Week seven is here and the stakes are high. It kicks off with a night for the Big Ten where playoff lives are at stake. It starts with Notre Dame and USC, where both teams have a path to win the Big Ten, and then Texas and Oregon go head-to-head. There’s quite a lot riding on both games, and here’s what our analysts think of each.
Tom Pence’s Predictions:
USC 34, Notre Dame 37
Both teams are fighting to lock up the number one seed in the Big Ten, and are coming off big wins last week. The secondary of USC will be looking to make this a nightmare for the Irish passing game, but in the end the Boys from South Bend will pull it out and Lock in their playoff spot.
Texas 38, Oregon 35
Another shoot out in the Big Ten is slated for this match, and both teams are fighting for their playoff lives. In the past Oregon has given Texas fits at times, but I look for the Longhorns to have redemption from last week’s loss to Nebraska and will have what it takes to win this close one.
Jimbo Smithers Predictions:
USC 21, Notre Dame 35
Notre Dame has so much talent and it shows tonight. They have an offensive showing of a lifetime and figure out this defense. I think this game will be competitive until halftime, when Notre Dame pulls away and wins it handedly. Asiata might go for 500 tonight, just be on the lookout for that.
Texas 23, Oregon 27
Oregon always seems to have Texas’ number in the regular season. The combo of Bates and Frost on the outside embarrass Texas’ corners and Richardson wins Player of the Week. Oh, and Clayton Denny may or may not have more turnovers than touchdowns, just that kind of night in Eugene.
Houston Freeman’s Predictions:
USC 37, Notre Dame 34
USC has looked the most consistent in the Big Ten this season aside from losing to a hot Nebraska team 2 weeks ago. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has been a bit up and down, but was able to play a full 32 minutes last week against Michigan. I like this game as a potential game of the week not only because they’re both dangerous offenses but because of the playoff implications this has. (Be ready time hear “playoff implications” about 6 more times). I give USC the slight edge here simply because of their consistency this season overall.
Texas 42, Oregon 35
Texas and Oregon… man this is tough. I like Texas simply because of Texas bias and I feel they will be the favorite once the lines come out. However, as we’ve seen, the underdogs have been MEAN this season. I think Oregon can give Texas a big scare if the offense shows up and outs up numbers. But the most interesting part, wait for it… are the playoff implications. Both sit at 3-3 overall and 2-2 Big Ten, meaning this is a big head to head win that might make a difference in seeding or last team in.
Connor Russell’s Predictions:
USC 35, Notre Dame 32
Kicking off the week is a fantastic matchup between USC and Notre Dame, both of whom are coming off of strong wins in week six. The strong production of Benjamin Kaye for USC is something to keep an eye on. While ND doesn’t run the ball a ton, Kaye is able to provide pass rush pressure that not many LB’s can. On the ND side, they have been cruising outside of their close Texas loss. It looks like a close matchup from every angle you look at it. I’m going with USC, but this is a toss up. Must watch football.
Texas 41, Oregon 37
Texas is a tough team to gauge due to their insane amounts of variance. Are we going to have the world beating Texas team show up tonight, or the one that gets roughed up? Oregon kind of is in the same boat after last week. Passing for both sides is going to be crucial. I see this being a high scoring affair all around. I like Texas bouncing back here with a big W to keep their playoff hopes alive.
USC 31, Notre Dame 35
The path to the playoffs is here for both teams. It’s a cliche, but this game is gonna come down to who wants it more and I know the fighting Irish are hungry.
Texas 42, Oregon 38
Coming off of a tough loss this is a must win for Texas. Both of these teams have great offenses but Texas defense is better and that’s the difference maker in this one.
USC 54, Notre Dame 48
Notre Dame’s offense has been on fire the past couple weeks and it starts with their QB. Both him and Fox look deadly via the pass and this game should go into overtime with USC pulling away.
Texas 34, Oregon 31
The Longhorns were embarrassed last week while Oregon was shutdown by USC. Both teams need this win to control their playoff lives. While typically this game screams high scoring, I think this will be a defensive matchup. Gunner sends it home for Texas in a bigtime battle.
Jeff Melinyshyn’s Predictions:
USC 31, Notre Dame 34
In what is shaping up to be the game of week 7 and it comes early in the week. ND needs the game to keep playoff hopes alive, while USC can put a stranglehold on the Big Ten. Both teams bounced back from losses the previous week. Looking for an edge I cannot find one. USC givin up 30.8 pts/game and ND is giving up 29.0 pts/game. Offense wise, USC is scoring 33.5 pts/game and ND is scoring 36.2 pts/game. I like how the passing attack of ND has looked.
Texas 35, Oregon 34
Both teams are coming into this one after losing last week. Both teams have not looked good the last couple of weeks and as such both are 2-2 in the Big Ten. The winner of this game can help their chances significantly for the playoffs. Both offenses are scoring 32 pts/game with the slight edge to Texas. Defensively, Texas is giving up 35.5 pts/game, Oregon giving up 34.2 pts/game. This game for me will be which freshman quarterback can limit turnovers. I like Texas in this game.
DAVID ROY’S PREDICTIONS:
usc 38, notre dame 27
Notre Dame has looked really good as of late, but here’s the deal, this is a rivalry game and USC would love to keep pressure on Nebraska to not stumble through the end of the season. A win here accomplishes that, thus I’ll take the road warriors here.
TEXAS 42, OREGON 28
Alright, both teams are coming off a loss, and while you might suspect this game should be closer, I’m actually going to take Texas. I get that Oregon has a history here, but the fact of the matter is that the Ducks have been a roller coaster this season, and I’m not sure if they’re ready to trend up just yet.
Our panelists just can’t agree. It’s a deadlock, even split between the Trojans and Fighting Irish at 4-4 amongst our analysts. It’s a bit different when it comes to Texas and Oregon though. The Longhorns have been given the 7-1 choosing to take down the Ducks tonight. It’s week seven, and the race for the playoffs is in full swing.