Baker’s Breakdown: College Football Week 6 Preview

Week 5 was fun. Nine ranked teams lost including three in the top 10. Alabama and Georgia passed their biggest test of the season with flying colors and solidified themselves as the two best teams in the nation. The Pac-12’s playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread and Clemson is unranked for the first time since 2014. With more upsets in store, Week 6 promises to bring everything Week 5 had and more.

#6 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #21 Texas Longhorns

The yearly Red River Rivalry takes place place at the Cotton Bowl between the Sooners (5-0) and Longhorns (4-1). Texas has bounced back well since their disheartening loss to Arkansas with three straight wins. Texas loves to run the ball with star running back Bijan Robinson, but will need to lean on their passing attack against a Sooner defense that can stop the run but not much else. Quarterback Casey Thompson has performed exceptionally well since replacing Hudson Card throwing for nine touchdowns in three starts. Highly touted NFL prospect Spencer Rattler had his best game of the season against Kansas State, throwing two touchdowns and only three incompletions. Texas’ defense isn’t fantastic, so Rattler will look to build on his previous performance.

The annual “Is Texas Back?” question is making its way through College Football circles. This game will go a long way towards answering that question. I’ll answer it now. They aren’t.

Prediction: Sooners 35, Longhorn 31

#13 Arkansas Razorbacks at #17 Ole Miss Rebels

Both the Razorbacks (4-1) and Rebels (3-1) were ran off the field last week. Bama went up 28-0 at the half vs. Ole Miss before cruising to a 42-21 win while Georgia shut out Arkansas 37-0. Neither team will have time to dwell on their defeat as they face off against each other this weekend. KJ Jefferson and the Hogs will have the opportunity to get their offense back on track against a subpar Rebel defense. He should have no problem connecting with receiver Treylon Burks and Trelon Smith should have success on the ground. For Matt Corral, his life doesn’t get any easier as the Razorbacks defense ranks top 10 in total defense. Corral will want to air it out, but if the Razorbacks’ corners stay disciplined they should bd able to stop the potent Rebels offense.

The Razorbacks defense will be too much for Corral.

Prediction: Razorbacks 31, Ole Miss 27

#2 Georgia Bulldogs at #21 Auburn Tigers

As stated earlier, the Bulldogs (5-0) dominated the Razorbacks last week. The Bulldogs held Arkansas to 162 total yards. With their shutout on Saturday, then lowered their nation leading points per game allowed to 4.6. On the other side of the ball, quarterback JT Daniels isn’t asked to do much. They love to run the ball with Zamir White and when passing the ball finds star tight end Brock Bowers frequently. For Auburn, third year starter Bo Nix will look to build on his best year as a starter. If the Tigers are going to pull off the upset they will need to run the ball and not turn the ball over against an aggressive defense.

The only team that might be able to take down Georgia is located in Alabama, but it isn’t Auburn.

Prediction: Bulldogs 31, Tigers 0

Game of the Week: #4 Penn State Nittany Lions at #3 Iowa Hawkeyes

All eyes will be on Kinnick Stadium Saturday night. The Nittany Lions (5-0) face off against the Hawkeyes (5-0) with the winner emerging as the favorite to represent the Big 10 in the College Football Playoff. The Hawkeyes will lean on their defense as they have all season. They rank top 12 in total defense, but bottom 12 in total offense. They will have their hands full with senior quarterback Sean Clifford. Clifford likes to spread the ball around and isn’t afraid to use his legs to move the chains. Receivers Jahan Dotson and Parker Washington will need to create separation against a Hawkeye defense that has 15 takeaways through five games.

The Penn State defense is also stingy. They have yet to give up more than 20 points this season. The Hawkeyes will want to run the ball with Tyler Goodson, but stoping the run is the strength of the Nittany Lions defense so that will be a matchup to watch. Although Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras doesn’t have the best arm, he isn’t afraid to air it out this season with two touchdown throws of over 40 yards already.

Points will be at a premium in this top 5 matchup. A defense touchdown will be the difference in this game.

Prediction: Hawkeyes 21, Nittany Lions 17

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