Time to make some picks 

October, 7, 2009

I had a decent week, going two over .500 against the line, putting me two-over for the season versus the number. The good: picking Duke to keep it kinda close against Virginia Tech. The bad: picking Michigan to beat Michigan State. The ugly: picking Iowa to thump Arkansas State. Here are this week's guesses:

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Missouri Tigers (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Blaine Gabbert has been outstanding so far, with a terrific 11-0 TD-INT ratio, but now he faces his stiffest test. NU's D is holding opposing QBs to just 50 percent on their passes. Mizzou has dominated this series the past two years, outscoring NU 93-23. I'm tempted to go with the Huskers, but I think Gabbert will respond well to the prime-time stage. The pick is Missouri 24, Nebraska 14.

I do want to add a caveat, though: The Huskers have held all four opponents to an aggregate 50.4 completion percentage, second-best in the Big 12. Among all FBS teams, only USC has yet to give up a passing touchdown. Nebraska's given up one, to Virginia Tech. Other than the 81-yard catch and run by the Hokies in the closing minutes of Tech's comeback win three weeks ago, the Huskers have given up seven completions of 20 yards or more, including four that gained 32 yards or more.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Nevada Wolf Pack (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Nevada is coming off a spectacular offensive show, amassing almost 800 total yards against UNLV -- and doing most of that damage on the ground. Nevada had three runners with over 170 yards in that game. Now it faces a La. Tech defense that isn't much better against the run than UNLV's, since Tech is only ranked 105th in the country. Tech's Daniel Porter is a dangerous runner himself and should do some damage against the Pack (52nd in the country against the run), but Colin Kaepernick and company will be too much. The pick is Nevada 42, Louisiana Tech 24.

Boston College Eagles at Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN360)

The Eagles have been a pleasant surprise this season and the Hokies are coming off a suspect performance at Duke. Expect Tech to flip the switch and maul a limited BC offense. The Eagles are 4-0 at home, but were handled at Clemson (25-7). The pick is Virginia Tech 24, Boston College 7.

To see the rest of Bruce's picks -- Bama/Ole Miss, Wisconsin/OSU and UF/LSU among them -- and to read a boatload of information about recruiting among the best players in Florida, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

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