Trying to Right My Ship With College Games This Saturday

James Franklin leads the Tigers against Toledo in Saturday action this week.

Season Record 1-4, Last Week 1-4

I think I know how Oregon State and Kansas State felt last week. After they both lost to good FCS teams, they were still nevertheless, losses to FCS teams. I really liked the slate of games I had last week and although I was very close on a couple of them, that doesn’t exactly win you points with the bookie.

Here are the five games I like this weekend in college football.

Toledo (+17) at Missouri – Tigers’ Head Coach Gary Pinkel welcomes his old team to Columbia this week and the Rockets have to come in with some confidence despite losing at Florida. Toledo lost in the Swamp just 24-6 and although the Gators had several players sitting out due to injuries and suspensions, the Rockets gave them a game.

Missouri meanwhile laid waste to Murray State 58-14 at home behind an offensive outburst. On the surface, this game seems tighter than expected but consider that Toledo was more than doubled in offensive yards by the Gators including by 212 yards on the ground. I like the Tigers to win by more than 17.

Navy (+13) at Indiana – Last season in Annapolis, these two played an epic game with the Midshipmen coming out on top 31-30 with a TD late in the fourth quarter. Navy was off last week but had plenty of film of the Hoosiers to study as they defeated Indiana State 73-35. What concerns me with Navy is that this is their first game and often with the triple option offense they run, you need a game or two to get the kinks out.

Make no mistake that the Middies will score on a less then stellar Hoosiers’ defense. The problem will be stopping the balanced attack of the Hoosiers. Last week the Hoosiers put up over 300 yards rushing and over 300 yards passing. I think Navy keeps this close early but I like Indiana to pull away. Take the Hoosiers.

Gardner must take better care of the ball against the Irish than he did against the Chippewas.

Notre Dame (+4) at Michigan – The Irish return to Ann Arbor for another classic under the lights at the Big House. Last time they were here, they gave up a late score behind the heroics of Denard Robinson. Last season, Notre Dame forced the Wolverines into numerous turnovers and uncharacteristic mistakes in a defensive struggle in South Bend.

‘Shoelace’ Robinson is now in the NFL but Michigan now has a guy in Devin Gardner who is a dangerous dual-threat guy. He isn’t as fast as Robinson, but he’s a much better passer. Both the Wolverines and Irish were good in opening game wins last week against far lesser opponents and now tackle each other.

Tommy Rees isn’t Everett Golson, but he is a darn good passer who threw for over 300 yards last week. I give him the edge over Gardner who looked shaky at times against Central Michigan to whom he threw two interceptions. I expect another defensive battle but I like the Irish here getting four points.

Arizona (-10.5) at UNLV – If ever there were a misleading score last week it was UNLV’s 51-23 loss to Minnesota. The Rebels outgained the Gophers 419-320 but gave up a kickoff return for touchdown, a blocked field goal returned for touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown. That was certainly bad news for the Rebels but it gets worse with Arizona coming into Las Vegas.

The Wildcats defeated Northern Arizona 35-0 behind solid defense and a back-up running back who rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats get the nation’s leading rusher from last year, Ka’Deem Carey back from a one game suspension and he will be primed to run through the Rebels.

I think UNLV puts up a fight but I expect the Wildcats to pull away. Take ‘Zona.