College Morning Picks: Can ECU Do It Again?
Hopefully, after a week under my belt, I can turn in a better performance than last week's 2-3 meltdown. What's sad is one of my wins was a so called upset pick, where would I be without East Carolina?
I got to watch just about all the games I predicted, minus Alabama and Clemson, due to the same time as Illinois and Missouri. I underestimated the potential of Cal and Jeff Tedford's stubbornness not lasting long enough for Nate Longshore to blow the game.
I could feel the energy of the East Carolina team as they continued to stop the Virginia Tech offense that was very one dimensional, without receivers for that one dimension. It was only a matter of time before the Pirates broke through and put the Hokies in their place with a reverse dose of Beamer ball.
This week, it is much harder to pick a slate of games because of the fact that there aren't really any ranked match-ups. I guess I'll have to rely on the upset once again, which might not be a bad thing.
Last Week: 2-3
Early ACC Clash: Georgia Tech @ Boston College
I'm seeing a lot of people jump on the Georgia Tech bandwagon this week after their complete dismantling of Jacksonville State. The Paul Johnson triple-option offense had a successful debut, accumulating 349 yards on the ground.
But, I'm not buying into it just yet. Boston College not only beat, but they shut out a more quality opponent last week in Kent State. They managed to hold talented running back Eugene Jarvis in check for the most part.
Their offense was very efficient without Matt Ryan as well. Quarterback Chris Crane got it done in the air and on the ground, scoring two rushing touchdowns on 11 carries.
I'm going to keep the faith in Boston College and choose their young defense over Georgia Tech's. I like the fact that the Eagles also have proven their offense against a decent team and not Jacksonville State.
Offensive Showdown: Texas Tech @ Nevada
Considering the opponent, it was a shaky defensive performance for Texas Tech against Eastern Washington. 364 total yards and 24 points isn't good for any Division I program facing Eastern Washington.
Nevada ran rampant over Grambling State, accumulating 426 yards on the ground, including three rushing scores from their quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Nevada might just have the most explosive offense in their entire conference, which is saying something considering the WAC has Boise State and Fresno State.
Obviously, I wouldn't be picking this game to pick Texas Tech that just wouldn't be right. Texas Tech is supposed to do some damage this year, but I could see a team like Nevada taking them out this week. They've got the offense to match them blow-for-blow.
They are also a run heavy team, which can neutralize any good opposing offense if it's successful. They say a best defense for an explosive offense like Texas Tech, is a good run game. Keep them off the field as much as possible, and limit their opportunities.
That's why I'm going for Nevada to pull the upset on the Red Raiders.
Fun in Florida: Miami (FL) @ Florida
We get the Gators and the Hurricanes in the Swamp for the first time in a long time.
With the Virginia Tech meltdown, I could see the Hurricanes surprising some people and come out the Coastal division.
Think about this though. Miami has had Florida's number these past few meetings, both bowl games, and Florida hasn't beaten them since 1985.
So, where am I going with all this? Well, I'll tell you this, the spread is vastly overrated on this game, Miami if they lose, won't lose by the margin the odds makers are setting.
Check this out though if you want to make a case for Miami. Jacory Harris won't light the world on fire, he didn't against Charleston Southern. But, he and the Hurricane backfield will run until they can't run anymore.
Four backs for Miami all scored touchdowns and all four had a YPC of 4.4 or better. Like I was saying with Nevada, a good running game can neutralize a good offense like Florida's.
However, while I'm tentative about it, I'm going to take Tim Tebow and Florida to survive a very close one against Miami, by virtue of it being a home game.
What Do I Call This?: Cincinnati @ Oklahoma
I don't really know what to call this match-up, but I think it will be closer than some people think.
Cincinnati has a quiet team there in the Big East led by the fired up Brian Kelly. Don't overlook the Bearcats in this one if you are the Sooners, or else you could be killing your National Title aspirations real early.
I'm not going to go as far as picking Cincinnati, I need to keep my record up after a bad week, but I will say this will be a fun game to watch.
Dustin Grutza played well for the Bearcats last week and keep an eye on the two senior linebackers for Cincinnati in Corey Smith and Ryan Manaiac.
In the end, Oklahoma is just too talented for Cincinnati to lose, but they need to show up.
Carolina Continued: West Virginia @ East Carolina
Will I do it again? Stick around to find out, but take a look at this game for a second. West Virginia and a pass-happy Pat White ripped up Villanova last week. East Carolina up-ended an overrated Virginia Tech team.
I said it last week; don't call it an upset, so technically, East Carolina has yet to pull the upset, right?
Right! So, they still have an upset left in them and beating West Virginia would be just that, an upset.
East Carolina is going to be facing another depleted defense this week, but they will have their hands full with a stocked up offense led by Heisman contender Pat White.
So, for that, they are going to have to do a lot more than they did last week to pull out a win. You can bet Skip Holtz won't settle for what his team did last week. They could have scored many more points and gave up a lot less if they didn't make mistakes on offense and special teams.
This defense can play and they can hang with West Virginia. Their offense can put up points on a defense that not only isn't returning a lot of starters, but is very vulnerable against talent.
West Virginia roughed them up last year in Morgantown, so don't think the Pirates have this game in the back of their mind.
It sounds like I'm going to do it again, does it not? Well, I am, East Carolina to pull the real upset this week and make it 2-0. They are a legit BCS buster this year and this is just the beginning.
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