|Connor Halliday, the standout player of Week 6|
Week 6 of the 2014 NCAA College Football season was a wild one! A week filled with upsets and surprises, which led to a major shake-up of the AP Top 25 team standings. Several highly ranked teams lost in week 6, which made for a seriously action packed weekend of college football. Last week the unranked, but undefeated Arizona Wildcats marched into Eugene, Oregon and were able to beat the Oregon Ducks 31-24 as they upset the #2 ranked team in the nation. Mississippi State played host to Texas A&M and were able to handily beat the Aggies in what was a major upset. Another massive upset in week 6 was Ole Miss Rebels beating the heavily favoured Alabama Crimson Tide at home in Oxford, Mississippi. Other big upsets in week 6 were TCU beating their BIG 12 rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Arizona State Sun Devils beating up on the USC Trojans and the Utah Utes upsetting their PAC 12 rivals, the UCLA Bruins.
If week 7 of the 2014 NCAA College Football season is half as thrilling as last week, we’ll all be in for a treat.
That being said, here are some big games in week 7 to look out for.
#2 Auburn Tigers vs. #3 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Last weekend the Auburn Tigers played host to their SEC rivals, the LSU Tigers and were able to earn a blowout win, as they routed LSU by a score of 41-7. The Auburn Tigers come into this game with a 5-0 record and are currently in first place in the SEC West. The Tigers are led by QB Nick Marshall, a true dual threat QB that can beat you through that air and on the ground. Other key members of their offence are RB’s Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant, WR’s Sammie Coats and D’haquille Williams. Auburn is very much a power football team that will look to run the football with efficiency in order to help set up big yardage passing plays when the defence is caught out of place. Their rushing attack is ranked 15th in the nation, which proves that they are a legitimate force on the ground. Don’t simply focus on their ground game either because they have big wide-outs that can run all over an opposing secondary if they’re not prepared. Auburn comes into this game with the nation’s 14th overall defence, so scoring on them isn’t going to be so easy. Last weekend the Mississippi State Bulldogs played host to the Aggies of Texas A&M and were able to upset their SEC foes by a score of 48-31. The Bulldogs also come into this game with a 5-0 record and sit in second place in the SEC West, right behind the Auburn Tigers. The Bulldogs are led by QB Dak Prescott, another true dual threat QB that can beat you both ways. Some big names one that Mississippi State offence are RB Josh Robinson, WR De’Runnya Wilson and WR Jameon Lewis. The Bulldogs offence is currently ranked 14th in overall offensive production, with their rushing numbers being some of the highest in the nation. The Bulldogs play a similar game to the Tigers as in they look to run the football with authority and then set up some big passing plays down field to try and catch their opposition off guard. On the flip side, the Bulldogs defences ranked 85th overall in country; however, that is simply due to the fact that their pass defence isn’t strong, but their run defence is much better. This game makes for an interesting matchup because both teams have mobile duel threat quarterbacks, both teams like to run the ball a lot and both teams can stop the rush on defence. It’s all going to come down to offensive line play. Which team can get the better push and help create lanes for their running backs and quarterbacks. It’s going to be interesting to see how this game plays out for both teams.
Game details: Kickoff on Saturday, October 11th at 3:30pm from Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi.
#12 Oregon Ducks vs. #18 UCLA Bruins
Last weekend the Oregon Ducks played host to the Arizona Wildcats in a Thursday night nationally televised game and were beat by the unranked Wildcats by a score of 31-24. The Ducks went into that game undefeated and were ranked #2 in the country. The Ducks played a very uninspiring game last week as their offensive line look horrendous and their defence looked just as bad, if not worse. It is tough to admit that they really didn’t look like a top ranked team, yet Arizona did. Oregon is suffering from a lot of injuries so far this season which partially explain why they have looked very vulnerable at times. The Oregon coaching staff must do a better job at coaching these players up and ensure they are ready to play some big games against conference opponents. The Ducks are led by a ton of serious play makers on offence such as QB Marcus Mariota, RB’s Royce Freeman, Thomas Tyner and Byron Marshall and WR’s Devon Allenand Kenan Lowe. When the offence is clicking they look great, they look like an elite team. However, their defence ranks 101st overall in the country with their pass defence taking the blunt of that ranking. For a team that has a reputation like Oregon and hopes to compete for a National Championship, these numbers are unacceptable and they have to do something about it, otherwise they will slip in the rankings. Last weekend the UCLA Bruins played host to their PAC 12 foes, the Utah Utes and were edged out by a score of 30-28. The Bruins were one of many teams to be upset last weekend and will look to turn it around this weekend. Their offence is led by dynamic QB Brett Hundley, who has already thrown for over 1,300 yards and only two interceptions so far this year, RB Paul Perkins, WR’s Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte. The Bruins have a fairly balanced offensive attack that ranked 37th overall in the nation; however, their passing attack is where UCLA makes their mark. The Bruins have struggled defensively this season, like their rivals to the North, Oregon. They rank 86th in the nation in overall defence and 100thoverall in pass defence and for a team of UCLA’s calibre, this is slightly sobering. Something’s got to give in this PAC 12 clash with both of these teams struggling defensively, this game may come down to which team can make just a few stops on defence and try to limit the opposing offence from running all over them. Oregon will need to get the ball into the hands of their play makers quickly, and often in order to avoid Marcus Mariota being sacked. They will need that high tempo, no huddle offence to be clicking on all cylinders this weekend against UCLA. If the Bruins can stop the Ducks and put a lot of pressure on the Oregon O-line then they will have a great shot at beating Oregon.
Game details: Kickoff on Saturday, October 11th at 3:30pm from Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
#3 Ole Miss Rebels vs. #14 Texas A&M Aggies
Last weekend the Ole Miss Rebels played host to the big, bad Crimson Tide of Alabama and were able to capture the attention of the entire nation as they went on to beat ‘Bama by a score of 23-17 to complete the upset. The Rebels are led by Senior QB Bo Wallace who has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns; however, he does have 6 interceptions to his name so far this season. RB Jaylen Walton and WR’s Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core and Vince Sanders are some names to watch on this Ole Miss offence, especially those highly skilled wide-outs. The Ole Miss offence ranked 38th in the nation in terms of production, however, that number is aided by their solid passing game and hindered by their running game. The Rebels’ defence is what sets them apart from other teams, they’re ranked 6th overall in the nation and have been able to silence the opposing passing game. Last weekend the Aggies of Texas A&M marched down to Starkville, Mississippi and were stunned by the Bulldogs by a score of 48-31, as they saw their unblemished record tarnish right before their eyes. The Aggies are led by thrilling QB Kenny Hill who has thrown for over 2,100 yards and has 21 touchdown passes to his name. The Aggie offence is also fueled by RB’s Tra Carson, Trey Williamsand WR’s Josh Reynolds, Malcome Kennedy, Edward Pope and Rickey Seals-Jones. The offensive attack really isn’t a massive issue for the Aggies because they’ve looked good and have been able to execute against opposing teams. It’s their defence that’s an issue because they rank 75thin the nation in overall defence which isn’t the greatest news for Coach Kevin Sumlin. If Ole Miss wants to be successful against the Aggies they will need QB Bo Wallace and CO. to put up some big numbers and keep the chains moving in order to put up a lot of points and keep pace with a team like the Aggies, that can score often and quickly. Bo has to involve his play making WR’s as often as possible because those WR’s are all big bodied play makers that can make life hard on the Texas A&M secondary. That being said, Ole Miss will need their secondary on high alert, they will need them to play a near perfect game and limit the amount of blown coverages because Kenny Hill and the talented group of Texas A&M receivers will make them pay if they don’t. If Ole Miss can shut down Kenny Hill and the Aggies by limiting the number of big plays, they have a great shot at winning this game.
Game details: Kickoff on Saturday, September 11th at 9:00pm from Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.
Author: Matthew Kassabian