We started 2018 off with some modest success, going 3-2 in Week 1. Like the best programs out there, we’re hungry to improve and taste sweeter success.
Duke at NORTHWESTERN (-3): The Wildcats survived a tough opener at Purdue despite having star quarterback Clayton Thorson on a pitch count. Another week should mean better health and the chance to exploit a Duke secondary torched by run-heavy Army for 197 passing yards in Week 1. Running back Jeremy Larkin was a revelation, busting out for 143 yards and two scores and looks every bit the part of a Justin Jackson replacement. The Blue Devils’ have a stout defense and thumped their fellow brainiacs by 24 points last year. But one does not simply walk into Evanston and push the purple-clad home team around. Northwestern gets revenge in a tight game decided in the final minute. Northwestern 24, Duke 20.
Kansas at CENTRAL MICHIGAN (-4.5): Let’s use the K.I.S.S. method here and keep it simple. The Jayhawks are a complete abomination. They dropped a home game to Nicholls State and some on campus are openly suggesting disbanding football altogether. I mean, geez, they are significant underdogs to a mid-level MAC team. Central Michigan gave Kentucky a fight for three quarters and, simply put, is not a laughingstock. Trust the process — and that process is never trusting Kansas. Central Michigan 35, Kansas 24.
Michigan State at Arizona State (OVER 55.5): The Spartans surrendered 31 points to Utah State. The Sun Devils have N'Keal Harry. This is a recipe for trouble. Brian Lewerke is returning to his home state and capable of marching up and down the field himself. Pac-12 after dark is prone to weirdness and, folks, things are fixin’ to get very weird. The over is the play here. Listen closely: do not take a side in this one. There is no way MSU should be favored, let alone by nearly a touchdown. Arizona State 49, Michigan State 45.
BALL STATE (+35) at Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish notched arguably the biggest win of the year against Michigan and are due for a sleepwalk. Brandon Wimbush likely didn’t transform himself into an uber-accurate quarterback and the Irish didn’t exactly light the earth ablaze with a blistering offense. Also, this:
There you have it. National title is on the line. The Cardinals won’t win, but will get a dumb and meaningless touchdown to cover. Notre Dame 48, Ball State 14.
Clemson at Texas A&M (OVER 53.5): Both offenses hummed in tune-up tests. Both will stronge tested strongy more competent defenses. Clemson’s will continue its train of destruction. A&M’s will look pedestrian, strongut still find the endzone a few times and perhaps outscore the Tigers’ stifling defense. Barely. Things are going to get ugly in College Station and style points count toward the total. Clemson 44, Texas A&M 17.