Week 9 College Football Preview and Picks

Iowa travels to Penn State; Florida-Georgia battle in Jacksonville

Tim Grattan
October 25, 2018 - 10:53 am

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (92.3 The Fan) – College football previews and picks are back here on 923thefan.com.

I’m writing up this week’s addition from Cooper’s Rock State Park -- just east of Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown -- because I’m here to check out the Baylor-West Virginia game.

Ohio State is off and recovering from its loss to Purdue last weekend, so we will be focusing on what’s happening throughout the country.

Let’s start with tonight’s Big 12 matchup between Baylor at West Virginia.

Baylor (4-3, 2-2) at No. 12 West Virginia (5-1, 3-1), 7 p.m., FS1

Ever since West Virginia joined the Big 12 back in 2012, these two teams’ tend to play a little more physical and dirty against each other. Baylor was West Virginia’s first-ever Big 12 match-up, and that score was a crazy 70-63 win for the Mountaineers.

If Baylor wins this game, it will happen because the Bears are getting pressure to WVU quarterback Will Grier and forcing him to take sacks or to throw the ball away.

I think after a bye week to fix up its shaky O-Line, I like West Virginia to win but not covering the spread.  If not well, I guess I’ll cry in the stands.

Line: West Virginia -13.5, O/U 67.5

Prediction: West Virginia 45, Baylor 38

Purdue (4-3, 3-1) at Michigan State (4-3, 2-2), Noon, ESPN

After a big win last Saturday, Purdue has many confidences going into East Lansing to battle the Spartans.

Purdue’s Rondale Moore gave OSU’s defensive backs fits, and I can see him running wild against the Spartans’ defense.

I like the Boilermakers on the road in this contest.

Line: Michigan State -1.5, O/U 50.5

Prediction: Purdue 31, Michigan State 21

No. 9 Florida (6-1, 4-1) vs. No. 7 Georgia (6-1, 4-1) (at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL), 3:30 p.m., CBS

Georgia’s defense isn’t as dominant as last season's national runner-up squad. The ‘Dawgs ranked last in the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. Plus, the only good opponent Georgia played this season (LSU) ended badly for them.  

Meanwhile, Florida seems to be playing its best football of the season.

I like the Gators to win by a field goal.

Line: Georgia -6.5, O/U 64

Prediction: Florida 20, Georgia 17

No. 18 Iowa (6-1, 3-1) at No. 17 Penn State (5-2, 2-2), 3:30 p.m., ESPN

A battle of two of the better quarterbacks in the Big Ten: Iowa’s Nate Stanley and Penn State’s Trace McSorley.

Penn State has the third-ranked offense in the Big Ten, while Iowa’s defense is ranked fourth.

I like defense over offense in this situation, and I’ll take the Hawkeyes to win on the road.

Line: Penn State -6.5, O/U 51

Prediction: Iowa 31, Penn State 28

No. 14 Washington State (6-1, 3-1) at No. 24 (5-2, 3-1), 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network

The Cougars played their best game of the season last weekend in Pullman with a big win over Oregon.

Here’s the problem, Mike Leach’s squad have struggled on the road against ranked conference foes.

Plus, Stanford’s pass coverage can handle the skilled receivers from Washington State.

If the Cardinal can find their running game, I like Stanford here at home.

Line: Stanford -3, O/U 53.5

Prediction: Stanford 30, Washington State 27

No. 3 Notre Dame (7-0) vs. Navy (2-5) (at SDCCU Stadium, San Diego), 8 p.m., CBS

Notre Dame is playing Navy at a great time. Reason why? The Fighting Irish had extra time to prepare for the triple option during the bye week.

Ian Book has been playing well since taking over as the quarterback, and I don’t see him slowing down against a bad Midshipmen defense.

Irish are big winners on the West Coast.

Line: Notre Dame -24, O/U 54.5

Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Navy 10