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College Football ’19: Week 8 Top 25 Previews

Week 8 Top 25

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 8 Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with our Week 8 Top 25 previews (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 12 Oregon (5-1) at No. 25 Washington (5-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 8 Top 25
Photo courtesy of si.com

Scouting the Ducks: Losing star tight end Jacob Breeland (26 receptions, 405 yards, six touchdowns) to a season-ending injury is a rough one. Oregon has won five in a row, and thanks to a defense that’s allowed 25 points during that winning streak, it should remain confidence.

Scouting the Huskies: The Ducks’ strong defensive play might not bode well for a Washington group that totaled 32 points in losses against quality defenses from California and Stanford. It’s really hard to figure out what kind of Huskies team will show up.

Winner: Oregon

No. 17 Arizona State (5-1) at No. 13 Utah (5-1), 6 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Sun Devils: Remember the name Jayden Daniels. The true freshman quarterback has thrown eight touchdowns with one interception and rushed for two scores. However, he faces a difficult test against a strong Utah defense.

Scouting the Utes: Looking for a third straight win, Utah has allowed 20 points in the last two games. The Utes have also outscored their opponents 104-30 while going 3-0 at home in 2019.

Winner: Utah

No. 16 Michigan (5-1) at No. 7 Penn State (6-0), 7:30 p.m.

Scouting the Wolverines: A fourth consecutive victory would also be a statement for Michigan, considering the quality of opponent. This squad still has many flaws, most notably, its 13 turnovers – six of which have come in two games on the road.

Scouting the Nittany Lions: They’re trying to start 7-0 for the second time in three seasons. Lost in the mix of the Nittany Lions’ inconsistent offense tends to be the fact they are allowing just 8.2 points per game in 2019.

Winner: Penn State

The Rest

No. 4 Ohio State (6-0) at Northwestern (1-4), 8:30 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Back from their off week, the Buckeyes look to keep rolling. The Wildcats have a decent defense (allowing 19.8 points per game), but they’ve scored just 72 points in five games. Ohio State has yielded 53 points this season.

Winner: Ohio State

No. 11 Auburn (5-1) at Arkansas (2-4), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Losing leading rusher JaTarvious Whitlow (544 rushing yards, seven touchdowns) to injury is tough for the Tigers as they look to rebound from that loss to Florida earlier this month. The offense needs more consistency, but should be good enough for a fourth consecutive win over the Hogs.

Winner: Auburn

No. 6 Wisconsin (6-0) at Illinois (2-4), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Wisconsin has not allowed a point since Sept. 28 and won nine straight versus Illinois. Also, the Illini have allowed an average of 324.3 rushing yards over their last three games. That all seems like an easy recipe to keep the Badgers undefeated.

Winner: Wisconsin

Purdue (2-4) at No. 23 Iowa (4-2), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The Hawkeyes have totaled 15 points while losing their last two games to Michigan and Penn State – both ranked. Iowa still has an inconsistent offense, but Purdue has allowed at least 34 points four times this year.

Winner: Iowa

No. 3 Clemson (6-0) at Louisville (4-2), Noon, Saturday,
Week 8 Top 25
Trevor Lawrence / Photo courtesy of 247sports.com

The Skinny: Clemson dropped another spot in the poll for the Week 8 Top 25, but it also rebounded nicely from nearly being upset at North Carolina by pounding Florida State 45-14. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (11 touchdown passes, six interceptions) is still taking some national heat, but his four total touchdowns from last week looked good. The Tigers have won all five meetings with Louisville.

Winner: Clemson

West Virginia (3-3) at No. 5 Oklahoma (6-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Let’s talk about the Sooners defense. Last season, they were much maligned while yielding 33.3 points per game. In 2019, that Oklahoma unit is giving up an average of 20.3 points. That should be good enough to win this one, and perhaps the whole thing.

Winner: Oklahoma

No. 9 Florida (6-1) at South Carolina (3-3), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: As South Carolina looks to pull off a second straight upset of a ranked SEC foe, Florida is aiming to rebound from its loss to LSU. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp gets another shot at his former team, but the Gators seem poised to prevail.

Winner: Florida

Louisiana-Monroe (3-3) at No. 24 Appalachian State (5-0), 3:30 p.m.

The Skinny: The class of the Sun Belt at the moment, Appalachian State makes its 2019 debut in the Week 8 Top 25 previews. Quarterback Zac Thomas (1,115 total yards) is a quality, versatile talent for the Mountaineers, who have won 11 games in a row.

Winner: Appalachian State

Tulsa (2-4) at No. 21 Cincinnati (5-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Would college football fans be surprised to know that the Bearcats have won 10 straight home games dating to November 2017? We think quarterback Desmond Ridder (150.3 passer rating) and Co. will make it 12 in a row.

Winner: Cincinnati

No. 2 LSU (6-0) at Mississippi State (3-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Tigers look like a machine, and might very well be the best team in the country. Their defense has been suspect at times in 2019, but this is quite the confident group that shouldn’t slip up here.

Winner: LSU

No. 20 Minnesota (6-0) at Rutgers (1-5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 8 Top 25
Photo courtesy of 247sports.com

The Skinny: It was 1960 when the Golden Gophers last won their first seven games of the season. Considering Rutgers has lost 16 consecutive Big Ten games dating to November 2017, Minnesota should do it again.

Winner: Minnesota

 

Temple (5-1) at No. 19 SMU (6-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Mustangs are off to their best start since 1982, but Temple already has wins over ranked Maryland and Memphis teams. If SMU wants to remain undefeated, it must play much better than it did in rallying for a triple-overtime win versus Tulsa in its last contest.

Winner: Temple

No. 18 Baylor (6-0) at Oklahoma State (4-2), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Baylor is trying to start 7-0 for the first time since 2015, but this could be its biggest test to date. The Cowboys have played just two games at home this season, but have won three straight there against ranked Big 12 opponents.

Winner: Oklahoma State

No. 22 Missouri (5-1) at Vanderbilt (1-5), 4 p.m., Saturday
Week 8 Top 25
Kelly Bryant / Photo courtesy of theathletic.com

The Skinny: Looking for a sixth consecutive victory, Kelly Bryant and his Mizzou teammates are in the Week 8 Top 25. This will be the Tigers first SEC road game of 2019, and a chance to extend their winning streak over Vandy to four straight games. We like their chances overall.

Winner: Missouri

 

Kentucky (3-3) at No. 10 Georgia (5-1), 6 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Do the Bulldogs now have a confidence problem after being stunned by South Carolina at home last weekend? Riding a nine-game winning streak over Kentucky, Georgia would seem not only to be in a good place to rebound, but do so in convincing fashion.

Winner: Georgia

Kansas (2-4) at No. 15 Texas (4-2), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Injuries continue to plague the Longhorns, who are trying to rebound from that loss to Oklahoma. Even short-handed, it would seem Texas will still prevail considering Kansas has lost three in a row and is 0-46 on the road in the Big 12 since winning at Iowa State in October 2008.

Winner: Texas

Tennessee (2-4) at No. 1 Alabama (6-0), 9 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Alabama has win 12 straight over Tennessee, and has outscored the Volunteers 152-38 during the last three meetings. Star Tide receiver DeVonta Smith (38 receptions, nine touchdowns) is suspended for the first half of this game, but that won’t be a factor.

Winner: Alabama

No. 14 Boise State (6-0) at BYU (2-4), 10:15 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The status of injured freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier is uncertain, so the Broncos could be set to use a committee approach under center. That makes this matchup more interesting since BYU has wins over Tennessee and USC in 2019.

Winner: Boise State

 

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