Week 6 Preview: No. 8 TCU looks to remain unbeaten
This week’s college football action features Washington State quarterback Luke Falk trying to solidify his status as a Heisman Trophy contender, TCU attempting to remain unbeaten and Miami seeking to end Florida State’s recent Sunshine State dominance.
Here are five things to know about Week 6:
West Virginia at No. 8 TCU
TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) has emerged as one of the nation’s bigger surprises this season and will try to maintain its perfect start Saturday when it hosts West Virginia (3-1, 1-0). The Horned Frogs weren’t ranked in the preseason for the first time since 2014 but have played their way into playoff contention.
West Virginia has won three straight by an average margin of 33.7 points since a season-opening 31-24 loss to No. 16 Virginia Tech.
This game pits the Big 12′s leading rusher against the conference’s top run defense. West Virginia’s Justin Crawford has run for a league-high 112.8 yards per game and averages 7.4 yards per carry. TCU is allowing just 94.5 yards rushing per game and 2.8 yards per carry.
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Falk emerged as a potential Heisman candidate last week by outperforming Southern California’s Sam Darnold in Washington State’s 30-27 victory over the previously unbeaten Trojans . Falk threw for 340 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
The fifth-year senior can enhance his credentials this week when the 11th-ranked Cougars (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) visit Oregon (4-1, 1-1). Washington State is seeking a third straight victory over Oregon, something this program hasn’t accomplished since 1982-84.
Falk is the NCAA’s active career leader in touchdown passes (105), yards passing (12,611) and total offense (12,308).
NUMBERS TO KNOW
9.1 - The number of yards No. 3 Oklahoma is gaining per play, the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision team. Oklahoma’s single-season school record for yards per play is 7.6 in 1971.
14 - No. 12 Auburn is the only FBS team that hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in a game all season.
37.6 - That’s the average margin of victory for No. 1 Alabama this season. Alabama also is outrushing opponents by 241.8 yards per game.
17-1: Florida State’s record against other Florida schools during Jimbo Fisher’s coaching tenure. The Seminoles are three-point underdogs Saturday as they host No. 13 Miami.
1,088: The total number of rushing yards by Stanford’s Bryce Love through five games. The only FBS players to rush for more yards through the first five games of a season were Northern Illinois’ Garrett Wolfe (1,181 in 2006), Southern California’s Marcus Allen (1,136 in 1981) and Texas Tech’s Byron Hanspard (1,112 in 1996).
UNDER THE RADAR
Air Force at Navy
This week doesn’t feature too many intriguing matchups involving unranked teams, but the 50th meeting between these two service academies bears watching.
Navy (4-0) will attempt to remain undefeated while gaining some revenge after losing 28-14 to Air Force last season.
Air Force (1-3) lost 56-38 to New Mexico but earlier had been competitive against a pair of Top 25 teams. The Falcons fell 29-13 at No. 7 Michigan on Sept. 16 and lost 28-24 to No. 19 San Diego State on Sept. 23.
The Navy-Air Force victor has gone on to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy every year since 1997.
HOT SEAT WATCH
When Nebraska fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst last month, conventional wisdom suggested time also was running out for Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley.
After all, Eichorst was the man who hired Riley, and the firing came less than a week after Nebraska lost to Northern Illinois to drop below .500.
Nebraska (3-2) has since moved back above .500 with victories over Rutgers and Illinois, but the Huskers’ schedule is about to get much tougher. Nebraska hosts No. 9 Wisconsin on Saturday and No. 10 Ohio State on Oct. 14.
Those next two games could go a long way toward determining Riley’s fate.
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