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Fearless Rick's 2013-14 College Football Week 2 - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | September 5-7, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 5

7:30 pm Florida Atlantic at East Carolina (-20 1/2, 54) - Coming off a 34-6 loss at Miami on Friday, the Owls have to travel again, meeting up with East Carolina, a 52-38 victor over Old Dominion on Saturday. The Pirates threw for 447 yards against ODU, and the Owls didn't show much on defense in the way of stopping the Hurricanes, thus the outstanding point spread.

After favorites covered a plethora of games on the opening weekend, it's difficult to imagine Florida Atlantic keeping pace with the Pirates, especially when they're on the road and a day short on the practice schedule.

Prediction: Pirates 48 Owls 21


10:00 pm Sacramento State at Arizona State (-35, 60) - Coming off a 24-0 loss to San Jose State, the Sacramento State Hornets will not get any rest against the Sun Devils, who open their season at home.

Arizona State showed up on quite a number of pre-season polls, an indication that they may be poised to take a run at the PAC-12 title after going 8-5 last season, culminating in a 62-28 blowout of Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl last December.

This will almost surely be another blowout. West of the Mississippi, the Sun Devils have one of the more proficient offenses, and their defense is pretty good, from scouting reports. AZST likes to start fast, as they did last season, whipping Northern Arizona, 63-6, in their season opener, and Illinois, 45-14, the following week.

Prediction: Sun Devils 54 Hornets 10


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Friday, September 6

8:00 pm Wake Forest at Boston College (-3, 48 1/2) - Both teams are coming off wins in their seasonal openers, Boston College a 24-14 winner at home over Villanova, while Wake Forest thumped Presbyterian, 31-7, also at home.

The ACC being a wickedly tough conference, this early conference game could go a long way toward bowl berthings, though, seriously, neither team stands much chance of winning the Atlantic Division, which includes Florida State and Clemson.

Wake Forest went 3-5 in the ACC last year, one of their wins a 28-14 victory over the Eagles. This one is on the road for the Deacons, and BC, despite a 2-10 record last season, is on the improve.

Prediction: Eagles 24 Demon Deacons 17


8:00 pm UCF (-24, 53) at Florida International - Maryland pounded FIU last week, rolling up 576 yards of offense on the Golden Panthers, so there's little surprise that they're heavy underdogs on the road at Central Florida, 1-0 in the new American Athletic conference after smashing Akron, 38-7.

However, this is the home opener for the Panthers, and they turning a corner last season, winning two of their last three games.

UCF features a stingy defense, so FIU will have to convert more than their share of first downs and maybe use some razzle-dazzle to keep the ball away from the Kinghts' offense. The Golden Panthers may not win the game outright, but they'll give the home fans their money's worth with a solid effort.

Prediction: Knights 24 Golden Panthers 16


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Saturday, September 7

12:00 pm South Florida at Michigan State (-24, 44) - Once considered an up-and-coming program, South Florida has regressed in recent year, to the point at which they opened their 2013 campaign with a horrific, 53-21, loss at home to McNeese State, not exactly a powerhouse program.

The Spartans opened their season with a 26-13 win over a solid Western Michigan squad and appears ready to rumble once again in the Big Ten.

With little offense to speak of and a defense that resembles various slices of Swiss cheese, the Bulls will have no answer for the multi-faceted attack of Michigan State.

Prediction: Spartans 41 Bulls 10


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12:00 pm Cincinnati (-8, 54) at Illinois - Coming off an impressive, 42-7, victory over Purdue in their opener on Saturday, the Bearcats may be one of just a few teams that can challenge Louisville in the re-aligned American Athletic conference. The Bearcats possess an explosive offense, though the defense was hardly tested by the Boilermaekers.

Illinois struggled to a 42-34 win over Southern Illinois, but they showed a deal of resolve, coming away with the win after going just 2-10 last season. With a solid recruiting class and no notable injuries, the Illini should be able to keep this one close, the key advantage being home field and the fact that they have not yet tasted defeat.

Illinois is 1-9 ATS in their last ten, the sole cover coming against Purdue, an ominous sign that the trend is about to be broken.

Prediction: Bearcats 34 Fighting Illini 30


12:00 pm Florida (-3, 49) at Miami (FL) - Sunshine state bragging rights are on the line in this SEC-ACC contest, with the Gators getting the slightest of nods on the road after their hard-earned, 24-6 home win over Toledo last weekend.

The Hurricanes blew away Florida Atlantic, 34-6, and have won their last three at home. These two haven't met since 2008, so comparisons are somewhat meaningless, though the Gators have lost four of the last five meetings.

In what will be considered a minor upset, look for the Hurricanes to capitalize on any Florida errors and go to 2-0 in a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: Hurricanes 20 Gators 17


3:30 pm San Diego State at Ohio State (-28, 54 1/2) - The Aztecs were stunned in their season opener by Eastern Illinois, 40-19, but look to bounce back against the Buckeyes, who struggled against Buffalo, eventually winning by a 40-20 score, though the defense looked ragged and out-of-sync at many points of the game.

Ohio State is supposed to cruise through their season after going undefeated while on suspension last year. With a tougher Big Ten schedule facing them, they should prevail here, though they may be looking past San Diego State here and suffer mental lapses which could cost them.

This will probably look like an easy win for Ohio State when the final gun sounds, but it will be anything but convincing in reality. The line is overly large.

Prediction: Buckeyes 34 Aztecs 17


3:30 pm Oregon (-22, 61) at Virginia - The Cavaliers are coming off a 19-16 win over BYU, a confidence-builder in advance of playing the invading Ducks, one of the best teams in the NCAA.

The Ducks ran it up on poor Nicholls State, 66-3, setting a school record for offense, with 772 yards from scrimmage, including 500 on the ground. Three different Ducks rushed for more than 100 yards.

While Virginia may be contentious in the ACC this season, the Ducks are too tough to contain, much less beat. Oregon will probably have the line covered by the half and bring in some quality subs by the third quarter. The pace at which they run their offense should leave the Cavalier defense in tatters.

Prediction: Ducks 55 Cavaliers 21

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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