College Football Picks: Week 5 Predictions for Every Game

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2017

College Football Picks: Week 5 Predictions for Every Game

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Underdogs nearly wreaked mass havoc last weekend, but ranked teams had survived several unanticipated tests when the final whistle sounded.

    Week 5 could bring a similar trend since most schools listed in the AP Top 25 play a mid-tier conference opponent. The madness in Week 3 and close finishes of Week 4 ought to offer a reminder that no favored program is safe, however.

    The schedule includes a trio of matchups between ranked teams. No. 5 USC heads to No. 16 Washington State, No. 24 Mississippi State takes on No. 13 Auburn and No. 12 Virginia Tech hosts No. 2 Clemson.

    Every game on the Week 5 slate has been predicted. The list is organized based on kickoff time, and AP Top 25 schools take priority when multiple games kick off at the same time.

          

    Note: All recent results are from Winsipedia when matchups include two schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Top Saturday Early Games

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    Kim Raff/Associated Press

    Northwestern (2-1) at No. 10 Wisconsin (3-0), noon ET

    Last meeting: Wisconsin beat Northwestern 21-7 last November.

    Northwestern failed to muster any threat on the ground in a road loss to Duke earlier this season, and Wisconsin has consistently contained running backs. Unless NU quarterback Clayton Thorson can pick apart the Badgers secondaryand that's unlikelyit'll be a frustrating trip to Madison for the Wildcats.

    Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 13

         

    No. 18 South Florida (4-0) at East Carolina (1-3), noon ET

    Last meeting: USF beat ECU 38-22 last October.

    East Carolina showed a few signs of life in Week 4, but the defense ceded more than seven yards per play for the fourth straight week. No, USF hasn't displayed the explosive attack most expected with senior quarterback Quinton Flowers. Still, the Bulls have steadily pulled away thanks to a stingy defense that just had its best performance of the brief Charlie Strong era.

    Prediction: USF 41, East Carolina 17

         

    Vanderbilt (3-1) at No. 21 Florida (2-1), noon ET

    Last meeting: Florida beat Vanderbilt 13-6 last October.

    While it's not entirely fair to judge a heavy underdog based on its performance against Alabama, 78 yards of total offense was a horrid showing for Vanderbilt. Florida isn't at that level defensively, but it's still a tremendously stingy unit. The Gators will muster enough scoring early to let its strength seal the game late.

    Prediction: Florida 21, Vanderbilt 13

         

    Maryland (2-1) at Minnesota (3-0), noon ET

    Last meeting: Minnesota beat Maryland 31-10 last October.

    Tyrrell Pigrome is out for the season due to a knee injury. Kasim Hill was carted to the locker room in a 38-10 loss. Things are looking bleak for Maryland at quarterback, and that's a major problem opposite a considerably improved Minnesota defense. The Terps don't have the personnel to put up a fight on the road unless the turnover margin heavily favors them.

    Prediction: Minnesota 30, Maryland 17

         

    North Carolina (1-3) at Georgia Tech (2-1), noon ET

    Last meeting: UNC beat Georgia Tech 48-20 last November.

    North Carolina's injury report is the length of a grocery list. As if that's not frustrating enough, the Tar Heels also rank 115th nationally with a 30.2 conversion rate on third down. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has allowed opponents to move the chains on just 26.5 of their third-down snaps, which is 13th-best nationally. Timely defense will propel the Yellow Jackets in Week 5.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech 34, UNC 20

Other Saturday Early Games

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    Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

    Houston (2-1) at Temple (2-2), noon ET

    Last meeting: Houston beat Temple 24-13 in December 2015.

    Through four weeks, Temple has clipped a winless FBS team and FCS school while trudging through blowout losses to a pair of ranked teams. Houston isn't quite a Top 25-caliber team, but the Ed Oliver-led defense will brace the Cougars in what should be a relatively painless road game.

    Prediction: Houston 34, Temple 17

         

    New Mexico State (2-2) at Arkansas (1-2), noon ET

    Last meeting: Arkansas beat NMSU 63-13 in September 2004.

    Arkansas could use a lift after consecutive losses to TCU and Texas A&M, and the nonconference tilt should provide one. New Mexico State won't be able to handle the Razorbacks' physicality on the ground, and Arkansas will move to 6-0 in the all-time series.

    Prediction: Arkansas 41, New Mexico State 20

         

    Rice (1-3) at Pitt (1-3), noon ET

    Last meeting: Rice beat Pitt 21-13 in November 1951.

    For the first time in series history, Pitt will knock off Rice. Panthers fans probably don't feel great about the offense heading into the contest, but either of Ben DiNucci and Max Browne can guide a more skilled Pitt team to a victoryeven it's not very convincing.

    Prediction: Pitt 31, Rice 17

         

    Syracuse (2-2) at North Carolina State (3-1), 12:20 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: NC State beat Syracuse 35-20 last November.

    Fresh off an upset of Florida State, North Carolina State will host an erratic Syracuse squad. Dino Babers' crew fell to Middle Tennessee at home yet stuck with LSU on the road. The fast-paced offense should give NC State's secondary some problems, but the Orange's own woes in the defensive backfield will be their downfall.

    Prediction: NC State 38, Syracuse 30

         

    Central Michigan (2-2) at Boston College (1-3), 1 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Boston College beat CMU 31-10 in October 2009.

    Wins aren't required to be pretty. Only once in four games has Boston College notched at least four yards per snap this season. The Eagles should eclipse the mark when Central Michigan comes to town, but the struggles on offense will keep BC from cruising to the finish.

    Prediction: Boston College 24, Central Michigan 13

Top Saturday Midafternoon Games

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    Indiana (2-1) at No. 4 Penn State (4-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Penn State beat Indiana 45-31 last November.

    After escaping Kinnick Stadium with a final-play triumph, Penn State surely wouldn't mind a less thrilling finish when Indiana visits. It'll still be a hard-fought win since the Hoosiers may start strong defensively. But the unit will struggle to contain Saquon Barkley for the full 60 minutes, allowing Penn State to build a gap late.

    Prediction: Penn State 38, Indiana 23

         

    No. 7 Georgia (4-0) at Tennessee (3-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Tennessee beat Georgia 34-31 last October.

    One season ago, Joshua Dobbs and Tennessee shocked the Bulldogs with a Hail Mary as time expired. However, the Vols won't have a chance to pull a stunner this time around. Georgia has ceded just 688 passing yards in four games, limiting opponents to a mere 4.9 yards per attempt. The Dawgs will create some separation with their rushing attack and lock up the win on defense.

    Prediction: Georgia 27, Tennessee 17

         

    Florida State (0-2) at Wake Forest (4-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Florida State beat Wake Forest 17-6 last October.

    Wake Forest has played two excellent games at home. Yes, the competition level was low, but Florida State should not be expected to waltz away with an easy victory. The defense will allow the Demon Deacons to stay within striking distance until the fourth quarter, when a clutch stop braces the 'Noles.

    Prediction: Florida State 30, Wake Forest 16

         

    Arizona State (2-2) at Stanford (2-2), 4 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Arizona State beat Stanford 26-10 in October 2014.

    Arizona State deserves credit for shutting down a dynamic Oregon offense last week. Can the Sun Devils make it two in a row, though? Bryce Love has shredded opponents for 787 yards in only four games, tallying at least 160 in every game. He'll continue the streak to help Stanford protect home field.

    Prediction: Stanford 38, Arizona State 23

         

    Iowa (3-1) at Michigan State (2-1), 4 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Michigan State beat Iowa 16-13 in December 2015.

    How will both teams respond to their first loss of 2017? Michigan State moved the ball effectively on Notre Dame but often failed to finish drives, and three turnovers led to 21 points. Protecting the pigskin will flip the result for the Spartans against Iowa, which surrendered 579 yards to Penn State despite giving up just 21 points.

    Prediction: Michigan State 27, Iowa 23

         

    Miami, Ohio (2-2) at No. 22 Notre Dame (3-1), 5 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Notre Dame beat Miami (Ohio) 46-0 in November 1909.

    Notre Dame should build a considerable margin before this game ends, but Miami has collected at least two takeaways in all four games to this point. Opportunistic underdogs can become real problems. Still, we're sticking with the Irish because the RedHawks haven't seen a running game of this caliber.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Miami 20

Other Saturday Midafternoon Games

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    Murray State (1-3) at No. 17 Louisville (3-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Louisville beat Murray State 66-21 in September 2014.

    The transitive property is not a perfect indicator, but Murray State lost 41-13 to Central Arkansas, which fell at Kansas State, 55-19. This game could get ugly quickly. Since Louisville has a short week coming up, it should rest its starters earlier than usual.

    Prediction: Louisville 45, Murray State 6

         

    Baylor (0-4) at Kansas State (2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Kansas State beat Baylor 42-21 last November.

    Baylor stuck with Oklahoma for 60 minutes, but was the eight-point loss a step in the right direction or an inspired yet unsustainable offensive performance? After all, the winless Bears were at home against a top-three team. It wouldn't be a shock if Baylor reverts to its previous form on the road against a sturdy defense.

    Prediction: Kansas State 38, Baylor 24

         

    Buffalo (2-2) at Kent State (1-3), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Kent State beat Buffalo 44-20 last October.

    Kent State is having a rough year. Nobody realistically expected the Golden Flashes to compete with Clemson and Louisville, but losing starting quarterback Nick Holley to a torn right ACL between those tilts only added to the challenge. Buffalo's defense will carry the team to a victory in the MAC opener for both sides.

    Prediction: Buffalo 27, Kent State 17

         

    Ohio (3-1) at Massachusetts (0-5) 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Ohio beat UMass 51-23 in November 2013.

    UMass is 0-5 yet hasn't lost a game by more than 10 points. The painful streak may continue since Ohio has ceded at least 295 passing yards to each FBS opponent yet is the superior offensive team. And with two straight bye weeks following this matchup, it's worth wondering whether a loss means UMass fires up the coaching carousel.

    Prediction: Ohio 31, UMass 20

         

    Navy (3-0) at Tulsa (1-3), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Navy beat Tulsa 42-40 last November.

    If a team controls the trenches, it should beat Tulsa. Navy has done exactly that in three victories to begin the campaign, amassing 1,179 rushing yards while giving up a mere 289. Unless Tulsa quarterback Chad President has a yet-unseen dynamic day as a passer, the Mids will snatch their fourth win of the year.

    Prediction: Navy 42, Tulsa 27

         

    UTEP (0-4) at Army (2-2), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Army beat UTEP 66-14 last September.

    The triple-option is hard for any program to defend, but a struggling run defense certaintly doesn't want to see it. UTEP has allowed 5.5 yards per carry, which ranks 120th out of 130 FBS teams. Army and its relentless rushing attack will steamroll the visiting Miners, who also have the nation's least productive offense.

    Prediction: Army 44, UTEP 14

         

    Texas State (1-3) at Wyoming (2-2), 4 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Texas State beat Wyoming 42-21 in November 2013.

    Following a terrific showing against Appalachian State, Texas State's defense reverted to its previous woes in a 30-point drubbing against UTSA. Wyoming has lumbered through 2017 so far, but quarterback Josh Allen will have a rare productive afternoon opposite the modest Bobcats.

    Prediction: Wyoming 33, Texas State 17

         

    Connecticut (1-2) at SMU (3-1), 4 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: SMU beat UConn 27-20 in December 2014.

    In the "Here you go, point-lovers" game of the week, the nation's No. 5 scoring offense (SMU) will take on the No. 104 scoring defense (UConn). The Huskies can string together several scoring drives, but SMU's balanced attack will overwhelm UConn in the second half.

    Prediction: SMU 52, UConn 31

         

    Eastern Michigan (2-1) at Kentucky (3-1), 4 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.

    Kentucky's ninth-ranked run defense shouldn't have trouble containing Eastern Michigan, so the Wildcats will win as long as they remember to cover all of the Eagles' receivers. Too soon? In all seriousness, Kentucky will avoid a post-Florida letdown if it limits EMU quarterback Brogan Roback and turns one takeaway into a touchdown. 

    Prediction: Kentucky 27, Eastern Michigan 17

Top Saturday Evening Games

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    No. 24 Mississippi State (3-1) at No. 13 Auburn (3-1), 6 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Auburn beat Mississippi State 38-14 last October.

    While it's not necessarily a foolproof plan, containing Mississippi State's runners has usually led to success. With Nick Fitzgerald at quarterback, the Bulldogs are 0-5 when averaging less than five yards per carry. Auburn's opponents have only mustered an average of 2.6 so far. Those trends will continue Saturday evening.

    Prediction: Auburn 31, Mississippi State 13

         

    Troy (3-1) at No. 25 LSU (3-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: LSU beat Troy 40-31 in November 2008.

    In all likelihood, Troy won't achieve much success on the ground. As a result, quarterback Brandon Silvers must confront the challenge of throwing against LSU's secondary while dealing with regular pressure from the front seven. He'll lead a couple of scoring drives, but that's not enough to spring an upset.

    Prediction: LSU 34, Troy 17

         

    Memphis (3-0) at UCF (2-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: UCF beat Memphis 24-17 in October 2013.

    Three weeks ago, the AAC programs had finalized preparations for this matchup. However, Hurricane Irma delayed the showdown. We know Memphis can score, but a little bit of defense from UCF can shape the outcome, because the Knights should be able to pick apart a Tigers team allowing 35 points per game.

    Prediction: UCF 41, Memphis 33

         

    No. 11 Ohio State (3-1) at Rutgers (1-3), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Ohio State beat Rutgers 58-0 last October.

    Rutgers certainly has improved compared to the 2016 tilt when Ohio State rolled to a blowout win. The Scarlet Knights haven't closed the gap that much, though. They'll struggle to handle the pressure from a defense that ranks second nationally in tackles for loss.

    Prediction: Ohio State 45, Rutgers 10

         

    South Carolina (3-1) at Texas A&M (3-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Texas A&M beat South Carolina 24-13 last October.

    The Kevin Sumlin survival tour rolled along with an overtime victory against Arkansas. Texas A&M is an 11-point favorite, per OddsShark, so that basically ensures South Carolina will also be too close for comfort, right? But without Deebo Samuel, the Gamecocks won't have the final explosive piece needed for a surprising triumph on the road.

    Prediction: Texas A&M 31, South Carolina 23

Other Saturday Evening Games

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    Akron (1-3) at Bowling Green (0-4), 6 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Bowling Green beat Akron 38-28 last November.

    All good things must come to an end, right? Bowling Green has recorded eight straight victories against Akron but is stumbling through the 2017 season. Although Akron hasn't fared much better on paper, the competition has been considerably higher and Tommy Woodson is the more trustworthy quarterback in this MAC tilt.

    Prediction: Akron 30, Bowling Green 24

         

    North Texas (2-2) at Southern Miss (2-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: North Texas beat Southern Miss 29-23 last November.

    Although quarterback Mason Fine leads a formidable offense, North Texas has rarely limited an opposing passing game. Only East Carolina (14) has surrendered more touchdowns through the air than the Mean Green (13). The blend of efficiency and decent explosiveness will propel Southern Miss to a home triumph.

    Prediction: Southern Miss 31, North Texas 23

         

    South Alabama (1-3) at Louisiana Tech (2-2), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.

    Louisiana Tech's offense, especially the running game, is still trying to find a rhythm. South Alabama should provide an opportunity for the Bulldogs to establish one. The Jaguars have allowed a 40.4 conversion rate on third down.

    Prediction: Louisiana Tech 34, South Alabama 17

         

    Middle Tennessee (2-2) at Florida Atlantic (1-3), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Middle Tennessee beat FAU 77-56 last November.

    Middle Tennessee boat-raced FAU without a quarterback in 2016's meeting. It might be without starter Brent Stockstill for the matchup once again, but John Urzuawho exited last year's clash due to injuryis an adequate replacement against a middling defense.

    Prediction: Middle Tennessee 31, Florida Atlantic 26

         

    Air Force (1-2) at New Mexico (2-2), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: New Mexico beat Air Force 45-40 last October.

    In a battle between two solid run defenses, timely execution will be the difference. Air Force has scored nine touchdowns in 11 red-zone trips and allowed just two in eight defensive possessions. Meanwhile, New Mexico has mustered a 46.7 touchdown clip while giving up a touchdown on six of eight chances.

    Prediction: Air Force 28, New Mexico 23

         

    Charlotte (0-4) at Florida International (2-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: FIU beat Charlotte 27-26 last October.

    Florida International doesn't put up many points, but Charlotte has hardly dented the scoreboard this year. The 49ers have tallied no more than seven points against an FBS opponent in three tries. FIU quarterback Alex McGough will avoid a glaring mistake and escort the Golden Panthers in a low-scoring affair.

    Prediction: FIU 24, Charlotte 13

         

    Coastal Carolina (1-2) at Louisiana-Monroe (1-2), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.

    Louisiana-Monroe racked up 593 total yards in an overtime win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Western Illinois, an FCS team, shredded Coastal Carolina for 510 yards in a 52-10 annihilation of the Chanticleers. So, yeah, ULM should cruise to a comfortable Sun Belt win.

    Prediction: Louisiana-Monroe 38, Coastal Carolina 17

         

    Ball State (2-2) at Western Michigan (2-2), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Western Michigan beat Ball State 52-20 last November.

    Good news, Ball State, the secondary doesn't need to Corey Davis this year! However, the Cardinals must deal with Western Michigan's three-headed rushing attack of Jamauri Bogan, LeVante Bellamy and Jarvion Franklin, who have each registered a 100-yard outburst already this season. The Broncos will roll at home.

    Prediction: Western Michigan 35, Ball State 20

         

    Marshall (2-1) at Cincinnati (2-2), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Cincinnati beat Marshall 33-10 in October 2008.

    Cincinnati will return home after three straight road contests. And following an embarrassing defensive day at Navy, the Bearcats will be a motivated bunch. Plus, quarterback Hayden Moore assembled a promising and refreshing performance, despite the loss. That should be enough to stave off Marshall.

    Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Marshall 23

Saturday Night Games

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    Chris O/Associated Press

    No. 2 Clemson (4-0) at No. 12 Virginia Tech (4-0), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Clemson beat Virginia Tech 42-35 last December.

    If Virginia Tech forces Kelly Bryant to win through the air without bringing extra pressure, an upset could be brewing. But that is far easier said than done, even for a defense of the Hokies' caliber. Clemson's front seven will help the Tigers win the field position battle and put together a couple of short touchdown drives on the road.

    Prediction: Clemson 31, Virginia Tech 23

         

    No. 6 Washington (4-0) at Oregon State (1-3), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Washington beat Oregon State 41-17 last October.

    Losing wide receiver Chico McClatcher is a real problem for Washington in its pursuit of a Pac-12 championship and College Football Playoff berth, but it's not going to have a major impact Saturday night in Corvallis. The Huskies will dominate both sides of the ball and steamroll the Beavers.

    Prediction: Washington 48, Oregon State 13

         

    No. 15 Oklahoma State (3-1) at Texas Tech (3-0), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Oklahoma State beat Texas Tech 45-44 last November.

    After a deflating loss to TCU, Oklahoma State needs to pick up the pieces and move forward. That starts with Mason Rudolph returning to his efficient distribution while avoiding interceptions. Texas Tech will hang around thanks to its high-powered scoring attack, but OSU's ability to pick up yards after the catch will hamper Tech.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State 48, Texas Tech 41

         

    Ole Miss (2-1) at No. 1 Alabama (4-0), 9 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Alabama beat Ole Miss 48-43 last September.

    Alabama has struggled to shake Ole Miss recently, falling in 2014 and 2015 before needing a 21-point comeback last year. And yes, Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson and a dangerous receiving corps will be a challenge for the Crimson Tide to fully contain. But in the second half, Alabama will wear down the Ole Miss front and pull away.

    Prediction: Alabama 42, Ole Miss 20

         

    Nevada (0-4) at Fresno State (1-2), 10 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Nevada beat Fresno State 27-22 last October.

    It's been a rough campaign for Nevada so far. Fresno State, on the other hand, must be looking forward to picking on someone its own size after Alabama and Washington combined to outscore the Bulldogs 89-26. Chason Vigil and Marcus McMaryion may rotate at quarterback, but it won't stop Fresno State from winning.

    Prediction: Fresno State 34, Nevada 23

         

    Northern Illinois (2-1) at No. 19 San Diego State (4-0), 10:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: SDSU beat Northern Illinois 42-28 last September.

    Northern Illinois pulled off an upset at Nebraska thanks to a couple of opportunistic moments from the pass defense. However, SDSU rarely gives those chances because it's rightfully content to lean on running back Rashaad Penny. The Aztecs aren't flashy, but clock control and stingy defense will get the job done.

    Prediction: San Diego State 24, Northern Illinois 17

         

    Cal (3-1) at Oregon (3-1), 10:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Cal beat Oregon 52-49 last October.

    While this isn't a one-year miracle turnaround for Cal under Justin Wilcox, the Golden Bears have demanded a bit more respect. They held Ole Miss to 16 points and were tied with USC into the fourth quarter. Cal will make it difficult on an imbalanced Oregon team to run away because of the Ducks' issues on defense.

    Prediction: Oregon 38, Cal 31

         

    Colorado (3-1) at UCLA (2-2), 10:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Colorado beat UCLA 20-10 last November.

    UCLA's defense is a bit of a mess, but Washington showed Colorado is vulnerable. The big question for the Bruins is whether the offense can protect the ball, since the unit has lost 10 turnovers in just four games. While we're going to cautiously trust UCLA, the Buffs could flip the result if they capitalize on a takeaway.

    Prediction: UCLA 31, Colorado 27

         

    San Jose State (1-4) at UNLV (1-2), 10:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: San Jose State beat UNLV 30-24 last October.

    San Jose State's last three opponents have shredded the Spartans for at least 500 yards and 54 points in each game. That's a brutal trend and a problem only compounded by an ineffective offense averaging 3.3 yards per snap during the losing streak. UNLV's defense isn't great either, but the Rebels will score plenty.

    Prediction: UNLV 41, San Jose State 24

         

    Colorado State (2-2) at Hawaii (2-2), 11:59 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Colorado State beat Hawaii 49-22 in November 2014.

    Colorado State had an extra week to recover from playing Alabama and prepare for a long trip to Hawaii. The rested Rams should kick off conference play with a productive offensive day, although the Warriors will be able to exploit some running lanes to keep it close.

    Prediction: Colorado State 38, Hawaii 31

Thursday Games

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    Texas (1-2) at Iowa State (2-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Texas beat Iowa State 27-6 last October.

    Midweek games in Ames tend to cause headaches for visitors. Iowa State has struggled over the last decade, but it recorded a memorable win over Oklahoma State (2011) and has hung around with West Virginia (2012), Texas (2013) and Oklahoma (2016) since then. Shane Buechele's return should help Texas navigate the Cyclones through the air, but they'll be a thorn for the Longhorns.

    Prediction: Texas 34, Iowa State 27

Friday Games

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    John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

    No. 14 Miami (2-0) at Duke (4-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Miami beat Duke 40-21 last November.

    What happened the last time Miami traveled to Duke? Oh, a little bit of absolute madness. Things should be less interesting for the Hurricanes this time around, though Duke's run defense has surrendered just 2.3 yards per carry. As long as Mark Walton breaks off a couple of big plays, Miami will leave Durham with an ACC win.

    Prediction: Miami 33, Duke 24

         

    Nebraska (2-2) at Illinois (2-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: Nebraska beat Illinois 31-16 last October.

    Turnovers have plagued Nebraska, so Illinois could stick around if it manages a couple of takeaways. But if the Cornhuskers shut down the running game as they have against non-Oregon opponents, the Illini might be pushed into mistakes of their own because neither Chayce Crouch nor Jeff George Jr. has proved he can carry the offense through the air.

    Prediction: Nebraska 31, Illinois 20

         

    BYU (1-3) at Utah State (2-2), 8 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: BYU beat Utah State 28-10 last November.

    After posting 265 total yards and four touchdowns last week, Kent Myers is the logical choice to start at quarterback for Utah State. His effectiveness will have the largest impact on the outcome since BYU is likely the superior team but has an inexperienced quarterback in Beau Hoge. If Myers avoids multiple turnovers and breaks off a couple of big plays with his legs, the Aggies will spring the upset.

    Prediction: Utah State 30, BYU 27

         

    No. 5 USC (4-0) at No. 16 Washington State (4-0), 10:30 p.m. ET

    Last meeting: USC beat Washington State 44-7 in November 2014.

    The college football world still doesn't really know what USC is. The Trojans escaped Western Michigan, impressed against Stanford, clipped Texas and outlasted Cal. That's a weird set of games, but the important part for the Trojans is 4-0. The defense has been steady since an uninspiring debut. The unit will brace USC on the road by limiting Washington State's success in the red zone.

    Prediction: USC 37, Washington State 33