For most teams week Eight means we’re over halfway through the season. Our College Football Preview Week Eight edition will get you up to speed with what you need to know heading into some huge games for both FBS and FCS Schools.
UMass travels to Tallahassee to face Florida State in a game that The Noles are a whopping -35.5 point favourites. The over is set at 60 right now and I think FSU wins but not by 5 touchdowns. As bad as UMass is, FSU aren’t a whole lot better. An unbeaten Wake Forest travels to Army to face a stiff test. Even though Wake are 6-0 they are only slim 3 point favourites here and Army are playing well. Army will want to beat the only ranked opponent they will face this year and the triple-option offence could prove troublesome for Wake. I feel Wake have enough this time around and make it four from four trips to West Point since 1999.
Virginia Tech hosts The Syracuse Orange in what is predicted to be a low scoring affair. This one’s simple for me. VT needs to win or Justin Fuente is in serious hot water and could be gone by the time the live show airs Monday night. The Hokies are dire on offence right now and the Oregon Transfer Braxton Burmeister hasn’t lit the flames Fuente was hoping for. Seeing as Fuente is a supposed offensive mind the VT AD will not be happy with how things are going right now. Hokies by 7 for me in a close one at Lane Stadium.
ACC is humming this week
Louisville hosts Boston College on Saturday in a contest that made a stake for my game of the week. The Cardinals are coming off a bye week and BC lost last week to NC State in a rout. The Eagles will.want to bounce back but Louisville and Malik Cunningham are out gaining BC in all three aspects of the game so far this season. This could be an electric night for more than one reason as we mentioned on the Podcast. Louisville are retiring Lamar Jackson’s number and I think the Cards get the win to cap off the night.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head to Virginia to face a Cavaliers team who’s Quarterback was named ACC QB of the week for the fourth time this year. Brennan Armstrong is really making a case for his credentials at the next level and Virginia are riding the wave right now. This could be a firework filled fiesta as Jeff Sims comes to town and since his return has been scintillating. 10 touchdowns in his last three games means this could be a humdinger but I think the Cavs win but don’t cover the -7 points.
Finally this week NC State travel to Hardrock Stadium to face a Miami team that is somehow only +3 point underdogs. NC State have one of the best defences in the ACC right now and Miami can’t defend for toffee. The Wolfpack are running the ball well and can control this one from the outset allowing NC State to throw when needed also. +3?? Punch that ticket on the Wolfpack winning and covering with ease. If you can get an alternate line of -7 then I’d take that all day.
ACC Game of the Week – Clemson @ Pitt
If a year ago you’d have told me that in week eight, Clemson would be three point underdogs against Pitt I would have laughed. Alas, here we are. This is a massive game for Pitt against a dull, lacklustre 4-2 Clemson team. It means much more for The Panthers than it does for Clemson. It’s a classic offence vs defence and not in the way we normally expect. It would normally be Clemson trying to break down Pitt but this weekend, it’s Kenny Pickett and Co trying to best the Clemson D.
Now The Tigers are without some key pieces and that hasn’t really shown in recent weeks as they have ground out close, low scoring wins. It’s the offence that isn’t firing and serious questions are being asked if DJ is the heir apparent to the Quarterback legacy we expect from Clemson. Pickett has been on a tear recently and has even gotten himself into Heisman contention off of the back of it. As good as the Clemson defence is, I can see Pitt scoring more than Clemson and I think Pitt wins and covers the three points.
Written by Stocks @5yardcollege
The Kansas Jayhawks hosts the #3 Oklahoma Sooners in Lawrence. Keep an eye out for Spencer Rattler. The Sooners should be in a position to give him at least a quarter on the field. Kansas State travel to Lubbock to take on the 5-2 Texas Tech Red Raiders in what should be a close game. Finally, West Virginia go up against TCU on the road. Neal Brown will be looking for improvement off the bye-week.
Game of the Week – Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
#8 Oklahoma State take on Iowa State on the road in Ames this Saturday. The game has some big implications for both teams. Gundy’s Cowboys will be looking to stay unbeaten and keep their championship charge completely in their control. Matt Campbell knows that a win here puts the championship game back into view. Tough matches lie in wait against TCU and Oklahoma late in the schedule so this is a must win game for the Cyclones.
Breece Hall got back to being Breece Hall last weekend, rushing for nearly 200 yards against K-State. He will need to be at his peak again on Saturday against this stout Oklahoma State defence. They have the 16th ranked rush defence in the country. The Cowboys don’t allow a lot of huge plays so Brock Purdy can’t afford to become impatient. Iowa State’s offence is currently scoring 33.7 points per game (PPG) to Ok-State’s 26.5 PPG. This, however, won’t lull Campbell into a false sense of security. The Cyclones will need one of its best performances of the season to snap the Cowboys win streak.
A Game of Defences
Oklahoma State have an equally tough defence to contend with, also. The Cyclones are one place above the Cowboys in the rush defence rankings. Lead running back, Jaylen Warren will want to make it five-out-of-five games of 100+ yards rushing to give the Cowboys the best chance of staying unbeaten. Quarterback Spencer Sanders will face one of his toughest tests yet, and so far this season he hasn’t passed any with flying colours. Always a threat with his legs, his passing since returning from injury has shown little improvement from last year. He’ll need to make some big third-down throws to break open the Cyclones’ defence.
For me, this game will come down to which defence can cause the opposing offence to make the most mistakes. Purdy and Sanders both have interceptions in their game and both defences have been hawkish in recent weeks. Both teams will look to build drives behind their strong run games, whilst the game could come down to which quarterback can make a play in the moment.
Expect a close one that could be decided by a field goal or less.
Prediction Oklahoma State 28-31 Iowa State
Written by Jake @dyanstybrit
It’s a Big Ten family affair in week 8! We have 5 games, all in-conference and we’re approaching the business end of the season. Bye weeks are (mostly) done with and the weather is turning from warm end of summer to chilly autumn. Perfect for Big Ten football.
Illinois and Penn State kick off the action on Saturday. Both have had their bye week to stew on defeats, rest and plan for each other. These teams both have their issues. Illinois have just been flat out poor since week zero’s win over Nebraska. The Fighting Illini struggle to score at the best of times, so against this Nittany Lion defense they might get shut out completely!
Penn State has injury troubles. PJ Mustipher, Hakeem Beamon and Adisa Isaac are all missing from the defensive line and Sean Clifford seems unlikely to be healthy. That shouldn’t matter too much against Illinois, but they will be hoping for quick recoveries with Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State all on the schedule.
Boilermakers look to continue the charge
Newly ranked Purdue will look to keep their momentum rolling, right over Wisconsin. David Bell is an incredible talent and will have an intriguing battle against a good Badgers defense. It’ll be a close one. As will Maryland @ Minnesota, at least it should be. Maryland boast a 5-2 record in this fixture and are 5 point underdogs on the road – plenty of motivation for them there! The Terps need a bounce back after dropping from 4-0 to 4-2, but Minnesota have 4 wins in their last 5 games and will be feeling buoyant.
Ohio State travels to Bloomington in the late game where Indiana awaits. The Buckeyes are coming off their bye whereas the Hoosiers pushed Michigan State all the way last week. It’ll be a good test of what pays dividends – rest or momentum. Ohio State are heavy favourites and it could be a long day for the Indiana defense. The Buckeyes have been highly efficient in recent weeks, so the Hoosiers will need to stop them early and often to avoid being blown away.
Game Of The Week – Northwestern @ Michigan
It appears that everyone wants an undefeated Michigan – Michigan State rivalry game next week. Everyone except Northwestern that is! The Wolverines are heavy favourites here, but cannot get sloppy in a possible trap game. Northwestern are talented enough to cause an upset if Michigan aren’t fully focussed.
Last year’s Big Ten West Champions are struggling to replicate their success in 2021, but have an excellent coach in Pat Fitzgerald. He will have the Wildcats prepared well and ready to fight against the 7-0 Wolverines. Northwestern will need to dig themselves in against the run game. The stars of this Michigan team are RBs Haskins and Corum and the Wildcats will need to neutralise them as they attempt to make this a proper scrap.
The biggest problem they’ll have will be scoring points against a tough Michigan defense. The 29 points they gave up to Nebraska last time out is an anomaly on the record. I can’t see it being repeated here. I hope this will be a fun, close-fought, hard earned victory for whoever comes out on top. But Michigan could put on a show ahead of a tough run in. Ultimately they are more talented and have much more to play for. I think we’ll get our unbeaten rivalry next week!
Written by Jack @JackCDCTT
We have some top match ups in week 8 of the PAC-12. Early Saturday morning Washington heads to Tucson to play Arizona, both teams having under par seasons so far. It’s an all Cougars affair, as Washington State entertain BYU. Wazzu will hope to be the first PAC-12 team to beat BYU this season, with their record standing at 3-0 vs PAC-12 opposition. Colorado plays California, both teams are desperate for the win to try to turn their seasons around. USC have been playing way below their standards this season, but a win against #13 ranked Notre Dame would be a step in the right direction. Utah are well in the race for the PAC-12 South title, while Oregon State have a sneak at the North title. A big game to finish off the week 8 slate in Oregon.
Game of the Week – Oregon @ UCLA
College Gameday heads to the Rose Bowl Saturday and you can see why. Number #10 ranked Oregon sit top of the PAC-12 North looking in at the playoffs. UCLA are bunched up with Utah and Arizona State, fighting for the South title. This is a game neither can afford to lose. Oregon have found themselves just edging past teams they should be beating. California were close to tie in the game last week, but a defensive stand for the Ducks got them the win. Kayvon Thibodeaux and Noah Sewell have been leading the way, but corner back Mykael Wright and safety Verone McKinley III have been excellent this season.
The defence will need to be on top of their game, especially against the run. The Bruins have showcased what they can do on the ground in many games this season. Running backs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown have been lights out, along with the dual threat ability of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The offensive line hasn’t been given enough love, with their protection and creating running lanes for the RBs. Oregon’s offence needs to show up if they want to win this one. CJ Verdell is a big miss at running back, but Travis Dye stepped up big last week. This game is wide open, where any sort of flat performance from either team will be punished.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87
We have a small 5 game slate in week 8, with 4 in conference games and 1 out of conference. Arkansas has a get right game after losing 3 games in a row. They welcome Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the FCS. Vanderbilt nearly had their first SEC win since 2019 last week. It will be much harder on Saturday, when they play Mississippi State. Alabama bounced back last week after a wee 6 shock defeat. They welcome Tennessee, who are starting to become a decent team under HC Josh Heupel, but the Crimson Tide should have way too much for the Volunteers. South Carolina head to Texas A&M to close out week 8 in the SEC. The Aggies have bounced back into the AP top 25 and will hope to stay their with victory over the Gamecocks.
Game of the Week – LSU @ Ole Miss
We see LSU and Ole Miss compete for the Magnolia Bowl on Saturday, both coming off tough wins in week 7. The Tigers have won the last 5 meetings of this rivalry game, but Ole Miss will fancy their chances of breaking that run. Rebels quarterback Matt Corrall is having a good year, with the top 2022 draft eligible quarterbacks faltering, Corrall has thrown his hat into the ring to potentially be the best of the bunch. HC Lane Kiffin said Monday that Corrall isn’t in a good way, hopefully for the Rebels he is ready to go. If not the running game may be leaned in more, with Snoop Conner, Jerrion Ealy and Henry Parrish Jr. all capable of doing that.
LSU have been relatively poor this season and even with a big win over Florida last week, the Tigers decided to terminate head coach Ed Orgeron’s contract after the season ends. Injuries haven’t helped with starting corners Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks both looking like they are out for the season. Quarterback Max Johnson has shown that he has the skills to win games, the defence will need to step up and help out if they are to challenge in this game. All eyes will be on this SEC game with it being a small slate in the conference this weekend. Can Ole Miss break the Tigers streak? Alternatively, will Orgeron have the last laugh in this match up?
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87