It’s Week 7 of the College Football season, which represents the halfway point, and the scheduling Gods have been extremely generous. Remarkably there are 6 Top 25 clashes, and 6 unbeaten teams going against each other. Which makes for one of the best weeks for a long time.
Alabama (3) @ Tennessee (6)
This is probably the biggest game at Tennessee’s Neyland stadium since the mid/late 90’s. Back when Peyton Manning was the game’s biggest star and the Vols were the SEC’s top dogs and 1998 Champions.
Alabama have been inconsistent on offence this season. Struggling to beat Texas and Texas A&M. But, looked superb in defeating Vanderbilt and a strong Arkansas team. They still lack the quantity and depth of big playmakers from previous seasons. Their key difference maker has been QB Bryce Young. He has been a leader and motivator, and demonstrated why he is the Heisman trophy winner. However Young is returning from injury and his participation for this game is in doubt. His backup Jalen Milroe is raw and lacking in experience. So the Tide may need to lean heavily on their running game and RB Jahmyr Gibbs.
As always, the Alabama defence is strong. Led by star LB Will Anderson, and also featuring key edge rushers Dallas Turner and Chris Brasswell. Who may prove vital if the Tennessee offence is to be slowed.
The Tennessee offence is one of the most explosive, quickest, and talented in the country, and exactly the type of offence that has given Alabama problems in the past. Led by dynamic QB Hendon Hooker, who has blossomed this year, they have a number of key playmakers. Including WRs Jalin Hyatt and Bru McCoy, while their most talented WR Cedric Tillman is just returning from injury, and may finally be fully match fit.
This should be an explosive contest. Will the Tide’s front 7 get to Hooker and disrupt his game? However, the key will probably be Young’s fitness. If he plays, then we can expect another inspired performance and demonstration as to why he is the most important player in College Football.
Alabama by 3
Penn State (10) @ Michigan (5)
Whilst the ‘annual game’ between Michigan and Ohio State gets all the attention, the rivalry between these two teams is pretty hot, and this season will be no exception. Especially with both teams unbeaten.
Penn State have steadily gone about their business of winning football games. Relying more on the running game, and in particular Freshmen RB’s Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. Veteran QB Sean Clifford is a wily, if unspectacular signal caller, who has seen it all before, and is perfectly capable of leading that last minute winning drive. The defence, and especially the front 7, led by NT Jordan Van Der Berg is strong, especially against the run.
Michigan have looked good, but this is their first big test. Their offence is a healthy mix of run and pass, Blake Corum is one of the best RB’s in football, while QB J J McCarthy may be one of the best pure passers the Wolverines have had in recent years. He has looked good without putting up any huge numbers. But, this may be his chance to prove he is a game winner. Despite losing several players from last year’s conference winning team, the Michigan defence is strong again. Having recorded 22 sacks, 6th best in the country.
This could be a breakout game for McCarthy and the Wolverines, proving last year’s conference title was no fluke.
Michigan by 13
Oklahoma State (8) @ TCU (13)
In a season where traditional powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas have struggled, Oklahoma State and TCU will be vying to prove they are No1 in an entertaining Big 12 match up, that is sure to provide plenty of points.
Oklahoma State’s unbeaten start to the season has largely been built around their offence. Regardless of what the opponents do, they just score more points ( a very typical Big 12 attitude), and so far, are averaging 45.2 points per game, which ranks 4th in the country. The leader of this points machine is dual-threat QB Spencer Sanders who has blossomed under coach Mike Gundy’s offence. He has 1,394 yards through the air and an additional 241 on the ground with a total of 18 TD’s. His favourite target WR Braydon Johnson is an NFL star in the making and a big playmaker, averaging an incredible 21.2 yards per catch.
TCU have been under the radar but have shown their class the past two weeks with wins over Oklahoma and Kansas. Remarkably they rank even higher than the Cowboys in points scored with an average of 46.4 points per game. Their star triggerman is Max Duggan, who has risen from an average QB, who didn’t even start the first game of the season, to a throwing sensation. He has thrown for over 300 yards in 3 of his last 4 games and has 14 TD’s v 1 INT. Lookout for a trio of top WR’s , Quentin Johnston, Taye Barber and Derius Davis.
There won’t be much defence in this game, but the Horned Frogs to make the most of home field advantage.
TCU by 7
Thanks to Andy Normile for producing the College Football Week 7 preview. We are thrilled to have him on board and you can see more of his work here in the Future!
If you want to know where to watch College Football action this weekend you can check out our College Football TV Guide here
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