Friday, September 27, 2013

The Sooners Hope To Get Some Red Dead Redemption On Notre Dame- It's Your Week 5 CFB Talk With Chooch

Back after a week away for work. It’s not as though we missed much last weekend though, which featured one of the worst slates of games I’ve ever seen, including several jokers featuring FCS teams in games that should never be played. The sport bounces back this week though with a bunch of intriguing and important games.

Week 5 Preview 

Game of the Week 

LSU at Georgia- The Bulldogs’ brutal first month of the season comes to a close this week against LSU. Georgia will have played 3 top 10 teams in its first 4 games. Despite the opening night loss to Clemson though, Georgia can put itself in a prime spot to contend for an appearance in the title game with a win this week over visiting LSU. A 1 loss SEC champion would jump an undefeated Louisville, without question. LSU on the other hand has been flying under the radar after its opening week win over TCU. The Tigers look formidable, with tons of talent on the lines and at running back (like every year). A win this week could launch LSU to another national championship run, with Alabama and Texas A&M the two big games remaining.

Others Games to Watch 

Wisconsin at Ohio State- The Buckeyes’ weak schedule is one of the biggest impediments to their reaching the title game. They’ll have a chance this week for a signature win in primetime against the Badgers, who come in at 3-1 (but should really be 4-0 if Pac-12 officials were competent) and the biggest threat to OSU in the Big Ten leaders division. Ohio State’s defense hasn’t been tested yet by a power running team like Wisconsin, so how they match up in the front 7 will be key and should provide an indication as to how good they really are. Braxton Miller is expected to start, but backup Kenny Guiton has been tremendous the past few weeks, so the QB should be excellent regardless. I smell a Buckeyes blowout.

Ole Miss at Alabama- Some pundits have been down on the Tide this season due to lackluster performances from certain units, even in wins. Against Virginia Tech, the offense sputtered. Against A&M, the defense was shredded. Last week vs. Colorado State, the whole team was sluggish. Still, all Nick Saban does is win, and that shouldn’t change this week, even against an up-and-coming program like Ole Miss. Keep an eye on WR Laquon Treadwell and DE Robert Nkemdiche for the Rebels; they’ll be playing on Sundays in a few years.

Oklahoma at Notre Dame- The Sooners get another crack at the Irish after last year’s closer-than-the-score-would-indicate 30-13 loss in Norman. Last game vs. Tulsa, quarterback Blake Bell really came on for the Sooners, showing that he’s more than just a big runner. Look for him and OU’s always talented stable of receivers to put pressure on an underperforming Irish secondary. Notre Dame will need to put up some points to win, and relying on Tommy Rees to be Peyton Manning out there isn’t the way to do it. The Irish must commit to establishing a running game against a smaller Big 12 defense that was built to stop spread passing attacks. Yours truly will be attending this game and yelling the whole time if that is not the gameplan.

Stanford at Washington State- The Cardinal looked outstanding last week against Arizona State, but now they travel to Seattle to play Washington State in the same stadium in which they lost to Washington last season. Mike Leach may have a few tricks up his sleeve for this one, and he’ll need them against a physical Stanford team that runs the football the way I wish Notre Dame would.

Heisman Watch

1. Teddy Bridgewater-QB-Louisville: Another week, more monster stats for Bridgewater.

2. Tajh Boyd-QB-Clemson: Wasn’t great against NC State, but that Georgia win is still the best of the season.

3. Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M: More monster stats for Manziel. At LSU will be his chance for the Heisman moment.

4. Marcus Mariota-QB-Oregon: Oregon has flown a little under the radar, but what Mariota is doing at the QB position there is incredible. The offense can’t be stopped.

-Chooch (@MRCianciulli)

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