NCAA Games of the Week: Ohio State and Wisconsin headline busy week in CFB

Matt McClain

Sports Blogger



Can college football get any better? Last week, we saw a double-overtime thriller between Tennessee and Texas A&M, a blocked extra point that decided the Miami and Florida State matchup and an upset that ended Houston’s playoff chances. Some prominent teams are on a bye this week, but if I’ve learned anything from the past, this week will be equally exciting.

Mahomes throws a pass against Oklahoma State during a game in 2015 (Photo: Devin Wilber, O'Colly)
Mahomes throws a pass against Oklahoma State during a game in 2015 ( Devin Wilber, O’Colly)

West Virginia at Texas Tech, 11 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1

The No. 20 Mountaineers come into this game trying to stay undefeated, but Texas Tech has different plans. Texas Tech has the best passing attack in college football. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the nation in passing yards with 2,274, and he is tied for third-most in passing touchdowns with 20. Last time out, West Virginia hung on to beat Kansas State 17-16. The bye week since that game has given the Mountaineers an extra week to prepare, but I’m not certain the WVU offense can keep up with Tech’s offense.

Texas Tech 48, West Virginia 42

Nebraska at Indiana, 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC/ESPN2

Nebraska is favored by four points, but Indiana is comfortable with playing the spoiler role. The Hoosiers are 2-0 this season when they have been the underdog. Nebraska’s defense has allowed 17.6 points per game this season but it has faced the likes of Wyoming, Fresno State and Illinois. Indiana played well but couldn’t match Ohio State last week. I like the Hoosiers’ confidence, and I like them to pull of their third upset.

Indiana 27, Nebraska 20

Alabama at Tennessee, 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS

Alabama has been rolling; no pun intended. Tennessee’s magic ran out last week in a double-overtime loss against Texas A&M. Alabama’s defense is one of the best in the country. The Crimson Tide allow only 15.8 points per game. Alabama has had one close game and that was at Ole Miss. Other than that, Alabama hasn’t had a challenge. Tennessee has the firepower to beat Alabama, but I don’t see that happening. Alabama could probably beat the Cleveland Browns.

Alabama 31, Tennessee 20

Ole Miss at Arkansas, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN

This game sets up to be competitive, but in the grand scheme of things, these two SEC West teams are chasing Alabama and Texas A&M. If, for some reason, those teams fall, Ole Miss is in the best spot to win the division. Ole Miss is coming off a bye week, and Arkansas lost 49-30 to Alabama. I think Ole Miss is more talented, and the bye week gives them an extra advantage. Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly is one of the most talented gunslingers in the country. He will be exciting to watch.

Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 27

J.T. Barrett's uptempo style should prove a challenge to Wisconsin's old-school attack.  (Eleven Warriors, Flickr)
J.T. Barrett’s uptempo style should prove a challenge to Wisconsin’s old-school attack.
(Eleven Warriors, Flickr)

Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Saturday on ABC

This game will be old school against new school. Wisconsin, playing with an old-school style, runs the ball on first and second down, and lets the defense make stops. Ohio State, on the other hand, plays a new-school style. The Buckeyes are quick and love to give dual-threat quarterback J.T. Barrett a chance to make plays. Wisconsin is an astonishing 10-point home underdog. I think it will be closer than that. I think OSU win, but much closer than most people think.

Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 20

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