Picks: Spurrier vs. Saban, Denard vs. MSU
I'm coming off a mediocre week, where I went .500 against the line, keeping me at three over for the season against the number: The good: picking underdog Utah State to beat BYU. The bad: picking Ohio State to blow out Illinois. The ugly: picking LSU to thump Tennessee.
A couple of housekeeping notes here: First, all game times listed below are ET. Second, in this blog every Thursday I only pick Thursday and Friday night televised games, then Saturday games involving teams ranked in the Top 25. Usually, I will jump in the comments on the blog and pick other games of interest to different fans who ask. If I had to pick every FBS game, this entry could get a bit long.
The 3:30 p.m. slot games that are listed as 'ABC Regional' can usually be found on ESPN2 in other areas. Check your local listings. If there's no TV network listed for a game below, also check local listings.
Here we go:
Thursday and Friday games
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Kansas State Wildcats
7:30 p.m., Thursday (ESPN)
Taylor Martinez wasn't rattled when he went on the road to play Washington and I don't see him struggling on the Thursday night stage because he's got plenty of help around him. K-State doesn't have enough athletes on D to slow him down. The Cats are just 102nd in the country against the run. I also expect the NU defense to spend a lot of time in the State backfield. Nebraska 35-17.
Connecticut Huskies at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
7:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN)
Rutgers has won five in a row in this series and Greg Schiano's program seems to respond well to the big national TV odd-night stage. Still, the Scarlet Knights looked awful losing to Tulane, the QB situation is really shaky (Tom Savage seems hurt) and the O-line has had a lot of problems (109th in sacks allowed). I'll go with the Huskies. UConn 23-21.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns
9 p.m. Friday (ESPN2)
Dana Holgorsen's OSU offense is second in the nation in scoring and faces a team that is 103rd in pass D and 108th in scoring defense. I expect the Cowboys to roll over ULL, which also has had all sorts of problems protecting the passer (114th in sacks allowed) and OSU DE Ugo Chinasa, a former prep basketball star, is coming off a great game against Texas A&M and should have another one here. Oklahoma State 48-14.