The college football week has started out with fireworks, as three Division I teams topped 73 points on Thursday. That number is stunning, especially when it is hit three times in one night.
Last year there were 6 D1 teams to score 73+ points all season. There were 3 tonight alone. pic.twitter.com/CGz88c0Nje— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 14, 2018
Watch the fireworks continue in these five games.
My record: 8-2
5 - Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors vs. Army Knights - Army the 6.5 point favorite
Quarterback Cole McDonald is officially must-watch television. Not only has McDonald led the Rainbow Warriors to their first 3-0 start since 2007 but also leads the country in passing yards (1,165) and passing touchdowns (13).
He has sliced and diced teams up without throwing a single interception, leading the offense to 48.3 points per game. Army’s offense averages 26 points, while their defense allows 252 passing yards per outing. This game has the makings of a disaster.
Prediction: Hawai’i wins 45-30
4 - (5) Oklahoma Sooners vs. Iowa State Cyclones - Oklahoma the 18.5 point favorite
Last season, when Baker Mayfield and the Sooners were unstoppable, the Cyclones won 38-31 on the road. This season, quarterback Kyle Kempt will be home to take on the new Sooners signal caller phenom: Kyler Murray. Not only is Kempt back to attempt another massive upset against the No. 5 team in the country, he returns with plenty of starters form 2017. Running back David Montgomery, along with wide receivers Hakeem Butler and Deshaunte Jones all return on offense.
On defense, both D’Andre Payne and Brian Peavy return at each cornerback spot, giving the defense dependable coverage while the pass rush attempts to corral Murray. Of last season’s 11 defensive starters, eight are back and playing at home versus a team they beat last season. Lighting strikes twice for the Cyclones.
Prediction: Iowa State wins 36-34
3 - (1) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole’ Miss Rebels - Alabama the 21.5 point favorite
The SEC clash is the high flyin’ Hawaiian Super Bowl, featuring Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Ole Miss’ Jordan Ta’amu.
Tagovailoa has faced little trouble, as the Tide have cruised to 54 points per game, waxing the opposition with ease. But he will have to shoulder more of the load while the defense receives their first test on the arm of Ta’amu.
The 6-foot-2 Rebels star has amassed 784 passing yards (5th in the country) and can stretch the field with his three big receivers, pushing the young Alabama defense to their limits.
Tagovailoa has only needed to toss 455 yards in the opening two weeks, is now getting thrown into a potential shootout on the road. This one has trap game written all over it for the Tide. Fortunately, Tagovailoa has been thrown into maybe the most high-pressure situation (the title game) and came out on top. His deep ball and uncanny ability to extend a play, waiting for someone to break open, is what will make him a winner again.
Prediction: Alabama wins 31-28
2 - (4) Ohio State Buckeyes vs. (15) TCU Horned Frogs - Ohio State the 13 point favorite
The final game of Urban Meyer’s suspension (Ohio State’s head coach) takes place on the road, against the best team in Texas. In his two-game absence, the Buckeyes have surged to the 7th spot in the country in total offense, allowing only 17 points on the defensive end.
But TCU is no slouch on defense, letting up 9.5 points per outing, throwing up 48.5 points per game on the other side. In the first meeting between these two teams since 1973, the margin between the two teams is slim.
Despite an impressive defense, TCU will struggle with OSU’s playmakers. Dwayne Haskins has passed for nine scores, Mike Weber has rushed for 217 yards, and Terry McLaurin is averaging 34.4 yards per reception through two weeks. These are the horses that pull Ohio State past the Horned Frogs.
Prediction: Ohio State wins 27-21
1 - (12) LSU Tigers vs. (7) Auburn Tigers - Auburn the 10.5 point favorite
Following a fantastic opening drive against Washington, the Auburn offense sputtered and puttered for most of the game. The defense the Huskies threw at Auburn is nothing compared to what the LSU Tigers have in store for them.
Linebacker Devin White leads the pack of NFL bound players with 19 tackles, while safety Grant Delpit has amassed three tackles for loss and two sacks. They both back Neil Farrell Jr. and Rashard Lawrence on the defensive line, who have wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines. This defense is coming for blood every week, and the road will not shake LSU, only motivated by their underdog status.
Prediction: LSU wins 24-17