Coming off of a must-see week of games last Saturday, having a lighter course in Week 5 doesnʻt mean that we donʻt have any teams on upset alert. There are not many, so this week’s list will be cut to three.
West Virginia (+14) at TCU
Week 5 Upset Alert #1: Something in West Virginia is hot right now, and surprisingly, it is not Neal Brownʻs seat as head coach of the Mountaineers. Itʻs the football team. West Virginia has won three consecutive games for the first time since 2018 (the third win then coming against TCU). It is still uncertain who will play quarterback for WVU against the Frogs as Garrett Greene is still recovering from an ankle injury. All signs are pointing however to back-to-back starts by redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol. Marchiol did not have a fantastic day statistically against Texas Tech, but did lead the Mountaineers on a go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter. TCU has the worst pass defense in the Big 12, which could open up an opportunity for a breakout game by Marchiol.
TCU is a fraction of what they were last season. Although their offense has performed at a high level, West Virginiaʻs imposing defense could play a big factor. If the Mountaineers can hold TCU under 150 rushing yards, the upset will be very real.
Arizona State (+12.5) at Cal
Week 5 Upset Alert #2: Cal has looked rough recently. The Golden Bears have no idea who is playing quarterback after Ben Finley was injured in last week’s loss at Washington. Sam Jackson, who was injured in Week One, is currently listed as the number one. The common theme has been, that whoever is playing QB, at least Cal can run the ball. Jaydn Ott and Isaiah Ifanse have been pretty much the whole offense so far this season. This week though, the Bears face a good run-stopping defense in Arizona State.
Despite being 1-3, Arizona State has played close games. The Sun Devils kept within 14 points of USC in Week Four and just need to find a quarterback of their own. After contributing to a five-interception, nightmare performance against Fresno State, Drew Pyne returned in last week’s game and played well. The Notre Dame transfer went 21/36 for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
The one constant for Arizona State has been running back Cam Skattebo. Skattebo has accumulated 259 yards and three scores through four games. If Skattebo can get on a roll, the Sun Devils can make it a low-possession game.
UAB (+21.5) at Tulane
Week 5 Upset Alert #3: UABʻs defense has been not great, but the Blazers have a top-50 offense in the nation. While this game might reach close to 70-80 total points, UAB will keep up with Tulane.
UAB quarterback Jacob Zeno is still completing 75 percent of his passes and is averaging 300 passing yards per game. Zeno also has three rushing touchdowns this season.
Michael Pratt returned at quarterback for Tulane last week in a 29-point win over Nicholls. Pratt was on target, going 18/23. His running ability is still not back to its usual level, so that is a good thing for UAB.
The Blazers go for their first ever conference win as a member of the American. UAB will need their defense to play up to their ability to keep Tulane within three scores.
Also Worth Mentioning
Utah State at UConn (+4)
Texas State at Southern Miss (+6.5)
Arkansas State (+2.5) at UMass
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