College Football Picks: Week 4 Predictions for Every Game
Nonconference matchups are fun, but league action shapes the campaign. And in Week 4 of the college football season, a majority of programs will dive into conference play.
Granted, the slate is light on marquee matchups. Only two games—TCU at Oklahoma State and Mississippi State at Georgia—feature a pair of ranked teams, though Washington's trip to face an undefeated Colorado team (3-0) basically fits the category.
But last week's madness offered a reminder that strange things happen during what is theoretically a soft week. Let's not act surprised if Week 4 manages to get a little weird.
We've predicted the results of all 59 games on the schedule. The games are ordered based on kickoff time and highlight ranked teams first when multiple games kick off concurrently.
Note: All recent results are from Winsipedia when matchups include two schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Top Saturday Early Games
UNLV (1-1) at No. 10 Ohio State (2-1), noon ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said running back Mike Weber still isn't at full strength, per James Grega Jr. of Eleven Warriors. That means another week of the J.K. Dobbins show, while UNLV's run defense is suspect at best. Expect another big day from the freshman, who already has a pair of 170-yard outbursts in just three appearances.
Prediction: Ohio State 51, UNLV 10
North Carolina State (2-1) at No. 12 Florida State (0-1), noon ET
Last meeting: Florida State beat NC State 24-20 last November.
How FSU's offense will perform is one massive mystery, since James Blackman is set to attempt the first passes of his college career. However, the Seminoles defense will be a nightmare for an NC State attack built more on methodical drives than explosive plays.
Prediction: Florida State 27, NC State 17
Kent State (1-2) at No. 19 Louisville (2-1), noon ET
Last meeting: Kent State beat Louisville 10-3 in September 1973.
Oddly enough, Kent State holds a 9-8 advantage in the all-time series. Considering the most recent matchup was 44 years ago, it's fair to say there's no bad blood here. What there is, though, is a motivated Lamar Jackson, who will look to rebound from a 47-21 loss to Clemson. This one could get ugly.
Prediction: Louisville 45, Kent State 9
Texas Tech (2-0) at Houston (2-0), noon ET
Last meeting: Texas Tech beat Houston 35-20 in November 2010
Houston, which limited Arizona and Rice to a combined 19 points and 5.4 yards per pass attempt, will face a major test in Raiders quarterback Nic Shimonek. He torched Arizona State for 543 yards and six touchdowns. But Texas Tech's biggest problem—everything about defense—will let Houston build a lead before it makes one timely stop.
Prediction: Houston 41, Texas Tech 37
Texas A&M (2-1) vs. Arkansas (1-1), noon ET
Last meeting: Texas A&M beat Arkansas 45-24 last September.
Through three weeks, the only constants for Texas A&M have been ugly showings. The Aggies lost a 34-point lead at UCLA, barely beat Nicholls (24-14) and trailed Louisiana-Lafayette at halftime. Although the trend will likely continue against Arkansas in a neutral-site affair, Texas A&M's run defense will bail out the slow-starting offense.
Prediction: Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 23
Old Dominion (2-1) at No. 13 Virginia Tech (3-0), 2 p.m. ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
Old Dominion mustered just 316 yards of offense against a North Carolina defense that ceded 705 to Louisville. In other words, a matchup with one of the nation's most aggressive defenses in Virginia Tech is probably not what the Monarchs need.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 45, Old Dominion 17
Other Saturday Early Games
Army (2-1) at Tulane (1-2), noon ET
Last meeting: Tulane beat Army 34-31 in November 2015.
According to Guerry Smith of the New Orleans Advocate, Tulane coach Willie Fritz is unsure quarterback Jonathan Banks (upper-body injury) will be available against Army. He would swing the game in Tulane's favor, since the defense held Navy's triple-option attack to 3.8 yards per carry on the road and can do the same to Army.
Prediction: Tulane 24, Army 21
UMass (0-4) at Tennessee (2-1), noon ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
It's been a rough season for UMass, and a trip to Tennessee won't improve anything. The Vols can lean on the backfield combination of John Kelly and Ty Chandler to create an early advantage and send the Minutemen to their fifth loss.
Prediction: Tennessee 38, UMass 16
West Virginia (2-1) at Kansas (1-2), noon ET
Last meeting: West Virginia beat Kansas 48-21 last November.
Kansas gave up a total of 721 passing yards in losses to Central Michigan and Ohio. Will Grier has thrown for 1,027 yards and 11 touchdowns despite not attempting a pass in the fourth quarter of West Virginia's last two games. Let's not overthink this.
Prediction: West Virginia 51, Kansas 20
Pitt (1-2) at Georgia Tech (1-1), 12:20 p.m ET
Last meeting: Pitt beat Georgia Tech 37-34 last October.
Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead will make his season debut following a three-game suspension, but he's only patching one hole in a porous defense (No. 113 overall). Plus, the offense is nearing a quarterback dilemma due to three ineffective games from USC transfer Max Browne. Georgia Tech will open ACC play with a victory thanks to a steadier offense.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 37, Pitt 28
New Mexico (1-2) at Tulsa (1-2), 1:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Tulsa beat New Mexico 40-21 in September 2015.
Tulsa has a fun offense and a defense that ruins everything. That phrase has described the program for a few years now, and it's most evident in games like this. Tulsa should shred New Mexico for 500-plus yards, but a defense that is allowing 9.4 yards per play (last in the nation) won't allow the Golden Hurricane to pull away.
Prediction: Tulsa 41, New Mexico 34
Ohio (2-1) at Eastern Michigan (2-0), 2 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Eastern Michigan beat Ohio 27-20 last October.
Both MAC schools knocked off a power-conference foe in their last game (Kansas and Rutgers), so confidence won't be lacking on either sideline. In a toss-up game, though, defense and home-field advantage are key factors. Eastern Michigan has the edge in both categories.
Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27, Ohio 24
Idaho (1-2) at South Alabama (1-2), 2 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Idaho beat South Alabama 38-31 last November.
Idaho and South Alabama have two of the nation's six-worst offenses on third down. Either something has to give, or the Sun Belt clash will be a punt-filled extravaganza. Perhaps of greater concern, though, are Idaho's turnovers. With seven in three games, the Vandals can't be trusted to win on the road.
Prediction: South Alabama 31, Idaho 26
Central Florida (1-0) at Maryland (2-0), 3 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Maryland beat UCF 30-24 last September.
How will the 23-day span between games affect UCF? The defense cannot afford to show any signs of rust against Maryland, which has accumulated 1,016 yards and 114 points in two outings. If the Terps control the line of scrimmage once again, they'll dictate the pace of the game and limit opportunities for UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton to pick on a shaky secondary.
Prediction: Maryland 34, UCF 30
Top Saturday Midafternoon Games
No. 1 Alabama (3-0) at Vanderbilt (3-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Alabama beat Vanderbilt 34-0 in October 2011.
ESPN's Chris Low notes chants of "We want Bama" rang out following Vanderbilt's upset of Kansas State last week. Be careful what you wish for, Commodores fans. Your team's defense can frustrate quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Tide, but Alabama's point-stopping unit will overwhelm Vandy.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Vanderbilt 10
Boston College (1-2) at No. 2 Clemson (3-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Clemson beat Boston College 56-10 last October.
Boston College is usually a pest defensively, but the scoring attack still lacks the "attack" part. The Eagles mustered 10 points in a loss to Wake Forest and fell 49-20 to Notre Dame. Clemson won't have any trouble dispatching the ACC opponent.
Prediction: Clemson 45, Boston College 9
No. 5 USC (3-0) at Cal (3-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: USC beat Cal 45-24 last October.
USC has been a weird team so far, while Cal is arguably the most surprising 3-0 school. Saturday should normalize things, though turnovers are an easy equalizer. As long as QB Sam Darnold avoids throwing a couple of interceptions—and/or his receivers don't deflect passes for easy picks—the Trojans will pull away in the second half.
Prediction: USC 45, Cal 27
No. 16 TCU (3-0) at No. 6 Oklahoma State (3-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Oklahoma State beat TCU 31-6 last November.
Following a brilliant defensive performance in a 28-7 win at Arkansas, TCU looked more like recent TCU with 36 points allowed against SMU. Was that merely a blip on the radar, though? There could hardly be a better gauge than QB Mason Rudolph (1,135 yards passing, 11 TDs) and Oklahoma State. But we're not expecting the Horned Frogs to ace the test.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 47, TCU 31
Toledo (3-0) at No. 14 Miami (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Miami beat Toledo 24-14 in November 1987.
Miami should have one of the nation's best defenses. However, that's still not a certainty since the 'Canes have only played once due to Hurricane Irma, and Bethune-Cookman had a fair level of success throwing quick-hitting routes in the opener (229 yards passing). Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside will stress the secondary as much as any opponent this year, so the Hurricanes must be careful to not overlook the Rockets.
Prediction: Miami 38, Toledo 27
Duke (3-0) at North Carolina (1-2), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Duke beat UNC 28-27 last November.
UNC played terrible defense in losses to Cal and Louisville (1,174 combined yards allowed) but rebounded opposite Old Dominion (316 yards). The Tar Heels need that form to carry over when Duke—the No. 17 scoring offense nationally—makes the short trip to Chapel Hill. Unfortunately for UNC, that probably won't happen.
Prediction: Duke 37, UNC 30
No. 8 Michigan (3-0) at Purdue (2-1), 4 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Michigan beat Purdue 44-13 in October 2012.
Purdue has improved considerably compared to recent years, but the blocking unit is giving up too much pressure with eight sacks allowed. That's a problem against Michigan, which ranks fourth nationally with 13 sacks and has 13 more hurries. While the Wolverines' struggles on offense may continue, they'll avoid an upset.
Prediction: Michigan 33, Purdue 20
Other Saturday Midafternoon Games
Rutgers (1-2) at Nebraska (1-2), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Nebraska beat Rutgers 31-14 in November 2015.
Husker head coach Mike Riley's warming seat might go straight to scorching if Rutgers knocks off Nebraska. However, that will only happen if quarterback Tanner Lee (seven interceptions in the last two weeks) and Co. gift-wrap points for the opposing team two weeks in a row. Should the Huskers avoid such mistakes, they'll contain Rutgers' average offense and slowly build a decent margin.
Prediction: Nebraska 31, Rutgers 20
Georgia Southern (0-2) at Indiana (1-1), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
Georgia Southern couldn't do much of anything against Auburn in a 41-7 loss, but that isn't the problem. Mustering 12 points in a loss to New Hampshire, though? Sound the alarms. Maybe the bye week will boost the Eagles, but Indiana's stout defense won't offer a welcoming road environment.
Prediction: Indiana 37, Georgia Southern 13
Wake Forest (3-0) at Appalachian State (2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Wake Forest beat Appalachian State 20-10 in September 2001.
Wake Forest has flat-out dominated for three weeks, cruising to 3-0 with an average 34.7-point margin of victory. Appalachian State is a step up in competition over Presbyterian, Boston College and Utah State, but the Demon Deacons' ability to stop the run will provide the difference.
Prediction: Wake Forest 27, Appalachian State 20
Louisiana Tech (2-1) at South Carolina (2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: South Carolina beat Louisiana Tech 68-21 in September 1995.
A promising campaign shifted to disheartening in a hurry. Deebo Samuel, the do-everything star for South Carolina, will be sidelined for five to six weeks due to a fractured ankle. The Gamecocks still have enough talent on defense to clip Louisiana Tech, but the offense must use Week 4 to find a pair of players who can adequately fill in for Samuel. Because on this roster, he's not fully replaceable.
Prediction: South Carolina 30, Louisiana Tech 24
Miami, Ohio (1-2) at Central Michigan (2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Miami beat Central Michigan 37-17 last November.
Non-offensive touchdowns have plagued Miami in both losses so far. Marshall returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, and Cincinnati posted the go-ahead score on a pick-six. But this time around, a takeaway will fuel Miami against a Central Michigan team that has committed eight turnovers in three games.
Prediction: Miami 27, Central Michigan 24
Cincinnati (2-1) at Navy (2-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Navy beat Cincinnati 13-7 in October 1956.
For the first time in 61 years, these programs will battle on the gridiron. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, its offensive output might not be drastically different than the 1956 game. Navy is stingy against the run, and the Bearcats have struggled to pass effectively in 2017. That's a problematic combination for the road matchup.
Prediction: Navy 31, Cincinnati 17
Louisiana-Monroe (0-2) at Louisiana (1-2), 5 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Louisiana beat Louisiana-Monroe 30-3 last December.
The 52nd edition of the Battle on the Bayou might not feature a memorable defensive display. Both teams have allowed at least 6.5 yards per play in each of their five combined games. Given that possibility, we'll take the more productive offense.
Prediction: Louisiana 38, Louisiana-Monroe 31
Top Saturday Evening Games
Nevada (0-3) at No. 18 Washington State (3-0), 6 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Nevada beat Washington State 24-13 in September 2014.
Washington State hasn't exactly been a model of consistency, but Mike Leach's team should be able to escape Nevada with a victory. The Wolf Pack, after understandably falling to Northwestern and Toledo, lost to Idaho State. That's no good. Washington State rolls.
Prediction: Washington State 45, Nevada 20
No. 3 Oklahoma (3-0) at Baylor (0-3), 6:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Oklahoma beat Baylor 45-24 last November.
The hangover from beating Ohio State in Week 2 should be out of Oklahoma's system, which is dreadful news for a reeling Baylor program. The Bears have surrendered no fewer than five yards per snap in all three losses, and now they must defend one of the nation's premier scoring attacks. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield should have his fourth straight 300-yard, three-touchdown day in a blowout victory.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Baylor 17
No. 17 Mississippi State (3-0) at No. 11 Georgia (3-0), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Georgia beat Mississippi State 24-10 in October 2011.
"The SEC clash will be decided in the trenches," we accurately wrote about Mississippi State's tilt with LSU before picking against the Bulldogs. Time for Round 2? QB Nick Fitzgerald and Co. deserve praise for their 37-7 win, but Georgia's defense should show up at home. Tune in next week to see if we're eating our words. Again.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Mississippi State 23
No. 22 San Diego State (3-0) at Air Force (1-1), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: SDSU beat Air Force 27-24 in December 2015.
Air Force must contain Rashaad Penny. That goal, however, is anything but simple to accomplish, since the versatile standout is averaging 258 all-purpose yards per game. San Diego State needs to play assignment-sound defense opposite Air Force's option attack, but a pair of red-zone stands and two touchdowns from Penny will propel the Aztecs in a low-scoring struggle.
Prediction: San Diego State 24, Air Force 20
Syracuse (2-1) at No. 25 LSU (2-1), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: LSU beat Syracuse 34-24 in September 2015.
Mississippi State flat-out overwhelmed LSU last week, but the Tigers can fall on the opposite (read: positive) side of that when Syracuse travels south. While Eric Dungey is a fine quarterback, he's most effective when opponents need to respect his running ability. If the Tigers eliminates that, they should win easily.
Prediction: LSU 37, Syracuse 17
No. 4 Penn State (3-0) at Iowa (3-0), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Penn State beat Iowa 41-14 last November.
Penn State cruised past Iowa in 2016, but there's something about Kinnick Stadium. Just ask Michigan. The Nittany Lions have neither played away from Happy Valley nor been challenged this season, so this probably isn't an ideal Big Ten opener for Penn State. We're sticking with the Lions, but they'll need a mistake-free day from quarterback Trace McSorley.
Prediction: Penn State 31, Iowa 23
No. 15 Auburn (2-1) at Missouri (1-2), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Auburn beat Missouri 59-42 in December 2013.
Auburn needs to address its running game (No. 62 in the country), but Missouri has larger problems. Quarterback Drew Lock and Co. are explosive when playing lesser opponents yet rarely show that production in conference action. The Alabama-based Tigers will ride their defense to an SEC win.
Prediction: Auburn 38, Missouri 20
No. 20 Florida (1-1) at Kentucky (3-0), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Florida beat Kentucky 45-7 last September.
Florida shouldn't need last-second heroics to topple Kentucky like it did for Tennessee, but 30 straight victories feels like a Herculean feat. The Gators will extend their impressive win streak over the Wildcats thanks to the front seven. Shutting down the running game is the key to upending the 'Cats.
Prediction: Florida 23, Kentucky 17
Other Saturday Evening Games
Akron (1-2) at Troy (2-1), 6 p.m. ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
Akron has a chance to steal a road victory if the offense stays balanced. However, Troy should be able to eliminate the running game and make the Zips one-dimensional. Akron still has the ability to hang tight for 60 minutes, but Troy will protect home field.
Prediction: Troy 30, Akron 23
Georgia State (0-2) at Charlotte (0-3), 6 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Charlotte beat Georgia State 23-20 in September 2015.
In a tilt between flawed teams, the aesthetics probably won't be wonderful. Georgia State and Charlotte rank 120th and 116th in yards per play, respectively, and have both committed nine turnovers. We'll give Charlotte an ever-so-slight edge because of running back Benny LeMay, who had 158 yards last week.
Prediction: Charlotte 27, Georgia State 24
UAB (2-1) at North Texas (1-2), 6:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: UAB beat North Texas 56-21 in October 2014.
UAB is currently 13th nationally with 51.3 attempts per game and 17th nationally at an average of 254.7 yards. But if North Texas—which has ceded just 3.4 yards per carry—forces the Blazers to pass, the Mean Green will dispatch the conference foe.
Prediction: North Texas 33, UAB 24
Western Illinois (2-0) at Coastal Carolina (1-1), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Coastal Carolina beat Western Illinois 34-27 in September 2015.
Through two games, Coastal Carolina has collected 548 rushing yards and six touchdowns compared to just 180 yards and one score through the air. What will happen when the Chanticleers can't run the ball? Western Illinois, which has ceded just 98 yards on 41 non-sack rushing attempts, will provide that ugly answer.
Prediction: Western Illinois 27, Coastal Carolina 20
Florida Atlantic (1-2) at Buffalo (1-2), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Buffalo beat FAU 33-15 in October 2015.
Lane Kiffin's squad played decently at Wisconsin and then looked legitimately impressive during a 45-point shutout of Bethune-Cookman. Buffalo's defense is solid, though, and the combination of dual-threat quarterback Tyree Jackson and receiver Anthony Johnson will help the Bulls narrowly hold off FAU.
Prediction: Buffalo 31, FAU 27
Wagner (1-2) at Western Michigan (1-2), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
Wagner hung 37 points on a Division II school, but FCS competition has since outscored the program 48-20. While the Seahawks have been somewhat stingy against the run, Western Michigan can overcome a shaky start up front to assemble a blowout win.
Prediction: Western Michigan 44, Wagner 13
Bowling Green (0-3) at Middle Tennessee (1-2), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: MTSU beat Bowling Green 41-21 last September.
According to Eric Bacharach of the Daily News Journal, MTSU quarterback Brent Stockstill and receiver Richie James are both questionable for Week 4. The Blue Raiders still have enough talent to overcome a brutal Bowling Green team, but the fourth quarter will include a few tense moments if Stockstill and James are indeed out.
Prediction: Middle Tennessee 27, Bowling Green 24
Ball State (2-1) at Western Kentucky (1-2), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Ball State beat WKU 24-7 in October 2008.
Western Kentucky lit up the stat sheet in recent seasons, but the current offense seems no better than pedestrian. Part of the problem lies on the offensive line, which has given up 10 sacks. The nation's defensive leader in that category, Anthony Winbush (with 6.5), will have another impressive day to help Ball State spring the upset.
Prediction: Ball State 28, Western Kentucky 23
Arkansas State (1-1) at SMU (2-1), 7 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Arkansas State beat SMU 45-28 in September 2007.
Here's the "Do you enjoy points more than good defense?" game of the week. Even in one loss apiece to a power-conference opponent, both teams have scored at least 36 in all five combined outings. Knowing that, the advantage goes to the side with the best playmakers. Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn give SMU that edge.
Prediction: SMU 45, Arkansas State 37
UTSA (2-0) at Texas State (1-2), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: UTSA beat Texas State 38-31 in November 2012.
Despite losing to Appalachian State 20-13, Texas State might've put together the program's most impressive defensive performance since October 2013. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, UTSA's offensive unit is playing at a higher level with quarterback Dalton Sturm efficiently complementing its efforts.
Prediction: UTSA 26, Texas State 17
Florida International (1-1) at Rice (1-2), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Rice beat FIU 31-17 in November 2014.
Unsurprisingly, the defenses of Stanford and Houston overwhelmed Rice. Against UTEP, though, the Owls gathered 437 total yards and won 31-14. FIU is simply average on offense anyway, so a bounce-back day from the Rice scoring attack will propel the team to 2-0 in Conference USA action.
Prediction: Rice 28, FIU 20
Utah State (1-2) at San Jose State (1-3), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Utah State beat San Jose State 41-7 in November 2014.
Both programs lumbered through a challenging nonconference slate, but Mountain West opener offers an even matchup. That might not be as positive as it sounds, since uneven quarterback play has plagued the teams. Utah State will make one less mistake in an offensive struggle.
Prediction: Utah State 23, San Jose State 20
Saturday Night Games
Notre Dame (2-1) at Michigan State (2-0), 8 p.m. ET
Last meeting: MSU beat Notre Dame 36-28 last September.
The aftermath of the 2016 matchup should serve as a reminder to temper excitement about the winner of the rivalry game. Still, Notre Dame could pick up a quality win on the road. Brandon Wimbush and Co. will grab an early lead due to a slightly more explosive offense before holding off MSU down the stretch.
Prediction: Notre Dame 30, Michigan State 24
Southern Illinois (2-0) at Memphis (2-0), 8 p.m. ET
Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.
After a rain-soaked debut, Riley Ferguson reminded the nation why Memphis had garnered praise as a candidate for the Group of Five's slot in a New Year's Six bowl game. He torched UCLA for 398 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-45 win. Southern Illinois is a quality FCS team, but Ferguson will pick apart the Salukis.
Prediction: Memphis 44, Southern Illinois 23
UTEP (0-3) at New Mexico State (1-2), 8 p.m. ET
Last meeting: UTEP beat NMSU 38-22 last September.
UTEP and New Mexico State have squared off during every season since 1946 except one. The Miners have owned the series lately, winning eight straight meetings. But all good things must come to an end. New Mexico State will snap the skid thanks to senior quarterback Tyler Rogers, who has 1,130 yards and 10 touchdowns this year.
Prediction: New Mexico State 41, UTEP 20
No. 7 Washington (3-0) at Colorado (3-0), 10 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Washington beat Colorado 41-10 last December.
The rematch of the 2016 Pac-12 Championship Game should be tighter than the title clash, but turnovers might stop Colorado from being close. Steven Montez has already thrown three interceptions, and Washington's revamped defense is still a takeaway machine. The Dawgs will pull away in the second half before the Buffs add a touchdown to shrink the margin.
Prediction: Washington 31, Colorado 20
No. 24 Oregon (3-0) at Arizona State (1-2), 10 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35 last October.
Oregon's offense is ranked No. 2 nationally. Arizona State has the ninth-worst defense. There's no need to unnecessarily complicate the mismatch. Granted, the Ducks need to bury ASU early because the Sun Devils are capable of keeping up in a track meet.
Prediction: Oregon 52, Arizona State 31
Hawaii (2-1) at Wyoming (1-2), 10:15 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Hawaii beat Wyoming 38-28 in October 2014.
The Paniolo Trophy is at stake in this rivalry-ish game, during which Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen needs to bounce back from a rough showing against Oregon. Hawaii's offense is solid, but the defense has two standouts (Jahlani Tavai and Trayvon Henderson) and is otherwise unspectacular. Allen should lift the Pokes to a close win.
Prediction: Wyoming 27, Hawaii 24
UCLA (2-1) at Stanford (1-2), 10:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Stanford beat UCLA 22-13 last September.
Both sides are looking to recover from a loss opposite a Group of Five squad. Stanford isn't known for a putting up a bunch of points, but stopping teams from scoring hasn't been UCLA's strong suit in 2017. Josh Rosen won't be able to overcome the Cardinal without a little help from the defense.
Prediction: Stanford 34, UCLA 30
East Carolina (0-3) at Connecticut (1-1), noon ET
Last meeting: East Carolina beat UConn 41-3 last October.
Bryant Shirreffs called his 180-yard, two-interception day against East Carolina in 2016 the worst performance of his career, per Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. The dual-threat quarterback should redeem himself Sunday when the Pirates—who have allowed 51.3 points per game—meander into Rentschler Field.
Prediction: UConn 34, East Carolina 21
Odds provided by OddsShark.
Temple (2-1) at No. 21 South Florida (3-0), 7:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Temple beat USF 46-30 last October.
After two questionable performances to begin the year, USF flexed its muscle in a 47-23 victory over Illinois. Three players ran for 100-plus yards (Quinton Flowers, Darius Tice and D'Ernest Johnson), and Flowers threw for season highs of 280 yards and four touchdowns. Temple, meanwhile, has surrendered at least 375 rushing or passing yards in each game. The AAC matchup shouldn't be close.
Prediction: USF 44, Temple 21
Virginia (2-1) at Boise State (2-1), 8 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Boise State beat Virginia 56-14 in September 2015.
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert just tossed three touchdowns and tallied a career-best 455 yards in a 38-18 victory over UConn. Boise State's defense must be ready for the challenge, especially if signal-caller Brett Rypien (concussion) remains sidelined. We're taking the Broncos at home, but the Wahoos are a threat.
Prediction: Boise State 34, Virginia 27
No. 23 Utah (3-0) at Arizona (2-1), 10:30 p.m. ET
Last meeting: Utah beat Arizona 36-23 last October.
Arizona has smashed two overmatched opponents and lost to Houston. Which offense will show up Friday against Utah? The odds favor a Utes defense that, though the competition has been lackluster, has surrendered just 1.7 yards per run. Forcing Brandon Dawkins to pass is the blueprint to slowing the Wildcats.
Prediction: Utah 31, Arizona 23