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Games to Watch - Week 6

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Saturday - LSU at Florida (CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Skinny
LSU at Florida
Two questions will be answered in this game. Is LSU really as bad as they have played so far this year and is Florida really as good? This is arguably the biggest game to date for Will Muschamp as the Gators head coach. LSU has won the last two meetings, 33-29 at Florida in 2010 and 41-11 at home last year, and Florida gets what appears to be an LSU team that is struggling in The Swamp. Last year LSU had more yards rushing (238) than Florida had total yards (213). This year it may come down to LSU QB Zach Mettenberger who has played poorly (even for LSU QB standards) against a Florida defense that has shown to be much tougher this year than anytime under Muschamp. The Florida defense ranks 10th in the country in points allowed and have faced two solid quarterbacks in Tyler Bray and Johnny Manziel to date. The Florida offense was also a big question coming into the year and RB Mike Gillislee has Florida in the top 20 in rushing with 225 yards a game. History however tells us that LSU steps up the most when the lights are the brightest under the Mad Hatter Les Miles as they are 31-14 against top 25 teams and 41-15 in SEC regular season games. LSU opens as a 3 point road favorite in this game as history and reputation supersede the short term success thus far this year for Muschamp and the Gators.
Saturday - Georgia at South Carolina (ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Skinny
Georgia at South Carolina
Remember back in the day when the SEC used to play defense? Well, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Georgia comes in off a 51-44 win at home over Tennessee and these two teams put up almost 90 points last year when South Carolina went in-between the hedges in Athens and beat Georgia 45-42. Despite the loss, the Dawgs rebounded to win the SEC East before getting waxes by LSU in the SEC Championship. This year the loser might not have that chance however. South Carolina has won the last two meetings, although Georgia has never lost three in a row in this border rival. Not only do the two fan bases not particularly care for each other, as mentioned last week Steve Spurrier and the Georgia faithful simply do not like each other from his days at Florida. Georgia all but handed South Carolina the game last year giving up essentially four touchdowns on defense and a fake punt. But the man that sealed the deal was Marcus Lattimore and his fourth quarter performance. He will most likely be the difference maker this year as well if South Carolina wants to keep its SEC and National Championship hopes alive. However Georgia has the same aspirations and has won four of the last five in Columbia. South Carolina opens as a field goal favorite and the winner will definitely have the inside track to represent the SEC East in the Georgia Dome at the end of the year.
Saturday - West Virginia at Texas (FOX, 7:00 p.m.)
Matchup Skinny
West Virginia at Texas
The schools' only previous meeting was also in Austin; however it was back in 1956 with WVU winning 7-6. I'm going out on a limb and making a very bold prediction; the 2012 version will be higher scoring than 7-6. Just remember you heard it here first. WVU QB Geno Smith is coming off a game where he threw for a mere 656 yards and 8 TDs in WVU's wild 70-63 win over Baylor. Texas is coming off an equally entertaining, yet "low scoring" 41-36 win against Oklahoma State Saturday night. The early line has Texas listed a touchdown favorite and they are still buying calculators to try and figure out the total in this game. Not surprising Smith and the Mountaineers rank first in the NCAA in passing with over 440 yards a game and third in points scored with 53 a game. Another big game by Smith may vault him to the top of the Heisman list just under the midway point of the season. Defensively…well they don't actually have a defense. Texas doesn't have the eye popping offensive stats that WVU has, however they have been very consistent both on the ground and with QB David Ash showing monumental improvements from last year. While the Texas defense at least shows a pulse they have also struggled this year giving up big plays to Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. This back and forth game will simply come down to which teams defense is able to make a stop or force the opposing offense into a turnover. This should be another entertaining game and the team with the ball last may come out victorious.
Other Games to Watch
Matchup Skinny
Southern California at Utah
USC at Utah (Thursday): Last week Stanford traveled to Washington on Thursday night and was upset 17-14. Could we see back to back PAC-12 Thursday night upsets? Last year when these two teams met in the Coliseum the Utes were lined up for a game-tying field goal in the final seconds but the Trojans not only blocked it but returned it for a touchdown to seal a 23-14 win. The loser will essentially be eliminated from the PAC-12 South division title. If that happens to be USC I'm sure Lane Kiffin's post game press conference will be extremely long and detail oriented.
Miami, Fl. at Notre Dame
Miami, Fl. at Notre Dame (from Soldier Field): This was a bitter rivalry back in the late 80's when Dr. Lou was still just a head coach at Notre Dame and the Miami Hurricanes still ran South Beach. This obviously doesn't quite have the feel or relevance of the old days but a win by ND will move them to 5-0 for the first time since the Internet started tracking those types of things. ND leads the all-time series 16-7-1, although ND's 33-17 win in the 2010 Sun Bowl is the teams' lone meeting since 1990.
Washington at Oregon
Washington at Oregon: Can the Huskies pull off back to back top 10 upsets? Well no, as they are 24 point underdogs, but they will definitely get the Ducks attention as a result of their upset win over Stanford last week. The only real question in this game is whether the Oregon starters will have to play the entire four quarters. However it should be interesting to watch Washington QB Keith Price and their passing attack against the contrasting style of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and their running attack.
Nebraksa at Ohio State
Nebraska at Ohio State: I feel like I need to include a Big 10 game each week just in case people that like boring football read this article. After their painful to watch 17-16 "classic" win Saturday night, new Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said something along the lines of, well, that is just a classic Big 10 football game right there. Exactly Urban…no thanks. Ohio State blew a 21-point lead in last year's 34-27 loss at Lincoln, so the Buckeyes will be looking for revenge at home under the lights.

  
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