UNLV Football: First Look At The Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Rebels will head to South Bend for a clash with the Irish in non-conference play this October.


UNLV Football: First Look At The Notre Dame Fighting Irish


The Rebels will head to South Bend for a clash with the Irish in non-conference play this October.


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One of the best teams in the country.

UNLV Football: First Look at 2022 Non-conference Opponents

Idaho State | Cal | North Texas | Notre Dame

The UNLV Rebels will wade through a bit of their Mountain West Conference schedule before hitting the road one last time to finish their four-game non-conference slate against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

That storied program is undergoing a bit of unexpected transition following Brian Kelly’s shocking departure for LSU back in November 2021, but make no mistake: Marcus Arroyo’s Rebels will have a difficult task on their hands when the Irish wake up the echoes and do what they can to play like champions on that October Saturday.

Location: South Bend, Indiana

Conference: Independent

Series History: This will be the first meeting between UNLV and Notre Dame.

2021 Record: 11-2

Head Coach: Marcus Freeman (first year). Freeman inherits one of the tougher jobs in college football, but that’s mostly because the expectations from year to year among the Irish faithful are sky high. However, he had a great deal of success as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati from 2017 to 2020 and helped the Notre Dame defense finish 15th overall by SP+ last year, which made his elevation to the head coach role after Kelly’s exit seem like a natural fit.

Key Players

Michael Mayer, TE

A tight end almost certainly bound for the NFL, Mayer will help pace an offense for the Top-10 ranked Irish. The 6′ 5″ junior can play on the line or in the slot and is able to hold his own in run blocking as well. Opposing defenses will certainly need to key on him whenever, wherever on the field, and Mayer has proven more than willing to rise to the occasion.

Jarrett Patterson, C

Patterson, in short, will be in the discussion as one of the best centers in the country this season. He will also be one of four returning starters for an offensive line that is expected to be among the best in the country, and the overwhelming strength of this offense. A skillful player with an intelligent approach to the game, expect to hear Patterson’s name in the mix for several season-end awards.

Isaiah Foskey, DE

With 11 sacks last year, Isaiah Foskey made quite the impact and returns this year looking for even more success. With senior Jayson Ademilola, Foskey will be one of the stars on a stellar defensive line, part of a defense looking to stand out on the national stage. Foskey is being talked about as a possible first-round pick in the NFL Draft; starring on a top-20 defense would go a long way towards helping his prospects.

Brandon Joseph, S

An All-American coming in through the transfer portal from Northwestern, Joseph is a physical defensive back who will help offset the loss of Kyle Hamilton to the NFL. He joins an experienced secondary that will be tested throughout the season, including Ohio State in the season opener.

Tyler Buchner, QB

Projected as this year’s starter for the Irish, Buchner is an athletic quarterback who can throw deep. He’ll need to learn as the season goes on, but offensive coordinator Tommy Rees will have some opportunities to expand the playcalling with a mobile quarterback like Buchner. He’ll need to grow into his frame more if he becomes more of a running quarterback, but he’ll have a strong supporting cast this year to help along the way.

Overview:

Offense

Overall, this offense has more than enough talent to put together another good year for the Irish. A sturdy offensive line, an NFL-ready tight end and a speedy, capable running backs unit will all be featured this year. There’s a lot to be excited about for a top-20 scoring offense from 2021.

But the question marks separating a “good” season from a “great” one remain front and center for this team. How will a quarterback with only 35 pass attempts last year handle the grind of a season played on the national stage? Can the team find a deep threat at wide receiver to really challenge opposing defenses?

The schedule does them few favors with a week one, nationally televised game at Ohio State. From there, the Irish will have a number of winnable games over several weeks, at least until they face Clemson in South Bend on November 3rd. They’ll finish the season with Boston College and at USC, two rivaled opponents that would love the opportunity to upset the Irish.

Defense

The 15th-ranked scoring defense from 2021 is back with returning starters at every level. Similar to their offensive counterparts, stars abound on this side of the ball, but the questions that linger are hard to overlook among the nation’s best teams.

The front seven has the potential to rank among the nation’s best and there’s a depth here that not only can dominate some of this season’s lesser opponents but show promise for Notre Dame’s future as well.

The defensive backs will need to play well and stay healthy all season for this team to not only remain competitive but improve on a passing defense that ranked 64th last year (224.2 yards per game). There are enough teams on this year’s schedule with the talent to exploit that weakness, should the secondary be their undoing.

Early Predictions

There’s a certain irony in Notre Dame going to Las Vegas in early October, to Allegiant Stadium, to face BYU and not UNLV. And in late October, UNLV will travel to South Bend, in the midst of the toughest stretch in the Rebels’ schedule. The weather will likely not be favorable that time of year, and neither will the Irish, who will be looking to win convincingly and remain in the national title conversation.

Notre Dame 44, UNLV 13

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Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 9

Now that November is here, the bowl projections and College Football Playoff predictions get more serious. How does the post-season shape up with just over a month to go?

2021 College Football News bowl projections, predictions and possible matchups for the College Football Playoff: Week 9


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Bowl Projections: Week 9

All Times Eastern

Bahamas Bowl

Friday, December 17
ESPN, 12:00 pm
Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
Bowl Tie-Ins: Conference USA vs. MAC
Bowl Projection: Charlotte vs Kent State
Last Year: Canceled

Cure Bowl

Friday, December 17
ESPN2, 6:00 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Group of Five vs. Group of Five (or Army)
Bowl Projection: UCF vs Florida Atlantic
Last Year: Liberty 37, Coastal Carolina 34

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 11:00 am
FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Group of Five vs. Group of Five (or Army)
Bowl Projection: Appalachian State vs WKU
Last Year: BYU 49, UCF 23

Cricket Celebration Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ABC, 12:00 pm
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Bowl Tie-Ins: MEAC vs. SWAC
Bowl Projection: Norfolk State vs Jackson State
Last Year: Canceled

New Mexico Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 2:15 pm
Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
Bowl Tie-Ins: C-USA vs. Mountain West
Bowl Projection: UTEP vs Utah State
Last Year: Hawaii 28, Houston 14

CFN Week 9 Rankings of All 130 Teams

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ABC, 3:30 pm
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
Bowl Tie-Ins: C-USA vs. BYU
Bowl Projection: UTSA vs BYU
Last Year: Canceled

LendingTree Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 5:45 pm
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Bowl Tie-Ins: MAC vs. Sun Belt
Bowl Projection: Western Michigan vs ULM
Last Year: Georgia State 39, WKU 21

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ABC, 7:30 pm
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Bowl Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac-12
Bowl Projection: Fresno State vs USC
Last Year: Canceled

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 9:15 pm
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Bowl Tie-Ins: C-USA vs. Sun Belt
Bowl Projection: Marshall vs Louisiana
Last Year: Georgia Southern 38, Louisiana Tech 3

Myrtle Beach Bowl

Monday, December 20
ESPN, 2:30 pm
Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC
Bowl Tie-Ins: Sun Belt vs. AAC or MAC or Group of 5
Bowl Projection: Coastal Carolina vs Ball State
Last Year: Appalachian State 56, North Texas 28

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Tuesday, December 21
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Bowl Tie-Ins: MAC vs. Mountain West
Bowl Projection: Toledo vs Boise State
Last Year: Nevada 38, Tulane 27

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl

Tuesday, December 21
ESPN, 7:30 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Bowl Tie-Ins: Group of Five vs. Group of Five (or Army)
Bowl Projection: Air Force vs Middle Tennessee
Last Year: Canceled

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Wednesday, December 22
ESPN, 7:30 pm
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big 12 or C-USA or Pac-12 or Army
Bowl Projection: Washington vs Army
Last Year: Mississippi State 28, Tulsa 26

Union Home Mortgage Bowl

Thursday, December 23
ESPN, 7:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: AAC or ACC or Pac-12 or SEC
Bowl Projection: Virginia Tech vs LSU
Last Year: Canceled

EasyPost Hawaii Bowl

Friday, December 24
ESPN, 8:00 pm
Clarence TC Ching Complex, Honolulu, HI
Bowl Tie-Ins: American Athletic vs. Mountain West
Bowl Projection: SMU vs Hawaii
Last Year: Canceled

Camellia Bowl

Saturday, December 25
ESPN, 2:30 pm
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL
Bowl Tie-Ins: MAC vs. Sun Belt (or C-USA)
Bowl Projection: Miami University vs Troy
Last Year: Memphis 25, Florida Atlantic 10

NEXT: More Bowl Projections: Week 9

NFL Game Previews, Schedule, Predictions, Lines, How To Watch: Week 8

NFL Week 8 schedule, predictions, and game previews with all of the game times, lines, and how to watch.

NFL predictions, schedule, game previews, lines, how to watch, and TV listings for Week 8 of the season.


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Click on each game for game preview & prediction

Results So Far
SU: 74-34, ATS: 60-48, Point Total: 60-48

Week 8 NFL Expert Picks

Thursday, October 28

Green Bay at Arizona

Prediction: Carolina 27, Atlanta 21
Line: Arizona -6.5, o/u: 50.5
Final Score: Green Bay 24, Arizona 21

Sunday, October 31

Carolina at Atlanta

1:00, FOX
Line: Atlanta -3, o/u: 47

Miami at Buffalo

1:00, CBS
Line: Buffalo -14, o/u: 49

San Francisco at Chicago

1:00, FOX
Line: San Francisco -4, o/u: 39.5

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

1:00, CBS
Line: Cleveland -4, o/u: 42.5

Philadelphia at Detroit

1:00, FOX
Line: Philadelphia -3.5, o/u: 48

Tennessee at Indianapolis

1:00, CBS
Line: Indianapolis -2.5, o/u: 51

Cincinnati at New York Jets

1:00, CBS
Line: Cincinnati -11, o/u: 43

Los Angeles Rams at Houston

1:00, FOX
Line: Los Angeles Rams -16, o/u: 46.5

New England at Los Angeles Chargers

4:05, FOX
Line: Los Angeles Chargers -4.5, o/u: 49.5

Jacksonville at Seattle

4:05, CBS
Line: Seattle -3.5, o/u: 44.5

Washington at Denver

4:05, FOX
Line: Denver -3.5, o/u: 44.5

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

4:25, FOX
Line: Tampa Bay -4.5, o/u: 49.5

Dallas at Minnesota

8:20, NBC
Line: Minnesota -3, o/u: 52

Monday, November 1

New York Giants at Kansas City

8:15, ESPN
Line: Kansas City -10, o/u: 52

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Week 8 NFL Expert Picks

Jacksonville at Seattle Prediction, Game Preview

Jacksonville at Seattle prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Sunday, October 31

Jacksonville at Seattle prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 31


Jacksonville at Seattle How To Watch

Date: Sunday, October 31
Game Time: 4:05 ET
Venue: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
How To Watch: CBS
Record: Jacksonville (1-5), Seattle (2-5)
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All of the CFN Fearless Predictions

Jacksonville at Seattle Game Preview


Why Jacksonville Will Win

The Jaguars were playing relatively well before getting a week off.

They were running just fine, the passing game worked in London in the win over Miami, and all the – let’s just say it like this – periphery things have chilled out a bit.

Seattle is struggling without Russell Wilson.

The running game is okay, but Geno Smith and the passing attack can’t get going. To be fair, the Seahawks had to try throwing against New Orleans during a bomb cyclone, but the Saints managed to get over 200 yards through the air.

Seattle can’t stop the run and the D is last in the NFL in first downs allowed and second-to-last in total defense. Jacksonville has to simply be methodical and error-free – that might be enough.

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why Seattle Will Win

If Geno Smith and the passing game are ever going to get going, this would be the week.

The Seahawks have the receivers, and they have the running backs to take the head off, and now they all get to go against a Jacksonville secondary that allows a league-high 8.5 yards per pass.

The run defense isn’t exactly a brick wall, either.

Seattle has the same deal Jacksonville has – be methodical, keep the chains moving, don’t screw up. And …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Run, run, run.

Seattle proved against Pittsburgh that it can get physical when needed, and it needs to do that from the start. Jacksonville struggles up front to hold up against physical teams and it doesn’t come up with takeaways – it has just two so far.

On a three-game losing streak, a boring, business-like win would work just fine.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

Jacksonville vs Seattle Prediction, Line

Seattle 27, Jacksonville 20
Line: Seattle -3.5, o/u: 44.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 4

Must See Rating: 2.5

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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Fearless Predictions of Every Game
Bowl Projections | Rankings

Washington at Denver Prediction, Game Preview

Washington at Denver prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Sunday, October 31

Washington at Denver prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 31


Washington at Denver How To Watch

Date: Sunday, October 31
Game Time: 4:25 ET
Venue: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
How To Watch: FOX
Record: Washington (2-5), Denver (3-4)
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All of the CFN Fearless Predictions

Washington vs Denver Game Preview


Why Washington Will Win

The offense isn’t all that bad, and it should be able to run a little bit.

Between Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic, and the legs of Taylor Heineke, the Football Team keeps on grinding with a ground attack that ran for 120 yards or more in three of the last four games.

It will help that Denver is bad at playing NFL defense lately.

The Broncos got run over by the depleted Browns, gave up a big day to Najee Harris and the Steelers, and struggled with Baltimore. Basically, Denver is good against the bad teams, and it’s got problems with the good ones.

Washington will keep this simple, partly because it has to. Run, hope the defense can keep taking the ball away – six in the last three games – and …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why Denver Will Win

Yeah, Washington can’t stop anyone from throwing.

The Football Team is dead last in the NFL in passing yards allows, hitting ripped apart by Patrick Mahomes – yeah, the Chiefs actually played a good game this year – and allowing 220 yards or more through the air.

Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t been all that bad. He’s been beaten, battered, and bruised, but he’s a gamer who gets back Jerry Jeudy – maybe; he’s expected to give it a go – and should have the most weapons he’s had all year to work with.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Denver just isn’t that good, Washington can’t score.

Granted, the Football Team went against Buffalo, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Green Bay over the last several weeks, and Denver’s defense really has been slightly exposed – if that’s possible – against the run, but at home it’ll be when things start to turn around.

After going all of October without a win, the replenished Denver offense will come through with its best performance all month.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

Washington vs Denver Prediction, Line

Denver 30, Washington 21
Line: Denver -3.5, o/u: 44.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 2.5

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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Fearless Predictions of Every Game
Bowl Projections | Rankings

Tampa Bay at New Orleans Prediction, Game Preview

Tampa Bay at New Orleans prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Sunday, October 31

Tampa Bay at New Orleans prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 31


Tampa Bay at New Orleans How To Watch

Date: Sunday, October 31
Game Time: 4:25 ET
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
How To Watch: FOX
Record: Tampa Bay (6-1), New Orleans (4-2)
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All of the CFN Fearless Predictions

Tampa Bay vs New Orleans Game Preview


Why Tampa Bay Will Win

Can the Buccaneers make the Saints press a bit?

The Saints have been at their best when they can control the tempo, run well, rely on the defense, flip the ball to Alvin Kamara – repeat.

Tampa Bay was able to roll through Chicago last week without breathing hard – the offense could afford to not be all that sharp in a 38-3 win. This week, here comes the focus, here comes the downfield passing game again, and, potentially, here comes the return of Rob Gronkowski as an extra safety valve.

As good as the Saints have been, they haven’t faced a team that can throw since the opener against Green Bay. They destroyed the Packers in that weird game, but this is obviously different.

Tom Brady and company aren’t going to struggle to get to 200 yards through the air.

Jameis Winston will have to air it out a wee bit, the offense that’s not great on third downs will have to make up for the defense that’s not great on third, either, and …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why New Orleans Will Win

Here comes the running game.

Tampa Bay might be No. 1 in the NFL against the run, but that’s partially because teams don’t commit to it because they’re trying to keep up. Philadelphia was able to have a little success, and Khalil Herbert ran well for the Bears right up until the offense decided to stop sticking with what worked.

Alvin Kamara is coming off a fantastic game against Seattle, and the Saints aren’t going to be afraid to try making this game physical from the start. They’re fourth in the NFL in rushing attempts, and they’re going to feed 41 over and over again, and they’re going to hope to get the pass rush going.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

The New Orleans pass rush isn’t what it was last season, but it’s going to try repeating the two regular season wins of last year when it hit Brady over and over again.

Of course, though, the Buccaneers pulled through when it mattered in the playoffs.

It’s one of those statement moments for both teams, and the New Orleans defense is going to make it by shutting down Leonard Fournette and the run and getting to Brady just enough to slow things down on two late fourth quarter drives.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

Tampa Bay at New Orleans Prediction, Line

New Orleans 30, Tampa Bay 27
Line: Tampa Bay -4.5, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Must See Rating: 5

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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Fearless Predictions of Every Game
Bowl Projections | Rankings

Dallas at Minnesota Prediction, Game Preview

Dallas at Minnesota prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Sunday, October 31

Dallas at Minnesota prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 31


Dallas at Minnesota How To Watch

Date: Sunday, October 31
Game Time: 8:20 ET
Venue: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
How To Watch: NBC
Record: Dallas (5-1), Minnesota (3-3)
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All of the CFN Fearless Predictions

Dallas vs Minnesota Game Preview


Why Dallas Will Win

Here comes the rested running game.

The passing attack might be a question mark thanks to a banged up Dak Prescott, but no matter what, hand off, hand off, hand off. The Vikings might not give up a ton of bulk yards – everyone throws against this secondary – but they’re allowing close to five yards per carry.

The Cowboys are second in the NFL in rushing yards, they’re averaging over five yards per run, and Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard had a week off to get right.

The defense might be a brick wall, but it’s solid against the run and it makes big plays with two or more takeaways in every game.

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why Minnesota Will Win

Dallas will come up with a pick – that’s what it does thanks to Trevon Diggs – but the Vikings don’t give up mistakes with just two interceptions thrown all year.

The deep and talented receiving corps will all eat. Kirk Cousins will spread the ball around to keep things moving with a whole lot of deep shots to overcome a few sacks allowed and the other mistakes.

Yeah, Dallas makes big defensive plays, but it also gives up plenty of big shots deep. In what should be a bit of a shootout, the offensive stars will come out at home in the spotlight game.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Just how hurt is Dak Prescott?

He’s supposedly a game time decision with Cooper Rush ready to take over after working all week with the first team. No matter what, again, it’ll be about the running game …

But Minnesota will come through with the passing game to pull this off.

It’ll be fun, both defenses will be gashed, and Minnesota will actually hit a big clutch field goal when everyone is watching.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

Dallas vs Minnesota Prediction, Line

Minnesota 34, Dallas 30
Line: Minnesota -3, o/u: 52
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

Must See Rating: 4.5

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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Bowl Projections | Rankings

New York Giants at Kansas City Prediction, Game Preview

New York Giants at Kansas City prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Monday, November 1

New York Giants at Kansas City prediction, game preview, how to watch: Monday, November 1


New York Giants at Kansas City How To Watch

Date: Monday, November 1
Game Time: 8:25 ET
Venue: GEHA Fields at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: New York Giants (2-5), Kansas City (3-4)
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New York Giants vs Kansas City Game Preview


Why New York Giants Will Win

Just how banged up and shear are the Chiefs?

A hot mess after the 27-3 loss to Tennessee, the offense has stopped working, the ground game stopped, and the turnovers, the turnovers, the turnovers.

The Giant defense hasn’t been amazing at taking the ball away, but it has one turnover in every game and five in the last three. Kansas City is a turnover disaster with ten in the last three games and 17 in the last six.

The crazy-cheeky downfield passing plays aren’t clicking like they should be on a regular basis, and the defense isn’t picking up the slack – it’s getting bombed on for eight yards per throw and run over for close to five yards per carry.

However …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why Kansas City Will Win

Kansas City is struggling, but can the Giants really keep the production going after a stunning 25-3 win over Carolina?

At home, the Chiefs will likely keep it simple. Patrick Mahomes isn’t going to take too many wild chances, mostly because he won’t need to.

There wasn’t any Panther offense, Sam Darnold was awful, and the entire team failed to bring the energy. This might be a bit of college rah-rah, but Kansas City will be jacked on Monday night to tease the ugliness of what happened against the Titans.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Expect a fantastic and sharp game from Kansas City.

There’s still talent, but this group hasn’t played with the focus and execution of the last two seasons. It will on Monday night, at least on offense.

Daniel Jones and the Giant offense will put some points on the board to keep this interesting, but it’ll open up midway through the third.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

New York Giants vs Kansas City Prediction, Line

Kansas City 38, New York Giants 20
Line: Kansas City -10, o/u: 52
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 3

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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College Football Big Game Reaction: Michigan State, Miami, Baylor & More

Quick reaction to the biggest college football games of Week 9: Michigan at Michigan State, Miami at Pitt, Texas at Baylor, Georgia vs Florida, Penn State at Ohio State

Quick reaction to the biggest games of Week 9: Michigan at Michigan State, Miami at Pitt, Texas at Baylor, Georgia vs Florida, Penn State at Ohio State


College Football Big Game Reaction: Week 9

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Week 9 Scoreboard, Predictions

Week 9 Big Game Reactions  
Michigan State 37, Michigan 33
Baylor 31, Texas 24
Miami 38, Pitt 34

Michigan State 37, Michigan 33 Reaction

Yeah, Michigan got totally hosed at the end of the first half when Michigan State QB Payton Thorne fumbled in what appeared to be a Wolverine touchdown.

That’s not why Michigan lost.

Yeah, Michigan got totally hosed on the 4th-and-3 play to try keeping the final drive alive – that was absolutely defensive holding, or pass interference, or something that should’ve been flagged.

That’s not why Michigan lost.

Yeah, Michigan State got flagged seven times for 75 yards and Michigan eight times for 59, but the calls – and missed calls – ended up screwing up the Maize and Blue side more.

And no – the officiating wasn’t why Michigan lost.

Michigan lost because Michigan State was more physical in the second half, sharper when it had to be, and it was far, far, more effective at getting the ground game going because …

Michigan lost because Kenneth Walker was the best player on the field, and the blocking up front got the job done against a strong defensive front.

Walker ran 23 times for 197 yards and five touchdowns, making play after play despite being a marked man by the Michigan defense, and now it’s Game On.

But first, it was a Michigan State win over Michigan. Actually, it was another Michigan State win over Michigan.

This wasn’t Jim Harbaugh’s fault – his team played well – but now Mel Tucker is 2-0 against him. In that state and in this rivalry, you can be the Michigan head coach and lost to Ohio State here and there – that program is pretty good – but losing to “Little Brother” is completely and totally unforgivable, and Michigan has now dropped three of the last five.

But not all is totally lost for the Wolverines.

The offense was terrific, and the defense wasn’t all that bad – again, Mr. Walker had himself a day – and there’s no time to get mopey.

Indiana needs to be a layup. Penn State isn’t all that great – even if it’s on the road and everyone is wearing white t-shirts, and going to Maryland can’t be an issue.

There’s absolutely no reason the Wolverines can’t be 10-1 when Ohio State comes into town.

This game is all about the rise of Michigan State, though.

The Spartans were out of this down 30-14 late in the third, but the offense kept going on big marches, the defense kept coming up with big holds, and …

Kenneth Walker, Kenneth Walker, Kenneth Walker.

The Spartans now go to Purdue, gets Maryland, and if all goes right, should be 10-0 with at Ohio State and Penn State to close.

It’s going to be a fun November in East Lansing.

Week 9 Big Game Reactions   
Baylor 31, Texas 24
Miami 38, Pitt 34

NEXT: Baylor 31, Texas 24 Reaction

New England at Los Angeles Chargers Prediction, Game Preview

New England at Los Angeles Chargers prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for Week 8 of the NFL season, Sunday, October 31

New England at Los Angeles Chargers prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 31


New England at Los Angeles Chargers How To Watch

Date: Sunday, October 31
Game Time: 4:25 ET
Venue: SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
How To Watch: FOX
Record: New England (3-4), Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
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New England at Los Angeles Chargers Game Preview


Why New England Will Win

That’s how the offense should work.

Yeah, Zach Wilson got knocked out of last week’s 54-13 blowout, but he doesn’t play defense for the New York Jets.

The Patriot offense line was terrific with a big day on the ground, Mac Jones was fantastic spreading the ball around for an O that cranked up well over 500 yards. Now it’s all going against a Charger defense that’s the worst in the NFL against the run and yards per carry.

There won’t be anything crazy about this game plan. Keep running Damien Harris, don’t put Mac Jones in bad situations, and control the ball and the clock. The Charger D isn’t great on third downs – the Patriots will own the chains.

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

Why Los Angeles Chargers Will Win

Is there a dynamic element to the Patriot O?

The Chargers can strike quickly, Justin Herbert will hit the big plays, and now the O might get Austin Ekeler back – but he’s questionable.

The offense was stuffed by Baltimore in a 34-6 loss, but the running game was going well in the few games before the clunker. New England has played well overall defensively – not much breaking along with the bending – but the run defense can be shoved a bit, allowing 120 rushing yards or more in four of the last six games.

Herbert will get on the move a bit, but a rotation of backs will get the O past 100 yards.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

The Patriots will grind this a bit, but they’re going against a rested team with two weeks off to be just fresh enough to hold up against the New England running game.

The Patriots will run for over 150 yards, but the flash will get by the grind. The Chargers offense will be balanced, fast, and the defense will do just enough to force second half stalls.

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

New England vs Los Angeles Chargers Prediction, Line

Los Angeles Chargers 30, New England 27
Line: Los Angeles Chargers -4.5, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 3

5: Peanut M&Ms
1: Black Licorice Nibs

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