Predictions: It will be a long weekend for Florida teams

by Gary Shelton on October 26, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Friday, 3 a.m.

They are undefeated, okay. Doesn't that make the USF Bulls a favorite over someone who isn't?

Well, maybe not.

The USF Bulls, a team that has built a 7-0 record by beating up on weaklings and doormats, face their sternest test of the season (so far) when they travel to Houston to face off against Houston.

The Bulls will struggle, however, if they depend just on their record in this one.

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For instance, USF has struggled mightily on defense this season. They're rated only 88th in the country, by far the worst defense of any unbeaten team in the nation. And they play the No. 3 offense in the nation, behind only Alabama and Ohio State.

Sometimes, statistics can be confusing. But doesn't No. 3 usually beat No. 88?

Oh, USF can move the ball. They're 11th in the nation themselves on offense. But can USF score enough to upend the 6-1 Cougars?

Prediction: Houston 24, USF 14.

FSU at Clemson: If there was ever a game to remind the Seminoles of what they used to be, it is this one. FSU used to own the Tigers. These days, it's the other way around. Dabo Swinney has turned Clemson into one of the elite programs in the nation.

Can FSU catch up?

Not this year.

Prediction: Clemson 30, FSU 10.

Florida vs. Georgia: How real is Florida? We'll find out.

The victory over LSU was impressive enough, but the Gators can signal that they've arrived if they can upset Georgia. The Bulldogs' Kirby Smart has his program going, however.

Florida is coming. But it'll take more time.

Prediction: Georgia 20, Florida 17.

Miami at Boston College (Friday): The Hurricanes can't seem to decide on a quarterback, which is why many fans seem to think they've reached a plateau in their program. The Hurricanes' defense should play well enough to get them past the Eagles, however.

Prediction: Miami 15, Boston College 14.

Louisiana Tech at FAU: FAU's offense is still high-powered, but the Owls have had trouble closing out games this season. After winning 11 games a year ago, FAU has fallen to 3-4 season.

That gives Louisiana Tech an opening. Last year, the Owls scored 48 points in this matchup. They should get plenty of offense, but can the defense hold?

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 33, FAU 31.

FIU at Western Kentucky:FIU should be able to handle the 1-6 Hilltoppers. Eventually.

The Panthers have won three straight games, and quarterback James Morgan is playing well. But Western Kentucky has had the lead in its last six games, so it might be tougher than some expect.

Prediction: FIU 17, Western Kentucky 14.

National Games

Purdue at Michigan State: The Boilermakers are coming off a big victory over Ohio State. This one, however, belongs to the Spartans.

Prediction: Michigan State 21, Purdue 17.

Iowa vs. Penn State: The Nittany Lions should win at home.

Prediction: Penn State 24, Iowa 20.

Washington State at Stanford: Stanford's pass defense has struggled all season. That's bad news against Washington State, where  Gardner Minshew seems on the verge of lighting up the Cardinal.

Prediction: Washington State 24, Stanford 14.

The NFL

Bucs at Bengals: It's a winnable game for the Bucs. Cincinnati gave up 45 points last week to the Chiefs, after all.

But the matchup is wrong for Tampa Bay. Can Carlton Davis slow down receiver A.J. Green? Most quarterbacks have good days against the Bucs. It should be no different for Andy Dalton.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Bucs 20.

Washington at New York Giants: For a week, the Giants should keep the critics at bay.

Prediction: Giants 27, Redskins 24.

Packers at Rams: Aaron Rodgers will have a good day, but not good enough to offset all of the Rams weapons.

Prediction: Rams 30, Packers 21..

 

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