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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 5 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 27-29, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 27

9:00 pm Stanford (-7, 49) at Washington - 2-1 Huskies were hammered by LSU, 41-3, sandwiched in between wins over San Diego State (21-12) and Portland State (52-13, Sept. 15) and gets the Cardinal at home with sights set on making waves in the PAC-12.

Both teams have had extra time to prepare for this game, as Stanford is still basking in their 21-14 victory over then-#1 USC on the 15th of September. The Cardinal hasn't allowed more than 17 points in any of their three wins (3-0) and should have a field day against Washington's so-so defense.

Stanford has won eight straight road games, dating back to 2010, and has beaten the Huskies the last three times they've played in Seattle, including a 41-0 mashing in 2010. Stepfan Taylor should run wild for Stanford en route to an easy win.

Prediction: Cardinal 34 Huskies 14


Friday, September 28

8:00 pm Hawaii at Brigham Young (-27 1/2, 50 1/2) - Both teams have two losses, but Hawaii's have been more significant, losing to USC, 49-10, and Nevada, 69-24, last week. On September 15, the Warriors took down Lamar, 54-2, for their sole victory.

BYU lost their last two, both on the road: at Utah, 24-21, and at Boise State, last Thursday, 7-6. The Cougars are a more capable bunch and solid at home, but if the Warriors can keep the turnovers to a minimum and work on favorable field position, they may keep this close enough to cover. An iffy proposition at best, but BYU is not an elite program this season and they have to win by four TDs to cover.

Prediction: Cougars 38 Warriors 19


Saturday, September 29

12:00 pm Baylor at West Virginia (-12 1/2, 79) - Somewhat of a surprise to see the Bears such large underdogs considering they are 3-0, same as the Mountaineers. Baylor has proven it can light up the scoreboard, averaging 51.3 ppg, fifth-best in the country.

West Virginia is right up there offensively, at 47.3, tenth in the nation. The Mountaineers have a slightly better defense, though that may prove insignificant given the large spread in this contest.

Baylor QB Nick Florence has tossed 11 TD passes and 4 picks and leads a spread offense that is tough to defend, but Geno Smith is completing 81.4 percent of his passes with 12 TDs and no picks. This being both teams' Big 12 opener, the stats should prove to be insignificant once the hitting begins.

Prediction: Baylor 41 Mountaineers 38


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3:30 pm Tennessee at Georgia (-13, 61 1/2) - Georgia has compiled a 4-0 record and scored 40 or more points in each of its wins, including last Saturday's 48-3 pounding of Vanderbilt. QB Aaron Murray has been efficient and freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have the Bulldogs looking like a national title contender, to say nothing of the defense, allowing 16.5 ppg.

Tennessee's only loss was to Florida, 37-20, but the Volunteers rebounded nicely with a 47-26 win over Akron to go to 3-1. Tyler Bray is throwing the ball well, but the defense has been shaky, giving up big plays with alarming regularity. Since the Bulldogs like to run the ball, the Vols may be able to scheme with eight men in the box at times, limiting Georgia's big-play potential and keep this one close enough for the cover.

Prediction: Bulldogs 34 Volunteers 27


3:30 pm Ohio State at Michigan State (-3, 43 1/2) - The Spartans have a defense (11.8 ppg) that can handle Ohio State. Only Notre Dame has scored more than 13 points against the Spartans, handing them their only loss, 20-3, two weeks back.

Ohio State is 4-0, but has struggled defensively at times in wins over Miami (OH), UCF, Cal and UAB, mostly no-name squads, whereas Michigan State poses bigger, swifter and better.

The Spartans won last season's meeting, 10-7, and this one has a similar makeup. OSU's Braxton Miller will likelyt be running for his life against the relentless pursuit of the Spartans linemen and backers.

Prediction: Spartans 24 Buckeyes 16


3:30 pm Virginia Tech (-7, 45) at Cincinnati - The Bearcats have played just two games, won them both handily, and have had two weeks to prepare for the Hokies, an angry bunch after losing at Pittsburgh, 35-17, as evidenced by last week's rout of Bowling Green, 37-0.

Virginia Tech's defense will have to step it up against a solid, though unspectacular Cincy offense, and they are capable of getting the job done. The Bearcats may not have many answers for Tech's rushing attack, which piled up 246 yards last week.

Prediction: Hokies 28 Bearcats 14


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3:30 pm Central Michigan at Northern Illinois (-10, 58 1/2) - Pretty good Mid-America conference between perennial powerhouses. The Chippewas upset the Huskies last year, 48-41, but then went on to lose six of their last seven games.

Central Michigan upset Iowa last week, 32-31, on the road and appears poised for a good effort to open conference play.

The Huskies lost their opener to Iowa, 18-17, at home, but have righted the ship with three straight wins including last week's surprising 30-23 win over Kansas. Northern Illinois is very tough at home and won't allow a repeat of last season's loss to Central Michigan.

Prediction: Huskies 38 Chippewas 21


3:30 pm Clemson (-10, 60) at Boston College - Clemson is clicking at 39 points per outing and the Eagles don't have the defensive posture to hang with them even though they're at home.

The only loss for the 3-1 Tigers came last week at Florida State, 49-37, but even in defeat Clemson looked top-notch while the Eagles have been ordinary going 2-1 with losses to Miami (FL), 41-32, and at Northwestern, 22-13.

Look for Clemson to get back on track, scoring early and often in one of this week's biggest routs.

Prediction: Tigers 42 Eagles 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, 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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