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Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Week 5 of the 2020 college football season was tumultuous. Even though there were only two games pitting ranked teams, eight AP Top 25 squads tasted defeat. Perhaps most surprising was No. 16 Mississippi State scoring just 14 points at home in a loss to Arkansas seven days after hanging about a million passing yards on the defending national champions.
What drastic twists and turns could Week 6 have up its sleeve?
With No. 7 Miami paying a visit to Death Valley, could No. 1 Clemson suffer a regular-season loss for the first time in three calendar years?
Will No. 14 Tennessee at least put up a fight against No. 3 Georgia after three consecutive years of blowouts?
Is Oklahoma going to lose for a third straight week?
And keeping with the theme of threes, will the third game of Jimbo Fisher’s third season at Texas A&M be a positive turning point for the program or a negative turning point for his support from the Aggies faithful?
Bleacher Report’s college football experts—David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Joel Reuter and Brad Shepard—have predictions for each of those questions and more in advance of what should be another stellar weekend of collegiate pigskin.
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Sean Rayford/Associated Press
After several years of the Miami Hurricanes thriving defensively and falling short on offense, the script has sort of flipped in 2020. While I’m still a bit hesitant to buy Miami’s improvement on offense—tight end Brevin Jordan is a star, but the wide receivers lack a true standout—my larger concern is the defense.
Can the Hurricanes cover well enough? I’m not confident in any corner beyond Al Blades Jr. to consistently handle Clemson. Plus, the linebackers have the inglorious task of trying to contain Travis Etienne both on the ground and as a pass-catcher.
Miami’s safeties—Bubba Bolden in particular—are good at attacking downhill and tackling in the open field, but Etienne is incredibly difficult to bring down. His combination of speed and contact balance is stellar. His production and a clean game from Lawrence should carry Clemson to a valuable win. I have the Tigers in a hard-fought 48-31 victory.
I like this Miami team a lot. The Hurricanes have a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback in D’Eriq King, a matchup nightmare in Jordan, probably the best college kicker in the country in Jose Borregales and, per usual since coach Manny Diaz arrived in 2016, a relentless pass-rushing unit.
This 3-0 start is no joke, and I’ll probably be picking the Hurricanes to win every other game they play the rest of the way, potentially setting up a rematch with Clemson for the ACC title.
However, Clemson will win, and win big.
Miami’s 12th-ranked running game has put up marvelous numbers, but it will have a tough time trying to establish the run against this Clemson front seven. And getting