Week 9 Predictions – 2022

Last Week:  Ohio State started off slow against Iowa, but rolled to a 54-10 win. The defense continues to improve, never once allowing the Hawkeyes into the redzone.  This weekend saw a few more unbeaten teams go down as well, with UCLA, Syracuse, and Ole Miss all getting beat on the road. Shout out to Coach Rick, Cory, Joe-S-U, and Trout who all went 5-0 with their weekly predictions.  Dave still holds the top spot in the overall rankings, but after 8 weeks of the 2022 season, only 5 games seperate first place from last place in our staff standings.

This Week’s Games The Buckeyes are on the road for the second time this year, with a noon kickoff against Penn State. Will the intimidation that the White Out presents normally be a non-factor now that it is a noon game, or is Happy Valley still a tough environment?  ….  Tennessee had a warm up game against UT-Martin last week, and will now host Kentucky for a critical SEC Matchup. Can the Wildcats play spoiler to the Volunteer magical season?  ….  The second SEC game to keep an eye on is the Florida vs. Georgia game in Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Tailgate Party. Can Anthony Robinson challenge the Georgia Bulldogs?  ….  After a bye week for both teams, Michigan hosts Michigan State as Harbaugh looks to claim his first win against Mel Tucker.  ….  In our final game, we focus on Notre Dame and Syracuse.  The Irish had a rocky start, but has some momentum after beating UNLV in the  first ever meeting between those two schools. Can they trip up Syracuse and hand them their second straight loss?

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 9 PicksGood Luck to All – Josh

 (2)Ohio State  (13)Penn State

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): OSU over Penn State 49-17

Andy:  I don’t know how many paths to victory Penn State has against this Ohio State team. Not that Penn State isn’t going to give OSU a game, because they always seem to find a way, but their defensive line is not impressive and neither is their offensive line. I am concerned about the defensive backs for Penn State, I think they will match up well against Ohio State’s receivers. And they play press man coverage which will put a lot of pressure on the receivers to get separation which they both have not shown yet this season. I think they will ultimately win those matchups, but don’t be surprised if this is not a runaway victory.   Ohio State 42  Penn State 24

Coach Rick:  Ohio State

Cory:  Facing its first real road test of the season the Ohio State football team heads to Happy Valley this weekend to face Penn State. The Nittany Lions rebounded well from their loss to Michigan, beating Minnesota 45-17 last week. Aside from those two games Penn State’s schedule has not been difficult at all. There are still some concerns about Ohio State’s defense, however, they are much improved on that side of the ball, and Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford is good for one or two bad turnovers every time he plays Ohio State.   Ohio State 35, Penn State 17 

DaveOhio State 42  Penn State 21

GreggOhio State vs. Penn State always looks like a great game on paper and the talking heads will try to sell it as if it is a great rivalry.  In reality, the Buckeyes have pretty much owned the Lions since they joined the Big Ten in 1993. In fact they have won 9 of the last ten match-ups, although there have been some great finishes in some of those victories.  As this is the final weekend of games before the playoff rankings begin, the Buckeyes have one more chance to prove they deserve consideration for the top seed.  CJ Stroud should once again have the opportunity to register another 4 TD, 300 yard performance.  A lot has been made about Ohio State being held to less than 100 yards of rushing, but when you start your drives with an average field position of the 44 yard line, it does not give you a lot of opportunity to pile on yards. And if the defense plays continues to mature this week as they have all season, this will be another lopsided game.   Ohio State  45  Penn State 13

Jason:  Ohio State is facing what might be their stiffest challenge to date, going on the road to State College. A week ago, Ohio State didn’t necessarily play their best game against Iowa, yet still won by 44. That’s a sign of a very, very good football team.  The offense is the nation’s best and the defense is now ranked #2 nationally. They are certainly clicking on all cylinders and are led by Heisman Trophy favorite, C.J. Stroud (sorry Hendon Hooker). The Nittany Lions really struggled in the second half of their loss to Michigan two weeks ago, but bounced back to destroy Minnesota, granted they were missing their QB, but the Lions stuffed a solid ground attack.  Sean Clifford is a veteran and has the poise not to get rattled by the ferocious Buckeye pass rush. The Lion D has a secondary that can make things difficult for Ohio State’s pass game, but in order to keep this game close, they will have to force turnovers and Ohio State just doesn’t turn it over often. Penn State may be able to get a couple stops early and sustain a couple drives, but eventually talent will take over and Ohio State just has too much and pulls away late in the second half and adds on in the third quarter to cruise to another ‘easy’ win. Ohio State 45 Penn State 17 

Joe-S-U:   Ohio State 

John:  This has the feeling of a trap game for the Buckeyes.  Looking at the remaining schedule, if I had to pick a game that OSU loses this year, this is the one.  Don’t know why, as OSU has dominated PSU in the Franklin era.  Urban basically gifted Franklin his lone win in the series (I still maintain that if Urban doesn’t panic and try to rush his FG unit onto the field and just uses a time out, the kick doesn’t get blocked and OSU wins that game).  Having seen Penn State play, while they have some nice skill on both sides of the ball, they just don’t have the same overall talent that Ohio State has.  Game may be close into the fourth quarter, but OSU gets the W.   Ohio State 35  Penn State 24 

JoshOhio State will travel for the second time this season, and will play against a top 15 team in Penn State, who has challenged the Buckeyes from 2015-2021, but only has 1 win at home in that stretch in 2016. The Buckeyes will be bringing the nation’s second best offense that had some issues in the run game last week against Iowa, but should be able to attack Penn State’s front seven, who are giving up 140 yards a game on the ground. Where the biggest challenge will be for Ohio State is can their receivers get separation from one of the best secondaries they will face all season. Sean Clifford is the veteran leading this offense for the Nittany Lions, and had one of his best performances last week against Minnesota and is looking to repeat. This game looks like it will be a close one to start, and as long as the defense for the Buckeyes can shorten the amount of plays Penn State runs, they should give the offense enough time to get into a grove in this hostile environment and get some points to pull away.   Ohio State 49 – Penn State 17  

Steven: There are those that see a bit of Red Zone inefficiency last Saturday as a huge negative. If we’re being honest, OSU has been so over the top efficient that any pull back is viewed as a let down. If the Bucks converted those field goals into touchdowns, they would have pinned 70 on the best defense in the Big Ten. The sputtering disappointment still crushed the Hawkeyes. Remember, this is a defense that limited UM to 27, and the Hawkeye offense scored 14 on the Wolverine defense. Let me repeat that, the Wolverines gave up 14 points to the worst offense in the country. If we also use the Team Up North as a measuring stick for this week, they posted a 41-17 home win over Penn State. I expect the Buckeyes should equal or best that score on the road. Even after Saturday’s beat down, Iowa’s pass defense is ranked 11th in the country, PSU’s is 79th. As for rush defense, the numbers are 14 and 62. Until UM comes to town, this week is Ohio State’s best chance to prove they are the top, most complete team in the nation. Last week proved they have the resolve to win when things don’t go perfectly. They’ll need that resiliency down the road, as Spencer Petras won’t be out there throwing ducks anymore. Penn State’s Sean Clifford currently has fewer interceptions than CJ Stroud, not that it will matter. OSU still dominates, but it won’t be quite the cakewalk last week was.   OSU 49-14    

TroutOhio State should win this game. They are the better team hands down. I think Penn State will challenge them though initially. The Nittany Lions have issues clearly, but they are not without talent. Also, the Buckeyes are going into State College to play this game, which is always tough. I think the game is close early, with both teams getting a few scores in. However, Ohio State will start to pull away in the second half. Penn State will be unable to keep up. Stroud should be able to find his groove, much like he did in the second half of the Iowa game, and lead the Buckeyes down the field  with limited resistance. The Nittany Lions put up a good fight for a while, but Ohio State’s superior talent shines through, and allows them to win by a few scores. (Ohio State, 38-17)

Final Score:  Ohio State 44   Penn State 31 


(19)Kentucky (3)Tennessee

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Tennessee over Kentucky 36-24 

Andy:  Kentucky looked great early this season. But lately the darling of college football has been Tennessee after their upset win over Alabama. Kentucky plays a little bit more possession based football than Alabama does, so I think they’ll try to speed up the clock by running the ball a lot. I don’t know if Tennessee will respond well to this or not, but ultimately I see Tennessee scoring more than Kentucky. Tennessee 45 Kentucky 31

Coach Rick:  Tennessee

Cory: Tennessee avoided the Alabama hangover last week with a big win over UT Martin. Will they be able to do the same this week? Kentucky rolls into town fresh off a 27-17 win over Mississippi State, and Tennessee cannot look forward one week to the Georgia game. While Kentucky is good, ultimately I don’t think they have the firepower to hang with Tennessee’s offense in this game. Tennessee 42, Kentucky 28

DaveTennessee 38  Kentucky 21 

GreggTennessee has already been tested and passed the test. They are now playing for a playoff spot and need to keep that focus.   Kentucky has been a cute story but has not really beaten anyone (Youngstown State, Miami, OH, Northern Illiinois, not impressed) and is not at the same level. Neyland Stadium will welcome the boys back in the orange jerseys and this has the chance to be another blowout win for the Volunteers.   Tennessee 45  Kentucky 17

Jason:  Tennessee has it rolling but Kentucky is good enough to provide a challenge.  The ‘Cat secondary has been playing well and is talented enough to at least slow the Vols passing game. If QB Will Levis is healthy, UK can throw the ball around and Tennessee is really struggling to stop the pass, ranking 2nd worst in the nation, allowing over 300 yards to UT Martin a week ago. While Tennessee may be vulnerable defensively, that offense is second to Ohio State in pass efficiency so to beat Tennessee, you must be able to score with them. Kentucky is been solid in controlling the football and converting on third down so they need to slow the game down and keep the ball out of Hendon Hooker and that explosive offense’s hands. UK will have to finish long drives with TD’s and not settle for FG’s to make this a ball game in the fourth quarter. This is a bit of a trap game for Tennessee as they look forward to UGA next week. It will be highly competitive deep into the fourth quarter, but that Vol offense is just too explosive and a couple late scoring drives will put this baby to bed and the Vols move on to face Georgia for the game of the year in the SEC.   Tenn 38  UK 30

Joe-S-U:  Tennessee 

John:  Kentucky feels a lot like the SEC equivalent of Indiana or Purdue in recent years.  They’ll look good against the average teams on their schedule, roll up a few nice wins, and they’ll play the good teams tough, but always seem to find a way to lose in the end.  I think that happens here.  With the game in Knoxville look for UT to win comfortably.  Tennessee  38  Kentucky 21

JoshFor the second time in 3 weeks, Tennessee will host a top 25 team, and this one being against Kentucky in what could be a key game for the SEC East standings. The success of the Wildcats is all on how well former Penn State Nittany Lion Will Levis plays. On the other side of the same coin, the Volunteers live and die by the play of Hendon Hooker, who has emerged as on of the Heisman favorites, and got plenty of rest last week after only needing to play 1 half against UT-Martin. This game will also be the first of a 3 game mini-season for the Volunteers as they will have Kentucky this week, at Georgia the next week, and then at South Carolina in 2 weeks. I think the Wildcats will pose a challenge for the most part of the game, and will be able to keep up in a shoot out with Tennessee for about 3 quarters, but I think Tennessee makes 1 or 2 plays more to make the difference.  Tennessee 42 – Kentucky 38  

Steven:  Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker is still in CJ Stroud’s rearview mirror when it comes to the Heisman race, but he’s made up some ground. This week should serve to showcase Hooker in a game where he and the Volunteers shouldn’t be tested. This match looks to be a blowout, and if Hooker stays upright, should narrow the gap between him and Stroud. I’m not sure if this one rates a cigar, but regardless, it’ll be smokey on Rocky Top.  UT 45-27  

TroutIt’s weird to think that Tennessee is the best in the SEC right now. Their program has been a garbage fire for years now, and somehow they have turned it around. And as good of a season as Kentucky is having this year, clearly the Volunteers are having a better one. The Vols will win this game, but I do think the Wildcats keep it close for a while. Much like the Buckeyes, the Volunteers have a dynamic offense with a Heisman level quarterback. They are going to be able to put up some points. However, they don’t have the best defense, which is why I think Kentucky may be able to score on them a few times. Tennessee doesn’t have a terrible defense per say, but there are a few games where thy have allowed teams to score 25+ points on them. Alabama was able to put 49 points on them. The game should go back and forth initially with both teams scoring a few touchdowns. But at a certain power, Tennessee’s high powered offense becomes too much for the Wildcats to handle, and the game becomes a little more one-sided. Tennessee wins the game and remain these the top dog in the SEC for one more week.  (Tennessee, 45-19)

 Final Score:  Kentucky 6   Tennessee 44


(9)Oklahoma State  @  (22)Kansas State

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Oklahoma State over Kansas State 36-31 

Andy:  After watching Kansas State nearly beat TCU last week, I am high on this program. However a big part of why they lost was because they suffered injuries to their top 2 quarterbacks. I don’t think that bodes well for their program with Oklahoma State being as hot as they are right now. I see this turning into a high scoring game, but I give the edge to Oklahoma State because their defense seems to be improving almost week to week.   Oklahoma State 45 Kansas State 28

Coach Rick:  Oklahoma State

Cory: Kansas State fell to unbeaten TCU last week, but you have to wonder if the game would have been different had their quarterbacks been healthy. At one point during TCU’s come-from-behind win the Wildcats were down to their third string quarterback. Starter Adrian Martinez is a game-time decision for this week, but he was in full pads and had his helmet on during last week. Oklahoma State looks to avoid a hangover after a nice win over Texas last week. While Kansas State is tougher than people think, the Oklahoma State offense will give the Cowboys the edge in this matchup.  Oklahoma State 42  Kansas State 31

Dave Oklahoma State 21  Kansas State 20 

GreggThis may be the best game of the week.  I must admit, the Big 12 is a bit deeper than I predicted at the beginning of the season.  If Oklahoma State finds a way to control Adrian Martinez they will win this game.  Plan to watch this one after the Buckeye victory, thank me later.  I do think this one will be a bit lower scoring than most expect.   Oklahoma State 24  Kansas State 20

Jason:  The Cowboys led by QB Spencer Sanders got a big bounceback win over Texas at home and now control their destiny to the Big 12 championship game with an outside shot at the CFP. Kansas State has been playing well, but QB health is the big issue. Both QB’s, Adrian Martinez and Will Howard have been battling injuries and if they are not fully healthy, the Wildcat offense doesn’t execute nearly the same. If one or both can go at full strength, the Pokes are vulnerable defensively. However, the conference’s worst pass defense shouldn’t be too tested in this one as it’s not K State’s MO to throw the ball often. If Kansas State can run the ball behind RB Deuce Vaughn, they have a shot. TCU hit Okie State for over 200 on the ground two weeks ago and pulled the victory so he must get his on the ground.  This has the makings of being a highly competitive four quarter game, but behind Sanders, the Cowboys get the job done in a shootout.   OSU 41  K St 35

Joe-S-U:  Oklahoma State 

John:  This one should be close.  I have no logical reason for my pick, just a gut feel that the Cowboys go on the road and get a W.   Oklahoma State  42  Kansas State 38

JoshOklahoma State has been a surprise this season, after losing Jim Knowles and some of their talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they have been clicking with Spencer Sanders. Kansas State has also been a tough match up in the Big 12, nearly beating TCU last week, but with the injury to Adrian Martinez, the success of that offense is up in the air. I think the Cowboys are a more complete team, and win this one on the road.  Oklahoma State 35 – Kansas State 24  

Steven:  As Big Ten fans can attest, KSU’s and former Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez is an enigma. He has all the physical tools to succeed, but his decision making has been suspect at times, especially when he tries to do too much.This season has very much been a career renaissance for Martinez, which begs the question, how much of a disservice did Nebraska coaching do to this kid? While Martinez has been much better this year, overall the Wildcats have been inconsistent. They followed up a week 3 loss to Tulane with a rousing upset on the road of #6, Oklahoma. Last Saturday, the Wildcats posted their second loss of the season, this time to the Big 12 leader TCU Horned Frogs. While KSU lost by 10 on the road in Fort Worth, Oklahoma State, took the Frogs to 2 overtimes before taking their first loss, (also on the road). It was mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the OSU-TCU winner may not clearly indicate who is the best in the Big 12, and that has proven true. The Cowboys are pretty close to the best in the conference, and this week should bear this out. Barring another out of his mind performance by Martinez, the Cowboys should prevail, not by a tone, but the Cowboys get it done. The other, other OSU beats KSU by the same score TCU did, 38-28.

Trout:  Cowboys win this game, but it will be close. Oklahoma State is clearly the better team. They average more points and yards per game than the Wildcats do. However, Kansas State has been a team that can be frustrating for the other team. They are obviously not the best team in their conference, but they do have the ability to put up some points. Even in their loss to TCU, they were able to score some points and keep the Horned Frogs on their toes. TCU had to fight back, being 11 points down in the second half just to pull of that win. Oklahoma State should have their hands full with the Wildcats. The game should go back and forth for a while, with both teams scoring in the 30 to 40 point range. But towards the end of the game, the Cowboys will be able to do just enough to obtain the lead and hang on for the victory. Kansas State fights hard and keeps it close for a while, but the Oklahoma’s better offense allows them to pull off the victory. (Oklahoma State, 42-35)

Final Score:  Oklahoma State 0   Kansas State 48


Michigan State  (4)Michigan

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Michigan over Michigan State 35-14

Andy:  Normally this would be a close game, however I think Michigan having some really good receivers and having J.J. McCarthy will be the difference in this game. Michigan State will probably sell out and stack the box to stop Blake Corum from running all over their defense. If they do their pass defense which is one of the worst in the country will be asked to win against this talented Michigan passing offense. I expect J.J. to have a big day passing the football.   Michigan 38  Michigan State 17

Coach Rick:  Michigan

Cory: Michigan State ended its four-game losing streak with a one-score win over Wisconsin last week. The Spartans are not a good team but will take anything they can get this week playing rival Michigan. As for Michigan, well, the Wolverines have been terrific all season and this week won’t change that. Michigan loves to run the ball – they’ve got 24 rushing touchdowns on the season, so expect a heavy dose of Blake Corum.   Michigan 31, Michigan State 10

Dave Michigan 38  Michigan State 21 

GreggI know in rivalry games the talking heads like to say ‘Throw the records out the window’. But for this game, the records are reflective.  Wolves are good, Sparty is bad, borderline REALLY bad.  Short of an injury to McCarthy and Corum, Michigan State has no chance in this one.  They are likely going to get to feel like I hope the Wolverines feel when they come to Columubs.   Michigan 52  Michigan State 10

Jason:  The Spartans head an hour east for a rival game in which they’ve had the upper hand of late. Last year, when UM won the conference in a rare feat, the Spartans downed the Wolverines in East Lansing and the Spartans had a terrible year overall.  Michigan State got back into the win column two weeks ago and got a little mojo back, downing Wisconsin in overtime. If the Spartans are able to throw the ball and avoid turnovers, they can pull the upset again this year. Michigan has been good at taking care of the football, but overall, their schedule has been nothing short of pathetic. Do we really know how good the Wolverines are? In terms of game control, Michigan hasn’t been all that good, especially in first halves. Since opening the season against three of the worst teams in the FBS, their halftime scores have been 1-13, 13-0, 10-10 and 16-14. Their MO is to wear on teams with the run game behind all everything RB, Blake Corum and that stout O line.  Michigan can be thrown on and if Sparty QB Payton Thorne gets it going, the Spartans have a chance. The key will be the D.  Their secondary is nothing short of awful so they will need to load the box and slow Corum and the run game to pull the upset. JJ McCarthy isn’t overly efficient in mid-range and deep balls but he may not have to be in this game. This will be a game for about 3 quarters before Michigan does what they do best, wear down opposing defenses and pull away late to down the visiting Spartans and roll on in a collision course with Ohio State in late November.   UM 38  MSU 17

Joe-S-U:   Michigan 

John:  Michigan State is bad, and I would fully expect Capt. Khaki to sweep the leg and show no mercy in this one.   Michigan  31  Michigan St 6

JoshLast year’s game for the Paul Bunyan trophy was a classic game, and was Kenneth Walker III breakout game that put him in the forefront of awards. The Spartans do not have a running back with the caliber this year, and Peyton Thorne has been very inconsistent. Michigan got players healthy and most importantly gave JJ McCarthy more time to get comfortable with the playbook. It is well documents that the Michigan State pass defense is one of the worst in the country, but Michigan likes to play the ground and pound game, and throws an occasional pass to keep a defense honest. I think the Wolverines will be more physical, and Harbaugh will get his first win against Mel Tucker.   Michigan 41 – Michigan State 13

Michigan State’s per game point differential is .2…not 2, but two tenths. Michigan is scoring 30.6 points more than their competition this year. Sparty is rushing for barely over a hundred yards per contest, Michigan 241, with running Back Blake Corum accounting for 128 of those. Michigan State, relying so heavily on QB Peyton Thorne (69/31 percent pass to rush ratio), does not have the run game to control the clock. Keeping Blake Corum, J.J. McCarthy and the UM offense off the field is MSU’s only chance at victory, and it is a mighty slim chance at that. I’m pretty sure that won’t happen. TTUN wins easily and twists that 95 Million dollar dagger just a little bit more. UM 37-10

Trout: The Wolverines win this game and it’s not even close. Although I still have questions about how good Michigan really is, they are vastly superior to Sparty at this point. Mel Tucker’s third year as head coach of Michigan State has been a disaster. They lost four straight games, including the thrashing by Ohio State. Their one bright spot was their victory over a bad Wisconsin team. Sparty has no chance to win this game. They may get a score or two. Especially if JJ McCarthy turns the ball over and gives them a short field. But they will not be able to score consistently enough to keep up with the Wolverines. I see this game being over pretty early. Michigan wins over their younger brother.  (Michigan, 44-13)

Final Score:  Michigan State  7  Michigan 29


Notre Dame  (16)Syracuse

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Syracuse over Notre Dame 35-21

Andy:  At the beginning of the season I would have this matchup would be a lot more competitive, but right now Notre Dame’s offense is putrid. Not only that, but they’re struggling on defense too. This is a problem when Syracuse is surging and coming off of a near win against Clemson. I think Syracuse will pissed off they surrendered a game in the last minutes against Clemson and come out and beat up on Notre Dame. Syracuse 38 Notre Dame 21

Coach Rick:  Notre Dame

Cory: The game between Notre Dame and Syracuse no longer has playoff implications thanks Syracuse’s loss to Clemson last week, however, it is still an intriguing matchup. The Orange are still trying to prove they are for real whereas Notre Dame is just trying to stop the season from going off the rails. The Irish followed up their disappointing loss to Stanford with a big win over UNLV, but still there is not much confidence in this Fighting Irish squad right now.   Syracuse 30, Notre Dame 24

Dave Syracuse 24  Notre Dame 21 

Gregg Normally on our predictions page, we try to use the team colors to reflect who we project to win the game.  I do not ever remember a week we have had where we have so much Orange selected.  But Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Syracuse seem to be in a position to further their season with wins.  But who knows, maybe I am wrong. Another Irish loss is not going to help the Buckeye resume but they cannot worry about what their former opponents are doing each week.  Coach Freeman still has a lot to learn, and unfourtunately those lessons are going to the tough kind in 2022.   Syracuse 27  Notre Dame 24

Jason:  Notre Dame is trying to get their season back on track but they face a tall task heading to Syracuse. The Orange is fighting injury especially up front and struggled to stop the run a week ago in the 6 point loss to Clemson so the Irish need to look to take advantage. Notre Dame needs to run the ball well to equate to victories.  In 3 of their wins, they have rushed for over 200 yards and to come away with a win on Saturday, they will need to do the same. Despite the troubles up front, the Orange has been exceptional against the pass.  Notre Dame doesn’t pass all that way anyway so don’t expect much of an aerial attack from the Irish in this one. Notre Dame has been good on the road, only losing a tough one in the season opener at Ohio State. The Irish defense has been their bread and butter so expect a low scoring game. The Orange will control the clock, hold Notre Dame down offensively, and in the end pull out yet another home win.  Cuse 27 ND 23

Joe-S-U:   Syracuse 

John:  If Syracuse can avoid a letdown after an emotional road loss to Clemson, they should win easy.  Notre Dame is just not good.   Syracuse  30  Notre Dame 13

JoshSyracuse lost a tough game last week a against Clemson, a game where they were up 21-10 before the Tigers made a switch at quarterback, and used their run game to limit possessions for the Orange. Notre Dame earned a motivational boost win against UNLV, but they are still hit or miss in their offense, and their defense is staying on the field too long. The only way Notre Dame wins this one is with a balanced attack, and if they can get the ball in the hands of Michael Mayer. Garrett Shrader for the Orange has been solid, completing nearly 70% of his passes for the season, but has not needed to make a lot of plays to win games. Notre Dame knows they have this game and then Clemson next week to help define their season after 3 losses already, and Marcus Freeman will lose on the road.  Syracuse 28 – Notre Dame 17

Steven:  I’ve been wrong twice on Syracuse this season. Do I hear three? Notre Dame is beaten up and just are deep enough to pull out a win. Their defense is good, but not great, and their offense is OK, but won’t win any beauty contests. Syracuse is just incrementally better on both sides of the ball. I wouldn’t put it past the Irish, and especially head coach Marcus Freemen to dial up a lock down performance from his defense, which is what it is going to take to win… but I just don’t see it happening. Is Syracuse truly back? I don’t know how they fare in the long term, but this year, they seem to be legit. Orange wins in the dome 35-21.

Trout: It’s surprising to see Notre Dame pull themselves out of the hole they dug in the early part of the season. They are definitely playing better at this point in the season. However, I don’t think will beat the Orange this week. Syracuse may not be a great team, but they are better than the Irish at this point. They had Clemson on the ropes, and if it wasn’t for some back breaking mistakes, they could have one that game. They are a talented team, and I think the have the potential to win out the rest of the season. Maybe if the wheels fall off for Clemson, the Orange could even make it to the ACC Championship game. I do think Marcus Freeman will eventually get Notre Dame back to respectability, but this will not be the year. I think the Orange will be too much for the Irish to handle. They may keep it close early, but Syracuse should be able to pull away and win comfortably.   (Syracuse, 35-17)

Final Score:  Notre Dame 41   Syracuse 24

Upset Alert

Josh: Nebraska over Illinois – Illinois is the only Big Ten West team ranked, and is sitting in sole position for first place in that side of the conference. But when you look t their schedule, they don’t have a win that makes you feel like this team is legitimate. Their defense has been solid, and one of the best in the country, but they have not played a team with a decent offense with their full arsenal of players. Nebraska has talent at quarterback with Casey Thompson and a compliment of skill with running back Anthony Grant and wide receiver Trey Palmer. Illinois has a country leading running back in Chase Brown, but he is their only offensive threat. I like the Cornhuskers to pull the upset on the road, and give Illinois their second loss of the season.  Nebraska 34 – Illinois 2.

Final Score:  Nebraska 9  Illinois 26 

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