> Game of the Week
(12) Texas Tech at (2) Texas
The top two teams in the Big XII get together Saturday afternoon in Austin, and when the game is over, only one team will be 4-0 in conference play. Both Texas and Texas Tech are 6-0 on the season with a trio of league wins, but it's the Longhorns who have garnered much of the national attention thus far.
An early-season win at Ohio State vaulted UT into the number two position in the SCS.com Fab 15, and that has been the Horns' home ever since. Mack Brown's squad has hammered fellow Big XII squads Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado by a combined 89 points, an average winning margin of more than four touchdowns. QB Vince Young, perhaps the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, is completing over 67% of his passes and has tossed a dozen TD passes while running for five more. RB Jamaal Charles is another huge reason for Texas' success. The true freshman is averaging nearly 100 yards per game and has a half-dozen scores himself. The Longhorn defense is ranked among the nation's top ten, allowing only a pair of touchdowns per game on average.
That defensive unit will have to be on top of their game if they are to control the number one offensive unit in America. Texas Tech, led by senior QB Cody Hodges, is scoring over 53 points per game and is piling up more than 572 yards per contest, 472 of those through the air. Hodges is completing nearly 72% of his pass attempts and has already thrown for 22 scores in 2005. RB Taurean Henderson is as dangerous catching the ball as he is running it. The senior averages more than 120 all-purpose yards per game, about 70 on the ground and 50 on the receiving end. With WR Jarrett Hicks having a mildly disappointing season, Joel Filani has been Hodges' favorite target. The junior racks up nearly 110 yards each night out and has scored seven times already this fall.
The Raiders have yet to play a strong, top twenty-five opponent, though their win at Nebraska two weeks ago was impressive. But due to the lack of firepower they have faced, the defensive unit is ranked among the top fifteen in the nation. Texas has faced the stiff competition and prevailed already this season. With the home crowd behind them, look for the Longhorn defense to provide the Raiders with their toughest test yet and take advantage of Tech's unproven defense. UT takes the mid-season lead in the Big XII South and also takes a step closer to the BCS.
The Editor Says: Texas 44-27
> Next Five
(3) Virginia Tech at Maryland
The first Thursday night battle to make this list on the season thus far, this game also involves a team currently on track for a BCS berth. The Hokies are the only ACC team still unbeaten and are currently ranked number three in the country. The Terps have won three straight, including a victory over Virginia, but the streak stops here.
The Editor Says: Virginia Tech 35-21
Northwestern at Michigan State
While preseason favorites like Michigan, Purdue, and Minnesota have lost games and likely fallen out of the Big Ten race in recent weeks, the Wildcats have picked up two straight wins and are now tied with four others atop the league standings. A win at Michigan State, 1-2 in the conference, would really turn heads, but that won't happen.
The Editor Says: Michigan State 43-34
Tennessee at (5) Alabama
Two of the SEC's best teams meet in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The Tide survived a scare at Mississippi last week but now return home for the first time since losing WR Tyrone Prothro to injury. The Vols have had a week off after losing to Georgia at home to prepare for Alabama, but it won't matter. Mike Shula's squad remains unbeaten.
The Editor Says: Alabama 20-16
Oregon State at (8) UCLA
The Bruins, along with top-ranked Southern Cal, are 6-0 overall and tied atop the PAC 10 standings. UCLA survived a huge scare at Washington State a week ago, while Oregon State picked up a huge upset victory on the road over Cal. The Beavers are looking to pick up another road upset, but Karl Dorrell's squad will have nothing of it.
The Editor Says: UCLA 28-20
Auburn at (10) LSU
This game becomes even bigger if Alabama loses to Tennessee on Saturday afternoon. Auburn, like Bama, has yet to lose in conference play, while LSU has dropped just one SEC game. If Les Miles' squad drops their second home game of the season, the faithful will be restless and the Tigers out of the SEC race. Not this weekend though.
The Editor Says: LSU 23-13
> Predicting the Rest
Troy over Florida International
> The Editor's Records
Last Week: 37-16 (.698)
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