There's no place like Saturday...

September 27, 2012

College Football Report - Weekend Picks: Week 5

(Upset pick…)
#8 Stanford (3-0) @ Washington (2-1)
9:00 ET, ESPN, Thur. Sept. 27, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Few teams have dominated the Huskies over the last four years quite like Stanford has. Over the last two, the Cardinal have beat Washington by a combined score of 106-21. The Huskies are a sporadic team, though. They’ll have games that make you scratch your head and then games that leave you wide eyed and out of your seat. The Huskies are built around the passing game and arm of Keith Price. Price, off to a slow start much in part to the LSU game, can play like a Heisman contender at times. For the Cardinal, their game will rely on quarterback Josh Nunes, who’s thrown three interceptions in three games, against an experienced Washington secondary. Under the lights on Thursday night, Sean Parker and the Huskies secondary will rattle Nunes and pull off the year’s biggest upset thus far. Pick: Washington 27 – Stanford 17
(Game of the week…)
#14 Ohio State (4-0) @ #20 Michigan State (3-1)
3:30 ET, ABC, Sat. Sept. 29, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
After a 56-10 opening day win for the Buckeyes against Miami (Oh), things have been all downhill. The Bucks have struggled on both sides of the ball. They narrowly escaping Cal in week three then turned in an ugly game against UAB last week. Michigan State has little room to talk, however, as they headed to halftime last week down to Eastern Michigan, 7-3. The Spartans need to find an offensive weapon for quarterback Andrew Maxwell to throw to, opposite tight end Dion Sims. The Bucks, however, are in the same boat. Outside of quarterback Braxton Miller, OSU has few playmakers, particularly in the running game. I’d look for the offenses to struggle, with the better defense of the two taking the win. With the Spartans still holding opponents to 11.8 points a game, they come out on top. Pick: Michigan State 17 – Ohio State 13
#25 Baylor (3-0) @ #9 West Virginia (3-0)
12:00 ET, FX, Sat. Sept. 29, Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV
Get one thing clear; this isn’t last year’s Baylor team. Quarterback Nick Florence has been impressive in the Bears pass happy attack, but there is reason for concern. Florence has thrown four interceptions the last two games, two each against Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe. They’re also giving up 29.7 points a game, against a schedule so far that should warrant half the amount of points, and yards, given up. The Mountaineers have been as advertised this season, led by the big arm of quarterback Geno Smith, who’s thrown 12 touchdowns to zero picks through three games. Morgantown isn’t an easy place to walk into either, as the Bears will soon find out. Unlike other conference switching teams this year, the Mountaineers will make their first new conference game look like a walk in the park. Pick: West Virginia 43 – Baylor 24
Tennessee (3-1) @ #5 Georgia (4-0)
3:30 ET, CBS, Sat. Sept. 29, Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
It always looks promising for the Vols to start the year, then their SEC schedule kicks in. Tennessee packs a big play offense, there’s no question about it. Quarterback Tyler Bray has been accompanied this year by playmakers all-around. Because of the pass rush of the Bulldogs, particularly Jarvis Jones, they won’t be able to rely all on Bray for the win, though. Tailback Rajion Neal, who brought in 151 yards last week, will need to take some pressure off his quarterback. There seems little hope, however, in believing the Georgia offensive attack can be slowed against the Vols, who are giving up nearly 400 yards of total offense a game. The Vols do have eight interceptions on the year, but its freshman running back Todd Gurley, averaging 9.2 yards a carry, who’ll get the bulk of the offensive work. Georgia runs to victory. Pick: Georgia 37 – Tennessee 21
#18 Oregon State (2-0) @ Arizona (3-1)
10:00 ET, Pac-12 Net, Sat. Sept. 29, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Not a bad start to the year for the Beavers. First they knocked off No. 13 Wisconsin at home, and then traveled to UCLA last week, taking down the No. 19 Bruins. This week, however, it’s the Beavers that will be on upset alert, as they travel to an Arizona team that got embarrassed on the road against Oregon last week. OSU has been led by the passing attack of sophomore Sean Mannion, but it’s their defense, giving up just 13.5 points a game through their first two, that has really taken spotlight. The Wildcats had a total offensive collapse last week, but are 3-0 at home and led by the dangerous Matt Scott at quarterback. If OSU can bottle up running back Ka’Deem Carey, much like they did Montee Ball and Jonathan Franklin in the previous weeks, the Arizona offense will become one dimensional and fold. Oregon State gets off to a respective 3-0 start. Pick: Oregon State 32– Arizona 23
#12 Texas (3-0) @ Oklahoma State (2-1)
7:50 ET, FOX, Sat. Sept. 29, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
Quietly, Texas has gotten off to an impressive start. The offense, led by quarterback, David Ash, looks to be playing back to what is expected of a Longhorns offense. Ash has played mistake free this season, tossing seven touchdowns to zero interceptions. The big star for the Longhorns, however, looks to be running back Malcolm Brown, who has restored a rushing attack to the Texas program. The Cowboys have been hard to judge thus far, and come into the game with the bad news that their starting quarterback, Wes Lunt, remains doubtful to play Saturday. Joseph Randle and the running attack of the Cowboys have kept them alive, but will it be enough to keep up with the Longhorns new found glory on the offensive side of the ball? My guess is no, as the Longhorns steal one in Stillwater. Pick: Texas 38 – Oklahoma State 31
North Carolina State (3-1) @ Miami (FL) (3-1)
12:00 ET, ESPNU, Sat. Sept. 29, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Far from the marquee ACC matchup of last week, but the `Canes have a chance to reach 3-0 in conference play with a win against NC State Saturday. For the Wolfpack, it’s their first conference game of the year. Last week, the Hurricanes showed resiliency on the road, coming back from a 17 point deficit to force overtime and come from behind win against Georgia Tech on the road. The offense has been led by the running game of freshman Duke Johnson, who comes in with 823 all-purpose yards on the year. The Wolfpack have been one dimensional, relying heavily on quarterback Mike Glennon. Glennon has been under immense pressure this season, proof in having been sacked 14 times already. Much of that is due to a lack of a running game. The Canes new found offensive glory keeps going, in a 3-0 conference start. Pick: Miami 34 – NC State 27
(Give me a ticket to see…)
Wisconsin (3-1) @ #22 Nebraska (3-1)
8:00 ET, ABC, Sat. Sept. 29, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Marked as a potential Big Ten Championship matchup to begin the season, the Badgers will be looking to just stay afloat in this one. Offensively, nothing has clicked for Wisconsin. They come in averaging just 312 total offensive yards a game and will now trust the quarterback reins with freshman Joel Stave. They do get a boast this week with the return of running back Montee Ball, but he can’t be expected to carry the entire offense. The Cornhuskers got outplayed in their lone tough matchup of the season against UCLA, but have since been rolling offensively. Nebraska has also been one of the better big play defenses of the Big Ten, coming in with 16 sacks on the season. Lincoln remains one of the toughest places to play in the country and it won’t get any easier Saturday for the Badgers bleak season. I'm watching just for the new uni's. A pair of throwback, meets new school uniforms, made specially for the game. Pick: Nebraska 24 – Wisconsin 14
Last Week: 5-3 – Overall: 9-8 – Upset Pick: 0-2

No comments:

All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.