Conferences in the Crosshairs: The U, Dawgs stay hot

Ken Cross

October 10, 2017 at 11:45 am.

Oct 7, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) throws the ball during the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Photo Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 7, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) throws the ball during the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Photo Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Hurricanes Announce Their ACC Arrival Under Mark Richt

Watching Malik Rosier drive Miami 75 yards in nine plays and then hit Darrell Langham on a 23-yard game-winning touchdown pass with six seconds remaining woke up the memories of the greatness of “The U.” The team’s run saw five national championships from Howard Schnellenberger to Jimmy Johnson and then Dennis Erickson into Larry Coker’s national championship in 2001. Butch Davis didn’t win a national title, but he kept the bar high from 1995-2000.

If the Hurricanes are not back, then they are close.

Last week was an excellent week picking winners and then to be eight games under .500 vs. the spread three weeks ago and now rise to three above at 37-34 makes me feel that a serious trip to the desert should be in store.


Georgia Tech at Miami – The Hurricanes have a bounce back week against a Yellow Jackets squad that had a bye week. Miami has to adapt, as running back Mark Walton is out for the season with an ankle injury. Backup Travis Homer has run well so far and Mark Richt is potentially going to move wide receiver DeeJay Dallas back to running back. FSU rushed for 203 yards last week, so Miami’s defense has to be in lockdown mode against the Jackets’ triple option.
Hurricanes 27, Yellow Jackets (+7) 23.

Clemson at Syracuse – Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant left Saturday’s 28-14 win over Wake Forest with an ankle injury, but is expected to play. The Orange is 3-3 and seems improved with the up-tempo, hurry-up offense. The key for Syracuse is that it hasn’t faced a team even remotely as tough on both sides of the ball as No. 2 Clemson. Watch Travis Etienne at running back for the Tigers, as he is proving to be another stable runner. Friday the 13th on the road has no effect on the sky-rocketing Tigers.
Clemson (-22 1/2) 44, Syracuse 20.

NC State at Pitt – The Wolfpack announced their arrival into the ACC title hunt with the 39-25 win over Louisville on Thursday night. They boast a defensive line of four seniors who are all NFL quality and who are tough for any offensive line to block. End Bradley Chubb was around Louisville’s Lamar Jackson all evening in that game, posting two sacks. Pitt is rebuilding and struggling on both sides of the football. State quarterback Ryan Finley should be able to manipulate a Panthers pass defense that is 112th in the nation.
Wolfpack (-12) 30, Panthers 17.

Florida State at Duke – Seminoles true-freshman quarterback James Blackman is growing up in the position. He led FSU on a beautifully called touchdown drive that gave the ‘Noles a late 20-17 lead over Miami before Rosier’s heroics. Both of these teams are hurting and desperate for a win. The Blue Devils lost at Virginia, 28-21, as the defense couldn’t get off the field in the second half. Virginia was 7-of-11 on third down.
Seminoles (-7) 31, Blue Devils 20.

Boston College at Louisville – The Cardinals have struggled defensively against both Clemson and N.C. State. Lamar Jackson was at around 400 total yards in both games as he kept Louisville in the game in the loss to the Wolfpack until late in the fourth quarter. Louisville is still 23rd in the nation against the run,so BC has to throw to have a shot on the road. The Cardinals will be back in form on Saturday.
Cardinals (-21 1/2) 34, Eagles 12.

Virginia at North Carolina – The Cavaliers are a quiet 4-1 and confidence is booming in Charlottesville after the win over Duke, who has improved. Bronco Mendenhall vowed after the game that Virginia would never be passive in its approach and that is working. The next three games are at the Tar Heels, BC at home and at Pitt. Virginia could have seven wins before facing Georgia Tech, Miami, Louisville, and Virginia Tech to close the season.
Cavaliers (-4) 23, Tar Heels 17.


Utah at USC – The Trojans and Utes are still in the national title mix with one loss each after Utah was taken down by Stanford, 23-20, on Saturday. Back-up quarterback Troy Williams threw interceptions on back-to-back fourth quarter possessions when the Utes were trying to rally. USC needed a tune-up game such as Oregon State to get ready for this type of matchup. Utah only allows 99 yards per game through the air, but this USC passing attack is deep with lots of nuances. Sam Darnold completed passes to 13 different Trojans on Saturday as Tyler Vaughns was the leader this week with five catches for 68 yards.
Trojans 33, Utes (+12 1/2) 24.

Washington State at Cal – The Cougars’ defense traveled well as they held the Oregon Ducks to 277 total yards in the 33-10 win as Oregon was without starting quarterback Justin Herbert. It was Washington State’s first road game and the Cougs were undeterred in a tough environment. Cal has dropped three Pac-12 games in a row after starting 3-0. Cal quarterback Ross Bowers has had trouble with interceptions, but has a viable duo in Vic Wharton and Kanawai Noa to use to spread the field.
Cougars 38, Bears 17.

Washington at Arizona State – This is a tough matchup for the Sun Devils who have struggled on defense all season. The weaponry in the Huskies’ offense could have this game decided by halftime. Huskies quarterback Jake Browning has completed 70 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, while Myles Gaskin averages 5.9 yards per carry and has scored eight of Washington’s 16 rushing touchdowns.
Huskies (-17 1/2) 41, Sun Devils 13.

Oregon at Stanford – The Ducks-Cardinal matchup is interesting in the Pac-12 North hunt for literally the state of Washington. Oregon had trouble mounting offense against Wazzu. True-freshman Braxton Burmeister struggled in his opener as he had two interceptions and lost a fumble while being sacked four times. The Cardinal have had trouble on defense all season in all phases. Stanford will use Bryce Love to control the ball and break away to win a close game.
Cardinal (-10 1/2) 35, Ducks 24.

UCLA at Arizona – This may be the best and most overlooked football game of the weekend. Josh Rosen’s stock continues to rise with receivers Darren Andrews, Caleb Wilson and Jordan Lasley as a tough matchup on the perimeter of any defense. The Wildcats’ rushing attack is real behind quarterback Brian Dawkins, who has a stable of backs with which to operate. These are the top two offenses in the Pac-12 as UCLA is sixth in the nation and Arizona check in at 16th.
Wildcats (-1) 45, Bruins 35.

Colorado at Oregon State – Gary Andersen was released Monday as the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers as OSU has shown no signs of life, losing its last four games by an average of 32 points per game. Colorado is 0-3 in the Pac-12 after Saturday’s 45-42 loss to Arizona. Phillip Lindsay rushed for 281 yards and will have a field day on Saturday.
Buffaloes (-12 1/2) 33, Beavers 13.

Straight Up – Last week – 8-3
Overall – 57-19

Vs. the Spread – Last week – 7-4
Overall – 37-34

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