Last week ATS: 6-6 (3-3 National, 3-3 B1G)
Season ATS: 50-46-3 (21-18-2 National, 29-28-1 B1G)
Thrown off by MC&J flipping this week’s Big Ten and national picks since Ohio State is playing on Friday night? No worries, you can this week’s Big Ten picks right here.
No. 23 Clemson (-24) v. Louisville - 12:00 PM EST - ABC
Clemson certainly put their bye week to good use. After nearly losing to North Carolina a few weeks ago, the Tigers put a hurtin’ on Florida State last week. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence isn’t exactly lighting up the stat sheet, but he doesn’t have to with running back Travis Etienne lining up next to him.
After a hideous 2018, Louisville has already earned four wins this year under new head coach Scott Satterfield. Last week the Cardinals beat Wake Forest 62-59, but Louisville will have to tighten up defensively if they hope to have any shot of pulling the upset on the Tigers. Satterfield still hasn’t announced who will start at quarterback for Louisville, as Micale Cunningham and Evan Conley have taken snaps since Jawon Pass was injured early in the season.
The scare against North Carolina was probably what Clemson need to lit a fire under them. I don’t like Louisville’s questions at quarterback, even though both Cunningham and Conley have played well at times. Clemson’s defense isn’t like anything those two quarterbacks have seen this season. The Tigers build off last week’s performance and keep rolling.
Clemson 48, Louisville 21
No. 9 Florida (-5) v. South Carolina - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN
Florida’s offense actually played pretty well against LSU last week. Surprisingly it was the defense that didn’t hold up against the Tigers. Kyle Trask has gained confidence in each start since taking over for an injured Feleipe Franks. It helps that Trask has a talented group of wide receivers like Freddie Swain, Trevon Grimes, Van Jefferson, and others to work with.
South Carolina earned the biggest win over Will Muschamp’s tenure last week when they took down Georgia in Athens. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski has already squared off with Georgia and Alabama, so it’s not like he should be unprepared for what Florida is going to throw at him.
Florida lost last week in a big game, while South Carolina upset one of the best teams in the country. The Gamecocks should be an easy choice this week, right? Not so fast. I think the Gators rebound while South Carolina has a bit of a letdown. Dan Mullen puts together a better gameplan than Kirby Smart did last week, allowing the Gators to win by at least a touchdown.
Florida 27, South Carolina 17
No. 12 Oregon (-3) v. No. 25 Washington - 3:30 PM EST - ABC
Last week I doubted Oregon would cover against Colorado. That didn’t work out at all, did it? The Ducks have now given up seven points or less in five straight games. Quarterback Justin Herbert continues to roll, throwing 17 touchdowns and just one interception so far this season. Herbert won’t have his favorite target this weekend, as tight end Jacob Breeland will miss Saturday’s game.
Will this be the week that the Oregon defense surrenders double digits for the first time since the season opener? I feel like if there was anyone who could do it, it would be quarterback Jacob Eason. The Georgia transfer has thrown 13 touchdowns so far this season. Savion Ahmed is also dangerous, with the running back racking up 522 yards and six touchdowns on 90 carries.
With Oregon we know what we’re getting. Washington? Not so much. The Huskies fell flat against Cal and Stanford so far this year, and didn’t look all that great in the first half of last week’s game against Arizona. Last year’s game was a thrilling contest that Oregon won in overtime, and there’s no reason to think this year’s edition of the rivalry won’t be close. If the spread was any bigger I’d take Washington, but I think Oregon is just a little better this year.
Oregon 24, Washington 17
Temple v. No. 19 SMU (-8) - 3:30 PM EST - ESPN2
Temple knocked Memphis from the undefeated ranks last week, and now the Owls have a chance to erase another from the list this weekend. Rod Carey’s team has used a strong defense to post a 5-1 record so far this year. The Owls are allowing 325 yards per game. Anthony Russo has complimented the defense by providing veteran leadership at quarterback.
SMU was nearly handed their first loss last time out, when Tulsa pushed the Mustangs to triple overtime. The combination of Texas transfer quarterback Shane Buechele and running back Xavier Jones, who has 12 rushing touchdowns already this year, has the Mustangs off to their best start in recent memory.
I’m not quite ready to trust SMU in a spot like this laying more than a touchdown. Temple is a really sound football team so they should at the very least keep this within a touchdown. I think the Owls are the more complete football team, which is why I’ll go another step and take Temple to pull the upset here.
Temple 31, SMU 28
No. 17 Arizona State v. No. 13 Utah (-13.5) - 6:00 PM EST - Pac-12 Network
This feels like an elimination game in the Pac-12 South. If Arizona State is able to win in Salt Lake City, Herm Edwards’ team will control their own destiny in the division, especially with a contest with USC on the horizon. Last week the Sun Devils won a thrilling contest with Washington State, but Jayden Daniels and Arizona State will have to be even better this week against a strong Utah team.
Utah has been great since falling to USC, dominating Washington State and Oregon State in their last two games. The Utes are incredibly balanced on offense, averaging 238 yards passing per game and 228 yards rushing per game. The defense isn’t too shabby either, giving up just over 50 yards per game on the ground to opponents.
Even though it’s tough to play at Rice Eccles Stadium, this feels like a few too many points for the Utes to be giving in what should be a tight game. Arizona State’s last four games have been decided by seven points or less, and the defense of the Sun Devils should keep the final margin around that mark. It’s just too bad this game is on the Pac-12 Network, which means the number of people actually able to see this quality game will be limited.
Utah 34, Arizona State 27
No. 14 Boise State (-7) v. BYU - 10:15 PM EST - ESPN2
This game is a mess at quarterback. Boise State probably will start Chase Cord after Hank Bachmeier left last week’s game against Hawaii with an injury. BYU has announced a starter yet after second-string quarterback Jaren Hall left last week’s game against South Florida. If Hall can’t go, Baylor Romney will get the start.
With all of the injuries, at least Boise State has a running game they can lean on. The Broncos are averaging 166 yards per game on the ground, while BYU is giving up 224 yards per game rushing. I know the game is in Provo, which is always a tough place to place, but Boise State has a defense that can make things tough for either Hall or Romney. The Broncos win by at least 10 points here.
Boise State 37, BYU 20