Week 12 Picks: Georgia will edge Auburn; Oklahoma State beats Texas
Can Auburn keep it going and survive Georgia? Will Nebraska be able to handle the Michigan State defense? Can USC stay hot and upset Stanford? Lots of compelling matchups in this weekend's slate to pick.
I had another bad week, going 6-11 against the line, putting me six under against the number. The Good: picking Stanford to beat Oregon. The Bad: picking Notre Dame to handle Pitt easily. The Ugly: picking Arizona to beat UCLA. Here are this week's guesses:
Clemson 35, Georgia Tech 21: The Jackets have quietly won three in a row, holding opponents to under 12 points per game in that stretch. I don't like their chances against Tajh Boyd on the road. Tech has surrendered 36 ppg in its past three road trips.
UCLA 34, Washington 30: The Bruins are really banged up on offense, but true freshman LB Myles Jack has provided a big spark. The Washington native should have another big game here with the U-Dub visiting the Rose Bowl where Bruins have blown everyone out. The Huskies are 1-2 on road and allowing 36 ppg. Also, don't expect Anthony Barr to have two quiet games in a row.
Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 10: OU just got whipped by Baylor, but the Sooners return to face an Iowa State team that has played three Big 12 road games and been outscored 154-49. OU, which is 5-0 at home this season, runs away in this one.
Ohio State 52, Illinois 27: Two incredibly long streaks. The Buckeyes are rolling and haven't lost under Urban Meyer. The Illini haven't won a Big Ten game in ages. Nothing is changing this week.
Central Florida 34, Temple 7: George O'Leary's team has pushed everyone in the AAC around this season and that won't change against the 1-8 Owls.
Miami 30, Duke 24: The Canes are back-sliding and the Blue Devils are playing well, but my hunch is Stephen Morris and the Miami receivers will bounce back against the young Duke secondary.
Florida State 55, Syracuse 14: The good news for the Cuse: it will have its second-leading rusher and leading tackler back this week. The bad news: It's not going to be anywhere near enough against Jameis Winston, LaMarcus Joyner and the rest of the Noles.
Oklahoma State 30, Texas 24: The resurgent Longhorns have won six in a row and squeaked by West Virginia on the road last week. UT is hurting, losing leading rusher Jonathan Gray and play-making DT Chris Whaley for the season to injury. Look for the underrated OSU D to slow down Texas as Cowboys RB Dennis Roland (359 rushing yards in his past three games) continues to shine.
Michigan State 17, Nebraska 9: Ameer Abdullah has been terrific for NU -- only two rushers have more carries of 20-plus yards this season than his 14, but he's going to have his hands full against the country's top run defense. Even at home, I don't think the Huskers can do enough to dent the MSU D.
Wisconsin 52, Indiana 28: Kevin Wilson's Hoosiers are improved. The Badgers' defense gets a boost with the return of LB Chris Borland. Wisconsin is 11-1 at home in November since 2006, winning by an average of 23 ppg.
Alabama 45, Mississippi State 14: Don't expect any letdown from the Tide after thrashing LSU last week. AJ McCarron and company have too much experience and the Bulldogs don't match up well enough to keep this one close.
Georgia 31, Auburn 30: Todd Gurley at 85 percent is still better than just about any other RB at 100 percent. I expect Aaron Murray to play well against a good Tigers D-line. Also look for the Dawgs' D (third in the SEC in fewest yards per carry: 3.4) to slow down Gus Malzahn's run game just enough to get a W.
Oregon 42, Utah 17: The unpredictable Utes have to visit an ornery bunch of Ducks coming off a bad trip to Stanford. Oregon, back at Autzen, will be too much for a shaky offensive team that hasn't scored more than 27 points since mid-September.
South Carolina 27, Florida 10: The Gators are a mess, especially on offense. They also might have to play their No. 3 QB. Facing a talented Gamecock defensive front is a recipe for (more) disaster.
Louisville 30, Houston 20: The Cougars just faced a physical UCF team and now have to visit a Cardinals team coming off a road swing where they outscored their opponents 65-13. Don't expect savvy QB Teddy Bridgewater to help out the opportunistic Houston D.
Stanford 24, Southern California 23: The Trojans have rallied this season with so much more energy and enthusiasm since Ed Orgeron took over. I doubt they can knock off the Cardinal here since USC is banged up on the D-line and undermanned. Stanford is not the team you want to face in that condition.
Baylor 62, Texas Tech 41: Kliff Kingsbury faces old friend Art Briles, whose team is rolling on both sides of the ball. Tech, on the other hand, is in a tailspin and really shaky on D these days. That's gonna be a big problem against the explosive Bears.
Arizona State 38, Oregon State 21: It has been almost a month since the Beavers won a game. I don't buy that a road trip to Tempe is the ideal way to get out of a slump. Expect the ASU defensive front to put too much heat on Sean Mannion and contain OSU.
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