Welcome to Week 6 Independents Preview! We'll be looking into each game and see how each team stacks up. Plus, I'll also be discussing my predictions on the games as well. Without further ado, let's get into it! New Mexico State Aggies vs Bowling Green Falcons
New Mexico State has had a rough year this season, still looking for a win to add to their record this season. They're going up against Bowling Green, a team that's also had it's struggles but the future for them this season is still bright. Last week, New Mexico State had gone up against another winless team, South Alabama. They proceeded to lose that game to still be winless. One big problem that game and basically this season entirely has been that they've trusted their ground game possibly a bit too much. Shane Walker has been solid this season, recording 5 TDs but with them only being able to score on the ground, as their passing game hasn't been up to par, they've found it hard to be able to score at all. Plus, their defense has been lackluster. While they've been able to put up an average of 17 points per game, opponents have put up 11 points more than NMSU and without that defensive power, especially going up against a offense heavy team, it's going to be incredibly difficult for them to even have a chance. On the other side, Bowling Green has a underrated but very consistent offense and their defense isn't bad at all. DE
Malachi McKnight leads the MAC with 7.0 sacks and players like Zack Odell and Brandon Lockheart have really been factors for this Falcons team and will possibly be the players they need the most out of down the stretch later on. New Mexico State Aggies 7 - 31 Bowling Green Falcons I feel like NMSU's defense is too big of a liability to hold off Bowling Green and their offense won't make up the difference at all. Army Black Knights vs Old Dominion Monarchs Army has been the best independent team this season. Exceptional defense (Compared to other independents) and the offense has taken advantage of defensive plays that they've made for them. They've been one of the highest scoring offenses out of all independent teams, scoring 30 PPG and only allowing 22 PPG. They also 11 TDs on the season, 7 coming through the arm of Caleb Leggett. He's also had the good luck of not relying on one receiver, having 2 WRs with 190+ yards and a TE with 200 yards. As for the freshman Nigel Royal, he's done an amazing job of protecting the ball. He's been able to run for 160 yards in 4 games with 4 TDs to account for with no fumbles at all. As far as their defense, they've all pitched in and did what they needed to do as 2 of their players are tied with the lead for interceptions and one of their players have the most sacks as of now in this season. As of Old Dominion, you can't say anything. They've been in a disarray this season as they've had little to no bright spots and no indication of improvement. Army Black Knights 42 - 0 Old Dominion Monarchs This game should be a domination for Army as Old Dominion will have no answer for their offense and Army's defense should have a walk in the park.
UMass Minutemen vs Penn State Nittany Lions
We've went from one of the best independents teams to one of the worst (besides Liberty). UMass has been nothing besides awful. They've just had a change of direction with their new HC and QB and E.R Coleman did okay for his debut as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 2 TDs but having 3 interceptions in a eventual loss to Bowling Green. UMass is already winless and it doesn't look like the Minutemen will turn their fortunes around. They have a very good reciever and a possible NFL talent in
Nicholas Spence Jr. However, with no other talent that can help this UMass team become solid, it'll be hard to even compete a year or 2 for this team. As for Penn State, they're just 2 years removed from a national championship and how they've done so far is solid but still needs improvement. Even though they have a RB and 2 WRs that are certain to be drafted this year in the NFL Draft, they haven't been able to do a lot since they have a true freshman as their starting QB. To add on, their defense is very strong, just hasn't been able to put it together. UMass Minutemen 7 - 34 Penn State Nittany Lions
I feel as this is the game Penn State needs to get back on track and a dominating win over a UMass team that has a lack of talent all over is what they need and what they will get, as UMass is overmatched in every position and every way. Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Norte Dame has been amazing this season but going up against a undefeated Wake Forest team is still a challenge. Brendan Lange has been the best thing for Notre Dame this season, having 8 TDs with a QBR of 137.42 which is good for a redshirt sophmore with a solid supporting cast. The biggest help to Lange is
Thierno McGhee who has been Lange's favorite target this season, going for 253 yards with 2 TDs. As for their defense, that's where this team does good. Even though everyone is a senior except for
Matt Church, they've all put in their fair share of the work and being that they're all seniors, they bring that experience and talent that they've brought throughout their college career. Their opponent is no joke however. The James Betts to Deshaun Pickens duo is very good and add that
Abdoulaye Hawkins and Jacob Benson are very capable of stepping up when they can is just scary. Their defense has been solid as well and has held up their part through the first 3 games that they've had this season. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 21 - 24 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Even though Notre Dame has a solid team and they've shown that they can step up, I don't think they will be able to stop the streak that Wake Forest has kept. Wake Forest is simply just a step up on Notre Dame. However, this game will be close, as their offenses are way to good to be kept at a minimum.