Week 11 Predictions – 2019
Last Week: A week without Buckeye football can seem like a week without college football. The scheduling gods did not help by having 5 of the top 10 rated teams on the couch. Thank goodness, we are past that and we will have the joy of Ohio State football from now until the Big Ten Championship. And we didn’t do quite as well overall on our weekly predictions either so perhaps with Buckeyes off, we were a bit off too. But it is now November and it is the home stretch, we have saved our best game for now!
This Week’s Games: Ohio State returns to the field hosting Maryland this week. No risk of looking past this game, all they have to do remember last year’s game when it took a stop on a 2 point conversion to secure the win. Will they be able to write their own score this year? …. The big game in the B1G will be Penn State at Minnesota. Both teams are unbeaten and ranked in the playoff committee’s first poll. Will the Gophers pull off the upset or will the Lions do their part to keep pace with the playoff contenders? …. Baylor takes their 8-0 record on the road this week to take on TCU. The Horned Frogs have had both highs and lows this season. Can they pull off another upset and spoil the party for the Bears? …. The LSU-Alabama game will get the most attention nationally as it should. Both teams are still unbeaten and #2 and #3 in the initial playoff poll this year. Does Coach Brady have a game plan to outscore the Tide this week? …. Clemson is not the only team that can win the Atlantic division in the ACC. Wake Forest still has a chance but first they have to beat Virginia Tech. Will they be successful or do the Hokies end the dream this week?
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 11 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
Maryland @ (1)Ohio State
Andy: At the beginning of the season, this game looked like it could have been a potential trap game for Ohio State. Maryland started the season outscoring their first two opponents 142-20 and then lost a squeaker to Temple by 3 points. With how close the game was last year between Ohio State and Maryland it looked like maybe Maryland was an underrated team. However that was at the beginning of the season. Maryland is currently on a 4 game losing streak in which they have been outscored 164-59. The only potential trap here is that Ohio State is coming off a bye and in the past we’ve seen teams in the top 10 sleep walk into games off byes in which they’re favored by a few touchdowns or more. I don’t see that happening. OSU is a top 3 team in most defensive categories and a top 5 offense in most categories and the game is at home for the Buckeyes. I think this will be a runaway and expect to see the backups sometime in the third quarter. Ohio State 55 – Maryland 7
Bbaver: Pick: Ohio State
Coach Rick: This game is real easy to figure out if you are a coach at OSU. Stop the running game and stop Dontay. But you are Maryland you have to stop the running game, the passing game and do not let any receiver open. Do all this and you will have a chance to cover the spread. This is a game of how long do you leave people in? This is also a game to build Heisman votes. I have OSU winning by at least 35.
Cory: Just a hunch, but I think the coaching staff is going to spend all week reminding the players that a Maryland team that failed to reach a bowl game last year managed to put up 51 points on the Buckeyes last year. We’ve seen Maryland do similar things to teams this year, but that was earlier in the season against weak competition. Last week against a good Michigan defense, the Terrapins failed to move the ball with any consistency. Quarterback Josh Jackson completed just 9 of 20 passes for 97 yards and an interception. Maryland has lost four straight, two of which came to Indiana and Purdue. Don’t expect much of a fight from them this week, either. Ohio State 45, Maryland 10
Dr. Mark: OSU 52-14 – Quality of wins important now too—its up to the Buckeyes to run the table.
Gregg: The Buckeyes take the field this weekend as the #1 team in the nation. And they can beat Maryland by 40 points and they may drop to #2. As crazy as that sounds it may be what happens if LSU beats Alabama. But Ohio State can only control what happens on the field in Columbus so they better start that from the opening kick. Expected to win this one big, OSU is playing for style. Expect to see a big game out of a couple receivers this week as the conditions should be great for passing. The Bucks roll into their game next week against Rutgers. Ohio State 58 Maryland 3
Jason: Ohio State
John: The only real suspense in this one should be does Ohio State cover a 43 point spread? Look for the starters to take the 4th quarter and hopefully most of the 3rd off. Bucks roll Ohio State 45 Maryland 10
Josh: If the recent competition for the Terrapins is any indication of what to expect for this game, Ohio State should have their backups in halfway through the third quarter. Maryland struck lightning in the bottle to start the season, but have been on a downward spiral after the Temple loss. The first season for Mike Locksley has not gone as planned, and the hopefully running threat of Andrew McFarland has been plagued by injuries all season. Josh Jackson has been consistent, but I anticipate he won’t have a lot of time to throw with Chase Young on the opposite side of the ball. This game and next week are games where Day could help Fields and Dobbins out by trying to pad their stats to help them in the post season awards, but this game shouldn’t be competitive, especially with Ohio State coming off a bye week rested, and the national championship hopes in sight. Ohio State 52 – Maryland 3
Pia Pete: Bucks big over Maryland despite losing Chase Young for the season. OSU 44 – Maryland 13
PJSBuck: There are no trap games with Ryan Day otherwise this could be one. I think the Bucks will be rusty the first half and come to life after halftime and win by 24 or more.
Steven: Should be a bloodbath with the only thing possibly slowing the Buckeye offense may be weather. First team plays first half. OSU 49-10.
Trout: This wont be like last year, where the Buckeyes only won because the Terrapins quarterback couldn’t throw a good short yard pass. The Buckeyes will win this game with very little issue. Maryland is not a good team. They might score a few times on the Bucks, but not enough to stay competitive. Besides, the Buckeye defense is significantly better than what it was a year ago. Also, I see Chase Young having another multi-sack game. Which continues putting him in the discussion for the Heisman. Fields and Dobbins should also continue to play excellent as they have all season. I honestly see this game being over pretty quick. The Buckeyes win this big and move on to Penn State still undefeated. (Ohio State, 63-14)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Terrapins started the season off like gangbusters even cracking the top 25 in the rankings. Since then they have plummeted like an airless balloon. The Buckeyes win 52-10.
Final Score: Ohio State 73 Maryland 14
(4)Penn State @ (17)Minnesota
Andy: This is the Big Ten match up of the week. Both Penn State and Minnesota are undefeated and have extremely real playoff hopes. In doing some brief research on this match up I was surprised to see Minnesota has the 12 best overall defense in the country, but only has the 22nd best scoring defense in the country. Penn State is a top 5 overall defense and has the number 2 scoring defense in the country. I think that is going to be the defining factor in this game. Minnesota has the 14th best scoring offense in the country, but they have not seen a team as talented and athletic as Penn State all season. I actually think this game will be close in the first half, but eventually Penn State will pull away and win by 10 points or more. Penn State 28 – Minnesota 17
Bbaver: Pick: Penn State
Coach Rick: This is a game in which one of two undefeated teams go down. I think Minnesota an a good team but not a great team. The biggest plus on their side is that fact they are at home. I do not see this as a close game, but I plan on Minnesota playing OSU for the big ten title. I have Penn State winning by 21 points.
Cory: The game between Penn State and Minnesota this week should be getting more attention. We’re treated to two unbeaten teams facing off against each other, and in this game Penn State has to travel to frosty Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers are 8-0 this season, which should be commended. That said, they have yet to play a ranked team and their toughest opponent so far was Illinois. Seriously. An unbeaten Minnesota team is a great story, but they won’t be any match for Penn State. The Nittany Lions have already been tested in close games against quality opponents – Pitt, Michigan, Iowa, and Michigan State – and came through in the fourth quarter of each of those games. Penn State 28, Minnesota 10
Dr. Mark: PSU 31-20 – I think they could get upset but I think PSU will be physically stronger than Minn and will win the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Gregg: In Coach Franklin’s words, the Lions are a great team, but have yet to prove themselves as an elite team. This year, if you want to make the playoffs, you may have to be looked at as an elite team. Today is the first step in that process. However the Gophers are standing in their way, trying to prove to be an elite team themselves. I am not sure how good Minnesota is but I expect them to keep it close. The one thing I do know is the committee has the Gophers rated below too many two lose teams. No respect for the Big Ten. Penn State 31 Minnesota 24
Jason: Penn State
John: This is the biggest home football game in Minnesota since maybe the 1950’s. The Gophers have feasted on relatively weaker teams to build a shiny 8-0 record. I think the come back to Earth on Saturday, but don’t be surprised in this is a close game. Penn State 27 Minnesota 24
Josh: The playoff committee have placed Minnesota as their lowest ranked undefeated team at 17 in the country. They have their best start since the 60’s but they have not played the toughest competition up to this point. This game and the following weeks will define how good this Gopher team is. PJ Fleck signed a 7 year extension, so the Gophers will be rowing the boat for a while. Penn State has a chance to win three top 25 games so far this season, and has an offense that seems to be clicking. I like Penn State in this one, if nothing else, to make sure we have a good match-up on November 23rd. Penn State 31 – Minnesota 14.
Pia Pete: Gophers suffer their first loss of the season. PSU 31 – Minnesota 13
PJSBuck: Big Ten game of the week for me. I think Penn State wins a close one which sets up their game with us in two weeks.
Steven: No one seems to know how good either of these teams are. Penn State being ranked 5th should be a pretty good indication that the voters respect the Lions and the Eastern division. The Big Ten West it is a bit murkier and isn’t getting as much love. Minnesota would gain a lot more respect with a road win in Happy Valley. The conventional wisdom is that Penn State is just better across the board and the Gophers have built their record on the backs of the downtrodden. No matter who wins, it will provide some great tape for the Bucks to pore over as Penn State and possibly a Big Ten title game against the Gophers loom large on the radar. Lions in a slug fest. PSU 37-28.
Trout: I’d like to see the Gophers pull off the upset. Just for the sheer fact that it will cause so much chaos in the CFP, but I just don’t think they are as talented as Penn State. granted, I don’t think the Nittany Lions are as good as they have been in recent years,but they are not without talent. Also, Minnesota has not really played anyone. Their toughest opponent to date is maybe a .500 Fresno State. I do think the Gophers will play Penn State tough. It won’t be a cake walk for James Franklin and his team. But in the end, the Nittany Lions superior talent wins out and they hand the Minnesota Gophers their first lost of the season. (Penn State, 31-23)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): PJ Fleck has been referred to as a “used car salesman”, but he has his Gophers playing extremely well. Penn State is playing well too and we will see who comes out unscathed. My hope is for Penn State’s speedy playmakers give Minnesota fits and keeps themselves unblemished until they play Ohio State. Penn State beats Minnesota 31-20.
Final Score: Minnesota 31 Penn State 26
(12)Baylor @ TCU
Andy: This game could determine if the Big 12 might have a potential playoff team still if Baylor can survive this week. TCU is coming off a loss one week after upsetting the Texas Longhorns. The teams are somewhat evenly matched, but Baylor is ranked higher in pretty much every offensive and defensive stat you could analyze. Baylor is a well balanced offense, throwing for 15 touchdowns and rushing for 22 touchdowns. TCU currently has the 25th best overall defense in the country, allowing an average of 5.22 yards per play and surrendering 26 touchdowns to their opponents this season. I expect Baylor to keep their playoff hope alive and take down the Horned Frogs at home. Baylor 28 – TCU 20
Bbaver: Pick: TCU
Coach Rick: You look at TCU’s stats and ask why are they 4 and 4? They have been close a couple of times, but that will end this week. I have Baylor winning by 27 points.
Cory: TCU might be the best 4-4 team in the country. The Horned Frogs have lost three of their last four, but that one win was a huge upset over Texas. Three of their losses were decided by one score and the only team to blow them out was, surprisingly, Iowa State. Still, it’s hard to imagine TCU can hang with Baylor’s offense. TCU has failed to crack 30 points in four of their last five games. Baylor struggled with West Virginia last week and hasn’t played the toughest schedule, however, the inconsistency of TCU is too hard to ignore. Baylor 35, TCU 24
Dr. Mark: Baylor 35-31 – Will be a fun game but neither team strong enough to compete for the playoff.
John: Baylor, like Minnesota, ahs beat up a bunch of lesser teams to build an 8-0 record. If this game were in Waco, I might be willing to pick the Bears to go 8-0. However the game is at TCU, so I’m picking the Frogs in a upset. TCU 31 Baylor 24
Josh: Baylor comes in as the 12th ranked team in the college football playoff rankings. Like Minnesota, their schedule has been soft up to this point, and they will be defined how well they do in November. West Virginia had the opportunities to upset Baylor last week, but the Bears were able to outlast the Mountaineers and keep their undefeated season alive. TCU had a big win against Texas, and now has another opportunity to knock off another ranked opponent. This won’t be a similar scoring game of the 2014 edition, but I think the Bears find a way to win on the road. Baylor 35 – TCU 24
Pia Pete: TCU hands Baylor their first loss of the season. TCU 26 – BU 21
PJSBuck: Good game but Baylor wins a sqeaker.
Steven: TCU has already played giant-killer by beating a ranked Texas team, (that may not really be all that good, but they were ranked then). Even so, the Frog defense is not good. Baylor is sporting a top 20 defense, and in the Big 12 that is incredible. Defense wins championships. Rooting for the Bears as an undefeated Big 12 team, especially one that totally off the radar at the beginning of the season would really throw a wrench into the playoff picture, and who doesn’t love chaos? Baylor 41-33.
Trout: This game should be very close. Much like Minnesota, Baylor has not really played anyone of note, but has been able to remain unbeaten. And on the other side, there is the Horned Frogs. Which they are clearly not a great team, but they have played spoiler for the better teams in the Big 12. They beat a good, albeit, overrated Texas team. I still will give the edge to the Bears. Just looking at the stats, they average more points per game on offense and allow less points on defense. I see it being a close, sloppy game. Unlike a normal Big 12 game, I see this being low scoring. Mostly because of turnovers and miscues. Unfortunately for TCU, they will not be able to overcome those mistakes, and Baylor will remain the only undefeated team in the Big 12. ( Baylor, 21-17)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Baylor is winning games by the hair of their chinny chin chin. TCU has clearly been a disappointment. Baylor wins 38-27.
Final Score: Baylor 29 TCU 23 3OT
(2)LSU @ (3)Alabama
Andy: Ladies and gentlemen, THIS IS THE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING (as Bruce Buffer would say). Alabama opened this week as a 7 point favorite against LSU. And looking at the history of this game Nick Saban and his teams have dominated this rivalry. However this LSU Tigers team is NOT your dad’s LSU Tigers teams of old. They’ve restructured their entire offense around quarterback Joe Burrow and new passing coordinator Joe Brady who came to LSU from the New Orleans Saints. This Tiger offense has been electric, Joe Burrow is the best quarterback in the country with a QB rating of 204 and completing over 78% of his passes. He is averaging over 10 yards per completion this year, which is important because on Saturday he’ll go against the 13th best secondary in the country. Alabama has only allowed just over 5 yards per attempt and only given up 10 passing touchdowns on the season. The real question will be, how will the young Alabama defensive front seven match up against the LSU offensive line. Alabama has a talented but young front seven with four of their starters being Freshman. The only big gap on paper I can see is that LSU has the 23rd best scoring defense, while Alabama has the 9th best scoring defense. The lingering question everybody is pointing to though is how healthy and effective will Tua Tagovailoa be come Saturday afternoon. If Tua is healthy and ready and his OLine can give him adequate time, I favor Alabama in this matchup. Time will tell if Tua is ready or not. Alabama 31 – LSU 24
Bbaver: Pick: Alabama
Coach Rick: This is a hard game for me to guess. I am not sure if Alabama’s quarterback is healthy enough for this LSU defense. I am going with Alabama with the fact I think they have the better offense and they are at home. I have ‘Bama winning by 10.
Cory: While there are a lot of good games this weekend, the one everybody will be paying attention to is LSU at Alabama. These teams have a history of huge games, and it features No. 2 versus No. 3. The big story is Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who missed last week’s game with a high-ankle sprain. Though high-ankle sprains tend to be lingering injuries, Tagovailoa has been practicing this week and is expected to play. That’s bad news for an LSU defense that has struggled at times this season. Given that Alabama gets Tagovailoa back and they’re playing at home, the slight edge goes to the Crimson Tide. Alabama 28, LSU 21
Dr. Mark: LSU 27-21 – Tigers lost two starters from off the field stuff – will that impact them? Saban has a chance to put everyone in their place with a win – Not sure it makes a difference who their QB is- Tua could come in if they are behind and rescue them again.
John: It’s real hard to pick against Alabama at home, but of the two teams LSU is the more battle tested. Will be interesting to see if Tua plays, and if so how the injury affects him. From a Playoff perspective, it is probably better that Alabama wins , but I like Joe Burrow to pull this one out late for the Tigers. LSU 24 Alabama 21
Josh: This is a must win game for Alabama, and I am looking forward to watching it after the Ohio State game. This game will define Joe Burrow’s Heisman campaign, and a win here will all but guarantee their lock for the SEC Championship game. Alabama does not have a signature win, and come into this one as the 3rd ranked team in the CFP poll. What was pegged as the potential 1 vs 2 matchup, this game is still 2 vs 3, and still will impact the playoff. Tua has been rumored to be healthy and playing well in practice, but Saban is known for being a politician in these circumstances. This games comes down to who do you trust more. I don’t see this as a 29-0 game like last season, but without knowing the true health of Tua, this is a tough game to pick. I think when it comes to the big game, it is hard to pick against Saban, and he plans for these all season, especially knowing he has to win to make the playoff. Alabama 38 – LSU 35
Pia Pete: Alabama hands LSU their first loss. Bama 30 – LSU 24
PJSBuck: Can’t stand SEC but this game will be too big to ignore, otherwise by weekly who gives…………………… Alabama wins but how far does the media darling LSU fall???
Steven: I already hear rumblings that some in the media will give Alabama a pass if Tua doesn’t play or plays poorly. I’m not so kind. I think LSU can do enough on offense to keep pace with the Tide, Tua or not. Can the Tiger defense shut down the potent Crimson Tide offense? I think they can, but it will be close. LSU 38-31.
Trout: There are some big questions with Alabama coming into this game. Mostly, will Tua play? And if he does, how effective will he be? That’s why I have to give the edge in this game to LSU. Joe Burrow and the Tigers’ offense has remained consistently good through this season. The only advantage that Alabama will have is that the LSU defense is bad. That may allow them to stay in this game. Both teams will score points, but with Tua not being 100%, I just don’t see the Crimson Tide keeping up with LSU’s pace. It will be a tight race, but LSU’s superior offensive ability will be the x factor in them beating the reigning SEC champ. (LSU, 38-31)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The last time we were feted with a number 1 LSU and a number 2 Alabama it was like watching two slugs race against each other. We are not even sure they will actually be number 1 and number 2 when the CFP Committee rankings come out. Since I am rooting for an OSU v LSU final in the playoffs, I am rooting for LSU. Alabama’s defense is suspect and I think Joe Burrow will carve into the mystique of Alabama’s defense. LSU blasts Alabama 35-17.
Final Score: LSU 46 Alabama 41
(21)Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech
Andy: This could be a fun game to watch for the ACC. Virginia Tech is coming off a near win against Notre Dame, only losing in the last few minutes of the game after Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book threw the game winning touchdown. I do see a big advantage in this game, Wake Forrest has the 17th best scoring offense in the nation and Virginia Tech has the number 75 scoring defense in the country. Virginia Tech is going to need to play mistake free on the defensive side of the football if they hope the beat Wake Forrest. Wake Forest 35 – Virginia Tech 20
Bbaver: Pick: Wake Forest – xxx
Coach Rick: I see this game as a shoot open with two high scoring teams. I think Wake Forrest has an edge on defense, so I think Wake Forest wins by 10.
Cory: As of right now, the ACC is not completely owned by Clemson. Wake Forest enters with a 7-1 record, with that only loss coming by three points to Louisville. Assuming Wake Forest can get by Virginia Tech this weekend, the Demon Deacons have a match-up with unbeaten Clemson the following week. It will be a test for Virginia Tech, who lost to Notre Dame last week in the last minute of the game. The difference maker in this match-up is that Wake Forest has a much better passing game. Virginia Tech has struggled with turnovers, whereas Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman is one of the better unknown players in the country. Wake Forest 35, Virginia Tech 14
Dr. Mark: Wake 38-17 – Va Tech too inconsistent – don’t know either team very well.
Gregg: Wake Forest
Jason: Wake Forest
John: I have no feel for this game at all. Wake is a slight favorite, so that’s how I’ll go. Wake Forest 27 Virginia Tech 24
Josh: Wake Forrest is the only ranked ACC team outside of Clemson, and Clemson fans need to hope they are ranked by the time they play each other next week. A loss to Virginia Tech also means that if Clemson beats NC State, Clemson clinches the Atlantic and will be on their way to the ACC Championship Game regardless of their last 2 games. It is harder to find a more impressive story line this season in the ACC than the rise of quarterback Jamie Newman, who has been the different maker for the Deacons. I think the Hokies will challenge for a few quarters but Wake Forrest wins. Wake Forest 41 – Virginia Tech 24
Pia Pete: Wake over VT WF 24 – VT 20
PJSBuck: Good game to watch. For me this is almost a pick’em game but I will go with VT winning.
Steven: Tech took Notre Dame to the brink last week, and for their trouble get possibly the best QB in the ACC not named Trevor Lawrence coming to town. Watch this one just to take in Jamie Newman. He is the best QB you’ve never heard of, never seen and will end up rooting hard for, especially next week when they head to Death Valley to take on Clemson. There’s no harm in starting early. Deacons 33-21.
Trout: This game is a toss up for me. Wake Forrest has had a good year, but much like Minnesota and Baylor, they have yet to play anyone of merit. While Virginia Tech has be inconsistent. granted, they almost beat Notre Dame. Who are not great, but they are still a big boy program. I’ll give the win to the Demon Deacons, but it will be close. I think the Hokies put up a good fight, but Wake Forrest’s ability to play more constantly, will allow them to get by without being upset. (Wake Forrest, 24-20)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Virginia Tech is a terrible team that should’ve beaten Notre Dame last week. Wake Forest is looking strong. Wake Forest beats Virginia Tech 45-21.