By Joe Curci
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#4 LSU @ #10 Florida 3:30 p.m., CBS
This Saturday will be a great opportunity for LSU to silence some of their more recent critics as they head to Florida to take on the Gators.
Florida and LSU are both undefeated, but LSU has looked sluggish in their last two outings. They scored only 12 points in a close win at Auburn, and they turned the ball over three times against Towson… Towson? Really?
Florida comes in off back-to-back impressive wins. A tough road win at Tennessee and a home shutout over Kentucky have the Gators at 4-0 and ranked 10th in the nation. The Gators and head coach Will Muschamp will look to defeat LSU for the first time in three years. Last year the Tigers blew out Florida in the bayou 41-11.
In order for Florida to pull of this upset they will have to be able to run the football with running back Mike Gillislee. The ability to establish the run will allow quarterback Jeff Driskel to gain some more time in the pocket off play action and allow for some big plays. I think the Gators will be able to keep a struggling LSU offense in check and will pull off the upset in the swamp. PICK: Florida 21-13
#8 West Virginia @ #11 Texas 7:00 p.m.
What more can you say about the performance of Geno Smith last week as West Virginia made a grand entrance into the Big 12?
Smith stamped himself as a Heisman front runner as the Mountaineer offense put up 70 against Baylor. The one thing that stands out after a game like that is the fact that WVU allowed Baylor to score 63 points of their own.
Heading to Texas will not be an easy task for West Virginia as Mack Brown will have his defense ready for the daunting task of slowing down Smith and his slick passing attack. The Longhorn offense is not too shabby either. They put up 66 against Ole Miss and David Ash completed 81 percent of his passes, threw for over 300 yards and three scores in the Longhorns’ win over Oklahoma State.
Normally when you expect a shootout, you get a close game. That won’t be the case this week. PICK: Texas 55-48
#5 Georgia @ #6 South Carolina 7:00 p.m., WFAN radio
The second blockbuster SEC matchup of the day features two teams that will be battling for the Eastern Division title. It’s only Week 6 but the winner of this game will be the front-runner to play in the SEC Championship game.
The Bulldogs come into this game at 5-0 and hold the #5 ranking in all the land. They have done it with a balanced attack as quarterback Aaron Murray has almost 1,400 passing yards already while running back Todd Gurley has nine rushing touchdowns. After winning a close game on the road at Vanderbilt to open the season, South Carolina has been in cruise control, and will look to repeat their 45-42 win over Georgia last season. Marcus Lattimore had a huge game in that one rushing for 174 yards and 1 touchdown.
If the Gamecocks can establish the run early they should be able to do enough and win another close one. PICK: South Carolina 41-35
#21 Nebraska @ #12 Ohio State 8:00 p.m.
Ohio State surprised me last week by going into East Lansing and getting a big win against the Spartans. Look for them to keep the momentum going with a win against a solid Nebraska team. PICK: Ohio State 24-14
#23 Washington @ #2 Oregon 10:30 p.m.
Despite allowing 41 points at LSU, the Huskies have held their other opponents to under 14 points and come into this game off a big win against Stanford. They may be in for a little bit more than they can handle in this one, facing an Oregon team that still hasn’t hit its best stride yet. PICK Oregon 45-21
UConn @ #22 Rutgers 12:00 p.m.
With West Virginia now in the Big 12, the Big East title is up for grabs. Coming off a big win against Arkansas the Scarlet Knights look to go to 5-0 in the first year with Kyle Flood at the helm. If quarterback Gary Nova can avoid turning the ball over, then look for Rutgers to continue to roll in front of the Jersey faithful and get the win. PICK: Rutgers 31-21
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