"The Spread" College Football Podcast-Week of October 30
Image Credit: Blaine Gabbert and Mizzou will try to avoid the letdown in Lincoln
New from IDEA Sports Media, Brian Cox muses over the three biggest matchups in college football the week of October 30 and handicaps the Heisman race thus far.
#5 Michigan State @ #18 Iowa
Despite their gut-wrenching loss against Wisconsin at home last week, Iowa remains in the hunt for the Big Ten title. A win against undefeated Michigan State on Saturday would put them into the discussion. Michigan State fell asleep early at Northwestern, falling behind 17-0. The Spartans stormed back to win 35-27. To me, this game is going to come down to how the defenses play. The Hawkeyes only give up 92 yards on the ground. Chris Klug and Adrian Clayborn will be key in making sure that Le'Veon Bell and Edwin Baker don't get going. I think that the Hawkeye defense will contain the Spartan running game, but I really like the groove that Kirk Cousins is in and I think he makes enough plays to give the Spartans their first win in Iowa City since 1989.
Pick: Michigan State by 6.
#7 Missouri @ #14 Nebraska
Beware, Missouri. This is a prime time for a letdown. The Tigers showed up in primetime for once against Oklahoma, winning 36-27. Blaine Gabbert continues to impress, leading the Missouri offense to an efficient attack. Nebraska's QB Taylor Martinez bounced back from a horrid performance against Texas two weeks ago to account for 5 TDS in the Huskers 51-41 win at Oklahoma State. The big matchup to me will be the Mizzou offense against the Nebraska defense. No matter whether it's T.J. Moe and Jerrell Johnson (who's athletic catch and run gave the Tigers the go-ahead score against Oklahoma), Husker star corner Prince Amukamara will be looking to shut them down. If the Nebraska defense plays like it did last week against the Cowboys, Gabbert and Tiger offense could be in for a big day and a victory. That being said, I like for Martinez to continue to get back on a roll and the Husker defense to bring Mizzou back to earth.
Pick: Nebraska by 10
#1 Oregon @ #24 USC
In the time that it takes for a Hot Pocket to cook in a microwave, Oregon can score touchdowns. Not short touchdowns, either; long drives of the 70 and 80-yard variety. The Ducks stroll into the Coliseum, ranked at the top of both major polls, #2 in the BCS and an offense that can score in bunches. They lead FBS with 579 yards and 55 points per game on offense. Not to be slighted, the Duck defense is top in the nation with a +13 turnover margin. USC bounced back from their first 2-game losing streak in nine years with a 48-14 thumping of Cal. Matt Barkley threw for a career-high 5 TDs and the Trojan defense seems to be clicking at the right time.
Both teams have speed. As a matter of fact, USC may be one of the three or four teams in the country that can keep up with Oregon in terms of speed. The question is whether they can maintain that speed on defense without passing in the fourth quarter. I think the Trojans can keep up with the Ducks for a half, maybe three quarters. In the end, I think that Darron Thomas will make enough plays and LaMichael James will prove too hard to stop as Oregon will pull away for the second year in a row over USC.
My pick: Oregon by 14
5. Denard Robinson-Michigan
4. Andrew Luck-Stanford
3. LaMichael James-Oregon
2. Kellen Moore-Boise State
1. Cam Newton-Auburn
NCAA football, college football, Cam Newton, Oregon Ducks, USC Trojans, Missouri Tigers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan State Spartans, Iowa Hawkeyes, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-10