The season is taking shape, and the first week of conference play did not disappoint. Week four saw a major upset that shook up the Big 12 race as Kansas St. topped Oklahoma. The ACC had their battle, with Clemson outlasting division rival Wake Forest in double overtime. Elsewhere top teams outlast upset bids, with USC surviving Oregon St. and Tennessee holding off a comeback attempt by Florida.
Week five features big matchups with #7 Kentucky traveling to #14 Ole Miss, #2 Alabama visiting #20 Arkansas, and #5 Clemson hosting #10 NC State. Sit back and allow the Footballguys staff to prepare you for this week's action.
What Game Are You Watching?
#2 Alabama at #20 Arkansas
Kevin Coleman - There are many great games this weekend, especially in the SEC. The game I'll be watching over all others this week is No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas. This game would have much more hype had Arkansas been able to pull out the victory against Texas A&M last weekend, but there are still plenty of exciting storylines in this game. Alabama is undefeated, but their offense has been less than stellar. They seemed to get back on track last week against Vanderbilt, but they have struggled to find an identity on the offensive side of the ball. They will need big games from their receiver corps, especially Ja'Corey Brooks, who has struggled for most of this season. This game will come down to Alabama's offense versus the Razorback's defense. If Arkansas can put pressure on Bryce Young and control the game on the ground with Raheim Sanders, they will have a chance to pull off the upset.
#2 Clemson at #10 NC State
Jason Wood - All eyes are on the only battle of top-10 teams as NC State heads to Clemson in an ACC showdown. Clemson appears to have righted the offensive ship after last year's uncharacteristically poor showing, but how do they explain the usually daunting defense giving up 45 to Wake Forest? NC State has a veteran team, and this is the best chance the Wolfpack have to win the ACC in years but to do that, they'll have to go on the road and slay the dragon. Clemson is 48th in yards allowed through four games, whereas NC State ranks 13th, albeit against a very easy non-conference schedule.
Jonathan Morris - It will be appointment television for the NC State and Clemson matchup. Whoever wins this will be sitting in the driver's seat for the ACC and a great shot at the college football playoff as both teams are in the Atlantic Division and won't see each other again this year. We finally saw the breakout game from Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei last week against Wake Forest, but as mentioned by Jason, the defense giving up 447 yards and 45 points was worrisome. NC State will represent a much tougher test this week. The Wolfpack's quarterback Devin Leary has been inconsistent this year, but his experience and knowledge he beat this Clemson team last year, where he threw for four touchdowns, should not be taken lightly. Clemson's home-field advantage will play a significant factor, but they are in an emotional spot and coming off a dramatic win. On the other hand, this is NC State's best chance to win the ACC in the last 40 years. All these factors set up a good one on Saturday night.
Kyle Bellefeuil - I can't wait to watch the clash between No. 5 Clemson and No. 10 NC State Saturday night. Clemson is coming off a wild 51-45 double-overtime victory over Wake Forest, where the offense was abundant, and defense looked optional at times. NC State had a much easier Week 4 opponent as they rolled UConn 41-10. This is a pivotal game featuring two undefeated teams with ACC Championship aspirations. Are the Wolfpack up to the task of going on the road to take down the Tigers? I can't wait to find out.
#7 Kentucky at #14 Ole Miss
Christian Williams - No. 7 Kentucky heads to Mississippi to take on No. 14 Ole Miss this weekend, and there isn't a more compelling game in Week 5. Both teams aim to establish themselves as genuine contenders, each with a chance to dethrone their division favorite later in the season. Wildcats quarterback Will Levis has strung together impressive performances, but the Rebels have a stout defense. An excellent performance in this game could lock Levis into the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Rebels running back Zach Evans has a similar situation in front of him: a chance to further establish himself as an early-round pick against one of the best defenses he has faced off against in 2022. The outcome of this game has severe ramifications for potential SEC contenders, and that is what makes it a must-watch.
#15 Washington at UCLA
Matt Bitonti - I'm excited for Friday night's No.15 Washington at UCLA. No, I don't have much social life. Why do you ask? I just like watching #9 Michael Penix Jr. play quarterback. He was magic at Indiana and has ramped it up since transferring to Washington. Both teams are undefeated, but UCLA has been far less consistent. When the Huskies are on defense, watch for #2 senior linebacker Cam Bright, another great transfer addition. Bright was the captain of Pitt before being nominated to the same role with Washington, and he's rumored to run a 40-yard-dash in the 4.5 range.
What Player Are You Watching?
RB Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss
Kevin Coleman - Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins has had a phenomenal start to the season. The true freshman has a team-leading 70 carries, 429 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns through the season's first four games. He is currently second in the SEC in rushing yards and has outperformed teammate Zach Evans whom many have as the second-best running back in the 2023 class. Ole Miss takes on #7 Kentucky this week, which will have massive ramifications in the SEC. Judkins is a significant piece to the Ole Miss offense, and if they pull off the upset, it will most likely be on the back of Judkins with starting running back Evans suffering from a lingering injury. With a strong performance this weekend, Judkins could establish himself as one of the best freshman running backs in the country.
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