Ohio State travels to Penn State for a Big Ten showdown

Week 5 preview and picks

Tim Grattan
September 29, 2018 - 4:50 am

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) -- Week 5 of the college football season is headlined by two Top 10 matchups and teams hoping to keep their College Football Playoff dreams alive. 

Ohio State heads to State College to face Penn State, while Stanford travels across the country for a date with Notre Dame. 

 Let's take a look at the top games for today. 

No. 4 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) at No. 9 Penn State (4-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m., ABC (Ch. 5 in Cleveland)

Well, here we go! A battle of Big Ten heavyweights as the Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley to face the Nittany Lions.

Both offenses are explosive and can put up a lot of points in a hurry.

Even without star defensive end Nick Bosa, I think Ohio State’s defense is better than Penn State’s defense and OSU can run the ball better than PSU.

I think this game will be close and Ohio State walks out of Beaver Stadium with a win.

Line: Ohio State -3.5, O/U 70

Prediction: Ohio State 35, Penn State 31

No. 12 West Virginia (3-0, 1-0) at No. 25 Texas Tech (3-1, 1-0), noon, ESPN2

When this game came up on the schedule, I wasn’t expecting a matchup between ranked teams.

However, Texas Tech is flying high for defeating Oklahoma State, 41-17, last week on the road.

For those who don’t know, West Virginia is No. 1 in the country in scoring defense by giving up 12.3 points per game.

I see quarterback play being prominent in the game – and I’ll take the WVU senior quarterback Will Grier over Texas Tech freshman quarterback Alan Bowman.  

Line: West Virginia -3.5, O/U 73

Prediction: West Virginia 48, Texas Tech 38

Syracuse (4-0, 1-0) at No. 3 Clemson (4-0, 1-0), noon, ABC

Revenge is on the mind for the Tigers as they were upset by the Orange on the road last season.

Syracuse is 4-0 for the first since 2001 – back when the Orange were in the Big East.

Clemson won’t have quarterback Kelly Bryant under center because, well, he’s transferring to another school after losing his job. Trevor Lawrence will step in to take the starting QB job for the Tigers.

Syracuse will play well, but I like Clemson at home.

Line: Clemson -24.5, O/U 65

Prediction: Clemson 31, Syracuse 17

No. 18 Texas (3-1, 1-0) at Kansas State (2-2, 0-1), 3:30 p.m., FS1

Not many great games during the 3:30/midday timeslot of Week 5, and I think this is the best game during that time.

Since losing to Maryland in Week 1, Texas has been improving each week and used a late turnover to defeat TCU.

Even though K-State is down (they struggled in its two wins) going to Manhattan is not easy.

Longhorns win here and quarterback Sam Ehlinger rolls against the second-worst defense in the Big 12.

Line: Texas -8, O/U 49

Prediction: Texas 34, Kansas State 14

Florida (3-1, 1-1) at No. 23 Mississippi State (3-1, 0-1), 6 p.m., ESPN

Dan Mullen returns to Mississippi State to face his old team, where he spent 12 seasons with the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State’s offense is better than Florida’s offense, so take the ‘Dawgs at home and cowbells ringing all over Starkville.

Line: Mississippi State -7, O/U 50

Prediction: Mississippi State 28, Florida 14

No. 7 Stanford (4-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (4-0), 7:30 p.m., NBC (Ch. 3 in Cleveland)

Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello has been playing well as the Cardinal have been more of a balanced team and not a run heavy in years past.

I think running back Bryce Love needs to have a big game if Stanford is going to get a road win.

Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush last week and Notre Dame’s offense improved. 

Fighting Irish win here and their playoff chances increase more.  

Line: Notre Dame -5, O/U 52.5

Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Stanford 28

No. 20 BYU (3-1) at No. 11 Washington (3-1), 8:30 p.m., FOX (Ch. 8 in Cleveland)

BYU likes to get fancy with its pre-snap motions and loves to run the jet sweep.

Well, Washington’s defense isn’t going to fool by all that goofy stuff the Cougars like to do.

Huskies big winners in Seattle.   

Line: Washington -17, O/U 47

Prediction: Washington 41, BYU 13