Scully's Week 6 NCAAF picks: Texas set for upset against Oklahoma
Last week, Alabama got a lift from Brian Robinson Jr., who added balance to a high-powered attack, with 171 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Crimson Tide is among our Week 6 college football picks, with additional selections from the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12.
Let's dive into the games.
Alabama vs. Texas A&M
Sun, October 10 2021, 12:00 AM
Backup quarterback Zach Calzada isn’t the answer for Texas A&M, as he completed only 12 of his 20 passes in the Aggies' home loss to Mississippi State last week, and the A&M offense has been a mess since the loss of Haynes King in Week 2.
Alabama should dominate.
Texas A&M ranks 101st nationally in scoring (23.4 points per game), and after it had the ninth-best defense in 2020, the Aggies have regressed on both sides of the ball. To make matters worse, they lost both starting cornerbacks last week.
With its top 10 preseason ranking, Texas A&M fans thought they could contend for the SEC West title. And you better believe Nick Saban took notice when Texas A&M gave Jimbo Fisher a nearly $2 million pay raise in September.
Saban likes to send a message about superiority when pertinent, and Alabama will win by more than 30 points.
NCAAF pick: Alabama -18
Oklahoma vs. Texas
Sat, October 9 2021, 4:00 PM
Games like the Red River Showdown are built for Heisman Trophy candidates, and Texas running back Bijan Robinson can show why he’s the best player in the nation.
Always a receiving threat out of the backfield, the flourishing sophomore rushed for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week, and Robinson is poised to run wild on Oklahoma’s reeling defense.
Oklahoma has played to the level of its opponents all season, and the dam nearly broke against Kansas State last week. One of the more penalized teams in the nation, the sloppy Sooners had eight more penalties accepted. Defensive backs are entering the transfer portal, and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is under fire.
Texas has its own defensive woes, but the offense is rolling behind new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Unlike Oklahoma, the Longhorns play with urgency, and I like Texas to win against the underachieving Sooners.
NCAAF pick: Texas +3.5
Penn State vs. Iowa
Sat, October 9 2021, 8:00 PM
Both teams are stout defensively, and Penn State takes care of the football. The Nittany Lions rank 12th in the nation, with a +6 turnover margin, and unlike Iowa’s first five opponents, Penn State won’t give the game away via turnovers.
Iowa ranks last among Big Ten teams in total offense. It’s remarkable what the Hawkeyes have been able to accomplish via defense and turnovers (16 takeaways), but their offensive deficiencies will finally catch up to them against battle-tested Penn State, which gained valuable confidence in early season wins over Wisconsin and Auburn.
NCAAF pick: Penn State +2
Wake Forest vs. Syracuse
Sat, October 9 2021, 7:30 PM
Sam Hartman leads one of the nation’s highest-scoring offenses, and Wake Forest will take advantage of a favorable matchup against one-dimensional Syracuse.
Undefeated Wake Forest still has serious ACC title aspirations, and pass defense is its Achilles' heel. The Demon Deacons will catch a break against run-oriented Syracuse, which has a terrible passing game, and the final score won’t be close.
NCAAF pick: Wake Forest -6