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Matchup: Kansas State Wildcats @ Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Thursday, October 14th, 7:30 ET
Location: University of Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Game Line: Kansas St -2.5
The Sunflower State Showdown lacks a little of the luster seen in previous years, but that doesn’t mean the in-state rivalry between the 2-3 Kansas Jayhawks and the 4-1 Kansas St Wildcats will mean any less to the teams involved Thursday night. To say that first year head coach Turner Gill has gotten off to a rocky start with the Jayhawks is a bit of an understatement. Kansas opened their season with a humiliating 6-3 loss against FCS North Dakota State and was blown out by the Baylor Bears two weeks ago in Waco. The 55-7 win that the Bears recorded was the biggest conference win in Baylor history, and it completely dominated the Jayhawks from start to finish. The Jayhawks allowed an eye-popping 678 total yards while their offense could only muster 270 total yards and turned the ball over four times against the Bears. Needless to say, the Jayhawks will need a much better performance in order to beat the Wildcats. Kansas State is coming off an embarrassing outing itself, falling 48-13 to Nebraska in Manhattan last Thursday night on HC Bill Snyder’s birthday nonetheless. The Wildcats defense allowed the Nebraska offense to rush for 451 yards and gave up over 10 yards per play to the Cornhuskers. In particular, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez was allowed to run wild, carrying the ball 15 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns. For the Wildcats, RB Darren Thomas was completely shut down by the Huskers’ defense despite coming into the game as one of the leading rushers in the country. Thomas carried the ball 22 times for 63 yards and will need to have a better game against the Jayhawks as the Wildcat offense runs through him.
Free College Football Picks: Kansas +2.5
Prediction: Kansas 24 Kansas St 21
Matchup: South Florida Bulls @ #25 West Virginia Mountaineers
Date: Thursday, October 14th, 7:45 ET
Location: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Game Line: West Virginia -10.5
West Virginia kicks off Big East play Thursday night when they host the South Florida Bulls at Mountaineer Field. The Mountaineers are 4-1 with their only loss being at the hands of undefeated LSU in Death Valley and look to be the class of the Big East this season. Last Saturday against the UNLV Rebels, the Mountaineers put together their most dominant performance of the season, scoring a huge 49-10 victory to get back into the Top 25. RB Noel Devine was battling a toe injury and only carried the ball three times, but racked up 84 yards and two touchdowns in limited action in the victory. QB Geno Smith also had a fantastic day for West Virginia, throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the win. HC Bill Stewart’s defense has also been stellar this year, allowing just 255 yards per game and seven touchdowns in five games in 2010. As for South Florida, HC Skip Holtz has gotten off to a less than stellar start in his first year on the job, losing both games against BCS conference opponents while only mustering wins against two Sun Belt conference teams and an FCS team. Last week against Syracuse, the Bulls put together a pitiful performance at home in a 13-9 loss. QB BJ Daniels was downright dreadful, completing just 9 of 23 passes for 124 yards and two interceptions while being sacked four times. The South Florida offense as a whole was only able to muster 219 yards against the typically porous Orange defense and the USF defense allowed over 300 yards of offense to a Cuse offense which is typically pitiful in conference play. If the Bulls hope to come out of Morgantown with a win on Thursday, Daniels will need to outperform Smith and limit his turnovers.
Free College Football Picks: West Virginia -10.5
Prediction: West Virginia 29 South Florida 10