Fearless Predictions for Week Two - MSU @ FAU
Week one is over, and after going 5 for 5 with my Fearless Predictions, it is time to look ahead to week two. There are lots of BIG games this weekend and some with early BCS implications.
Time to get started with the SBC.
9/11 Troy @ Oklahoma State
Troy heads to Stillwater, Oklahoma after notching a season opening 30-27 win against MAC opponent Bowling Green. Oklahoma State ran wild on Washington State and closed out week one with a 65-17 blowout. The Cowboys have been knocking on the door in the BIG12 South and they are hoping that this could be their breakout season. Troy has a history of upsetting BCS conference opponents early in the season, but Oklahoma State is just too much for Troy in this one. OSU RB Kendall Hunter rushed for 257 yards on 21 carries against WSU. Expect him to put up big numbers this weekend as well. The Cowboys roll in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State 41
9/11 Louisiana vs. Arkansas State
In early conference action two teams that could sneak into the SBC title picture will try to notch a conference victory on Saturday. Arkansas State has been a popular dark-horse pick for the SBC title. If they want to make a title run they need to get by Louisiana (the team formerly known as Louisiana-Lafayette). The Red Wolves enters the game after losing 52-26 to Auburn in week one. ASU's Sophomore QB Ryan Alpin showed poise while completing 66% of his passes for 278 yards. He should build on those numbers against a less talented Louisiana defense. Louisiana faced Georgia to open the season and the Ragin' Cajuns will be happy to see ASU across the line after suffering a 55-7 drubbing at the hands of the Bulldogs. No promising notes for UL in that game. UL's QBs completed a combined 33% of their passes for only 114 yards. The rushing game was completely stymied. We will see a much more evenly matched game this week. In the end I think ASU has more upside that UL and that should lead to a victory for the Red Wolves.
Arkansas State 24
9/11 FLORIDA ATLANTIC vs MICHIGAN STATE (In Detroit)
In a weird twist of events FAU finds itself playing the 2010 home opener in a dome...in Detroit. While on paper FAU is the home team, green will be the color of the day when the Owls face off against the Spartans. FAU comes off a season opening win over UAB. It took everything the Owls had to pull off the victory in Birmingham, AL. The FAU offense looked solid despite questions about the offensive line. The defense did show signs of improvement, but scrambling QBs are licking their chops after seeing how the FAU defense was gashed for 214 yards on the ground by UAB QB David Isabelle. Fortunately for the Owls, they won't see a scrambling QB in Michigan State. Instead, FAU can expect to see a powerful RB rotation at the center of the Spartan offense. Projected starter Larry Caper did not play in MSU's opener against Western Michigan. He is nursing a hand injury and his return against FAU is not known. In Caper's absence MSU tallied well over 250 yards rushing with two backs hitting the 100 yard mark. The Spartans will look to wear down the Owl defense with a power running attack. Florida Atlantic will need to find success through the air in order to keep pace. MSU boasts one of the nations best LBs in Greg Jones. Jones and company held WMU to under 100 yards on the ground and they will look to do the same against FAU. Morris will get his yards, but it will be a difficult task to notch 100. His role more importantly will be to keep the MSU defense honest so that Van Camp can get the ball down field to play makers like Lester Jean. The weather won't play a factor in this one, but unfortunately I think the outcome will be about the same as in 2008. MSU will control the clock and grind out a win against an over matched FAU squad.
Michigan State 31
Now to the non-SBC games. Lots of big games this weekend that are sure to have some serious implications. Here are four games that play big on the national scene.
9/11 Penn State vs. Alabama
Week two and national championship implications are all the talk in this one. Alabama comes into the game without Heisman winning RB Mark Ingram. Alabama rolled through San Jose State in week one with a lopsided 48-3 victory. Penn State will prove to be a tougher match-up for the Crimson Tide. The Nittany Lions dominated FCS opponent Youngstown State and came away with a 44-14 win after struggling a bit in the first half. Both teams are physical on defense and explosive on offense. In the end Alabama will rely on speed and the home crowd to earn a victory.
Penn State 21
9/11 Florida vs. USF
The Tebow era is over and the Gators struggled in the Swamp against MAC opponent Miami (Ohio) in week one. The center/quarterback exchange and a lack of offensive consistently surely disappointed Gator fans. This is a bounce-back week for UF even though the Gators are 1-0. USF looks to make some waves and improve on their 8-5 record from a year ago. B.J. Daniels is exciting and he should be able to move the ball against a Florida team that gave up 16 first downs to Miami. Despite early intensity by both teams it will be Florida who prevails in this one. The Gators will find their rhythm and make it 2-0 on the season.
9/11 Florida State at Oklahoma
The big question coming into this one is whether or not it is really worth talking about. Florida State is looking to get back to prominence after going 7-6 three out of the last four years. Jimbo Fisher replaces a legend in Bobby Bowden and the 'Noles look to get back to the days of double digit wins. FSU buried Samford last week and all the talk has been that the 'Noles are back. Let's not get too excited. It was Samford. Tallying a 59-6 win against Samford is like beating your little sister at armwrestling. Oklahoma is looking to rebound from an 8-5 season. The Sooners pulled out a close one against WAC bottom dweller Utah State. Oklahoma needs to have a big performance against FSU to get in shape for BIG12 competition. Oklahoma has the edge in talent in this one and the advantage of playing at home. The Oklahoma offense returns lots of weapons including RB DeMarco Murray who rushed for over 200 yards last week. However, QB Landry Jones needs to make better decisions if he wants to beat FSU. He completed only 47% of his passes for 2tds and 2ints against Utah State. For the FSU offense QB Christian Ponder completed 86% of his passes for 4tds and 1int. FSU goes as Ponder goes is in this one.
Florida State 31
9/11 Miami at Ohio State
This is the game of the week in my opinion. It has all the makings of last week's Boise State/Virginia Tech game. This game will impact the National Championship picture. Ohio State is a popular pick to make it to the BCS championship game and the Buckeyes looked good against Conference USA opponent Marshall. Miami comes into this one following a 45-0 win over Florida A&M. Last week served as a warm-up for both teams. This week is where the real test is and QB play will be very significant. OSU QB Terrelle Pryor has received high praise after his performance against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. However, he lacks consistency and rarely lives up to his potential. As always OSU will rely on a solid running game and strong defensive play. Miami is led by Jacory Harris. Like Pryor he is athletic, but he prefers to stay in the pocket whereas Pryor likes to run. Both teams bring speed and a physical play into this game. The difference will be Pryor's ability to scramble and make plays with his legs (he led Ohio State in rushing in 2009).
Ohio State 35
This should be another great weekend of college football. There are some interesting games featuring SBC teams, big games for lots of Florida teams, and numerous games with BCS Championship implications. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!!