RIVALS.COM: College Football This Week

It’s already Week 3, and though there aren’t really that many marquee matchups on the docket, there still are some mighty intriguing games.

It starts Thursday night with an important ACC game. Last week’s ACC matchup between Clemson and Georgia Tech went down to the wire, and it seems likely that this week’s Georgia Tech-Miami contest will do the same.

There’s a big one Friday in the WAC, when Boise State travels to Fresno, Calif. The Broncos seem to be on a collision course with a 13-0 record, and they’re 8-0 against Fresno State since joining the WAC.

Saturday is highlighted by some interesting intersectional games — Cal at Minnesota, West Virginia at Auburn, Nebraska at Virginia Tech, Florida State at BYU, Arizona at Iowa — and some solid conference games — Georgia at Arkansas in the SEC, USC at Washington in the Pac-10 and Texas Tech at Texas in the Big 12.

Here’s a look at all of the games involving FBS teams this weekend:


Georgia Tech (2-0) at Miami (1-0), 6:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN

THE BUZZ: The Yellow Jackets ran all over UM last season, winning by 18 points and rushing for 472 yards. Miami players were called out by their coaches last season for not playing assignment football; you’d think that wouldn’t be the case this season. Tech needs to mount a consistent pass rush, or Miami QB Jacory Harris will have a field day.

THE LINE: Miami by 5.5. THE PICK: Georgia Tech 27-24.


Boise State (2-0) at Fresno State (1-1), 8 p.m., ESPN

THE BUZZ: Boise has held each of its first two opponents to fewer than 40 rushing yards. Fresno must run effectively to win. Including this one, Boise plays four of its next five on the road. Boise is 8-0 against Fresno since joining the WAC in 2001.

THE LINE: Boise State by 7.5. THE PICK: Boise State 27-16.


Ball State (0-2) at Army (1-1), 11 a.m., CBS College Sports

THE BUZZ: Ball State has lost four in a row since starting 12-0 last season. The Cardinals’ offense has been stuck in neutral this season. Plus, the Cardinals’ defense is going to have trouble with Army’s triple-option offense. The Black Knights have four rushers averaging between 42.5 and 104 yards per game.

THE LINE: Army by 7.5. THE PICK: Army 30-21.

Boston College (2-0) at Clemson (1-1), 11 a.m., ACC syndication/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: BC has outscored its first two foes 88-7 but the opponents were Northeastern and Kent State. Clemson is a lot better than those two. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney got his first win as a coach last November when the Tigers won at BC.

THE LINE: Clemson by 7. THE PICK: Clemson 23-14.

Duke (1-1) at Kansas (2-0), 11 a.m., Versus

THE BUZZ: This would have much more appeal if it were a basketball game. Kansas has scored on its opening possession and totaled at least three sacks in four consecutive games.

THE LINE: Kansas by 22.5. THE PICK: Kansas 45-17.

East Carolina (1-1) at North Carolina (2-0), 11 a.m, ESPN2

THE BUZZ: There might not be anybody on their schedule the Pirates want to beat more than the Tar Heels; most ECU folks see most UNC folks as condescending. This has all the earmarks of a defensive struggle.

THE LINE: North Carolina by 7.5. THE PICK: North Carolina 21-16.

Louisville (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0), 11 a.m., ESPNU

THE BUZZ: Instead of letting the football teams play in what has the look of a snoozer, let basketball coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari slug it out at midfield in a “Loser Leaves the State and Must Wear Off-the-rack Suits” grudge match.

THE LINE: Kentucky by 13.5. THE PICK: Kentucky 28-13.

Eastern Michigan (0-2) at Michigan (2-0), 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

THE BUZZ: The campuses are barely 10 miles apart, but the talent difference is about a million miles. New EMU coach Ron English is a former Wolverines assistant.

THE LINE: Michigan by 24. THE PICK: Michigan 42-20.

Temple (0-1) at Penn State (2-0), 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

THE BUZZ: First, it was Akron. Next up was Syracuse. Now comes Temple. Hmmm — will the first Nittany Lions player who sweats please raise his hand?

THE LINE: Penn State by 29.5. THE PICK: Penn State 38-7.

California (2-0) at Minnesota (2-0), 11 a.m., ESPN

THE BUZZ: This is the final non-conference tuneup for Cal, which plays at Oregon next week and then plays host to USC on Oct. 3. Cal has zero turnovers and 10 sacks, and RB Jahvid Best has six consecutive 100-yard games and is averaging 10.4 yards per carry this season.

THE LINE: Cal by 13.5. THE PICK: Cal 38-21.

Northern Illinois (1-1) at Purdue (1-1), 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

THE BUZZ: Purdue’s Ralph Bolden, who ran for 28 yards total last season, has burst on the scene and leads the nation in rushing at 178.5 yards per game. While the Boilermakers’ offense has been solid, the defense hasn’t. NIU needs a big game from RB Meco Brown.

THE LINE: Purdue by 13. THE PICK: Purdue 32-21.

Ohio State (1-1) vs. Toledo (1-1) in Cleveland, 11 a.m., Altitude/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: Toledo upset Colorado last week, but Ohio State is just a wee bit better than the Buffs. Will Jim Tressel loosen the reins on Terrelle Pryor and give him more freedom? Toledo’s defense shouldn’t be that tough a test.

THE LINE: Ohio State by 20.5. THE PICK: Ohio State 34-10.

Wofford (1-1) at Wisconsin (2-0), 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

THE BUZZ: Wofford, ranked 15th in the FCS, runs a triple-option attack it calls the “Wingbone.” How run-oriented are the Terriers? They have completed 10 passes total in their first two games.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Wisconsin 38-17.

North Texas (1-1) at Alabama (2-0), 11:20 a.m., SEC syndication/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: This is the second Sun Belt opponent in a row for the Tide, who cruised past FIU last week. North Texas QB Riley Dodge will miss the game with a shoulder injury, so junior Nathan Tune will make his first college start for the Mean Green. Tune led Celina (Texas) High to a state title in 2005; Alabama QB Greg McElroy led Southlake (Texas) Carroll High to a state title in ’05, as well.

THE LINE: Alabama by 38.5. THE PICK: Alabama 51-10.

Furman (2-0) at Missouri (2-0), 1 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Missouri is 8-0 all-time against FCS teams. This is the first of two FBS opponents for Furman, which plays Auburn later this season. Furman’s quarterback is Jordan Sorrells, whose dad, Tim, is the Paladins’ offensive coordinator.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Missouri 45-16.

USC (2-0) at Washington (1-1), 2:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: USC true freshman QB Matt Barkley has a shoulder bruise and won’t be 100 percent if he plays. USC has won seven in a row over the Huskies, including a 56-0 rout last season, but won by just three points in Seattle in 2007. That Washington coach Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt were at USC last season gives this some added intrigue.

THE LINE: USC by 20. THE PICK: USC 30-17.

Tennessee (1-1) at Florida (2-0), 2:30 p.m., CBS

THE BUZZ: Florida has the longest streak in the SEC without being shut out (259 games). Tennessee is second with 185. The last team to shut out the Vols was Florida in 1994, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Gators shut them out this season.

THE LINE: Florida by 29.5. THE PICK: Florida 38-0.

Alcorn State (0-1) at Central Michigan (1-1), 2:30 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Central Michigan upset Michigan State last week and should put up some big numbers against the Braves, an FCS program that was 2-9 last season.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Central Michigan 57-10.

Arizona (2-0) at Iowa (2-0), 2:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN2

THE BUZZ: This is the first of three consecutive road games for Arizona. Wildcats coach Mike Stoops and defensive coordinator Mark Stoops are Iowa alums; both played safety for the Hawkeyes. Arizona TB Nic Grigsby is coming off a 207-yard game. But that was against Northern Arizona, and running room should be tougher to come by against Iowa.

THE LINE: Iowa by 5. THE PICK: Iowa 20-17.

Michigan State (1-1) at Notre Dame (1-1), 2:30 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Both teams are coming off deflating last-second losses Michigan State at home to Central Michigan and Notre Dame on the road against Michigan. The Spartans have won nine of the past 12 in the series, including six in a row at Notre Dame. That’s the longest winning streak at Notre Dame Stadium by any opponent in history.

THE LINE: Notre Dame by 10. THE PICK: Notre Dame 35-28.

Middle Tennessee (1-1) at Maryland (1-1), 2:30 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Middle beat the Terps last season, and this Terps team might not be as good as that one. Middle already has lost to one ACC team (Clemson) this season.

THE LINE: Maryland by 6. THE PICK: Maryland 27-17.

Indiana (2-0) at Akron (1-1), 2:30 p.m., ESPNU

THE BUZZ: Indiana beat MAC member Western Michigan last week and looks to beat another MAC program this week. Zips QB Chris Jacquemain will pose some problems for IU’s defense. After this one, the Hoosiers get Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back.

THE LINE: Akron by 4.5. THE PICK: Akron 20-17.

Tulsa (2-0) at Oklahoma (1-1), 2:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net

THE BUZZ: This is the third consecutive road game for Tulsa and the Golden Hurricane face an OU team that has won 25 in a row at home; one more win sets a school record. Tulsa’s best defensive player might be LB Mike Bryan; he is the son of the late Rick Bryan, an All-America defensive end for Oklahoma in 1982 and ’83. Rick Bryan died July 25.

THE LINE: Oklahoma by 16.5. THE PICK: Oklahoma 35-20.

Utah (2-0) at Oregon (1-1), 2:30 p.m., ESPN

THE BUZZ: Neither team looks to be as good as it was last season. Utah leads the nation with a 16-game winning streak. Oregon’s offense needs to get cranked up.

THE LINE: Oregon by 4.5. THE PICK: Oregon 24-21.

Nebraska (2-0) at Virginia Tech (1-1), 2:30 p.m., ACC regional/ESPN2/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: This should be one of the best games of the day. The Hokies won 35-30 last season in Lincoln. This will be the first real test for new Huskers QB Zac Lee, and he’ll be going against a good pass rush and a solid secondary. The Hokies must run effectively to win, but a line led by standout T Ndamukong Suh is the strength of the Huskers’ defense.

THE LINE: Virginia Tech by 4.5. THE PICK: Virginia Tech 24-17.

Virginia (0-2) at Southern Miss (2-0), 2:30 p.m., CBS College Sports

THE BUZZ: Virginia is off to its first 0-2 start since 2002; the Cavs rebounded to go 9-5 that season, but this team doesn’t look capable of that type of turnaround. Southern Miss has held seven consecutive opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards; the Cavs are averaging 94 rushing yards.

THE LINE: Southern Miss by 16.5. THE PICK: Southern Miss 27-17.

Wyoming (1-1) at Colorado (0-2), 2:30 p.m., Fox College Sports Central

THE BUZZ: The campuses are about 90 miles apart, and Colorado leads the series 22-3-1. The Buffs have won 11 of the past 12 meetings, by an average of 23.8 points per game. But Colorado has been shaky on defense thus far, which gives punchless Wyoming some hope.

THE LINE: Colorado by 7. THE PICK: Colorado 24-14.

UAB (1-1) at Troy (0-2), 2:30 p.m., Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast/Fox College Sports Atlantic

THE BUZZ: The winner can call itself the third-best program in Alabama. Troy was considered the team to beat in the Sun Belt, but the Trojans have looked bad thus far.

THE LINE: Troy by 6.5. THE PICK: Troy 31-27.

Florida International (0-1) at Rutgers (1-1), 4 p.m., Big East syndication/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: FIU coach Mario Cristobal is a former Rutgers assistant. This will be Rutgers’ first game against a Sun Belt Conference opponent in team history. This is the third consecutive home game for the Scarlet Knights, who play five of their first six at home.

THE LINE: Rutgers by 14.5. THE PICK: Rutgers 38-21.

Nevada (0-1) at Colorado State (2-0), 4 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Colorado State is aiming for its first 3-0 start since 1994. Nevada needs to get its running game cranked up if it is to win.

THE LINE: Nevada by 3. THE PICK: Nevada 28-26.

San Diego State (1-1) at Idaho (1-1), 5 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Idaho outgained Washington last week but still lost by 19. San Diego State already has seven sacks this season after finishing with just 13 last season. This is one of three Mountain West-WAC matchups this week.

THE LINE: San Diego State by 3. THE PICK: San Diego State 33-27.

SMU (2-0) at Washington State (0-2), 4 p.m.

THE BUZZ: SMU won on the road last week and hasn’t won back-to-back road games in the same season since 1984. How bad is Washington State? SMU is a 6.5-point favorite on the road. That sort of says it all.

THE LINE: SMU by 6.5. THE PICK: SMU 28-24.

Connecticut (1-1) at Baylor (1-0), 4 p.m.

THE BUZZ: UConn’s defense played great last week in a two-point loss to North Carolina, and given the state of UConn’s offense, the defense again is going to have to play great if the Huskies are to pull the upset. UConn has allowed 96 rushing yards total and will be a test for Baylor sophomore QB Robert Griffin. Here’s betting Griffin passes the test.

THE LINE: Baylor by 10.5. THE PICK: Baylor 24-10.

Navy (1-1) at Pittsburgh (2-0), 5 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Pitt true freshman TB Dion Lewis is picking up where LeSean McCoy left off; Lewis has rushed for 319 yards and four touchdowns. He has helped Pitt score TDs on 10 of its 11 red-zone opportunities; the other ended in a field goal. Navy runs a triple-option offense, but it’s worth noting that the Midshipmen have thrown for 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 2005.

THE LINE: Pitt by 7.5. THE PICK: Pitt 31-21.

Gardner-Webb (2-0) at N.C. State (1-1), 5 p.m.

THE BUZZ: This is the second consecutive game against an FCS opponent for the Wolfpack, who are the only FBS program to play back-to-back games against a lower-division opponent this season. NCSU held Murray State to 36 total yards last week.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: N.C. State 44-20.

Elon (2-0) at Wake Forest (1-1), 5:30 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Elon, a member of the Southern Conference, is No. 11 in this week’s FCS poll; the Phoenix lead the FCS in total offense and total defense. The campuses are less than an hour apart in North Carolina, and this is the ninth meeting, though it’s the first since 1939.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Wake Forest 29-14.

Cincinnati (2-0) at Oregon State (2-0), 5:45 p.m., Fox Sports Net

THE BUZZ: A game that is somewhat under the radar, but it has the potential to be the best game of the day. QB Tony Pike leads a powerful Cincinnati offense, and he’ll be throwing against a rebuilt Oregon State secondary. But a physical Oregon State offense led by mighty-mite TB Jacquizz Rodgers will be going against an overhauled Cincy defense. Oregon State has won 26 consecutive non-conference home games and never has lost such a contest under coach Mike Riley.

THE LINE: Cincinnati by 1. THE PICK: Oregon State 34-30.

Utah State (0-1) at Texas A&M (1-0), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: One thing’s for certain the Aggies will win. (Ahem. Both teams are nicknamed the Aggies.) Texas A&M is the only Big 12 team Utah State never has played.

THE LINE: Texas A&M by 19.5. THE PICK: Texas A&M 42-17.

Louisiana-Lafayette (2-0) at LSU (2-0), 6 p.m., ESPNU

THE BUZZ: This is the 22nd meeting between the schools but just the third since 1938. LSU leads the series 21-0, and its defense has ruled; the Tigers have shut out ULL in 16 of those meetings and have allowed 22 total points in the 21 games.

THE LINE: LSU by 26.5. THE PICK: LSU 37-13.

Texas State (1-0) at TCU (1-0), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Texas State is ranked 18th in this week’s FCS poll. The Bobcats are the fourth FCS opponent in TCU coach Gary Patterson’s nine-year career. TCU plays at Clemson next week.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: TCU 38-10.

Mississippi State (1-1) at Vanderbilt (1-1), 6 p.m., Fox Sports South/Sun Sports/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: Vandy lost two starters, including star FS Ryan Hamilton, to season-ending injuries in last week’s loss to LSU. Those injuries really hurt a team that lacks top-flight talent. Both teams are original members of the SEC, which was founded in 1933, but this is just the 21st meeting.

THE LINE: Vandy by 9. THE PICK: Vandy 17-13.

Cal Poly (1-0) at Ohio (1-1), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Cal Poly is 14th in the FCS, and former UCLA WR Dominique Johnson is the Mustangs’ go-to receiver. Ohio needs to get its running game cranked up.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Ohio 27-20.

Iowa State (1-1) at Kent State (1-1), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: A MAC team based in Ohio upset a Big 12 team last week (Toledo over Colorado); can it happen for the second week in a row? Iowa State’s rush defense has been atrocious, but Kent State’s ground game has been stagnant thus far.

THE LINE: Iowa State by 2.5. THE PICK: Iowa State 24-20.

Miami University (0-2) at Western Michigan (0-2), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Miami has yet to score a point in its two games under new coach Mike Haywood. That’s good news for a Western Michigan defense that has had issues the first two weeks. Offensively, Western has to get its ground game going; the Broncos have rushed for 60 yards total this season.

THE LINE: Western Michigan by 17. THE PICK: Western Michigan 31-10.

Rice (0-2) at Oklahoma State (1-1), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Rice was shredded on the ground in the opener against run-oriented UAB, then shredded through the air last week against pass-oriented Texas Tech. Offensively balanced Oklahoma State, then, should have success on the ground and through the air. If the Cowboys struggle to move the ball, something is wrong.

THE LINE: Oklahoma State by 32.5. THE PICK: Oklahoma State 55-17.

Northwestern (2-0) at Syracuse (0-2), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Northwestern routed the Orange 30-10 last season, but this Syracuse team looks to be a lot better. QB Greg Paulus has been steady, and WR Mike Williams might be the best at his position in the Big East. Northwestern QB Mike Kafka oversees a good offense, but the Wildcats’ defense had problems stopping Eastern Michigan’s running game last week.

THE LINE: Northwestern by 3. THE PICK: Northwestern 27-21.

Florida Atlantic (0-1) at South Carolina (1-1), 6 p.m., ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: This is the only game this week matching coaches who have won national titles (FAU’s Howard Schnellenberger won one at Miami, and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier won one at Florida). This is the home opener for the Gamecocks, who play host to Ole Miss next Thursday.

THE LINE: South Carolina by 20.5. THE PICK: South Carolina 38-20.

Florida State (1-1) at BYU (2-0), 6 p.m., Versus

THE BUZZ: Florida State looked good in its opening loss to Miami but horrible in last week’s squeaker over FCS member Jacksonville State. BYU owns the biggest upset of the season thus far, and if the Cougars are as physical against the Seminoles as they were in their opening-week shocker of Oklahoma, they will get their second victory of the season over a Big Six school. FSU needs to find a way to create a pass rush, or BYU QB Max Hall will sit in the pocket and eviscerate the Seminoles’ secondary.

THE LINE: BYU by 7.5. THE PICK: BYU 27-24.

Nicholls State (1-1) at Louisiana Tech (0-2), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: The schools are about 60 miles apart, but this is just the third meeting. Louisiana Tech is hoping to avoid its first 0-3 start since 1998. Nicholls State, an FCS program, lost 72-0 to Air Force in its opener.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Louisiana Tech 41-13.

Bowling Green (1-1) at Marshall (1-1), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Marshall coach Mark Snyder is on the hot seat, and it will get warmer if the Herd lose this week. Bowling Green’s offense is a good one, but the Falcons’ defense remains a work in progress. Can Marshall take advantage?

THE LINE: Bowling Green by 3. THE PICK: Bowling Green 35-23.

Central Arkansas (0-1) at Western Kentucky (0-2), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Central Arkansas, which opened with a loss at Hawaii, is 13th in this week’s FCS poll. This is the only FCS opponent of the season for Western, which is in its first season as a full-fledged FBS member. This also looks to be the best chance for a Western victory this season.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Western Kentucky 26-21.

Charleston Southern (0-2) at USF (2-0), 6 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Charleston Southern was mauled 62-3 by Florida in the opener in its first trip to the Sunshine State this season. This won’t be quite as bad but it still will be bad.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: USF 51-10.

Buffalo (1-1) at UCF (1-1), 6:30 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Buffalo’s passing attack will put pressure on a rebuilt UCF secondary. UCF showed some signs of life on offense last week against Southern Miss. Buffalo is shaky against the run, and that’s good news for UCF.

THE LINE: UCF by 4. THE PICK: UCF 20-17.

Air Force (1-1) at New Mexico (0-2), 6:30 p.m., CBS College Sports

THE BUZZ: The Lobos are looking for their first win under new coach Mike Locksley. They’ve been horrible against the run and that bodes ill against Air Force, which has won four of the past five in the series.

THE LINE: Air Force by 17. THE PICK: Air Force 40-17.

Southeastern Louisiana (2-0) at Ole Miss (1-0), 6:30 p.m., Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast/Comcast Sports Net Northwest/ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: Ole Miss, which is battling injury problems and the flu, just hopes to get out of this one with no injuries. The Rebels, looking for their first seven-game winning streak since 1990, play at South Carolina next Thursday.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Ole Miss 49-9.

West Virginia (2-0) at Auburn (2-0), 6:45 p.m., ESPN2

THE BUZZ: WVU used a big second half to whip the Tigers 34-17 last season in Morgantown. New coordinator Gus Malzahn has resurrected Auburn’s offense, and Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb have rushed for 100 yards in each of the first two games. WVU quarterback Jarrett Brown carved up a solid ECU secondary last week, and he will try to do the same against an Auburn secondary that really hasn’t been tested this season.

THE LINE: Auburn by 7. THE PICK: Auburn 27-23.

Georgia (1-1) at Arkansas (1-0), 6:45 p.m., ESPN

THE BUZZ: A big one in the SEC. There are questions about Arkansas’ defense, but can Georgia’s offense — which is averaging less than 290 yards per game take advantage? And how will Hogs QB Ryan Mallett fare in his first SEC start?

THE LINE: Arkansas by 1.5. THE PICK: Georgia 30-24.

UTEP (0-2) at New Mexico State (1-1), 7 p.m., ESPN GamePlan

THE BUZZ: This is the 87th meeting between the schools, whose campuses are just 40 miles apart. That means the hounds will be at a rivalry game. This is the dog of the week.

THE LINE: UTEP by 13.5. THE PICK: UTEP 37-21.

UT-Martin (1-1) at Memphis (0-2), 7 p.m.

THE BUZZ: Memphis has switched starting quarterbacks, from Arkelon Hall to Tyler Bass, in an effort to jump-start the offense. Memphis has scored 14 points in each of its two losses.

THE LINE: No line. THE PICK: Memphis 34-14.

Texas Tech (2-0) at Texas (2-0), 7 p.m., ABC

THE BUZZ: The Red Raiders need to buck some history. Texas is 27-5 at home against Texas Tech, including 5-0 under Mack Brown. In addition, the Longhorns are 29-1 against in-state opponents at home under Brown.

THE LINE: Texas by 17.5. THE PICK: Texas 45-21.

San Jose State (0-2) at Stanford (1-1), 8 p.m.

THE BUZZ: San Jose State opened with USC, then played Utah last week. The competition gets a bit easier this week for the Spartans, who are last in the nation in total defense (559.5 ypg).

THE LINE: Stanford by 17. THE PICK: Stanford 31-16.

Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) at Arizona State (1-0), 9 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona

THE BUZZ: This is the only Pac-10/Sun Belt matchup of the season. Arizona State opened the season on Sept. 5, had last week off and now plays 11 consecutive Saturdays. ULM opened the season with a 39-point loss at Texas.

THE LINE: Arizona State by 19.5. THE PICK: Arizona State 35-10.

Kansas State (1-1) at UCLA (2-0), 9:15 p.m., Fox Sports Net

THE BUZZ: UCLA comes in off a win at Tennessee, K-State off a last-second loss at Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bruins will be going with backup QB Richard Brehaut, a true freshman who’s starting because Kevin Prince is out with a broken jaw. UCLA hasn’t started 3-0 since 2005.

THE LINE: UCLA by 12.5. THE PICK: UCLA 27-10.

Hawaii (2-0) at UNLV (1-1), 5 p.m., CBS College Sports/The Mtn.

THE BUZZ: Hawaii is coming in off a road win over a Pac-10 team (Washington State); UNLV is coming in off a home loss to a Pac-10 team (Oregon State). This is the last of three consecutive home games to open the season for UNLV, while Hawaii is 2-0 for just the second time since 1998.


LAST WEEK: 51-11 straight up, 22-24 against the spread. YEAR TO DATE: 114-26 straight up, 37-49 against the spread.

Follow college football coverage in the NEMS Daily Journal all weekend and at the blog – the Sports Buzz blog – http://nems360.com/pages/sports_buzz

Mike Huguenin/Rivals.com

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