UAB at 16 Ohio State – UAB gave up 49 points last week to a South Carolina offense that can’t throw the football. Ohio State has a much better running quarterback, one that can actually pass a little. Buckeyes roll in their final tune-up before Urban Meyer greets the Big Ten.
Ohio State 54, UAB 6
UTEP at Wisconsin – UTEP gave Oklahoma a very tough game in the season opener, and we know this Wisconsin team isn’t who we thought they were. Still, I think the Badgers have enough to beat UTEP. A narrow escape in last weeks home game against Utah State was expected, but Utah State is better than UTEP. Bret Bielema had the best case scenario this week at practice. A close win against a non-BCS team allows for plenty of attention to detail (and yelling) in film, but you still get the W.
Wisconsin 26, UTEP 13
Central Michigan at Iowa – I hate poking fun at Iowa, and their style of play, I really do – it’s just they don’t have much offensive firepower and quarterback James Vandenberg was supposed to have thrown a touchdown by now. Kirk Ferentz is a terrific coach, and he’ll make things ugly to get a win. Central Michigan is ripe for the pounding, I just don’t know if Iowa is capable.
Iowa 22, Central Michigan 9
South Dakota at Northwestern – Northwestern finally gets a break. They have played similarly talented teams the first three weeks of the year, and emerged 3-0 and all the better for it. It appears that Pat Fitzgerald’s squad will be a tough out again this year. Northwestern rolls over South Dakota and doesn’t need a fourth quarter miracle to do it.
Northwestern 41, South Dakota 13
Eastern Michigan at 21 Michigan State – Michigan State is huge and physical and pissed off about last week’s game. They were physically dominated for the first time in a long time by an improved Notre Dame team; and should be ready to bully little brother. Eastern Michigan is the worst of the directional schools and they are about to be reminded. Le’Veon Bell should go wild – and by the third quarter the little guys won’t want to tackle him.
Michigan State 38, Eastern Michigan 7
Idaho State at 25 Nebraska – Nebraska ran all over Arkansas State last weekend and this won’t be much different. Idaho State isn’t in the same league as Nebraska, and with the Huskers style of play Idaho State doesn’t have a chance. It’s not like the Husker offense can have many off days, it’s like Remember the Titans and the Veer, it’s like Novocain, just give it time and it always works.
Nebraska 45, Idaho State 6
Temple at Penn State – Penn State narrowly left Philadelphia last year with a 14-10 win over Temple. And that was a better Penn State team than it is today. How will the Penn State team and crowd react after last years win? Can it provide enough home field advantage to support Penn State when Temple is an actual threat and rival? It will be very interesting to monitor such questions this year. I believe Penn State has enough in the tank, and enough pride, to pull one out against Temple.
Penn State 21, Temple 17
Louisiana Tech at Illinois – Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is finally expected to play for Illinois; this after backup Reilly O’Toole set an all-time Illinois record for passing percentage. At this point the Illini really don’t know what they have in Tim Beckman’s offense with Scheelhaase behind center, but they’ll find out soon. Louisiana Tech can and will score, and as Illinois learned against Arizona State, it isn’t great against supremely fast tempo. The Illini hoped the dress rehearsal beatdown in Tempe taught them how to better deal with it. Louisiana Tech has scored 56 points in each of their two games this year and is ranked in the top 20 in both rushing and passing yards.
Illinois 31, La Tech 28
18 Michigan at 11 Notre Dame – It’s fitting that to get over the hump Notre Dame has to beat Michigan. Despite Michigan being down the past few years, they still hold an edge over Notre Dame – including a last minute comeback last year in Ann Arbor’s first ever night game. The Irish have had a problem slowing down the running attack of Denard Robinson; and senior linebacker Manti Te’o would love to have an impact at least once in this contest. Notre Dame showed last week against Michigan State that it is becoming very good at forcing opponents into playing a brand they aren’t comfortable with. If Notre Dame can make Robinson throw, it will give Everett Golson enough light to win this game.
Notre Dame 28, Michigan 21
Syracuse at Minnesota – The Cuse have played a tough schedule this year, and Minnesota has played nobody. I expect both quarterbacks to play well against relatively green defenses, and the Cuse experience in close games to give them the edge. I know Minnesota won a week 1 overtime affair against UNLV, but that isn’t the same as playing a battle tested Syracuse team. Remember that Syracuse gave USC all it could handle for a good portion of their game.
Syracuse 34, Minnesota 27
Upset of the Week –
Missouri at 7 South Carolina – Missouri just pounded a very good Arizona State team at home, making up for their collapse against SEC bully Georgia. You can bet that South Carolina is watching more Georgia tape than Arizona State, and those kids have a habit of coming up short when flat. James Franklin has the athleticism to give the South Carolina defense problems, and Missouri should be able to score enough points to make it hard on South Carolina’s blithering offense. A Spurrier team has never looked so one-dimensional. I watched South Carolina against Vanderbilt, and they were luck to get out of Nashville with a win – Missouri is very similar in style of play to Vandy, just much better.
Missouri 32, South Carolina 24