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Fearless predictions: Week 6

Spotlight Game

No. 17 Michigan State at No. 18 Michigan (-4.5), 3:30 p.m.: How do you stop Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense. Well, no team has been able to figure that out this season. Outscoring Michigan might be the best option. Michigan is averaging 565 yards of total offense per game, right behind national leader Oregon’s 569. The Wolverines rank third nationally with 324 rushing yards per game. Michigan is scoring 41 points per game. Robinson, the likely leader for the Heisman Trophy at this point of the season, has been sensational. The sophomore leads the nation with 908 yards and eight touchdowns on just 98 carries. He’s also been a solid passer, throwing for 1,008 yards and seven touchdowns. Robinson is completing 70 percent of his passes, with just one interception. If the Spartans hope to go into the Big House and leave with a win, stopping Robinson should be No. 1 on their list. Michigan State has shown nice balance on offense this season. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been solid, throwing for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns. But it’s been the Spartans’ running game that has been especially effective. Edwin Baker has rushed for 536 yards and five touchdowns and Le’Veon Bell has rushed for 471 yards and seven touchdowns. Michigan, which ranks 102 nationally in total defense, has been decent against the run, allowing 125 yards a game. The Wolverines, however, have the worst pass defense among FBS teams, allowing a whooping 308 yards a game. Michigan State will need to worry about Robinson. Michigan will need to worry about Cousins and the passing game, plus Baker and Bell. Plus, the Spartans will have head coach Mark Dantonio in the press box as an extta emotional boost. Michigan State 44, Michigan 41
Other games
No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 South Carolina (+6.5), 3:30 p.m.: It’s the third straight tough game for the Crimson Tide. South Carolina true freshman running back Marcus Lattimore will only be able to do so much against the Alabama defense. Alabama is 19th nationally, allowing just 101 rushing yards a game. That means it falls on quarterback Stephen Garcia. I’ll take Alabama in that scenario. Plus, when the game is on the line, Mark Ingram and Co. always find a way. Alabama 30, South Carolina 17
No. 11 Arkansas at Texas A&M (+6), 3:30 p.m.: Both defenses have been pretty good this season – Texas A&M ranks 14th nationally in total defense and Arkansas 23rd. But the Aggies have turned the ball over 14 times this season. Jerrod Johnson has thrown for over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns, but has eight interceptions. Turnovers hurt Texas A&M last week in a loss at Oklahoma State and could be a factor again this week. Arkansas 27, Texas A&M 24
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (-6), 3:30 p.m.: Notre Dame snapped a three-game losing streak by picking up a nice win at Boston College last week. Throw out the Stanford game and the Irish offense has performed well this season. Pittsburgh will likely have success running the ball against Notre Dame – whether it’s Ray Graham or Dion Lewis. But Pittsburgh can’t stay with Notre Dame’s offense for an entire game. Miami had plenty of success against the Panthers earlier this season and the Irish will too. Notre Dame 31, Pittsburgh 20
Clemson at North Carolina (-2.5), 3:30 p.m.: After tough losses to LSU and Georgia Tech, North Carolina has won two straight, while an NCAA investigation swirls around the program and key players continue to sit out. Tyler Yates has played well this season, throwing for seven touchdowns and just one interception. Clemson is headed in the opposite direction with two straight losses to Auburn (in overtime and on the road) and Miami (Fla.). This is a key game for both teams since neither can afford to drop to 0-2 in the ACC. The Tar Heels have some momentum and Yates will lead them to a win. North Carolina 23, Clemson 21
UCLA at California (-7.5), 3:30 p.m.: Which UCLA team will show up this week? The Bruins team that went into Austin and beatTexas? Or the Bruins team that struggled with Washington State at home last week? Cal has also been up and down as well. The Bears won their first two games and lost their last two. But Cal lost at Nevada – a top 25 team – and played Arizona very tough in a 10-9 loss. Cal has had two weeks to prepare for this game. California 33, UCLA 27
Oregon State at No. 9 Arizona (-7.5), 6 p.m.: Tough one to call. Arizona was riding high after the Iowa win, but really struggled at home two weeks ago against a good Arizona State team. Oregon State has played a brutal schedule – TCU, Louisville, Boise State and Arizona State. I can’t imagine the Beavers being the least bit fazed by going to Arizona. Plus, Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Arizona State last week. But, more importantly, Ryan Katz threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns as he settles into the quarterback position. And it looks like Oregon State has turned the switch on defense, recording six sacks last week. Oregon State 24, Arizona 20
No. 12 LSU at No. 14 Florida (-6.5), 7:30 p.m.: Florida has struggled on offense all season. But so has LSU – and to a greater extent. The Gators are likely still stinging from the 31-6 loss to top-ranked Alabama. So expect Urban Meyer to have his team fired up for the Tigers. I can’t see Florida losing this game. The Gators should cause all sorts of problems for LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Expect a low-scoring, defensive game. Florida 20, LSU 9
No. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami (Fla.) (-6), 8 p.m.: This rivalry has a little extra meaning this season with both teams ranked and the programs back on solid ground. Florida State has played well this season. The one bad game was on the road against Oklahoma, a 30-point loss. This game has too much meaning so predicting another blowout loss for the Seminoles doesn’t work. When the Hurricanes are clicking on offense and Jacory Harris is protecting the ball, Miami can be tough. Miami 31, Florida State 24
USC at No. 16 Stanford (-9.5), 8 p.m.: USC is playing Stanford and the Trojans are the big underdogs. That would’ve been a crazy sentence in recent seasons. But the Trojans are coming off a crushing loss at home against Washington. Stanford had a lead on Oregon, but the Ducks ended up cruising to a 52-31 win. The Stanford offense, led by Andrew Luck, has been tough to stop. USC is 99th nationally in total defense. Stanford 38, USC 28

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