#25 Baylor at #9 West Virginia
In one of the least exciting weekends of the year for college football fans, this matchup between undefeated Big 12 opponents is one of the best to watch, though it’s going to be played at noon. These two teams are eerily similar. Both offenses run an “Air Raid” system, and both have passed for well over 1,000 yards in only three games this year. In fact, both the Bears and the Mountaineers are in the top-5 nationally in passing yards per game. Like the Florida State-Clemson game last week, this one will probably come down to whichever team is able to create the most defensive stops. With only the 90th best defense in the nation, don’t expect that team to be Baylor come Saturday afternoon.
#8 Stanford at Washington
Coming off a huge upset of then #2 Southern Cal, Stanford looks to stay undefeated against a 2-1 Washington team that blew out Portland State 52-13 in their last game. These two teams will come into Thursday night with fresh legs, as they both had byes during Week 4. It will be interesting to see who wins the quarterbacking duel between Stanford’s Josh Nunes and Washington’s Keith Price. Nunes has stepped in more-than-capably for Andrew Luck, and Price has all the skills to be a great quarterback, though he could have a hard time against the vicious front seven of the Cardinal. No matter how this game goes, expect Stanford senior running back Stepfan Taylor to make an impact, as he’ll look to record his third 100-yard rushing performance in four games this season.
#14 Ohio State at #20 Michigan State
This could be one of the closest games of the week, as both teams look to answer questions offensively. For Ohio State, their game against UAB was less than spectacular, as the Buckeyes failed to score a passing touchdown and barely squeaked by the Conference USA team 29-15. Meanwhile Michigan State has struggled offensively this year, depending heavily on their defensive prowess and running game to carry them to narrow victories so far this year. Both teams have special players that will be fun to watch–such as Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell–who are capable of breaking the game wide open. With Michigan State eyeing a Big Ten Championship this year, Ohio State will hope to play the role of spoiler Saturday afternoon.
Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
In a neutral game played in Landover, Md., both teams look to claw their way back into the national rankings. Cincinnati has looked strong in two games this year, blowing out both Pittsburgh and Delaware State before resting up last weekend with a bye. On the other hand, Virginia Tech has struggled against mediocre opponents, needing overtime to put down Georgia Tech and losing to Pittsburgh 35-17 on Sept. 15. Cincinnati’s dual-threat quarterback Munchi Legaux will look to cause problems for Tech’s defense with his scrambling ability, and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas will hope to improve on his recent struggles passing the ball.