Week 7 Predictions – 2022

Last Week:  For those that said Ohio State could not win on the road, you can put that false notion to rest.  The defeat of the Spartans once again proves this team is legit and should head into the playoffs unbeaten.  Also showing strength were our staff picks, Andy Steger and Josh Watson both went 5-0 and 7 others were 4-1.  Nice job gang, can we keep it up again this week.        

This Week’s Games The Buckeyes have the week off, but there are plenty of great games for us to review. Two match-ups in the top ten alone, and a couple other highly ranked teams that are underdogs. The big one in the Big Ten will be Penn State going to Ann Arbor to face Michigan.  Franklin has very few signature wins on his resume, does he pick one up this week?  ….  Alabama barely escaped a home game with A&M and it cost them the top spot in the polls.  Will they be able to make the needed adjustments this week to go on the road and face a hot Tennessee squad?  ….  Oklahoma State and TCU are the last remaining unbeatens in the Big 12.  Which one of them wins this weekend and takes over sole possession of 1st place in the conference?  ….  The two surprise teams in the Big Ten West are Minnesota and Illinois.  Can Coach Bielema win over one of the pre-season division favorites?  ….  North Carolina State and Syracuse play this weekend, both still hoping for a piece of the division crown.  Can the Orangemen keep there season going on the wave they are currently enjoying?

Buckeye Greats:   As in 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 eighth straight year.

Here we go with our Week 7 PicksGood Luck to All – Gregg

 (10)Penn State  (5)Michigan

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Penn State over Michigan 27-20

Andy:  This will be very telling and should give Ohio State a great reason to watch this game. As these are the two best teams remaining on their schedule. I really like Penn State’s young players especially Nic Singleton their 5* running back and their backup QB Drew Allar. Penn State addressed their biggest issue on offense from the past two years, which was their inability to run the football and good offensive line play. They’re running the ball much better this season, a lot of it has to do with their growing star Nic Singleton, he is the real deal and he is already one of the best running backs in the conference despite only being 5 games into his carrer. Michigan lost some generational players last season, but they returned a lot of production overall on both sides of the football. Their strength is their defense overall, they’re one of the top scoring defenses in the country and one of the best against the pass as well. On offense it starts with their running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. Corum is second in the country in rushing touchdowns with 11 total, averaging over 2 per game and Donovan Edwards is their swiss army knife is an outstanding receiving threat out of their backfield. The difference in this game is the quality at quarterback. The Wolverines have not asked JJ McCarthy to do much so far this season, but he is playing well and has the added threat of mobility and extending plays. I like Michigan here at home.   Michigan 31  Penn State 21

Coach Rick:  Michigan

Cory:  Is it fair to say Michigan got a scare from Indiana? While the score was close for longer than many thought it would be last week, the Wolverines eventually cruised to a nice win. That said, last week’s game has to be a wake-up call for Michigan. The Wolverines struggled to move the ball for most of the game. Coming in this week is Penn State and the Nittany Lions have looked good so far, but their schedule has been pretty easy. Their only good win came at Auburn, but there are a lot of doubts about the Tigers this year. Penn State’s offense has looked better this year than it did last year, and quarterback Sean Clifford is 2-1 against Michigan in his career. Still, it’s hard to go against the Wolverines at home in this game.   Michigan 31, Penn State 24

Dave Michigan 28  Penn State 21

GreggThis one should be a great game if you are a college football fan. Personally I am not a big fan of either team so it is no fun for me to watch.  But the winner will come out of it as the main challenger in the conference for the Buckeyes.  Penn State has quality win over Purdue and a ‘nice’ win over and SEC opponent, while the Wolverines have not really been tested. Probably going out on a limb on this one but I don’t think JJ McCarthey has been challenged like he will see this week.  And the Lions have a pair of tailbacks that will be a huge test for the Michigan D line.  In end, I am going for the upset for PSU.   Penn State 24  Michigan 21

Jason:  A top 10 battle in Ann Arbor and the winner will be an upset of Ohio State of potentially playing for a Big Ten Championship and a possible playoff appearance. Penn State’s offense has found it’s stride. Behind veteran QB Sean Clifford and an outstanding offensive line, the Lions have things going offensively. On the other side of the ball, Penn State has been outstanding against the run, allowing under 80 yards per game, but they haven’t faced a back like they are about to see in Blake Corum. Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has been solid but despite hitting over 75% of his throws of late, he does struggle in the mid and long range game. The Wolverines begin and end behind Corum so if Penn State can slow him, Michigan could be in trouble. Neither of these teams has faced the talent they are about to see, so we still don’t really know how good either is. Michigan’s defense has been good but they’ve also faced some of the worst offenses in the country and when they faced an offense with even a little bit of a pulse (Maryland), they were pushed for 4 quarters. They also struggled mightily to beat Indiana a week ago before finally closing it out late in the fourth quarter for a comfortable 31-10 win, but it was much closer than that score shows. The saving grace for the Wolverines was the fact that Indiana’s offense is atrocious. Neither of these teams are in what could be defined as an ‘elite’ class from a talent and depth perspective, but the winner will have themselves in great position coming down the stretch. It will certainly be a four quarter battle, but the talent and athleticism of Penn State will prove to be too much for Michigan, who hasn’t seen anything close on both sides of the ball. Corum will find a little success running the ball but it won’t be enough. The Nittany Lions behind Clifford, who has played in these games before, will get a score late and the D will pressure McCarthy and come up with a couple takeaways and the Nittany Lions get a big road win.   Penn State 27 Michigan 24

Joe-S-U:  TBGUN over Penn State – I’m still not sold that Hairball has a top-5 team, but Franklin just doesn’t come through in these big games.  Lions are coming off a bye, but have only 2 wins in Ann Arbor since ’09

John:  Not sure what to make of either of these two teams yet.  Neither team has played a ranked opponent yet.  Yes, Penn State went to The Plains and got a win, but that is a bad Auburn team.  Desdumb can poor mouth OSU’s schedule all he wants but it light years better that want Michigan has faced so far this year.  The Wolves gave up 14 to an Iowa offense that has been, well, offensive most of the year. If the game were in Happy Valley I’d pick the Lions, but I think home filed is just enough to give Michigan the edge.   Michigan 27  Penn State 24

JoshThis game will come down to 3 of 4 plays that will shift the momentum of the game, and this match-up is between two teams who we still dont know how good they truly are. Penn State’s Sean Clifford will need to move the ball against Michigan’s defense, and keep drives alive. Part of the early success Michigan has had was being able to get 3 and outs against Maryland and Indiana, two of the stronger offenses they have played this year, and the offensive identity is still classic Harbaugh with a ground and pound play behind Corum, and McCarthy throwing passes designed 10 yards or less. The trick is that Penn State’s secondary is solid, and should be able to cover up the Michigan receivers, but the goal will be to stop Corum in the run game. I think this will be a close one, but Michigan will get a call or two there way being at home and win a close one. Michigan 24 – Penn State 21.

Steven:   Statistically these teams are pretty close, but if you look past the numbers you’d notice that UM’s schedule, (I know it’s hard to believe), is quite a bit better, at least from a conference perspective, than Penn State. Michigan has shown they can outlast a decent defense with their 27-14 win at Iowa. The Wolverines just look like a more complete team.  RB Blake Corum is 7th in the nation in rushing and has the ability to take over a game, as evidenced by his 243 yard rushing performance against Maryland. Look like UM should stay unbeaten this week.   Wolverines 28-24

TroutThis is going to be a very close game, but I think I have to give the edge to the Wolverines. It’s hard to tell how good either of these teams are. Neither team really has that signature win. I am giving the victory to Michigan mostly because these James Franklin led Nittany Lion teams have failed to finish the job in a lot of their bigger games. Granted, Penn State has taken out Ohio State in the past duringFranklin’s tenure, but that is not the norm. The game should be neck and neck for a while. I can even see it coming down to a last second field goal. But due to Penn State’s recent struggles in big games, I unfortunately have to give the victory to the Wolverines.   (Michigan, 24-21)

Final Score:  Michigan 41  Penn State 17 

(3)Alabama  @  (6)Tennessee

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Tennessee over Alabama 34-31 

Andy:  This is the MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING in Bruce Buffer’s words. No seriously this is a playoff game in the middle of the season essentially. You’ve got Tennessee with the 2nd best overall offense in the country lead by Heisman hopeful Hendon Hooker against Alabama whose strength is their defense led by the best player in college football Will Anderson. I think the big question is how healthy will Tide QB Bryce Young be for this game? As of right now he will be the starter, but will his throwing shoulder be an issue for him in this game? Alabama’s defense started strong and is currently the number 6 overall scoring defense allowing less than two touchdowns per game (12.5 points per game). This Tide defense will face a Volunteers offense that is averaging nearly 47 points per game. Reality will hit this Volunteers offense hard when they slam into the best defense in the country, but I still think Tennessee has enough going for them in this game to pull the upset.   Tennessee 38  Alabama 35

Coach Rick:  Alabama (Will not be surprised if Tennessee wins)

Cory:  The big story heading into this game is the health of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Young, who is dealing with an AC sprain, missed last week’s game with Texas A&M and the Crimson Tide almost lost that. Backup Jalen Milroe turned the ball over three times and struggled to get into any kind of rhythm. That might be OK against an offensively inept team like the Aggies, but not against Tennessee. The Volunteers are absolutely rolling right now thanks to the play of quarterback Hendon Hooker. Hooker’s thrown for 1, 432 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions as the Volunteers have picked up wins over three ranked teams (Pitt, Florida, LSU). As I write this Alabama is optimistic that Young will be back and as long as that’s true, I like the Crimson Tide to pull out a good road victory.   Alabama 35, Tennessee 31

Dave Alabama  21  Tennessee 18

GreggI think LSU is still trying to figure out what happened to them last week when the Vols took the Tigers to the woodshed and de-striped them.  I hear on campus, Mike the Tiger has not been out of his cave all week.  Tennessee is on fire right now and will have the advantage of a home crowd.  I am going with the boys in Knoxville on this, partly because I think it is finally time for the Tide to be dropped a notch or two.   Rocky Top 34  Roll Tide 27

Jason:  Bryce Young is supposed to be back, but according to Nick Saban, on a ‘pitch count’. If he’s not 100%, the running game is more than capable of carrying the Tide offense. RB Jahmyr Gibbs has taken over in his absence and should have some level of success against Tennessee. The Tide D has been excellent and by far the best the Vols have seen and currently ranks 3rd nationally against the run. Despite the talent, Alabama hasn’t looked as dominant on either side of the ball as they were a year ago. Texas A&M was an eye lash (and a better play call) from knocking off Bama and Arkansas and Texas pushed the Tide to the limit. Tennessee is the toughest challenge yet. With a balanced offense led by Heisman Trophy candidate Hendon Hooker, Tennessee will test the Bama defense as they haven’t been tested thus far. This is the biggest game in Knoxville in a long time and the fans are ready.  College Gameday is in town and the hype is real. Tennessee has yet to beat a Nick Saban coached Bama team and if there was a year to break through, this is it. The Vols will get off to a fast start but Bama will weather the storm and go back ahead before halftime. It will be back and forth the rest of the way but a late stop by the Tennessee defense and a Hooker led TD drive put the Vols up for good and Tennessee pulls the upset at home and places themselves firmly in the CFP discussion.   Tenn 31 Bama 24

Joe-S-U:  Tenn. over ‘Bama – In the midst of a spirited Facebook “discussion” with some SEC numbnut, he claimed the Vols have had seasons since 1998 that they were “relevant”.  News to me…Then I figured out he actually meant “The Revelant”, where Tennessee is Leo DiCaprio and the rest of the SEC is the grizzly bear throwing him around.  Anyway, if the Vols can’t win this game given all circumstances in play, they never will beat Alabama 

John:  I just can’t see Alabama being a touchdown favorite on the road in this one.  Yes, they are unbeaten, but ‘Bama has looked anything but their normal Death Star selves and could have very easily (and some would say should have) lost to both Texas and Texas A & M on the road.  Tennessee has lost 15 straight to Alabama, making this rivalry as lopsided as Ohio State and a certain team up north.  If UT can win the turnover battle, they win the game.   Tennessee  31  Alabama 28

JoshThis game comes down to if Alabama’s defense can slow down Hendon Hooker or take him out of the game all together (which wouldn’t surprise me knowing Saban’s record of doing that in big games). Bryce Young is still injured but is reported to be on a snap count. If last week was any indication of the back up quarterback situation in the win against Texas A&M, the Volunteers will need to pin their ears back and create chaos in the Alabama backfield to create turnovers. With the hype and momentum in this game, this will determine if Tennessee is for real, or if Bama will continue their win streak. I see this one being close because Saban rarely gets blown out, and both of these defenses has holes, but I like the Volunteers to win this one at home. Tennessee 35 – Alabama 32. 

Steven:   Alabama’s chances depend on the availability of Bryce Young and his injured shoulder.  Last week we saw the Tide struggle with turnovers when they seemed to rely too much on the arm of backup QB Jalen Milroe. Milroe did have 3 touchdowns but coupled those with 2 fumbles and an interception.  Even relying heavily on the run, Alabama had a tough time limiting turnovers and had a tough time putting away a much lesser team in the Aggies. The Volunteers look to be healthy and are primed for the first top 10 match up with Alabama since the Tee Martin era. QB Hendon Hooker is one of 5 FBS quarterbacks that is averaging over 10 yards per attempt, (CJ Stroud leads the nation at 10.9), so the Vols are high-powered. If the Tide plays sloppy and undisciplined like they did against the Aggies, They’ll lose this one.  I’ll give the Vols the home field advantage and say they pull the upset.   UT 34-28  

TroutThere is a lot of uncertainty coming from Alabama’s side. Without Bryce Young the TIde nearly lost to a bad Texas A&M team. If it wasn’t for a bad play call, they would have. They also haven’t played as sharp as they have in previous seasons.  The Volunteers have looked surprisingly good. Granted their best win is against Pitt, a slightly better than average ACC team. All signs are pointing to Young being out again, so if that’s the case, I think Alabama might lose. It’ll be very close. I don’t think Tennessee is good enough to completely dominate this game. But I see  the Crimson Tide’s  Milroe making mistakes because of his inexperience. The Vols will take advantage of those mistakes, and score enough points to pull off the upset. Tennessee takes down the king of the SEC.   (Tennessee, 27-21)

 Final Score:  Tennessee 52   Alabama 49

(8)Oklahoma State (13)TCU

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)TCU over Oklahoma State 41-38 

Andy:  This game is the co-main event of the evening. Oklahoma State would be a legit title contender this year if they still had defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Despite that Spencer Sanders has this Cowboys offense flying high and scoring over 45 points per game against opponents. Both of these teams have incredilby fast paced high scoring offenses. The Horned Frogs will be lead by their quarterback Max Duggan, but I think the difference here is only going to be a few points as both of these teams have average defenses at best.   TCU 54  Oklahoma State 51

Coach Rick:  TCU

Cory:  Who would’ve thought that potentially the biggest game in the Big 12 this season would be between Oklahoma State and TCU? Both teams enter undefeated, and both teams are still looking to prove themselves after relatively weak schedules so far. The Cowboys handled Baylor and Texas Tech, while TCU is coming off a good road win over an improved Kansas team. While I like the balance that TCU’s offense brings, their defense gives up a lot of points. In some games that is not a concern, but when playing Oklahoma State that is a huge red flag. I like the Cowboys in a shootout.   Oklahoma State 45, TCU 42

Dave TCU 28  Oklahoma State 21

GreggOk, quick show of hands, who said that at the midqay mark in the season, both TCU and Oklahoma State would be unbeaten, and Oklahoma and Iowa State would be winless in conference play?  Didn’t think so, Frogs keep hopping.   TCU 41  Oklahoma State 34

Jason:  The battle of the final two unbeatens in the Big 12 and it’s not who you normally expect. The ‘Pokes sport the Big 12’s best defense for the second straight season even though it’s not as dominant as it was a year ago and the offense is 2nd in the conference in scoring.  Oklahoma State certainly has it rolling. TCU says “not so fast, my friend”. They come in with an explosive offense themselves, averaging 46 points per game behind QB Max Duggan. Despite having overall good numbers defensively, Oklahoma State is allowing over 300 yards per game through the air, last in the conference, so Duggan has a chance to have a big day. If he can avoid that powerful Cowboy pass rush, he should be able to pick apart the secondary. This game has a chance to be a preview to the Big 12 title game and it should be entertaining. Look for both teams to have some success offensively but ultimately the Cowboys pressure and front 7 will be a bit too much for TCU and a late turnover will seal it for the visitors as Oklahoma State comes away with a win that gives them the inside track to play for the Big 12 title.   OSU 42 TCU 35

Joe-S-U:   TCU over Okla. St.- Would you have believed before the season started that THIS game would be a battle of unbeatens AND would get ABC’s 3:30 slot?  I figured it was destined for a noon kick on Nickelodeon.  Horned Frogs continue their magic ride

John: I don’t watch much BigXII football, being partial to teams that play both defense and offense.  That said, I’m a little surprised to learn that the other OSU is the higher ranked team in this matchup.  I did see a little of TCU’s total dismantling of Oklahoma.  Granted the Sooners are rebuilding under a new head coach, but that was a dominate performance by the Frogs.  I think TCU wins at home, and covers the 4 point spread.  TCU  31  Oklahoma State 17

JoshIt seems that the Oklahoma State defense is still finding success even without Jim Knowles, and the Cowboys are undefeated still going into week 7 of the football season. TCU has has some impressive wins already, including last weeks win against a previously undefeated Kansas, and could be the ones responsible for destroying the ego off of Oklahoma which made it easier for Texas to shut them out. I think this will be a shootout between two good offenses, and I think the speed of TCU will be too much for Oklahoma State to keep up with for 60 minutes. TCU 49 – Oklahoma State 42. 

Steven:   Wow, with the nose dive Oklahoma has taken, paired with the ascendance of Kansas and TCU, the Big 12 is the most interesting league in the nation. It may not have the top tier talent of  the Big 10 or SEC, but they are pretty good across the board.  This week will serve to put some of the league into further focus. This one is really splitting hairs.  One team will win and one will lose, but I’m not sure after it is done it will truly indicate who will be better in the long run. Both teams are scoring at 46.4 points per game and give up just under 25. I have to go with the hot hand of TCU quarterback Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs. Amphibians win a close one 38-37.  

TroutThis game is a toss up. Both teams score an average of 46.4 points per game, and both only allow around 24 points per game. If I have to pick a team, I think I will go with the Horned Frogs. I don’t think either team has a real advantage in this game. This should be a pretty good ,evenly matched game between two decent Big 12 teams.  It should be a close game with both teams scoring plenty of points. I could see both teams getting into the 40s. Most likely the last team with the ball wins the game. And I think TCU will be that team. They will pull ahead with seconds to go, and the Oklahoma State will be unable to counter.   (TCU, 48-42)

Final Score:  TCU 43   Oklahoma State 40

Minnesota  (24)Illinois

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Illinois over Minnesota 24-20

 Andy:  This game should be paid attention to by Ohio State as well. Despite not playing well in past seasons this Illinois team lead by former Badger coach Bret Bilemma is playing very well. The Illini have the nations leading rusher in Chase Brown as well as the first overall scoring defense in the country. Minnesota has a veteran QB and a top 5 scoring defense, but will need Mo Ibrahim to be healthy and at 100% if they want to win this game. I see Illinois grinding a lot of clock down this game with their game behind Brown as he averages nearly 26 carries per game while averaging 5.8 yards per attempt. I like Illinois in this game, but close.  Illinois 28  Minnesota 21 

Coach Rick:  Illinois

Cory:  There is a big Big 10 matchup this week, and it’s between Minnesota and Illinois. Neither team is all that exciting, but both teams enter this game with just one loss. If you like classic Big 10 football then you are in for a treat. Both teams feature good defenses and inconsistent offenses, and both teams have terrific running backs in Mo Ibrahim (Minnesota) and Chase Brown (Illinois). The big question is about Illini quarterback Tommy DeVito, who rolled his ankle last week. If Illinois has to go with Art Sitkowski at quarterback it could be a long day.   Minnesota 20, Illinois 13

Dave Illinois 32  Minnesota 21

GreggToo much Gopher ground game for Illinois to over come.  Sorry Bielema, honnmoon is over.  Minnesota 27  Illinois 24

Jason:  The Big Ten West is wide open and it’s not because there are a host of good teams. However, when healthy the Gophers may be the best. RB Mo Ibrahim is back and they are a different team when he totes the rock. The Gopher defense hasn’t played the best offenses but they have still been great, leading the country allowing just over 200 yards per game.  Illinois has been playing pretty good defense as well, however, QB Tommy DeVito may be unable to go with an ankle injury and even with him, the Illini don’t have an exactly explosive offense. This has the makings of an old school, three yards and a cloud of dust, late season Big Ten matchup. There won’t likely be a lot of points scored in this game, but Minnesota will score a bit more. Behind Ibrahim, QB Tanner Morgan and that defense, Minnesota goes to Illinois and leaves with the upper hand in the B1G West race.   Minny 27 Illinois 14

Joe-S-U:   Minnesota over Illinois– Back in August, I would’ve bet Gregg’s car that we wouldn’t have been picking this game.  I don’t think this matchup has been, uh, relevant since Red Grange was running away from Bronko Nagurski.  Bielema’s turning the tide in Champaign but I’ll go with the Gophers

John:  So who really wants to win the B1G west this year?  Regardless of which of the three big boys emerges out of the East, the West champ will be a double-digit dog in Indy.  Both of these teams are in the running for the honor.  Not sure if that speaks well if them, or poorly on the entire West.   Minnesota  24  Illinois 17 

Josh: This game really comes down to if Mo Ibrahim is healthy or not to play. According to PJ Fleck, he will play, but it will be interesting to see how much. it is evident that the Minnesota offense goes through him more than it does Tanner Morgan, and Illinois has a disciplined defense, but does not have the same star power that the Gophers have. I will go with the Gophers in this one, as this game will be a critical one in who controls their destiny in the Wild Wild Big Ten West. Minnesota 17 – Illinois 14. 

Steven:  Minnesota could very easily be undefeated, but unfortunately, the Gophers lost their Mojo when running back Mohamed Ibrihim went down. When you’re 4th in the nation individually in rushing, tallying 141 per game, the loss is significant. Without Ibrahim, the Gophers gained a scant 47 yards in last week’s loss to Purdue. If Ibrahim is back, I like the Gophers, if not, the Illini. It is as simple as that. As of this time, he is projected to be back, so Go Go Gophers 24-17.  

TroutBy all rights, the Golden Gophers should win this game. Talentwise, they are better than the Fighting Illini in most categories. But they also lost to a bad Purdue team a few weeks ago. It looked like this was their year to take the West, with Wsconsin being bad, but they slipped up royally. And now the Big Ten West is wide open.  I am still going to pick Minnesota to win, but I think this will be a very close, very low scoring game. Brett Bielema has been able to get this Illinois team to play better than anyone thought they could. They are in no way a contender for the Big Ten, but they have become a team that can disrupt some things. I see this game having a lot of turnovers and miscues from both teams. However, Minnesota’s slightly better talent will allow them to sneak by with the victory. It wont be pretty, but the Golden Gophers survive and keep their Big Ten championship dreams alive.   (Minnesota, 17-13)

Final Score:  Illinois 26   Minnesota 14


(15)NC State  @  (18)Syracuse

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Syracuse over NC State 31- 17 

Andy:  Another awesome matchup, this time in the ACC. I think both of these teams are incredibly well coached, but both are highly overrated at their respective rankings. Part of this is that the ACC is hands down the weakest power 5 conference this year. I’ve been on a big NC State kick lately despite their loss to Clemson. Syracuse is averaging nearly 39 points per game and has one of the top offenses in the country, while NC State is allowing an average of only 15 points per game. Which will bend and which will break? I have a feeling NC State will win this game behind their veteran leaders on this team.   NC State  29  Syracuse 24

Coach Rick:  Syracuse

Cory:  Raise your hand if you knew Syracuse was undefeated. Yes, seriously, the Orange are 5-0 right now. The schedule for them has been absolute cake so let’s not get too excited about their start, but so far they’ve been playing good football. That will come to an end this week when they play host to North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are coming off a gutsy 19-17 win over Florida State last week, and have played a tougher schedule so far as they’ve also played, and hung with, Clemson. That toughness will server them will this week.   North Carolina State 28, Syracuse 17

Dave NC State 28  Syracuse 21

GreggBoth of these teams are having a great season.  NC State was expected to challenge Clemson for the Atlantic Division but Syracuse has been a pleasant surprise. Dino Babers usually gets them up for Clemson but fails the rest of the schedule. The ‘Cuse have been enjoying a great season after going 5-7, 1-10 and 5-7 the last three years.  Unfortunately I think their bubble bursts this week and the Wolfpack continues to stay in the hunt for the division.   NC State 31  Syracuse 21

Jason:  Syracuse welcomes the Wolfpack to town and they do so boasting the top defense in the ACC. Despite not being as good as a year ago, the NC State offense has been solid. They found success through the air against Clemson and downed Florida State by utilizing the ground game. This will be the best offense ‘Cuse has seen thus far and for that matter, the best D as well. Despite not getting to the QB with regularity, the Pack defense still has athletes to make things difficult for the Orange and QB Garrett Shrader.  Pack QB Sean Tucker is dealing with a shoulder and is questionable for the game, but they like to rely on the running game more than through the air anyway so it shouldn’t be much of a factor. Neither team will score a lot of points, but NC State just has a bit too much for the Orange in their first true challenge of the year and the Pack comes away with a road win and Syracuse suffers their first loss.   NC St 24 ‘Cuse 17

Joe-S-U:  NC State over Syracuse – Always highly entertaining and hard fought when Jim Boeheim and Jim Valvano butt heads, but I’ll go with……what?……oh, FOOTball?…..seriously?…. 

John:  Take the Orange at home in a shootout.  Syracuse 38  NC State 35

JoshNC State lost the one game it couldn’t lose this year, and now will need help with Clemson to lose twice in order to make a chance at the ACC Championship. Syracuse is one of the surprise teams this season, being one of the remaining 16 unbeaten. The Orangeman are at home, and without their starting quarterback for the Wolfpack, I like Syracuse to win a close one. Syracuse 24 – NC State 17.   

Steven:  This should be promoted as the Stealth Bowl as few have seen much of these squads.  Some may have caught the Wolfpack’s loss to Clemson, or maybe their win over Florida State, but who in their right mind has been watching Syracuse games?  This is probably Syracuse’s first nationally televised game in years.  I thought they had been permanently relegated to basic cable public access channels. The Orangemen, winners of 5 in a row, has beaten the perennial powerhouses of Wagner, Virginia, Purdue, Connecticut and Louisville, who have a combined win-loss record of 12-18.  Only one of those 5 teams, Purdue, has a winning record. Throwing 59 down against an 0-5 Wagner club doesn’t impress me. The Wolfpack’s 5-1 looks a lot better than the Orange’s 5-0.  Wolfpack 31-28.  

TroutNeither of these teams are that good. Looking at their schedules, they haven’t beat any team of note. The Wolfpack had their chance to show what they were against Clemson, but they fell short. And now the ACC is still Clemson’s conference to lose. I am going to give the edge to the Orange in this game. Mostly because they have a better offense statistically. Much like the other games that I’ve picked this week, I think it’ll be a very close game. With the Orange just doing enough to get by. Both teams will be able to put a few drives together, but the Syracuse Orange will do just a little more to win the game.   (Syracuse, 27-24)     

Final Score:  Syracuse 24   NC State 9

Upset Alert

Josh:  Utah over USC – The Trojans have remained undefeated, but have been largely inconsistant on offense, despite what Caleb Williams has done on the field. The defense for the Trojans has been evry opportunistic which has helped them in games against Oregon State and Washington State, but have not been able to stop drives at a championship level. The Utes are not having the season they envisioned, but still have a chance to play in the PAC-12 Championship with a win this week and to close out the season for a potential rematch with UCLA. I think Utah gets it done at home with their new uniforms, and upsets the 7th ranked Trojans. Utah 34 – USC 24

Final Score:  Utan 43   USC  42

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