After the Michigan Wolverines’ loss to MSU last weekend, they have to respond quickly in their one-week buffer until they have to back on the road to play Penn State next weekend.
First, a matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers, who defeated the Wolverines in 2020 for the first time in 24 seasons. Let’s dig into the game and the other top games on the schedule in this week’s “How to watch.”
Liberty Flames @ No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 6, 12 p.m. ET
- Channel: SECN
- Location: Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi
- Weather: 61 degrees and clear
- Betting Line: Ole Miss -19.5, O/U: 68
This is by far the most intriguing game of the day in my eyes for several reasons. Hugh Freeze resigned in disgrace from Ole Miss in 2018 after the NCAA discovered his program was offering recruits money. Freeze helped rebuild Ole Miss to a top three ranking twice in his five-year stint. Now he returns to his old stomping grounds after taking over at Liberty in 2019. Since then, he has went 25-8 with two bowl wins.
But there is more behind just the coaching drama. Two of the nation’s top quarterbacks also square off in this battle that promises some high-explosive offenses. Malik Willis, Liberty’s quarterback, has been mentioned as a potential top five pick in the NFL Draft. He leads the Flames in both passing yards (1,986) and rushing yards (684) with 30 total touchdowns on the year. Now, Willis has not played an SEC defense this season (even though Ole Miss’ is nothing to sneeze at, allowing 428.1 yards per game), so this will likely be his biggest opportunity to show he is worthy of all the hype.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral is having quite the season of his own. Another potential top pick in the NFL Draft, Corral boasts 2,202 passing yards on the season, good enough for 15th in the nation. He also leads his team in rushing yards (519) and has 25 touchdowns to just two interceptions this season.
The game isn’t won or lost at the quarterback position, especially when the talent differential should be rather high. But it’s the main reason to tune into this matchup that should have a bunch of electric plays by two marquee players in the college game.
Other top games in the early slate: No. 10 Wake Forest @ North Carolina, No. 6 Ohio State @ Nebraska, No. 23 SMU @ Memphis.
No. 12 Auburn Tigers @ No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: CBS
- Location: Kyle Field in College Station, Texas
- Weather: 68 degrees and clear
- Betting Line: Texas A&M -4.5, O/U: 49
A few weeks ago, it looked like the Aggies’ season was falling to pieces. Then they upset Alabama, the nation’s top team, and the program looks reinvigorated. They’ve steamrolled South Carolina and Missouri in the meantime and now look to prove their points further against Auburn this week.
Auburn has only lost to top 25 opponents this season: Penn State and Georgia. If it beats Texas A&M, it should be thanking them for topping Alabama earlier in the season. The Tigers will still have destiny in their hands with a matchup with the Crimson Tide upcoming with a chance to win the West Division of the SEC. There could be some massive implications in this one.
Other top games in the afternoon slate: No. 5 Michigan State @ Purdue, No. 11 Oklahoma State @ West Virginia, No. 22 Penn State @ Maryland.
No. 9 Michigan Wolverines vs the Indiana Hoosiers
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
- Location: Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Weather: 50 degrees and clear
- Betting Line: Michigan -19.5, O/U: 51
The Hoosiers had sky-high expectations this season after a surprise 6-1 Big Ten record a season ago that saw them inside the top 10 for the first time in 51 years. With stud quarterback Michael Penix Jr. returning at the helm, many thought they could repeat. Instead, they are off to a 2-6 record and Penix Jr. had more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (4) before suffering an injury that will keep him out the rest of the year.
The Hoosiers have had a tough schedule this season. Five of those six losses have come at the hands of an opponent who has been ranked in the top five at some point this season. Now, they have to face a strong team in the Wolverines.
After a devastating loss to Michigan State last weekend, the program is looking to bounce back against an opponent they should clobber. The Hoosiers’ offense has been in disarray all season long. Not only has it been awful, but the running game has not even surpassed 1,000 yards as a unit through eight games. Their defense also ranks 106th in the nation allowing an average of 31.6 points per game. Michigan is heavily favored in this game and for good reason. If they don’t have a hangover from last week’s loss, they should roll out the helmets against a poor Indiana team.
Other top games in the evening slate: Boise State @ No. 25 Fresno State, No. 7 Oregon @ Washington