Bob Stoops is yet to announce whether or not Sam Bradford will play against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night. Even if Bradford plays, he won’t be at full strength and the Sooners could get upset. The last two weeks Oklahoma has beaten up on Idaho State and Tulsa. Look for a revenge minded (lost to OKL 51-13 in ’07) Miami is going to be extremely hungry after being embarrassed last week by Virginia Tech. Even though the Hurricanes are young, they still have plenty of talent to give Oklahoma a run for their money.
Jacory Harris has to play well and I think he will step up his game after a miserable performance in the rain in Blacksburg. I know Oklahoma has a great running game and defense, but if Bradford can’t go, Miami has plenty of speed on defense to contain the Oklahoma skill players. Oklahoma better bring their A game or they have a definite chance of being upset in a hostile environment. See Expert College Football Picks
East Carolina enters this game at 2-2 straight up and 0-3 against the spread. They came into the season as a popular pick to win the Conference USA title but have been very unimpressive thus far this season. They barely beat Appalachian State in their home opener and then followed that performance by getting demolished by West Virginia and North Carolina on the road. Even last week, they struggled to beat a mediocre Central Florida team at East Carolina.
Marshall on the other hand has been a nice surprise jumping out to a 3-1 start and are also 2-1 against the spread in 2009. In order for Marshall to pull off the upset they will have to win the battle in the trenches. Marshall has been able to rush the ball effectively so far averaging 171 yards a game on the ground and a solid 4.8 yards a carry. The Marshall defense will have to play well especially up front where they have given up an average of 169 yards a game on the ground however those numbers are skewed a bit because Virginia Tech ran all over them. If you take away that game, the Marshall defense has been well above average.
If Marshall can run the ball and force East Carolina quarterback Patrick Pinkney to beat them, they will have a chance to win this game outright. If you are betting Marshall this weekend, buy the hook and take Marshall plus a field goal to improve your chances of winning or pushing if East Carolina wins by 3. See Expert College Football Picks
UCLA is much improved from a season ago as they are off to a perfect
3-0 start, both straight up and against the spread. They will have to slow down the potent Stanford offense to remain perfect, but I think they are up to the challenge. UCLA has already won at Tennessee this year as a road underdogs. The key to the Bruins’ success has been their defense and that’s what ultimately will win this game for them. They are giving up an average of only 12.7 points per game and 251 total yards a game. The defense will be across from the best offense they have faced this season, but they will be up to the challenge.
Stanford is averaging close 234 yards rushing a game but the run defense of UCLA is a huge strength for them as they are only giving up an average of 74.3 yards a game on the ground. UCLA’s defense will keep them in this game and possibly get them the outright victory. See Expert College Football Picks