Most compelling matchups in college football Week 6

Sep 21, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) drops to throw as Miami (Oh) Redhawks linebacker Myles Reid (17) rushes during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The top two teams in the nation, Alabama and Clemson, are on a bye in college football Week 6, but some other top teams have compelling games.

This weekend’s slate of games features a trio of ranked-versus-ranked matchups, and there are other interesting games to watch as well. These are the ones we’ve got our eyes on as the weekend draws near.

No. 18 UCF vs. Cincinnati

This Week 6 Friday night matchup features one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, as UCF can score on any given play and averages 49 points per game. Cincinnati had one of the nation’s best defenses last year but hasn’t been as potent in 2019, though it has allowed just under 14 points per game outside of the Ohio State blowout loss.

The biggest reason to tune into this Friday night game is that UCF freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel is one of the most exciting young players in the game today. With 1,338 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air to his credit already this year, this young man is electric, and the offense he leads is, too.

No. 14 Iowa vs. No. 19 Michigan

Regardless of what ends up happening on the field in Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon, the outcome of this Big Ten slugfest will have a big impact on the national landscape. The backdrop is quite simply that Michigan, at 1-1 in conference play already and having already been served a massive portion of humble pie by Wisconsin, cannot lose. Jim Harbaugh, fair or not, is on the hot seat. He’s one of the biggest names in college football, so this is a major story everyone is watching.

Iowa features a dominant defense, and if the Wolverines are going to come out of college football Week 6 Shea Patterson must be sharp. He cannot have another poor outing like he did against Wisconsin. Michigan’s defense better be ready for a war, too, because Mekhi Sargent and the Hawkeyes love to run the ball down teams’ throats. This is going to be a slobberknocker, and we cannot wait to see how it unfolds.

No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 10 Florida

This is the biggest SEC matchup in college football Week 6, without a doubt. The battle between Auburn’s offense and Florida’s defense is going to be fascinating to watch. The Tigers have answered every challenge to date, playing their best ball on defense against top teams like Oregon and Texas A&M.

The two young quarterbacks in this game, Bo Nix and Kyle Trask, will both face challenging defensive fronts. However, they have both been able to make big plays in key moments, and both offenses have big-play potential even against top defenses.

Auburn is favored to win by a field goal. In the end, this may boil down to a last-second kick, as the two teams appear to be very evenly matched on both sides of the ball.

No. 25 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Ohio State

This is the big one everyone’s going to be watching Saturday night on ABC.

To this point, no team has come close to slowing down the juggernaut that is Ohio State’s offense. Justin Fields has taken to Jason Day’s tutelage like an eagle takes to an updraft on a hot summer day. He’s a Heisman favorite after having totaled 1,314 yards and 23 touchdowns through five games. Running back J.K. Dobbins is also having a fabulous season, and the Buckeyes can score on any given play.

If any team has a defense that may have what it takes to slow this offense down, it’s Michigan State. Kenny Willekes leads a dominant defensive front that can get after the quarterback. Stopping Fields is the key to victory. Whether the Spartans can do that remains to be seen.

California vs. No. 13 Oregon

The late game on Fox Saturday night, this Pac-12 battle lost a bit of its luster due to the potentially season-ending injury of Cal quarterback Chase Garbers. He was injured last Friday night against Arizona State, and without him the Cal offense stumbled, leading to the first loss of the season for the Golden Bears.

Despite an opening-weekend loss to Auburn, many believe Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12. The Ducks will have a chance to prove it against a Cal team that still provides a challenge thanks to a stifling defense led by linebacker Evan Weaver. Top NFL draft prospect Justin Herbert will need to stay sharp to avoid getting upset at home by the Bears this Saturday night.