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NCAA Football Pick’ems — Week 4

Normally, the sports staff as a whole predicts the games of the week for bragging rights in the office. This year is going to be a bit different. Junior sports reporter Dawson Green will share with you his picks for this week’s slate of juicy match-ups and you can decide whether he is a Pigskin Prognosticator or a Football Fool.

Syracuse at 3 Clemson

Although Syracuse is off to its best start (4-0) since 1991, Clemson will be their biggest test yet.  The Tigers will be seeking revenge for the loss they suffered at the Carrier Dome at the hands of returning quarterback Eric Dungey. The Tigers have a balanced attack with a stable of running backs and a young crew of wide receivers. Last year, Kelly Bryant was knocked out in the second quarter of the game and the offense never got into a rhythm. I think that Syracuse has the talent to stay in the game, but Clemson has the depth to outlast the starters. Expect the Tigers to be in sync early and in the end zone often.         

Clemson 41 Syracuse 27

4 Ohio State at 9 Penn State

This will be the game that defines the season for both teams. Both teams lost players last year that meant a lot to their respective offenses, in QB J.T. Barrett and RB Saquon Barkley. I think the latter is harder to replace and for that reason, Ohio State will prevail. Trace McSorley plays well within the Penn State system, but Dwayne Haskins has been playing at a high level in his first year as Ohio State’s starting quarterback and he has weapons across the board that will light up the scoreboard. I don’t think the Penn State defense can get enough stops and the offense will not be able to score enough to win the game.     

Ohio St 41 Penn St 28

12 West Virginia at 25 Texas Tech

If you are looking for points, this is your game. Both teams are averaging upwards of 40 points and well over 500 yards of total offense per game. Texas Tech starts freshman quarterback Alan Bowman while West Virginia runs out an early Heisman favorite in Will Grier. The West Virginia defense is pretty good though, allowing only 14 points per game, which I believe will be the difference in the game. I expect a shootout with West Virginia coming out on top because of big game experience and the defense making crucial stops late in the game.  

West Virginia 48 Texas Tech 34

7 Stanford at 8 Notre Dame

Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush as the starter for Notre Dame and accounted for five touchdowns in his first career start. This will be Books’ first real test and I expect him to struggle against a solid defense. Bryce Love, Stanford’s All-American running back, has gotten off to a slow start this year, but I expect him to break out in this game. Stanford Quarterback KJ Costello has been hot to start the year with ten touchdowns already. Love is a big game player, so expect Notre Dame to try to clog gaps which will open up the down field passing game for Stanfords tight ends and wideouts.      

Stanford 27 Notre Dame 14

South Carolina at 17 Kentucky

Kentucky is riding a four-game winning streak over the Gamecocks. I expect Kentucky to extend this to five games with a power running attack and suffocating defense. Kentucky held a Mississippi State offense averaging 50 points per game to only 7 last week. I expect that defense to disrupt Jake Bentley and the offense to run wild with junior running back Benny Snell Jr.     

Kentucky 23 South Carolina 10

Florida at 23 Miss St – Upset Pick

Florida is trending up as Mississippi State is trending down. The Gators are coming off a huge win for Dan Mullen and his program against SEC rival Tennessee. Florida’s defense has been shaky at time, but I expect all three phases to work for the Gators in Dan Mullen’s return to Starkville. Feleipe Franks has looked like the QB that Florida fan hoped he would be. Florida will go into Starkville, Mississippi and get a huge upset.      

Florida 35 Miss. St 31

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