56° Good Afternoon
56° Good Afternoon

Fearless predictions: Week 4

San Diego State at No. 22 Michigan (-10), 12 p.m.
Henry’s pick: San Diego State is 3-0. Big deal. Denard Robinson has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Wolverines. He’s averaging seven yards per carry and has passed for 531 yards and two touchdowns in the three games. OK, so the passing stats don’t stand out. Robinson is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. No way San Diego covers this one on the road. Michigan 43, San Diego State 17
Rose’s pick: New Michigan head coach Brady Hokes faces his old school. Both teams are unbeaten and the game could be close for a while. But San Diego State is ranked 98th nationally in rush defense. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson could have a big day running the ball. Michigan 38, San Diego State 24

North Carolina at No. 25 Georgia Tech (-6.5), 12 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Georgia Tech had it easy against Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Kansas. Orwin Smith is an exciting offensive player who has 270 yards rushing on 22.5 yards per carry and has four catches for 151 yards. North Carolina is 3-0, but wasn’t that impressive in wins over Rutgers and Virginia. Georgia Tech will roll. Georgia Tech 33, North Carolina 16
Rose’s pick: Georgia Tech is averaging 675 yards of total offense and 59 points per game. North Carolina plays good defense, especially when stopping the run, and has talent. Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington has 17 completions this season – seven of which have gone for touchdowns. North Carolina’s defense will need to guard against the big pass play. Georgia Tech 31, North Carolina 27

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (+7), 12 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Everyone knows the Fighting Irish’s 1-2 record isn’t what it seems. Tommy Rees has supplanted Dayne Crist as the starter at QB. More importantly, he’s been finding his top target, Michael Floyd. The Panthers followed two unimpressive wins over Buffalo and Maine with a bad loss to Iowa. Can’t imagine Notre Dame not scoring at least 38 in this one. Notre Dame 42, Pittsburgh 21
Rose’s pick: Notre Dame is coming off a much-needed win at home against Michigan State. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is coming off an awful collapse at Iowa. The Irish have momentum after two crushing losses to open the season. Turnovers continue to be a problem for Notre Dame. Tommy Rees and Michael Floyd, however, should have success against Pittsburgh, which is ranked 119th nationally in pass defense. Notre Dame 31, Pittsburgh 20

No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama (-11.5), 3:30 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Alabama has been hurting opponents on the ground (Trent Richardson – 315 yds, 6.3 yds per rush; Eddie Lacy – 304 yds, 10.9 yds per rush) and through the air. A.J. McCarron is completing 64 percent of his passes and has 579 yards. Arkansas will be game with Ronnie Wingo Jr. running the ball for a while, but the Razorbacks won’t be able to deal with the Crimson Tide’s running game late. Alabama 21, Arkansas 6
Rose’s pick: Arkansas nearly beat Alabama last season. Arkansas’s offense has been strong, averaging 47 points per game. Quarterback Tyler Wilson has thrown for 822 yards and five touchdowns. Alabama’s defense, however, is better than 2010 and among the nation’s best. Alabama’s A.J. McCarron has settled in nicely as the starting quarterback and Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy are a formidable running duo. There’s always something to worry about with a Bobby Petrino offense, but Alabama is playing at a high level defensively. Alabama 31, Arkansas 14

No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M (-4), 3:30 p.m.
Henry’s pick: The three cupcakes Oklahoma State faced didn’t lack any frosting. The Cowboys’ 59-33 win over Tulsa was especially a laugher. Brandon Weeden has thrown for 369 or more yards all three games. Texas A&M has also had a soft-as-tissue schedule. But the Aggies are at home and have outscored their opponents 83-21. Aggies QB Ryan Tannehill is off to a great start. Texas A&M 34, Oklahoma State 29
Rose’s pick: This should be a high-scoring thriller. Oklahoma State is averaging 52 points per game. Texas A&M is good as well, averaging 42 points per game. Oklahoma State is second nationally in total offense (601 yards per game). Texas A&M is 18th. Oklahoma State appears to have the advantage on offense with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon (the Cowboys are tied for first nationally in passing offense). But I think this game comes down to a defensive stand late. Texas A&M has the better defense (ranked 15th nationally). The Aggies will also get a big boost from the home crowd. Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma State 33

No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson (-2.5), 3:30 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Can the Seminoles recover from a tough home loss to the Sooners? They won’t if E.J. Manuel (shoulder) can’t play. Seminoles WR Jarred Haggins is out with a broken left hand. Clint Trickett is only a freshman, but he tossed a 56-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter against the Sooners last week. This is a tough one, but Clemson prevails. Clemson 24, Florida State 21
Rose’s pick: A huge game in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Clemson is rolling after last week’s win over Auburn, when Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins had a huge game through the air. There’s still uncertainty about whether E.J. Manuel, who injured his left shoulder against Oklahoma, will be the starting quarterback for the Seminoles. If not, Clint Trickett, who performed well against the Sooners in a tough spot, will start. Florida State’s running game has struggled this season and may be the key since Clemson’s run defense has not been good. But Florida State hasn’t won at Clemson since 2001. Clemson 24, Florida State 23

Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma (-21), 8 p.m.
Henry’s pick: This could be a tougher test than most people think. Oklahoma’s defense has been airtight. Offensively, Landry Jones struggled against Florida State, tossing two interceptions. Henry Josey is averaging a mind-boggling 13.8 yards per carry, but 263 of his 400 yards came against an overmatched Western Illinois team. Even so, Oklahoma will have a tough time covering. Oklahoma 37, Missouri 17
Rose’s pick: Missouri knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma last October in Columbia. You can bet Oklahoma remembers that game very well. Revenge will be on the minds of the Sooners. And this year’s game is in Norman, where the Sooners haven’t lost since 2005. Missouri gave up 37 points to Arizona State two weeks ago. Oklahoma’s offense is much better. Oklahoma 38, Missouri 17

No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia (+5.5), 8 p.m.
Henry’s pick: West Virginia’s Geno Smith threw for 388 yards against Maryland last week. Three of the Mountaineers’ receivers had at least 100 yards. It won’t be enough against LSU, which befuddled Mississippi State’s offense last week. Offensively, Spencer Ware and Michael Ford have been a great one-two punch on the ground. LSU 22, West Virginia 12
Rose’s pick: LSU’s stout defense goes up against West Virginia head coach/offensive guru Dana Holgerson and quarterback Geno Smith, who is coming off a big game against Maryland. West Virginia is averaging 42 points per game. But LSU’s defense has already shut down Oregon’s high-powered offense. LSU’s offense, which has been effective with Jarrett Lee at quarterback, gets a boost this week with the return of wide receiver Russell Shepard. LSU is used to playing in hostile environments in the SEC and hasn’t lost a non-conference game in the regular season since 2002. LSU 23, West Virginia 13

No. 10 Oregon at Arizona (+16), 10:15 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Oregon has been on a mission since its season-opening loss to LSU. Ducks QB Darron Thomas has 10 touchdown passes and one interception, while RB LaMichael James has 425 yards on the ground through three games. Arizona’s defense has been all but non-existent, surrendering 115 points in three games. Expect the same on Saturday. Oregon 44, Arizona 20
Rose’s pick: Last week it was Stanford. This week the Ducks come to the desert. Before that, Arizona was at Oklahom State. It’s a tough back-to-back-to-back for the Wildcats. Still, going to Arizona is never an easy trip. But Arizona is 84th nationally in rushing defense and 111th in total defense. Even with the home crowd and quarterback Nick Foles, that’s not going to get it done against LaMichael James and the Ducks. Oregon 41, Arizona 17

No. 23 USC at Arizona State (2.5), 10:15 p.m.
Henry’s pick: USC hasn’t been as overwhelming, but its wins over Minnesota, Utah and Syracuse should be lauded considering the circumstances (NCAA sanctions). Marc Tyler only had 41 yards on 15 carries in last week’s win over Syracuse. Arizona State’s loss at Illinois shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Illini are tough. Sun Devils QB Brock Osweiler has been steady and has great targets in Aaron Pflugrad and Gerell Robinson. USC 23, Arizona State 16
Rose’s pick: This game has been flying under the radar a bit this week. It should, however, be a great game. And it could put Arizona State in great position in the Pac-12 South (USC is ineligible for the division crown). USC hits the road for the first time with a 3-0 record and quarterback Matt Barkley playing very well. Also, the Trojans’ defense has improved since last season. Arizona State is the more battle-tested team with an overtime win over Missouri and a tough 17-14 road loss last week against a pretty good Illinois team. But the Sun Devils are banged up on defense and have lost 11 straight to USC. USC 23, Arizona State 20


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