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Week 12 Top 25 Forecasts

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game. Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 13-7 (65%) and so far this season I am 176-39 (82%).

Last year the Top 25 forecasts went 205-60 (77%)! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

#1 LSU at MISSISSIPPI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
LSU 245
168
39
1.5
-
MISSISSIPPI
106
128
4
2.7
-
Six of the L/9 in have been decided by a FG or less. LY The lead changed 6 times and UM was up 36-35 but allowed a 51/8pl TD drive w/:44 left. LTH Miles’ clock mismanagement cost LSU in a 25-23 loss in ‘09. LW it was announced that this will be Nutt’s final yr and the Rebels after jumping out to a 7-0 lead all’d 27 unanswered in the loss to La Tech. QB Mackey had his worst game in his 6 sts w/106 yds (33%) and he and leading rusher Jeff Scott will be susp’d for this gm for violating team rules. LSU predictably after their “Game of the Century” slept thru the 1H LW (led just 14-7 at HT) before pulling away in the 2H in their 42-9 win over WKU. It was Miles 100th career win (72 at LSU) and the first time S/’58 that LSU is 10-0. QB Jefferson has gotten the majority of the snaps the L2W avg 118 ypg (58%) with a 1-0 ratio after Lee threw the 2 int’s at Bama. Clearly LSU has the edges on off (#20-87) and def (#2-73). Ole Miss as Houston Nutt has a reputation of knocking off Top 5 tms (4x in career) and is the only SEC coach who has beaten Miles 3 times in a row (at Ark) while LSU does have the all-everything gm vs Ark, a Friday game on deck. The Rebels keep it interesting for a half before the significant talent edges take over.

PHIL’S FORECAST: LSU 37 MISSISSIPPI 13

#2 OKLAHOMA ST at IOWA STATE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLAHOMA ST 175
348
46
2.6
IOWA ST
206
183
14
4.1
-
The HT has won 4 of the L/5 but ISU did drop the L/meeting (‘09 in Ames) 34-8. The avg MOV the L/5 has been by 28 ppg. Cowboys are 10-2 prior to Bedlam but have a bye on deck while ISU is off a bye. ISU is just 8-12 in home finales but OSU is 11-0 outside of Stillwater the L/2Y with an avg MOV by 22.7. Cyclones have been a diff tm with Barnett as the QB as they’ve run for 310 ypg (5.3) in his 2 sts vs 147 (3.9) under Jantz. #2 OSU rolled over TT 66-6 handing the Raiders their worst loss in program history (led 49-0 at HT). The off gets the headlines but OSU leads the FBS with a +18 TO margin with maligned Cowboys D forcing an FBS best 34 while Cyclones are -8. ISU needs 1 more win for bowl elig while the Cowboys must keep BCS pace on a short week.

PHIL’S FORECAST: CHECK BACK FRIDAY!

#3 ALABAMA vs GEORGIA SOUTHERN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 110
0
0
1.7
-
ALABAMA
230
285
39
2.0
-
LAST 14 YEAR MATCHUPS
Georgia Southern is currently #3 in the FCS, an upset of Alabama will not be needed to make the FCS playoffs as anything but a 65-0 shutout should keep them with a bye for the opening round of the playoffs. Their only loss was to rival Appalacian St 24-17 on Oct 29th. Last week they destroyed Wofford 31-10 to claim the SoCon conference crown and the auto bid that goes along with it. The Eagles run an option offense avg 320 ypg (5.7 ypc) but are able to throw when needed avg 113 ypg. They are led by former Georgia Tech transfer Jaybo Shaw, who is avg 106 ypg (53%) witha 7-3 raio and is the #5 rusher with 297 (2.5) and 10 rush TD’s. They have 3 RB’s with 400+ yds (all avg 6.0+ ypc) including Robert Brown who leads with 834 (6.5). Meanwhile Alabama is off a 24-7 win over Miss St where they understandbly were a little flat after the LSU gm. With OSU’s loss last night Bama has renewed hope for a national title appearance take care of business here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: ALABAMA 38 GEORGIA SOUTHERN 0

#4 OREGON vs #18 USC

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
USC 157
225
23
2.4
-
OREGON
228
225
38
2.0
••••
Ducks are off a convincing trip to Stanford in which they dominated the Cardinal scoring 53 pts on 63 offensive plays led by RB James who looked like a Heisman candidate with 146 rush yds (7.3) and 3 TD’s. UO has the Civil War on deck while the Trojans come in after an impressive showing vs Wash as they outgained the Huskies 426-244 (ssn low in yards for UW). Both tms have been ranked in the L/7 meetings and the higher ranked tm has won 5 of the L/6 (UO pulled upset ‘09). LY the situation clearly favored the Trojans who were hosting the #1 team at home looking for revenge but after taking a 32-29 lead, gave up 24 unanswered and lost 53-32. LTH the gm was tied 17-17 late 2Q but USC was outscored 30-3 and outgained 416-134 (59 yds on their final drive) in a 47-20 loss. While a blowout isn’t expected, another Duck victory is.

PHIL’S FORECAST:  OREGON 38 USC 31

 

#5 OKLAHOMA at #25 BAYLOR

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLAHOMA 231
345
50
2.0
•••
BAYLOR
154
320
23
3.3
-
The Sooners are a perfect 20-0 all-time vs Baylor and Stoops’ squads have outscored BU on avg 43-13 going 12-0. OU has outgained BU in all of the L/14 by an avg of 474-256! LY OU led 53-10 into the 4Q. OU is off a late ssn bye in which they had to adjust to life without the FBS’s all-time rec leader Broyles (83, 1157, 10 TD-ACL) and #1 rusher Whaley (627, 5.6-ankle). QB Jones (372, 65%, 28-9) has plenty of talent around him and an OL (#1 FBS w/4 sks all’d) which gives him time to find it. Sooners are #12 pass eff D (233, 53%, 11-12) and are #1 FBS in sks (34). LW the Bears trailed 2-8 Kansas 24-3 going into the 4Q before scoring 3 TD’s in 8:00 to send it to OT. After the Bears scored a TD, KU responded with a 25 yd TD pass but was stopped on a 2 pt try to make BU bowl elig for the 2nd straight ssn. QB Griffin (344, 74%, 29-5, 478 rush) is #3 FBS pass eff. Bears are #89 pass eff D (238, 61%, 25-9) and have all’d 26+ in every FBS gm TY (36 ppg). Huge D (#6-86) and ST (#33-101) edges for the Sooners who stay in the BCS hunt.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OKLAHOMA 51 BAYLOR 27

 

#6 ARKANSAS vs MISSISSIPPI ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISSISSIPPI ST 152
193
20
1.7
-
ARKANSAS
194
313
37
1.8
•••
Ark has dominated this series (14-2) and has never dropped a gm hosting the Bulldogs (8-0-1) and the Razorbacks have won 9 of the L/10 overall. LY MSU kicked a 25 yd FG as time exp to force OT (47/8pl) but Ark won it in 2 OT’s (MSU 32-21 FD edge). The Razorbacks are coming off a crushing 49-7 win over Tenn 49-7. Joe Adams had a highlight reel PR TD and the Ark ground gm dominated with 254 yds (8.5). QB Wilson is avg 285 (62%) with an 18-5 ratio. Miss St’s 2-QB system w/Relf (runner) and Russell (passer) had been effective over the past few wks, but failed to generate anything vs Bama’s #1 D LW in the 24-7 loss. The Bulldogs had only 12 yds rush (0.4) and the 131 total yds were the lowest in the Mullen era. This is Ark’s 3rd str HG while Miss St is coming off a physical gm vs Bama and has the Egg Bowl on deck. The Hogs are 4-0 in home finales while Mississippi is now 2-11 vs SEC West Div rivals, with both W’s coming vs Ole Miss. While Ark does have the LSU gm on deck (could be flat spot) they must win out to share the SEC West title and Petrino often puts the hammer down at home. Wooh Pig Sooie!

PHIL’S FORECAST: ARKANSAS 38 MISSISSIPPI ST 17

#7 CLEMSON at NC STATE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CLEMSON 118
265
30
2.7
••
NC STATE
132
215
22
2.3
Clemson has won 7 str by 13 ppg. LY Clemson defeated NCSt 14-13 and dealt a big blow to the Wolfpack’s chances to win the ACC. NCSt is off a disappointing 14-10 loss to O’Brien’s former team, BC. Neither offense was effective after the 1Q as State outgained BC 267-190 and the teams comb for 10 FD’s! O’Brien needs to win the next 2 to become bowl eligible and salvage a ssn that began with him telling Russell Wilson to pack his bags. Clemson snuck out a win LW over a feisty Wake team 31-28 on a 42 yd FG as time exp’d. Boyd again struggled early with 2 picks (should have been 5) and lost WR Watkins for most of 2H. RB Ellington and TE Allen provided sparks erasing a 14 pt deficit and the win clinched the ACC Atlantic. You have to question Clemson’s mindset after a narrow win with fans storming the field vs a team that desperately needs a win. This one will be close.

PHIL’S FORECAST: CLEMSON 30 NC STATE 27

#8 STANFORD vs CALIFORNIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CALIFORNIA 103
195
15
2.1
STANFORD
207
240
36
2.1
-
The Cardinal are in the middle of an unbelievable stretch off USC, OSU and Oregon with ND on deck. Stanford’s overall winning streak (17) came to an end LW in Palo Alto as their defensive speed was no match in corralling the Ducks as they all’d 53 pts (36 ppg over their ssn avg). Cal has won 3 of its L/4 trips to Stanford incl their last visit in ‘09 (avg win 30-16). Cal’s D proved to be dominant yet again at home LW as they held OSU to just 271 ttl yds while becoming bowl eligible. Stan is just 2-7 in series. LY SU handed Cal its worst loss in the “Big Game” S/’30 as the Cardinal scored on its 1st 8 poss (led 45-0 into 4Q) and didn’t punt until 3:39 left (Cal went on 79 and 81 yd garbage TD drives with 47% of their ttl off in coming in the 4Q. Cal has not had much success away from home, but the question becomes how Stanford deals with true “bubble burst”? I think they adjust fine.

PHIL’S FORECAST: STANFORD 38 CALIFORNIA 17

#9 VIRGINIA TECH vs NORTH CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NORTH CAROLINA 69
198
15
2.7
-
VIRGINIA TECH
177
258
28
2.0
-
Hokies are 6-1 in series. LY NC led 10-6 early 2Q and was driving but VT got an int in the EZ which started a streak of 20 unanswered pts (324-115 yd edge) and NC had 6 TO’s on its L/8 drives. LTH on national TV, NC upset #14 VT 20-17. Down 3, NC went 78/16pl for a 19 yd FG w/2:52. VT then fmbl’d at its 24 and NC kicked the GW 21 yd FG as time expired. NC is fresh off a bye while VT is off a huge win over GT LW and have rival Virginia on deck. The Hokies take one step closer to a ACC division title with a win here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: VIRGINIA TECH 31 NORTH CAROLINA 17

#10 BOISE ST at SAN DIEGO STATE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BOISE ST 183
258
35
1.8
••
SAN DIEGO ST
108
238
17
2.3
-
1st meeting. LW TCU snapped Boise’s nation-leading 35 gm home win streak and Boise lost a shot at the BCS with a 36-35 loss. TCU to marched 73/7pl for a TD with 1:05 left. HC Patterson said, “We’re not going to win this if this keeps going. So, the only way we’re going to be able to do it is to steal it,” and that’s what they did with the 2 pt conv, 36-35. Moore threw 6 inc on BSU’s final poss but was helped by a TCU hold and PI gaining 38 yds (25 on pen’s) setting up for the GW 39 yd FG. Just like Nev LY, BSU saw its bubble burst when the K sailed wide. SDSt, playing in swirling wind, was hurt by WR drops and lack of RB depth as Hillman (entered gm #2 FBS rush) was banged up early, then his bkp Kazee was carted off. With Hillman struggling (CS), SDSt went to #4 RB Muema (#3 is a true) and did just enough to squeak out an 18-15 win at Colo St despite having 22-12 FD, 327-287 yd and a huge 40:36-19:24 TOP edges. SDSt has the situational edge with Boise off a loss (their BCS dreams over) and having to travel but Boise should get a nice bounce back win here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: BOISE ST 38 SAN DIEGO ST 17

#11 HOUSTON vs SMU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SMU 168
230
22
2.6
-
HOUSTON
142
455
51
1.2
••
This is UH’s only HG in Nov. UH is 5-1 vs SMU in CUSA action. In the L2Y SMU has outgained UH in both (48 and 3 yds) but has lost by 25 and 23. LY the Cougars never trailed leading 24-10 at HT and won 45-20. LTH UH was +3 in TO’s and won 38-15. At 10-0 UH is off to its best start in school history and QB Keenum is 18-0 as the starter at Robertson Stadium. The schedule makers have done SMU no favors as just like the L2Y they faced UH after seeing Navy’s option. SMU is 1-3 in the last month and has dropped their 2 AG’s by an avg of 33-5 (-154 ypg). UH does have Tulsa on deck and this gm will have no bearing on playing in the CUSA Championship but with Boise St losing the Cougars have a legit chance at a BCS bowl as long as they stay perfect.

PHIL’S FORECAST: HOUSTON 49 SMU 25

#12 MICHIGAN ST vs INDIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
INDIANA 108
160
15
2.6
-
MICHIGAN ST
232
265
44
1.6
MSU is 11-4 in home finales. Sparty is 11-2 and has won the L/3 at home vs IU by 28 ppg. In ‘08 (L/gm) the Spartans on the road won 42-29. IU last won in E Lansing in ‘01 and dropped 3 str trips by an avg score of 43-15 being outgained by 230 ypg. The 1-9 Hoosiers are off a late ssn bye and have an improved off with Fr QB Roberson at the helm avg 27.3 ppg compared to 18.2 prior vs FBS opp. He’s avg 180 ypg (58%) with a 3-2 ratio but his mobility has been the key running for 92 ypg (4.7) and opening running lanes for JC trans Houston (633, 4.8). Hoosiers have been dominated at the LOS in B10 play allowing 283 rush ypg (5.8) and 42 ppg. Spartans took command of the Legends lead jumping out to a 34-7 3Q margin at Iowa and hanging on for their 1st win in Iowa City S/’89. Three Hawks TO’s were costly (setting up MSU 19 and 27 TD drives and fmbl at the MSU8) but the Spartans also had a 443-349 yd edge. MSU is surprisingly last in B10 in rush off (133, 3.7) but still has steady QB Cousins (225, 64%, 16-5). Spartans lead the B10 in rush D (102, 2.9). MSU stays ahead of the pack in the race to Indianapolis.

PHIL’S FORECAST: MICHIGAN ST 45 INDIANA 17

 

#13 GEORGIA vs KENTUCKY

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KENTUCKY 37
108
8
2.6
GEORGIA
244
298
43
1.7
-
The Bulldogs are 17-3 vs the Wildcats with the avg W by 16 ppg and avg L by 6 ppg. UK did win its LTH (‘09) despite being outgained 487-260 and it did mark their 1st win S/’77 (last time fav’d) in Athens for the Cats. LW UK was thoroughly dominated by Vandy in the 38-8 loss getting outgained 410-211. QB Smith in his 2nd st was gripping the ball too tightly which led to several wobbly passes and completed just 48% for 179. He will be facing a UGA pass rush that has 23 sks in the L/7 gms after having only 1 in the first 3. UGA won its 8th str gm LW a 45-7 win over Auburn (largest win in series S/’46) thanks to a dominating run gm 304 (5.4) that had 2 rushers over 100 yds. QB Murray is playing better than any QB in the SEC right now avg 228 (61%) with a 27-8 ratio (broke Stafford’s ssn TD rec, 9 TD passes L/2 wks). These tms have had 5 common opp’s TY and the disparities are significant as UGA is 4-1 outgaining foes 405-273 while UK is 1-4 being outgained 472-262! Situational edge to UGA as well as they are playing their 3rd str HG while UK is on B2B road gms. The Bulldogs punch their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Title gm with an easy win.

PHIL’S FORECAST: GEORGIA 44 KENTUCKY 6

 

#14 SOUTH CAROLINA vs THE CITADEL

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
THE CITADEL 152
0
0
3.0
-
SOUTH CAROLINA
234
228
36
2.7
-
 The Citadel is in their 2nd ssn of running the option and are a true option team avg 291 ypg rushing (5.3 ypc) and just 35 ypg passing. The Bulldogs are suffering their 4th straight losing season. Of the 4 teams they have beat this ssn only non-schaolarship Jacksonville has a winning record. QB Ben Dupree is avg just 19 ypg passing (49%) with a 0-3 ratio but is the #2 rusher with 584 (3.7) and 8 TD. They top 2 RB’s are Darien Robinson who leads with 774 avg a solid 6.7 ypc with 8 td’s and Rickey Anderson with 429 yds with an impressive 9.8 ypc but just 1 td. South Carolina is off a 17-12 win over UF where HC Spurrier handed out several game balls in the lockerroom as they moved to a perfect 3-0 vs their main SEC East rivals. The Gamecocks do have their in-state rivalry on deck as they have a shot to win 10 games for the first time S/’1984.

PHIL’S FORECAST: SOUTH CAROLINA 31 THE CITADEL 0

 

#15 WISCONSIN at ILLINOIS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WISCONSIN 215
158
38
1.4
••
ILLINOIS
181
163
20
2.7
-
Home team has won 3 straight but the Badgers are 10-3-1 vs the Illini. UI is 2-7 in home finales incl 3 str losses. In the last meeting (‘08) UI lost 27-17 but held a 17-10 lead mid-3Q as their last 5 drives resulted in 2 int, 2 P and a SOD totaling 82 yds. This is UW’s 4th road gm in 5 wks with the Badgers rolling over rival Minny 42-13. HC Bielema declined to tell the Badgers that PSU and OSU lost earlier to keep them focused and UW scored TD’s on 5 of its 1st 6 poss and finished with 29-9 FD and 461-156 yd edges. QB Wilson is #1 FBS pass eff (242, 73%, 25-3) while RB Ball (1242, 6.7) is #1 scoring with 27 TD. The bye didn’t cure the Illini’s ills as they lost at home to Mich 31-14. IL was outgained 362-214 and in their 4 gm losing streak haven’t scored a point in the first 40 mins of any gm! QB Scheelhaase has struggled in the losing streak avg 155 ypg (58%) with a 2-3 ratio after starting the yr in the FBS’s top 10 in pass eff. Illini still puts pressure on QB’s with 32 sks (#5 FBS) but did lose LB Henry (OFY – shot in hand). Both tms have had ST struggles but IL is #120 in my rankings (UW #85). The Badgers stay in the Leaders hunt but IL doesn’t make it easy.

PHIL’S FORECAST: WISCONSIN 27 ILLINOIS 24

 

#16 KANSAS ST at TEXAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KANSAS ST 117
93
22
1.8
-
TEXAS
184
223
29
2.4
-
The Horns are just a surprising 5-6 vs KSU. UT has been upset in all of the L/3 despite outgaining the Cats in each. LY UT QB Gilbert threw more int (5, tied UT rec’d) than surprise starting KSU QB Klein completed passes on the day (2-4 for 9 yd, 127 rush). KSU dealt Texas their most lopsided loss in 7Y, 39-14 (led 39-0)! The banged up Horns lost 17-5 at Missouri ending any talk about a BCS bowl bid. UT played most of the gm without their top 3 rushers (Brown and Bergeron out-CS) with wildcat QB Fozzy Whittaker (knee) KO’d on the 1st drive (OFY). As a result MO had the FD (19-13) and yd (338-247) edges and beat UT for the 1st time S/’97. UT is #1 B12 rush D (101, 3.5). KSU rallied from a 10 pt 4Q deficit to beat A&M at home in 4 OT’s! The Cats got career numbers from Klein (150 ypg, 59%, 10-5, 1009 rush) whose 3 OT TD’s vs the Ags put him in the FBS lead in rushing TD’s. KSU still allows just 117 rush ypg (3.8) but this is a step down facing a Fr QB after facing OU, OSU and A&M their L/3. Texas has their last Thurs Turkey Day showdown with rival A&M on deck while KSU has a bye but the Cats will have the Horns full attention after LY’s debacle and they have done well with Revenge games so far this season beating Iowa St and UCLA.

PHIL’S FORECAST: TEXAS 31 KANSAS ST 17

 

#17 NEBRASKA at #20 MICHIGAN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEBRASKA 163
140
19
2.0
•••••
MICHIGAN
242
205
28
2.7
-
The last meeting was the ‘05 Alamo Bowl and Neb got the outright upset 32-28. As a player at OSU Pelini beat UM just once in 4Y. LW NU shut out the distractions to take a 17-0 lead at Happy Valley and hung on for a 17-14 win. PSU missed a 47 yd FG and had a fmbl set up a NU 48 yd TD drive but the Blackshirts were able to stop Lions RB Redd on 4&1 at the PSU37 with 1:55 left and escape. NU’s big two are QB Martinez (169, 58%, 10-7, 768 rush) and RB Burkhead (1072, 5.1). Huskers allow 180 rush ypg (4.2) in B10 play. UM handled IL 31-14 with a 362-214 yd edge. The Wolves fmbl’d at the IL 23, were SOD at the IL 1, int’d at the 21, and missed a 38 yd FG to keep IL in the gm but the key swing came early 4Q when IL’s pass was picked off at the UM37 and ret’d to the IL23 which set up the gm sealing TD. UM lost QB D-Rob (wrist) in the 3Q but he’s expected to return here. RB Toussaint (673, 5.9) has run for 170+ in 2 of the L/3 with D-Rob banged up. UM is #1 B10 rush D in conf play allowing 108 (3.5). NU does have a huge ST edge (#13-109) and the loser here is eliminated from the Legends race. Almost too close to call but I’ll go with the home team.

PHIL’S FORECAST: MICHIGAN 24 NEBRASKA 23

 

#19 TCU vs COLORADO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
COLORADO ST 65
150
11
2.7
-
TCU
280
250
48
2.4
TCU has beaten CSU by an avg of 24 ppg in the 6 MW meetings and have outgained CSU in the L/7 (433-215). LY TCU got its 1st shutout on the road under Patterson, 27-0. CSU is off a disappointing loss to SDSt, 18-15. QB Thomas (had taken every snap TY) left early 2Q (CS) and CSU pulled the RS off of Grayson. Swirling winds forced both tms to run and Nwoke finished with 232 yds. At HT CSU had a 205-179 yd edge but SDSt had an amazing 22:12-7:08 TOP edge and CSU held the ball for less than 20:00 for the entire gm! TCU is off one of the biggest upsets of the wk, destroying Boise’s BCS chances with a 36-35 win on the blue stuff, snapping BSU’s 35 gm home win streak and getting a MW rec’d 12th str conf road win. TCU used long TD passes to build a 20-14 HT lead (296-209 yd edge). BSU opened the 3Q with 2 TD’s but, like they’ve done all yr, TCU battled back marching 73/7pl for a TD with 1:05 left. Patterson made the gutsy call to go for 2 and Pachall (career day with 473 pass yds) threw to Boyce who shook out of an arm tackle and walked in. BSU drove 38 yd (25 yds came on pen’s) and lined up for the GW FG, but missed it from 39 yds out. TCU is 20-1 in Nov HG’s and has 22 str wins over MW foes.

PHIL’S FORECAST: TCU 45 COLORADO ST 10

 

#21 PENN ST at OHIO STATE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
PENN ST 89
143
8
2.1
-
OHIO STATE
187
108
16
2.2
••
What a difference a yr makes as this will be a battle of interim HC’s vs LY’s 600 wins comb on the sidelines. Due to the B10 sked shuffle PSU plays in Columbus for a 2nd str ssn and PSU is 1-8 there (only win in ‘08). PSU is just 2-7 vs OSU and hasn’t scored more than 20 pts in any gm (12 ppg). LY PSU QB McGloin threw the 1st 2 Lions TD passes in the Horseshoe S/‘63 (span of 45Q’s) as PSU led 14-3 at HT. In the 2H OSU got 2 IR TD and rallied to win 38-14. OSU likely lost any shot at capturing the Leaders div with a 26-23 OT loss at Purdue. OSU hit a 13 yd TD pass w/:55 left which tied it at 20 before the xp was blk’d sending it to OT. The Bucks settled for a FG but all’d PU to convert a FD on 3&12 at the 15 before scoring a TD on the next pl. OSU gets the huge addition of WR Posey who as the #2 rec LY had more rec, yds and TD’s (53-848-7) than the entire ’11 WR corps comb in the 1st 10 (46-745-5)! OSU is all’g 133 rush ypg (3.4) in B10 play. PSU played its 1st gm without HC JoePa S/’65 vs Neb falling behind 17-0 before a 2H rally which effectively ended when RB Redd (1059, 5.0) was SOD on 4&1 at the PSU37 with 1:55 left. Lions D is #1 in B10 play all’g just 13.2 ppg. The 8-2 Lions need to win their L/2 to secure the trip to Indy but don’t get one here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OHIO ST 17 PENN ST 13

 

#22 SOUTHERN MISS at UAB

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SOUTHERN MISS 223
278
45
2.3
•••
UAB
98
278
17
3.1
-
 Both tms on a short week but Fedora’s club have been sensational in Nov going 12-2. Southern Miss is 9-2 all-time and have covered 5 of the last 8 meetings. UAB is just 1-5 in home finales. The Blazers have played two ranked schools TY going 0-2 being outscored by 41 ppg and outgained by 343 ypg. Since moving up to 1A UAB is 2-17 vs ranked opp’s (beat #24 UTEP in ‘05 and #18 in ‘99, both upsets). SM escaped UCF LW 30-29 (UCF got a Hail Mary pass and 2pt con was NG with the clock at :00) “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot but again we found a way to win” Fedora. UAB is off their largest comeback in school history (trailed Memphis 35-17 into 4Q) and QB Perry had a career high 410 yds passing. LY SM went 83/10pl for a TD w/:28 left to force OT. In the 2OT, UAB got the win on a 2pt conv. LTH SM down 6 was int’d and ret for a 40-yd TD w/1:05. SM has reeled off 8 str SU but UAB IS playing their home finale and 4Wk ago in their last Thurs Night HG pulled the upset over UCF 26-24. This maybe close at HT before the Eagles pull away.

PHIL’S FORECAST: SOUTHERN MISS 45 UAB 24

 

#23 FLORIDA ST vs VIRGINIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
VIRGINIA 98
175
9
2.9
-
FLORIDA ST
102
285
31
2.2
••••
Since joining the ACC FSU has never been sandwiched off rival Miami and with Florida on deck. FSU is 14-2 in series and has outgained UVA in every meeting (+192 ypg). LY FSU won 34-14 on the road. FSU was lucky to come away with a 23-19 win over Miami LW. The Noles were held to 259 yds, their worst output since 246 vs Okla, after avg 428 in their L/4 wins. The FSU defense ranks #4 in the FBS and has all’d 12 ppg the L/5. Virginia TY snapped a 7 gm ACC road losing streak. LTH VA was held to 12 FD and 183 yds as FSU posted its 1st shutout since 2003. FSU has off (#38-49), def (#4-40) and huge ST’s (#3-73) edges. FSU is out of Atlantic contention after Clem clinched LW while UVA needs the win for a showdown with VT but the Noles just have too much here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA ST 31 VIRGINIA 17

 

#24 NOTRE DAME vs BOSTON COLLEGE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BOSTON COLLEGE 88
115
9
2.2
-
NOTRE DAME
172
275
34
1.9
-
ND is just 2-6 but has won the L/2. LY ND led 21-0 early and never looked back (all’d 93 yds on L/2 drives). BC is 3-1 in visits to South Bend but lost its last trip 20-16. ND is off one their yearly neutral site games and turned Fed Ex field into St Patty’s day and crushed MD 45-21 all’g 14 pts in the 4Q with #2’s getting PT. ND went to a fast paced offense and rolled up 508 yds as Rees was spot on going 30-38 296 yds with 2 TD’s. The 1-2 punch of Gray and Wood lead a ND team avg 177 rush ypg (5.4). The defense is all’g 297 ypg and 17 ppg the L/3. BC defeated NCSt LW 14-10 getting their 2nd win over an FBS team TY. BC returned RB Williams LW (missed L4) and added the QB option to give them more weapons in the offense. LB Kuechly (#1 FBS tkl’r) has the young defense playing with fire all’g 287 ypg L/2 (incl FSU) but that won’t be enough here as the Irish move to 8-1 since their awful 0-2 start with a big game vs Stanford on deck.

PHIL’S FORECAST: NOTRE DAME 37 BOSTON COLLEGE 13

 

Upset of the Week:
Tennessee over Vanderbilt

 

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  • Ritchiea

    Look out on your Noles–Hoos pick, Phil.  If you look at conference-only stats, it looks closer:  Total Offense UVa 3d, FSU 4th; Total Defense:  FSU 1st, UVa 4th.

  • Ritchiea

    It was a great game.  FSU outgained Virginia, so I don’t believe you would pick it different if you got a do-over, except I think you would make it closer.  IMO Virginia won because of the defense forcing FSU to settle for 2 FGs and Manual getting a little rattled because of defensive pressure and FSU’s inability to get a comfortable lead.  He hit some on some long passes, but he missed on a number also, including, IIRC, two open receivers.

  • Ritchiea

    It was a great game.  FSU outgained Virginia, so I don’t believe you would pick it different if you got a do-over, except I think you would make it closer.  IMO Virginia won because of the defense forcing FSU to settle for 2 FGs and Manual getting a little rattled because of defensive pressure and FSU’s inability to get a comfortable lead.  He hit some on some long passes, but he missed on a number also, including, IIRC, two open receivers.