Week 2 picks: Gamecocks, Gators and Wolverines win
Florida, South Carolina and Michigan will each slide past talented opponents to highlight this week's picks.
I'm coming off an OK first week picking against the spread, going 12-10. The good: picking Clemson to handle Georgia. The bad: picking Nebraska to blow out Wyoming. The ugly: picking Nevada to hang with UCLA. Here are this week's guesses:
Florida, 24, Miami 23: Miami has more firepower on offense and Duke Johnson (6 rushes of 50 yards or more in 13 career games) is dangerous, but UF has the better defense and more big-game experience. I think the Gators find away to sneak out with the close win.
Louisville 55, Eastern Kentucky 7: Teddy Bridgewater was nearly flawless in the opener against a pretty good MAC team (Ohio). The Cards will have no trouble here.
TCU 49, SE Louisiana 3: Gary Patterson's team had its hands full with the best team in Louisiana -- LSU -- last week. This week, the Horned Frogs will cruise.
Oklahoma State 31, Texas-San Antonio 14: Larry Coker, a former Cowboys assistant, gets a closer look at his old team and the hunch here is that the underrated Roadrunners will hang around and be competitive for a half.
Wisconsin 62, Tennessee Tech 10: Huge difference for Tech going from the Cumberland Bulldogs to the Wisconsin Badgers. Tech ran for over 300 yards last week. Look for the Badgers to do that to the Eagles.
Clemson 59, South Carolina State 10: Tajh Boyd was superb last week in the win over Georgia, but Tigers OC Chad Morris wasn't happy about his QB's pace. They'll ramp it up here and turn this one into a rout by the second quarter.
Boise State 42, Tennessee-Martin 9: UTM, which beat Memphis last year, faces what should be a fired-up Broncos squad after BSU was hammered last week by Washington. The young BSU D, which seemed rattled by the pace and the spirit of Husky Stadium, figure to be more comfortable at home this weekend.
Ohio State 45, San Diego State 13: The Buckeyes get a couple of key players back, including standout CB Bradley Roby, which should only make life even tougher for an Aztec offense that looked dismal last week against FCS Eastern Illinois.
Oregon 42, Virginia 24: UVA is coming off a nice win over BYU despite a low-wattage offense effort. I expect the Cavaliers to give the visiting Ducks some trouble for awhile before Oregon's speed blows the game open.
South Carolina 24, Georgia 17: The Bulldogs' shaky O-line face a stiffer test this week against a loaded Gamecocks front, which should be even nastier with so many people doubting Jadeveon Clowney after his struggles in the opener against North Carolina. I'm tempted to go with the home team and Aaron Murray but ultimately the hunch is that the Carolina D-line will be the story here.
Nebraska 49, Southern Miss 14: Bo Pelini's D had to be embarrassed again with the way Wyoming moved the ball last week. USM doesn't have a Brett Smith though and the Huskers D will respond well.
Northwestern 27, Syracuse 14: The balance of Pat Fitzgerald's offense will prove too much for the visiting Orange, who still are trying to sort things out on the offensive end.
LSU 52, Alabama-Birmingham 14: Zach Mettenberger will continue his development under Cam Cameron, hitting big plays and lighting up the Blazers downfield all day.
Oklahoma 45, West Virginia 28: The more aggressive, retooled Sooners D won't be able to completely bottle up the Mountaineers -- WVU RB Charles Sims is too good for that -- but OU should pull away in the second half.
Texas A&M 59, Sam Houston State 10: Even though everyone is looking ahead to next week's Alabama-A&M showdown, the Aggies still have more than enough juice to blow out SHSU, especially after the listless effort the A&M backups had last season against Sam Houston.
Texas 28, BYU 17: The Horns rolled up 715 yards last week. It won't be that easy against a talented Cougars D, but UT still has enough weapons and a confident David Ash should be able to handle BYU.
Michigan 20, Notre Dame 14: As good as Tommy Rees looked in the opener against Temple, my hunch is he'll struggle with Greg Mattison's D on the road this week while the Wolverines hit a few big plays to sneak out a win.
Southern California 34, Washington State 17: As mediocre as the Trojans offense looked in its opener, USC should be able to exploit a young and banged-up WSU secondary while Lane Kiffin's outstanding front will overwhelm the Cougars O-line and rattle Connor Halliday.
Stanford 35, San Jose State 17: David Shaw's team will be too physical for the Spartans on both sides of the ball and will dominate SJSU's O-line.
Michigan State 34, South Florida 6: Pat Narduzzi's defense not only is the headliner of the Spartans program, it was also a pretty effective offense too last week. MSU will be too physical for the rebuilding USF program coming off being blown out by FCS McNeese State.
Baylor 44, Buffalo 14: UB had nothing to be embarrassed about with the Bulls' performance last week at Ohio State. Khalil Mack showed to everyone why he may go in the first round of the NFL Draft and Buffalo has a nice passing game, but the Bears have too much speed and will blow this one open before halftime.
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