Can Jameis Winston and the Seminoles tame the Tigers in this atmosphere?
*Team rankings based on Sports & Swag power rankings
5. Florida State (-3.5) at 3. Clemson – (ABC – 8pm ET) When looking at this game its very difficult to not get caught up in both offenses. What they bring to the table, and thinking that this game will ultimately come down to who has the ball last. That just may be the case. Both quarterbacks, FSU’s Jameis Winston and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, are having fantastic seasons. Both are very much in the Heisman race, and both are the centerpiece of their respective team.
However, I think this game could have more of a defensive element to it, even though the score may not reflect it. I look for a big defensive play to be the difference. Both defenses are stacking up huge numbers. Clemson leads the nation with 24 sacks and is only giving up slightly over 12 points per game since the 38-35 win over Georgia, to start the season. FSU, is also giving up 12 points per game. Conversely, the ‘Noles are scoring 54 points per game, while Clemson averages about 44. I look for this game to be somewhere in between.
Surprisingly, to me anyway, FSU is about a 3 point favorite. I went with the Seminoles to win the ACC in my ACC preview before the season. I can’t go against them now. I pick the ‘Noles in a close one……. FSU 34 Clemson 30
8. UCLA at 12. Stanford (-4.5) – (ABC – 3:30pm ET) The Bruins open their brutal 2 game stretch at Stanford, in a game where they’re seeking revenge for two losses to the Cardinal last season. The last, being the PAC-12 championship game, 27-24. The Bruins have lost five in a row to Stanford overall. For that streak to end, Brett Hundley must do better than his total of 438 yard passing in the two games against Stanford last season. Then again, Hundley’s running out of the read-option will be important also.
For Stanford, the defense has to step up. Something the Cardinal D has not done the last couple of weeks. Stanford’s offense is not built to score a ton of points. In fact, if not for their Mr. Do-it-al, Ty Montgomery, the Cardinal would have lost two weeks ago to Washington as well. Someone else must step up and provide offense.
On one hand, you would have to think revenge for UCLA would be a huge factor in this game. On the other hand, Stanford is coming off of their first loss of the season. I think Stanford bounces back from the loss to Utah and beat the Bruins…… Stanford 27 UCLA 20
Other games of note: Predicted winners in bold
Florida (-3) at 13. Missouri – Mizzou starts freshman, Matty Mauk to go up against Florida’s stingy D. Close game, but Tigers have a pretty good D that should hold the Gators in check.
Auburn at 7. Texas A&M (–14.5) – First year Auburn coach, Gus Malzahn has done a tremendous job, but it won’t be enough today. Manziel and the Aggies too much for the Tigers.
USC at Notre Dame (-3) Even with not much on the line this matchup always has Swag. The Irish are at home. I’m going with the Irish.
- College Football – Week 8 Power Rankings: FSU and Clemson move up before battle in Death Valley (sportsandswag.com)