CFB Staff Picks: Week 9
By WZBC Writers
The Eagles are back from the bye, and it’s time for the Red Bandana game, the most important matchup on the BC calendar. Here are our picks for that game and the other top matchups around the nation.
Miami at Boston College
Charlie Whitney: Miami 27 – Boston College 21
Miami has been one of the most underwhelming teams in the nation which makes some think Boston College may have an upper hand, but the Eagles haven’t exactly been world beaters themselves. I expect an ugly game offensively with some lots of turnovers, and I think Miami’s talent advantage will win out.
Bryan Bruwer: Boston College 28 – Miami 23
Alumni Stadium will certainly be rocking what looks to be a cold Friday night in Chestnut Hill, providing BC with the best home field advantage they’ll have all year. Standout running back AJ Dillon will be returning for the Eagles, and Miami is coming off a disappointing loss to Virginia. This game screams upset.
JD Biagioni: Boston College 21 – Miami 17
It’s Red Bandana night; special things happen on Red Bandana night. Miami was deemed a year ahead of schedule last season and hasn’t quite lived up to the hype in the first half of the season. The defense is still good, and the turnover chain is still real. But the Hurricanes have struggled to find an answer at quarterback. Malik Rosier will start Friday night, but N’Kosi Perry has more upside. Miami may have trouble putting points on the board.
#2 Clemson at Florida State
Charlie: Clemson 41 – Florida State 17
I said Miami is among the most underwhelming teams in the nation and while this is true, Florida State is probably the most underwhelming. Quite simply, Clemson is really good and Florida State is not. Look for Trevor Lawrence and company to coast to an easy win.
Bryan: Clemson 40 – Florida State 17
The Tigers rolled NC State last week in a game I thought would be much closer, and I’d be hard pressed to discredit them again. Florida State has underwhelmed all season, and I’m expecting more of the same in this one, as Trevor Lawrence will shred the Seminoles defense.
JD: Clemson 45 – Florida State 21
Clemson dispelled all doubts last weekend with a 41-7 stomping of NC State. Trevor Lawrence was phenomenal as usual, and the stout defensive line held Ryan Finley to just 156 passing yards and no touchdown passes. Meanwhile, FSU has looked better of late, but the ‘Noles still sit at 4-3 and haven’t received desired production out of Cam Akers. This game was supposed to be a game that was circled on every calendar; instead, it will be another display of Clemson’s dominance.
#9 Florida at #7 Georgia
Charlie: Georgia 23 – Florida 20
This game being at a neutral location should give it an interesting feel. This is a much better Florida team than the one Georgia saw in recent years and I envision this being the game of the week. This matchup will come down to the quarterbacks and Jake Fromm will make just enough more plays than Feleipe Franks and Georgia will win.
Bryan: Georgia 28 – Florida 13
People are still getting on Jake Fromm’s case after dud of a game at LSU, but he won’t make the same mistakes twice against Florida’s vaunted defense. Georgia is also well equipped to handle adversity, as they bounced back from a loss to Auburn last year by winning out en route to an overtime loss in the championship game to Alabama. Fromm and company will take care of business against Florida in what is a must-win game for their national title aspirations.
JD: Georgia 27 – Florida 17
Georgia assuredly took the bye week to regroup after a 36-16 loss to LSU. Can the Bulldogs win big games? We’ll sure find out, with Florida, Kentucky, and Auburn on tap. Florida has exceeded expectations thus far, but I just don’t buy into Felipe Franks as the starting QB of an SEC contender. Jake Fromm, or maybe Justin Fields, will out-duel Franks.
#18 Iowa at #17 Penn State
Charlie: Iowa 24 – Penn State 23
I haven’t been a believer in Penn State and their performance in the past few weeks has reflected it. Iowa State has had a knack for upsets in the past few years, and I think they have a real shot to add another one to their resume. I’ll take the Cyclones in a back and forth whirlwind of a game.
Bryan: Iowa 21 – Penn State 17
This Big Ten clash is the hardest game for me to pick this week. Trace McSorley and the Nittany Lions are at home, but Iowa is arguably the hottest team in the Big Ten right now. Their defense will keep this close even if they don’t win, but I think they’ll be able to neutralize Penn State’s offense, even on the road.
JD: Iowa 19 – Penn State 17
this matchup comes down to the Nittany Lions offense versus the Hawkeyes defense. Iowa has allowed the third-fewest yards per game, while Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders pace a high-scoring Penn State offense. But Penn State hasn’t shown the ability to win the big game this season. Meanwhile, a win for Iowa would put the Hawkeyes on the fast track to the Big 10 Championship game. Quarterback Nate Stanley just has to be good enough to give Iowa the advantage. Look for Noah Fant to have a big game at tight end.
#14 Washington State at #24 Stanford
Charlie: Stanford 31 – Washington State 24
Bryce Love’s 2018 season has been a huge disappointment but I think he busts out this weekend in a big time way. Washington State doesn’t have an elite defense and I think the Cardinal will try to emphasize the run in order to win the time of possession battle and keep the ball away from Mike Leach’s offense, and I think it works.
Bryan: Washington State 31 – Stanford 23
Washington State is coming off a huge victory against Oregon, and they’ll be facing another tough task this week on the road at Stanford. However, Bryce Love is still hampered by injuries, and the Washington State offense is among the most dynamic in the nation, averaging almost double the points per game of Stanford (40.7 to 20.7). Expect the Cougars to continue their hot streak, even if there a few bumps along the way against a talented Stanford team.
JD: Washington State 33 – Stanford 24
The Pac 12 is a mess. The conference is probably already eliminated from a playoff berth, but the Cougars have emerged from the chaos to have a surprisingly solid season. Washington State finally landed College Gameday, and didn’t disappoint in a win over Oregon last Saturday. East Carolina transfer Gardner Minshew has emerged as a Heisman candidate, with 23 touchdown passes over his first seven games in Pullman. Stanford’s defense may slow his pace, but they won’t stop him.