Predictions: Bucs should slip by Saints

by Gary Shelton on October 5, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Winston needs a fourth straight strong game./© Joe Mestas

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Finally, the Tampa Bay Bucs have Drew Brees where they want him.

On the sideline.

Through the years, Brees has consistently been the opponent who has given the Rays the most fits. Oh, the Saints have had other great players, but it is Brees who has been the biggest thorn in their sides. Now that he's hurt, that has to help, right?

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Jordan McCloud should return for Bulls© 2019 Joe Mestas Seq# 0624

Again, the Saints have other weapons. Alvin Kamara is terrific. The defense is good. And Teddy Bridgewater has won some games in this league.

Still, if you have a chance to avoid Brees, it's a good thing. Bridgewater isn't a pushover, but he's no Brees.

The Bucs' won't score 55 again, but the offense remains dangerous. And with no Brees, the defense should stand a chance.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 23, New Orleans 20.

The Colleges

USF at UConn: USF has been weak for a long time now, the second half of last season and all this year. But UConn has been worse. Now, the Huskies return to quarterback Mike Beaudry.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Jordan McCloud struggled last week for USF against SMU and was replaced by Blake Barnett. McCloud will evidently get another try this week.

Whoever plays quarterback, the defense has to be better.

Prediction: USF 7, UConn 6.

Auburn at Florida: The quarterbacks will be important for both teams. Florida is playing backup Kyle Trask, who has been terrific. Auburn is playing freshman Bo Nix, who has gotten off to a great start.

Both defenses are good. Auburn's running game is probably a shade better.

But the key in this game might be the swamp itself. It's a tough place to play when the Gators are good. If turnovers don't catch up, the Gators should be able to escape.

Prediction: Florida 21, Auburn 20.

Virginia Tech at Miami: The Hurricanes don't score points the way they used to. Witness the 17 they ended up with in a surprisingly close win over Central Michigan.

But the Hurricanes are at home, and as inconsistent as the Canes have been, Virginia Tech has been worse. For instance, Tech was clobbered by Duke in its last meeting.

Quarterback Jarren Wilson has at least taken care of the football. That should be enough for Miami to win.

Prediction: Miami 28, Virginia Tech 14.

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