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Recent Comments
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Dan* said:
I'm not sure how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty optimistic that we have the tale...
On College Football 2022: Week 1 Preview
Dan* said:
Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Ken said:
Yeah, sorry one of our teams had to lose. I've come to appreciate Penn State as a classy and sympath...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Dan* said:
Hey Ken, congratulations on the win yesterday! Some really odd choices by our coaching staff in that...


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College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Preview
Wednesday, 2022 October 12 - 1:55 pm
Michigan wins a chaotic game; NC State wins a thriller. Michigan and Penn State face off next.

Michigan 31, Indiana 10
This was a weird game, which featured some terrible officiating, a blocked field goal by both teams, and an Indiana game plan that could best be described as "a gamble". Indiana did a lot of unsound things, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't.

On defense, Indiana tended to pursue heavily to the playside, negating Michigan's favorite rushing play (a run to the C-gap with pulling guard and lead TE block). Michigan didn't counter this with end-arounds, which surprised me, but began playing split-zone runs up the middle, which had a good deal of success. On offense, Indiana was utterly unable to run the ball; the offense depended on making a screen or slant pass on first down to stay ahead of the chains. When they were unable to make that, the Michigan DL feasted on QB Connor Bazelak, to the tune of seven sacks and four recorded QB hurries (though I can tell you, Bazelak was under pressure the entire day long).

It's a good sign for the Michigan defense that the line is starting to come together. Jaylen Harrell, Mike Morris, and Eyabi Okie are showing some real talent as edge rushes, and on the interior, Mazi Smith and Kris Jenkins have been absolutely dominant. Michigan will need the DL to continue to play well to cover up some deficiencies at linebacker, where Nikhail Hill-Green has been absent up to now. The young linebackers filling in for him have shown a tendency to hit the wrong gaps in run defense and let receivers run free in pass coverage; this is something that will need to get fixed and quickly.

In the end, it was another steady game by JJ McCarthy that led Michigan to the win. McCarthy had his first 300+ yard day, finishing with 28 completions on 36 attempts. A few of the incompletions came on dropped passes by his receivers. He did suffer his first interception of the season, when he failed to make a post-snap read and threw into tight coverage. I have a feeling he won't make that mistake again.

Michigan vs. Penn State, 12:00 PM Fox
Well, here we go. Michigan and Penn State are both undefeated and ranked in the top 10. They both feature talented quarterbacks and stout defenses. It'll be a battle to be sure.

I think the key to this game will be whether Penn State can run the ball. In particular, if Nick Singleton can get past the line and up to the second level, he might get some chunk yardage against the Michigan linebackers. On the other hand, if the Michigan DL can stop Singleton for no gain and put Penn State into passing situations, I think Sean Clifford might be in for a long day.

On the other side of the ball, it's a strength-on-strength matchup as Penn State has been very good against the run, while Michigan will (as usual) look to establish the running game with Blake Corum. I think a key here will be Michigan's play-calling; they'll need to check out of running plays and not bash their heads against a wall. We've seen inklings of some RPO plays from Michigan; those could prove to be a difference-maker, if Michigan is willing to call them.

It will be a competitive game. The athletic talent is there on both sides. I think Michigan has a slight edge on defense; coupled with a home crowd, the ingredients are there for a close victory.

Prediction: Michigan 27, Penn State 24.

NC State 19, Florida State 17
By most measures, NC State had no business winning this game. Florida State looked to be the better team most of the day. What is really came down to, though, was that the FSU kicker wasn't very good. For that reason, as FSU was driving down the field for what should have been a game-winning field goal, they gambled and threw into the end zone to try to win it. The ball was intercepted, and the game was over.

Combined with another interception on FSU's previous drive (which NCSU failed to take advantage of, going three-and-out on a drive that started on FSU's 40), that was enough for NCSU to eke out an ill-deserved win.

Here's the recurring theme for the Wolfpack: the receivers can't get open. Devin Leary has to play hero-ball a lot, squeezing passes into tight windows. Coupled with an inconsistent running game, this is a recipe for disaster against good defenses. The worse news: Leary suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder late in the game. Backup Jack Chambers came into the game, and it was clear that State did not trust him to throw the ball. But he did enough with his legs to bleed time off the clock while getting NCSU into field goal range. If Leary remains out going forward, though, State will need to take the handcuffs off and let Chambers throw.

NC State at Syracuse, 3:30 PM ACCN
This will be another stiff test against a surprisingly unbeaten Syracuse team, 5-0 and ranked 18th. Syracuse is a 3.5 favorite at home against the NCSU, and that's mostly because of some outstanding quarterback play from Garrett Shrader. Syracuse has a couple of legit wins against Louisville and Purdue. Their wins over Virginia, UConn, and Wagner are somewhat less impressive.

I don't know if the Syracuse rushing game is legit. The numbers look good, but the rushing defenses they've faced have mostly been awful. It might be tougher sledding for Syracuse RB Sean Tucker; he's averaging over 100 yards a game, but that might change against NCSU, whose rushing defense has been excellent.

Still, this matchup does not look good for NCSU, especially if Devin Leary is not able to return. The defense might keep things close for a while, but I'm not confident in the offense's ability to score.

Prediction: Syracuse 28, NCSU 13.

Notable Results
#1 Alabama narrowly defeated Texas A&M, 24-20. The big news is that they won without QB Bryce Young, who is injured. Turnovers nearly cost them the game. If Young can't go against Tennessee, we might see an upset.

#3 Ohio State demolished Michigan State. No surprises there. #6 USC beat a pretty good Washington State team, 30-14. #7 Oklahoma State came back from a halftime deficit to beat Texas Tech 41-31. #8 Tennessee pounded #25 LSU 40-13. #18 UCLA beat #11 Utah 42-32. UCLA remains undefeated and might be pretty good. #12 Oregon crushed Arizona 49-22. #13 Kentucky lost to South Carolina in an upset, 24-14. Notre Dame beat #16 BYU 28-20. #17 TCU beat #19 Kansas 38-31. Arizona State upset #21 Washington 45-38.

Nebraska squeaked by Rutgers 14-13. Purdue beat Maryland 31-29. Illinois beat Iowa 9-6 (ha).

Games to Watch on TV
#10 Penn State at #5 Michigan is at noon on Fox, and while that's the biggest game of the day for a lot of us, the day also features #1 Alabama at #6 Tennessee at 3:30 on CBS. Let's call both of those the Game of the Week.

Other noon games include #19 Kansas at Oklahoma on ESPN2, Auburn at #9 Ole Miss on ESPN, and Minnesota at #24 Illinois on BTN.

Other 3:30 PM games include #15 NC State at #18 Syracuse on ACCN and #8 Oklahoma State at #13 TCU on ABC. At 4:00 PM, Wisconsin at Michigan State is on Fox.

At 7:00 PM, LSU is at Florida on ESPN. At 7:30 PM, #4 Clemson is at Florida State on ABC. #16 Mississippi State is at #22 Kentucky on SECN. Stanford is at Notre Dame on NBC. Nebraska is at Purdue on BTN. At 8:00 PM, #7 USC is at #20 Utah on Fox. North Carolina is at Duke on ACCN.
Permalink  Comments (2)   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: sports

Comments

Comment #1 from Dan (Guest)
2022 Oct 14 - 1:31 pm : #
I'm not sure how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty optimistic that we have the talent to pull off an upset here. But on the other hand, I feel like I've seen this movie a few times already it doesn't end well. I don't mean specifically versus UM, but just generically with an over-hyped PSU team falling flat in a key game on the road. I've reached the point of having almost zero confidence in James Franklin's gameday abilities. Still waiting for him to prove me wrong.

Anyway, good luck this weekend Ken. No matter who wins, may we both pummel OSU later on down the road!!!
Comment #2 from Ken (realkato)
2022 Oct 15 - 10:52 am : #
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good battle, and that we don't have to grumble too much about Big Ten refs. And yeah... beat Ohio!

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