NCAA Week 4 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA Week 4 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 2 Results: Rick 9-7; Coin: 9-7
Cumulative: Rick: 29-23-2; 25-27-2

Thursday, September 23

7:30 pm Marshall at Appalachian State (-7, 58 1/2) - Marshall lost a close one last week, ambushed by East Carolina, 42-38. Other than that loss, the wins over Navy (49-7) and NC Central (44-10) were solid.

The Mountaineers bested the aforementioned East Carolina team, 33-19, in the opening weekend, lost at Miami, 25-23, and crushed tiny Elon, 44-10. AppSt is as good as the sun belt has to offer, but Marshall will give them all they want.

Coin Flip: Appalachian State

Prediction: Mountaineers 30 Thundering Herd 27


Friday, September 24

7:00 pm Wake Forest at Virginia (-4, 67) - At 3-0, Wake is woke. Their 35-14 win over Florida State last weekend was unexpected, but now they've beaten their opponents by a combined score of 108-40. Sam Hartman has been on target in the passing game, and sophomore AT Perry rushed for 155 against the Seminoles. The defense is top notch.

Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong threw for 554 yards and RB Donation Wicks rushed for 183 in a 59-39 losing effort at North Carolina last week. That may be a worse defeat than it looks, as Virginia Tech, which beat NC earlier this season, was topped by West Virginia, 27-21.

The Deacons, who defeated Virginia last season, 40-23, have been on the fringes of the ACC for years. This may be a breakthrough season due to experience at skill positions and many returnees on defense.

Coin Flip: Virginia

Prediction: Demon Deacons 37 Cavaliers 31


10:00 pm UNLV at #22 Fresno State (-30 1/2, 58 1/2) - Fresno State got some respect when they lost by a touchdown 9/4 at Oregon, but were upgraded by last week's 40-37 win at UCLA. They are going to go far this season so long as QB Jake Haener stays healthy.

While the victory over the Bruins wasn't pretty for the defense, Haener threw for 455 yards, 136 of which went to Ronnie Rivers. Haener also threw the game-winning TD pass with 14 seconds left to pull off the stunning upset.

UNLV probably won't put up much of a struggle. They're 0-3 and were buried the last two weeks by Arizona State (37-10) and Iowa State (48-3).

Coin Flip: Fresno State

Prediction: Bulldogs 49 Rebels 10



Saturday, September 25

12:00 pm #12 Notre Dame at #18 Wisconsin (-5 1/2, 46 1/2) - Will Wisconsin be ready for this visit from the Irish? After their 16-10 loss to Penn State in their opener, they toppled Eastern Michigan, 34-7 and then took a week off. Defensively, they are sound, but the offense still has question marks, especially at running back. Still, the oddsmakers have them favored here.

Notre Dame has not impressed in any of their three wins this season. defeating Florida State in overtime and downing Toledo, 32-29, before last week's 27-13 win over Purdue. They've had enough playing time to figure out what's working and what isn't, so they should be capable of handling a mid-ranked squad like the Badgers. Losing at home is frowned upon and coach Kelly should have his kids ready to rock.

Coin Flip: Wisconsin

Prediction: Fighting Irish 26 Badgers 24


12:00 pm LSU (-2 1/2, 56) at Mississippi State - The 2-1 Tigers lost their opener at UCLA, but bounced back with wins over cupcakes, McNeese and Central Michigan. Sophomore QB Max Johnson may not be the second coming of Joe Burrow, but he's capable, improved from last season, and doesn't make big mistakes. LSU's defense will probably improve as the season progresses. Their big meeting with Alabama isn't until November, but they have to win all their conference games, making each one crucial.

The bulldogs also are 2-1 after taking one on the chin last week at Memphis, 31-29. That may not be as bad a loss as it appears because MS previously beat Louisiana Tech, 35-34, and outmuscled NC State, 24-10 (The Wolfpack play Clemson this week and are only 10-point underdogs.) The Bulldogs don't offer much of a rushing attack, but QB Will Rogers has already thrown for 1083 yards in three games with eight TDs and just one pick. The Bulldog defense is already good.

There's some bad blood here as the Bulldogs topped LSU last season in their opener, 44-34, and that was at LSU. The Bulldogs may tear up the Tigers again.

Coin Flip: Mississippi State

Prediction: Bulldogs 24 Tigers 17


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