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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 3 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 3 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 16-18, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, Sept. 16

Cincinnati at NC State (-2, 55), 7:30 pm - The Wolfpack is 2-0 and looking to stay undefeated, while the Bearcats are just starting to become accustomed to life without Tony Pike, Mardy Gilyard and coach Brian Kelly, and the change has not been an easy one. Fresno State took the opener from the Bearcats, 28-14, and Cincinnati came back to beat Indiana State - not saying much - so here's a real test on the road.

Neither team is proficient on defense, but the Wolfpack will get a boost by being at home. They seem to be hitting a nice stride offensively, starting with QB Russell Wilson, who has already tossed 5 TD passes without an interception. With the Bearcats looking for an offensive identity, the relevant stat is that NC State is 6-2 SU in their last 8 home games. Sounds good enough to take this one.

Prediction: Wolfpack 31 Bearcats 20


Friday, Sept. 17

Kansas at Southern Miss (-3 1/2, 49), 8:00 pm - OK, now Kansas is really an enigma. First, they lose to North Dakota State, 6-3, then come back the following week to pull off the stunner of the weekend with a 28-25 win over Georgia Tech. It would appear that Week 1 was more an aberration and that the real Jayhawks stood up against the Yellow Jackets.

Why the Golden Eagles are nearly a favorite eludes most levels of intellect, except that they're at home and the Jayhawks are 1-4 in their last 5 road games. That stat may be misleading, however, because it dates back to the end of the prior season, when Kansas was undergoing a kind of mass proctology due to a coaching scandal. Plus, three of those five road games were against Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas St., traditionally tough places to play. Toss the stats as stale and look for Kansas to get a better feel for their young offense and coach Turner Gill's system.

Prediction: Jayhawks 27 Golden Eagles 21


California (-3, 66) at Nevada, 10:00 pm - Cal is looking mighty tough after whipping Colorado last week, 52-7 and UC Davis in their opener, 52-3. Not only is the offense clicking, but the defense seems capable of handling anything Nevada might run or throw at them.

The Wolf Pack aren't looking too bad themselves, 2-0 after last week's crushing, 51-6 win over Colorado State. The road trip shouldn't bother Cal's players much as it isn't a very long ride. Even though both teams have put up big offensive numbers, coaches are preaching defense and the Cal squad might be a little better. Nevada certainly won't back down, but with the line so slender, look for Cal to come through in a close one.

Prediction: Golden Bears 24 Wolf Pack 17


Saturday, Sept. 18

Georgia Tech at North Carolina (-1 1/2, 50 1/2), 12:00 pm - Being totally punked by Kansas last week in a 28-25 loss, Georgia looks to rebound, but that's a tall order as they must travel once again.

Making matters worse is that they're headed down Tobacco Road to play the Tar Heels, still angry over a close call loss to LSU in their opener. Carolina was without about a dozen players due to NCAA issues, yet still almost won the game thanks to a terrific effort from senior QB T.J. Yates. He will have tailback Shaun Draughn alongside as he's been cleared to play after sitting out the opener. Other players, including much of the defense, are still awaiting word from the NCAA.

North Carolina has had a week off to lick their wounds, and should be really wound up after a week off. Georgia Tech, at one time among the favorites to win the ACC, will not have an easy time of it, especially if the Tar Heels get more players off suspension.

Prediction: Tar Heels 28 Yellow Jackets 14


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Maryland at West Virginia (-10, 45), 12:00 pm - Maryland has shown a great deal thus far, beating Navy in their opener, 17-14, and then running all over Morgan State, 62-3. This is a team that must be taken seriously. The Terrapins won't throw the ball much, but they do have a seemingly endless string of quality running backs and if they can generate any kind of offense early, will wear down the Mountaineers, a team fortunate to prevail at Marshall last week in overtime.

The 10-point nut is a lot to ask of any team, though West Va. has home field, but the way Maryland hosed down the Navy offense and the overall lackadaisical approach the Mountaineers seem to be taking to the field this season, will make just getting a win tough. It's possible that Maryland isn't really as good as they appear to be, but, if they are, those 10 points might not even be necessary.

Prediction: Terrapins 23 Mountaineers 21


Arkansas at Georgia (-2 1/2, 54) 12:00 pm - The Bulldogs had no answers for the stiff South Carolina defense in last week's 17-6 road loss and can only wonder what Arkansas will bring to the defensive table.

The Razorbacks weren't much on defense last season, and little could be gleaned from their first two games this season, in which they blew out Tennessee Tech, 44-3, and Louisiana-Monroe, 31-7. They do know that Ryan Mallett will be hoisting the ball with regularity, though. He's already thrown six TD passes, but also tossed in a couple of picks, so the Georgia secondary will be engaged in some ball-hawking.

Arkansas has never beaten Georgia in five tries, though judging by last year's 52-41 win, the Bulldogs didn't really stop the Mallett express. Georgia may be without RB Caleb King, listed as questionable. Should be a battle royal, but take the Hogs on the hunch that Mallett outguns Bulldog QB Aaron Murray.

Prediction: Razorbacks 42 Bulldogs 35


East Carolina at Virginia Tech (-17 1/2, 58), 1:30 pm - One would not want to be a part of any Hokies' practice sessions this week after their humbling loss to James Madison. Not only was it a school so small most people don't even know they have a football program, but it made West Virginia 0-2, so they're going to be full bore coming out against the 2-0 Pirates.

East Carolina has looked excellent under new head coach Ruffin McNeill, topping Tulsa, 51-49, in their opener and punishing Memphis, 49-27, after a short work week. These two teams know each other well and this series has turned into a spirited regional rivalry.

The loss to Boise State was a close call for the Hokies, and the ensuing defeat by James Madison was likely an emotional hangover, but good teams aren't supposed to do these things, so maybe V-Tech is just a little overrated. East Carolina will be running into an angry team, but they have some pretty good players and should keep this one close and maybe steal a win.

Prediction: Pirates 30 Hokies 28

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, 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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