Story by Yousaf Khan
Game of the Week
#2 Clemson at #12 Virginia Tech (8:00 PM on ESPN)
The defending champs have another early test in September going on the road in a hostile environment in the confines of Lane stadium to face the #12 Hokies. Kelly Bryant gets another national audience to showcase why he is the starting QB for the Tigers but needs some help from the ground game against a tough Hokies rush defense. The Hokies are led by QB Josh Jackson and his amazing 11-1 touchdown to turnover ratio after 4 games. The problem is he now has to face a vicious Clemson defense led by their standout defensive line including those 2 stud defensive tackles. I see a close game in this one but the Tigers pulling away in the 4th quarter as the have the edge in big game experience.
Prediction Clemson 30, Virginia Tech 20
Game of the Week (Part II)
Memphis at UCF (7:00 PM ESPN2)
Between Classes Sports will covering one of the biggest games in years for the Knights, fresh off an impressive 38-10 win over Big Ten opponent Maryland. Look for some great pics and articles after the game recapping this battle. Memphis had an exciting win over then #25 UCLA a few weeks ago and is looking to make some noise in the American Athletic Conference. Expect a high scoring game featuring two offenses that average close to 500 yards a game and 43 points a game. I expect UCF to hang on for the win at home led by QB McKenzie Milton and linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
Prediction UCF 41, Memphis 30
State Games and LSU
#14 Miami at Duke (7:00 PM ESPN on Friday 9/27/17)
The Hurricanes go on the road for the first time this season as they begin conference play against the (4-0) Duke Blue Devils. Miami looked a little shaky in the first half against Toledo last week, probably due to a 3 week layoff, but were on fire in the second half. QB Malik Rosier did a nice job of spreading the ball to have an efficient 300 yard, 3 TD game along with beast RB Mark Walton going over 200 yards on the ground. Duke comes in with an unblemished record and a strong defense, especially the run defense that is only allowing 65 yards a game, ranked second nationally. Something will have to give to Miami, who are lead on the ground by Walton and backup RB Travis Homer leading the Canes to average 285 yards rushing a game. This has the makings to be trap game with the FSU looming next week, but Miami should prevail to move to 3-0 on the season.
Prediction Miami 33, Duke 23
#21 USF at East Carolina (12:00 PM on CBSSN)
The Bulls continue to remain unbeaten and coming a great team win in beating Temple 43-7. The defense and ground game look superb but QB Quinton Flowers is still having some issues in the passing game. Good thing ECU is on the schedule as they are 1-3 on the season and the Bulls should be able to win this one easily. Expecting another strong running attack by Flowers and RB’s Tice and Johnson as they go over 300 yards again and some turnovers by the defense to put this one away.
Prediction USF 43, East Carolina 17
The Gators pulled off another last minute win on the road vs Kentucky and are probably giving fans high blood pressure and heart problems weekly. The one issue is still the quarterback position, last year’s starter Luke Del Rio came in the 4th quarter to put 14 points on the board for the 1 point victory. Vanderbilt is coming into the game at 3-1 but fresh off a 59-0 blowout loss to #1 Alabama. The Gators should probably lean on their ground game and stud RB Malik Davis from Tampa who has over 90 yards rushing in each of the last two games.
Prediction Florida 27, Vanderbilt 17
FSU at Wake Forest (3:30 PM ABC)
Wow, how the mighty have fallen as FSU is now 0-2 in late September and not ranked for the first time since 2011. The season started with such high hopes as the #3 team and a playoff contender but the opening loss to Bama along with the injury of starting QB Francois has the Noles in desperation mode. The Seminoles need to right the ship asap as the still have ranked teams Miami, Louisville, Clemson and Florida on the schedule. Wake Forest comes in with a 4-0 record and would love to have a signature win vs the Noles. I expect FSU to win this game with their superior talent and coaching but wouldn’t be surprised if they lose again.
Prediction FSU 27, Wake Forest 19
Troy at #25 LSU (7:00 PM ESPNU)
LSU needs to start playing better as they survived a scare from Syracuse last week to win 35-26. Up next is another undermanned opponent in Troy and the Tigers are expected to win big. That passing game better get some kinks worked out as they start focusing on SEC play next week with a visit to Florida. Hopefully star RB Derrius Guice will be back to his normal self as he had a lackluster game vs the Orange due to an injury.
Prediction LSU 41, Troy 16
*All games Saturday 9/30 unless otherwise noted.
“Da Guru’s” record for last 4-4 (what an off week, FSU and OK State disappointed), on the season 15-7.