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Fearless Predictions

Stony Brook wide receiver Adrian Coxson during the

Stony Brook wide receiver Adrian Coxson during the red and white scrimmage. (April 22, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Stony Brook @ Syracuse, 4:00 p.m.: The challenge for Stony Brook will be slowing down a Syracuse offense that put up 41 points against Northwestern and 29 on USC. Offense shouldn’t be an issue for the Seawolves, who features arguably the best FCS RB combo in Miguel Maysonet and Marcus Coker. But again, this game will be about the Stony Brook defense. Orange QB Ryan Nassib is 75-for-112 for 804 yards and 6 TDs through two games. But he has thrown three interceptions, which could work in Stony Brook’s favor at some point. In the end Syracuse’s offense will be too much for Stony Brook. But it will be close for a while. The pick: Syracuse 46, Stony Brook 27.

No.2 USC @ No.21 Stanford, 7:30 p.m.: Stanford has won four of the last five meetings between these two, including last season’s three OT thriller. This time there’s no Andrew Luck for the Cardinal to lean on. Matt Barkley has already thrown for 559 yards and 10 touchdowns. Penn State transfer Silas Redd has been just what the Trojans have needed. He sliced through the Syracuse defense for 107 yards on 15 carries in last week’s 42-29 win. Can’t see Stanford containing Redd and Barkley. The pick: USC 37, Stanford 19.

No. 20 Notre Dame @ No. 10 Michigan State, 8:00 p.m.: Michigan State has yet to allow an offensive touchdown. With their mammoth-sized defensive line, moving the ball on the ground will be touch on the Fighting Irish. But Notre Dame may have a remedy in starting QB Everett Golson. Tommy Rees is eligible to play, but Golson is a dual-threat QB who has the ability to keep defenses guessing. Notre Dame RB Cierre Wood is also eligible to play. Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly plans to insert Wood into the offense at some point during the game. This is a classic matchup featuring two teams that are fighting to gain national respect. Michigan State already earned it in their season-opening win over Boise State. The pick: Michigan State 24, Notre Dame 15.

No. 18 Florida @ No. 23 Tennessee, 6:00 p.m.: Is Florida back? And is Tennessee for real? The Volunteers are back in the AP top 25 for the first time since 2008. Tyler Bray, who’s completed 73.8 percent of his passes and has 643 yards and 6 TDs deserves a lot of credit. It’s worth noting that he did this against North Carolina State and Georgia State. That notwithstanding, Bray is the real deal. It’s also worth noting that Florida has not been that impressive. The Gators struggled in their 27-14 win over Bowling Green and their 20-17 win at Texas A&M. Unfortunately for the Gators, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and corner back Cody Riggs will miss Saturday’s game with injuries. That should open the door for Tennessee’s offense. The pick: Tennessee 33, Florida 21.

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