> Game of the Week
(1) Southern Cal at (7) Notre Dame
Southern Cal's trip to Notre Dame on Saturday ends the Trojans' streak of three road games in four weeks. USC has survived the two previous away games, as well as last week's home game with Arizona, though none of the outings were particularly dominating. The Irish have rather quietly picked up a pair of road wins themselves since losing to Michigan State in week three and head into this weekend with a 4-1 overall record.
UND QB Brady Quinn is having a productive season, completing 65% of his passes and averaging nearly 325 passing yards per game. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions on the season thus far. RB Darius Walker, just a sophomore, has been a workhorse and is averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground. Quinn has spread the ball around between five different Irish wideouts, each of whom has caught between 14 and 28 passes this season. Jeff Samardzija has led the way, accounting for nearly 500 yards and eight touchdowns so far on the campaign. Other than their outing at Michigan, Notre Dame's defense has been less than spectacular. That will have to change this week if they are to slow down the high-powered Trojan offense.
Southern Cal Heisman Trophy QB Matt Leinart's numbers are similar to those of Brady Quinn. The difference, however, is the talent that surrounds the Trojans' QB. RBs LenDale White and Reggie Bush are each averaging better than 120 yards per game on the ground, and the pair has combined to score a total of 18 touchdowns this season. WRs Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett have been Leinart's favorite targets. Smith is averaging 115 yards per contest but has just one TD, while Jarrett accounts for a little over 90 yards each night out but has nine scores on the year. USC's defense is currently ranked second in the PAC 10, and though that isn't saying a whole lot, surpassing the opposition's average of three touchdowns has not been a problem for the Trojan offense thus far.
Southern Cal has allowed each of their previous three opponents to hang around into the second half, and though I wouldn't be surprised to see Notre Dame stay in the game that long, the Trojans will again find victory. Pete Carroll's squad moves to 6-0 on the season, takes a step closer to the national title, and should find themselves still unbeaten when a November 12 showdown at California rolls around.
The Editor Says: Southern Cal 42-20
> Next Five
Wisconsin at Minnesota
After being embarrassed at Penn State two weeks ago, the Gophers rebounded for a monstrous victory on the road at Michigan last week. The crowd should be raucous as UM returns home to face a Wisconsin team that lost a tough battle at Northwestern a week ago. Maroney makes another statement as the Gophers move to 6-1 on the season.
The Editor Says: Minnesota 38-21
Colorado at (2) Texas
The Buffaloes have quietly moved to 4-1 on the season, their only loss coming at Miami a few weeks ago. They could be catching the 'Horns at the right time as UT is riding a high after knocking off Oklahoma last Saturday. Even if that's the case, Vince Young will keep the team on track and move Texas to 6-0 overall.
The Editor Says: Texas 41-20
(10) Florida at (12) LSU
Two one-loss SEC squads meet in Baton Rouge in a game that could eliminate the loser from its respective division race. The Gator's last visit to the SEC West ended in disaster, but the Tigers most recent home game ended in much the same fashion. LSU's defense steps up to the challenge and ends UF's SEC title hopes.
The Editor Says: LSU 24-20
(9) Penn State at Michigan
The Nittany Lions are one of the hottest teams in the country, coming off of back-to-back wins over Minnesota and Ohio State, but this will be just their second trip away from home all season. The Wolves' Big Ten hopes are over, and it isn't even mid-October yet. Still, Paterno's squad will find the Big House a tough place to play.
The Editor Says: Michigan 20-17
(13) Louisville at West Virginia
Two of the best teams in the Big East meet Saturday in Morgantown. The Cardinals' last road trip was a disaster, and if similar circumstances unfold this weekend, UL's BCS hopes will be finished. Look for Petrino's squad to come out on top, though, possibly leaving UConn atop the league standings at weekend's end.
The Editor Says: Louisville 37-27
> Predicting the Rest
NC State over Clemson
> The Editor's Records
Last Week: 34-20 (.630)
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