Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 5 Predictions Including Ohio State vs Penn State

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College football Week 5 looks like a great one with four big ranked matchups featuring in our picks this week including Ohio State vs Penn State. Undefeated Clemson and Syracuse face off in an ACC contest as the Orange seek a shocking second straight win against the top 5 Tigers. Our panelists break down all the matchups.

Syracuse at #3 Clemson (Saturday at 12:00 in Clemson, SC)
Line: Clemson by 25

Yesh Ginsburg: We’ll finally get to see a Clemson without Kelly Bryant expected to play at all. The offense should put up points, but the Syracuse offense is very strong. Clemson will get revenge for last year’s loss, but this line is too high. Clemson 35, Syracuse 17

Mike Loveall: The big lines are always the hardest. Clemson has had to deal with some minor drama this week with the usurpation and subsequent departure of Kelly Bryant. Clemson is at home and certainly won’t be looking past the Orangemen after losing to Syracuse last season in New York. Syracuse is better this season. The one big variable here is Eric Dungey’s health. If the elusive Orange quarterback can stay in the game, Syracuse has a chance to hang around. Clemson 42, Syracuse 27

Lukas Weese: I know Kelly Bryant is now no longer a Clemson Tiger. But this won’t matter one bit. The Tigers are still one of the best teams in the country. They demolish Syracuse en route to remaining undefeated. Clemson 42, Syracuse 14

Steen Kirby: Syracuse is the ACC’s second best team right now by my estimation (sorry Miami and NC State fans). Clemson is still the class of the conference though as they will now turn to Trevor Lawrence as their fulltime QB1. Lawrence is a once in a generation talent, but he still lacks experience, something Orange QB Eric Dungey has in spades. “New York’s College Team” earned  a marquee win when they upset the Tigers at the Carrier Dome last year. While I don’t think they will repeat that feat, this line is too high, Syracuse is a good team who will (again) surprise onlookers by putting in a quality performance. Clemson 35, Syracuse 24

John Bava: Syracuse won just four games in each of Dino Babers’ first two seasons as head coach. But one of those wins was among the biggest upsets of 2017 when the Orange shocked Clemson at the Carrier Dome in Week Seven last year. This time around, Syracuse comes into Death Valley an undefeated team having equaled their win total from both the previous seasons. It includes a dominating 30-7 win over Florida State.

Their quarterback Eric Dungey is among the ACC’s top dual-threat signal callers. He’s accounted for 1,117 total yards this season which ranks third in the conference. Meanwhile, the Clemson quarterback situation has been a bit of a soap opera with freshman Trevor Lawrence about to make his first start while Kelly Bryant is set to transfer. The Tigers’ vaunted defensive front should make life difficult of Syracuse’s offense. But it’s too high-powered to suggest this will be a blowout. Clemson 41, Syracuse 20

#12 West Virginia at #25 Texas Tech (Saturday at 12:00 in Lubbock, TX) Line: West Virginia by 3.5

Yesh: This line is an overreaction. West Virginia is a legit second-tier Playoff contender. Texas Tech had a great game last week, but they’re not a great team. The defense is porous and while the offense is strong, it’s not strong enough to keep up with West Virginia. West Virginia 45, Texas Tech 28

Mike: The first real test for a Mountaineers team that has a chance to make some noise in the national picture this season. West Virginia travels to Texas Tech with the Red Raiders having two solid games in a row in dominant wins over Houston and Oklahoma State. West Virginia is for real, and the difference in this game will be the Mountaineers defensive line. But look for Texas Tech to keep it close…real close. West Virginia 42, Texas Tech 41

Lukas: Heisman candidate Will Grier is continuing to play at a tremendous high level. 1117 yards, 14 touchdowns through three games. He keeps up his incredible play against the Texas Tech defence as West Virginia remains undefeated. West Virginia 34, Texas Tech 17

Steen: Texas Tech lost to Ole Miss to open the year but they have been on a tear since week 1, upsetting Oklahoma State last week via an unsurprisingly strong passing attack. West Virginia wants to make their case as to why they are the BIG 12’s best team though, and a road win in Lubbock would certainly help Will Grier and company make that claim. This feels like West Virginia’s year to be a big time team and I don’t think the Texas Tech defense can get enough stops to change that. West Virginia 56, Texas Tech 38

John: The public is likely precipitously betting the over in this one. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering all indications are that we’re in store for a shootout down in Lubbock on Saturday. Texas Tech is one of nine FBS teams averaging 50+ points per game. Meanwhile, West Virginia isn’t too far behind at 42.3.

This is a matchup between two quarterbacks, the Red Raiders Alan Bowman, and the Mountaineers Will Grier, who are currently one-two among Big 12 signal callers in pass yards per game. But what’ll tilt this game in favor of the Mountaineers is the fact they’re actually quite stout defensively. They’re tied for 1st nationally with just 12.3 points allowed per game. Meanwhile, Texas Tech ranks dead last among Big 12 teams in that category. West Virginia 49, Texas Tech 45

#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State (Saturday at 7:30 in University Park, PA) Line: Ohio State by 3.5

Yesh: Ohio State won this game by a hair last year. The defense is not quite as good–especially without Nick Bosa–but the offense should be much better. Penn State has also fallen off a little defensively. Ohio State 42, Penn State 31

Mike: This the moment of truth for the post-Barkley, McSorley-led Nittany Lions. Ohio State has owned the Big Ten East in the CFP era, with only Michigan State able to break through for a division title. Penn State came close last season, to no avail. The road to Indianapolis, and likely the CFP, goes through State College on Saturday. The moment might be too big for Penn State. Ohio State is still the top dog in this division. Ohio State 34, Penn State 30

Lukas: This is going to be a shootout. Two undefeated teams that boast the highest scoring offences in the country. The Nittany Lions  are averaging 55.5 points per game and have racked up 63 on each of their last two opponents. The Buckeyes have scored 54.5 per game. Haskins of the Buckeyes has thrown for 1194 yards and 16 touchdowns in four games. McSorley has generated 763 yards and eight touchdowns in four games. It will be close to the end but I like the Buckeyes to take this game to remain undefeated. Ohio State 38, Penn State 35

Steen: Penn State struggled to open the season but it’s been smooth sailing from that point. Ohio State already has a marquee win (against TCU), and their offense is looking like a monster in the early going. Penn State’s defense will be under a lot of pressure here, even with home support, and I’m not convinced the Nittany Lions can stop Dwayne Haskins and co. from scoring. Ohio State 38, Penn State 28

John: Happy Valley is going to be a cauldron on Saturday night with over 100,000 in the stands hoping Penn State can get its second-straight home win over Ohio State. Two years ago, they took a blocked field goal to the house for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. This time around, the Nittany Lions are looking for revenge after blowing an 18-point lead last year in Columbus.

Both teams boast potent offenses with a plethora of talented skill position players. Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins has taken over from J.T. Barrett rather successfully as he’s currently second in FBS with 16 touchdown passes. For the Nittany Lions, they have a player of their own in Miles Sanders who’s done a great job succeeding an immense talent in Saquon Barkley. He’s currently seventh in FBS, averaging 123.75 rush yards per game. Ohio State already has experience winning in a hostile road environment this year so the “white-out” in State College shouldn’t faze them. Ohio State 31, Penn State 27

#7 Stanford at #8 Notre Dame (Saturday at 7:30 in Notre Dame, IN) Line: Notre Dame by 5.5

Yesh: Notre Dame is so hard to judge this year. The Irish looked good against Michigan and Wake Forest. Against Ball State and Vanderbilt, not as much. Stanford is just too good not to keep this within a field goal either way, as the passing game is finally better than the running game. Stanford 27, Notre Dame 24

Mike: Notre Dame is coming off an impressive offensive output last week following a quarterback change. They’ll be a popular pick to cover this week. Stanford, however, is a team you can trust. They’ve found success on offensive as well this season, even without Bryce Love putting up big numbers. Their defense is consistent as always, and they are the most emotional stable team in the nation. With wins against a dominant rushing attack from San Diego State and a high flying pass-happy Oregon, Stanford won’t be phased by the offensive or the moment in South Bend. Stanford 27, Notre Dame 21

Lukas: This is the first time two top-10 teams have played in Notre Dame since 2005. This game will come down to the ability of the Notre Dame defence to slow down the Stanford offence, particularly Heisman candidate running back Bryce Love. Oregon should have won the game last week against Stanford if it weren’t for their poor play calling. I like the Fighting Irish to remain undefeated this week. Notre Dame 24, Stanford 17

Steen: Stanford can’t afford to get off to a slow start like they did against Oregon on the road last week. Only a miracle comeback saved them from defeat against the Ducks, and if they lose to Notre Dame their playoff hopes will suffer. The Fighting Irish looked great against Michigan, but then poor against Vandy and Ball State. QB Ian Book gives ND more options on offense, but I’ll back a tough Stanford team that can throw now to earn another marquee road win. Stanford 31, Notre Dame 28

John: For the first time in 13 years, South Bend will be treated to a game where both Notre Dame and their opponent are ranked in the AP Top 10. Back then, the Irish hosted their other Pac-12 intersectional rival USC in a game made famous (or infamous if you pull for ND) by the “Bush Push.” On Saturday, they welcome a Stanford team that erased a 17-point deficit last week against Oregon, winning 38-31 in overtime.

Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush as ND starting quarterback last week at Wake Forest and that appeared to be a good move by head coach Brian Kelly. He threw for two touchdown passes and added three on the ground in a 56-27 win, their biggest of the year. The key to the game on defense for the Irish will be containing running back Bryce Love. Expect a motivated ND team looking to end a three-game losing streak in this series ablle to do so. Notre Dame 34, Stanford 24

#20 BYU at #11 Washington (Saturday at 8:30 in Seattle, WA)
Line: Washington by 17.5

Yesh: This line is huge. BYU lost to Cal, but they looked really impressive against Wisconsin. This team is strong in the trenches and will keep things close either way. Also, Jake Browning and the Washington offense have looked far from their best for most of the year so far. Washington 21, BYU 17

Mike: That’s a big line for team that is averaging 21.3 points per game against Power 5 teams. Washington definitely has talent on offensive, but Chris Petersen’s team hasn’t found their rhythm yet. Moreover, their defense hasn’t lived up to expectations as yet either. BYU is more balanced and better on offense than they have been in previous years. Even on the road, the Cougars cover. Washington 31, BYU 20

Lukas: I don’t see Washington having many difficulties here with BYU. Huskies quarterback Browning is playing at a high level, throwing 966 yards for 7 touchdowns in four games. Huskies continue their terrific record. Washington 28, BYU 13

Steen: BYU is a tough team to read, they aren’t amazingly talented but they did upset Wisconsin on the road and have earned a ranking, deserved or not. Washington has also had an up and down year although things are looking up after an opening week loss to Auburn. Playing at home the Huskies should have an edge, plus they simply have more talent, but BYU should keep this one close. Washington 24, BYU 14

John: BYU announced that they can compete with college football’s best when they went into Camp Randall and shocked Wisconsin in Week Three. The Cougars are in for another immense challenge on the road this weekend when they head up to Seattle for a battle with 11th-ranked Washington. This is the second-straight week Vegas is installing the Huskies as favorites in the vicinity of 17 points. Last week, they didn’t come close to covering in a 27-20 win over Arizona State.

These two sides boast fairly stout defenses as evidenced by the fact they’re both in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense. But what’ll put the Huskies over the edge is their playmakers on offense including running back Myles Gaskin. As long as Jake Browning takes care of the football, something he’s struggled with considering he already has four interceptions this year, Washington should defend home turf. Washington 30, BYU 17

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