The Weekly: On our way to Columbus

Here’s the latest installment of Nick Benvenuto’s college football picks. Coming off a 3-0 week, I’d say Nick’s on his game. Now’s the time to three-team parlay those picks down there! I also look forward to hearing Nick’s take after attending Ohio State vs. Penn State this weekend.

Chris Rainey was arrested in September for aggravated stalking, which clearly sounds like a made-up crime. Free Rainey!

Don’t sleep on The Weekly!  After getting a slow start out of the 2010 gates, we’ve chopped all the way back to the .500 mark with our first undefeated week of the season. 

Michigan beat Illinois in a game of two-hand touch to get our week started on the right foot. The Illini had no business letting Michigan back into the game, but since when do we complain about a cover? 

Air Force took care of business in West Point and actually used the forward pass to get it done. Falcons WR Jonathan Warzeka caught two passes and took both of them the distance for 53- and 63-yard touchdown receptions, leading Air Force to their first Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy since 2002.

In our nightcap, Arkansas whipped struggling South Carolina 41-20 — more on the Gamecocks below…

Now that we grinded our way back to .500, it’s time to start going for the jugular. On to the Week 11 picks…

Last Week: 3-0
SportsAngle record: 7-3
Season: 19-19
All-Time: 139-124-6

Utah (-5.5) at Notre Dame, 2:30pm

So the Utes got slaughtered by TCU last weekend, but the Horned Frogs have dominated just about everyone this season, so we’re not going to read into it too much. The good news for Utah is this is the perfect bounce back spot. The Irish come limping into this one; no starting quarterback (Dayne Crist), no starting running back (Armando Allen) and they’ll be without their second-leading receiver (New Jersey product Theo Riddick). 

Despite scoring only seven points last weekend, Utah is still averaging 41 points per game, good for ninth in the country. We don’t expect Utes QB Jordan Wynn to have back-to-back bad weeks. With a true freshman at quarterback, Notre Dame won’t be able to hang with this potent Utah spread attack. Look for the Utes to open up the playbook early to try to erase last week’s ghosts. 

Utah 38 – Notre Dame 13

*****

South Carolina at Florida (-6.5), 7:15pm

It’s always an emotional time for The Weekly when the Head Ball Coach returns to Gainesville, especially when the SEC Championship game is at stake. Last time Spurrier visited the Swamp, he was rudely greeted by his former team, getting routed by the Gators, 56-6. This won’t be a 50 point blowout, but don’t look for South Carolina to keep it all that close either.

Florida WR/RB Chris Rainey is an enormous difference maker for this offense. With his presence in the lineup and a little protection from the offensive line, QB John Brantley will be able to pick apart this defense much like Arkansas did last week on their way to 41 points.  Gamecocks QB Stephen Garcia is always known to make an ill-advised throw or two, and he won’t get away with those mistakes against a secondary with this kind of talent. 

Florida 26 – South Carolina 9

*****

Kansas State (+13) at Missouri, 12:30pm

What makes Missouri any good? Yeah, we know they beat Oklahoma, but that doesn’t hold too much weight right now since the Sooners are extremely ordinary. The win over A&M keeps looking better and better, but that’s not exactly something to hold your hat on either.

The Tigers come into this game off of two losses where they were torched by the run, giving up 198 yards last week against Texas Tech and 328 the week before at Nebraska. Those numbers loom large when you look at this week’s matchup. We’re talking about a K-State team that beat Texas, 39-14, while attempting just four passes for nine yards. That’s no typo.  Four pass attempts, nine yards passing, 39 points scored. 

The Wildcat attack is one-dimensional, with RB Daniel Thomas already eclipsing the 1,100-yard mark this season, but against this Mizzou defense it’s the right dimension. Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert will hang some points on the board here, but they won’t be able to pull away with Kansas State controlling the football and the clock. 

Missouri 31 – Kansas State 27

*****

The Weekly will be on-site in Columbus this weekend, experiencing the Ohio State – Penn State battle. JoePa, dotting the "i" and the Horseshoe all in one day? Doesn’t get much better than that.

As always, until next week…

Many Hundos.

-Nick

Esoteric

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