Friday Night College Football Predictions: No. 6 Boise St.-Utah St. and Others
Hey everyone, it's CFF coming back to BR after nearly a year-long hiatus. I just thought I'd have some fun and make a few predictions for tonight's games. I'll probably make an article for tomorrow's set too.
Akron (2-8) vs. Bowling Green (5-5), 5:30 PM ET/4:30 CT, ESPNU (HD)
An otherwise unremarkable game is made possibly watchable by the fact that you'll get to see the most overlooked player in college football in 2009, Freddie Barnes, wide receiver for Bowling Green. Barnes has had an incredible senior year, taking in 117 receptions for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus two rushing touchdowns as well for a total of 14.
Unfortunately for Barnes, the rest of his team just cannot match up to his level, save for maybe quarterback Tyler Sheehan, as the Falcons sit at 5-5 heading into a pivotal matchup with Akron.
If the Falcons win this one, they're bowl eligible in Dave Clawson's first season as BGSU head coach. The Falcons have made a great run over the past month, as they have won four of their last five to improve to 5-5 heading into their final two games.
On the subject of Barnes, you can't help but be amazed by his monstrous numbers in 2009. He's had seven games in which he had 10 receptions or more, seven in which he had 100 yards or more receiving, four games with two touchdowns or more, and in three games combined versus Troy, Marshall, and Kent State, Barnes caught 54 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns.
In the Kent State game, Barnes had maybe the best game any receiver has had in 2009: 22 catches, 254 yards, and three touchdowns, helping his team to a 36-35 victory.
This is another important game for Barnes and the Falcons. For Barnes, it means possibly getting another 10- to 15-catch game, possibly moving in on the collegiate record of 143 receptions in a season, held by Nick Smart of Division II Southwest Baptist in 2007, and furthering his dark horse Heisman campaign. For the Falcons, it means getting to bowl eligibility and to their ninth bowl game in team history.
Look for both Freddie Barnes and Bowling Green as a whole to accomplish their goals in what should be a walk over a weak 2-8 Akron team.
Prediction: Bowling Green 45, Akron 20
Eastern Michigan (0-10) vs. Toledo (4-6), 7:00 PM ET/6:00 CT
Let us all file this one under "games that should never be played." Eastern Michigan is so terrible that even Toledo should blow them out.
Prediction: Toledo 45, Eastern Michigan 7
No. 6 Boise State (10-0) vs. Utah State (3-7), 9:30 PM ET/8:30 CT, ESPN2 (HD)
The Boise State Broncos and their non-BCS brethren Texas Christian are becoming the talk of the college football nation. If both of the teams can make it into BCS bowls, could it be a situation where the nail is driven into the coffin for the BCS? However, for this question to be answered, both have to win out.
For Boise State, they must play better tonight than they did the last time they went out on the road on a Friday night—versus Louisiana Tech in a game where the Bulldogs gave them way more than they bargained for. Boise State won, 45-35, but lost quite a few votes in the process.
If anything for the Broncos, it's a great opportunity on national television to get some more Heisman votes for sophomore sensation Kellen Moore, who has played far above and beyond the expectations he was given at the start of the season.
Moore's stats for 2009 are stunning: 203 completed passes out of 300 attempts for a completion percentage of 67.7 percent, 2,558 yards, 32 touchdowns, and three interceptions—almost an 11 to one touchdown to interception ratio. With another strong game, Moore has an opportunity to put some more steam into his Heisman campaign for 2009.
Even though it is Utah State, we can't forget about the Aggies. Despite their record being 3-7, they are a much improved team and are possibly an even more serious threat for Boise State than Louisiana Tech was.
The Aggies played Utah a good first half before faltering in the second and losing 35-17. They came within eight points of beating Texas A&M on the road, losing a tough one 38-30. They trailed only 21-10 to BYU in the fourth quarter before going down 35-17. Finally, they came within an onside kick penalty of having a chance to beat the second-best team in the WAC, Nevada, falling 35-32.
They have lost four games by a score or less and literally could be 6-4 if three plays had gone their way.
Plus, the Aggies are on a hot streak for a team like Utah State—they've won two out of their last four after a 1-5 start. Realistically, though, they don't have much of a shot against a team as good as Boise State. Expect this one to be within a touchdown at halftime, but Boise State will take over in the second half.
Prediction: Boise State 38, Utah State 10
Questions and comments are always welcome.
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