Week 5 Predictions – 2019

Last Week:  Ohio State did what they needed to do against Miami in convincing fashion with a final score of 76-5. They finished the non-conference schedule 3-0 and now can focus on the Big Ten.It also means that Ryan Day keeps his perfect record as an OSU head coach in tact and the Buckeyes still have the second longest winning streak in the country. As for our staff predictions, once again several people did very well and after 4 weeks into the season, John, Steven and Stefan are on top the leader board after 4 weeks with an 18-3 record.


This Week’s Games:  Ohio State plays it second conference game, both of which have been on the road. Nebraska was the talk of the B1G West in the off-season but so far has not lived up to the hype.  Do they put it all together and pull the upset over the Buckeyes?  ….  Maryland plays host to Penn State in a Friday Night tilt, both teams have shown flashes of excellence already this season, but is either team legitimate.  Will the real Lions and Turtles please stand up?  ….  In another edition of Friday Night lights, Arizona State travels to Berkeley to take on the Bears.  Raise your hand if at the four week mark, you predicted Cal would be the only Pac-12 school without a loss.  ….  Notre Dame returns home to take on Virginia in a pseudo ACC match-up.  The Irish are coming off a tough loss to Georgia, can they re-group in time to defeat a 4-0 Cavalier squad?  ….  Washington will play host to USC, the loser will officially be out of the playoff hunt and it is not even October yet. 


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 5 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

(5)Ohio State  @  Nebraska


Andy:  This is the game a lot of people have circled after last year’s close call in the Horseshoe. Scott Frost has made an immediate impact in recruiting, changing culture at Nebraska and getting his best players to play up to their potential. This is a Nebraska team that was one play away at Colorado from being undefeated still. Huskers’ quarterback Adrian Martinez is the key to this offense his passer efficiency has improved greatly under Scott Frost and the Huskers offensive staff does a great job of putting him in situations where he can win. Nebraska struggled last year to find play makers aside from Martinez on offense (outside of J.D. Spielman). Not only Spielman back and playing even better than last year (averaging over 23 yards per reception), but now the Huskers have got amazing production out of two of their running backs Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills who have combined for 8 offensive touchdowns between the pair over 4 games.

The concern for Nebraska right now has to be their defense which is currently allowing on average 356 yards per game of total offense against lesser teams. Although their defense is ranked 56th overall they’re not exactly helpless on defense with playmakers at the linebacker position (Mohammed Barry) as well as Safety (Eric Lee). However their pass defense is currently ranked as the 94th worst pass defense in the country, allowing over 240 yards per game through the air on average. This coming against an Ohio State team that is currently throwing for over 264 yards per game on average. If Ohio State wants to control the clock and score, they’re going to need to attack with both the run and the pass and try for long sustained drives to keep Nebraska’s potent offense off the field. This will be the first big test for the new Buckeye defense on the road at night, if they can produce similar results as they have in the previous four games we could be looking at one of the better Buckeye defenses of the past 10-12 years.
I expect Nebraska to come out swinging like they did last year, a win for Nebraska against a high ranked Ohio State team would be a huge feather in the cap of Husker coach Scott Frost and would likely boost recruiting for them. The key for Ohio State is to avoid the slow start they suffered against Miami last wee, they need to get a few touchdowns in the first two quarters alone. On top of that the Silver Bullets defense is simply going to have to force a lot of three and outs against Nebraska’s offense and allow the Buckeye offense to run the clock off.
Look for this to be a tough physical game, with it being close going into the fourth quarter.  Ohio State 38 – Nebraska 24


Bbaver:  Pick: Ohio State – I watched much of Nebraska’s first two games and was not impressed. In August, I had pegged this game as being one of Ohio State’s toughest. It still might be, but I doubt it. While I think Nebraska will be able to score some points on Ohio State, I don’t think their defense can stop the Buckeye offense. But this is the Buckeyes first “real” road test as Indiana’s venue is basically “Ohio State West”. And if they get Fields in a funk, stranger things have happened then Nebraska beating the 2019 Buckeyes. But I like Ohio State 45-24.


Coach Rick:  I hate to say it, but I do not see this as much of a game.  I think Scott Frost needs another 2 years to be a force at Nebraska.  I think that Nebraska’s defense is short handed, so OSU will put up points.  I have OSU winning 38 to 21.


Cory:  We finally enter the portion of the schedule that is scary for Ohio State. Nebraska has not played its best football this season, and if there’s one thing Ohio State needs to be way of, it’s having an opponent that saves its best for a big home game with the Buckeyes. For Ohio State, it is the first real test of the season. Nebraska still has its issues offensively, but defensively this will be the best team Ohio State has seen. Yards will not come in the chunks they did like when the Buckeyes played Miami last week. The concern for Nebraska is that they haven’t really put together a complete game this season. Last week against Illinois, the Cornhuskers needed to come from behind twice in the fourth quarter just to win. We know Huskers quarterback Adrian Martinez is a playmaker but aside from him the Huskers have been inconsistent in the run game. This game will be a close one, but doubts about Nebraska’s ability to play a full game give Ohio State the edge in this one.   Ohio State 35, Nebraska 24


Dr. MarkOSU 42-24 – To me this game hinges on the Buckeye D  being able to stop the cutback run and the mid range throws over the linebackers. If they can do that should win!     


Gregg:  The first real road test for this year’s Buckeyes, with no offense meant to the Hoosiers. Put me down as one who did not believe Nebraska was ready to take the west this season. And so far they have done nothing to prove me wrong.  Perhaps the Huskers will “J-Harris” the Buckeyes tonight and pull the upset but I just don’t see it. JK Dobbins, Justin Fields, Chase Young and the entire supporting cast has been doing a number on the OSU opponents all season long and they will bring it tonight as well. Coach Day has the proper focus on this game so I don’t see a letdown like Purdue/Iowa of seasons past.  Nebraska will rely heavily on quarterback Adrian Martinez and I think the Buckeye D will be ready to shut him down.  The crowd will keep Nebraska up for a quarter at the most but then it will be all OSU.   Ohio State 38  Nebraska 17


Jason:  The biggest test on the young season for the Buckeyes heading to Lincoln, Nebraska for a prime time kick.  Nebraska is one of the few teams that can be explosive enough to compete with the Buckeyes.  So far on the young season, Nebraska has been able to run the football, rushing for nearly 600 yards over the past two weeks.  QB Adrian Martinez continues to improve, throwing the football as well as using his legs to create positive yards on the ground.  The Buckeyes will be challenged, but Martinez has yet to see a defense that the new and improved Buckeye unit brings.  The Husker O line has been porous allowing a high number of sacks and TFL’s and Ohio State has been brilliant at getting into opponent’s backfield, ranking 2nd and 3rd in the country in tackles for loss and sacks respectively.  On the other side of the football, Nebraska has to figure out how to slow the explosive Buckeye offense, led by QB Justin Fields, who has thrown 13 TD’s to a goose egg in the interception column.  That combined with the skill players, the Buckeyes will be a handful for a less than talented defense.  Look for the Huskers to come out fast behind the big and raucous home crowd, but ultimately the Buckeyes are just way too talented and pull away in the 2nd quarter and finish them off in the 3rd to cruise to 5-0.   Ohio State 49 Nebraska 17


Joe-S-U:  Ohio State keeps it rolling!


John:  While this should be Ohio State’s toughest test to date, let’s face it – this Nebraska isn’t Tom Osborne’s Nebraska.  Nebraska is the aging actress that can still look hot on screen, but when you see her in person you notice the bad skin.  They are Indiana’s hotter sister, but they are not in the same class as Ohio State.  There is a reason Vegas has the Bucks as a 17 point favorite.  An incredible atmosphere for a night game in Lincoln will help the ‘Huskers keep it close for most, if not all,  of the first half.  In the end, Ohio State simply has more talent across the board.  Look for the Bucks to pull away in the second half and win easily.  Ohio State 38  Nebraska 17


Josh:  Ohio State did what it needed to do against Miami and was able to rest its starters for the second half. Fields has been putting up great numbers, and the running threat has helped this offense out. As good as Dwayne Haskins was, this offense is able to create challenges for almost any team to try to defend. They are hoping Nebraska has some issued with their offense as well. A loss to Colorado, and a near loss to the Fighting Illini, the Huskers are double digit home dogs. This has more of the Iowa of 2017 or Purdue of 2018 feeling type of game than Indiana did, but I believe the infrastructure is in place for Ohio State to dominate this prime-time game. Lets hope Corso picks the Buckeyes for GameDay’s 45th trip to an Ohio State game. I have the Buckeyes winning big. Ohio State 45 – Nebraska 21


Pia PeteBucks play a tight one but come out on top.


PJSBuck:  This could be a close game in the first have but I think our defense shuts down the Nebraska offense and we somewhat run up the score.  This will be our first REAL test of the season.  Look for us to establish the run first on offense and try to contain Spielman on defense.  Ohio State 38 Nebraska 17


Steven:  This one would be better if the Huskers hadn’t stubbed their toe at Colorado, but the result wouldn’t change.  The national pundits love to fall all over themselves pushing the narrative that certain programs are “back”.  They were premature with Miami of Florida, oh so wrong about anointing Michigan as the front runner in the Big Ten.  Likewise, they are about a year ahead of themselves with Nebraska.  Thus Huskers are good, but have not yet learned how to be great, much less elite, which is what it will take to compete with the Buckeyes.  As we saw last week in the Shoe with the Redhawks, the only thing that can slow down the Bucks would be their own inattentiveness and lethargy.  Buck come out strong this week, as Coach Day won’t stand for anything less.  Bucks dominate in all 3 phases of the game.  OSU 49-17.


Trout:  This will be the Buckeye’s biggest test yet. Not to say Nebraska is a good team, because they are not. Scott Frost is a good coach, but the team is not there yet. However, the Buckeyes are going into Lincoln, at night, with thousands of die-hard Cornhusker fans screaming at them. . It will be close early. Nebraska does have some play makers and have shown the ability to score quickly. But Ohio State’s superior talent on both sides of the ball will begin to show and they will pull away. Justin Fields will continue to play great and I see Dobbins getting his 100+ yards. I don’t see it being the cake walk that the last 4 weeks has been, but I do see Ohio State winning comfortably. (Ohio State, 35-17)


Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Nebraska just gave up 38 points to Illinois, but more than doubled Illinois’ offensive output in a close game. If our defense can neutralize Adrian Martinez and J.D. Spielman we should win comfortably. This game sets up as a possible trap game similar to what the Buckeyes have produced the last few years. Inexplicable losses that make you scratch your head or question your sanity. Why else would ESPN College Game Day show up in Lincoln? I am sure the ESPN mothership had this planned since last spring expecting two undefeated teams. Hopefully, the friendly hospitality from Husker fans doesn’t lull the Buckeyes to sleep. I think that the Buckeye defense finds a way to contain Martinez and Spielman and limit Nebraska’s potentially high scoring offense. The Buckeye offense will experience its first night game under the lights in Memorial Stadium and the electric atmosphere its combination of lights and fans creates. If the defense plays like it has so far this year, the Buckeyes will prevail. I think they will.  The Buckeyes shuck the Huskers 45-20. 

Final Score:  Ohio State 48   Nebraska 7

(12)Penn State @ Maryland


Andy:  Penn State has fielded a different looking squad than they typically have under James Franklin. Typically we see a strong run game on offense with an RPO type quarterback similar to Trace McSorley out of Penn State. And while Penn State has been running a similar offense so far this season, their leading rusher is now Journey Brown, but last week it was their quarterback Sean Clifford. As I said in one of my previous predictions I really like this Sophomore class for Penn State. I think in another year they’ll be something special if they continue to develop. In the mean time quarterback Sean Clifford has had some accuracy issues, in addition to that Penn State as team has only run for 576 yards this season. The Nittany Lion defense has proved to be pretty good all around, currently ranked 38th overall in the country. They are lead by linebacker Micah Parsons who leads the team in tackles and expected to be a first round draft choice in the upcoming NFL draft. He is arguably their best athlete on the team, you will see him on their special teams as well as line up at defensive end in certain packages.

Maryland has been a very pleasant surprise this season under first year coach Mike Locksley. Through four games Maryland is ranked 27th overall in total defense and 10th in the country in overall offense. The Terrapins are lead on offense by quarterback Josh Jackson who despite only completing 51% of his passes has otherwise been really sharp with his decision making allowing only two turnovers so far. The best player on the Terrapin offense is by far running back Anthony McFarland who is averaging 2 offensive touchdowns per game so far this season. Buckeye fans will also remember from him last year when he ran for 298 yards on 21 carries and 2 touchdowns against the Buckeyes. He is an extremely quick and explosive runner.
I am very torn on this game, but Maryland is has a ton of momentum right now and has comfortably beaten every team except for their abberation last week where they lost by 3 points to Temple. Penn State is coming off a bye week, which for some teams means they’ve had an extra week to prepare and get focused. For other teams it leads to complacency.
I’m going with an upset here.   Maryland 31 – Penn State 21

Bbaver:  Pick: Penn State – I think the Terps should be able to play the Nits tight but I am not yet sold on Mike Locksley. I guess I’m not yet sold on Penn State’s 2019 version just yet either, but I think they come away with a W here.


Coach Rick:  This should not be a close game in my opinion.  I think Maryland has had a great start to the season, but once in the conference season, they will not play well.  I have PSU winning 31 to 14.


Cory:  Maryland came out of the gates screaming, including an impressive 63-20 win over a ranked Syracuse team. The Terrapins then followed up their 2-0 start with a 20-17 loss at home to Temple last week. Their opponent this week – Penn State – needed a late defensive hold to beat Pitt 17-10 last week.The Nittany Lions struggle to run the ball, whereas the Terps struggle to pass. Ultimately, I think that will the difference in the game. Penn State actually has a defense to fall back on, and if Maryland needs to throw the ball to win the game they’re going to struggle – we saw it last week in their loss to Temple.   Penn State 28, Maryland 17


Dr. Mark Maryland 24-21 – PSU heavily favored but this is my upset pick- I also want Terps to win- PSU is more physical but I’ll take a chance.


Gregg:  Maryland looked like they had promise this season after they throttled Syracuse in week 2, but looked very average two weeks ago in a loss on the road to Temple. Penn State has looked solid this year and has historically owned the Terps. The Lions hold a 39-2-1 edge all time in the series against Maryland and have outscored them 104-6 over the past two seasons.With this being in College Park, I will think that Maryland will give them a game in the first half a emotions run high. but the Lions take over in the second half.   Penn State 38  Maryland 24 


JasonMaryland hosts a Penn State in a big Friday night Big Ten tilt.  Maryland has had two weeks off to prepare after the disaster against Temple after ripping apart Syracuse the weak prior.  Which team will show up in this one?  If the O can get going behind QB Josh Jackson, Penn State might not have the offense to keep up.  The Nittany Lions is dead last in the Big Ten and 127th in college football converting third downs. The key for Penn State is to get their big time pass rush going.  If the Lions can get Maryland behind the chains and create a turnover or two, it could make things very difficult for the Terps.  Temple got to Josh Jackson with four sacks and the D came up with ten tackles for loss and Penn State is much better than Temple. Maryland has enough offense to challenge the Nittany Lion D at least a little with its balance and can do a much better job of ball control offensively than can the Lion offense.  The Lions will pressure Jackson some and may come up with a couple sacks, but, at home, at night behind a jacked up crowd, Maryland will make just enough plays offensively to get the biggest win in a long time for the Terp program.   Maryland 27 Penn State 20 


Joe-S-U:  Lions take care of business in College Park.



John:  Maryland has the offense to keep up with just about anyone in the Big Ten, with the possible exception of Ohio State, if they show up.  Penn State is a hard team to get a read on.  They’ve looked good against some lesser competition, but struggled to beat an average Pitt team.  I do think that Penn State is the better team, so I think they go on the road an avoid the upset, but I wouldn’t bet the mortgage on it.  Penn State 31  Maryland 27


Josh: Welcome to the horrible move to have Big Ten games on Fridays. This should be a good game, and Maryland will be looking to rebound after a close loss to Temple. Penn State is one of 23 remaining undefeated teams, and have been somewhat impressive already this season. I am anticipating this to be more of a high scoring game than it is a defensive battle. I With both teams having a week off to prepare, expect this to be better than the Wisconsin-Michigan game. I actually like Maryland at home as the underdog in a shootout. Maryland 42 – Penn State 38.


Pia PetePSU is too much for Maryland.


PJSBuckPenn State by a ton – probably 21 point victory or better for the Lions .


Steven:  While there may have been overzealous expectations for Nebraska, Maryland may be a bit ahead of their own timetable.  How they stubbed their toe on the road at Temple is a bit of a mystery, certainly after they bludgeoned Syracuse the week prior. Even so, Coach Mike Locksley has the Terrapins on an improving path.  Penn State can’t take them lightly.  If they do, the Terps could make it a game.  Maryland will need to run the ball to control the clock and keep the Lions offense off the field.  This one should be close, at least through the first half but Penn State pulls away late.  PSU 34-21.


Trout:  The Terrapins just lost to Temple. There is no way I see them beating Penn State. It may be close game early, because both teams have shown the ability to put up points. But I think Penn State is still the better football team. The Nittany Lions defense should be able to contain McFarland enough to limit his impact on the game and I don’t think Maryland can win the game through the air. Penn State pulls away late in the second half and wins this gamer to remain undefeated. (Penn State, 38-28)


Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  I don’t know what Penn State brings to the table and Maryland’s offense seems like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Which one will show up for this game? With Mike Locksley having an opportunity to redeem himself and his team after loosing Temple, it would be a boost to Maryland’s confidence to upset the Nittany Lions. Penn State was held to 17 points by Pittsburgh, a team that upset #15 UCF yesterday. So who gets the edge in this game? I am going with the home team. Maryland upsets Penn State 31-27

Final Score:  Penn State 59   Maryland 0

Arizona State  @  (15)California


Andy:  I’m a big fan of the turn around the Sun Devils programs has done under Herm Edwards. While they’re not lighting the world on fire with their offense (ranked 51st overall in the country) or the defense (ranked 91st overall in the country) they’re winning the games they’re supposed to win. Right now and really since coach Jeff Tedford left the Cal Bears, they’ve stunk. Right now their defense is ranked 61st overall and their offense is ranked 94th overall in the country.

I actually see this turning into some of a sloppy and high scoring game because neither team seams to be great at either offense or defense. Arizona States only loss this year is to an undefeated Colorado team by 3 points. Meanwhile Cal has quietly gone on to a 4-0 record. In this scenario I like the team with the biggest win. Right now that is the Cal Bears with a win over Washington.   California 34 – Arizona State 31

Bbaver:  Pick: Cal – Man oh man is that Cal defense good, and Justin Wilcox may be a rising start in the coaching ranks.


Coach Rick:  Cal has a lot going for them right now.  Being at home is the main reason I have them winning.  I have Cal wining 21 to 14.


Cory:  Coming off a huge upset win over Michigan State two weeks ago, Arizona State fell on its face last week in a loss at home to unranked Colorado. Just when you thought you had the PAC 12 figured out, too. This week, we get see if Cal is for real. So far the Golden Bears are 4-0, and have a pair of impressive road wins at Washington and at Ole Miss. This Cal team get its done with defense. Only one team – Ole Miss last week – managed to hit 20 points scored against Cal this season. On top of that, Arizona State struggles to run the ball as the Sun Devils don’t even have 500 total rushing yards in their four games. That said, this is the PAC 12 where it’s as predictable as Powerball, and for that reason I am taking the Sun Devils.   Arizona State 27, Cal 14


Dr. MarkASU  45-42 – Not sure how much defense to be played but Herm has his team believing and competing.


Gregg:  You want to know how hard up the Bears are for fans?  They have reached #15 in the country with their 4-0 start, so what do the do?  They offer tickets for $15.  This is not for students, this is for anyone.  You can’t get a hot dog and a drink for $15 in Columbus, but they can offer those type of prices and still not sell out.But they have been playing well in spite of the fact that they were picked to finish 5th in the division.  I think the Bears do enough to win this one.   California 31  Arizona State 27 


JasonThe Sun Devils head to Berkeley to take on unbeaten Cal in a big one in the Pac 12.  Bears have relied on a stout defense early in the young season and have stymied anyone that’s tried to run the football.  The Sun Devils don’t run the ball with much success anyway, and it could be even more difficult in this game.   ASU showed it can win a slugfest on the road, going to East Lansing and beating the Spartans, allowing just 7 points.  Freshman QB Jayden Daniels threw for 345 yards against Colorado and is beginning to settle in.  The key for ASU is keeping him clean as Cal is going to pin its ears back and come after him if the Devils show an inability to run the football and get one dimensional.  Look for this one to be back and forth and a battle of defenses, but Arizona State just has a bit more on offense and gets a big road conference win.  Arizona State 24 Cal 17


Joe-S-U:  Cal stays unbeaten


John:  I haven’t seen Cal play yet this year, but I did watch Arizona State set offensive football back about 50 years when they played Michigan State.  I’ll go with Cal at home.  Cal 24  Arizona State 6


Josh: How good is the Cal Bears this season? This will be a good test to see. Arizona State has had a good start this year for the 2nd season in the Herm Edwards experience. Both teams are putting up similar numbers in offensive yards and defensive yards. This game will be a coin flip, but I think Garbers will be the difference and with this game at home, the Bears win a close one. Cal 20 – ASU 17.


Pia PeteASU upsets Cal.




Steven:  Cal has road wins against Mississippi and Washington. Their defense is giving up around 17 points per game.  ASU has been good this year with a road win in East Lansing against Michigan State, but stubbed their toe against Colorado , (I sense a theme here).  Without that loss, the Devils could well be ranked.  The Devil defense is legit, allowing less than 2 touchdowns a game and on par yardage wise with Washington. Despite Cal being undefeated and having solid road wins, I’m not sure I’m on the Golden Bear bandwagon. Going with Herm and the Devils ASU 24-17.


Trout:  I see this game being a low scoring sloppy game. I don’t think either team is good. I will have to give the slight edge to Cal. I think they have the ability to do a little more offensively than the Sun Devils. But I see this game being filled with miscues and turnovers, with neither team reaching the 20 point mark. It will be a slog to get through, but in the end the Cal Golden Bears pull off the victory and remain in the race for the PAC-12 Championship. (Cal, 17-14)


Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Arizona State has become a winner under Herm Edwards. However, Cal has turned things around too under their head coach Justin Wilcox. With the Bears upset of Washington and the fact the are favored. I am looking for the Bears to beat the Sun Devils at home 20-17.   

Final Score:  Arizona State 24  California 17

(18)Virginia  @  (10)Notre Dame


Andy:  Well I look like a fool after my prediction last week between Georgia and Notre Dame. I totally underestimated Notre Dame. Not only that Notre Dame fixed a lot of the problems they had from last season. Some of those things were, poor tackling, poor pass protection, lack of a running game and not having physical lines of scrimmage. Last season Notre Dame lead the nation in missed tackles on defense too. After watching them last night against what might be arguably the best team in college football (Georgia), it looks like they have fixed most of those problems except establishing a running game.

Virginia runs a dual threat quarterback who is a game changer for the Cavaliers offense, however the Cavaliers are only ranked from playing such weak opponents thus far in the season. I don’t think they’re actually a great team even though I predicted they would win the ACC coastal division. But that is not saying much as the ACC is currently the laughing stock of all Power 5 conferences (save Clemson). Not only that Notre Dame has been doing a good job recruiting the past 2-3 years. I just think the talent gap and experience gap in this game heavily favors Notre Dame. The big question is can Notre Dame get up emotionally after such a draining and physical game the previous week with Georgia. I think the answer is yes, this will galvanize the Fighting Irish to clean house the rest of their season.   Notre Dame 31 – Virginia 17

Bbaver:  Pick: Notre Dame – I think the Irish will ultimately find a way to win, but this is a letdown spot for them after the huge road game at Georgia. I think Virginia hangs tight here.


Coach Rick:  This game is a big question mark for me.  I think Virginia has gained a lot of confidence this season and are playing well.  I think Notre Dame will start off slow and they will pick up steam late in the game.  I have ND willing 28 to 24.


Cory:  One surprise team that nobody is paying attention to so far is Virginia. The Cavaliers enter this game 4-0, and its not a fluke. They are just OK on offense, but have a very good defense led by some terrific linebackers. The Cavaliers face their toughest test of the season with a trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off a disappointing loss to Georgia last week. In my write up I said if Notre Dame was to win that the Irish would need a big game from quarterback Ian Book. He did not deliver as he threw two interceptions and had an average yards per attempt of just 5.9. Notre Dame will be able to overcome the loss and beat Virginia this week, but the questions about Book will remain regardless of the outcome this week.   Notre Dame 31, Virginia 21


Dr. MarkVirginia  42-35 – I think this will be high scoring- ND angry and must win to keep season hopes alive they play USC and Michigan in October. Irish schedule not too tough after those games     


Gregg:  I still have have Virginia as the Coastal champ but the Irish bounce back in this one. Coach Kelly knows the ONLY chance they have to make it back to the playoffs is to win out. On the other side of the field, Virginia is 0-27 against top ten teams and an ACC has NEVER beat a Notre Dame team ranked this high in South Bend.   Notre Dame 28  Virginia 10


Jason:  4-0 Virginia takes the show on the road to South Bend to take on the 2-1 Fighting Irish.  The Irish is coming off a hard fought road defeat at the hands of Georgia a week ago.  Notre Dame’s offensive woes continued as they have struggled to run the football . The Virginia defense is the 12th best stopping the run in all of college football, allowing teams to only 2 yards per carry so this doesn’t appear to be a game that Notre Dame can get that element going.  If they are unable to run, they will continue to struggle with time of possession and the more times talented Virginia QB Bryce Perkins has the football, the better the likelihood that Virginia gets into the end zone.   Where the Irish must exploit is the Cavalier secondary.  Irish QB Ian Book has to be efficient and be able to hit some throws down the field.  That can open things up for some runs and short passes that can help keep the chains moving.  If the Virginia defensive front can get to Book and not allow him time to throw, it could make things difficult on the Notre Dame offense to get anything going.  Virginia won’t wow you, but they are solid on both sides of the football and is a team that definitely plays to their competition.  They have a recipe that can pull off a road victory and if they Irish can’t run at all, then it could be lights out in South Bend.  This one will be tight throughout but the Irish get it done late, riding the arm of Ian Book to escape with a big home win.   Notre Dame 27 Virginia 24


Joe-S-U:  Notre Dame does not lose two in a row. 


John:  Notre Dame may be the second best team in the ACC, unfortunately they aren’t really in the ACC, so the only way we get to see ND/Clemson would be for the Irish to make the playoffs, and the only way that should happen now is if there aren’t 4 unbeaten conference champs.  Notre Dame 30  Virginia 21.


Josh:   Virginia now stands as the only team to give the ACC some credibility. Notre Dame is coming back home after a rough loss against Georgia, and is still hunting for a playoff chance, hoping for some chaos with the Power 5 teams. Perkins for the Cavaliers has been electric and has been the difference maker this year. Notre Dame wont be intimidated though and hand Virginia their first loss. Notre Dame 24 – Virginia 17


Pia Pete:  ND overpowers the Caviliers.


PJSBuck:  This could be a close game as ND has played hard early and may have fatigue setting in


Steven:  If you came away from the game at Georgia thinking Notre Dame are pretenders I’m not sure what you saw,  They aren’t quite top 10, but they certainly went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs and weren’t out of place by any means.  Conversely, Virginia needed a fourth quarter comeback to beat Old Dominion at home.  Notre Dame should go all out to show they should still be in the national conversation. Domers 35-14 

Trout:  Notre Dame surprised a lot of people by sticking with Georgia last week. They still lost though. Which to me shows that they are still not the elite program they want to be. having said that , they should be able to beat the Cavilers. Besides Clemson, I don’t see any ACC team that is any good. Virginia is currently 4-0, but they have also only played lesser competition. And yes, that includes Florida State.  I do think the game will be very close. Closer than most Irish fans wish. Ian Book will do just enough to push the Irish ahead and potentially keep their small playoff hopes alive. Notre Dame wins, but it wont be easy. (Notre Dame, 24-21)


Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Virginia visits Notre Dame after Notre Dame’s loss to Georgia. It is imperative for Notre Dame to get this victory for even a remote chance at remaining in College Football Playoffs. Virginia has a dynamic QB by the name of Bryce Perkins and he makes things happens. However, after watching the Fighting Irish defensive performance against Georgia, I think they slow down the Cavaliers’ offense. I have Notre Dame beating Virginia 30-17. 

Final Score:  Notre Dame 35   Virginia 20

(21)USC  @  (17)Washington


Andy:  I’ve picked against USC twice this season so far… they have proved me wrong twice. I though after losing their star quarterback JT Daniels to a season ending injury they would struggle offensively. That has not been the case as the Trojans have combined for 133 points in their four games this season, so that is clearly not the case. The Trojan woes this year have been on the defensive side of the football, where they currently are ranked 89th in the country, allowing 96 points scored through four games.

Washington has been surging on offense thanks to Graduate transfer Jacob Eason (by way of Georgia). So far Washington ranks in the top 40 on both offense and defense and has the home field advantage this game. I also believe Chris Peterson is one of the best coaches in college football, he will have his team ready to go for an incoming top 20 team.
I expect this one to be high scoring.   Washington 38 – USC 34

Bbaver:  Pick: Washington – If the Trojans lose one more QB, they are in a world of hurt.


Coach Rick:  I do not see USC finishing in the top 25 by the end of the year.  I think that they are a little over rate and will lose this game.  I have Washington winning 35 to 10.


Cory:  No matter how I pick USC games, I always seem to get it wrong. My inclination is to go with Washington this week. The Huskies are the home team, and, quite frankly, have played better football this season. Washington does have a loss like USC, however, the Huskies’ loss was a 1-point defeat to Cal. USC enters this game still on their third-string quarterback – Matt Fink – as Kevon Slovis is still dealing with a concussion. That said, USC’s road win at Utah last week was impressive and Fink was strong in his first start as he threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Expect USC to come away with a win in what should be an interesting, but not meaningful, PAC 12 game.   USC 24, Washington 20


Dr. Mark: USC 35-28 – I’ll have faith that The 3rd string QB will stay hot this week .


Gregg:  USC has surprised me all year.  I thought they would be 2-3 to start the year and that was with their star quarterback. Instead they are 3-1 and playing with a 3rd string QB.  Buckeye fans know that you can win with a third stringer but I think the charm runs out this week.  Huskies take care of business and try to establish themselves as the Pac-12 candidate for the playoffs.   Wasington 34  USC 31 


Jason:  The biggest game of the week on the West coast happens in Seattle as the resurgent Trojans visit the Huskies in what should be a good one.  The story of the young season has been the quarterback rotation and injuries at SC, moving from JT Daniels, to Kedon Slovis and now onto Matt Fink, who have all combined to complete over 75% of their passes.  It’s an amazing story and the Trojans are thriving.  Although the QB’s have had success, the running game has struggled. If USC is to pull the upset, the passing game will have to carry them.  That will be difficult against the Huskies, who have allowed only three TD passes in four games and have nearly shut opposition passing games down.  Fink will have to throw under pressure because the Huskies are going to come after him.  Georgia transfer QB Jacob Eason has been very good, including a 24-of-28 performance against BYU a week ago in a 45-19 win.  In the end, Washington has just too much for USC and although Fink looked good against Utah last week, Washington now has tape on him.  Life is about to get much more difficult for him and it won’t be pretty at times.  USC will compete for a while but at home Washington is just too much.  Huskies get the win and get a leg up in the Pac 12 North.   Washington 38 USC 21


Joe-S-U:  Washington slows down the USC momentum.


John:  I’m a little surprised that the Huskies aren’t a bigger favorite in this one, given that USC will most likely have to start their 3rd string QB, even though he did play well against Utah.  That game, though, was in the Colosseum and this one is in what is generally considered to be one of the tougher road environments in college football.  I like UW in a close one.  Washington 31  USC  27


Josh:   With boh teams winning last week, this one becomes a more intriguing matchup up and potentially a game that will be a rematch for the PAC-12 Championship game. USC cannot lose one more game and the rumblings of wanting to get rid of Clay Helton took hold after the win against Utah. USC also seems to have some depth at quarterback with 3rd stringer Matt Fink taking over and leading the Trojans after Slovis went down.Washington had a weird late-late night loss to Cal, who is actually turning out to be a decent team. Washington needs to win this one to keep their playoff hopes alive. With this game at Washington, I am going with the Huskies in a close one. Washington 24 – USC 21


Pia Pete:  USC takes Washington down.


PJSBuck:  PAC game of the week.  I like the Huskies in a close one.


Steven:   Other than their loss to Cal, the Washington Huskies are scoring a ton.  USC has yet to see an offense like this.  I’ve been impressed how Trojan coach Clay Helton has weathered the recent boo birds calling for his head. He’ll have to be ready as the chorus will get louder after this one.  The USC defense is giving up too much through the air which plays into the Huskies strengths.  I like Washington QB Jacob Eason to have a career day.  Huskies 42-24.


Trout:  I think the Huskies win this game, but it should be close. The Trojans victory over Utah with their 3rd string quarterback was a nice story, but they still have a long way to go before they are anything close to resembling the old USC. While on the other side, the Huskies have put up a lot of points in their 3 wins. However that has come from them playing BYU, Hawaii, and EWU. When they played a Power 5 team in call, the ended up losing and only scoring 19 points. I see both teams have a decent day offensively, but I think the young inexperienced USC team will make 1 too many mistakes that will end up biting them. Huskies pull off the hard fought victory. (Washington, 28-27) 


Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  USC was able to upset Utah last week by throwing the long ball because they couldn’t run against them.   Washington can run and pass. The combination of Jacob Eason and running game with interchangeable parts allow them to get down the field in multiple ways. I am going leverage the homefield advantage and pick the Huskies to put a bite into the Trojans 31-21.

Final Score:  Washington 28   USC 14


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