There's no place like Saturday...

November 2, 2012

College Football Report - Saturday Picks - Week 10

(Game of  the week...)
#1 Alabama (8-0) @ #5 LSU (7-1)
8:00 ET, CBS, Sat. Nov. 3, Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Once again the Tide and Tigers matchup looks to be the game of the year in college football. This one doesn’t feel as close as last year’s bout, however. If the Tigers are going to stay close here, they’ll need to find point’s elseware from their offense. LSU was able to get a running game going in their last game, totaling 219 yards on the ground against Texas A&M. They won’t be able to fall behind 12-0 and expect to come out with a win, though. Alabama hasn’t allowed more than 14 points all season and brings in an offense, led by AJ McCarron, which scores 40 points an outing. McCarron, the nations pass efficiency leader, has tossed 18 touchdowns to zero interceptions on the year. LSU is good, but they’re not ‘Bama good. A night game at Death Valley is all that keeps this one close.  Pick: Alabama 23 – LSU 10
(Give me a ticket to see…)
#4 Oregon (8-0) @ #17 USC (6-2)
7:00 ET, FOX, Sat. Nov. 3, Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Finally, a real test for Oregon this season. Their first was supposed to be against Arizona. They passed that one with a 49-0 final. Next was Arizona State. The Ducks dropped 43 on the Sun Devils…in the first half. In USC the Ducks face off against an offense that just might be able to hang with them, for a few quarters at least. SC has come up short in big games this season, squandering opportunities against Stanford, and last week, Arizona. Averaging 330 yards a game on the ground, the Ducks running game has struck fear into opponents about as much as Alabama’s defense has. For the Trojans to score with the Ducks,  they’ll need to limit their turnovers and pound the ground to keep the pressure off Matt Barkley. In their two losses SC has a combined eight turnovers and just 151 yards rushing. It’ll be the Ducks closest game yet, but with 23 takeaways already this year, they’ll force Barkley and the offense into mistakes. Pick: Oregon 45 – USC 30
#24 Oklahoma State (5-2) @ #2 Kansas State (8-0)
8:00 ET, ABC, Sat. Nov. 3, Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, KS
The only reason the Cowboys visit to Manhattan feels bigger than it really is, is because of the hype ESPN gave it for their ABC night game. Don’t be fooled. Freshman Wes Lunt takes over the starting reins for the Cowboys and will walk into an environment like nothing he’s played in to date. Colin Klein continues to roll with the offense, but it’s the K-State defense that may be the most improved and impressive part of the No. 2 ranked Wildcats. In back-to-back weeks the defense forced West Virginia and Texas Tech, two of the nation’s most potent offenses, into five total turnovers. Tech was held to just 17 points late in the third, while the Mountaineers entered the fourth quarter with just seven points. Joseph Randall will get his yards for OSU, but a freshman quarterback with four interceptions in two starts won’t get it done in Manhattan. Pick: Kansas State 51 – Oklahoma State 20
#16 Texas A&M (6-2) @ #15 Mississippi State (7-1)
12:00 ET, ESPN, Sat. Nov. 3, Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
The Aggies head to Starkville fresh off an Auburn beatdown on the road, just a week after losing a close opportunity to take down LSU. A week ago, Mississippi State was undefeated. Until their visit to Alabama. Neither team is on the same level as the Tigers and Tide, yet. A win for both here, though, would make their recent losses and seasons turn in a much brighter direction. A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was back with his feet in the water last week, accounting for 350 total yards and five scores. The Bulldogs are far from the defense Auburn put on the field though. Manziel needs to be weary of State’s No. 21 ranked pass defense, as interceptions (3) were what lost the Aggies the LSU game. As a whole, however, the Bulldogs have been too inconsistent against a rather weak schedule. The Auburn game was just what A&M needed before this one. Pick: Texas A&M 28 – Mississippi State 24
#23 Texas (6-2) @ #18 Texas Tech (6-2)
3:30 ET, ABC, Sat. Nov. 3, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX
The final game of the Red Raiders five game stretch against ranked opponents. They’ve survived so far, winning two of four. They did turn in blowout losses to Oklahoma and last week Kansas State, though. Quarterback Seth Doege has done a phenomenal job leading an offense this year that averages over 500 total yards a game. Texas, however, is beginning to fade. The Longhorns followed losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma with squeakers past Baylor and a near upset loss to 1-7 Kansas last week, scoring with 12 seconds remaining to pull out the win. Texas, a team looking for an answer to their problems and a turnaround on the season, will need to look outside from Lubbock. It’ll be all Red Raiders Saturday for the first time in three years. Pick: Texas Tech 35 – Texas 21
(Upset pick…)
#20 Nebraska (6-2) @ Michigan State (5-4)
3:30 ET, ABC/ESPN2, Sat. Nov. 3, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
If there were ever a must win game for the Spartans it was last week. Once a top 10 team this season, MSU was in jeopardy of falling below the .500 mark last week. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell played a mistake free game as the offense opened up the passing game more so than in previous weeks. The Spartans defense was on point as usual, holding the Badgers to just 19 yards rushing and 10 points entering overtime. Nebraska heads to East Lansing fresh off a win over the Wolverines. The Cornhuskers turned the ball over twice, committed eight penalties for 104 yards and settled for field goals twice inside the redzone, though. All mistakes they won’t be able to make against MSU. Last week’s close win was what the Spartans needed to instill some confidence in them after two close losses. Nebraska, who’s been even more mistake prone on the road this season, drops a close one in favor of the Spartans. Pick: Michigan State 17 – Nebraska 14
Arizona State (5-3) @ #11 Oregon State (6-1)
10:30 ET, ESPN2, Sat. Nov. 3, Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
Once one of the nation’s top scoring defenses, the Sun Devils have had the Ducks and Bruins drop 43 and 45 points on them respectively over their last two games. The Beavers lost their undefeated season last week at Washington and will now make a change at quarterback after Sean Mannion’s four interceptions a week ago. It can be dangerous switching quarterbacks halfway through the season, but junior Cody Vaz has played well in two starts and off the bench last week. The Beavers have one of the nation’s top defenses led by defensive end Scott Crichton’s eight sacks. They also welcome back top wideout Marcus Wheaton, who returns from a concussion. Under the friendly confides of Reser Stadium, the Beavers get back on track and send ASU home with their third straight loss. Pick: Oregon State 27 – Arizona State 18
Michigan (5-3) @ Minnesota (5-3)
12:00 ET, BTN, Sat. Nov. 3, TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
The battle for the Little Brown Jug features a pair of quarterback questions looming. The Wolverines appear to have Denard Robinson back, a week after he sat half the Nebraska game with an apparent arm injury. The Gophers may have true freshman Philip Nelson under center once again this week, fresh off a three touchdown win over Purdue. Nelson is currently filling in for Max Shortell, who looks to miss his third straight game. The Wolverines can’t afford to lose Robinson again, after a horrendous performance displayed by backup Russell Bellomy last week. The ground game is going to have to get it done for the Wolverines if they expect to win against a pass defense ranked No. 7 in the country. With last minute news that Robinson is out and Bellomy in, the Gophers get the upset win behind thier defense. Pick: Minnesota 27 – Michigan17
Last Week: 7-4 – Overall: 36-22

No comments:

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