Hello everyone! PU here.
We have made it to Week 4 of the NCAA 2019 season. About one fourth of the season is behind us now. This week presents some interesting games which will have an impact upon the Top 10 and likely on the CFP playoffs.
Notre Dame plays Georgia, Michigan takes on Wisconsin and Auburn versus Texas A&M should reveal a lot about the rest of the season and who will be the Top 4 that will play in January.
With that in mind, let’s look at this week’s games.
Charlotte v No. 1 Clemson (-42)
Clemson played Syracuse last week, a game that was never in doubt from the opening kickoff. The best that can be said of this game was that Clemson won, but it was far from a quality performance against a very weak Syracuse team.
The Clemson offense behind Trevor Lawrence has not yet come together. Lawrence tossed two more interceptions against a poor defense, and now has five for the year, against four in total for all of last year.
Charlotte gives Clemson a chance to improve their offensive output and get the running game in gear. Lawrence should be able to put up big numbers passing even though not having to rely on the passing game over the running game.
Give this game to Clemson. Clemson wins and COVERS the spread.
Southern Miss v No. 2 Alabama (-39)
Alabama went to South Carolina last week, winning easily 47-23. What you say? That close? The game was not as close as the score indicates because Bama is not rolling up the score like previous years.
QB Tua Tagovailoa had another banner day, throwing for 444 yards and 5 touchdowns before leaving the game in the 4th quarter. At this rate, he will be a Heisman finalist.
What is concerning is that the Bama running game in the red zone is not as effective as previous years. Though Southern Miss will not present a problem, the top SEC teams could be problematic.
Alabama wins, but does NOT COVER the spread, only because they will be working on the offensive running performance more. Tua continues to put up big passing numbers.
No 7 Notre Dame v No. 3 Georgia (-14)
In the most exciting game of Week 4, Notre Dame goes to Georgia for a matchup of two highly ranked teams and a likely CFP appearance.
Georgia QB Jake Fromm is clicking on all cylinders, showing why he won out for the starting position and why other quality quarterbacks transferred out of Georgia for other schools.
D’Andre Swift continues to show why he is a big threat at running back as the rest of the team shows the balance with 7 different people scoring touchdowns last week.
Notre Dame goes into this game with the chance to show that they are true contenders for the National Title. They will have to be at their best if they hope to win against Georgia.
Give this one to Georgia. But Georgia DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 4 LSU v Vanderbilt (+19.5)
LSU continues its march towards a CFP position humbling Northwestern State. Though the first half was “weak” for a Tiger performance, they came alive during the second half. Likely, the first half was just a “Texas sized” hangover after their dismantling of the Longhorns the previous week.
Joe Burrow had another stellar week, going 21 for 24 in passing for 373 yards. He continues to rise up the ranks of potential Heisman finalists.
This week, LSU takes on Vanderbilt, who will not even be a bump in the road to the CFP. 19.5 points of a spread seems small for this LSU team. LSU wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 5 Oklahoma – Off this week
Oklahoma has a bye week after their defeat of UCLA last week. Jalen Hurts takes a rest before starting conference play, not that he needs it.
Hurts had another great week, with 439 yards of total offense. And that was not even playing the full game.
Next week, Texas Tech goes to Norman Ok, to play OU. Maybe the conference will just let Tech mail in their loss.
Miami Ohio v No. 6 Ohio State (-37)
Ohio State entertains at home Miami of Ohio who is a 37 point underdog against the Buckeyes.
Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields’ has proven to be a quality passer and running back JK Dobbins is performing as well, running for 141 first half yards against Cincinnati and another 175 first half yards against Indiana, providing the Buckeyes with a well balanced offense.
Defensively, Ohio State is much more solid than last year.
Miami offers no challenge to Ohio State. The Buckeyes will win, but the 37 point spread is a bit much. Ohio State DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 8 Auburn v #17 Texas A&M (-3)
In another exciting SEC matchup, Auburn goes to Texas A&M where they are 3 point underdogs.
A&M gave Clemson a fairly tough time in their second game of the season, against Clemson. They will need that type of play against a resurgent Auburn.
The Auburn defense performed well against Kent State last week, but KS is not A&M and they will be tested severely.
JaTarvious Whitlow rushed for 135 yards and two td’s, and will need another inspired performance against the Aggies. QB Bo Nix will need to show all his talent to keep the offensive passing game on track.
The Aggies have some issues themselves. Running back Jashaun Corbin is out for the season and freshman Isaiah Spiller will have to fill some big shoes. Spiller has two 100 yard games thus far this season, so he may be ready for the added pressure.
With this game, we find out how good Auburn is and also A&M. The Aggies will win at home and COVER the spread.
Tennessee v No. 9 Florida (-12.5)
Florida goes into this game against Tennessee having lost the services of Feleipe Franks for the season. Backup Kyle Trask will have to take the reins for a Florida team that still has questions about their play.
The good news is that Florida plays Tennessee at home. Tennessee remains a “down” team, unable to really complete with the real SEC talent.
Florida will win this game, but Trask will take more play time to come up to par. Florida will NOT COVER the spread.
No. 10 Utah v USC (+3)
Utah begins its real “run for the roses” with this week’s game with USC. Being the PAC 12 favorite has not hurt them in non-conference play. Now it is time to step it up against the Trojans this week, and Washington State next week.
USC lost to BYU last week, who suffered a bad loss the first game of the season against BYU. The gods to not look to be favoring USC this year, who also lost their starting quarterback against Stanford earlier in the season.
Utah will handle the Trojans with ease. 3 points for a spread is nothing. Utah COVERS and continues its run for the roses.
No. 11 Michigan v #13 Wisconsin (-3)
In the third game of interest this week, two second ten ranked teams go at it, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Michigan’s last game was against Army in Week 2. The game showed the weaknesses of the Wolverines in their two point win. Their offense is of particular concern having lost five fumbles in the first two games.
Wisconsin was supposed to be a quality team last year, beginning the season at #5, but quickly losing games and dropping out of the rankings. This year, they began ranked in the bottom 25 and are marching their way up the rankings. Is this the Wisconsin team that was to be expected last year?
Wisconsin has a high scoring offense, having 110 points in the first two games. QB Jack Coan and running back Jonathan Taylor are having a blast, especially when Coan throws to Taylor coming out of the backfield.
The Wisconsin defense has not allowed any points, showing how good they are.
This game will determine whether Wisconsin can complete for the conference championship. If Wisconsin wins, watch out Ohio State. If Michigan loses, their season is over though they will play a lesser bowl game in December.
Wisconsin wins and COVERS the spread.
Oklahoma State v No. 12 Texas (-6.5)
Now we start getting to the good games in the Big 12. The Cowboys go to Texas as 6.5 point underdogs.
The Longhorns are still trying to recover from their stunning loss to LSU two weeks earlier. They beat up on Rice last week, but that is not saying much.
State has won the last five games in Austin, though Texas was having a period of down years while the Cowboys were in up years. This year, Texas is stronger than previous years, and will have to play stronger if they are to challenge the Sooners for the conference title.
The Longhorns come out strong, win, and COVER the spread.
No. 13 Penn State – Off this week
Penn State is off this week. They need the time off so that they can find a way to jump start their offense. Last week’s play against Pitt was uninspired to the point where they managed a 7 point win in a game that was in doubt until the final gun.
No. 15 UCF v Pittsburgh (+11)
UCF goes to Pitt as 11 point favorites. Based upon previous games, this point spread seems small.
UCF is led by true freshman Dillon Gabriel. Not expected to play this year, injuries forced him into the quarterback position where he is showing what is expected of UCF quarterbacks. He has shined in both games throwing for 347 yard and four td’s against Stanford last week.
The Knights have talent and speed with building confidence. This spells trouble for opponents going forward.
Pitt played Penn State tough last week, losing by 7 in a game going down to the final gun. This week, Pitt does not get that lucky.
UCF wins and easily COVERS the spread.
No. 16 Oregon v Stanford (+10)
The Ducks go to Stanford this week to play a team that was totally destroyed by UCF last week. In their last two games after losing to Auburn in the opening week, the Ducks have been on a tear, scoring 112 points and limiting opponents to 9.
Duck quarterback Justin Herbert needs to have another big game and to continuing to have them to be considered for the Heisman. He has such a game on Saturday against Stanford, a team blown out of the game each of the last two weeks.
Oregon wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 18 Iowa – Off this Week
Iowa needs this week off after a weak performance last week. They need this week and next to prepare for Michigan in two weeks time.
UCLA v No. 19 Washington State (-18)
Washington State entertains a hapless UCLA this week. Senior quarterback Anthony Gordon leads State throwing for 400 yards in each of three games this year. He is accurate and throws well on the run.
Look for Washington State to hand UCLA another loss this week. State passes like crazy and COVERS the spread.
Air Force v No. 20 Boise State (-9.5)
Boise State opens their conference play taking on Air Force at home. They are 9.5 favorites.
Unbeaten Boise State has a favorable schedule this year without having to play either San Diego State or Fresno State. Air Force is unbeaten also, having a strong passing game.
This game should give us an idea of how strong Boise State is and whether they can win the Mountain West conference this year.
Pick Air Force to win in an UPSET.
Old Dominion v No. 21 Virginia (-30.5)
Old Dominion goes to Virginia this week. They hope to repeat a win like last year when upsetting Virginia Tech badly, destroying the entire Tech season.
Virginia defeated Florida State last week, showing that they do have a team to be reckoned with.
Old Dominion will not be able to pull off another big upset this season. Virginia wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 22 Washington v BYU (+6.5)
Washington goes to BYU this week against BYU, who defeated USC last week. The Cougars will try to repeat this feat against Washington.
Washington lost last week to Cal, in a lightning delayed game. With the one loss in conference play, they cannot afford a second loss which should put them out of the Rose Bowl run.
Washington is 6.5 point favorites. They prove against BYU that they have to offense to challenge other PAC 12 teams. Washington wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 23 Cal v Ole Miss (-2)
Cal has joined the ranks of the Top 25 after an impressive start to the season. Last week, Cal defeated North Texas and the week before, Washington. They go to Ole Miss with the same intent.
Though Ole Miss is unranked, that does not mean much. Ole Miss plays in the SEC and knows how to play and to win. They will be up for this game against Cal.
Cal needs a victory before starting the heart of Pac 12 play. They do not get it.
Ole Miss wins and COVERS the spread.
Colorado v No. 24 Arizona State (-8)
Arizona State took on #18 Michigan State last week, defeating them with one minute to play, 10-7. The win vaunted Arizona State into the Top 25 and knocked Michigan State out of the Top 25.
Colorado took on Air Force, losing in OT 30-23.
Though State is favored by 8, no one really knows what to expect. PU PICKS Colorado to win in an UPSET.
SMU v No. 25 TCU (-10)
TCU had an easy day last week against Purdue. Running back Darius Anderson ran for 179 yards and 2 td’s in the three touchdown win.
SMU is not expected to provide much of a challenge to TCU. TCU wins and COVERS the spread.
There we have it…PU’s Predictions for Week 4. There are three good games to watch, ranked teams going after each other.
Have fun watching the games!