CFB Week 4 Staff Picks
By: WZBC Writers
Temple at Boston College
JD Biagioni: Boston College 31 – Temple 10
Last week was more than enough to put a damper on the BC hype train. But fear not, this team can still be special. It is certainly the most talented one Steve Addazio has had on the Heights. And Temple is the perfect opponent to get back on track.
Charlie Whitney: Boston College 31 – Temple 17
Expect an angry, motivated Boston College team this week following a very disappointing showing at Purdue. The Eagles’ urgency coupled with their stark talent advantage over the Owls should make this a relatively easy win for Boston College.
Bryan Bruwer: Boston College 31 – Temple 10
Expect BC to play angry following last week’s debacle in West Lafayette and take down the Owls thanks to some big plays on the ground from AJ Dillon.
Scott Sullivan: 24 Temple – Boston College 20
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the performance of BC in their last game against Purdue, a game by all accounts that should have been a BC blowout. The offense looked incapable against a defense that was one of the worst in the nation, and the defense didn’t look much better. I think this team is shaken, and I would not be surprised to see them give up another game, even if they are at home.
Syracuse at #3 Clemson
JD: Clemson 37 – Syracuse 13
Syracuse has been the darling of the ACC early on. But the Orange’s 4-0 start is a bit misleading. They beat three clearly inferior teams and an overrated FSU. Hard-nosed QB Eric Dungey is the type of QB who can handle Clemson’s ferocious line, but the Tigers are just too talented on both sides of the ball, especially now that they’ve settled on Trevor Lawrence at QB.
Charlie: Clemson 41 – Syracuse 13
This has been a rather rocky week for the Tigers following head coach Dabo Swinney’s decision to bench incumbent starter Kelly Bryant in favor of freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence which was immediately followed by the former’s decision to transfer. Despite the tumultuous past few days, Lawrence has given us no reason to consider him unworthy and this Clemson defense is fierce as usual. Come Saturday it should be business as usual in Death Valley.
Bryan: Clemson 31 – Syracuse 21
The Trevor Lawrence era is now underway for the Tigers, with the demotion of former starter Kelly Bryant (who intends to transfer) becoming public this week. Lawrence has impressed so far, but he’ll be facing a feisty Syracuse team that will likely give Clemson a scare at some point in this one.
Scott: 28 Clemson – 10 Syracuse
The 4th ranked Defense of Clemson goes up against the 13th ranked offense of Syracuse, who have experienced one of the best starts in the history of the school’s football program. However, they have yet to face a team like Clemson this season, whose defense is better than that of perennial number 1 Alabama. Clemson takes the win here on the strength of defense
#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State
JD: Ohio State 17 – Penn State 14
This is must-watch TV. Just watch this OSU video and tell me you aren’t excited (https://youtu.be/iEYZ97qRsY4). The best rivalry in the Big 10 has the added layer of Urban Meyer’s first true test since his suspension in the hostile Happy Valley environment. The Ohio State defense will be without Nick Bosa, while Miles Sanders has taken over admirably for Saquon Barkley. Penn State in a close one.
Charlie: Ohio State 24 – Penn State 20
In the much anticipated rematch of perhaps the best regular season game of 2017, fans should be prepared for another tight, testy battle between these storied Big 10 foes. Last year the Nittany Lions won this game thanks to a huge performance from Saquon Barkley. His absence this year, coupled with Urban Meyer’s return from suspension, should prove too stiff a task for Trace McSorley’s team, even at home.
Bryan: Ohio State 31 – Penn State 28
In what should be an instant classic, Ohio State and Penn State will face off in a whiteout in Happy Valley, in what should be one of the most raucous environments we’ll see in any stadium all year. Although many will likely peg Penn State in for an upset, expect Dwayne Haskins to ball out in this clash of titans and secure a narrow Ohio State victory.
Scott: 35 Ohio State – 21 Penn State
Urban Meyer’s return from a school imposed 3-game suspension saw Ohio State score 49 points while only allowing a single touchdown to Tulane, which leads me to believe the team was energized to say the least about his return. This offense is the 3rd best in FBS, going up against an average defense in Penn State. Ohio State will win this round of their rivalry with Penn State
#7 Stanford at #8 Notre Dame
JD: Stanford 27 – Notre Dame 21
Stanford is lucky to still be undefeated. The Cardinal went from facing a potential 31-13 deficit against Oregon to knocking off the Ducks on the road in OT. On the flip side, ND’s Brandon Wimbush was relegated to backup QB a mere three weeks after torching Michigan. The momentum favors Stanford. And, as I said last week, Bryce Love is due. I’ll keep waiting.
Charlie: Stanford 31 – Notre Dame 21
While this game looks like it should be a fantastic game based on rankings alone, I think Stanford is quietly a significantly better team. The epic win they pulled off last week in a hostile road environment bodes well for more success on Saturday. I envision the Irish being exposed as the weakest top ten team in the nation.
Bryan: Stanford 24 – Notre Dame 20
The Cardinal certainly earned their stripes in a nail-biting (and somewhat fluky) victory at Oregon last week, and I anticipate that their luck will continue against Notre Dame. Count on K.J. Costello and company to get the job done again, even if it’s not pretty, locking down Stanford’s 4thconsecutive victory against the Fighting Irish.
Scott: 30 Notre Dame – 14 Stanford
Another storied rivalry in college football is set to play out, with #7 Stanford squaring off with #8 Notre Dame. The loser of this matchup could see their hopes for the College Football Playoffs at the end of the season dashed. Notre Dame is coming off a complete thrashing of Wake Forest last week, while Stanford was able to pull off an upset against Oregon in what appeared to be a blowout by Oregon. Notre Dame looked like a more dominant team, and that performance will carry over to this week.
#20 BYU at #11 Washington
JD: Washington 28 – BYU 6
The Huskies haven’t has it easy so far. After a strong showing against Auburn, they barely got by both Utah and Arizona State. The defense hasn’t been an issue, but the just-average play of offensive stars Jake Browning and Myles Gaskins has been concerning. That said, Washington should be able to handle BYU without much trouble. The Cougars are ranked, and they have a great win over Wisconsin, but they’re still too unproven. They shouldn’t beat Washington, but, if they do, watch out because they’d have a legit shot at 11-1.
Charlie: Washington 28 – Brigham Young 17
While BYU was able to pull off an extremely impressive upset at Camp Randall during week 2, I just don’t think a team with their talent level can pull off two top-fifteen upsets on the road in a given season. While I fully expect the Cougars to put up a fight, I think another improbable upset just isn’t in the cards.
Bryan: BYU 13 – Washington 24
BYU has shot up the rankings after their strong start to the season, and they will certainly not be intimidated by this Washington team. This game has all the makings of a defensive slugfest, but Washington’s strong ground game and some timely throws from Jake Browning will enable the Huskies to control the clock and wear down the Cougars.
Scott: 31 Washington – 21 BYU
Both the Huskies and BYU are coming off victories last week, though the Huskies victory against Arizona State(27-20) has more meaning than BYU’s dominance of McNeese State(30-3). Coming from a much tougher opponent, Washington seems more prepared to square off against BYU than BYU does against Washington