2 CFB Teams on Upset Alert in Week 8
Week seven of college football did not feature an overload of upsets. It did, however, feature many close calls that set the stage for upsets that could potentially happen in the future.
In case you did not keep up with the action of week seven, here is a breakdown of all the close calls that you may have missed:
- North Carolina State took #3 Clemson to the wire, but a Tigers' interception in overtime helped seal a 24-17 win for Dabo Swinney.
- #10 Nebraska and Indiana went back-and-forth, but it was the Cornhuskers' who remained undefeated with a 27-22 win.
- A late 4th quarter interception against Tulsa saved #13 Houston from being upset for the second week in a row.
This week's lineup does not feature many games that we necessarily feel could end in an upset. There are, however, two games that would cause a complete shake up in the rankings if an upset were to occur:
**All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com**
North Carolina State almost pulled off a major upset last week against #3 Clemson. This week the Wolfpack has an opportunity to pull of an upset over another top-10 team. They just have to figure out to slow down the country's most explosive offense.
Containing Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is a task that seems almost impossible. Jackson has accounted for 30 touchdowns so far this season with 15 of those being on the ground. To put that in perspective, 98 FBS teams have not scored as many touchdowns as Jackson has accounted for.
North Carolina State can slow Jackson down by forcing him to throw. A task that is manageable considering the Wolfpack has the best rush defense in the ACC. Making the Cardinals' offense one dimensional and forcing Jackson to throw would also likely lead to more turnovers, a problem that has plagued the Cardinals' so far this season.
Of course, NC State will need to be much efficient on offense if they want to pull off the monster upset. Louisville scored a season low 24 points in last week's win against Duke. In other words, the Wolfpack is very much capable of slaying the giant that is Lamar Jackson.
A 39-point win over Tennessee last week has many experts saying that this year's Alabama team is unbeatable. The experts in Las Vegas must have the same thought process because the Crimson Tide is a 19-point favorite against a top-10 team. We believe, however, that If there is a team out there that has the tools to beat Alabama, it is Texas A&M.
Offensively, the Aggies have the two things a team needs to execute an upset against Nick Saban: A dual threat quarterback and talented receivers. Transfer quarterback Trevor Knight beat Alabama three years ago when he was with Oklahoma. Now he will try to do it again on the ground and through the air. He has thrown for 1,500 yards and rushed for 500. When push comes to shove, Knight can rely on running back Trayveon Williams, who is averaging over eight yards per carry.
Defensively, A&M has to find a way to slow down a Tide ground game that rushed for 438 yards against Tennessee. Defensive linemen Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall boasts the athleticism to help slow down the ground and pressure true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. If they force Hurts to throw outside his comfort zone then they will have a better shot of pulling off the upset.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin has a history of coaching his best games in an "underdog" role. Despite being a top-10 team, the Aggies are big time underdogs heading into this matchup. It happened a few seasons ago, will it happen again on Saturday?