Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

College Football Picks 2019: Week Six

Current Picks Record: 26-14 (2-4 Upset)
(#7) Auburn Tigers @ (#10) Florida Gators
Bo Nix, Auburn
The first real SEC battle of the 2019 season kicks off this Saturday between the flaming hot Auburn Tigers and Florida, who has managed to survive without starting quarterback Feleipe Franks. Auburn has been particularly surprising, sitting at 5-0 overall despite a tough non-conference opener with Oregon and a road trip to Texas A&M. The Tigers have done most of it with a suffocating defense, headlined by a loaded front seven. Yet, this past weekend, the offense showed just how potent it can be, dropping 56 on a solid Mississippi State defense. True freshman signal-caller Bo Nix seems to only be getting better, although turnovers still pose a problem. He faces a talented Gator defense, with star power at every level. Even going into a hostile environment like the Swamp, I don't see Nix being overwhelmed with the atmosphere. He looked calm and poised a few weekends ago in College Station, and even before that in the opener. The Tigers feature a number of other explosive weapons around Nix, namely steady tailback "Boobie" Whitlow and speed demon Anthony Schwartz. Schwartz, who was banged up to begin the year, has to strike an especially deep fear in this Florida defense. He has had rushing touchdowns in consecutive weeks, using his track speed to fly around on jet sweeps. Gus Malzahn's creativity and unique offense really fits the personnel on this roster, but he will need his offensive line to play well. Florida has proven they can pound offenses with a relentless pass rush, and the Auburn O-Line certainly hasn't been perfect so far in '19. For the Gators, they'll lean not only on that physical defense, but a methodical, efficient offense. Since taking over as starting QB for the injured Franks, Kyle Trask is completing 77% of his passes and seems to have a real command of this offense. He doesn't necessarily wow you with his physical attributes, but Trask does a good job getting the ball out quickly and making the right decisions. Florida will still need somebody to step up on the outside and really open things up. While the Tiger defensive front is terrific, the secondary still has some lingering question marks that could be exploited. Missing Kadarius Toney has really hurt the Gators in that regard, but Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes have both proven they can do damage. They won't have to dominate, but giving Trask much needed help is an absolute necessity. Even if UF is able to get production on the outside and find some holes in the Tiger defense, I still wonder if they're able to keep up with Auburn for sixty minutes. This is a scary Tiger team, and a victory on the road here should assert them as a very real Playoff contender. Going into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is obviously never easy, but I like the Tigers to keep it rolling here.
The Pick: Auburn, 35 Florida, 27

(#14) Iowa Hawkeyes @ (#19) Michigan Wolverines
Outside of a close win against Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk this past month, we still aren't really sure how good Iowa really is, as they sit at 14th nationally. It looks like the typical Hawkeye team, one with a rock-solid quarterback, a punishing offensive line, and a stout defense. Nate Stanley has been exactly what Kirk Ferentz looks for at QB (8 TD, 0 INT), but the real strength of the Iowa offense so far on the year has been a three-pronged backfield attack. Mekhi Sargent, Toren Young and Tyler Goodson all have eclipsed 200 yards on the campaign, with Young serving as the big-play option, averaging 7.6 yards per attempt. On the perimeter, Iowa might miss Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson at tight end, but they've still done enough to have confidence they can move the ball in a variety of ways. With that being said, the Hawkeyes now stare down a Michigan defense that has loads of talent, and seems to be playing hungry. This Wolverines' defense has been much maligned for its play in a win over Army and a bad loss to Wisconsin, and for good reason. They haven't stopped the run as well as in year's past, and the pass rush really hasn't looked like Don Brown defenses normally look like. However, this is the type of offense Michigan generally plays well against, and they now have momentum after shutting out Rutgers last Saturday. They'll look to force Stanley to make a few rare mistakes, and commit his first turnover of the new year. For all the questions Michigan has on defense, the offense has been even more maligned. New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis promised a more open, up-tempo offense that better utilizes UM's speed on the outside. Yet, this group hasn't really delivered on that promise, and veteran QB Shea Patterson has really struggled. The good news is that Patterson appears to finally be 100 percent, and is coming off a strong showing a week ago. Granted, this Iowa defense is a little bit more of a challenge than the Rutgers group, but Patterson does have a couple of rising stars at receiver in Ronnie Bell and Nico Collins. The hope is that the ground attack can also rejuvenate this week, whether its Christian Turner or Zach Charbonnet (probable) leading the charge. Michigan is also going to need the O-Line to handle a vaunted Iowa pass rush, but playing in front of the home crowd should be able to give the whole offense a boost. A preseason Playoff pick of mine, Michigan has definitely disappointed through the first month of the season. Yet, I still think this is a team that should be able to figure things out going forward, and I think they find a way to come out on top here. Home field is obviously a major advantage, and I envision the defense having a redemptive afternoon.
The Pick: Michigan, 28 Iowa, 20

(#25) Michigan State Spartans @ (#4) Ohio State Buckeyes
Following their 41-point dismantling of Nebraska last weekend, it has become clear that Ohio State is the team to beat in the Big Ten. They're hopeful to continue their momentum at home this Saturday against a tough Michigan State team. After managing just one touchdown in a loss to Arizona State in early September, the MSU offense has looked significantly better, with 71 points over their next two. Quarterback Brian Lewerke has been rock-solid, coming off a 300-yard showing in the victory over Indiana. He is aided by a number of under-the-radar playmakers, namely wide out Darrell Stewart and talented youngster Elijah Collins. Will it be enough to score against the Buckeyes? The Spartan offensive line is going to have to find a way to slow down Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah and the rest of a talented Ohio State defense. Young in particular has to have the Michigan State offense worried, as the possible top pick in next spring's NFL Draft already has eight sacks on the season despite facing constant double teams. The good news is that the Spartans feature a dominant defense themselves, including one of the nation's premier rush defenses. Even though they allowed 31 this past week, they still are allowing just 15.0 points per game, which sits 14th nationally. They have to find a way to slow down a Buckeye offense that can hurt you in a variety of ways. Quarterback Justin Fields has been absolutely terrific, already notching 23 total touchdowns on the year with zero interceptions. The former Georgia transfer has already proven himself as one of the country's most effective dual threats, and he really makes the rest of this offense go. Running back J.K. Dobbins has had a huge season with defenses focusing on Fields, and he should be ready to do damage, even against a physical Spartan defensive front. Dobbins has scored in every single game of the season, with the only exception being against Nebraska, when he ran for 177. On the perimeter, a trio of receivers will test an experienced MSU secondary. Senior K.J. Hill and Chris Olave have to be top priorities for the Spartans, as they've already combined for eight touchdowns on the season. Scoring points against this Michigan State group should still pose a stiff challenge, but with the way this offense is rolling under new head coach Ryan Day, the Buckeyes shouldn't have too much difficulties. Unless the Spartans are able to figure things out against a speedy, talented defense themselves, OSU keeps on humming.
The Pick: Ohio State, 34 Michigan State, 14

Other Picks
California @ (#13) Oregon: Oregon, 27 California, 16
(#3) Georgia @ Tennessee: Georgia, 41 Tennessee, 20
(#15) Washington @ Stanford: Washington, 30 Stanford, 20
Purdue @ (#12) Penn State: Penn State, 37 Purdue, 21
Upset: Texas Tech, 45 Oklahoma State, 42

No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.