This time of year we start to see a few teams give up on their seasons, and a few start to heat up, which makes picks always tough, not knowing who will come into the game with a passion and a desire to still play hard, or those that are just looking forward to the season winding down.
UNC @ CSUS – Sac St is 5-5 right now, and faces just UNC and ISU the rest of the season, while 7-5 won’t have them thinking post-season, it’s got to be a big boost for this team. Especially after beating EWU and then rival UCD. UNC is reeling with 4 losses in a row, and I see no reason why that trend won’t continue, Sac wins 24-16.
NAU @ EWU – Two teams that have to be disappointed with their overall season. EWU was supposed to have an incredible offense and play lights out, they’ve been streaky and have suffered painful losses to UM, PSU, & CSUS – at this point I would guess the team goal is to finish with a winning record, which would require wins against NAU this week and WSU next week. Last week in their win EWU gave up almost 350 passing yards to UNC, and a little more than 100 rushing – not a good sign as they’ll face a more talented NAU. Meanwhile the Lumberjacks are coming off from a loss to MSU, in a hard-fought game full of mistakes by both teams, the ‘jacks kissed any post-season hopes good bye with that loss. I’m not a fan of dome teams when they travel, looking at NAU, when playing outdoors, on the road they’re only scoring 17 points per game, meanwhile they’re allowing 28 points per game (2-2 in road games played outside). Another blow to NAU is their QB situation, once again Kresien was replaced with Herrick, and Herrick threw two ints, including the one that killed their last drive. I think EWU will come to play, where NAU wont, Eags win 31-17.
PSU @ MSU – PSU lost their game of the season last week, how will they respond? Also MSU has to be drooling over how crappy PSU’s D did against the rush last week. However MSU’s QB Desin will be starting his first game, and even though he had a nice deep pass to set up the game winning-FG against NAU, he only played 2 series, 1 of which was a kneel-down, so how will he preform over the course of a full game? Fortunately the cats have one of the better RBs and rushing games in the conference, so they won’t be relying on Desin. Meanwhile PSU needs to find a way to rebound, and they’re facing one of the better pass defenses in the conference this weekend. Last week was a hard-hitting game, and I think it look a lot out of the Vikings, now headed on the road, and with no chance of having a .500 or better season, I see PSU losing this game, cats win 20-13.
ISU @ UM – ISU is throwing a wrinkle at the Grizzlies, by starting a JC transfer QB, who did lead two late scoring drives against WSU last week. However ISU will be without their top WR threat, and is down a few guys on their D line and O line as well. Again, dome teams playing outdoors usually do not preform well, and I expect the same here. Meanwhile the Griz are playing well, but have 2 of their starting O-line players dinged up. Against a winless ISU team, I think Montana could start slow, coming off last week’s physical game, but they’ll heat up and win this one 48-17.