Picks: Notre Dame stays undefeated; Wolverines finally beat Spartans, Cal knocks off Cardinal
I had a mediocre week, going 9-9 against the spread, keeping me at 69-69 against the line for the season. The good: picking Oregon State to handle BYU. The bad: picking WVU to have no trouble in Lubbock. The ugly: picking Texas to beat Oklahoma. Here are this week's guesses.
|Bruce Feldman is looking for Michigan to edge Michigan State this weekend. (U.S. Presswire)|
I had a mediocre week, going 9-9 against the spread, keeping me at 69-69 against the line for the season. The good: picking Oregon State to handle BYU. The bad: picking WVU to have no trouble in Lubbock. The ugly: picking Texas to beat Oklahoma. Here are this week’s guesses:
Oregon Ducks 38, Arizona State Sun Devils 24: Everyone inside the Ducks program raves about Marcus Mariota’s poise. That’s a big reason why I think he will ace his first real road test although don’t be surprised if the Sun Devils give Oregon all it can handle for three quarters or so. ASU's much more disciplined now and also a better defensive bunch because of that.
Clemson Tigers 35, Virginia Tech Hokies 21: The Tigers offense has been superb, averaging more 41 points per game. They should be too much for a shaky Hokies squad that is 0-3 on the road this season.
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Ohio State Buckeyes 42, Purdue Boilermakers 21: Urban Meyer’s defense has been dreadful the past few weeks, but his young quarterback Braxton Miller is a star. Expect the Buckeyes to have little trouble with a Boilers team that has allowed 41 ppg the past three times out and is just No. 97 in rushing defense.
LSU Tigers 24, Texas A&M Aggies 17: Johnny Manziel has been spectacular, but he’s now facing LSU not LTU. The Tigers have more than their share of elite athletes to chase the Aggies’ phenomenal young quarterback. LSU also has the power on offense to wear down an A&M defense that doesn’t have enough beef to hang for four quarters.
California Golden Bears 27, Stanford Cardinal 20: In two games on the road the Cardinal doesn’t have an offensive TD. The Bears also are starting to click. Their shaky offensive line has settled in, and their speed at the skill positions will give Stanford fits.
Florida Gators 16, South Carolina Gamecocks 10: The Gators are home and have gotten healthier while the Gamecocks are banged up and weary after the road trip to LSU.
Louisville Cardinals 27, South Florida Bulls 14: Skip Holtz’s program is a wreck right now, having lost four in a row. They’ve struggled to run the ball, stop the run or, worst of all, take care of the ball. (No. 115 in turnover margin.) The Cards shouldn’t have much trouble, although they have had some issues letting teams back in games in the second half.
Michigan Wolverines 14, Michigan State Spartans 13: For as much as the Spartans have dominated this series of late, Mark Dantonio’s program has hobbled its way through the past month. Their arch-rival, meanwhile, has heated up the past few weeks. My hunch is Denard Robinson goes out on a good note in this series.
Texas Tech Red Raiders 27, TCU Horned Frogs 17: Even though the Horned Frogs looked pretty sharp last week, that was against a very bad Baylor defense. It’ll be much tougher for young Trevone Boykin this time around. Expect their inexperience to catch up to them while Seth Doege stays hot and the Red Raiders make it two in a row over ranked opponents.
Boise State Broncos 52, UNLV Rebels 21: It’s never easy to play on the blue turf, and it’s really, really rough if your defense is as suspect as UNLV’s.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 24, Brigham Young Cougars 9: The Cougars have been on the road twice this season and lost both times. They also aren’t efficient enough in the passing game to test the Irish secondary.
Southern California Trojans 49, Colorado Buffaloes 10: The Trojans defensive-line has really come on (No. 5 in the nation in sacks) and they should feast on an overmatched offensive-line (No. 120 in sacks allowed) while Matt Barkley picks apart a defense that has surrendered more than 50 points per game in the past four games.
Georgia Bulldogs 44, Kentucky Wildcats 7: An inept offense will face an angry Dawgs defense coming off a bye week after Georgia got embarrassed 35-7 at South Carolina. Mark Richt’s team will jump on UK early and won’t let up.
Alabama Crimson Tide 34, Tennessee Volunteers 17: There’s a lot of overlap in these two staffs, but the Tide just is the more physical team. The Vols have the firepower to test the Tide, but they’re also allowing 43 points per game in three SEC games. Nick Saban’s squad shouldn’t have too much trouble handling things although UT should be the first team to score more than 14 on Bama this season.
Cincinnati Bearcats 38, Toledo Rockets 27: The undefeated Bearcats embark on their first real road game and it won’t be easy at 6-1 Toledo. The Rockets can move the ball, but their pass defense is really lacking and will cost them in the second half.
Kansas State Wildcats 52, West Virginia Mountaineers 50: Collin Klein and Geno Smith should each roll up big numbers, but I’ll go with Bill Snyder in a close game. The Wildcats wizard is 10-1 in games decided by seven points or less in the past two seasons.
Mississippi State Bulldogs 35, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 10: I know the Bulldogs are coming off a nice win over Tennessee and have a huge test with Alabama up next, but they won’t stub their toe here. Dan Mullen’s team has been sharp on both sides of the ball with Tyler Russell emerging as a very solid quarterback. He’ll face an MTSU team that ranks No. 112 in pass efficiency defense.
Oklahoma Sooners 58, Kansas Jayhawks 6: Charlie Weis is planning on playing two quarterbacks. He could start Brady Quinn and it still wouldn’t be enough against OU. The Sooners have put together a couple of dominant performances and I don’t see lowly KU, 0-5 against FBS opponents, catching them napping.
Florida State Seminoles 42, Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes 20: Even if Stephen Morris can play, Miami is too young and too undermanned on defense to hang with the Noles for four quarters. Expect a big day for FSU quarterback EJ Manuel and his crew of running backs against the nation’s No. 117 defense.
Oregon State Beavers 24, Utah Utes 7: No matter who Mike Riley has at quarterback, the Beavers have been on top of their game. It helps to have two stud wide receivers like Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. The Utes come in on a three-game losing skid, and their running game has disappeared (No. 100 in rushing offense).
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