Nov 13

Weekend 11 Predictions

Posted By:Damian Thorpe and Brett Haynes  Tags:

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This week, the weekend predictions are going to be just a tad different. Gamecocks235 (Damian Thorpe from Aiken), sent in his well-researched weekend predictions last night. So instead of trying to compete against his, I will simply post his predictions here, with my comments after - either agreeing or disagreeing with his picks. Thanks for the contribution, Damian

***G235 UPSET ALERT***
West Virginia at #5 Cincinnati - This is one of the more intriguing games of the week to me. West Virginia is (7-2) and will be looking to pull of a major upset this week. Don't think Bill Stewart won't have his team pumped up for this one. Tony Pike may return for Cincinnati this week, but it won't matter regardless. Back-up Zach Collaros has done a fantastic job filling in completing 76 percent of his passes with ten touchdowns and only one interception. West Virginia's defense will have it's hands full with this Cincinnati offense who is averaging 40 points a game. That's number three in the nation in total offense and number six in the nation in passing. The key to the game for West Virginia will be to control the ball on offense. They need to keep Cincinnati's offense off the field as much as possible. That could be tough considering Noel Devine may not be 100 percent after coming off of an ankle sprain. But at the end of the day, West Virginia pulls of the upset and puts an end to the National Championship talk for Cincinnati. Gamecocks235 Prediction: West Virginia, 31-30............The Top Fan says: I think WVU is a good team, and this game will be close, but I think Cincinnati will win this one. I have been impressed with their offense all year long, and think they beat the Mountaineers in a very similar score to what you put. Cincinnati, 35-27.

#7 Georgia Tech at Duke - Georgia Tech is finding itself in very unfamiliar territory. Who would have ever thought a few years ago that Tech would be #7 in the country at this point in 2009. Hat's off to Paul Johnson and the Tech coaching staff. But in the words of the great Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend." We all know Georgia Tech can run. They rank #2 nationally with 314.9 rushing yards per game. They lead the ACC in total offense with 442.7 yards per game and 34.7 points per game. Duke however, is only giving up 139.2 yards rushing a game. While Duke hasn't played a team yet that rushes as well as Tech, that's still impressive and should make for an intriguing match-up if you ask me. Tech has gotten lucky in recent weeks. They needed over-time last week to come away with a 30-27 win over Wake Forest. Not to mention, they had a little trouble with Vanderbilt two weeks ago. While they still won convincingly 56-31, the Commodores played them tough. I think in the end though, Tech has just a little too much offensive power for the Blue Devils. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Georgia Tech,  23-17 ...........The Top Fan says: I agree with you here. Yes, Duke has turned things around under Cutcliffe, and should be commended. But the Jackets have too much on the line to take Duke lightly, and are clearly a stronger team. Cutcliffe is a fantastic coach, but so is Paul Johnson. Georgia Tech, 31-17.

#24 Clemson at NC State - My, my, my... This Clemson ball club certainly has turned their season around completely and now controls their own destiny. This is not unfamiliar territory for them, and they are aware of the past. Just think back a couple of years ago when Clemson took on Boston College at home. Matt Ryan led the Eagles to a victory in Death Valley. I actually think those past experiences will help Clemson get over the hill this year. Dabo issued a challenge to his team this week, stating he wanted them to play a complete football game. That's what separates Dabo from Clemson's previous coaches such as Tommy Bowden. Dabo and the Clemson faithful want it bad and you can see it. Led by CJ Spiller, the Clemson offense looks to take their high rushing attack to Raleigh. Spiller is coming off of a 312 All-Purpose yard performance against Florida State and looks to make his heisman candidacy even stronger this week. NC State however, is looking to finish the season on a good note and hopefully make a bowl game. That will be tough though considering they are (4-5) with games against Clemson, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina all remaining. The struggling NC State offense will be facing one of the top defenses in the country led by DeAndre McDaniel who has 8 interceptions on the year. I don't see a let down for Clemson this year, at least not in this game. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Clemson, 27-10..........The Top Fan says: I think this game could be trouble, but I dont think it will be trouble. My stomach will be in knots as long as this game is close, but hopefully we can score early and often so I can enjoy the Saturday. I have been worried about this game all year long, but I think our offense can score enough to win regardless of how the defense plays - and I anticpate the defense playing very strong. Clemson, 30-16.

Michigan at #21 Wisconsin - There's "missing" posters hanging up all over Ann Arbor right now with pictures of the Michigan football team from the first five weeks of the season. I don't know if Rich Rodriguez is on the hot seat quite yet, but he could find his way on there if they don't start winning. Michigan is (5-5) right now with all five losses coming in Big Ten Conference play. Michigan hasn't beaten a Division I opponent since September. What's even crazier about Michigan being (1-5) in conference play is that they lead the Big Ten in scoring with 32 points per game. What does that say about their defense? For Michigan to save this season they need to win their final two games which will be tough considering they are against Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium and Ohio State. I would like to see Michigan turn it around but I just don't see it. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Wisconsin, 24-20...........The Top Fan says: I have to agree with you on this score. Michigan has their backs against the wall, but I think Wisconsin is a better team. And the reason that UM has teir backs against the wall, anyway, is because they are struggling and aren't very good. I'll take Wisconsin, too, 25-18.

Tennessee at Ole Miss - Things aren't looking so good in Tennessee right now with the recent arrests made. The hard thing about predicting this game is you don't know what Ole Miss team is going to show up. Crompton is playing the best ball of his career right now and leads the SEC in touchdown passes. Just think where Crompton would have been had Kiffin come to Tennessee a couple of years ago. After starting the year off slowly, the Vol's have played good football ever since the loss to Auburn. At the end of the day, I just think Tennessee has too much for Ole Miss. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Tennessee, 27-17........The Top Fan says: Hmmmm. This one is tricky for sure. Ole Miss has had an up and down season, and will be looking to finish strong with this big home game to start. At the same time, something tells me that Tennessee has turned a corner and is starting to come together under Kiffin's gameplan. But this week has been a big distracion to the Vols, and on top of that, they are losing a couple of contributing players. I have to say Ole Miss wins this one close. Ole Miss, 27-23.

Idaho at #6 Boise State - This is going to be a interesting game. Boise has beaten Idaho ten times in a row, but this is a different Idaho team. The Bronco's are 2nd in the nation in scoring with 41.4 points a game. They are also producing 442.9 yards a game on offense. However their occasional lapses on defense has caused a little concern especially last week against Louisiana Tech. Boise State will win this game but it will be another close one for the Bronco's. But the ol' saying goes, "A wins a win." Gamecocks235 Prediction: Boise State, 34-28..........The Top Fan says: You know, I dont know enough about Idaho State to make a great evaluation, but I am pretty sure Boise is much better. The game being in Boise seals this one. Boise, 40-14.

#12 Miami at North Carolina - Miami is in an interesting scenario. They need Georgia Tech to lose against Duke in order to keep their ACC Championship hopes alive. Since I don't see that happening, it looks like Miami will have to try again next year. But don't think that's the only thing that has to happen to Miami, they still have to beat a dangerous North Carolina team. Graig Cooper is back for Miami and coming off a huge performance for them against Virginia. Miami wants to finish the season on a strong note and it will start with this game. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Miami, 34-17 ..........The Top Fan says: Ok, here is my upset special of the week! The Heels are 6-3, and defeated VT on the road - they have the ptoential to win this game if they can execute and play focused. I think it all comes together this weekend. I'm picking the Tar Heels to get the win over Miami in Chapel Hill. UNC, 28-20.

#15 Iowa at #10 Ohio State - This will be a "what if" year for Iowa. With their starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi going down last week in the loss to Northwestern, it will make things a lot more difficult for the Hawkeyes in Columbus. This game still has a lot of meaning for both teams as the winner will punch their ticket to Pasadena for a trip to the Rose Bowl. With Terelle Pryor finally showing a little of his athletic ability that helped make him the number one prospect out of high school, Iowa will certainly have their hands full. Iowa will have to rely on what made them so successful this year and that's their defense. Iowa will be starting a freshman at both the quarterback and running back positions, which isn't a good thing if your a Hawkeye fan. Ohio State is coming off of a dominate performance against Penn State in which they accumulated 228 yards on the ground. I think Pryor continues to play at a high level for Ohio State and the Buckeyes roll in this one. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Ohio State, 35-13...........The Top Fan says: Agreed, but knot by that big of a score. I think it will be more like a hard-fought game in the twenties, as Iowa has a fundamentally sound team, and some tough, tough dudes. In the end though, it is OSU going on to the Big 10 Title. Ohio State, 28-22.

#3 Alabama at Mississippi State - What a job Dan Mullen has done for this program in his first year. It looks like things are looking up for the future of this Mississippi State program. While they are only (4-5), they are one of the most dangerous teams in the country to have to play. They look to win two out of their last three games to become bowl eligible. Led by Anthony Dixon, the Bulldog offense will have to score some points against one of the top defenses in the country if they want to have a chance in this one. After his 252 yard rushing performance against Kentucky, Dixon looks to continue his success and hopefully help move the football against Alabama's concrete wall they have on the defensive line. Mississippi State will make this a game for about the first half and then Alabama's dominance will show. Mark Ingram will look to boost his heisman candidacy and put his name at the top of the list. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Alabama, 31-10 ........The Top Fan says: Once again 235, I have to agree with you. Mullen has indeed done a nice job picking that program up off of the ground. But like you said, Alabama is just too much for them. I think you got the score about right, too! Alabama, 31-10.

#16 Utah at #4 TCU - You heard it from me first. This won't even be a game. First off, TCU wants to return the favor to Utah for spoiling their perfect season last year. Utah scored a touchdown with :47 seconds left to go up 13-10. Second off, TCU wants to show the world they belong as one of the top teams in the country. This game however is not going to really prove to me that they belong at the top. Utah is (8-1), but their schedule is a little suspect and they have struggled against some pretty weak opponents. But nonetheless, TCU will come out firing away on Saturday and will blow Utah out the water. Gamecocks235 Prediction: TCU, 49-17..........The Top Fan says: I was able to see TCU in person, and what killed us all day long was the quarterback draw up the middle with Andy Dalton. I am not sure how big Utah is up front, but if they are suspect up the middle, this will eat them alive. I dont know as much about the Utes as I probably should, but with TCU at home, I too will take them in this one. TCU, 35-24.

Notre Dame at #8 Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh has quitely found their way into the top 10 and if it wasn't to a slip up against N.C. State in week 6, may even be in the talks for a spot in the National Championship game. This a huge game for Charlie Weis who is once again finding himself on the hot seat. Pittsburgh has a rough final three game stretch with their final three games against Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Cincinnati. Notre Dame is going to come ready to play especially with all the heat coming their way. Jimmy Clausen wants to continue to prove he's one of the best quarterbacks in the country. However, Pittsburgh's offense just may be too much for Notre Dame's suspect defense to handle. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Pittsburgh, 31-21...........The Top Fan says: I am tempted to take this as my second upset of the week. Notre Dame has under-achieved. But the Weis era is in serious threat of being terminated, and often players come together behind their embattled coach. On the other hand, this could be the game where the ND brass finally sees just how far the Irish need to come to be "back." Man, I have a weird feeling about this, but I will take Notre Dame in the upset. ND, 30-22.

Arizona State at #14 Oregon - Oregon got hit in the mouth last week by a team they weren't prepared for. Stanford simply came ready to play and was probably a little more fired up for that game than Oregon was... But, NO EXCUSES! Oregon looks to take their frustrations out on Arizona State this weekend. LeGarrette Blount makes his return and that should add a little spark to an offense that doesn't really need much help. Oregon has scored atleast 42 points in each conference game they have played this year and the tradition may not end this week. Look for Oregon to get back on track this Saturday. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Oregon, 38-14 .............The Top Fan says: I agree. I think the Ducks will be on a mission from this point forward and will win out. ASU has been a disappointment under Dennis Erickson, and I don;t see that changing this week. You have to go with Oregon at Autzen Stadium, anyway. Oregon, 40-17.

***G235 UPSET ALERT***
#25 Stanford at #11 USC - This should be a dandy of a game. Stanford is looking for another upset, after coming off of a huge victory over Oregon. Stanford's had success against USC in the past, as we all remember Mark Bradford's catch in the endzone a couple of year's ago to put USC away. Matt Barkley will try to get his Southern Cal team back on track this week. Stanford's offense has been on track as they average over 200 yards a game both rushing and passing. If Stanford's defense is able to step up, USC could be in trouble. And let's not forget freshman QB Andrew Luck who has had an outstanding season completing 60 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and just a mere three interceptions. Pete Caroll make's his way to the hot seat after this one. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Stanford, 27-24..........The Top Fan says: On this one, I cannot agree with you. I can see your logic, however. USC isn't as good as we thought they are - Washington and Oregon proved that. But they are still dang good, and I think at home, with a good bowl still a possibilty, they win this one. Stanford has had a better season than usual, and are coached well by Jim Harbough, but I see USC with the win. USC, 31-20.

#1 Florida at South Carolina - The ol' ball coach's ol' team will make it's way to Columbia, South Carolina this week. South Carolina has dropped two straight and talk has begun that Spurrier has lost his ability to coach an offense. South Carolina's offensive line has been terrible. Carolina has not started the same five offensive lineman for any game this year and that is not good. South Carolina has attempted more passes and allowed more sacks than anyone in the country and that certainly is not a recipe for success. Florida hasn't been all that spectacular this year, but they've gotten the job done. Their average points per game is down from 45 last year to 28 this year. However they are first in the SEC in rushing with 240.7 yards per game. The one thing Carolina has going for them is their defense. They rank seventh in the country in passing defense but were exposed last week by Arkansas's tight end D.J. Williams. Look for Florida to use their tight end Aaron Hernandez in the same way as Arkansas and try to exploit South Carolina's secondary. This probably won't be a walk in the park for Florida, as really none of their conference games have been but they should pull this one out. Gamecocks235 Prediction: Florida, 27-13...........The Top Fan says: I agree with you here, as well. I think Carolina wil come out and play Florida tough for four quarters. Williams Brice will be rocking, and at first, the Gators may have trouble finding their rhthym. USC will be completely in this game at half-time. But in the second half, I think Florida settles in, scores a couple of times, and wins by roughly the same score you put, Gamecocks235. Florida, 27-13.

Auburn at Georgia - Gamecocks235's prediction for this game is on the way - we will insert into this article when we get it. Gamecocks235 Prediction, x-x ............The Top Fan says: I think Auburn has had a very productive season under first year Coach Gene Cizik. The Tigers need some work in many areas, but good recruiting has plenty of talent for Chizik to work with. UGA has struggled thus far in 2009, but still has all of the tools to lay a beat-down on someone. This game is ALWAYS a war, and I am up in the air on who to take. Mark Richt has been starting to feel some heat in Athens, and I think he quiets those folks down just a bit with a win on Saturday. Georgia, 31-23.

So there you have it folks, the combined predictions of Gamecocks235 and The Top Fan. We agreed on most, but disagreed on a few, as well. Please discuss this article here:

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