College football Week 7 primer: Georgia faces big test in Baton Rouge
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Here are the key matchups, storylines, and people to watch in Week 7 of the college football schedule:

Top 5 games to watch

5. Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State (3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

Michigan State's season has thus far been a dud, but you better believe Mark Dantonio's team is going to pull off one of those season-wrecking performances at some point. It's just what they do, as the Spartans revel in playing the role of spoilers.

Sparty put up a stinker last week at home to Northwestern and need to be better on both sides of the ball going forward. Star quarterback Brian Lewerke has already thrown six interceptions this season and is seemingly only allowed to throw on third-and-long.

The defense has been lopsided. Michigan State is 62nd in defensive S&P+ despite conceding a bonkers 1.3 yards per rush attempt, which is the best mark in the country. However, opposing sides are throwing the ball effortlessly.

Trace McSorley must be licking his chops. The stud quarterback has made another mini-leap this year and his game against Ohio State a couple of weeks ago was one of the best individual performances from any player this season.

Keep an eye on true freshman Micah Parsons, the top linebacker prospect in the country in last year's recruiting class. He has factored immediately into Penn State's defensive rotation. He was a monster against Pitt, finishing with seven tackles and a slew of highlight plays, and is one of those guys who just moves at a different speed than everyone else on the field.

Penn State should roll big, but Dantonio always finds a way to frustrate the conference big boys.

4. No. 19 Colorado at USC (10:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

Don't lie, you had no idea Colorado was still undefeated. The Buffaloes head to the Coliseum as one of only six Power 5 teams yet to lose.

This is a fun team: Steven Montez is a first-team all-swagger quarterback, Laviska Shenault will be the best player on the field, and Mustafa Johnson is a one-man wrecking crew along the defensive front. On both sides of the ball, Mike McIntyre's team plays fierce.

That said, the Buffaloes' resume is a little light. Their opponents have combined for a whopping 6-21 record. That's not to say the team doesn't deserve its unbeaten start, it's just chock-full of empty calories.

USC, on the other hand, is 3-2 with losses to Stanford and Texas. The Trojans have more top-to-bottom talent than the Buffaloes. They just haven't played like it yet, as they've been held back by penalties, poor play-calling, and discipline issues.

3. No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

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This is not your typical Wisconsin side. Sure, it still wants to run the ball and play defense, but only one of those things is clicking.

Wisconsin is currently eighth in offensive S&P+ and 55th in defense. Yes, you read that right. It's almost wholly reliant on the run, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, but put the Badgers in third-and-medium or longer and the offense collapses.

That's good news for Michigan. Don Brown's group is second in defensive S&P+ and no unit has created more negative plays. Chase Winovich alone has double-digit tackles for a loss.

On paper, Michigan should run away with this one. Shea Patterson and Jim Harbaugh have started to figure their collaboration out. It was never going to be a smooth, natural fit, but they are getting there. The results have a chance to be fairly epic; an amalgamation of Harbaugh's intricate run game paired with Patterson's playmaking feel.

This is Michigan's first big test since its opening-night loss to Notre Dame. Let's see how far the team has come.

2. No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

This is a huge Pac-12 matchup. Washington represents the conference's best chance at a College Football Playoff representative, but it has to run the table and convincingly win tough games like this one.

It will be a big ask, as Oregon's defense has more talent than it's shown so far. Defensive lineman Jordon Scott is a moving fire hydrant who clogs everything inside, Jalen Jelks is a future first-round NFL draft selection and one of the most physically gifted pass-rushers in the country, and Justin Hollins roams around at linebacker, mopping up the mistakes of those in front of him.

But they haven't been able to get out of their own way. The young pups in the defensive backfield have been lit up, as four of Oregon's starting five are freshmen or sophomores. The unit ranks 80th in defensive S&P+, behind the likes of Washington State, Eastern Michigan, and Wyoming.

Washington is seventh in the nation in third-down conversion percentage. Can Oregon get off the field? If not, we'll have ourselves an after-dark shootout.

Oregon's Justin Herbert is playing as well as any quarterback not named Tua Tagovailoa. He's averaging 10.4 yards per attempt, doing everything he can to drag his offense across the line each game. He put up a near-perfect performance against Stanford, and it still wasn't enough.

Washington's defensive backfield represents his biggest challenge of the season, personnel-wise and schematically. The Huskies' defensive back room is stacked with talent. Cornerback Byron Murphy might be the very best in the county - a rare combination of speed, length, and instincts.

One tidbit to monitor: how Oregon's true freshman left tackle Penei Sewell holds up against the Huskies' slew of pass-rushers. Washington has a deep, athletic cast of characters. They rotate constantly and everyone brings something a little different. It's a tough ask for the freshman, even at home.

1. No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Drink it in. This is only the second time this decade LSU and Georgia have met in the regular season, and the Bulldogs won't head back to Baton Rouge until 2030 or 2031.

LSU is coming off a close eight-point loss to Florida, so Ed Orgeron's men will be fired up for this one.

The Tigers have been dominating field position this year, taking advantage of the top special teams group in the country. As always, they run the ball well and play tough, fast, physical defense.

This isn't a dominant defensive group, though. It's excellent against the run but lacks a true dip-and-rip pass-rusher. Instead, it relies on pressure by committee, utilizing blitzes and pressure packages to get home.

Fooling Jake Fromm with zone pressures won't be easy. He's as smart and quick-triggered as any quarterback around.

Georgia's offensive line will likely decide this game. It's been dominating teams all season and we'll know early on if it can do the same to LSU. If it can, this thing will be over early. LSU's offense won't be able to keep up if the Bulldogs move the ball at a decent clip.

This is a "show us what you're made of" game for Kirby Smart and Co. Are they just another solid program, or have they risen to the ranks of the truly elite, joining Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson? If it's the latter, they should go on the road and wax a flawed LSU side that's inflated its reputation with a couple of wins.

Player to Watch

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QB Justin Fields, Georgia (at LSU)

Remember when people used to say if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks? Yeah, that's not true anymore.

College football's top programs are now routinely playing two quarterbacks at once. Clemson did it with Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence - before Bryant announced his decision to transfer following Lawrence being named the starter - and Alabama continues to rotate Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts.

Georgia's doing the same thing with Fromm and Justin Fields. Each brings something different: Fromm is the rhythm passer who's better from within the pocket; Fields, the explosive athlete who offers more on the ground.

It will be interesting to see how many reps Fields gets against LSU's front.

Smart has slowly increased Fields' snaps as the seasons progresses, and the reasons are two-fold: he brings an added option element to the Bulldogs' offense, and, as the former top-overall recruit in the nation, sitting on the sideline would likely be frowned upon, and Smart doesn't want his young star to transfer.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has done a nice job juggling the playing time of both quarterbacks. Fromm has been at his imperious best this season, guiding the offense to a galling 7.1 yards per play. There likely isn't a better timing passer in the country.

Fields' performances have been so-so in rotational snaps. He still looks like a high school athlete out there, not quite big enough for SEC prime time just yet. His arm is good, but not great, and he's not as advanced a passer as Fromm is from the pocket.

But Fields can create magic with his feet.

He's a twitchy athlete in the Kyler Murray mold. Whenever he's in, teams are alert to Chaney's newfangled option elements. Fields unlocks a new dimension that makes the Bulldogs' rush attack nearly unstoppable.

Georgia doesn't run anything overly fancy. It's the stuff you see up and down the country. But the switch in packages often discombobulates opponents. Tennessee had all kinds of trouble switching up its game plan mid-drive.

Georgia consistently out-leveraged the Vols' defense, racking up easy rushing yards.

The Bulldogs' rushing attack becomes a little more dynamic with Fields in the backfield. With Fromm, the team lines up under center, pounds the rock, and adds in a couple of motions or jet sweeps here and there.

With Fields in the game, everything is available. Defenders can no longer shoot on split-zone looks because they're worried it's really an arc read. Guess what - it probably is:

Fields has gashed opponents when he's in the game. He's a slippery runner and moves with more physicality than you might expect. His mere presence opens up the running game for everyone else.

A running quarterback makes life easier for his teammates, as the defense now has to accommodate all eleven players on offense. Running plays become a one-on-one contest. Make one guy miss and it's a big, explosive play.

On average, Georgia has better players than whoever it's facing. An 11-on-11 matchup isn't fair.

Fields isn't ready to be the every-down guy yet, as he isn't good enough in the pocket. He's improved, but not enough; not yet. He panics at the first sign of pressure. Fromm throws to landmarks, playing with anticipation. Fields only throws to open guys. He can be easily fooled.

Still, it must be tempting for Smart and Chaney to get this all-world talent on the field as often as possible. Keep an eye out for how much he plays in Baton Rouge. The situations he's thrust into tell us more about what the Bulldogs brain-trust is thinking about his development than his final snap count does.

Under-the-radar matchup

Hawaii at BYU (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN 2)

This one is going to be a shootout. Both teams run innovative offenses, albeit with contrasting styles. Hawaii has returned to a form of the run-and-shoot, an Air-Raid passing style mixed with veer and spread-to-run principles. It's tough to stop and fun to watch.

Not to be outdone, Jeff Grimes and the Cougars' offense brings the schematic heat. There are all sorts of motions, shifts, and funky personnel packages. Every kind of jet sweep this side of Matt Canada has snuck into Grimes' playbook.

BYU has flattered to deceive since its upset win over Wisconsin, but this is a stylistic matchup that deserves your attention.

Coach who needs a win

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Scott Frost, Nebraska (at Northwestern)

Scott Frost's Nebraska tenure is off to a rough start, yet things haven't been quite as disastrous as the score lines indicate. Sure, the style in which the team has lost hasn't been pretty, but this first year was always going to be a tough slog - Mike Riley left the cupboard fairly bare.

Nebraska is currently 71st in S&P+. Not good, but better than the likes of BYU and Vanderbilt, both of which have received national plaudits.

Frost has to get on the board this week on the road to Northwestern. Being blown out by Wisconsin and Michigan is understandable, but getting lit up by an average Purdue side is not.

Nebraska is 0-5, and games against Colorado (still undefeated!) and Troy were close. Frost will preach patience, but he needs this one. If the team drops into an 0-6 hole, it will be tough to keep veteran members of the roster on his side.

There's only so long you can continue to drag your feet in your first year before it impacts your early recruiting returns, too, which can continue the spiral well into the future.

You best believe opposing coaches are pointing out to recruits that while Frost struggles early in Lincoln, his former team, UCF, is rolling along just fine, unbeaten in 2018. "Maybe it was the program, not the whiz kid," they'll be saying.

Frost needs this one sorely, and it won't be easy.

College football Week 7 primer: Georgia faces big test in Baton Rouge
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