College Football Picks: Week 10 Predictions for Every Game

Brian Pedersen@realBJPFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2013

College Football Picks: Week 10 Predictions for Every Game

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    There are eight college football teams still unbeaten as we head into Week 10 of the 2013 season, and one thing is for certain: At least four of those will still have unblemished records by the end of the weekend.

    Now, before you start attacking your keyboard or touchscreen to start declaring such a prediction as madness, take note that three unbeatens (Alabama, Baylor and Oregon) have byes this week, while two of the perfectos square off in the Florida Panhandle when 7-0 clubs Florida State and Miami (Fla.) tussle.

    Whether Fresno State, Northern Illinois and Ohio State can remain unscathed through Week 10—one is at home, two are on the road—remains to be seen, but rest assured, we have our picks for those and all the other games that take place between Thursday evening and late Saturday night.

    Sorry, fans of Cincinnati and Memphis, playing on a Wednesday night disqualifies your teams from the fortune telling.

    Click through the slideshow to see who we've picked this week. Our predictions for Week 9 netted a 41-13 record; how will it go this time around?

     

    Rankings used reflect teams' place in latest BCS standings.

Virginia Tech at Boston College

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Virginia Tech won, 30-23, in overtime, last November, its fifth straight win over Boston College.

    What to watch for: Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-1 ACC) laid the season's biggest egg of a bad game last week, losing, 13-10, at home to a Duke team that had less than 200 yards and committed four turnovers. The Hokies defense has carried them all year, but even that unit can't always be expected to take charge, so when Tech fails to do anything on offense, it will have issues.

    Boston College (3-4, 1-3 ACC) has lost four of five, the only win in that span coming against Army and mostly because Andre Williams ran for 263 yards and five touchdowns. While the Eagles have managed to stay close with Clemson and Florida State, overall, they've been very inconsistent and often noncompetitive.

    If Virginia Tech stinks it up again like last week, expect the calls for Frank Beamer's head to start getting louder.

    Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 20

    **Update: Boston College 34, Virginia Tech 27

No. 17 Northern Illinois at Massachusetts

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Northern Illinois won the teams' first-ever meeting, 63-0, last November.

    What to watch for: Northern Illinois (8-0, 4-0 Mid-American) goes as quarterback Jordan Lynch goes. He's the Huskies' leading rusher with more than 1,000 yards, in addition to throwing 18 touchdown passes, and he even caught a TD last week. He's the focal point of a fast-paced offense that doesn't stop until the game is over.

    Massachusetts (1-7, 1-3) is basically a winless team, since its one victory was by seven points over 0-8 Miami (Ohio), and last week, it lost at home to previously winless Western Michigan when the Minutemen decided to go for two in the final minute instead of going to overtime. This program hasn't shown any improvement from the first year of FBS to this one.

    It'll be another easy (and prolific) day for Lynch and NIU.

    Prediction: Northern Illinois 47, Massachusetts 17

    **Update: Northern Illinois 63, Massachusetts 19

Temple at Rutgers

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Rutgers won, 35-10, last October.

    What to watch for: Temple (1-7, 0-4 American) is better than its record shows, at least as far as being able to avoid blowout losses for the most part. The Owls have also seemed to find some offensive rhythm the last few weeks, racking up 49 points and nearly 600 yards (albeit in a 10-point loss) at SMU last Saturday.

    Rutgers (4-3, 1-2 American) did not come out of its bye week well, getting thumped at home by Houston and casting doubt on a season that looked to be a promising one in the depleted AAC. Quarterback Gary Nova has disappeared, throwing one touchdown and seven interceptions in the Scarlet Knights' last two games, both losses.

    What should have been a walk in the park is going to be a struggle for the home team.

    Prediction: Rutgers 31, Temple 27

    **Update: Rutgers 23, Temple 20

Illinois at Penn State

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    Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Penn State won, 35-7, in Champaign last September.

    What to watch for: Illinois (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten) is a far cry from the team that blew out Cincinnati in the second week of the season, losing four of five since then and playing the role of major whipping boy in league play. The Fighting Illini make a habit of falling behind early, and quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase isn't good enough to lead comebacks. 

    Penn State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) bookended its thrilling four-overtime win over Michigan with a pair of stinkers, losing by 20 at Indiana and then suffering a 63-14 whooping at Ohio State last week. Christian Hackenberg got exposed a bit by the Buckeyes, but if he's able to avoid a pass rush, he's dangerous enough and has a great weapon in Allen Robinson to chuck it to.

    Expect the host Nittany Lions to get their turn on the Illini beatdown tour.

    Prediction: Penn State 38, Illinois 17

    **Update: Penn State 24, Illinois 17 (OT)

Army at Air Force

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    Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Army won, 41-21, at home last November.

    What to watch for: Army (3-5) hasn't played a close game yet, either winning or losing by at least 14 points every time out. That means the Black Knights—the nation's top rushing team—are either able to run at will and control the clock or are behind and simply can't make comebacks on the ground. Army has only one receiver with more than seven receptions, and he only averages 2.9 per game.

    Air Force (1-7) has a similar offensive approach, though not as good, and as a result, the Falcons have trailed for the majority of their seven-game losing streak. They were least competitive last week in a spotlight game against Notre Dame, giving up 31 unanswered points after keeping it close in the first half.

    Considering the like-minded game plans, this could be among the quickest games of the season.

    Prediction: Air Force 33, Army 30

    **Update: Air Force 42, Army 28

No. 24 Wisconsin at Iowa

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Appointment television

    Last meeting: Wisconsin won, 31-30, in Oct. 2010.

    What to watch for: Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) wants to think it's a good team, but so far it hasn't been able to come through against a quality opponents. While the Badgers handily destroy bad teams, they've lost on the road at Arizona State—late-game craziness aside, they didn't play well on defense—and Ohio State. The run game has been there all season, but Joel Stave still hasn't hit his stride at QB.

    Iowa (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) doesn't have the talent and ability to blow anyone out, yet at the same time, the Hawkeyes find a way to keep things close in games they shouldn't win (i.e. at Ohio State). Other than winning at Minnesota before the Golden Gophers went on a roll, Iowa has no quality victories to brag about.

    This game will serve as the best win for the victor, and another example of the loser's lack of real success.

    Prediction: Iowa 25, Wisconsin 22

    **Update: Wisconsin 28, Iowa 9

No. 4 Ohio State at Purdue

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    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Ohio State needed overtime last October to win, 29-22, at home.

    What to watch for: Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) has moved into show-off mode now that it's seen where it sits in the eyes of BCS voters and computer models. The Buckeyes need to keep winning impressively to enhance an otherwise dull resume before the finale against Michigan and the Big Ten title game, which means keeping the foot on the pedal all game. Just ask Penn State.

    Purdue (1-6, 0-3 Big Ten) is the front-runner for worst team in major college football this season, as the Boilermakers have looked so bad they'd probably struggle with fellow BCS-conference doormats like California, Kansas and Kentucky. Their last two home games resulted in losses by 31 (to Northern Illinois) and 37 (to Nebraska); neither game was that close.

    Purdue beat OSU at home in overtime two years ago. Highlights from that game on the video board will be the only thing for Boilermaker fans to cheer about.

    Prediction: Ohio State 49, Purdue 13

    **Update: Ohio State 56, Purdue 0

Mississippi State at No. 14 South Carolina

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12:21 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: South Carolina won, 14-12, in Oct. 2011.

    What to watch for: Mississippi State (4-3, 1-2 SEC) struggled to beat league bottom-feeder Kentucky at home last Thursday, following up a one-point home win over Bowling Green. Yet at the same time, the Bulldogs nearly won at Auburn in September and blew out a decent Troy team by 55, but also got whooped, 59-26, at home by LSU. It's like the team throws a dart blindly at the wall each week to determine how it will play.

    South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) pulled off an amazing comeback to beat Missouri in overtime last week, and now suddenly, the Gamecocks look promising after losing to Tennessee the game before. South Carolina can still win the SEC East with some help, and it also has the luxury of staying home the rest of the regular season. The Gamecocks haven't lost in Columbia in 25 months.

    That home-field advantage will remain.

    Prediction: South Carolina 34, Mississippi State 21

    **Update: South Carolina 34, Mississippi State 16

North Carolina at North Carolina State

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: North Carolina won, 43-35, at home last October.

    What to watch for: North Carolina (2-5, 1-3 ACC) is among the most disappointing teams from a BCS conference, coming off a bowl-banned 8-4 season with plenty of experience and talent returning. Yet, the Tar Heels have squandered several chances to get a big win, most notably two weeks ago when they had unbeaten Miami (Fla.) on the ropes at home.

    North Carolina State (3-4, 0-4 ACC) has been almost as disappointing under first-year coach Dave Doeren, who's finding that, without someone like Jordan Lynch, his QB at Northern Illinois last season, it's hard to compete. The Wolfpack were just good enough to lose their first three ACC games, and then last week, they were the unfortunate pawn in Florida State's "profile-enhancement" mission.

    Six of the last nine games in this series have been decided by eight or fewer points. That trend will continue.

    Prediction: North Carolina 28, North Carolina State 27

    **Update: North Carolina 27, North Carolina State 19

Wake Forest at Syracuse

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    Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Better than you'd think

    Last meeting: Syracuse won, 36-29, in overtime in a nonconference game to open the 2011 season.

    What to watch for: Wake Forest (4-4, 2-3 ACC) nearly pulled off the biggest shocker of 2013 when it led unbeaten Miami (Fla.) on the road for nearly the entire game, even retaking the lead in the fourth quarter before, ultimately, falling in the final minute. Other than a 49-point loss to Clemson, the Demon Deacons have looked pretty decent the last month.

    Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 ACC) hasn't had the best of debuts in its new league, with an unimpressive win over NC State to go with blowout losses to Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Orange can't get decent play out of either of their quarterbacks, and their defense lacks playmakers to slow down high-powered or gimmicky offenses.

    This game serves as a must-win for each as far as becoming bowl-eligible is concerned. The loser can almost write off playing in December.

    Prediction: Wake Forest 28, Syracuse 23

    **Update: Syracuse 13, Wake Forest 0

Southern Mississippi at Marshall

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 12:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Marshall won, 59-24, on the road last October.

    What to watch for: Southern Mississippi (0-7, 0-3 Conference USA) had one legitimate chance to end what is now a 19-game losing streak, but lost by one to Florida International at home. The Golden Eagles have maybe one other opportunity, in two weeks against Florida Atlantic, but before that can happen, they need to figure out how to play defense and score in the same game. Most times, USM can't achieve one of those.

    Marshall (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) lost at Middle Tennessee last week on a touchdown caught as time expired, its fourth game decided in the final minutes. The Thundering Herd are 1-3 in those games, showing an inability to close out an opponent, due partly to a drop in production from junior quarterback Rakeem Cato. He averaged 300 yards and threw 37 touchdowns last season, but in 2013, those numbers are down significantly.

    This is a good "get healthy" game for the Herd, who start a stretch of four straight easy games before ending with East Carolina.

    Prediction: Marshall 49, Southern Mississippi 13

    **Update: Marshall 61, Southern Mississippi 13

Middle Tennessee at UAB

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 1 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: UAB won the last meeting, 14-9, in Oct. 2000.

    What to watch for: Middle Tennessee (4-4, 2-2 Conference USA) is coming off its biggest win of the season, a last-play-of-the-game 51-49 home victory against Marshall. It snapped a three-game losing streak and helped the Blue Raiders break through against a quality foe after getting beaten handily by previous such opponents. MTSU now finishes up with four games against teams with a combined 4-24 record.

    UAB (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) has dropped three of four, losing by an average of 21 points in that span, which includes a three-point win over Florida International. The Blazers are among the worst defensive teams in the country, allowing 40.4 points per game, and they don't have an offense to keep pace with those breakdowns.

    Middle Tennessee should roll through the rest of its schedule, starting in Birmingham.

    Prediction: Middle Tennessee 37, UAB 24

    **Update: Middle Tennessee 24, UAB 21

Western Kentucky at Georgia State

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    Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 1 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snooze-fest

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: Western Kentucky (4-4, 1-3 Sun Belt) appears to have peaked during its season-opening win over Kentucky. Despite a three-game win streak midway through, the Hilltoppers regressed in home losses to Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy the last two games to fall out of contention for the Sun Belt title. The only promising sign has been the consistency of running back Antonio Andrews, who leads FBS with 1,180 rushing yards.

    Georgia State (0-8, 0-3 Sun Belt) reverted to hapless-newcomer status in a blowout loss at Louisiana-Monroe last week after a pair of one-score defeats prior to that. The Panthers are finding out how difficult it is to transition to FBS, especially after going 1-10 in FCS the season before.

    Expect WKU's Andrews to have a big game.

    Prediction: Western Kentucky 41, Georgia State 20

    **Update: Western Kentucky 44, Georgia State 28

Arizona at California

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Arizona pulled out a 10-9 win in Sept. 2010.

    What to watch for: Arizona (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) has built momentum with a pair of solid wins, coming back to beat Utah at home and then running (literally) all over Colorado on the road. The Wildcats have the best—and most underrated—running back in the country in FBS rushing leader Ka'Deem Carey, part of an overall-stellar zone-read run game that is starting to be complemented by improved passing.

    California (1-7, 0-5 Pac-12) is among the worst BCS conference teams in the nation, with none of its losses coming by less than 14 points. Ironically, the Golden Bears played their "closest" games early at home against Northwestern and Ohio State, but since have been rolled on by all five Pac-12 foes they've faced. But with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game in freshman Jared Goff, Cal is at least fun to watch on offense.

    However, Arizona will still win without much issue.

    Prediction: Arizona 41, California 23

    **Update: Arizona 33, California 28

Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Appointment television

    Last meeting: Georgia won a 17-9 defensive struggle last October.

    What to watch for: Georgia (4-3, 3-2 SEC) saw its mounting injury issues catch up to it with back-to-back losses versus Missouri and at Vanderbilt, but the Bulldogs are coming off a bye and expect to get standout running back Todd Gurley back from injury. His return will make Georgia a multidimensional team again, meaning defenses can't load up on attacking quarterback Aaron Murray.

    Florida (4-3, 3-2 SEC) has had the same kind of injury luck, but not in terms of getting people back. Most of the standouts the Gators have lost are lost indefinitely, resulting in an already sluggish offense becoming nearly nonexistent. And Florida's defense has let the team down the last few games, making it one of the most disappointing showings from the program in more than 20 years.

    Gurley's return locks this one up for Georgia, but it'll probably still be a competitive game considering the rivalry and series history.

    Prediction: Georgia 29, Florida 16

    **Update: Georgia 23, Florida 20

Minnesota at Indiana

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    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: Minnesota won, 16-7, in Oct. 2008.

    What to watch for: Minnesota (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) has looked either really good or really bad this season. It just so happens the Golden Gophers are in the midst of one of the good stretches, having upset Nebraska at home last week after winning at Northwestern before that. Though the passing game is abysmal, Minnesota's been able to run the ball enough to get the job done, while its defense has been making plays at the right time.

    Indiana (3-4, 1-2 Big Ten) wants to be considered a good team, and it thought a 20-point home win over Penn State would prove that. But until the Hoosiers can play consistent defense—you know, the kind that doesn't allow 63 points the week after yielding 42 to one of the worst offenses in the country—they'll remain in that lower-middle tier of the league.

    But the Hoosiers have a legitimate shot of making a bowl, based on their schedule, if they can pull this one off.

    Prediction: Indiana 34, Minnesota 28

    **Update: Minnesota 42, Indiana 39

Navy at No. 25 Notre Dame

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    Barry Cronin/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Notre Dame won, 50-10, to open the 2012 season in Dublin, Ireland.

    What to watch for: Navy (4-3) is in the Top 10 in rushing, but that effectiveness hasn't always translated to points. The Midshipmen have been held to seven points on two occasions, in losses to Duke and Western Kentucky, and are 1-3 away from Annapolis. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been mostly good, both rushing and passing.

    Notre Dame (6-2) has held its last two opponents (USC and Air Force) to 10 points apiece, while the offense is starting to find more consistency behind Tommy Rees. He needed just 22 attempts to throw five touchdown passes last week, and he's starting to help compensate for one of the worst rushing teams in Fighting Irish history.

    Navy broke through in 2007, 2009 and 2010 after decades of losing, but Notre Dame has regained a stranglehold on this series.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 37, Navy 20

    **Update: Notre Dame 38, Navy 34

No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Appointment television

    Last meeting: Michigan won, 12-10, at home last October.

    What to watch for: Michigan (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) spent its bye week scouring the school archives to see if there were any more offensive records it broke in the 63-47 win over Indiana. Hopefully, the Wolverines looked for a way to shore up their porous defense, which has allowed an average of 45 points the last two weeks.

    Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) was completely dominant in a 42-3 win at Illinois last week, helping to erase the bad taste of an ugly 14-0 home win over Purdue. The Spartans defense remains the best in the country, while their offense has shown flashes here and there now that quarterback Connor Cook is starting to play consistently.

    Michigan State showed it could outscore an uptempo team before and will manage to do it again.

    Prediction: Michigan State 29, Michigan 21

    **Update: Michigan State 29, Michigan 6

Northwestern at Nebraska

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Nebraska squeaked out a 29-28 road win last October.

    What to watch for: Northwestern (4-4, 0-4 Big Ten) showed some long-lost fire in last week's overtime loss at Iowa, rallying from a 10-0 deficit in the second half. But the Wildcats still only scored 10 points, giving them 33 in the three games (all losses) since the heartbreaking home loss to Ohio State. Northwestern has fallen apart since a 4-0 start, and it's unclear if it can put things back together this season.

    Nebraska (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) looked confused and unsure of itself in a loss at Minnesota, suddenly casting doubt on a team that had looked quite good the past few weeks. The Cornhuskers didn't make any stops or get any big plays on offense, allowing their opponent to dictate how the game would go. Nebraska doesn't fare well when it's not in control.

    With a downtrodden opponent in town, complacency could lead to disaster, but look for Nebraska to rebound.

    Prediction: Nebraska 30, Northwestern 17

    **Update: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24

UTSA at Tulsa

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: UTSA (3-5, 2-2 Conference USA) set a school record with 523 yards of total offense in last week's 21-point win over UAB, building off the momentum of a close loss to Rice the week before. The Roadrunners have looked better than most recent FBS newcomers and have talent, but just haven't been able to be consistent on weekly basis.

    Tulsa (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) has had 10 or more wins in four of the past six seasons, but the bottom fell out this year, and the schedule doesn't make becoming bowl-eligible very likely. The Golden Hurricane aren't nearly as prolific as in the past, so they've had to hope for ugly wins.

    This could be the game that lights a spark in Tulsa, though.

    Prediction: Tulsa 33, UTSA 27

    **Update: UTSA 34, Tulsa 15

Kansas at Texas

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Texas won, 21-17, on the road last October.

    What to watch for: Kansas (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) is still a disaster even if it did manage to beat a non-FCS team this year. The Jayhawks haven't scored more than 19 against an FBS opponent, and even when they start off strong (like against Oklahoma two weeks ago), they find ways to screw it up and lose badly.

    Texas (5-2, 4-0 Big 12) seems to have everything going its way right now, making the 1-2 start a distant memory as a balanced offense has been complemented by vast improvement on the defensive side. The Longhorns still have a hellacious last month of the regular season coming up, but for now, they're beating the bad ones like they should.

    And like they will against Kansas.

    Prediction: Texas 46, Kansas 14

    **Update: Texas 35, Kansas 13

No. 8 Clemson at Virginia

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Clemson won, 34-21, in Nov. 2009.

    What to watch for: Clemson (7-1, 5-1 ACC) got back on the winning track last week at Maryland, but still struggled to put away a team that's been on a downward spiral the past month. The Tigers seem to have lost the swagger they had at the beginning of the season, and there's only a few weeks left before the next test at South Carolina.

    Virginia (2-6, 0-4 ACC) got a great effort from quarterback David Watford last week, but he can't do it all himself when there's no help around him. The Cavaliers, somehow, beat BYU to start the season, but since then, they have been atrocious, dropping four games at home and showing no ability to derail an opponent's game plan.

    Clemson isn't struggling enough, and Virginia isn't talented enough, to make this a game.

    Prediction: Clemson 38, Virginia 23

    **Update: Clemson 59, Virginia 10

Kent State at Akron

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: Kent won, 35-24, last November, its third straight win over Akron.

    What to watch for: Kent State (2-7, 1-4 MAC) has lost seven of eight games, with its best performance in that stretch actually a three-point road loss to 8-1 Ball State. The Golden Flashes don't have a reliable defense, and their offense can't score enough for them to win.

    Akron (2-7, 1-4 MAC) ended its woeful streak of losses to FBS opponents two weeks ago, so its season is already considered a success. But the Zips didn't bring in Terry Bowden to just win two games; they want to try to become one of the Mid-American's more consistent teams, which has been a slow process but seems to be happening.

    Look for Akron to match its highest win total since 2009.

    Prediction: Akron 24, Kent State 21

    **Update: Akron 16, Kent State 7

Iowa State at Kansas State

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Kansas State won, 27-21, last October, its fifth straight win over the Cyclones.

    What to watch for: Iowa State (1-6, 0-4 Big 12) has gone from being a hard-luck story with so many narrow (and possibly unfair) victories to now just a beaten-up team with no fight left. The Cyclones have looked mostly listless the last two weeks, unable to bounce back from facing four teams in succession with a combined mark of 25-4.

    Kansas State (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) was in a similar boat with having to face Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor all in a row, but the Wildcats actually played each one closely and then used that momentum to right the ship against West Virginia last week. Despite a 2-4 start, the schedule lines up well enough for K-State to get to six wins and a bowl.

    Knocking off an uninspired Iowa State is the first step in that mission.

    Prediction: Kansas State 37, Iowa State 24

    **Update: Kansas State 41, Iowa State 7

West Virginia at TCU

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: TCU won, 39-38, in overtime last November.

    What to watch for: West Virginia (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) hasn't been able to replicate whatever magic elixir it used to upset Oklahoma State a month ago, because since then, the Mountaineers have mostly looked bad in three straight losses. This move to the Big 12 hasn't been much of a success so far, and it's likely West Virginia will fail to go bowling for the first time since 2001.

    TCU (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) is in a similar predicament, but the Horned Frogs' biggest issue is their woefully inconsistent offense. A switch at quarterback did nothing in a 23-point home loss to Texas, and the defense can only do so much to keep the Frogs in it most weeks.

    Neither of these teams look bowl-bound, but losing this one will almost cinch it.

    Prediction: TCU 28, West Virginia 21

    **Update: West Virginia 30, TCU 27 (OT)

Hawaii at Utah State

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 4 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Utah State won, 35-31, in November 2011.

    What to watch for: Hawaii's (0-7, 0-5 Mountain West) offense has been a lot more Hawaii-like the last month, with Sean Schroeder getting more comfortable at quarterback, but that defense is still giving up 35 points a game. Hard to overcome that.

    Utah State (4-4, 3-1 Mountain West) has weathered the loss of quarterback Chuckie Keeton as best as could be expected, and with a new approach on offense, the Aggies still have enough tools to be able to beat the bad teams on the schedule. There are enough of those that getting back to a bowl game is very doable.

    Getting to play Hawaii always helps in that regard.

    Prediction: Utah State 45, Hawaii 27

    **Update: Utah State 47, Hawaii 10

San Jose State at UNLV

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 4 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: San Jose State won, 55-48, in overtime way back in 1997.

    What to watch for: San Jose State (4-3, 3-1 Mountain West) has seen its offense take off the last three weeks, including last Saturday's 51-point outburst in a last-second shootout win over Wyoming. The Spartans have a hidden gem in quarterback David Fales, one of the game's most prolific-yet-underrated passers.

    UNLV (5-3, 3-1 Mountain West) is having its best season in at least a decade, and it's doing so with a trio of talented skill players the school hasn't had in probably even longer. Quarterback Caleb Herring, running back Tim Cornett and NFL-ready receiver Devante Davis are making big plays, enabling the Runnin' Rebels to win games they couldn't in the past.

    Defense won't be much of a concern in this one.

    Prediction: UNLV 43, San Jose State 41

    **Update: San Jose State 34, UNLV 24

Texas State at Idaho

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    William Mancebo/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 5 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: Texas State won, 38-7, last October, when both teams were in the Western Athletic Conference.

    What to watch for: Texas State (5-3, 2-2 Sun Belt) went 2-1 on its recent three-game homestand but only outscored its opponents by two points. The Bobcats can't blow anyone away, but they also seem to stick around long enough to have a chance most weeks.

    Idaho (1-7) is bad, plain and simple. The Vandals give up 45.1 points a game, only score 16.1 a game, and the only reason they're not winless is because Temple was probably jet lagged from its trip to Moscow.

    The trip isn't as long for Texas State, so the jet lag advantage can't be counted on. Still, the Vandals might just have another win left in them.

    Prediction: Idaho 31, Texas State 27

    **Update: Texas State 37, Idaho 21

New Mexico State at Louisiana-Lafayette

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 5 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: New Mexico State won, 35-32, in October 2004, when both teams were in the Sun Belt Conference

    What to watch for: New Mexico State (1-7) ended its long losing streak with a much-closer-than-it-should-have-been 34-29 win over Abilene Christian, a school transitioning from Division II to FCS. The Aggies are still really bad, don't score much, don't play well on defense and have a horrible schedule due to being a forced independent team this season.

    Louisiana-Lafayette (5-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) is playing its best ball of the season, coming off back-to-back road wins over major Sun Belt competitors Western Kentucky and Arkansas State. The Ragin' Cajuns are riding a five-game win streak and have a schedule that is very conducive to going 10-2.

    Starting with a rout of poor New Mexico State.

    Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette 45, New Mexico State 14

    **Update: Louisiana-Lafayette 49, New Mexico State 35

     

Tulane at Florida Atlantic

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 5 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Better than you'd think

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: Tulane (6-2, 4-0 Conference USA) is coming off an incredibly tense homestand in which it won all three games but needed overtime for one victory and all told claimed the victories by a combined 13 points. The Green Wave is one of the more unimpressive offensive teams in the country but, somehow, has found a way to win four straight en route to its first year of bowl eligibility since 2002.

    Florida Atlantic (2-6, 1-4) was already having a bad season, then coach Carl Pelini and his defensive coordinator both abruptly quit Wednesday (h/t Tim Keeney of Bleacher Report) in the wake of illegal drug use allegations. The Owls have played a hellish schedule, including a 45-10 loss at Auburn last week, and now must face an unbeaten league foe amid the turmoil.

    FAU probably wasn't going to win anyway.

    Prediction: Tulane 25, Florida Atlantic 20

    **Update: Florida Atlantic 34, Tulane 17

No. 11 Auburn at Arkansas

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    John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 6 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: Arkansas beat Auburn, 24-7, last October.

    What to watch for: Auburn (7-1, 3-1 SEC) is back in the national spotlight as it rises in the polls and BCS rankings, just a year removed from a disastrous 3-9 season. The Tigers have but one blemish, a hard-fought loss at LSU, while picking off Ole Miss and Texas A&M along the way thanks to an impressive run game piloted by quarterback Nick Marshall.

    Arkansas (3-5, 0-4) is in a serious tailspin after a 3-0 start, and in the last three games, it has been walloped, 134-17. The Razorbacks have no pass game to speak of, and its run attack has slowed down now that it's the only thing they can rely on.

    For some reason, though, this game smells like a trap for Auburn. Expect a much closer than expected outcome.

    Prediction: Auburn 31, Arkansas 28

    **Update: Auburn 35, Arkansas 17

East Carolina at Florida International

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    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 6 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: East Carolina (5-2, 3-1 Conference USA) is one of the most explosive teams in its league, with an offense paced by a veteran arm in Shane Carden, who has multiple games of 400-plus passing yards this season. The Pirates are eight points shy of being an unbeaten team, and don't struggle with subpar opponents.

    Florida International (1-6, 1-2) is among the bottom 10 nationally in nearly every offensive and defensive statistical category. The Golden Panthers' only victory was a one-point win over Southern Mississippi, a team just as bad as them. They scored 24 points in that one while averaging only nine points per game against everyone else.

    East Carolina takes this one quickly and easily.

    Prediction: East Carolina 47, Florida International 13

    **Update: East Carolina 34, Florida International 13

Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech

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    Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Pittsburgh won, 42-14, way back in 1976.

    What to watch for: Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-2 ACC) has been unable to find any consistency on offense since a 58-point outburst at Duke more than a month ago. Quarterback Tom Savage has averaged 171.3 yards per game and four total touchdowns in four games since that day, when he threw for 424 yards and six TDs.

    Georgia Tech (5-3, 4-2 ACC) has rediscovered its mojo after a midseason three-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets have gone back to the option, which has been the program's trademark for years. The result has been two straight great rushing performances, minus the mistakes that came from passing too much.

    Expect more of the same from Tech this week.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech 31, Pittsburgh 17

    **Update: Georgia Tech 21, Pittsburgh 10

Tennessee at No. 9 Missouri

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    Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Missouri won, 51-48, last November in Knoxville.

    What to watch for: Tennessee (4-4, 1-3 SEC) probably isn't as good as its upset win over South Carolina would indicate, nor are the Volunteers as bad as the 35-point loss they took last week at Alabama. They're somewhere right in the middle, which seems fitting because their schedule sets up to where going 6-6 and making a bowl in Butch Jones' first season is doable.

    Missouri (7-1, 3-1 SEC) suffered the most painful of losses last week, blowing a big lead and then falling in overtime when a chip-shot field goal clanged off the upright. The Tigers weren't likely to go unbeaten anyway, so now that the pressure of a perfect season is off the table, they can focus on more pressing (and realistic) goals, such as holding onto the SEC East Division lead.

    Mizzou needs this one more than the Vols.

    Prediction: Missouri 34, Tennessee 20

    **Update: Missouri 31, Tennessee 3

No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Appointment television

    Last meeting: Oklahoma State won, 59-21, last November, its fourth straight win over Texas Tech.

    What to watch for: Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) has a hard-to-explain loss on its resume, seeing as West Virginia has looked horrible ever since. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have been able to move on and improve each game, especially on the defensive side. OSU is still struggling with quarterback play and needs to get that fixed to beat the Big 12 big boys.

    Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) is no longer unbeaten, which isn't surprising, considering how difficult the top half of the league is. The loss at Oklahoma wasn't a bad one; it pretty much went according to script. How the Red Raiders respond to that, particularly from a defensive standpoint, will determine if they can still have a great season.

    OSU hasn't had to win a shootout, and based on its quarterback situation, it will have trouble in one.

    Prediction: Texas Tech 37, Oklahoma State 31

    **Update: Oklahoma State 52, Texas Tech 34

Eastern Michigan at Toledo

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Toledo won, 52-47, last October, its sixth straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Eastern Michigan (1-7, 0-4 Mid-American) hasn't been close in any of its four league losses, dropping them all by at least 28 points. The Eagles can score a little bit, but in no ways enough to match their woeful defense, which is allowing 44.4 points per game.

    Toledo (5-3, 3-1 Mid-American) took a big step forward with last week's win at Bowling Green, which followed another late victory the week before in overtime against Navy. The Rockets are getting great run production from running back David Fluellen and are at the point where they can compete with everyone in their league.

    This one isn't going to be much of a competition, though.

    Prediction: Toledo 48, Eastern Michigan 13

    **Update: Toledo 55, Eastern Michigan 16

Arkansas State at South Alabama

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    Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Arkansas State won, 36-29, last October.

    What to watch for: Arkansas State (3-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) is on its third coach in as many seasons, but likely won't have to worry about another switch following what's shaping up to be a down year. The Red Wolves lack the explosiveness of past teams, and as a result are struggling to score in most games.

    South Alabama (3-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) could be anywhere from 7-0 to 1-6 based on how close most of their games have gone. The fact the Jaguars haven't been able to win some of those is evidence the team is still young and inexperienced, but it's also a sign that they're not just getting rolled like a lot of recent FBS newcomers.

    The home team gets the edge in what should be another close contest.

    Prediction: South Alabama 27, Arkansas State 23

    **Update: Arkansas State 17, South Alabama 16

Colorado at No. 20 UCLA

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: UCLA won, 42-14, last September in Boulder.

    What to watch for: Colorado (3-4, 0-4 Pac-12) has allowed 49.8 points per game in conference matches, a sign the Buffaloes defense still hasn't made the kind of progress their offense has in Mike McIntyre's first season. Colorado can score, and make big plays, it isn't able to stop an opponent to keep things close.

    UCLA (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) is glad to be back home after the toughest of road swings, losing at Stanford and Oregon to go from a top-10 unbeaten to a team fighting to stay in the hunt for the Pac-12's South Division. The Bruins have become mistake-prone of late, which has short-circuited their ability to be effective on either side of the ball.

    Colorado provides the perfect salve to go along with wound-licking.

    Prediction: UCLA 45, Colorado 24

    **Update: UCLA 45, Colorado 23

Alabama State at Kentucky

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: Alabama State (6-2, 6-1 SWAC) is a decent FCS team that's among the leaders in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, but this weekend, the Hornets are expected to play the role of willing victim.

    Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC) has a victory over a winless Miami (Ohio) team and not much else to show for itself in Mark Stoops' first season. Getting to finally play an inferior opponent, and this late in the season, could provide the Wildcats with a nice boost of confidence heading into a final stretch of the season that doesn't include games that look winnable.

    It will finally be a happy night in Lexington after nearly two months of frustration.

    Prediction: Kentucky 38, Alabama State 17

    **Update: Kentucky 48, Alabama State 14

New Mexico at San Diego State

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: San Diego State won, 35-7, in November 2011.

    What to watch for: New Mexico (2-5, 0-3 Mountain West) has one of the country's best rushing attacks but still finds ways to lose badly, because it can't slow opponents down on the other side of the ball. How else does a team rush for 497 yards and still lose by 14 points at home?

    San Diego State (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West) was a blocked field goal from being a BCS buster, instead losing at home to Fresno State last week in overtime. The Aztecs have played a lot of close games but unfortunately haven't been able to close the deal most times.

    This one probably won't be as tight.

    Prediction: San Diego State 47, New Mexico 28

    **Update: San Diego State 35, New Mexico 30

Boise State at Colorado State

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    Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Better than you'd think

    Last meeting: Boise State won, 42-14, last October.

    What to watch for: Boise State (5-3, 3-1 Mountain West) is searching for a new identity with quarterback Joe Southwick done for the year due to injury. Grant Hedrick is okay, but the offense is not the same with Hedrick at the helm, so the Broncos are looking to be more of a run team behind talented back Jay Ajayi. They're also going to be more reliant on their improved defense.

    Colorado State (4-4, 2-1 Mountain West) snuck out of Hawaii with a win last week, which followed up a solid blowout win at Wyoming the game before. The Rams are playing with lots of confidence under first-year coach Jim McElwain, and look poised to be a contender in the league after being toward the bottom the last few seasons.

    Beating Boise is a step in the right direction for Colorado State.

    Prediction: Colorado State 28, Boise State 24

    **Update: Boise State 42, Colorado State 30

No. 7 Miami (Fla.) at No. 3 Florida State

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Appointment television

    Last meeting: Florida State won, 33-20, at Miami last October, the Seminoles' third straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Miami (7-0, 3-0 ACC) could just as easily be 5-2 on the year, choosing to wait until the final moments the last two weeks to beat North Carolina and Wake Forest. But the Hurricanes are a confident bunch, devoid of panic, which explains why they've stuck to the run even while trailing in those games. Having a back like Duke Johnson helps.

    Florida State (7-0, 5-0 ACC) is out to prove it deserves to be in the national championship game, but blowout wins over most of the ACC won't get it done. The Seminoles crushed Clemson on the road two weeks ago, and another big win against a top-ranked opponent will go a long way toward giving them a shot at a spot in the BCS title game.

    This won't be a blowout the Vegas lines are making it out to be, but it's still going to be FSU all the way.

    Prediction: Florida State 33, Miami 21

    **Update: Florida State 41, Miami 14

UTEP at No. 12 Texas A&M

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    Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 9 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Texas A&M won, 45-17, in 2000.

    What to watch for: UTEP (1-6, 0-4 C-USA) has a win over New Mexico State, and not much else on the year. The Miners have either lost shootouts or been blown out.

    Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) can treat this game like a glorified bye week. They will several chances to go up big early, get the starters out and give some game time to backups. Games like this are part of why the SEC tends to stay so strong each year and why the Aggies will be in a better position to handle their last three games.

    Johnny Manziel is done by halftime.

    Prediction: Texas A&M 59, UTEP 10

    **Update: Texas A&M 57, UTEP 7

Nevada at No. 16 Fresno State

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 10:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Fresno won, 52-36, last November.

    What to watch for: Nevada (3-5, 2-3 Mountain West) has lost three straight, and each loss has been tougher to take if a fan of the Wolf Pack. Falling at home to rival UNLV might have been the nail in the coffin for this season, as the schedule remains tough the rest of the way.

    Fresno State (7-0, 4-0 Mountain West) escaped in overtime at San Diego State and will be looking to get itself back on the path of winning big and with authority. David Carr and Davante Adams make up one of the best pass-catching combos in the country, and they want to get into a BCS bowl. For that to happen, the Bulldogs not only need to keep winning, but also have to win big enough to improve their computer ratings.

    At least 40 should go up for the home team in this one.

    Prediction: Fresno State 45, Nevada 22

    **Update: Fresno State 41, Nevada 23

South Florida at Houston

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    **Update: Houston 35, South Florida 23

     

    When: Thursday, Oct. 31; 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: South Florida won, 32-14, in Nov. 2002.

    What to watch for: South Florida (2-5, 2-1 American) appeared to be on an upswing by winning its first two league games after a horrendous 0-4 start, including a nice upset of Cincinnati. Then, Louisville came into town and reminded the Bulls how bad they are in a 34-3 drubbing. USF has failed to top 26 points in a game this season.

    Houston (6-1, 3-0 American) has scored at least 22 in every game and, in its last two, is averaging 47.5 as the Cougars offense has kicked into high gear behind quarterback John O'Korn. Even in their home loss to BYU two weeks ago, they showed a level of competitiveness that wasn't there before, and it's like that defeat awoke a sleeping giant.

    A giant that will stomp all over its latest prey.

    Prediction: Houston 44, South Florida 14

     

Rice at North Texas

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    **Update: North Texas 28, Rice 16

     

    When: Thursday, Oct. 31; 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rice pulled out a 32-31 nonconference win in Sept. 2010.

    Last meeting: Better than you'd think

    What to watch for: Rice (6-2, 4-0 Conference USA) is unbeaten in its league, but the wins haven't exactly all been by a landslide. Prior to the recent blowouts of UTEP and New Mexico State, the Owls' previous three victories had been by a combined 13 points (including in overtime at Tulsa) against teams that are a combined 7-16. Though not on the explosive side, their run game is allowing for game-tempo control.

    North Texas (5-3, 3-1 Conference USA) seems to be hitting its stride as the season enters the home stretch. The Mean Green have won three straight, each one more impressive than the last, and that's on top of an impressive early season win over an 8-1 Ball State team and a hang-with-you-for-three-quarters effort at Georgia. Get past this one and North Texas could run the table.

    It's a shame it's on Halloween, because it should be a fun and competitive battle.

    Prediction: North Texas 27, Rice 23

     

Louisiana-Monroe at Troy

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    **Update: Louisiana-Monroe 49, Troy 37

     

    When: Thursday, Oct. 31; 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Louisiana-Monroe won, 38-10, in Oct. 2011.

    What to watch for: Louisiana-Monroe (4-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) is at .500 despite having one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the country, at 19.9 points per game. Take away the 48 scored against FCS Grambling and last week's 38 against FBS newbie Georgia State and the Warhawks are averaging 12.2. Their defense, meanwhile, is allowing 33.2 in those same games.

    Troy (5-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) has one of the nation's most veteran QB-WR combos in quarterback Corey Robinson and receiver Eric Thomas, whose combined production has enabled the Trojans to win (or be in) every game other than a September anomaly blowout at Mississippi State. Troy has won three straight, including a road victory at Western Kentucky last week.

    These teams are too acquainted for it to be a blowout, but it'll almost feel like one.

    Prediction: Troy 34, Louisiana-Monroe 17

     

Arizona State at Washington State

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    Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    **Update: Arizona State 55, Washington State 21

     

    When: Thursday, Oct. 31; 10:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Arizona State won, 46-7, at home last November, its eighth win in the last nine against Washington State.

    What to watch for: Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) is absolutely steamrolling conference opponents of late, averaging 56.3 points in its last three Pac-12 contests. But those have all been at home, while the Sun Devils' two losses (at Stanford and in Arlington, Texas, against Notre Dame) have shown less flash and more frustration.

    Washington State (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) has dropped three of four, and none of them have been particularly close, because the Cougars can't defend well enough to let their potent passing offense lead the way. Connor Halliday is throwing 53.5 passes per game, capped by his FBS-record 89 attempts in a 62-38 loss at Oregon, but he throws too many interceptions and, thus, puts even more pressure on an overmatched defense.

    This could be over quickly or a last-one-to-score-wins game, depending on which ASU team shows up.

    Prediction: Arizona State 46, Washington State 40

     

USC at Oregon State

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    Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    **Update: USC 31, Oregon State 14

     

    When: Friday, Nov. 1; 9 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Oregon State won, 36-7, in Nov. 2010.

    Last meeting: Good, but not great

    What to watch for: USC (5-3, 2-2 Pac-12) is 2-1 under interim coach Ed Orgeron, but a seemingly nonstop flow of injuries has the Trojans using walk-ons in key situations. Their offense is so depleted that, when not facing teams with similar injury issues, they'll likely be unable to keep pace. It's been a defense-led charge the last two weeks, but not against any strong offenses.

    Oregon State (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) is coming off a frustrating 20-12 loss to Stanford during which its fast-paced passing game was stifled and contained all night. The Beavers must be able to throw to win games, but last week, they faced a defensive approach that completely took away big plays, and the result was an output 28 points below their season average.

    USC's defense isn't as talented as what Oregon State saw last week, so expect a return to higher scoring—at least for one team.

    Prediction: Oregon State 35, USC 16