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College Football Picks and Predictions: Week 1's Thursday Games


Thursday, Sept. 1 College Football Picks and Predictions

There's a slew of Thursday games to kick off college football's 2011 season. Throughout the year we'll be giving you analysis, breakdowns and picks for every game of the college football season. Here are tonight's games. Check back tomorrow for our college football predictions for rest of the weekend's games.

No. 107 UNLV at No. 13 Wisconsin
Russell Wilson debuts as the Badgers’ quarterback against a UNLV team that allowed close to 40 points per game last season.
Wisconsin 44, UNLV 13

No. 27 Mississippi State at No. 118 Memphis
Larry Porter’s first season at his alma mater was a train wreck. Year 2 doesn’t figure to be much better.
Mississippi State 48, Memphis 10

UC Davis at No. 28 Arizona State
Expectations are soaring in Tempe, and the locals won’t be pleased with anything less than a blowout. Last year, UC Davis opened the season with a 52–3 loss at Cal.
Arizona State 40, UC Davis 10

No. 83 Wake Forest at No. 43 Syracuse
The Orange broke through with their first winnings season since 2001 despite posting an 0–4 record at home vs. BCS conference foes.
Syracuse 28, Wake Forest 14

Montana State at No. 48 Utah
The Bobcats lost by only one point at Washington State last season and actually outgained the Cougars 407 to 316. Utah, however, isn’t Washington State.
Utah 34, Montana State 14

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Western Carolina at No. 50 Georgia Tech
Western Carolina ranked No. 106 among FCS schools in stopping the run. Not good. Georgia Tech might rush for 400 yards.
Georgia Tech 50, Western Carolina 7

No. 60 Kentucky vs. No. 110 Western Kentucky (at Nashville)
Western tailback Bobby Rainey averaged 127 yards rushing in four games against BCS conference foes last year, including 155 at Nebraska and 184 at Kentucky.
Kentucky 38, Western Kentucky 24

New Hampshire at No. 68 Toledo
Toledo scored 30 points or more in its final seven games last season. Eight starters, including 1,000-yard rusher (Adonis Thomas) and 1,000-yard receiver (Eric Page), are back.
Toledo 41, New Hampshire 20

North Carolina Central at No. 71 Rutgers
There’s no nice way to put this: North Carolina Central is very bad. It will be alarming if Rutgers doesn’t win by 40 points.
Rutgers 41, North Carolina Central 0

Murray State at No. 72 Louisville
The rebuilding Cardinals plan on playing three quarterbacks in the opener. Will Stein will start, but prized freshman Teddy Bridgewater and sophomore Dominique Brown will both play.
Louisville 30, Murray State 10

No. 109 North Texas at No. 90 FIU
Former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney is the new boss at North Texas. His first Sun Belt game is against the defending league champs.
FIU 28, North Texas 17

Villanova at No. 96 Temple
These Philly rivals meet in Week 1 for the third straight season. Villanova won on a last-second field goal in 2009. Temple won by seven last season. Expect a heavy dose of Bernard Pierce in Steve Addazio’s debut as the head coach.
Temple 30, Villanova 17

No. 100 Bowling Green at No. 103 Idaho
Robb Akey has done a great job at Idaho, but he will be coaching for the first time without Nathan Enderle taking snaps. It’s now Brian Reader’s time in Moscow.
Idaho 21, Bowling Green 20

South Carolina State at No. 101 Central Michigan
There’s pressure on Dan Enos to show significant improvement in his second season as the coach at CMU. We won’t know much about this team until it hits the heart of the MAC schedule in October.
Central Michigan 30, South Carolina State 14