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A look at Week 5’s best matchups with Ohio State on bye

Without the Buckeyes in action, which games are worth watching this weekend?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 23 BYU at Kansas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Ohio State getting a much-needed week off following a nail-biting victory over Notre Dame, Buckeye Nation also gets to rest up after stress-watching the 17-14 win this past Saturday. While some may use the opportunity to engage in some fall activities, others will be looking to fill the empty time with college football viewing anyway — though in a much less nerve-racking fashion without Ohio State in action.

Here are some of the big games to keep an eye on in Week 5.

All games on Saturday unless otherwise noted. All lines courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 10 Utah vs. No. 19 Oregon State (-3.5)

Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1

The first ranked matchup of the weekend takes place under the lights on Friday night, as Utah travels to Corvallis to take on Oregon State. The status for Utes’ starting quarterback Cam Rising remains up in the air, as the senior has yet to play this season after suffering a torn ACL in the Rose Bowl. The story thus far for Utah has been its defense, which ranks 9th in the country in stop rate and is allowing less than 10 points per game. The Beavers are led by Clemson transfer D.J. Uiagalelei, who has 12 total TDs through four games. Uiagalelei and Oregon State are coming off a tough loss to Washington State, and will now look to bounce back as home favorites against a top-10 opponent.

No. 8 USC (-21.5) vs. Colorado

12:00 p.m. ET on FOX

While the national media hype over Coach Prime’s Colorado program certainly jumped the shark, the Buffaloes got a harsh taste of reality this past week in a 42-6 loss to Oregon. There should be nothing to hang their hat about, as this was still a 1-11 program a year ago and things are trending way upward from where they were. That being said, things won’t get easier against Caleb Williams and USC in Week 5. Shedeur Sanders will probably be able to put up some yards against a bad Alex Grinch-led defense, but the Trojans are going to score points against an overmatched Colorado unit. The environment should be fun, but that would have played a bigger role were this a night game.

No. 24 Kansas vs. No. 3 Texas (-17)

3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Is this the week things fall apart for Texas? It seems like we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop on Steve Sarkisian’s group, and with Red River in two weeks, maybe the Longhorns overlook what is a very well-coached Kansas team. Quinn Ewers, while inconsistent at times, has thrown for over 1,000 yards without an interception through four games. Jalon Daniels is no slouch on the other side, coming off a 2,000-yard season with 18 touchdowns to just four picks in 2022. Texas is the more talented team in this game, but could be in trouble if they look past the Jayhawks. The difference will likely be the performance of the Longhorns’ offense, which could grind down KU’s defense and pull away in the second half if things are clicking for Xavier Worthy and company.

No. 13 LSU (-2.5) vs. No. 20 Ole Miss

6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

LSU began the season at No. 5 and was a trendy pick to win the national title before losing the opener to Florida State. All of the Tigers’ goals are still very much on the table, and Brian Kelly will look to lead his team to 3-0 in SEC play with a win over Ole Miss. Jayden Daniels has been excellent, throwing for nearly 1,300 yards with 14 TDs and only two INTs. Jaxson Dart has put up some big numbers as well for the Rebels, totaling 10 TDs with close to 1,100 yards passing. Ole Miss has one of the country’s best running backs in Quinshon Judkins, but haven’t been able to use him effectively. The Rebels are coming off a 24-10 loss to Alabama despite leading 7-6 at the half. The 2.5-point spread is intriguing, to say the least.

No. 11 Notre Dame (-5.5) vs. No. 17 Duke

7:30 p.m. ET on ABC

How does Notre Dame respond to the last-second loss to Ohio State? The Fighting Irish had every chance to beat the Buckeyes this past weekend, but fell apart on the final drive. Sam Hartman has continued to be nearly spotless on the year, throwing 14 touchdown passes without a single interception through five games. He will be tested on the road against Duke, who own one of the nation’s best defenses, allowing only 8.8 points per game. The Blue Devils are a prefect 4-0 on the year, sporting an impressive 28-7 win over Clemson to open the new campaign. Duke is No. 2 in the country in stop rate, and with Notre Dame’s defense looking strong as well, this could be a hard-fought, low-scoring affair.

No. 12 Alabama (-14.5) vs. Mississippi State

9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Is Alabama back? After a 34-24 loss to Texas and an ugly 17-3 win over South Florida, the Crimson Tide put together a strong second half in a 24-10 win over Ole Miss. Alabama’s offense has been dreadful, with none of their three quarterbacks looking all that good. Their defense, however, has been really strong, holding a potent Rebels offense to just 3-of-14 on third down. That is bad news for Mississippi State, who ranks dead last in the SEC in converting on third downs. Will Rogers will need to lock in for the Bulldogs this weekend, coming off a nearly 500-yard performance against South Carolina. Mississippi State will have to contain the turnover-prone Jalen Milroe and force him to throw if they want to pull off the upset.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.