By Brad Carroll
The college football schedule gets an early jump this week, as two games featuring a ranked team will play before Saturday’s main event slate of matchups. On Thursday, Temple travels to No. 21 South Florida, and on Friday, No. 23 Utah play at Arizona.
Our college football experts have you covered, as we preview each game and make our picks against the spread below. Make sure to check back for all of our Saturday picks and follow us on Twitter for all of our updates.
Temple at No. 21 South Florida, 7:30, ESPN
The Spread: South Florida -21
Brad’s Breakdown: Conference play opens for a pair of programs heading in the opposite direction. South Florida is 3-0, nationally ranked and coming off a big win over Illinois. Temple is 2-1, but after getting walloped by Notre Dame in the season opener, the Owls have barely slide past Villanova and UMass, not exactly powerhouses. South Florida is averaging 40 points per game and a shade under 21 on defense. Meanwhile, Temple is scoring just 20.3 points on offense and allowing almost four touchdowns a game on defense. The numbers add up to a big win by the Bulls.
Brad’s Final: South Florida 42, Temple 17 (South Florida)
Craig’s Final: South Florida 28, Temple 17 (Temple)
Glenn’s Final: South Florida 35, Temple 10 (South Florida)
Matt’s Final: South Florida 49, Temple 21 (South Florida)
No. 23 Utah at Arizona, 10:30, FS1
The Spread: Utah -3
Brad’s Breakdown: Arizona’s running game could be the story Friday night, as the Wildcats average 328 yards per game. That’s right, 328 yards on the ground. Arizona has also averaged 47 points per game and allowed 19.7, but the Wildcats lost their only game of note, 19-16 to Houston. Utah is 3-0, including a 19-13 win over BYU, and just might be the team to stop Arizona’s running attack. The Utes allow an average of just 49.3 rushing yards a game. Being home could come into play, but Arizona lost that game to Houston in its stadium, so look for Utah to squeak out a win. Luckily, the point spread is only a field goal.
Brad’s Final: Utah 24, Arizona 20 (Utah)
Craig’s Final: Utah 35, Arizona 27 (Utah)
Glenn’s Final: Utah 42, Arizona 28 (Utah)
Matt’s Final: Utah 35, Arizona 31 (Utah)