Last week: 3-4
Last week started off strong for MC&J with Louisiana and Arkansas State covering, but things started to go downhill when Syracuse couldn’t finish out their cover against North Carolina, giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter. Early season growing pains.
Hopefully this week’s slate is a little kinder.
Tulsa v. No. 11 Oklahoma State (-23.5) - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN
My old nemesis, we meet again. I’m pretty sure Mike Gundy is my least favorite coach in college football. I know people love him because he has some stupid mullet and his “I’M A MAN, I’M 40” rant but he just seems like he sucks to play for. It feels like whenever the Cowboys lose, it is never his fault. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever been on the right side of an Oklahoma State pick. Had there been anything resembling a college football schedule this weekend, there’s no way I’d touch this game.
Oklahoma State has Chuba Hubbard, Tylan Wallace, and Spencer Sanders returning, so the offense of the Cowboys is going to be really good this year. As always, who knows what you’ll get with Oklahoma State’s defense. Tulsa has a senior quarterback in Zach Smith and running backs Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor. The Hurricanes at least have enough punch to get a late cover.
Oklahoma State 44, Tulsa 24
No. 19 Louisiana (-15.5) v. Georgia State - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN2
If there ever was a classic letdown game, this would be it. Louisiana is flying high after going into Ames and beating Iowa State last week to secure their first win over a ranked team in 24 years. The Ragin’ Cajuns did have a couple fluky scores though, using a kickoff return, punt return, and 78-yard pass play to account for three of their touchdowns. I can’t see them having quite as much luck two weeks in a row.
Louisiana 31, Georgia State 20
Syracuse v. No. 25 Pitt (-21.5) - 12:00 PM EST - ACC Network
Pitt as a three-touchdown favorite in a conference game? In this economy? What is going on here? Syracuse actually was hanging with North Carolina last week until the Tar Heels scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. I don’t think Pitt is as good as North Carolina, and I don’t think the Orange are as bad as they were late in the game last week.
Pitt 34, Syracuse 17
South Florida v. No. 7 Notre Dame (-25.5) - 2:30 PM EST - USA
I trusted Notre Dame with a spread nearly as big as this last week against Duke and it bit me. I can’t believe I’m thinking of going back to the well again with the Fighting Irish again this week.
South Florida won last week in Jeff Scott’s first game as head coach last week, beating The Citadel 27-6 thanks to rolling up over 300 yards on the ground. The Bulls aren’t going to have nearly that type of success this week rushing the football. When Notre Dame shuts down the run, I don’t see South Florida being able to get the passing game going.
Notre Dame has shown they can pass the football with Ian Book, and run it redshirt freshman Kylen Williams, who ran for 112 yards against Duke. Unlike last week, the Fighting Irish doesn’t let their opponent hang around.
Notre Dame 45, South Florida 17
No. 14 UCF (-7.5) v. Georgia Tech - 3:30 PM EST - ABC
One of the surprises of last weekend was Georgia Tech, who rallied to beat Florida State 16-13 in Tallahassee. Now the Yellow Jackets host a UCF team who has been one of the winningest teams in the country over the last few years.
I really like the Golden Knights in this game, as not only is Dillon Gabriel back at quarterback, but Josh Heupel has three running backs who rushed for over 500 yards last year. UCF has a mix on offense that Georgia Tech just won’t be able to match. The Golden Knights can grind down the Yellow Jackets on the ground to setup Gabriel hitting some big plays through the air. UCF will do what Florida State couldn’t do last week. Secure victory.
UCF 41, Georgia Tech 28
No. 17 Miami (FL) v. No. 18 Louisville (-2.5) - 7:30 PM EST - ABC
This is the first matchup between ranked teams in college football this season. If that doesn’t tell you how cold 2020 has been so far, I don’t know what will. While this game wouldn’t be in primetime if conditions were normal, at least it should be a fun game.
Both Miami and Louisville didn’t have much trouble in their season openers, with both winning by at least 14 points. The quarterback battle is going to be very interesting, with Miami starting Houston transfer D’Eriq King, while Louisville will counter with Micale Cunningham, who threw for 343 yards last week against Western Kentucky.
Cunningham has A LOT of weapons to work with. Not only are receivers Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick back, but so is running back Javian Hawkins, who ran for over 1,500 yards last year. Miami’s offense is still a work in progress and won’t be able to slow down Louisville enough to win on the road.
Louisville 38, Miami (FL) 31