College Football Picks: Predicting Final Scores for Every Game in Week 7

Oregon hosts Washington in key Pac-12 North clash

The Week 7 edition of picking every game on the college football schedule is highlighted by Wisconsin’s visit to Michigan in a key battle that will have ramifications for both divisions in the Big Ten; Georgia’s first trip to LSU since 2008; and an under-the-radar rivalry in the Pac-12 as Oregon hosts league favorite Washington. Here is every game on the Week 7 slate:

 

Thursday, Oct. 11

 

Georgia Southern at Texas State

Georgia Southern is 2–0 in the Sun Belt after Saturday’s 48­–13 win over South Alabama. This week, the Eagles play their first league road game against a Texas State team that has yet to defeat an FBS opponent this season. Georgia Southern 28, Texas State 17

 

Texas Tech at TCU

Both teams are coming off a bye — so no advantage on either side. TCU, 1–1 in the league, needs to protect its homefield if it hopes to remain a factor in the Big 12 race. TCU 34, Texas Tech 24

 

Friday, Oct. 12

 

South Florida at Tulsa

South Florida tailback Jordan Cronkrite, a transfer from Florida, ranks third in the nation in rushing with 151.5 yards per game. He rushed for 302 on 23 carries in last week’s 58–42 win at UMass. South Florida 38, Tulsa 20

 

Air Force at San Diego State

Both teams are coming off huge — and surprising — wins: Air Force broke a three-game losing streak with a dominating 35–7 win over Navy, while San Diego State won at Boise State 19–13, limiting the Broncos to only 2.9 yards per offensive play. San Diego State 24, Air Force 13

 

Arizona at Utah

Utah is fresh off a season-saving win at Stanford — a win that improved the Utes’ league record to 1–2 in a wide-open Pac-12 South. Arizona is 2–1 in the league, with the lone loss coming to USC. Utah is the better team — and the home team. Utah 27, Arizona 24

 

Saturday, Oct. 13

 

Akron at Buffalo

Buffalo stubbed its toe two weeks ago with 42–13 loss at home to Army but got back on track last Saturday with a 34–24 win at Central Michigan. The Bulls are now 5–1 overall and 2–0 in the league. They have established themselves as the team to beat in the MAC East. Buffalo 31, Akron 24

 

Florida at Vanderbilt

Florida is surging, with wins in four straight games — most notably at Mississippi State (in Dan Mullen’s homecoming) and at home vs. previously unbeaten LSU on Saturday. Vanderbilt, on the hand, has lost its two SEC games — vs. South Carolina and at Georgia — by an average score of 39–14. Florida 30, Vanderbilt 17

 

Iowa at Indiana

Iowa passed its first road test of the season, rolling past Minnesota 48–31 on Saturday. Now, the Hawkeyes head to Bloomington to take on an Indiana team that made Ohio State sweat for one half last week. This is the type of game Iowa needs to win if it hopes to hang with Wisconsin in the Big Ten West race. Iowa 24, Indiana 21

 

Minnesota at Ohio State

Minnesota erupted for 31 points on Saturday — its best effort since a Week 1 win over New Mexico State. The problem: Iowa scored 48 points. Good luck slowing down Ohio State. Ohio State 51, Minnesota 20

 

Nebraska at Northwestern

Northwestern snapped a three-game losing streak with a 29–19 win at Michigan State. The Wildcats finished the game with a net of nine yards rushing, their lowest output since rushing for minus-nine in a 10–9 loss to Michigan in 2014. Northwestern has had fewer than 100 rushing yards in all but one game this season. Northwestern 33, Nebraska 24

 

Oklahoma State at Kansas State

These two teams are a combined 1–6 against Power 5 opponents, with the only win by Oklahoma State over Kansas. Things appear to be more desperate at Kansas State, where the Wildcats dropped to 0–3 in the Big 12 with a loss at Baylor on Saturday. Oklahoma State 28, Kansas State 17

 

Rutgers at Maryland

Thing aren’t going well at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have lost six straight, highlighted (if that’s the right word) by a 41-point loss at Kansas, a 29-point loss at home to Buffalo and a 21-point loss at home to Illinois. This program is broken. Maryland 41, Rutgers 10

 

Tennessee at Auburn

Auburn managed only 304 yards in its lethargic 23–9 loss at Mississippi State. For the first time since 2012 — the 0–8 SEC season under Gene Chizik — the Tigers have had fewer than 350 yards of offense in four straight games. Auburn 27, Tennessee 21

 

Toledo at Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan has lost three straight games by exactly three points — though Saturday’s 27–24 defeat at Western Michigan wasn’t quite as heartbreaking since the Eagles scored a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining to make the final score more respectable. Toledo 34, Eastern Michigan 31

 

Duke at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech attempted two passes (completing one) in Friday night’s 66–31 win at Louisville. That’s a pretty healthy point-to-pass ratio. Georgia Tech 27, Duke 24

 

Louisville at Boston College

One program is struggling (Boston College has lost two of three after a three-game winning streak to open the season). The other program is imploding (Louisville is 2–4 and gave up 66 points at home to Georgia Tech on Friday). Go with the struggling program. Boston College 41, Louisville 24

 

UAB at Rice

UAB has emerged as the team to beat in C-USA West after its surprisingly easy 28–7 win at Louisiana Tech — the same Louisiana Tech team that won at North Texas the previous week. UAB 37, Rice 10

 

Troy at Liberty

Troy has been on a roll offensively, averaging 39.0 points and 496.7 yards in its three Sun Belt wins. The Trojans, however, must forge ahead without starting quarterback Kaleb Barker, who is lost for the season with a torn ACL. Troy 39, Liberty 21

 

Southern Miss at North Texas

North Texas looked unbeatable through its first four games, winning all four — including a victory at Arkansas — by an average of 33 points. The Mean Green then lost at home to Louisiana Tech and struggled in a 27–24 win at UTEP  — one of the worst teams in the country — last week. North Texas 40, Southern Miss 24

 

Kent State at Miami (Ohio)

After scoring a total of three points in losses to Cincinnati and Minnesota, Miami has averaged 39.3 points in its last three games — wins over Bowling Green and Akron sandwiched around a one-point loss to Western Michigan. Miami 39, Kent State 23

 

Pittsburgh at Notre Dame

No team has changed its long-term outlook more in recent weeks than Notre Dame, which has gone from good to great since inserting Ian Book as its starting quarterback. The Fighting Irish will continue to roll. Notre Dame 41, Pittsburgh 21

 

Ball State at Central Michigan

These two teams are a combined 1–9 against FBS teams in 2017. Central Michigan, however, has been far more competitive — though Ball State did play well in an eight-point loss at Notre Dame — and appears to be the better team. Central Michigan 34, Ball State 20

 

Western Michigan at Bowling Green

Western Michigan is 2–0 in the MAC with solid wins at Miami (Ohio) and over Eastern Michigan. The Broncos, who get both Toledo and Northern Illinois at home, could be a legitimate factor in the West Division race. Western Michigan 38, Bowling Green 13

 

Army vs. San Jose State (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Army is 3–0 against Group of 5 teams (Liberty, Hawaii and Buffalo) and 0–2 against Power 5 teams (Duke, Oklahoma). San Jose State figures to be the worst team on the Black Knights’ entire 2018 schedule. Army 38, San Jose State 14

 

Baylor at Texas

Texas, with wins over USC, TCU and Oklahoma, is emerging as one of the surprise teams in the nation. The Longhorns are 3–0 in the Big 12 and will host West Virginia — their toughest remaining opponent — on Nov. 3. First things first: Baylor visits Austin this week searching for its first win over Texas since 2014. Texas 34, Baylor 24

 

Michigan State at Penn State

Michigan State limps into Happy Valley fresh off an uninspiring 10-point loss at home to Northwestern. Penn State has had a week to recover from its painful loss to Ohio State. Penn State 37, Michigan State 24

 

Marshall at Old Dominion

Old Dominion’s stunning win over Virginia Tech hasn’t exactly turned its season around. The Monarchs, who lost their first four before the win over Tech, have lost to East Carolina and Florida Atlantic the last two weeks. The offense has been very good since the move to Blake LaRuss at QB, but the ODU defense has allowed a combined 89 points in its last two losses. Marshall 38, Old Dominion 33

 

Ohio at Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois has jumped out to a 3–0 start in the MAC, though none of the three wins has come by more than eight points. The Huskies are averaging a league-low 3.8 yards per play and are one of two teams in the MAC averaging fewer than 300 yards per game. Ohio 23, Northern Illinois 20

 

Purdue at Illinois

Lovie Smith improved to 3–17 in Big Ten play as the head coach at Illinois with a 38­–17 win over Rutgers. The other two wins came in 2016, over Rutgers and Michigan State. Purdue has not played since winning at Nebraska two weeks ago. Purdue 44, Illinois 24

 

Temple at Navy

What’s up with Navy? The Midshipmen were pummeled 35–7 at Air Force — which previously had not defeated an FBS opponent — and are now 2–3 overall. And dating back to last year, the Middies are 4–9 in their last 13 games. Temple, on the other hand, has won three of four after an 0–2 start. Temple 33, Navy 27

 

Texas A&M at South Carolina

South Carolina beat Missouri in thrilling fashion in Michael Scarnecchia’s first career start at quarterback. The expectation is that Jake Bentley will be back this week, but Scarnecchia, a career backup, proved he can get the job done. Texas A&M knocked off previously unbeaten Kentucky in overtime on Saturday, limiting star tailback Benny Snell to a season-low 60 yards. Texas A&M 27, South Carolina 24

 

UCF at Memphis

This was supposed to be the Game of the Year in the AAC, but Memphis is 1–2 in the league with losses at Navy and Tulane. UCF has lived up to the hype, winning its first five games by an average score of 49–17. The Knights have not really been challenged. That could change on Saturday — but don’t expect a loss. UCF 48, Memphis 34

 

Georgia at LSU

Some of the luster was taken off this game due to LSU’s loss at Florida on Saturday. Still, this will be a big test for a Georgia team that has won its first six games by an average of 30 points. LSU doesn’t appear to have the firepower on offense to keep up with the Bulldogs. Georgia 31, LSU 17

 

Washington at Oregon

This always has been a heated rivalry, but it’s lacked national relevance over the past few decades. That could change. Washington is establishing itself as a top-10 program; Oregon looks to be on the way back to prominence under Mario Cristobal. This will be Washington’s most difficult game for the remainder of the regular season. Washington 27, Oregon 24

 

Western Kentucky at Charlotte

Western Kentucky is 1–4, with three of the four losses coming by three points. The Hilltoppers are 0–1 in the league but will have a chance to get on a roll, starting with this trip to Charlotte followed by home dates with Old Dominion and FIU. Western Kentucky 27, Charlotte 20

 

New Mexico at Colorado State

New Mexico has scored 40 points or more against every team not named Wisconsin on its schedule. Last weekend, the Lobos opened their MW slate with a 50–14 win at UNLV. They outgained the Rebels (who were playing without their starting quarterback) 502 to 166. This should be league win No. 2 for UNM. New Mexico 40, Colorado State 23

 

Alabama State at South Alabama

South Alabama returns home for its first game in Mobile in nearly a month — and it’s been that long since the Jaguars last won a game. The wait for another win should end. South Alabama 31, Alabama State 3

 

New Mexico State at Louisiana

New Mexico State has won two straight games — over UTEP and Liberty — since starting the season with four straight losses. Louisiana recovered from its beatdown at Alabama with a 42–27 win at Texas State. Louisiana is the better team. Louisiana 37, New Mexico State 31

 

ULM at Coastal Carolina

ULM gave up 70 points and 826 yards in last week’s loss at Ole Miss. Coastal Carolina is good, but it’s safe to say the Chanticleers aren’t quite as explosive as the Rebels. Coastal Carolina 34, ULM 30

 

UNLV at Utah State

UNLV was outgained 502 to 166 in last week’s 50–14 loss at home to New Mexico, and the Rebels likely will once again be without starting QB Armani Rogers. This will not go well for UNLV. Utah State 37, UNLV 10

 

Houston at East Carolina

Houston is one of four teams nationally that is averaging at least 50 points per game. East Carolina is improved defensively, but the Pirates gave up 49 points in Saturday’s loss to Temple. Houston 48, East Carolina 24

 

Louisiana Tech at UTSA

Louisiana Tech appeared to seize control of the C-USA West race with a surprising win at North Texas two weeks ago … then the Bulldogs lost 28–7 at home to UAB on Saturday. That loss could prove to be very damaging. Louisiana Tech 30, UTSA 20

 

Miami (Fla.) at Virginia

Miami somehow beat Florida State despite gaining only 306 yards of offense and having its quarterback (N’Kosi Perry) throw 19 incomplete passes (in 32 attempts). At some point, the Canes will need to play well offensively to beat a good opponent. Is Virginia good? The guess here is the Cavs are good enough to pull off the upset. Virginia 27, Miami 24

 

Missouri at Alabama

In three games against Power 5 opponents this season, Missouri’s Drew Lock is completing only 52.0 percent of his passes, averaging 6.0 yards per passing attempt and has a TD-to-INT ratio of 3-to-4. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, in four games against P5 foes, has the following numbers: 74.3 percent, 15.4 per attempt, 12-to-0 ratio. Alabama 49, Missouri 24

 

UCLA at California

Here’s the good news: UCLA rolled up 422 yards of offense on Saturday, the most in the brief Chip Kelly era. The bad news: The Bruins lost to Washington and are one of only two Power 5 teams without a win (Nebraska is the other). California 21, UCLA 20

 

Virginia Tech at North Carolina

We are approaching mid-October, and North Carolina will be playing only its second home game of the season. The Tar Heels’ last game in Chapel Hill produced the only win of the season, 38–35 over Pittsburgh. Beating Virginia Tech will be a bigger challenge. Virginia Tech 30, North Carolina 17

 

West Virginia at Iowa State

Iowa State broke through with its first Big 12 win of the season, beating Oklahoma State 48–42 in Stillwater. The story for ISU was the emergence of true freshman QB Brock Purdy, who threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns and added 84 yards on the ground. The Cyclones will need another big game from the freshman to outscore the potent West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia 38, Iowa State 34

 

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.)

Arkansas has won four straight in the series, the last three by a combined six points. Last year, the Hogs trailed 31–7 early in the second quarter before rallying for an improbable 38–37 win. Expect some fireworks once again in this matchup of the SEC’s two worst defenses — both in points and yards allowed. Ole Miss 37, Arkansas 34

 

Middle Tennessee at FIU

Middle Tennessee has grabbed control of the C-USA East Division with wins over FAU and Marshall in back-to-back weekends. This will be another big test for Brent Stockstill’s club. Middle Tennessee 34, FIU 27

 

Wisconsin at Michigan

Michigan leads the nation in total defense, both in yards allowed per game (230.5) and yards allowed per play (3.7). No team has had more than 319 yards in a game against the Wolverines. That might change after Wisconsin comes to town — but Michigan will remain unbeaten in the Big Ten. Michigan 27, Wisconsin 17

 

Hawaii at BYU

Hawaii has six wins in 2018, doubling its total from the entire 2017 season. Last week, the Rainbow Warriors got it done without starting QB Cole McDonald, who is out with an unspecified injury. His status for this week is not known. Go with the Cougars if McDonald can’t play. BYU 20, Hawaii 14

 

Boise State at Nevada

Boise State dropped its first Mountain West home game since 2015 last week, losing 19–13 to San Diego State (which played without star tailback Juwan Washington). The Broncos managed only 229 yards of offense and averaged a paltry 2.9 yards per play. Bryan Harsin’s team should get back on track this week in Reno — especially if Nevada QB Ty Gangi is sidelined once again — but the Broncs have not lived up to preseason expectations. Boise State 27, Nevada 13

 

Colorado at USC

Colorado’s dream season continues. The Buffaloes are 5–0 and have emerged as a legitimate contender in the Pac-12 South. Winning at USC, the preseason favorite in the division, would be a huge step for Mike MacIntyre’s club. The Trojans have some issues but are clearly the best team Colorado will have faced this season. Go with USC at home. USC 31, Colorado 24

 

Wyoming at Fresno State

Wyoming “erupted” for 29 points in a Week 0 win at New Mexico but has since failed to score more than 19 points in any game. Last week, the Cowboys managed only 244 yards in a 17–13 loss at Hawaii. Fresno State 37, Wyoming 13

 

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