College Football Fanatic's Week Three Predictions
Louisiana-Lafayette at #24 Illinois, Saturday, Noon ET
Point Spread: Illinois -26
As much as I'd like to pick an upset in this one, I can't. UL-Lafayette has one of the faster quarterbacks in the nation with Michael Desmoreaux, but he isn't Juice Williams. UL-Lafayette will hang with Illinois early, but the Illini will blow it open in the second half.
Prediction: Illinois 41, UL-Lafayette 17
#23 California at Maryland, Saturday, Noon ET
Point Spread: California -10
California has been impressive straight out of the gate, handling Michigan State 38-31 in the opener then blasting Washington State 66-3 last Saturday. Maryland has sputtered so far, struggling to beat Delaware, an FCS team, 14-7, and losing to Middle Tennessee State 24-14. Maryland will make this a good game, but Cal will pull away late.
Prediction: California 45, Maryland 28
#22 Utah at Utah State, Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Point Spread: Utah -25
Utah has done well so far, beating Michigan 25-23 at the Big House and beating UNLV 42-21 last Saturday. Utah State...not so much. They lost a Week 1 pillow fight against UNLV and got blown out by Oregon 66-24 allowing 688 offensive yards against the Ducks. This one won't be close.
Prediction: Utah 37, Utah State 6
#10 Wisconsin at #21 Fresno State, Saturday, 10:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Wisconsin -1
Wisconsin got a good start to the year with two wins over two cupcakes, beating Akron 38-17 and Marshall 51-14. Fresno State beat Rutgers in their only game thus far 24-7. I honestly think Fresno State is a pretty overrated team, but I could say the same about Wisconsin.
Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Fresno State 23
#13 Kansas at #19 South Florida, Friday, 8:00 PM ET
Point Spread: South Florida -4
Kansas beat two cupcakes to start off the year, winning against FIU 40-10 and Louisiana Tech 29-0. South Florida beat Tennessee-Martin 66-7 then beat Central Florida 31-24 in a thrilling overtime game. Kansas is a little overrated, but I think the same about USF.
Prediction: Kansas 37, South Florida 34 (Overtime)
UCLA at #18 BYU, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
Point Spread: BYU -8
UCLA beat Tennessee in their only game so far, 27-24 in OT. BYU beat Northern Iowa 41-17 to start off the season then somehow escaped with a 28-27 win against Washington last Saturday. UCLA is really about the 7th or 8th best team in the Pac-10, and I honestly think their win over Tenn. was a fluke.
Prediction: BYU 30, UCLA 20
#17 Penn State at Syracuse, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Penn State -27
Penn State spanked Coastal Carolina 66-10 in their opener then destroyed Oregon State 45-14. Syracuse lost 30-10 to Northwestern then lost to Akron 42-28. Syracuse is one of the worst teams in the nation; Penn State should win this one easily.
Prediction: Penn State 41, Syracuse 6
#16 Oregon at Purdue, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Oregon -8
Oregon spanked Washington 44-10 to start the season then set a school record by gaining 688 offensive yards in a 66-24 blowout of Utah State. Purdue won their only game so far against Northern Colorado 42-10.
Prediction: Oregon 41, Purdue 37
UNLV at #15 Arizona State, Saturday, 10:00 PM ET
Point Spread: Arizona State -23
UNLV started off the season winning a pillow fight against Utah State 27-17 but lost to Utah 42-21 last Saturday. Arizona State beat FCS team Northern Arizona 30-13 and then beat Stanford 41-17. UNLV should be able to hang with ASU for a while, but ASU will pull away in the second half.
Prediction: Arizona State 38, UNLV 21
#14 East Carolina at Tulane, Saturday, 3:00 PM ET
Point Spread: East Carolina -13
East Carolina has started off the season better than anyone, beating two Top 25 teams (#17 Virginia Tech 27-22 and #8 West Virginia 24-3) in as many weeks. Tulane gave Alabama a good fight last Saturday in their first game of 2008, losing 20-6. Tulane might give ECU a decent game, but expect the Pirates to make the Tulane Green Wave look like a 5 MPH breeze.
Prediction: East Carolina 45, Tulane 17
SMU at #12 Texas Tech, Saturday, 7:00 PM ET
Point Spread: Texas Tech -36.5
Poor June Jones. In the third game of his first season at SMU he has to play the best passing team in the country on the road, and SMU's defense has been the equivalent of a sieve so far, giving up 56 to Rice and 36 to Texas State-San Marcos, which is a college I had never even heard of before until last Saturday. Texas Tech has looked decent so far, beating Eastern Washington 48-21 and slipping past Nevada 35-19. Graham Harrell has not looked great so far but he has been good. Expect him to have a huge day against the awful SMU defense.
Prediction: Texas Tech 55, SMU 7
Western Kentucky at #11 Alabama, Saturday, 7:00 PM ET
Point Spread: Alabama -28
WKU is a transitioning FCS to FBS team and will become a member of the Sun Belt next year. So far, they've lost to Indiana 31-13 and beaten Eastern Kentucky 37-13. Alabama pulled off a great win against #9 Clemson 34-10 and beat Tulane 20-6 last Saturday. This one could get ugly early in favor of the Tide.
Prediction: Alabama 52, Western Kentucky 14
#9 Auburn at Mississippi State, Saturday, 7:00 PM ET
Point Spread: Auburn -10.5
Auburn has looked decent so far this year, beating UL-Monroe 34-0 and easily handling Southern Mississippi 27-13. The only problem is that the offense has not looked consistent yet and could be a problem in this game. Mississippi State is 1-1, losing their first game to Louisiana Tech 22-14 but beating SE Louisiana 34-10. Mississippi State's team this year might be even better than the 2007 team which went to a bowl for the first time in seven years. I'm going to take the upset pick in this one with MSU.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Auburn 21
Arkansas at #8 Texas, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Texas -24
Arkansas has looked mediocre this year, beating FCS team Western Illinois 28-24 and beating UL-Monroe 28-27, needing late scores in both games to win. Texas has looked powerful so far, beating Florida Atlantic 52-10 and UTEP 42-13. This won't be like the Arkansas-Texas games of old - Texas should have this one decided by halftime.
Prediction: Texas 38, Arkansas 10
North Texas at #7 LSU, Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Point Spread: LSU -41.5
North Texas has had a sieve for a defense so far this year, giving up 45 and 56 in losses to Kansas State and Tulsa and allowing nearly 600 yards per game. LSU's only game so far this year has come against Appalachian State and they won 41-13. Even though LSU's offense is a little shaky, they won't have any trouble against the not-so-Mean Green. LSU should be up 42-0 by halftime.
Prediction: LSU 52, North Texas 0
Nevada at #6 Missouri, Saturday, 12:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Missouri -26.5
Nevada has looked decent this year, beating Grambling 45-13 and giving Texas Tech a big fight and holding down Graham Harrell before falling 35-19. Missouri beat Illinois 52-42 in the opener and wiped out SE Missouri State 52-3 last week. Missouri has had some defense issues so far but they should be OK for this one.
Prediction: Missouri 45, Nevada 21
#3 Oklahoma at Washington, Saturday, 7:45 PM ET
Point Spread: Oklahoma -20
Oklahoma has looked impressive so far this year, beating Chattanooga 57-2 (up 50-0 at halftime) and spanking Cincinnati 52-26. Washington has lost 44-10 to Oregon and nearly upset BYU last week before having the tying PAT blocked and losing 28-27. Washington will give a good fight, but Oklahoma will run away with this one.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Washington 20
#2 Georgia at South Carolina, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
Point Spread: Georgia -7
Georgia has looked great so far, beating Georgia Southern 45-21 and annihilating Central Michigan 56-17 last Saturday. South Carolina started off the 2008 season with a 34-0 win over NC State but was upset by Vanderbilt 24-17 last Thursday. If South Carolina had a good quarterback, I would consider picking them for an upset win. But they don't, and I'm taking Georgia here.
Prediction: Georgia 38, South Carolina 24
#5 Ohio State at #1 USC, Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Point Spread: USC -10.5
Ohio State has looked mediocre so far, beating Youngstown State 43-0 but nearly being upset by Ohio, who were 34 point underdogs, beating them 26-14 and trailing until the fourth quarter. USC has looked powerful so far, beating Virginia 52-7 in their only game. If Beanie Wells has a good game, Ohio State could win. But if the USC defense shuts him down, expect a 15 point or bigger USC win.
Prediction: USC 27, Ohio State 20
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