Week Nine of the College Football season is here! We have another week with a bunch of bye weeks, but again, we are hoping for some good matchups and upsets to pop up from the games we do have scheduled.
Here is your Week Nine College Football 2021 preview.
Week Nine College Football Top Matchups
No. 6. Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State
- Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (Fox)
- Prediction: Michigan 28, Michigan State 21
The Michigan defense is playing too well.
This is one of those it-comes-down-to-details games that former Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio’s teams were so good at when the program was rolling.
Mel Tucker is doing a fantastic job, but this team commits way too many penalties, has issues on third downs, doesn’t control the clock, and it’s last in the Big Ten in pass defense and first downs allowed.
Michigan might not be sensational, but it’s steady. It’s great on third downs, doesn’t turn the ball over, and it’s among the best in the nation in time of possession.
The Spartans will get up fast, but Michigan’s steady pounding will take over midway through the third quarter.
No. 8 Iowa at Wisconsin
- Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Prediction: Wisconsin 16, Iowa 13
For all of the love and affection given to the Hawkeye line – especially future NFL star C Tyler Linberbaum – it’s not all that great at blocking.
When it came to plays behind the line, the Purdue, Penn State, and Maryland defensive lines wore the Hawkeye front five as a hat.
Iowa’s Big Ten-worst offense was exposed by Purdue – the points dried up fast without any takeaways – and it’s not like things are about to get a whole lot better in Madison.
Wisconsin is No. 1 in the nation against the run – and that’s with a win over Army and another against an Illinois offense that cranked out two 300-yard rushing days in two of its last three games.
The Badgers are No. 2 in total defense behind Georgia, it’s tenth in passing yards allowed, and just assume eight tackles for loss and go from there.
Given the Badger’s defense and Iowa’s lack of a true offense, I think Wisconsin will grind out a tough victory here.
No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Prediction: Auburn 35, Ole Miss 33
Bo Nix has been strong.
The oft-maligned Auburn quarterback will never be Aaron Rodgers with his accuracy – although he hit 81% of his throws in the win over Arkansas – but he’s not making a ton of big mistakes, he’s moving the offense well, and he hasn’t had to force too much thanks to a solid defense that’s getting the job done.
The Tigers aren’t going to shut down the Ole Miss offensive machine, but it’s going to pressure QB Matt Corral, it’ll generate several plays behind the line, and it should be able win its share of battles.
Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. That’s what Auburn is about to do.
The ground game has the talent in the backfield, and the offensive line hasn’t been bad, but the team hasn’t hit 200 rushing yards since it blasted away on Akron and Alabama State to start the season. This week it will.
I think Auburn makes just enough plays on defense to get this one done.
No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Prediction: Ohio State 52, Penn State 14
If it feels like a long, long time since you’ve seen Ohio State play – and unless you’re a Buckeye fan, there’s been no reason to tune in to the soft schedule since the loss to Oregon – you might not recognize it.
It’s not that it’s a different team since it opened up struggling against Minnesota and Oregon, but it’s playing like it needed a few games to work out the timing and the kinks, and now it’s all good.
Penn State is still a talented team, but it’s a mess on offense and the defense isn’t going to make up for it.
It’s been able to get by so far against a slew of offensively-challenged opponents – with some due respect to Auburn – but now it’s about to deal with a Buckeye team looking to make one giant statement a few days before the first set of College Football Playoff rankings come out. Ohio State wins big.
North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
- Prediction: Notre Dame 42, North Carolina 21
Can the Tar Heel defense get behind the line? It really is a measuring stick for the team – it’s 3-0 when coming up with three sacks or more, and 1-3 when it doesn’t – and it’ll get to the Notre Dame quarterbacks with at least three sacks.
Even so, Jack Coan will hold up well – he’s coming off of two straight solid games, at least for what the offense needs – the Irish defensive front will stop the Tar Heel running game, and it’ll be yet another routine-looking win as those keep piling up.
Other Week Nine College Football Contests
Troy at No. 24 Coastal Carolina
- Game Info: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
- Prediction: Coastal Carolina 42, Troy 39
The Chanticleers are coming off a loss, and the last two games against the Trojans were one-score shootouts. Troy allows 94.6 rushing yards per game, and their worst loss this season is by 13 points. This is a close-call, but Troy hangs around for most of the game but falls short here.
No. 2 Cincinnati at Tulane
- Game Info: Satursday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
- Prediction: Cincinnati 42, Tulane 14
Tulane’s season has come unhinged after that near upset of Oklahoma early in the season. The Green Wave rank 128th in scoring defense at 42.3 points per game. They do have an all-in moment at home here, but the Bearcats need to pour it on ahead of the upcoming CFP rankings. Cincinnati wins big.
Texas at No. 16 Baylor
- Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Prediction: Texas 41, Baylor 38
The Bears have the top statistical offense in the Big 12, and Dave Aranda has instilled the defense to match. Both teams excel the running game, and this should be your classic Big 12 shootout of the week. The Longhorns finally win a close game.
Miami at No. 17 Pitt
- Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Prediction: Pitt 28, Miami 24
Pitt is riding high after the big win over Clemson. Could this be a let-down game? It could be, but I think Pitt does enough to win here.
No. 22 Iowa State at West Virginia
- Game Info: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Prediction: Iowa State 28, West Virginia 21
The Iowa State defense will take over in a somewhat surprising slugfest of a game. West Virginia will take its game up a few notches at home, but it’ll come down to just a few mistakes. Iowa State is the best in the Big 12 at limiting penalties, and it’s among the best in the country in fewest giveaways. West Virginia doesn’t take the ball away and will lose the turnover battle. That will be enough.
Texas Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma
- Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Prediction: Oklahoma 51,Texas Tech 28
The Red Raiders have enjoyed a solid season with the exception of blowout losses against TCU and Texas. Oklahoma is back home, and the perception game remains a mixed bag after the scare at Kansas in Week 8. But Texas Tech just fired their coach and they should be outmanned here. I think the Sooners roll in a big blowout.
Colorado at No. 7 Oregon
- Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
- Prediction: Oregon 28, Colorado 24
The Buffaloes are 1-3 against the spread as an underdog this season, with the lone cover the bizzarro game against Texas A&M in September. The problem here is the Ducks are 0-5 against the spread as a favorite this season. Colorado can play into that, even with a bad offense. But I don’t think it will be enough to win, Oregon wins a close one again.
Duke at No. 13 Wake Forest
- Game Info: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET (ACCN)
- Prediction: Wake Forest 42, Duke 21
The Demon Deacons have a high-powered offense, and the Blue Devils have been outscored 127-34 in their last three ACC losses. This should be another big blowout here.
Kansas at No. 15 Oklahoma State
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (FS1)
- Prediction: Ok St. 31, Kansas 10
Will Oklahoma State come out focused after a deflating loss at Iowa State? I think they will, I think their defense will shut down Kansas pretty easily.
No. 19 SMU at Houston
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
- Prediction: SMU 34, Houston 31
It’s a huge game in the AAC between rival schools in Texas. The Mustangs have won the last two high-scoring affairs, and they have a top-10 offense led by Tanner Mordecai (29 TDs, 7 INTs). It’s a tough spot on the road, but I like SMU to push through it.
No. 12 Kentucky at Mississippi State
- Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
- Prediction: Mississippi State 21, Kentucky 20
The Wildcats won this matchup 24-2 in Lexington last year. The Bulldogs will be better this time around, but Kentucky had a week to refocus after the Georgia loss. This could get wild, and that’s why it’s a pick-em line. The home team has won the last six meetings, and I’m sticking with that trend.
Virginia at No. 25 BYU
- Game Info: Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
- Prediction: Virginia 31, BYU 28
It’s the Bronco Mendenhall Bowl. The Cavaliers are making the long trip to Provo, and they have won wild shootouts at Miami and Louisville this season. Virginia is on a four-game winning streak, and the Cougars are 1-2 ATS as a single-digit favorite this season. I think Virginia pulls this one off.
Fresno State at No. 21 San Diego State
- Game Info: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
- Prediction: San Diego State 24, Frenso State 21
This is worth staying up late for. The Aztecs’ pass defense will be tested by Jake Haener, and Greg Bell will try to get going against a tough Fresno State run defense. This feels like a defensive struggle, and the Aztecs are built for those at home.
College Football – Upset Alert
No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida
- Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
- Prediction: Florida 31, Georgia 30
Both teams are coming off a bye week for this rivalry game. Georgia can clinch the SEC East behind that ridiculous defense, but Florida had an extra week to prepare. Will Anthony Richardson throw a wrinkle into this matchup? I think he does and I think this will be the upset of the year.
Should be another excellent week of College Football!
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