Last weekend’s slate of games on college football Saturday lived up to the hype It’s Friday night so now it is time to make some predictions for another weekend.
Maybe my standards have dropped in this chaotic Covid-19 world, but I again see some intriguing games on the docket. Could we see a pair of top ten squads fall in the second consecutive week? Let’s take a look!
South Carolina @ No. 3 Florida
Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts look to be the top QB-TE combo in the nation thus far and Florida overall could be the team to beat in the SEC East this fall, not Georgia. We’ll revisit that thought on Monday. As for the Gamecocks, I think they are good enough to get some stops Saturday but offensively is where I’m concerned. Where is the production going to come from? The line is Florida -16.5 and not only do I think they win, they cover.
Virginia @ No. 1 Clemson
It is a noteworthy primetime ACC kick for the second week in a row (Miami/FSU last week) as Clemson battles Virginia in Death Valley at 8 p.m. in a rematch of the 2019 ACC title game. Coach Bronco Mendenhall is building a respectable Cavalier program in Charlottesville. But as last year’s title game proved, there is just an enormous gap between Clemson and the rest of the ACC right now. Clemson has a big game on the ground between both Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Braden Galloway has a breakout performance as the Tigers air it out in the intermediate passing game to negate Virginia’s length on the edge. UVA might keep it respectable early but too much of a talent gap and depth advantage for the Wahoos to overcome.
Arkansas @ No. 16 Mississippi State
In preseason, I would have NEVER thought I would be talking about this game but here we are. Sam Pittman’s crew hung tough with Georgia for a while last week but couldn’t quite withstand the storm in the second half. K.J. Costello and Mike Leach made quite the splash in week one as Costello passed for 600 yards in a wild win over LSU in Tiger Stadium. Key game in the SEC West that the Bulldogs can ill afford to drop if they want to put the pressure on Alabama and Auburn. I think the Bulldogs get it done but as Cardi B would say “Be Careful”.
NC State @ No. 24 Pittsburgh
Don’t freak out but the Panthers are 3-0 and with a date against North Carolina State this weekend followed by a trip to Boston College (Oct. 10) and No. 8 Miami (Oct. 17) before hosting No. 5 Notre Dame (Oct. 24). It is a high stakes match every week for Pitt for the foreseeable future, if they continue to win. As for the Wolfpack, ouch. They are coming off a brutal 4-8 season. Last week, they squared off against Virginia Tech. The Hokies were down 23 players and four coaches including the presumed starting quarterback Quarterback Hendon Hooker and Defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton. Somehow, they still managed to defeat State rather easily, 45-24. The Wolfpack have various issues but one major concern is on the offensive line which allowed six sacks last week. Pittsburgh’s defense already has 17 sacks on the year. Uh-oh….
No. 7 Auburn @ No. 4 Georgia
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry returns Saturday and Auburn is looking to get a little payback after falling in six of the last seven and losers of three in a row. The last win? Some may call it a fluke in “The Prayer in Jordan Hare” in 2013. There’s a new sheriff under center in Athens this year and his name is NOT Jamie Newman. J.T. Daniels is all systems go which is good news for UGA who struggled with D’Wan Mathis and Stetson Bennett before he eventually settled in against Arkansas. The Auburn defense shines the brightest in this low scoring affair while Bo Nix and Seth Williams prove to be difference makers offensively.
The Hall Pass Pick ‘Em Selections:
TCU over No. 9 Texas
No. 21 Tennessee over Missouri
No. 2 Alabama over No. 12 Texas A&M
No. 18 Oklahoma over Iowa State
Ole Miss over Kentucky
Navy over Air Force
Florida State over Jacksonville State
Virginia Tech over Duke
Charlotte over Florida Atlantic
Kansas State over Texas Tech