Story by Yousaf Khan
Game of the Week:
#16 TCU at #6 Oklahoma State (3:30 PM ESPN)
Big early showdown in the Big 12 that should have plenty of explosive plays as both teams avg over 49 points a game. Oklahoma State quarterback and Heisman candidate Mason Rudolph already has 11 passing touchdowns and has the one of the nations top receiving units lead by WR James Washington. Predicting a Cowboy win at home, (this was one of my playoff picks), as they continue toward a goal of winning the Big 12.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 41, TCU 31
Game of the Week (Part 2)
#17 Mississippi State at #11 Georgia (7:00 PM on ESPN)
Fresh off a dominating win over LSU the Miss State Bulldogs look to make some noise in the SEC and travel to Athens this week for another SEC showdown. MSU relies on their dual threat QB Nick Fitzgerald and a strong running game that averages close to 300 yards a game led by RB Aries Williams and Fitzgerald. Oh by the way, they also have a suffocating d that held LSU to 7 points and shutout in the first game. The Georgia Bulldogs are led by experienced RB’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michael that better come prepared to protect home turf. I will go with MSU to win this game with their strong running attack and stellar defense.
Prediction MSU 24, Georgia 16
State Games, LSU
Temple at #21 USF (7:00 PM on ESPN on Thursday 9/21)
Finally, the Bulls came out to play and beat down Big Ten opponent Illinois last week in a 47-23 win and looked like the team from last year. Up next is a conference foe Temple Owls, the only conference loss from last year and the reason the Bulls missed out on the conference championship game. The Owls are not the same team as they have already got blown out by Notre Dame in week 1, 49-16. Look for another big game from QB Quinton Flowers and the running game as the Bulls are expected to win in this one.
Prediction USF 38, Temple 20
NC State at #12 FSU (12:00 PM ABC/ESPN2)
After a 2 week layoff due to Hurricane Irma, the Seminoles look to get their first win of the season and will have true freshman James Blackmon at QB in his first start. FSU will need to rely on their defense and running game as Blackmon gets adjusted to the college speed and is playing a great defensive line in NC State. The Seminoles should pull away in the 4th quarter based on their talent and superior coaching but if the wolves can rattle Blackmon an upset is not out of the question.
Prediction FSU 26, NC State 16
Toledo at #14 Miami (3:30 PM ACCNetwork)
The Miami Hurricanes are still feeling the effects of real life Hurricane Irma as the team has been displaced in Disney’s Wide World of sports in Orlando for practice. The team will have its first game in 3 weeks when they play on Saturday and just want to get back to their normal routines. No practices were held for 2 weeks, including weight training sessions, and many players were actually scrounging around for food for a few days when the Hurricane hit. Look for an emotional game out of the Canes to help combat some of the fatigue of having not practiced/played in the last 3 weeks. The Canes will need to lean on stud RB Mark Walton, a few big plays in the passing game and a few turnovers from the defense to help out for the win. The Rockets come in averaging 46 points a game and are 3-0 to start the season. Miami might struggle for a little but should put the Rockets out by the 4th quarter.
Prediction Miami 34, Toledo 23
#20 Florida at Kentucky (7:30 PM SECN)
The Gators are coming off an emotional win in their last second victory over rival Tennessee and spring board their season after losing the opener to Michigan. However, the Gators are only favored by 3 as the Wildcats are 3-0 on the season and get the game at home. It’s been 31 years since the last time the Gators lost to the Wildcats in 1986 and lead the all-time series 50-7. Look for the trend to continue as the Gators look to have found their full time starter at QB in Felipe Franks and still have a top notch defense.
Prediction Florida 27, Kentucky 16
Syracuse at #25 LSU (7:00 PM ESPN2)
LSU got shell-shocked on the road last week in a loss to MSU 37-7 and are back home against the underwhelming Syracuse Orange. LSU will once again lean on their running game and Derruis Guice and their defense to lead the way but need to get some consistency out of QB Danny Etling or might need a change at that position.
Prediction LSU 34, Syracuse 20
UCF at Maryland (3:00 PM FS1)
UCF is in tough spot after not playing a game since their opener 3 weeks ago because of Hurricane Irma and now must go on the road to play an improved Maryland team. The Terps are averaging 57 points a game and have a stellar running game averaging 315 yards a game. UCF QB Mckienzie Milton must come out and have another great game for the Knights to win. However, under the tough circumstances I see the Terps winning at home.
Prediction Maryland 38, UCF 26
*All games Saturday 9/23 unless otherwise noted.
“Da Guru’s” record for last 2-2, on the season 11-3.