Here’s a prediction: Frustrated.
Here’s a prediction: Tired.
Here’s a prediction: Relief.
For FSU, yes, the prediction is that the team will defeat Georgia Tech to move to 7-0, but it won’t come without some spotty moments. Even in a down year, the Yellow Jackets can do that to a team. Their option can look like a shell game where a defense always seems to be tackling the wrong guy. This is the problem with playing against an offense that no one else runs. A week of preparation isn’t enough.
So look for Tech’s offense to find some creases in FSU’s very-good run defense. After all, Tech averages 286.8 yards rushing per game.
But FSU’s offense woke up last week, and the Seminoles should be able to outscore the opponent in this one. Look for Everett Golson to continue his growth.
FSU 30, Georgia Tech 24
Clemson at Miami
Against both Cincinnati and FSU, Miami had the ball with a chance to win late. Neither time was it able to convert. There simply seems to be something missing from the Hurricanes that the great teams – and UM should know a little about those – have.
Once again, the Canes will be an underdog to Clemson and DeShaun Watkins. Watkins is one of those special big-play quarterbacks who should keep Miami on edge for most of the afternoon. He should find just enough space in the Hurricanes’ secondary to keep the Tigers unbeaten.
Clemson 27, Miami 17
SMU at USF
The Bulls have looked like a young team growing up the last two weeks, and they should continue to look that way this week. Oh, the schedule gets tougher for USF, but this week, the Bulls have an opponent they can exploit. SMU is giving up 570 yards per game in its 1-5 beginning. Much of the game will depend on how healthy Marlon Mack’s hamstring is.
USF 21, SMU 19.
Houston at UCF
The reeling UCF Knights get no break this week as unbeaten Houston, ranked 21st in the country, comes to town. Converted receiver-turned-quarterback Greg Ward Jr. should be all that the Knights can deal with. He has nine touchdown passes on the season. Houston also has the nation’s 40th-ranked offense. UCF quarterback Justin Holman threw for only 67 yards in last week’s loss to Temple, so it doesn’t look as if things will get better in a hurry.
Houston 38, UCF 13
FAU at UTEP
Can either of these teams win this one? FAU has looked good at times, but it has only one win on the year. UTEP has only two. If the Owls’ Jaquez Jones can play well, FAU has a good shot in this one. The Owls have been much more competitive this season than UTEP.
FAU 17, UTEP 13
Old Dominion at FIU
This is a little hard to figure. Old Dominion is ranked 103rd by CBS, and FIU is ranked 94th, yet both teams are talking about bowls. Really? FIU is a solid favorite in this one, although new quarterback David Washington gives hope to ODU. FIU should get enough offense from quarterback Alex McGough and running back Alex Gardner.
FIU 28, Old Dominion 20
Tampa Bay at Washington
The Redskins’ defense has actually been pretty good this year, which means a tough day for Doug Martin and the Bucs’ offense. Tampa Bay is looking for two straight wins for the first time under Lovie Smith. Washington, meanwhile, continues to insist that its nickname isn’t offensive. Maybe it’s just the quarterback play.
Tampa Bay 17, Washington 14
Houston at Miami
Are the Dolphins onto something with new coach Dan Campbell. Last week, Miami looked refocused and re-energized. The Texans have a pretty good defense, though, good enough to make the difference in a close one.
Houston 20, Miami 17
Buffalo vs. Jacksonville in London
This one will be played on the internet, which means the best hashtag could win. Blake Bortles is coming off a good week, while the Bills are without their quarterback. Buffalo has the better team on this side of the Atlantic, but does England know any different.
Jacksonville 23, Buffalo 20