College Football Week 8 Picks – Greenberg

College Football
Tiger Stadium during a night game against the Auburn Tigers. Austin Anthony/Daily News via AP.

Hotty Toddy

I’ve been on Ole Miss two weeks in a row and have had great success. Guess what? I’m rolling with the Rebs once again. In week eight, the seventh-ranked Rebels are in Baton Rouge getting 2.5 against LSU. This could be one of the best games in college football this week.

Ole Miss comes in undefeated at 7-0 facing maybe they’re toughest SEC test to date, LSU on the road Lane Kiffin’s squad comes into this matchup off a close call at home against Auburn that probably shouldn’t have been that close.

LSU, at 5-2 comes in to week 8 riding high after beating rival Florida on the road. This comes after they got curb-stomped at home against Tennessee the week before.

Last time LSU hosted a comparable opponent in Tiger Stadium, Tennessee rushed for over 260 yards on over five yards per tote.

I expect more of the same from Ole Miss’ dynamic backfield of Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins. Jaxson Dart will make just enough key passes against a pretty good secondary to pull out a close one.

My Pick: Ole Miss +2.5

Mike Locksley walking out of SECU Stadium after a win in October of 2020. Ron Johnson/USA Today Sports.

Dirty Terps

In week eight, the Maryland Terrapins host the struggling Northwestern. The Terps come in as almost two touchdown favorites.

Mike Locksley and his Terrapins come in at a surprising 5-2 led by star quarterback, Taulia Tagavailoa. Maryland comes off a close road win over Indiana in week seven.

Since beating Nebraska in Ireland yo start the season, it’s all been down hill for Northwestern. Pat Fitzgerald’s crew has lost five in a row. Last time out the Wildcats got blown by Wisconsin at home.

Northwestern’s secondary has struggled to defend the pass all year. The Wildcats rank 69th in college football giving up 230 passing yards per game.

This trend will continue against an absolutely potent Maryland passing attack. The Terps are 21st in college football averaging over 300 passing yards per game. Look for huge games from Terrapins receivers, Corey Dyches and Rakim Jarrett.

Also, I expect Maryland’s stout run defense to make Northwestern one-dimensional, especially late in the game. This could lead to a key turnover or two for Maryland.

Note: Taulia Tagovailoa is a game-time decision. Fade this matchup if he is ruled out.

My Pick: Maryland -13.5

Vanderbilt quarterback, AJ Swann in his first career start on the road against Northern Illinois. John Hemby/Vanderbilt Athletics.

College Football – Anchor Down

Here in week eight, we have a battle of perennial SEC East bottom feeders. The Missouri Tigers welcome Vanderbilt to Faurot Field after a narrow loss to Florida last week.

Vanderbilt comes in off a blowout against a really talented Georgia outfit. Despite this, Vandy has been competitive in most of their matchups this season.

If you eliminate the two games against the elite defenses of Alabama and Georgia, Vanderbilt is averaging over 39 points per game.

I expect AJ Swann and the Vandy offense to stick around score for score with a Missouri offense that has been mediocre at best.

The much-improved Commodores may not pull off the win on the road, but they will keep it close. Winning on the road in college football, especially in the SEC, is a very tough thing to do. I expect Missouri to win by a touchdown or ten points at most and Vandy to cover.

My Pick: Vanderbilt +14

Houston Head Coach, Dana Holgorsen, on the sidelines during a 2022 home matchup against Texas Tech. James Mueller/UH Athletics.

Houston, There’s no Problem

Coming off perhaps the win of the year over Memphis, Houston is 3-3 coming into week eight. The Cougars are on the road this week as they travel to Annapolis to play Navy.

The Midshipmen come in at 2-4 after losing last week to SMU. Navy’s best win thus far came on the road over ECU in week three.

The Navy secondary has been one of the worst in college football this season. The middies are allowing 274.5 yards per game through the air which ranks 111th in college football. Expect a huge game from Houston’s star receiver, Nathaniel Dell.

Houston’s high-pace offense should be able to score early and often in this one. This will make it very tough for Navy’s triple-option offense to keep up with the Cougs. This one feels like it could over by the start of the fourth.

My Pick: Houston -3

SMU taking the field at Gerald Ford Stadium during a 2020 game against Memphis. Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons.

Showdown in Dallas

In a marquee AAC matchup, 3-3 SMU welcomes in the 21st-ranked Cincinnati.

Cincinnati comes in at 5-1 with their lone loss coming against Arkansas in week 1. Cincy is coming off a lackluster performance in a close win against lowly USF.

SMU enters this matchup at 3-3 after a win at home over Navy last week. SMU is 1-1 in conference play with their loss coming against UCF.

The Cincinnati offense isn’t exactly elite but they have enough fire power to keep up against a bad defense. The Mustangs have allowed over 209 rushing yards and almost 30 points per game.

While not as good as last years unit, Luke Fickell’s defense has still been excellent in 2022. Cincy has allowed just 126 rushing yards per game and 186 through the air.

The ponies won’t be able able to get much going in the ground game which will force them to become one-dimensional, especially late. I expect Cincy’s elite pass defense to force a turnover and get at least a few stops against SMU’s high-octane offense.

Look for Charles McClelland to have a massive game on the ground as the Bearcats control the time of possession battle.

My Pick: Cincinnati -3

Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) celebrates a touchdown during a November 2021 game against Oregon in Eugene. Andy Nelson/AP Photo.

Beaver Fever

Oregon State coming off an impressive win over Washington State will play host to Colorado Saturday night. The Beavers come into this one as 23.5 point favorites

The Beavers are off to a hot start at 5-2 with their only two losses coming against ranked Utah and USC.

Meanwhile, Colorado comes in as perhaps the worst Power Five team. The Buffaloes are 1-5 after picking up their first win of the year last week against Cal.

Colorado has given up over 38 points and 251 rushing yards per game which is third worst in the country. This plays right into the Beavers wheelhouse. In their last two games playing with a backup quarterback Oregon State has ran the ball 42 times per game. On the season, the Beavers are averaging over 214 yards per game on the ground, good for 16th in all of college football.

The Colorado offense has done previous nothing all year, averaging just 18.8 points per game. I don’t see that changing at all in this game, especially with starting quarterback, Brendon Lewis entering the transfer portal.

Whether or not Chance Nolan plays, Oregon State should be able to score enough and even force some turnovers even to cover, even with the big number.

My Pick: Oregon State -23.5

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