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College Football ’19: Week 7 Top 25 Previews

Each week, The Game Haus will preview every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Week 7 Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with our Week 7 Top 25 previews (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0) vs. No. 11 Texas (4-1) (at Dallas, Texas), Noon, Saturday

Scouting the Sooners: The Red River Showdown is tough to beat when it comes to excitement and imagery. The football has been pretty good of late, too. Jalen Hurts (21 total touchdowns) gets his only taste of this rivalry, and a Texas defense that’s allowed at least 30 points three times this season.

Scouting the Longhorns: They last won two straight in the actual Showdown in 2008 and ’09. Sam Ehlinger has thrown for 941 yards with five touchdowns passes and run for six more TDs in three games against the Sooners. The key, though, is how well the Longhorns can contain Hurts and Co.

Winner: Oklahoma

No. 1 Alabama (5-0) at No. 24 Texas A&M (3-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Crimson Tide: Playing for the first time this season as the nation’s No. 1 team, Alabama has won 10 of its last 11 road games against Top 25 teams. The Tide have won six straight in the series since that guy Manziel beat them in 2012.

Scouting the Aggies: If the Aggies want to have a chance, they must play with more passion and urgency than shown in that comeback win over Arkansas in their last game. Texas A&M didn’t threaten Clemson or Auburn last month, and likely won’t the Tide.

Winner: Alabama

No. 7 Florida (6-0) at No. 5 LSU (5-0), 8 p.m., Saturday
Week 7 Top 25 previews
Joe Burrow / Photo courtesy of al.com

Scouting the Gators: They’re pumped after taking down Auburn at home last weekend. The Gators won this matchup last season and the most recent meeting at LSU in 2016. This is a confident team that will make this a game …

Scouting the Tigers: … but LSU will come out on top. That’s because quarterback Joe Burrow is playing out of his mind at the moment while completing 78.4 percent of his passes for 1,864 yards with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Winner: LSU

The Rest

No. 20 Virginia (4-1) at Miami (FL) (2-3), 8 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Some Friday night fun in the ACC. The Cavaliers will have had two weeks to rebound from a frustrating defeat at Notre Dame. Last season, Virginia snapped a three-game slide against the Hurricanes, who are off to a disappointing start under coach Manny Diaz. Miami is 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 2011.

Winner: Miami (FL)

Colorado (3-2) at No. 13 Oregon (4-1), 10 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Ducks leading rusher running back CJ Verdell (277 rushing yards) appears to be OK after being dinged last weekend. Even with Justin Herbert under center, the Oregon offense has looked pedestrian at times while being held to 21 or fewer points against Auburn, Stanford and Cal. Colorado’s allowing 31.6 points per game, so a Ducks breakout could be coming.

Winner: Oregon

South Carolina (2-3) at No. 3 Georgia (5-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Georgia needed time to put away Tennessee last weekend, but being at home, it should be rolling from the get-go. The Gamecocks have lost four straight to the Bulldogs, and none of those games by fewer than 14 points.

Winner: Georgia

No. 16 Michigan (4-1) at Illinois (2-3), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Looking for a season-high third straight victory, the Wolverines might want to get it done via the run game. They don’t have an elite back, but Illinois allowed 678 rushing yards to Nebraska and Minnesota in the last two games. It’s uncertain if Illini quarterback Brandon Peters will be healthy enough to face his former school.

Winner: Michigan

No. 23 Memphis (5-0) at Temple (4-1), Noon, Saturday
Week 7 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

The Skinny: The best FBS team in the state of Tennessee can be found in Memphis. Part of the AP Poll for the first time since 2017, the Tigers have averaged 46 points in the last four games. However, Temple already has home wins over then No. 21 Maryland and Georgia Tech, so this will be a stiff test for Memphis.

Winner: Temple

Washington State (3-2) at No. 18 Arizona State (4-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: ASU has allowed 17 or fewer points four times in 2019, but also yielded 34 in a loss to Colorado. The Cougars have lost two straight and were held to 13 points at Utah in their most recent contest. However, Anthony Gordon (22 touchdowns, six interceptions, 72 percent completion percentage) and the Cougars seem ready to rebound with a victory.

Winner: Washington State

Florida State (3-2) at No. 2 Clemson (5-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: One close game against North Carolina and the reigning national champion Tigers have dropped from their No. 1 spot atop the AP Poll. They also have some wondering if they’re even College Football Playoff-worthy. Sure they are, and expect them to prove it with a decisive fifth straight victory over Florida State.

Winner: Clemson

No. 25 Cincinnati (4-1) at Houston (2-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: A home win over UCF has the Bearcats part of our Week 7 Top 25 previews. The Bearcats, who have averaged 38 points in the last three games, won’t have D’Eriq King to stop. Still, the Cougars rank among the national leaders in rushing (251 yards per game).

Winner: Cincinnati

Michigan State (4-2) at N. 8 Wisconsin (5-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: It’s quite possible the Badgers struggle to generate some consistent offense against that stingy Michigan State defense. But, a Wisconsin defense that’s allowed an average of 178.6 total yards, 29 overall points and posted three shutouts should not be overlooked.

Winner: Wisconsin

Texas Tech (3-2) at No. 22 Baylor (5-0), 4 p.m., Saturday
Week 7 Top 25 previews
Matt Rhule / Photo courtesy of si.com

The Skinny: Two seasons ago, Baylor was 1-11 and wondering what the future would hold. In just over two seasons, coach Matt Rhule has changed the culture within the program and now has the Bears eyeing their first 6-0 start since 2016. Charlie Brewer (11 touchdowns, zero interceptions) is a quarterback to watch. Texas Tech, meanwhile, has dropped four straight on the road.

Winner: Baylor

No. 10 Penn State (5-0) at No. 17 Iowa (4-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: This is also a marquee game in the Week 7 Top 25 previews. Penn State is rolling while allowing just 37 points, and that Nov. 23 meeting with Ohio State is looking more intriguing by the day. If Iowa wants to have a chance this weekend, it needs a better offensive output than its three points versus Michigan.

Winner: Penn State

USC (3-2) at No. 9 Notre Dame (4-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: While the Irish have won five of the last seven against the Trojans, and three straight at home in the series, this rivalry is still about tradition. It’s a marquee game on both program’s schedule, and we think USC makes it close this season.

Winner: Notre Dame

Louisville (3-2) at No. 19 Wake Forest (5-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 7 Top 25 previews
Jamie Newman / Photo courtesy of saturdayblitz.com

The Skinny: The Demon Deacons are undefeated through five games for the first time since 2006. They’ve done so thanks to a talented quarterback in Jamie Newman (1,521 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, three interceptions, 169.6 passer rating). Louisville, though, might be better than many thought, but have lost five straight on the road.

Winner: Wake Forest

No. 15 Utah (4-1) at Oregon State (2-3), 8 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Utes running back Zack Moss (3,044 career rushing yards) reportedly could return after missing their most recent game against Washington State on Sept. 28 with a shoulder injury. That’s probably not good news for the Beavers, who have lost three in a row to Utah.

Winner: Utah

Hawaii (4-1) at No. 14 Boise State (5-0), 10:15 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The best of the Group of Five hails in Boise, thanks to a top-notch defense. The Broncos have allowed 49 points since opening with a 36-31 win at Florida State. They’ve also recorded 19 sacks. Hawaii is 0-6 at Boise, but hasn’t played there since 2015.

Winner: Boise State

 

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