Week 3 Predictions – 2019

Last Week:  Congratulations to Steven and Vaughn, who were the only two people to go 5-0 in their picks last week! Week 2 did provide some insight to these teams across the country, and with the epic game in Austin, and the overtime win for Colorado, that is where we found most of our picks to vary. Ohio State and Clemson took care of business, but with LSU winning, it might shake up not only the SEC landscape, but the national landscape as well. It was definitely a good week of games, and hopefully week 3 continues to add to the drama!

This Week’s Games:  Ohio State travels for its first away game as well as first Big Ten game as they face Indiana, who tends to play the Buckeyes tough. Next, we have the battle for the state of Pennsylvania with Pitt and Penn State. Like College GameDay, we will also predict the Iowa – Iowa State matchup, with the Cyclones hosting the Hawkeyes. The next match up will be Clemson and Syracuse. The Orangeman lost to Maryland last week, but have challenged the Tigers the last two seasons. Will this be Clemson’s toughest test until a potential ACC Championship game? Keeping this in the ACC, the last matchup will be Florida State against Virginia. Florida State has not had the best start, but can they get a significant win against a good Virginia team to help turn around their season?

Buckeye Greats:  As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fifth straight year.

Here we go with our Week 3 Picks – Good Luck to All – Josh

(6)Ohio State  @  Indiana

Andy: I think this game will prove to be tougher for Ohio State than their previous two games. Indiana has been close to getting over the hump of being an average team for the past five to six years. They’ve come close to upsetting Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State and they always play up to the level of those teams.

IU has looked impressive so far this year starting off 2-0 and is currently ranked as the 23rd best overall defense this season. The hard thing to figure out for IU is who their best quarterback is and what their offensive identity is this season. Last year quarterback Peyton Ramsey played well, but despite that has not been the starter this year yet for the Hoosiers.. dual threat quarterback Michael Penix has.

The Buckeye defense took a big step forward against Cincinnati holding them to only 273 yards of offense and no scores, the first shut out under Ryan Day’s tenure as head coach. I don’t think they’ll be able to pull a shut out against Indiana though, the Hoosiers managed to score 86 combined points in their first two games this year. I think Ohio State’s offense lead by Justin Fields and a surging J.K. Dobbins will be able to move the ball and get points on the board consistently against Indiana.

Ohio State 35 – Indiana 17

Bbaver:  Pick: Ohio State – The Bucks are 1-7 against the Vegas spread facing the Hoosiers the last 8 seasons. And the one spread Ohio State did cover was a game in which they were 20 1/2 pt favorites and trailed in the third quarter. If the Buckeyes keep playing these types of games against IU, sooner or later they will lose one of them. Still, the Bucks were very impressive in rolling a decent Cincinnati team 42-0. And Dobbins showed signs of his freshman form. If IU has any shot at the upset they will have to find ways to pressure Fields, as well as adequately protect their own QB, redshirt frosh Michael Pennix Jr. Indiana likes to use some pre-snap motion, which seemed to be the OSU D’s kryptonite last year, so they’d better have Indiana scouted well. I like OSU 38-21.

Coach Rick: I hope OSU does not have a let down after last weeks game. If OSU does not have a let down it will be a big OSU win. I think Coach Day will have his team fired up and will be ready to go. I have OSU winning by 24 points.

Cory: After handling Cincinnati last week the Buckeyes now turn their attention to their first road game of the season, and it comes against a talented Indiana team. The Hoosiers are 2-0, and have some good players on both sides of the ball but it’s hard to say how good they actually are as those two wins came over Ball State and Eastern Illinois. It’s no shock that Indiana features a good offense. Led by new starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr and running back Stevie Scott, the Hoosiers don’t have much trouble moving the ball. Penix is a tremendous athlete with a huge arm, however, he his still finding his accuracy. Multiple times against Eastern Illinois he overthrew wide open receivers on plays that would’ve been touchdowns. He’ll need to hit those passes if the Hoosiers have any hopes of upsetting an Ohio State team that shut out a very good Cincinnati team. Justin Fields was incredibly efficient with the football again, but more impressive was the defense that suffocated the Bearcats all game long. Indiana typically plays Ohio State close, and being in Bloomington won’t make things easier. As long as the Buckeyes can avoid too many turnovers, they should be able to handle the Hoosiers without too much of a problem. Ohio State 35, Indiana 21

Dave: Ohio State 42 @ Indiana 21

Dr. Mark: OSU 44-17 game will stay close thru first qtr and a half , then Bucks will pull away. Indiana offense has played pretty well against us, but final score not likely to be close- few of the top 6 in the rankings have played a true meaningful game yet-

GreggAs I am out visiting the original house of gladiators in Rome this week, I will miss watching this game. Josh will be making his sideline debut, picking up picture taking duty in my absence.  The Hoosier athletic office has always been hospitable and kind to Buckeye 50, always granting a field pass whenever we request it.  The team however, not so much as the Buckeyes tend to have to scratch and claw their way each visit to Bloomington, to come out with the win. Justin Fields continues to impress and expected a balanced running attack as well. The defense was extremely impressive last week shutting out the Bearcats, I believe we will see further growth again this week as the Buckeyes start to Big Ten slate.   Ohio State 38  Indiana 17

Jason: Both teams come into this game 2-0 and the Hoosiers have been a thorn in the Buckeyes side despite not winning a game in the series since 1988. That Buckeye defense, which was much maligned a year ago has shown up in full force in the first two weeks, and after shutting out a talented Cincinnati team last week, they are proving they are for real. Offensively, QB Justin Fields has been close to perfect, with an adjusted completion rate leading the country at a tick over 90%. He has a wealth of weapons at the wide receiver position to go along with JK Dobbins at running back who broke out last week. If the Hoosiers want to pull off the upset, they need to force the Buckeyes into mistakes but so far they have limited the turnovers and the Hoosiers have just one takeaway in their first two games. To make matters worse, Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr. is a game time decision with an undisclosed injury. Penix has been nothing short of outstanding in the first two Hoosier ball games but if he can’t go Indiana will have to turn the keys over to Peyton Ramsey who can fling it and had success against the 2018 version of the Buckeye D, but he is very one dimensional which will allow that talented defensive line of Ohio State to pin their ears back and come after him. If Penix plays, the Hoosiers may hang around for a quarter or two, but if he can’t it could get ugly fast. It’s going to be very difficult to run on Ohio State if the Hoosiers can’t spread them out and even so, it will be difficult. Either way, the Buckeyes have too much firepower on both sides of the football and should cruise to 3-0. Ohio State 52 Indiana 10

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John: The Hoosiers have a tendency to play Ohio State tough, at least during the Urban Meyer era, especially in Bloomington. Wouldn’t surprise me if this one is still competitive into the fourth quarter, although like last week OSU has enough of a talent edge on both sides of the ball to turn this into a blow out. Being a conference game, I’d expect coach Day to open up the playbook on both sides of the ball. In the end, Bucks should win comfortably. Ohio State 38 Indiana 17

Josh:   For whatever reason, Indiana is a tough place to play, but I think this trip will be a little different. One thing I have not seen Ryan Days team do so far is play down to their opponents level, and not trying to knock the Hoosiers, but this one shouldn’t be close. Justin Fields had another great game against Cincinnati, which I did not expect our team to play as well as they did. JK Dobbins finally got the ground game rolling with some runs outside. Indiana might key on that, but I see no reason why the Buckeye offensive line shouldn’t be able to move the Hoosier defensive line backward and open up some holes. I think the offense will roll once more. Our defense just needs to tighten up in pass protection, and force the young Indiana quarterback to make mistakes and create turnovers. Buckeye get a good win on the road, and move to 3-0. Buckeye nation should also be well represented in this game. Ohio State 41 – Indiana 14.

Pia Pete: Bucks over Hoosiers but closer than we’d like.

PJSBuck Ohio State by 28.  This is essentially a home game for OSU as well as it is attended.  Bloomington is NOT an intimidating place to play.  Both my boys graduated from IU so this is always an interesting game in our family and we have gone to MANY games in Bloomington where it is usually the only time the stadium is sold out.  This is not your Indiana of old.  Tom Allen is an old-school, fundamentally sound coach with a bag of tricks.  Look for this to be interesting early as IU’s offense can score points.  However, the game storyline will be our defense against their offense. Based upon the Cinci game I think we win convincingly by 4 touchdowns

Steven:  If the defense continues to improve and play 4 quarters Indiana has little hope of breaking through.  I’m feeling like the Hoosiers are maybe one rung above Cincinnati, so I won’t predict a shutout.  Even so, don’t expect this to be a game last the first quarter.  Indiana always seems to play tough for a while and every so often gives our defense fits.  It will be interesting to see if how they match up this year.  Our defensive line played lights out against Cincinnati, so all they need to do is keep on keeping on. I do think the offense will slightly up its game from last week.  Maybe a few turnovers turn into scoring chances as well.  OSU 51-17.

Trout: I want to say the Buckeyes will win this game by 50, but unfortunately in recent history, Indianan has been a bit of a challenge. Now, I don’t think the Buckeyes will lose this game. They are they better team in all aspects of the game. However, the Hoosiers have found a way to keep pace with them and be a thorn in their collective side. Talent will win out however. Justin Fields is showing that he is the real deal at quarterback. Not to mention, the defense, lead by Chase Young looks like the Silver Bullets of old. I believe the Buckeyes win by a few scores, but Indiana keeps them on their toes for a while. (Ohio State 38-24)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): There are several stadiums where the Buckeyes seem to inexplicable challenges and two of them are in the state of Indiana. Fortunately, we only have to play Indiana this year and the other will go unnamed. However, after struggling early in these games against the Hoosiers the Buckeyes usually prevail. With some challenging words from IU’s defensive coordinator Justin Fields may want to prove his weaknesses are harder to exploit and press for some big plays. I see that happening.

The defensive line is also starting to heal as Tyreke Smith is proving he can be a terror opposite the Predator. I am also enjoying the utilization of all the linebackers. So far, it appears the coaches have the right players with the right scheme for the majority of the game. The DBs are also playing fantastic. I think IU will try to run the QB because of OSU’s aggressive play and dink and dunk when the defense is playing zone. However, the defense holds strong and the Buckeyes pound the Hoosiers 45-10.

Final Score:  Ohio State 51   Indiana 10

(11)Penn State vs. Pitt

Andy: Usually this game provides for some excitement being an in-state rivalry game. But to be honest Penn State has quietly dismantled both of the teams they’ve played this season without some of their best players they had a season or two ago. This is a testament to coach James Franklin who has done an excellent job assembling a great coaching staff who also recruits very well. Quarterback Sean Clifford for Penn State not only leads the team in Passing, but also in rushing. I really like the sophomore class for the Nittany Lions, which includes Clifford, Tight End Pat Freiermuth and wide receivers KJ Hamler and Joahn Dotson. Penn State seems to be going on a running back by committee basis until they find their new bell cow after losing studs Seqoun Barkley and Miles Sanders to the NFL over the past two seasons.

I actually think this Pitt team is a little under appreciated going into this game, they won a close game against Ohio University and lost a close game against Virginia who I predict to win the ACC coastal division this season. Pitt also so far after two games has the 24th best overall defense in the country as of now. Offensively they’re struggling with their starting quarterback Kenny Pickett only completing 51% of his passes for a meager 185 yards between two games. How’s their run game you ask? Also terrible averaging less than 100 yards rushing per game as a team.

I think Penn State is a much more talented team on both sides of the football, these sophomores that coach Franklin has assembled look really talented and I expect them to difference makers on Saturday,

Penn State 35 – Pitt 13

Bbaver:  Pick: Penn St – Numbers from last Saturday night’s PSU-Buffalo game. First Downs: Buffalo 22 Penn St 14. Final Score: Penn St 45 Buffalo 13. Doesn’t quite jive, does it? I think Penn St wins this one but it could be interesting.

Coach Rick: I think Pitt will be pumped in this game and will play great in the 1st quarter. After this happens, PSU takes over and it will not be a good game. I have PSU winning by 27 points.

Cory:  Can a rivalry game also be a trap game? Penn State enters the game with Pitt this week ranked 15th, and the Nittany Lions get to host the Panthers. Pitt enters 1-1 with an uninspiring with over Ohio last week. Penn State has a big road game against No. 21 Maryland next week, and the Nittany Lions crushed Pitt by a score of 51-6 last year. It’s only natural that some Penn State players might overlook the Pitt game this week. That said, Penn State has its own issues to work on. The 45-13 score against Buffalo last week is a bit misleading as the Bulls led 10-7 at halftime and held a large advantage in time of possession – 42:32 to Penn State’s 17:28. The Nittany Lions struggled with Pitt in last year’s game until finally finding some offense in the second half. Pitt doesn’t have the offense to hang with Penn State if it’s another high-scoring game but if the Panthers can keep it close after halftime they may have a chance. Still, it’s hard to imagine Pitt walking out of Happy Valley with a win in this one. Penn State 31, Pitt 10

Dave:  Pitt 18 @ Penn State 28

Dr. Mark: Penn State 50-27- not much to say here – doubt an upset can happen in happy Valley

Gregg: I may be giving the B1G too much love, but I gotta go with the Nittany Lions. I think have been a forgotten team in the Big Ten East this year and Pitt is an overrated team from the ACC. This 100th meeting of these two teams will be fun to watch though. Penn State 45 Pittsburgh 35

Jason: The Keystone Classic rivalry renews on Saturday with Pitt visiting State College. The Nittany Lions have looked good early, although they struggled in the first half a week ago against Buffalo before blowing the doors off the Bulls in the second half. The D has been nothing short of outstanding although the opponents have been nothing to write home about. The Panthers have struggled offensively in the first two weeks, losing to Virginia and struggling although winning a week ago over Ohio 20-10. If The Panther O line can’t play much better than it has, it will be in for a long day in State College. For Pitt to pull off the upset, their defense, which has been solid through two weeks will have to step up and force Penn State QB Sean Clifford to feel uncomfortable, something he has not dealt with in his young collegiate career. If the Panthers can create a few turnovers and move the chains offensively and eat clock, it can shorten the game and make it a game into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Lions have been a quick strike offense and if that happens early in this one, Pitt won’t have the firepower to keep up. I expect Pittsburgh to hang in there for awhile as is usually the case in rivalry games, but Penn State just has too much and at home will pull away and cruise to the win. Penn State 38 Pittsburgh 14

Joe-S-U:  Penn State

John: Penn State has looked impressive feasting on a couple of nobodies in weeks one and two. Not sure this Pitt team is that much better than the bantha fodder the Nit’s feasted on so far. Lions win big. Penn State 42 Pitt 10

Josh:   Penn State had a small scare against Buffalo last week, but I think that was just a slow start for the Nittany Lions. They have put up some impressive numbers offensively and James Franklin seems to have his team humming even without Trace McSorley. Pitt will challenge with some solid defense, but they also fell to a Virginia team for their first game, and I think Penn State has a better offense than the Cavaliers. I see this one getting ugly, and Penn State winning big. Penn State 49 – Pitt 17

Pia Pete: PSU trounces Pitt.

PJSBuck: PSU by > 30. Hmmmmm……. lambs to the slaughter house. At Penn State, this will be a train wreck for Pitt. Penn State by 30 or more

Steven:  Penn State should have the upper hand in this game.  It is a small sample size of 2 games but Pitt has only scored 34 points this year.  The Nittany Lions have scored 124.  Yikes.  This could get out of hand quickly.  It might not be a bloodbath, but it sure ain’t gonna be pretty for Pitt fans.  PSU 54-7.

TroutThe Nittany Lions should win this game pretty easily. Pitt is not a good team. Although I skeptical about Penn State playing a bigger role in the CFP discussion, I still think they are a pretty good team. The only way I see Pitt putting up a fight again Penn State, is if the Nittany Lions are overlooking them, in preparation for Maryland, next week. Honestly, I don’t see the game being much of a challenge, and just like their last 2 games, the Nittany Lions put up a ton of points. Penn State wins this game big. (Penn State, 42-10)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): When a longstanding rivalry loses its pizzazz it causes the more dominant team to claim “another team” as its rival. Pitt is challenged and Penn State is at home. I see Penn State struggling early then pulling away late to beat Pitt in an ugly game 34-17

Final Score:  Penn State 17   Pitt 10

(18)Iowa  @ Iowa State

Andy:  This game is usually a barn burner… not literally, but close. If there is one thing we’ve learned about Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell (an Ohio Native) he usually pulls off one or two upsets a season. A lot of people expect them to finish this season this season with 9 or 10 wins because of how weak the Big 12 conference is as a whole right now. In their first game this season it took Iowa State 3 over times to beat Northern Iowa. And I realize that is a rivalry game as well so it’s going to be somewhat closer than it otherwise would given the talent discrepancy between the two teams. The one good thing for Iowa State is they get the Hawkeyes at home and sometimes Kirk Ferentz while loses games he shouldn’t, despite that this Hawkeye team is legit this year. They’ve only allowed 14 points across both games this year and only allowing 185 yards of offense on average.

The Hawkeyes have some talented experienced players including quarterback Nate Stanley and defensive end A.J. Epenesa who is projected to be a top 5 pick in the next NFL draft. So far this Hawkeye team has been true to Kirk Ferentz usual blue print for teams. Good tough lines of scrimmage, steady quarterback play and efficient in the red zone on both offense and defense. In other words, nothing too flashy from their athletes. Despite being on the road, I think this Iowa team is sneaky tough and will pull out the win.

Iowa 27 – Iowa State 20

Bbaver: Pick: Iowa – Matt Campbell’s Cyclones just don’t start dialing it up until October, usually. I think Iowa St is much better than they showed in the Northern Iowa game, which saw Ia St get taken to OT. But with another slow start to the season for Iowa St, I tend to like Iowa here. Looks like another pretty solid Iowa team that Ferentz has. There won’t be many pts scored in this one.

Coach Rick: The battle for Iowa will be fun to watch. I give the edge to Iowa being they have that one extra game under their belt. I have Iowa by 10.

Cory:  We’re only two weeks into the college football season, and already Iowa State had a bye week. The Cyclones had a week off following their overtime win over Northern Iowa two weeks ago. Having two weeks to prepare for the Hawkeyes will help Iowa State, and the Cyclones will need to have utilized that time well as Iowa looks like they’re not dropped off at all despite losing some talented players to the NFL draft. The Hawkeyes are led by quarterback Nate Stanley, who is completing 63.8 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions. This will be the first real test Iowa has had after opening with wins over Miami (OH) and Rutgers. Though the Cyclones struggled at home against Northern Iowa, they will not be an easy out. This game rides on Stanley’s shoulders. If he continue to throw like has so far this season, the Hawkeyes will be able to come away with a big road win. Iowa 24, Iowa State 20

Dave: Iowa 21 @ Iowa State 14

Dr. Mark: Iowa 28-27 game of the day- usually when I pick Iowa they lose but there steady play on both sides of the ball should get them the win.

Gregg: This should be a good one but I will go with the Hawkeyes in a close one. Iowa 24 Iowa State 22

Jason: The battle for the illustrious Cy Hawk trophy highlights a rather pedestrian week of college football and the rivalry renews in Ames, Iowa. The Hawkeyes have opened with one of the easier schedules in college football beating Miami University and Rutgers although looking good doing so unlike Iowa State who struggled in a triple overtime win over Northern Iowa in their only outing thus far on the young season. Where Iowa has struggled is getting in the opponent backfield so the Cyclones should have time to throw the football with QB Brock Purdy flinging it downfield to some talented receivers. Iowa QB Nate Stanley has been magnificent, throwing for nearly 500 yards and 6 TD’s in the first two weeks but Iowa State is much more talented defensively so the veteran QB will be tested for the first time this season. Both of these teams will throw the football often but they both will want to establish the run and control the clock. This will be a grind it out type of game and low scoring but competitive for four quarters. Ultimately, I expect Stanley to make enough plays late to pull away giving Iowa the win in a highly contested ballgame. Iowa 24 Iowa State 14

Joe-S-U:  Iowa

John: Of our slate of games this week, this one should be the most competitive, and also the hardest to pick. Iowa St looked positively pedestrian beating FCS Northern Iowa in 2OT in week one, and honestly were a lucky bounce in the second overtime away from a loss. The Cyclones had a bye last week, so I do expect them to be improved, plus this is a rivalry game. Iowa has looked good beating two MAC teams – well, one MAC team and Rutgers. I think the Hawkeyes go on the road an get a hard fought W. Iowa 24 Iowa St 21

Josh:   Thanks to how the schedule works out this year, each team has 2 bye weeks in their season. Iowa State got the benefit of one after a closer than comfort win against UNI in week 1. With rivalry games, and this one in particular, you can ignore a little bit what these teams have done so far, because this game tends to be a season within a season. Iowa has looked impressive starting the season, but they have not been tested against a true quality opponent. Iowa State will challenge the Hawkeye defense, and force Iowa to have to score. I think this one is close, but Iowa wins on the road to improve to 3 – 0.  Iowa 24 – Iowa State 21

Pia Pete: Iowa squeaks by ISU.

PJSBuck: Iowa by 14. Great in state game. Iowa is fundamentally solid again so I think they win by 14

Steven:  It took ISU 3 overtimes to dispatch Northern Iowa. On the other side, Iowa has beaten up 2 cupcakes in Miami of Ohio and Rutgers. Not sure I’d call ISU a third cupcake for Iowa to feast upon, but it is going to take the Cyclones a much better effort to make it a game, much less take down the Hawkeyes. Everyone seems to think ISU coach Matt Campbell is the next Mr. Everything in college football. If he really wants that next job, he needs to win games like these. Maybe next year, Matt. Herky 31-13.

Trout: I don’t think either team is that great. But I will have to give the game to the Hawkeyes. The Iowa State Cyclones barely made it out alive against their game with Northern Iowa. They had to go to double overtime to beat a FCS school. Iowa should be able to stop them defensively, and do just enough on the offensive side, to beat their in state rivals. However, it is Iowa, so it will be slow, methodical, and boring. And I can see the game being low scoring, and uncomfortably close. In the end, Iowa’s superior talent gets them past the Cyclones. (Iowa, 20-14)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Iowa and Iowa State is a true rivalry game where records don’t matter, but Iowa State really struggled last week with another instate rival, to a lesser extent, Northern Iowa. Iowa’s defense has been lights out this year and I expect the same this weekend. The Hawkeyes lasso the Cyclones 24-3.

Final Score:  Iowa 18   Iowa State 17

(1)Clemson  @ Syracuse

Andy: Give me a break… the ACC is such a weak conference I could field a competitive team myself right now. Clemson is not only one of the true elite teams of college football, they’re so far ahead of the pack in the ACC they could put their second stringers in for most of their games and still win. Dino Babers head coach for Syracuse is a true stud head coach, but last week against Maryland they got butchered 63-20 and failed to get a single point in the 4th quarter. I don’t think this is a talented or tough enough team to sneak by Clemson.

I wrote a thorough write up last week about the Texas A&M vs Clemson game. Let me sort of re-hash that here so I don’t have to overly justify the beat down the Orange are about to suffer at the hands of Clemson.

Clemson has two of the best receivers in college football in Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross, both of whom are projected to be eventual 1st round picks. They’re both 6’4″ and 210 pounds, are amazing at route running, have great hands and are both track stars playing a different sport. They catch literally anything within a two yard radius of them. On top of that running back Travis Etienne is in my opinion on of the most electrifying players in all of college football, he is ultra efficient at running the football and catching passes out of the back field. Now add to this equation quarterback Trevor Lawrence who is frankly the best quarterback in the country. He can do it all, reads defenses and blitzes well, he is super accurate, can throw the deep ball really pretty and even throw on the run if needed.

Yeah… about this game…

Clemson 48 – Syracuse 13

Bbaver:  Pick: Clemson – Maybe closer than the oddsmakers think, but I just don’t see Clemson stumbling against these kind of good but not great teams like Syracuse….not with a healthy Trevor Lawrence. Clemson lost all kinds of talent on D and they still have a top 5 D nationally to go with the best offense in the nation.

Coach Rick: I do not see this as being a good game at all. Clemson is way to good this year and Syracuse will be star struck watching the game. I have Clemson by 28.

Cory:  The schedule is not Clemson’s friend, and what was supposed to be one of the Tigers’ only quality opponents – Syracuse – already has a loss. The Orange were humiliated by Maryland last week, losing 63-20 and giving up 650 yards in the process. Obviously, Syracuse fell out of the rankings after that. Clemson enters this game coming off a tough win at home over Texas A&M. Though the game was never really in doubt, this is the second week where we’ve seen Heisman favorite Trevor Lawrence look human. Though he’s completing 68.6 percent of his passes, he’s got only two passing touchdowns against three interceptions. Simply put, he is capable of much more as we saw from last season. I don’t expect much of a letdown from Clemson this week, and I do expect Lawrence to start churning out touchdowns like he did last season. Clemson 42, Syracuse 17

Dave: Clemson 42 @ Syracuse 14

Dr. MarkClemson 49-10 again not sure what Syracuse can do to keep it close-too big of a size and talent gap

Gregg: No hesitation on this one this time around. Clemson lost their QB mid game at Syracuse two years ago and the Orangemen managed to hold on to a 27-24 victory, the last regular season loss for the Tigers. Syracuse kept it close last year on the road but could not hold the Tigers on a critical 4th and long play, allowing a backup QB to bring Clemson from behind in a 27-23 thriller. Dabo will have his boys ready this time in the Dome and will put it to Dino and his squad. Syracuse may have been looking ahead last week, or maybe they just proved they are not any good when they took it hard on the chin to Maryland 63-20. Expect Trevor and Travis to score early and often, and never look back. Clemson may clinch the Atlantic division by the end of October this year. Clemson 48 Syracuse 13

Jason: Clemson got by their only true test of the season, defeating Texas A&M in a game they controlled but never quite got out of hand while Syracuse got their doors blown off by Maryland. The Orange are coming in trying to rescue their young season while Clemson is trying to avoid a let down. The Orange have to deal with a Tiger defensive line that has the look of being as good as it was a year ago. Defensively the Orange had success against the Tigers the past couple of seasons because it was able to get to the QB. They will have to get to Trevor Lawrence again to have a prayer of competing for four quarters. The Clemson offensive line is stout, but it’ll give up plays behind the line. The Orange D needs to come up with a few big plays and Lawrence has thrown three picks so far on the young season and the O, led by QB Tommy Devito will need to take advantage if they do. This game has all the looks of a blowout for the Tigers. They have heard over and over about their struggles against Syracuse the past couple seasons and that should be motivation enough. Behind Lawrence and the running of Travis Etienne, the Tigers come out hot and this game will be over early as Clemson goes to Syracuse and rolls putting it on cruise control in the second half of a rather easy victory. Clemson 49 Syracuse 20

Joe-S-U:  Clemson

John: Prior to the season, this looked like one of the few games that Clemson might have to work up a sweat in to win. Then Syracuse laid a giant egg against Maryland. Tigers roll on. Clemson 52 Syracuse 9

Josh:   Clemson is deep, and they have shown so far why they are the number one team in the country. Texas A&M though I feel is overrated, but they were able to challenge Clemsons offense by slowing down Etienne, but that opened up the passing game for Lawerence, which was the exact reverse of how they were challenged week 1 against Georgia Tech. Syracuse has some playmakers, but losing to Maryland they way they did, I dont know if that says how good the Terrapins are, or how bad Syracuse is. The Orangeman will have to have a near perfect game to keep this one competitive. Lats year, they had the Tigers on the ropes at home, but that was also Lawerences first career start. I see this one being a blowout and Clemson cruising to a 3-0 start. Clemson 49 – Syracuse 10.

Pia Pete: Clemson big over Syracuse.

PJSBuck: Clemson by a ton! My weekly who gives a shi*&^%s$t game. Clemson by (fill in your own numbers here). Syracuse is overrated and it will show against Dumbo and team.

Steven:  Syracuse has shown themselves to be slightly softer than dog poo. In one disastrous failure against Maryland, the Orangeman have called into question the strength of every ACC team not from Clemson, South Carolina. Pat is pretty on point when he says Clemson can pretty much pick the score here. I say they show mercy around 44, possibly more if they don’t call off the dogs and actually let the second team score, and I’m being generous giving Syracuse 20. Tigers 44-20.

Trout: Clemson will destroy Syracuse. The orange were blown out by Maryland. Maybe the 4th or 5th best team in the Big Ten. This just goes to show that besides Clemson, the ACC is very weak. If it wasn’t for the dumpster fire that is the PAC-12, the ACC would be the worst conference in the Power 5. This game will be over as soon as it starts. I see Trevor Lawrence having no trouble slinging the ball down the field. The Tigers win this game with little to no resistance, and remains the number 1 team in the country. (Clemson, 63-10)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): After the Cuse’s demolition by Maryland last weekend, there will only be one team talking about “Whose house?” Syracuse comes in and forcibly evicts the Orange from the Carrier Dome. Clemson houses Syracuse 56-14.

Final Score:  Clemson 41   Syracuse 6

Florida State  @ (25)Virginia

Andy: In week one I picked Virginia to win the ACC coastal division. I stand by this statement even though Florida State won yesterday they barely won in overtime against Louisiana Monroe. I’ll say that again… barely won in overtime against Louisiana Monroe. This after losing to Boise State in their season opener as well. It just looks like the Seminoles are not a tough team with weak lines of scrimmage. They have seen recent recruiting bumps last year and this year, but I don’t think coach Willie Taggert is a good coach at all if I am being honest.

On that note Virginia had a good year last year, return a bunch of their starters including dual threat qb Bryce Perkins who picked up where he left off last season. He is close to averaging 200 yards passing and 2 passing TDs a game as well as averaging close to 60 yards a game rushing. I don’t see how this meager Seminoles defense doesn’t get gashed by him this coming week. I think Virginia does enough to win.

Virginia 35 – Florida State 27

Bbaver: Pick: Virginia – Troubles for Willie Taggart are starting to mount. Look for FSU to again hang touch through 2 1/2 qtrs and fall apart late.

Coach Rick: I am not sure about this game. I do not think that Virginia is that good and are lucky to be playing at home in this game. This is a coin flip and my coin did end up on Virginia so I have them winning by 3.

Cory:  Something is very wrong in Tallahassee. Florida State finally got in the win column last week, but just barely. The Seminoles needed overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe 45-44 last week, and that win only happened as Louisiana-Monroe missed an extra point in overtime. This week Florida State travels to Virginia, and it feels weird to say this but the Seminoles will be the underdog in this matchup. Virginia is ranked No. 25 and features a defense with some future NFL players on it, including a terrific linebacking corps. Right now, the only thing Florida State has going right for them is running back Cam Akers, Last week Akers put the team on his back, rushing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Seminoles’ lack of a passing game will be their undoing this week. Virginia is much tougher defensively than Louisiana-Monroe, and won’t have as hard of a time shutting down Florida State. Virginia 31, Florida State 20

Dave: Florida State 21 @ Virginia 14

Dr. Mark: Fla State- 30-24 Fsu has good team speed and can cover the corners and sidelines well- don’t think Virginia can outscore FSU if it becomes a shoot out

Gregg: The Cavaliers are still my pick for the Coastal Division and the chance to be drubbed by Clemson in the ACC championship game. If they can pull it off, that will be seven different conference winners in the last seven years for the Coastal. Coach Mendenhall has improved his record each of his first three seasons in Charlottesville, leading the Cavaliers to a 28-0 win over SEC foe South Carolina in the Women’s Clothing Bowl last year. Saying FSU has been less than stellar this year would be an understatement, and I don’t expect their fortunes to improve on the road this week. The Seminoles won 34-20 in the last meeting for these two schools in 2014 and I figure that score will be reversed this time. Virginia 34 Florida State 20

Jason: Florida State…oh Florida State. The once heralded program is really struggling, losing to Boise State and barely escaping UL Monroe in overtime a week ago. With the athleticism that Florida State has, it’s almost unfathomable that they have struggled so mightily early on. QB James Blackman and RB Cam Akers are explosive and the defense, which has been a train wreck through two weeks, has the athletes to compete at a high level yet haven’t produced effectively. Now they have to go up against a UVA team that can control the football behind QB Bryce Perkins and can grind you out in what will be a hot and humid game. Let’s hope the Noles stay hydrated. Things won’t be any different on Saturday as the Cavalier offense will keep the Florida State defense on the field far too long and although FSU will hang around and do some good things on both sides of the ball, it will be the Cavs who wear down the Seminoles and pull away late in the 3rd quarter to move to 2-0 in conference play. Virginia 28 Florida State 14

Joe-S-U:  Virginia

John: Wow, has any former football powerhouse fallen on harder times than the ‘Noles? Maybe getting away from Tallahassee will take some pressure off and let them right the ship. Then again, maybe it won’t. Virginia 24 Florida St 14

Josh:   If Florida State can line up their players facing the correct direction, they might have a chance. Willie Taggarts team has been ugly to watch, and I am sure the Seminole faithful are getting restless. Since Jimbo left, Florida State has taken several steps backwards and not even a factor for competing for their own division. They have a chance to make a statement win against a good Virginia team on the road, but I think they dont have the players to do it, which is surprising knowing their recruiting pool. I think this will be a closer than expected game, and Virginia wins at home. Virginia 27 – Florida State 17.

Pia Pete: FSU wins in a tight game.

PJSBuck: Virginia by 7. Actually will be a fun game to watch and hard for me to pick. I will go with Virginia at home in a close game.

Steven:  Virginia has the chance to show the ACC isn’t a bunch of coattail draggers. They may also provide the sword upon which Willie Taggart falls after another loss. Virginia gives the FSU AD something to ponder. Cavs 33-17.

Trout: In a normal year, there would be no question to which team I would pick, it would be the Florida State Seminoles.But ever since the Jamies Winston era, FSU has falling off the map. I just don’t think they have the talent anymore to compete with the big boys off college football. Their program is in such turmoil, and I think the Virginia Cavaliers will take full advantage. Virginia is not a world beater, but they have had 2 solid wins this year. That’s more than you can say for the Seminoles. Losing to Boise State and barely getting by UL Monroe. I think the game will be relatively close, but in the end, I see Virginia beating the once great Florida State. (Virginia, 24-13)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): For years, the Virginia Cavaliers have been a midge fly on the Florida State windshield. Fortunately, the Cavaliers have Bryce Perkins at QB and he is on my fantasy team. He alone will be responsible for 4 or 5 TDs and the Cavs defeat the Seminoles 48-28.

Final Score:  Florida State 24   Virginia 31


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