Alabama, Clemson On Track for Third Championship Meeting

#1 Alabama (5-0) vs Texas A&M (4-1), 7:15pm ET Saturday on ESPN

After lighting up Vanderbilt 59-0, the Alabama Crimson Tide dropped a 66-3 hammer on Ole Miss. ‘Bama’s Jalen Hurts hit on 12 of 19 for 197 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another 101 on 10 carries to lead the team in rushing, making him one of nine Alabama players to score a touchdown. One of those touchdowns came on a pick-six by Levi Wallace on one of his two interceptions on the day. ‘Bama’s defense also recorded five sacks and nine hurries.

Texas A&M opened the season by blowing a 27-point fourth-quarter lead over UCLA to lose on a last-minute touchdown. Since then, the Aggies have run the table, most recently scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat South Carolina 24-17. The Aggies feature a solid ground game with three guys having gained 200 or more yards, led by Trayveon Williams with 328 to go along with four touchdowns. Freshman Kellen Mond is settling into the starting job, having completed 69 of 126 for 808 yards, six touchdowns and two picks. He’s likely been suffering from night sweats all week.

 

Wake Forest (4-1) vs #2 Clemson (5-0), Noon ET Saturday on ESPN2

Clemson racked up a convincing 31-17 win over then #16 Virginia Tech last week, sealed with a fourth-quarter pick-six by Dorian O’Daniel. It was Clemson’s third game in four weeks against a top 20 team, so Wake Forest is a welcome breather.

Wake is coming off a 26-19 loss at the hands of previously undefeated Florida State. Four-year starting QB John Wolford completed 24 of 34 for 271 yards, but couldn’t find anyone in the end zone and threw an interception that FSU promptly turned into a field goal. One thing Wake does well is take care of the ball, as they’ve turned it over just three times in five games, and they’re stingy on defense, giving up just 14.4 ppg, but that number’s been deflated by some weak competition, so it’s sure Clemson’s going to blow it up.

Iowa State (2-2) vs #3 Oklahoma (4-0), Noon ET Saturday on FOX

Heisman hopeful and Oklahoma University QB Baker Mayfield is tanned, rested, and ready following a week off. An average Mayfield game looks something like this: 19 of 25 for 333 yards and four touchdowns. But the Sooner defense nearly got caught with their pants down two weeks ago, as they allowed 0-5 Baylor to score 41 Points. The Bears QB Zach Smith sliced up the Oklahoma secondary, connecting on 33 of 50 for 463 yards and four touchdowns.

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If Oklahoma isn’t careful, Iowa State QB Jacob Park might put a scare into them, as well. Park is completing 61.7% of his passes thus far and has nine touchdowns and five interceptions, and gets a ton of help from running back David Montgomery, whose carried for 356 yards and four touchdowns, along with 114 yards receiving. The Cyclones will be out of their depth, but they could make it fun.

#4 Penn State (5-0) vs Northwestern (2-2), Noon ET Saturday on ABC/ESPN3

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is having himself a season. Last week he produced a modest 107 yards from scrimmage, but opened the game by returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and capped the game off with a 16-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. He’s rushed for 574 yards and seven touchdowns, and has another 386 yards and two touchdowns through the air, making for the deadliest offensive weapon in college football. Oh, and he’s returned eight kickoffs for 258 more yards and another touchdown. Penn State’s defense is just as punishing, allowing just 9.4 ppg, third-fewest in the land, and allow just 4.1 yards per play from scrimmage, while forcing 2.8 turnovers a game.

Making matters worse for Northwestern is a bad ankle hobbling leading rusher Justin Jackson, which may keep him off the field Saturday. His 335 yards and four touchdowns of total offense would be sorely missed from an already overmatched offense. Northwestern was fed to the Wisconsin Badgers last week, and now they’re getting thrown to the (Nittany) Lions.

 

#5 Georgia (5-0) vs Vanderbilt (3-2), Noon ET Saturday on ESPN

The Georgia Bulldogs have been steadily marching up the ranks from 15 to 13 to 11 to seven before shutting out Tennessee last week 41-0. The Bulldogs were tenacious on defense, holding Tennessee to just 142 yards while forcing four turnovers. On the year, Georgia has given up just 9.2 ppg (second only to Alabama), 153.6 yards, and just 13.6 first downs. They give no quarter, these Dogs. With Nick Chubb at running back, the offense just runs out the clock while it slowly marches down the field with Chubb leading: 480 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 75 carries. QB Jake Fromm does more than his share to keep the chains moving, completing 59.5% for 734 yards, eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.

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Pity the fool who arranged Vanderbilt’s schedule as this is their fourth straight game against a ranked opponent. Last week they got slapped around 38-24 by Florida, with whom they were actually tied going into halftime before the wheels came off. But Vandy is eighth from the bottom in total yards and scores just 21.6 ppg, a reality made bleaker by the fact that they give up 22 ppg. That gap will only get bigger this weekend.

 

Thursday

#17 Louisville (4-1) vs #24 NC State (4-1)
8pm ET on ESPN

 

Saturday

Wake Forest (4-1) vs #2 Clemson (5-0)
Noon ET on ESPN2

 

Iowa State (2-2) vs #3 Oklahoma (4-0)
Noon ET on FOX

 

#4 Penn State (5-0) vs Northwestern (2-2)
Noon ET on ABC/ESPN3

 

#5 Georgia (5-0) vs Vanderbilt (3-2)
Noon ET on ESPN

 

Ole Miss (2-2) vs #12 Auburn (4-1)
Noon ET on SEC

 

West Virginia (3-1) vs TCU (4-0)
3:30pm ET on FS1

 

#13 Miami (3-0) vs Florida State (1-2)
3:30pm ET on ESPN

 

#21 Notre Dame (4-1) vs North Carolina (1-4)
3:30pm ET on ABC/ESPN3

 

Maryland (3-1) vs Ohio State (4-1)
4pm ET on FOX

 

Oregon State (1-4) vs #14 USC (4-1)
4pm ET on PAC12

 

#1 Alabama (5-0) vs Texas A&M (4-1)
7:15pm ET on ESPN

 

#16 Virginia Tech (4-1) vs Boston College (2-3)
7:15pm ET on ESPN2

 

Michigan State (3-1) vs #7 Michigan (4-0)
7:30pm ET on ABC/ESPN3

 

#11 Washington State (5-0) vs Oregon (4-1)
8pm ET on FOX

 

#25 UCF (3-0) vs Cincinnati (2-3)
8pm ET on ESPNU

 

Stanford (3-2) vs #20 Utah (4-0)
10:15pm ET on FS1

 

Cal (3-2) vs #6 Washington (5-0)
10:45pm ET on ESPN

 

#19 San Diego State (5-0) vs UNLV (2-2)
10:45pm ET on ESPN2

 

Watch top 25 college football action on ESPN and ESPN2 by subscribing to Sling Orange; on FOX (in select markets) and FS1 by subscribing to Sling Blue; on ABC by subscribing to Sling Orange with Broadcast Extra; on ESPN3, ESPNU and SEC by subscribing to Sling Orange with Sports Extra; and PAC12 by subscribing to Sling Orange or Blue with Sports Extra.

All stats courtesy ESPN and SRCFB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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