College Football Week 5 Picks and Predictions from WhatIfSports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

College Football Week 5 Picks and Predictions

Week 5 predictions for every D-I/FBS college football game

By Ryan Fowler and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
September 26, 2011

Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2011 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=8cb9c714-8f76-4ed6-9926-a322ac7aa107" target="_new" title="">WhatIfSports: Week 5 CFB picks</a>

Game of the Week: Nebraska at Wisconsin

Consider it another great example of baptism by fire. Nebraska's debut in the Big Ten will come under the lights when the Cornhuskers travel to Camp Randall this Saturday. The ninth-ranked team in the nation faces eighth-ranked Wisconsin in our Game of the Week.

Bo Pelini's offense focuses on two things when on the field: 1) running the ball 2) running the ball some more. Their rushing offense is currently ranked eighth (272.5 ypg). The Huskers are led by mobile quarterback Taylor Martinez who has 63 carries for 421 yards with seven touchdowns. Nipping at his heels is junior running back Rex Burkhead with 63 carries for 420 yards and seven touchdowns. The balanced rushing attack is eerie.

Uncharacteristic of most Pelini programs, Nebraska is currently 56th in the nation in rushing defense. They've allowed 133.3 rush yards per game through their first four games. Nebraska is 46th in scoring defense at 22 points per game. The defense will need to address those gaps if they want to slow down Wisconsin.

The arrival of Russell Wilson hasn't slowed down the Badgers' rushing attack. As a team, Wisconsin is averaging 5.7 yards per carry with 16 rushing touchdowns (t-2nd with Nebraska).

But their 26th-ranked passing attack isn't to be ignored. Wilson has built a nice rapport with Nick Toon (21 receptions and five touchdowns) in the early going.

Wisconsin's 23rd-ranked rush defense (89.3 yards per game) will be tested on Saturday, but if they can slow down Taylor Martinez, the simulation engine thinks the Badgers are strong enough to come away with the win.

We simulated the Badgers and Cornhuskers 101 times and it's Wisconsin coming away with the win 65.8 percent of the time by an average score of 28-19.

Clemson at Virginia Tech

For the third consecutive week the Clemson Tigers face a Top 25 program in Virginia Tech. To this point, Dabo Swinney's crew has passed every test. Florida State was the latest Goliath slain thanks, in part, to Tajh Boyd's 344 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Seminoles, who were without their starting quarterback. That upset win followed victories over Auburn, Wofford and Troy.

The Hokies' path to Week 5 has been much cushier with wins over Appalachian State, East Carolina (17-10 final), Arkansas State and Marshall. Frank Beamer's boys still lock things down on defense with the sixth-best scoring defense at 10 points per game. They are fourth in total yards allowed per game at just over 231.

We simulated the Tigers and Hokies 101 times and it's the Tigers pulling the upset 52 percent of the time by an average score of 28-27.

College Football Week 5
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
Towson Tigers 5.08Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins95.048 
Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 5.07Boxscore
@ Miami (FL) Hurricanes95.053 
Idaho Vandals24.817Boxscore
@ Virginia Cavaliers75.226 
Wake Forest Demon Deacons42.621Boxscore
@ Boston College Eagles57.424 
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets44.628Boxscore
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack55.429 
Clemson Tigers52.028Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies48.027 
Bowling Green Falcons 5.015Boxscore
@ West Virginia Mountaineers95.038 
Marshall Thundering Herd21.817Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals78.225 
Rutgers Scarlet Knights26.720Boxscore
@ Syracuse Orange73.327 
South Florida Bulls45.524Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers54.526 
Western Michigan Broncos46.524Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies53.526 
Minnesota Golden Gophers 7.916Boxscore
@ Michigan Wolverines92.135 
Nebraska Cornhuskers34.219Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers65.828 
Northwestern Wildcats45.525Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini54.526 
Michigan State Spartans57.426Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes42.623 
Notre Dame Fighting Irish82.230Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers17.819 
Penn State Nittany Lions92.635Boxscore
@ Indiana Hoosiers 7.417 
Kent State Golden Flashes27.717Boxscore
@ Ohio Bobcats72.325 
Toledo Rockets50.028Boxscore
@ Temple Owls50.027 
Akron Zips67.822Boxscore
@ Eastern Michigan Eagles32.218 
Northern Illinois Huskies75.232Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas24.823 
Cincinnati Bearcats85.134Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks14.919 
UCLA Bruins 5.016Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal95.039 
Oregon State Beavers15.821Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils84.231 
Washington State Cougars32.226Boxscore
@ Colorado Buffaloes67.832 
Washington Huskies38.626Boxscore
@ Utah Utes61.429 
Arizona Wildcats48.528Boxscore
@ USC Trojans51.529 
Kentucky Wildcats 6.912Boxscore
@ LSU Tigers93.133 
Buffalo Bulls 7.913Boxscore
@ Tennessee Volunteers92.131 
Mississippi State Bulldogs33.725Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs66.330 
Auburn Tigers34.724Boxscore
@ South Carolina Gamecocks65.330 
Alabama Crimson Tide78.227Boxscore
@ Florida Gators21.817 
Mississippi Rebels47.529Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs52.531 
Hawaii Warriors69.336Boxscore
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs30.728 
Utah State Aggies17.320Boxscore
@ Brigham Young Cougars82.732 
Tulane Green Wave45.523Boxscore
@ Army Black Knights54.524 
Air Force Falcons55.024Boxscore
@ Navy Midshipmen45.022 
Ball State Cardinals 5.012Boxscore
@ Oklahoma Sooners95.047 
Arkansas Razorbacks49.532Boxscore
@ Texas A&M Aggies50.533 
Baylor Bears64.434Boxscore
@ Kansas State Wildcats35.628 
Texas Tech Red Raiders84.734Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks15.320 
Texas Longhorns87.130Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones12.915 
North Texas Mean Green14.927Boxscore
@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane85.138 
Rice Owls20.826Boxscore
@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles79.237 
North Carolina Tar Heels75.232Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates24.825 
Houston Cougars84.237Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners15.825 
Nevada Wolf Pack 5.021Boxscore
@ Boise State Broncos95.043 
Southern Methodist Mustangs19.827Boxscore
@ TCU Horned Frogs80.237 
San Jose State Spartans36.622Boxscore
@ Colorado State Rams63.426 
New Mexico State Aggies39.619Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos60.422 
Memphis Tigers 8.912Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders91.130 
UAB Blazers23.824Boxscore
@ Troy Trojans76.234 
Florida Atlantic Owls41.122Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns58.926 
Duke Blue Devils62.429Boxscore
@ FIU Golden Panthers37.626 
Arkansas State Red Wolves71.332Boxscore
@ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers28.724 
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Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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