This weekend brings some good matchups on the small and big stage of college football that could affect the Nation Title. Without further adieu, here are the predictions for Week 10 in college football.
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech
This game comes down to the quarterbacks. Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor has been playing great football the last few weeks. He is the leading passer and rusher for an offense that has topped 40 points pretty frequently lately. Taylor gets one of his weapons back for this game, RB Ryan Williams. That just makes an explosive Hokie offense even more dangerous. The Yellow Jacket defense must know where Taylor is at all times if they want to succeed in this game. Yellow Jacket QB Joshua Nesbitt is the key to the offense. He must make the correct reads and get the ball in the hands of playmakers like RB Anthony Allen. If Allen, Nesbitt and the Yellow Jacket triple option offense isn't successful on the ground, then it could be a long night for the Yellow Jackets.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 42, Georgia Tech 20
North Carolina State vs. Clemson
QB Russell Wilson take this young Wolf Pack team to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers. Wilson must be effective in the pocket and he must have help in the running game from his stable of young RBs. If the running game appears, Wilson should be able to take advantage of a subpar secondary. Clemson QB Kyle Parker must also depend on the running game to assist him. If RB Jamie Harper gets it going on the ground, Parker should be able to spread the ball around. This should be an interesting football game.
Prediction: Clemson 27, North Carolina State 23
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State.
QB Robert Griffin III leads the Baylor balanced attack into Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Griffin must be effective with his arm and his legs and he must also have some assistance from RB Jay Finley. The more effective Finley is, the more dangerous Griffin will be. The Cowboys defense has a tall task ahead of them this game. For the Cowboys, the three-headed monster of QB Brandon Weeden, RB Kendall Hunter and WR Justin Blackmon must be effective. The most important member of this trio is Hunter. He will open up the passing game if he is effective on the ground. Look for this game to be a shootout.
Prediction: Baylor 45, Oklahoma State 38
Washington vs. Oregon
QB Darren Thomas leads the high-flying Ducks at home against the Huskies. The Huskies will be without QB Jake Locher this game. In his absence, RB Carlos Polk must carry the offense. If he is able to gash the Ducks defense, then the Huskies should be able to hang around for a little bit. If not, this game could get ugly. Thomas, RB LaMichael James and crew can strike early and often. This game shouldn't even be close.
Prediction: Oregon 52, Washington 10
Alabama vs. LSU
Alabama travels to the Bayou to take on an LSU team looking to cloimb back into the national championship picture. RBs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson haven't exploded in a while, so I expect them to explode this game. The once tough LSU defense has shown some chinks in the armor and should have their hands full with Ingram and Richardson. Another key matchup in this game will be WR Julio Jones vs. All-America CB Patrick Peterson. For the Alabama defense, the job is simple: stop the run. LSU has one of the top rushing offenses in the SEC, but when they do have to throw the ball, they are very ineffective. QBs Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee bring in their lackluster play against a playmaking Alabama defense.
Prediction: Alabama 23, LSU 20
TCU vs. Utah
This game will be one of the top matchups on TV. Both schools are on a smaller level, but both could factor into the National Championship picture. QB Jarrod Wynn leads the Utes on offense. He will be a serious run/pass threat. The Horned Frogs must contain Wynn and RB Eric Wide in order to be successful. If not, then it could be a long day for TCU. QB Andy Dalton is a good quarterback that no one talks about. He has a strong arm. He will be able to hit the big plays in the passing game only if RB Ed Wesley produces on the ground. I look for this game to be close.
Prediction: TCU 24, Utah 21
Arkansas vs. South Carolina
Arkansas enters this game clicking on all cylinders. The Hogs will be without star WR Greg Childs for the rest of the year, so TE D.J. Williams must be effective stretching the field. If not, then South Carolina will crowd the line of scrimmage and attack RB Knile Davis. South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia must value the football. If Garcia takes care of the ball, then RB Marcus Lattimore and WR Alshon Jeffrey will take over the game.
Prediction: South Carolina 31, Arkansas 28
Arizona vs. Stanford
Arizona travels to Stanford to take on the Cardinal. QB Andrew Luck should continue to have success through the air with his multitude of weapons. If he is able to spread the field, then more lanes will open up for their running game. The Wildcats must make the Cardinal one-dimensional. If QB Nick Foles plays this game, look for Arizona to open up the field and use their passing game. If not, look for the Wildcats to go to RB Nick Grigsby and the Wilscat running attack. This should be a close game.
Prediction: Stanford 36 Arizona 33
Tennessee vs. Memphis
Freshman QB Tyler Bray leads this young Tennessee team into Memphis. Memphis must run the football to shorten the game. If they are not effective there, then the Tigers will be in a world of trouble. For the Vols, it simple: come out and establish the tone early. They must be effective with RB Tauren Poole. If the Vols force their will on Memphis, this game should be over quickly.
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Memphis 13
North Carolina vs. Florida State
North Carolina travel to Tallahassee to take on an impressive Florida State team. Florida State QB Christian Ponder is getting help with his running game this season and he has looked sharp in the passing game. Look for his breakthrough season to continue against the Tar Heels and their depleted secondary. QB T.J. Yates must make some plays for the Heels to have a chance. The Seminoles will stop the running game of the Heels with ease. I wouldn't bet on Yates to be able to beat the 'Noles.
Prediction: Florida State 31, North Carolina 14
Here are my predictions for the week. Now who wants to challenge me?