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Kansas Jayhawks @ Southern Mississippi (-5)
Friday, September 17th
8:00 ET, MM Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS
Last week, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles bounced back from a crushing opening night loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks and handed FCS Prairie View A&M a 34-7 defeat. Superstar WR DeAndre Brown showed that he was getting back on track in the game by hauling in five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers defense. QB Austin Davis also put up improved numbers in the victory, completing 11 of 18 passes for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Golden Eagles rushing attack also put up much better stats, carrying the ball 47 times for 253 yards (5.4 YPC). Southern Miss will face a big step up in competition this week though when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks shocked much of the college football betting world last week with an eyebrow raising 28-25 win against the then #15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Many NCAA football expert handicappers wrote off the Jayhawks after their embarrassing 6-3 opening loss to North Dakota State, but HC Turner Gill’s team showed that their worries were premature. QB Jordan Webb was effective for Kansas, completing 62% of his passes for 179 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, while RB James Sims had a solid game in rushing for 101 yards and a TD on 17 carries. This is a ripe spot for a letdown for Kansas though, and if the Jayhawks don’t bring their ‘A’ game they will leave Hattiesburg with a big 'L'.
Prediction: Southern Miss 24 – Kansas 14
#24 California Golden Bears @ Nevada Wolfpack (+3)
Friday, September 17th
10:00 ET, Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV
In the first two weeks of the season, the California Golden Bears have shown why they are legitimate contenders for the Pac-10 title in 2010. The Golden Bears outscored their opponents 104-10 and have been absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball. Last Saturday, QB Kevin Riley filled the stat sheet by completing 15 of 24 passes for 197 yards with four touchdowns to four different receivers. RB Shane Vereen also complemented the offensive attack by carrying the ball 16 times for 59 yards and a score while catching three passes for 18 yards and a TD. The defense was particularly impressive, holding the Buffaloes to 239 total yards and forcing five turnovers. The Golden Bears defense will face their toughest test so far this season when they take on the Nevada Wolfpack this Friday night. Nevada broke all sorts of WAC and NCAA records last season and was the first team in NCAA history to have three 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. QB Colin Kaepernick is off to a great start again this season and put up video game type numbers in last week’s 51-6 win against Colorado State. Kaepernick carried the ball 11 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns while also completing 72% of his passes for 241 yards and two scores against the Rams. RB Vai Taua was impressive as well for the Wolfpack carrying the ball 15 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Expect a high scoring affair in this one and the last team with the ball may very well come out on top.
Prediction: Nevada 38 – California 34