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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Week 6’s national games includes Notre Dame-Virginia Tech and LSU-Florida

Last week ATS: 4-7 (3-3 National, 1-4 B1G)

Season ATS: 30-49 (10-20 National, 20-29 B1G)

Everything is pain. At this point it is just comical some of the bad luck that MC&J is having. Texas looked like it was going to run away from Kansas State last week, but then forgot to play football. Stanford laid an egg against Notre Dame. I don’t even want to talk about how bad my BYU pick was. At least at MC&J, we’ll never stop chasin’,


National games:

No. 19 Texas v. No. 7 Oklahoma (-7.5) – 12:00 PM EST – FOX

Aside from their game against Tulsa in the second week of the season, I’ve picked every Texas game this year. The results have been ugly, as I’ve failed to cover any of the four games. I sided with the Longhorns against Maryland and Kansas State, while picking against them in their wins over USC and TCU.

After Army took the Sooners to overtime a couple of weeks ago, Oklahoma rebounded with an easy 66-33 win over Baylor last week. Quarterback Kyler Murray has put himself in the middle of the Heisman Trophy conversation, registering 21 total touchdowns through five games this season.

After losing big to Oklahoma in 2011 and 2012, the Longhorns have been extremely competitive in the Red River Showdown the last five years, winning two of those matchups, and losing each of the other three games by five points. I feel like the Sooners might be a little overrated. Texas gives Oklahoma all that they can handle in Dallas and scores the upset.

Texas 34, Oklahoma 31


No. 5 LSU (-3) v. No. 22 Florida – 3:30 PM EST – CBS

After some pretty ugly starts in the first four games of his LSU career, Joe Burrow had his best game as a Tiger last week. The former Ohio State backup quarterback threw for nearly 300 yards and tossed three touchdowns in an easy win over Ole Miss. Burrow completed 72 percent of his passes last week, marking the first time since joining the Tigers that he has registered a completion percentage above 57.

While Burrow gets all of the love from Buckeye fans, Florida’s Feleipe Franks might be the best quarterback in this game. Franks has tossed 12 touchdowns so far this year, giving the Gators some stability at quarterback for the first time in years. The Gators have an Ohio State transfer of their own, as Franks has been throwing to wide receiver Trevon Grimes, who has 10 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown so far this year.

This game feels like it is always a bit of a mess, which makes the points pretty attractive. The Tigers have some nice wins so far this year, including a tough one at Auburn, so they are road tested. Even with that, I like what Dan Mullen has done so far with the Gators. Last week Mullen was able to hand his former team a loss, and this week he gets an even bigger win, as Florida hands LSU their first L of the year.

Florida 21, LSU 17


No. 13 Kentucky v. Texas A&M (-5.5) – 7:00 PM EST – ESPN

What Kentucky has done so far this year has been incredible, and running back Bennie Snell Jr. has created quite a bit of noise in Kentucky’s terrific start. The Westerville native is on his way to his third straight 1,000 yard season on the ground, rushing for 639 yards and eight touchdowns through five games.

If Texas A&M can stop Kentucky’s rushing attack, they’ll likely be in good shape. The Aggies are only allowing 80.6 yards per game on the ground this year. Slowing down Snell and putting the ball in quarterback Terry Wilson’s hands would be a wise strategy for the Aggies, with Wilson only throwing two touchdowns and five interceptions this year.

Kentucky has already gone down to Florida this year and beaten the Gators on their turf, but asking them to beat the Aggies in College Station might be asking a little too much. Between quarterback Kellen Mond and running back Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M has a combination that the Kentucky defense hasn’t seen the caliber of this year. Add in the noise that the fans at Kyle Field will make, and I think the Aggies win by at least a touchdown.

Texas A&M 31, Kentucky 21


No. 8 Auburn (-3.5) v. Mississippi State – 7:30 PM EST – ESPN2

Ten years ago, these two teams met in what would turn out to be one of the greatest games in college football history. Auburn beat Mississippi State in Starkville 3-2. 17 punts and three missed field goals. Just thinking about this game has me wanting to light up a cigarette.

I think we’ll get a few more points this year than we did in the matchup a decade ago, but I don’t see this being an offensive shootout. Auburn hasn’t been all that crisp on offense over the last three games, and Mississippi State has scored a total of 13 points during their two-game losing streak.

Since college football doesn’t make a whole lot of sense this year, I’m going to take Mississippi State to avoid losing three games in a row. After a couple of ugly performances, Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald gets back on track, finding some holes in the Auburn defense with both his arm and legs. The Bulldogs give their fans plenty of reasons to ring their cowbells on Saturday in Starkville.

Mississippi State 23, Auburn 20


No. 6 Notre Dame (-7) v. No. 24 Virginia Tech – 8:00 PM EST – ABC

Last week Notre Dame had little trouble putting their axes to Stanford in South Bend, and now the Fighting Irish head to one of the craziest venues in college football. If Notre Dame is able to avoid being upset by Virginia Tech, the road to the College Football Playoff will get even clearer for the Fighting Irish.

Now that Notre Dame actually has a quarterback, they have become one of the most dangerous teams in the country. Ian Book has been outstanding in his first two starts, throwing six touchdowns over the last two weeks. The junior has to be licking his chops as he’ll be taking on a Virginia Tech pass defense that just gave up nearly 500 yards through the air to Blake LaRussa in a 49-35 loss to Old Dominion.

In the ugly loss to ODU two weeks ago, the Hokies lost quarterback Josh Jackson to injury. At the time, all may have seemed lost for Virginia Tech, but Ryan Willis had a strong performance last week against Duke, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns. The Hokies can also do work on the ground, averaging over 200 yards per game rushing this year.

Notre Dame and Ian Book had little trouble in their first road game of the season a couple of weeks ago, handing Wake Forest a 56-27 loss. Things will be a little tougher for the Fighting Irish on Saturday night. The crowd in Blacksburg will be electric, which will give the Hokies some extra energy. Notre Dame stays undefeated, but it comes down to the wire.

Notre Dame 31, Virginia Tech 27


Utah v. No. 14 Stanford (-5) – 10:30 PM EST – ESPN

Both of these Pac-12 teams are coming off road losses, with the Utes having lost 28-24 to Washington State, while the Cardinal just got throttled by Notre Dame in South Bend. The road to recovery for either team won’t be easy, as the last six games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, dating back to 1989. Last year the Cardinal squeaked by the Utes 23-20 in Salt Lake City.

If you were going to send a Stanford player to New York City right now for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, it would by wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and not Bryce Love. Arcega-Whiteside already has eight receiving touchdowns this year, while Love has only cracked 100 yards on the ground once.

Stanford will come into this game pissed off after the beating that the Fighting Irish gave them, but all isn’t lost for the Cardinal after the defeat. Stanford is still tied for the lead in the Pac-12 North. The combination of some home cookin’, along with Utah playing their second road game in a row, allows for a double-digit Cardinal win.

Stanford 28, Utah 17

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