COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7: Picks

Picks made by Mark Gales (MG) and Zac Sheaffer (ZS)

Mark’s season total: 264–124

Zac’s season total: 265–123

Navy was the big winner of last week with their stunning upset over then #6 Houston.

Happy halfway through the college football season to all! This is an exciting weekend of college football that is about to begin. Both number 1 (Alabama) and number 2 (Ohio State) are facing off against top ten teams on the road. The Crimson Tide head to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville to take on quarterback Joshua Dobbs and 9 Tennessee, meanwhile the Buckeyes travel to Madison to take on conference rival and the surprising Wisconsin Badgers team at Camp Randall Stadium in prime time under the lights. There are some other under the radar games this weekend, including 20 West Virginia @ Texas Tech, Arizona State @ Colorado, Stanford @ Notre Dame, and McDaniel @ Franklin & Marshall. Here are our picks for all 52 games on the slate this weekend.

Wednesday, October 12:

Appalachian State @ Louisiana-Lafayette

MG: Appalachian State
ZS: Appalachian State

Thursday, October 13:

Navy @ East Carolina

Postponed to Week 12 — Saturday, November 19 due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew. The recent flooding in the Greenville, North Carolina area is the only thing able to stop the red-hot Midshipmen fresh off their huge win over the 6th ranked Houston Cougars led by senior quarterback Will Worth.

Friday, October 14:

Duke @ 7 Louisville

MG: Louisville
ZS: Louisville

Memphis @ Tulane

MG: Memphis
ZS: Memphis

San Diego State @ Fresno State

MG: San Diego State
ZS: San Diego State

Mississippi State @ BYU

MG: BYU
ZS: Mississippi State

Saturday, October 15:

Lafayette @ Army

MG: Army
ZS: Army

Vanderbilt @ Georgia

MG: Georgia
ZS: Georgia

NC State @ Clemson

The Wolfpack won a wet one last week against the Irish- can they pull off some more magic this weekend against Clemson?

MG: Clemson
ZS: Clemson

Minnesota @ Maryland

MG: Maryland
ZS: Minnesota

Iowa @ Purdue

MG: Iowa
ZS: Iowa

Kansas State @ 19 Oklahoma

MG: Oklahoma
ZS: Oklahoma

**20 West Virginia @ Texas Tech

MG: Texas Tech

Does Kliff Kingsbury’s offense have enough firepower to knock off an unbeaten West Virginia?

These two teams are very different on the offensive side of the ball. The Mountaineers average only 29.0 points per game, but the Red Raiders on the other hand, average almost double that amount at 55.2 points per game. West Virginia comes into this game undefeated which is a bit of a surprise to many college football fans, but they have yet to see an offense quite as skilled and powerful as the unit led by Texas Tech head coach and offensive genius Kliff Kingsbury. I expect a lot of points in this game on both sides of the ball, but I think Texas Tech’s powerful offense will prove to be too much and will send West Virginia back to Morgantown with their first loss of the season.

ZS: West Virginia

Although Texas Tech is second in the nation in both scoring (55.2 points per game) and total offense (649.8 yards per game), I think the Mountaineers will come out of Lubbock with a seemingly quiet 5–0 record. One, the WVU had the luxury of a bye week to prepare for this prolific Red Raider offense and already have the third best defense in the Big 12. Will they be able to shut down Texas Tech? No, absolutely not, they will still be carved up by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and let up at least 40 points. However, WVU should be able to establish the running game with duo of Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell behind an experienced offensive line against a Texas Tech defense that allows 179.4 rushing yards per game. Moreover, WVU quarterback Skyler Howard ranks 9th in the FBS in total offense with 344.5 yards per game. Expect a number larger than that this week against a weak defense. West Virginia by 10.

Zac thinks Skyler Howard will be too much for the Red Raiders’ defense to contain.

Illinois @ Rutgers

MG: Illinois
ZS: Illinois

Georgia Southern @ Georgia Tech

MG: Georgia Tech
ZS: Georgia Tech

Pittsburgh @ Virginia

MG: Pitt

ZS: Pitt

Eastern Michigan @ Ohio

MG: Ohio
ZS: Ohio

Kent State @ Miami (OH)

MG: Kent State
ZS: Kent State

Wake Forest @ 14 Florida State

MG: Florida State
ZS: Florida State

24 Western Michigan @ Akron

Zach Terrell has led Western Michigan to a 6–0 start in 2016.

MG: Western Michigan
ZS: Western Michigan

Ball State @ Buffalo

MG: Ball State
ZS: Buffalo

Bowling Green @ Toledo

MG: Toledo
ZS: Toledo

Central Michigan @ Northern Illinois

MG: Central Michigan

Central Michigan over Oklahoma State may have been the craziest ending we have seen so far this season.

ZS: Central Michigan

Louisiana Tech @ UMass

MG: UMass
ZS: Louisiana Tech

**1 Alabama @ 9 Tennessee

MG: Alabama

Mark thinks freshman QB Jalen Hurts will outplay Tennessee veteran Joshua Dobbs.

Alabama comes into this game after a big win against Arkansas last week. Tennessee come into this game after their first loss of the season in overtime last week against Texas A&M. I think this game will be close around halftime, but after that Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide will come out after the break firing on all cylinders especially on the offense side of the ball with freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts outplaying Tennessee’s well-experienced quarterback Joshua Dobbs as well as the Tide getting at least one big pick on defense to seal the deal sending Alabama undefeated into their matchup against another undefeated SEC team next week, Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa.

ZS: Alabama

Neyland Stadium will be rocking when the Crimson Tide comes to town on Saturday. Can they inspire their Vols to pull off the major upset?

There are three things that will make this game against the Vols a tall task for the top team in the country. First, Tennessee has a dual-threat quarterback in Josh Dobbs. Athletic quarterbacks such as Dobbs are the ones who have given Bama’s stout defense trouble over the past few seasons (Johnny Manziel, DeShaun Watson, Nick Marshall, etc.). Second, the game will be played in Knoxville at Neyland Stadium, one of the most electric environments in all of college football. Third, Tennessee has shown the ability to come back. Nick Saban must stress to his guys to play a full sixty minutes and prevent any heroics at the hands of Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, etc. I think Alabama will do just that, and knock Tennessee out of the driver’s seat in the SEC East with a two-touchdown victory.

USC @ Arizona

MG: USC
ZS: USC

New Mexico @ Air Force

MG: Air Force
ZS: Air Force

10 Nebraska @ Indiana
MG: Nebraska
ZS: Indiana

That’s right, Indiana over Nebraska.

North Carolina @ 16 Miami (FL)

Miami (FL) is looking to respond after a tough loss to Florida State.

MG: North Carolina
ZS: Miami (FL)

Northwestern @ Michigan State

MG: Michigan State

ZS: Michigan State

Georgia State @ Troy

MG: Troy
ZS: Troy

17 Virginia Tech @ Syracuse

MG: Syracuse
ZS: Virginia Tech

Missouri @ 18 Florida

MG: Florida

ZS: Florida

21 Utah @ Oregon State

MG: Utah
ZS: Utah

New Mexico State @ Idaho

MG: Idaho
ZS: New Mexico State

Florida Atlantic University @ Marshall

MG: Marshall
ZS: Marshall

UTSA @ Rice

MG: UTSA
ZS: Rice

12 Ole Miss @ 22 Arkansas

MG: Arkansas
ZS: Ole Miss

Chad Kelly is pleased with Zac’s pick this week.

Texas State @ UL Monroe
MG: UL Monroe

ZS: UL Monroe

South Alabama @ Arkansas State

MG: Arkansas State
ZS: South Alabama

UConn @ South Florida

MG: South Florida
ZS: South Florida

Tulsa @ 13 Houston

Can Greg Ward Jr. and Co. respond against an upset-minded Tulsa team?

MG: Houston
ZS: Houston

Iowa State @ Texas

MG: Iowa State
ZS: Texas

Southern Mississippi @ LSU
MG: LSU

“Go Southern Miss.” — former LSU coach Les Miles (probably)

ZS: LSU

**Stanford @ Notre Dame

MG: Notre Dame

This game was supposed to be one of the top games during the entire 2016 season, but here we are in week 7 and neither of the preseason top 10 teams is ranked and in serious danger of not becoming bowl eligible. This rivalry game is a MUST win for both programs, but I believe the Fighting Irish led by quarterback Deshone Kizer, running back Josh Adams, and wide receiver Equimeneous St Brown will beat the Stanford Cardinal by one point. If Notre Dame loses this game…whose fault will it be? One thing is for sure — Brian Kelly won’t ever blame himself for anything wrong and will probably end up blaming the 70 degree temps expected in South Bend in the middle of October.

ZS: Notre Dame

Both of these teams have struggled immensely on the defensive side of the ball. Stanford has been outscored 86–22 in their past two games while Notre Dame’s defense has given the Gales Family headaches all season long. I am going with the Fighting Irish because their best player (DeShone Kizer) will be on the field at 100%, while the Cardinal’s best player (Christian McCaffrey) will likely play a limited role in South Bend. Notre Dame will win by 5 points and allow Mark to enjoy his fall break.

Clearly Mark needs a Notre Dame victory…

Temple @ UCF
MG: UCF
ZS: Temple

**Arizona State @ Colorado

MG: Arizona State

This game has huge implications in the Pac 12 South race. Both are currently tied for first place at 2–1 in the conference so far. Yes, you read that correctly. It is mid-October and Colorado is still alive in the race. Both teams have played very well so far this season. I think these teams are pretty similar, strong offenses and stout defenses. The Buffaloes will be tough to take down in Boulder, but I believe that the Sun Devils will win just because three of my Gales cousins attended Arizona State. As far as I know, I do not know any alums from Colorado.

Mark.. you’re the real MVP.

ZS: Colorado

I have enjoyed following Colorado football this season largely due to their dynamic offense. Getting quarterback Sefo Liufau back behind center should be a huge boost to this offense. However, I think the Buffs will win this one behind their defense, which ranks 23rd in the nation in total defense. I expect them to head into halftime with a small lead and contain the Sun Devils’ offense in the second half. Buffaloes by a touchdown.

Sefo Liufau’s return should provide a huge boost to the Buffs offense on Saturday.

**2 Ohio State @ 8 Wisconsin

MG: Ohio State

Wisconsin’s defense has been outstanding so far this season, allowing only 12.2 points per game so far in a schedule that has included playing LSU at a neutral site as well as on the road against Michigan State and at the Big House against Michigan. That is very impressive no question about it. However, the Buckeyes led by terrific quarterback J.T. Barrett will be a much tougher opponent than any of those teams. Ohio State will win by 10 points because their offense is a lot better and more inexperienced than the Badgers.

JT Barrett could make all the difference for the Buckeyes against the Badgers.

ZS: Ohio State

Camp Randall Stadium is going to be bumping Saturday as their Badgers look to knock off the Buckeyes of the Ohio State University. However, Wisconsin fans will leave with frowns on their faces, as OSU will look to make a statement after a “disappointing” 21-point victory over Indiana, where they believe that they did not play up to their standards. JT Barrett will steal the show, and the Buckeyes will control this game, winning by two touchdowns.

Bucky Badger is disgusted with the picks of both “experts.”

Colorado State @ 15 Boise State

MG: Boise State
ZS: Boise State

UCLA @ Washington State

MG: Washington State
ZS: Washington State

Nevada @ San Jose State

MG: Nevada
ZS: San Jose State

UNLV @ Hawaii

MG: Hawaii
ZS: Hawaii

Bonus Pick From D-III:

**McDaniel @ Franklin & Marshall

MG: Franklin & Marshall

The 1–4 Green Terror are playing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this weekend — I should have come home on the football team’s bus since my house is about a ten minute drive from F&M. The 4–1 Diplomas are the best team in the Centennial Conference because of their very good defense who has forced at least one turnover in each of their games this season. I expect Franklin & Marshall to beat McDaniel by at least three touchdowns.

ZS: Franklin & Marshall

McDaniel is going to save their second victory of the season for homecoming weekend on the Hill.

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