Thursday is here and that means one thing: College Football is back upon us! Without further adieu, here are my select college football games for the weekend!
(10) Virginia Tech vs (21) Georgia Tech
The Hokies travel to the ATL to take on the Yellow Jackets of Gergia Tech. The Hokies are led by RB David Wilson and QB Logan Thomas. Expect the Hokies to attack the Yellow Jackets on the ground all game long with Wilson and Thomas. If the Jackets can stifle the Hokies on the ground, they have a huge chance to win this game. If not, the Yellow Jackets could be in trouble.
QB Tevin Washington must get on track this game. He has stumbled the last few games and opposing defenses have taken advantage of him. Washington must limit the turnovers and take advantages of the opportunities that the Hokie defense will give him. The thing about this game is the Hokies don’t give you a lot of opportunities. And that’s where Virginia Tech and their team will take advantage. Expect Virginia Tech to stop the run and run right at Georgia Tech.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, Georgia Tech 23
West Virginia vs (23) Cincinnati
The Mountaineers head to the Queen City to take on the Bearcats. The Moutaineers must get QB Geno Smith going this game. If he gets cooking, watch out Bearcats. But Cincy always has a pretty good defense and they are on a roll. It should be interesting to see which takes over on the field when these two units are on the field.
QB Zak Calleros has been every bit the senior leader for the Bearcats. He has ran and passed the Bearcats back from the relative unknown. They face a West Virginia defense that has taken a step back this year. Expect Calleros to continue the roll he is on. And expect the Mountaineers defense to be sucking wind all game long.
Prediction: Cincinnati 38, West Virginia 24
Wake Forest vs (9) Clemson
The Demon Deacons head to Death Valley to take on the Tigers, who will be looking to continue impressing and winning their game. Expect Wake Forest to come out and air the ball out. For Clemson, they must make things difficult for Wake. The more difficult they make it, the more mistakes Wake Forest will make.
For Clemson, its about one guy and one guy alone: QB Tahj Boyd. He is the key to everything they do. Yes, they have an ultra-talented freshman WR, but Boyd if the most important person on this team and that’s a fact. Expect him to slice and dice the Demon Deacon defense on their way to a big win in Death Valley.
Prediction: Clemson 41, Wake Forest 24
Florida vs South Carolina
The Gators head to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks. Expect offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to try and ease QB John Brantley into the game if he plays. Brantley must lean on the running game some this game to keep pressure off of Brantley. The problem with that is the behemoths that South Carolina has up front.
For South Carolina offensively, expect them to used the running-back by-committee approach to help QB Connor Shaw get comfortable. The battle in the trenches should be one to watch because of the outstanding players that Florida has on their defensive line against the big guys from Columbia. In the end, I don’t think Florida has enough offense to get it done.
Prediction: South Carolina 24, Florida 17
(20) Auburn vs (20) Georgia
The Tigers head to Athens to take on a red-hot Georgia team. QB Clint Mosely has been learning on the job during his time as a starter for the Tigers. Expect Georgia and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to try to confuse Mosely and make him uncomfortable as well. RB Michael Dyer could ease some of the pressure off of Mosely if he’s able to run the ball well.
This Georgia team has seemed to rally around coach Mark Richt and has saved his job. Expect them to come out and run right at Auburn with Isaiah Crowell (if he plays) and use the play action pass with QB Aaron Murray. The Bulldogs have plenty of offensive weapons, so expect them to spread the ball around and eventually wear down an undermanned Auburn team.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Auburn 20
(7) Oregon vs (4) Stanford
This is the rematch most in PAC-12 land have been looking forward to all year. The Ducks are led by QB Darren Thomas. He has been a little off this year for some reason, but expect him to be more focused for this game. Also expect the running game and the tempo of the game to be key to who wins this game. Another person to keep an eye on is RB/WR DeAnthony Thomas. He’s their Swiss Army knife on offense and he will be all over the field.
The Cardinals are led by one make: QB Andrew Luck. Luck has been so lucky with some of the things he has done on the field this year, but he has been excellent this season still. Expect Luck and the boys to run and pass action pass the Ducks into submission. Also expect the TE’s to be big as well. In the end, Stanford will win this game because they will slow the tempo down and grind it out. And that’s something Oregon cannot do.
Prediction 31, Oregon 27
(2) Oklahoma State vs Texas Tech
The Cowboys head to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Red Raider as the try to find some answers. The Cowboys offense is extremely explosive with the likes of WR Justin Blackmon running down the sideline. If I’m Texas Tech, I make QB Brandon Weeden throw to someone else when he needs the big play. Shutting down these two studs in Blackmon and Weeden will be very difficult.
Texas Tech hasn’t got it together this year. They have been up and they have been down. Well, I expected them to be down worst that they have in a while and it happened. Will all the offense for the Cowboys, the Red Raider offense must show up and produce. If not, this game could really ugly really soon.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 45, Texas Tech 27
(19) Nebraska vs (12) Penn State
First off, before I talk about this game. I want everyone who reads this to take a moment of silence for the kids who were taken advantage of by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. Now, for the game. I don’t think there’s anyway these kids can stay focused. The Nittany Lions may be lifeless out there playing without their leader on the field. I expect Nebraska to come out and run right at Penn State.
I’m going to stop previewing this game right here. I feel sorry for the football players of Penn State that are caught up in this mess as well.
Prediction: Hopefully a good game for the Nittany Lion football players
(16) Texas vs Missouri
The Longhorn head to Columbia for the last time in conference. The Longhorns will come out and play well, especially with all the young talent that they have. Expect Missouri to try and put pressure on the running game to make the young Texas QBs have to make throws to win the game. The big question will be can the young QBs come through.
For Missouri, expect them to run and pass at this Texas defense. Now the question for them is can they be consistent? Can’t they put enough pressure to make the Texas defense have to search for answers to solve them? The answers to those questions are no. Expect the Texas defense to rise up and for Texas to give the Missouri Tigers a parting gift.
Prediction: Texas 38, Missouri 14
(3) Alabama vs Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide took a tough loss to a great LSU team last weekend and look to rebound in Starksville against an undermanned Bulldog team. Expect RB Trent Richardson to get back on track against the Bulldog defense. It won’t be easy, but he will release his fury on them. And when he does, expect the Bulldogs to crowd the line of scrimmage. And that’s when QB AJ McCarron will have to take advantage of single-coverage on his receivers. Will the Mississippi State defensive backs be up for the challenge?
Mississippi State has been struggling this year offensively. And after this game, expect their numbers to look even worse. Expect the Crimson Tide to tighten the screws even more and squeeze the life out of this offense. RB Vick Ballard, it could be a hard week for you man. The cold tub awaits you after this game.
Prediction: Alabama 30, Mississippi State 13
These are my predictions for this weekend in college football. Let the games begin and the healing begin at Penn State.
You can follow me on Twitter @General_MP.