland isn’t great, but Iowa’s defense was insane last week. Not only did they hold the Terps scoreless, but the Hawkeyes only let Maryland cross the 50 once, and that resulted in an interception thrown from the Iowa 47 yard line. The Hawkeyes have not played a great schedule, but they’ve looked good against it. Meanwhile, Penn State is reeling, coming off of a shaky win against woeful Indiana to rebound from losses to Michigan State and Ohio State, both of which were unceremoniously crushed last weekend. The Nittany Lions are rightfully favored at home, but this matchup is a lot closer than previously expected, and this is Iowa’s biggest test the rest of the season.
IOWA Key Players: QB Nate Stanley, DE Anthony Nelson
PSU Key Players: RB Miles Sanders, CB Amani Oruwariye
#16 Texas A&M (5-2) vs. Mississippi State (4-3)
Saturday, October 27 – 7:00 PM ET
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, MS – ESPN
Preview: Texas A&M is probably the best 2 loss team in the nation. They lost to both undefeated Clemson and undefeated Alabama. They played Clemson tough, losing by just 2. And the Bama game happened. Kinda like it happens to everyone. They face a team in the Mississippi State Bulldogs who are looking in the mirror and asking a lot of questions of themselves. Most notably, how do we score? In three of their last four games, the Bulldogs have been held under 10 points. As dual threat QB Nick Fitzgerald goes, so does this team, and Fitzgerald has not been able to throw the ball. A&M comes in shutting down the run. This could be a very, very long day at College Station for the Bulldogs.
TAMU Key Players: RB Trayveon Williams, DB Donovan Wilson
MSU Key Players: QB Nick Fitzgerald, DL Montez Sweat
#14 Washington State (6-1) vs. #24 Stanford (5-2)
Saturday, October 27 – 7:00 PM ET
Stanford Stadium – Stanford, CA – PAC12N
Preview: Washington State is the last team in the Pac-12 with only one loss, and, on paper, could sneak into the playoff. The Cougars looked unstoppable in the first half of last week, shutting out Oregon 27-0 en route to a 34-20 win. That they had any sort of defensive effort is reason to pay attention to Wazzu as a serious contender in the Pac-12, as the Cougs’ offense will always produce. To remain a contender in the Pac-12 North, however, they must survive Stanford, who has had some extra time to rest and prepare, having played on Thursday last week. Stanford has not been the same Stanford we’ve come to know over the past few years, but it is still a well coached team not to be overlooked. The Cardinal are not out of the Pac-12 North race, but they must win this weekend to give themselves a chance.
WSU Key Players: QB Gardner Minshew, LB Peyton Pelluer
STAN Key Players: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, CB Paulson Adebo
#3 Notre Dame (7-0) vs. Navy (2-5)
Saturday, October 27 – 8:00 PM ET
SDCCU Stadium – San Diego, CA – CBS
Preview: The last time we saw Notre Dame, they barely escaped Pittsburgh while, across the country, four other top ten teams lost to lower ranked teams. The important thing is that Notre Dame won, and as long as they remain unbeaten, there will be a playoff spot reserved for them at the end of the season. To do so, however, they will need to first defeat Navy, and triple option foes are never easy. Two things work in Notre Dame’s favor: the Irish are coming off a bye week, so they have had an extra week to prep for the option, and Navy isn’t very good this year. The Irish should cruise if they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.
ND Key Players: RB Dexter Williams, LB Tevon Coney
NAVY Key Players: QB Garret Lewis, S Sean Williams