NCAA College Football Week 5 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA College Football Week 5 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 4: Rick: 4-9; Coin: 8-5
Cumulative: Rick: 23-35-1; Coin: 33-25-1

Friday, September 27

7:00 pm Duke at Virginia Tech (-3, 52) - This should be a solid ACC contest. The Hokies are 2-1, while Duke, also 2-1, has only a loss to Alabama plus two blowout wins over NC A&T and Middle Tennessee.

Quentin Harris has spread the ball around for the Blue Devils and their defense is top-flight. For the Hokies, QB Ryan Willis has 7 TD passes, but has thrown four picks. Their loss was a 35-28 defeat at Boston College, flowed by wins over Old Dominion and Furman. At this juncture, Duke seems the more capable squad. Ball control will be key.

Coin Flip: Virginia Tech

Prediction: Blue Devils 31 Hokies 23

8:00 pm #12 Penn State (-6 1/2, 60) at Maryland - Maryland's offense is multi-dimensional with four capable backs and a bevy of receivers for QB Josh Jackson. Their blowout, 63-20, win over Syracuse in week two speaks volumes about the talent on this team. The Terps are 2-1 after losing at Temple last week, 20-17. Home field and a week off will help them in their effort this week

Penn State, 3-0, was flattered by Pitt, who upset Central Florida last week, after losing to the Nittany Lions on 9/14, 17-10. This suggests that Penn State could be an elite team, but Maryland appears very competitive here.

Coin Flip: Maryland

Prediction: Terrapins 34 Nittany Lions 31

10:30 pm Arizona State at #15 California (-4 1/2, 40) - The Sun Devils (3-1) can claim to be a contender in the PAC-12 on the strength of a 10-7 win over Michigan State, a game marred by sluggish offense and plenty of mistakes on both sides.

Cal offers a trio of solid runners, including QB Chase Garbers, a 4-0 record and wins over both Washington (20-19) and Ole Miss (28-20) . Their defense is equal to Arizona State's and home field is a plus. All they have to do is win the field position game and outscore the Sun Devils by 6, achievable goals.

Coin Flip: Arizona State

Prediction: Golden Bears 24 Sun Devils 17

Saturday, September 28

12:00 pm Texas Tech at #6 Oklahoma (-27, 72) - Texas Tech is 2-1, including a loss two weeks ago at Arizona, 28-14. The Red Raiders may have been able to run up the score on the likes of Montana State and UTEP, but that isn't likely to be the case against the powerful Sooners.

Oklahoma is averaging 55.7 points per game, led by Jalen Hurts and his 80% completion rate, nine TDs and no picks. He's also rushed for 373 yards on 38 carries. It's conceivable that Tech could win this game, but only in a fantasy world.

Coin Flip: Texas Tech

Prediction: Sooners 56 Red Raiders 17

12:00 pm Northwestern at #8 Wisconsin (-24, 46) - This looks like the blowout of the weekend. Wisconsin, and running back Jonathan Taylor just wiped the stadium surface with Michigan, whipping the Wolverines, 35-14. Also, those 14 points are the only ones scored on the Badger defense in their 3-0 record. That's bad news for the Wildcats, as they've averaged just 19 points per game, going 1-2.

Taylor has 440 yards rushing on 58 carries, with seven TDs. Northwestern will only be able to contain him for a short while. Along with Ohio State, the Badgers are the team to beat in the Big Ten.

Coin Flip: Northwestern

Prediction: Badgers 38 Wildcats 10

12:00 pm #23 Texas A&M (-23 1/2, 72) at Arkansas - Both teams are 2-2, but the Aggie losses have come against Clemson and Auburn, both ranked teams, whereas the Razorbacks lost to Ole Miss, 31-17, and San Jose State, 31-24.

A&M is coming off a 28-20 loss at home to Auburn, in a game that wasn't ever in doubt. The Tigers had the Aggies all day. Arkansas' offense may be perking up at the right time. Not saying they can win, but they may make it interesting.

Coin Flip: Texas A&M

Prediction: Aggies 41 Razorbacks 24

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