The inaugural Bru’s Clues picks were a rousing success, going 4-1 with only the Georgia field goal unit ruining a shot at a perfect week. Just a couple takeaways from week one before we dive into the picks for week two: Johny Manziel is not done acting like a child, we may have already seen the best game of 2013 (Ole Miss - Vanderbilt) and Willie Taggart may have lost a few passengers on his bus after losing by 32 points to FCS-opponent McNeese State. If you missed it during the preseason, here is the awesomely bad video of Taggart with random oversized heads on his bus.
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Let’s get to the picks.
Florida – Miami
First off, there is nothing worse than a noon kickoff, especially a noon kickoff in Florida in early September. It’s like playing a triple-option team in the middle of the season. You have to completely change your game plan. Your Friday night debauchery has to be cut short, so you can wake up early on a Saturday to get the tailgating festivities started. Choking down that first beer at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. never works out well. My early morning suggestion is a “Shazam.” It’s a screwdriver with champagne. You can thank me later.
Alright, to the game now. Channeling my inner Dennis Green, “The Gators are who we thought they were!!” Under Will Muschamp, the Gators are going to win by running the football and playing great defense. This was the recipe for success in 2012 and it appears after one game against Toledo, it will be the same in 2013. Miami running back Duke Johnson is exactly who we thought he was, an extremely gifted, game-breaking talent. Johnson ran for a career-high 186 yards in the Canes 34-6 win over FAU in week one.
Johnson likely won’t be finding as many openings on Saturday. The Florida front seven only allowed the Rockets 50 yards on the ground at “The Swamp” and will receive a boost this weekend. Bouncer-puncher, dog-agitator and hard-hitting linebacker Antonio Morrison will be returning to the middle of the Gator defense after serving a one-game suspension.
If the Gators defense can slow down Johnson on Saturday they should be in good shape. If Johnson is able to break a couple big runs then Stephen Morris should be able to find some holes in the Gators secondary off play-action.
Pick: I don’t see the Canes defense being able to slow down the running-back duo of Matt Jones and Mack Brown. The Gators will wear down the Canes, cover the 3.5 point spread and win by ten.
Florida 30 – Miami 20
UCF – FIU
UCF opened the year with a blowout and FIU opened the year by being blown out. The Knights offense was as advertised against Akron. Blake Bortles set a career-high with 314 passing yards and threw three touchdowns. It doesn’t look like it will get much tougher this weekend. The Golden Panthers looked more like Garfield in Ron Turner’s head-coaching debut at FIU. Maryland torched the FIU defense for 399 yards in the first half of their blowout win this past Saturday, finishing the game with 576.
Pick: UCF may not have an athlete the caliber of Stefon Diggs, but I think they have more weapons than the Terps. The Knights will once again cover the large 24.5 point spread.
UCF 42 – FIU 10
South Carolina – Georgia
Both these teams started the year with significant tests. South Carolina came away unscathed, while Georgia stumbled at Clemson and will have to likely win the rest of their games to have a shot at a national championship.
After the Gamecocks win over UNC, Jadeveon Clowney’s lack of endurance got all the headlines, but I was extremely impressed by the running of Mike Davis. The former Gator commit toted the rock 12 times for 115 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown scamper. Clemson running backs consistently got to the second and third level against the green Georgia defense. Look for the Ol’ Ball Coach to get Davis and Brandon Wilds involved in the offense early and often.
Pick: This game is between the hedges, but Steve Spurrier was 11-1 against Georgia while he was at Florida and has led South Carolina to three straight wins over the Dawgs. I’ll take the Cocks and the 3.5 points.
South Carolina 27 – Georgia 24
Notre Dame – Michigan
Since Florida State has the week off I’m throwing this one in there as an extra “Monster Matchup.” This classic showdown can be seen on Channel 9 this Saturday night at 8 p.m. It will be only the second night game ever at Michigan Stadium. They apparently don’t agree with my noon kickoff issues.
These two teams first met in 1882, but likely won’t be playing again anytime soon. The Fighting Irish cancelled scheduled matchups from 2015-17 after their semi-entrance into the ACC. The two storied programs both have BCS aspirations in 2013, but only one will leave “The Big House” on Saturday night with those dreams still intact.
Both teams looked sharp in their openers. Michigan destroyed Central Michigan 59-9 in their opener, while Notre Dame found little resistance against Temple.
Pick: Devin Gardner tossed two interceptions in last week’s win against CMU. With two fairly inexperienced quarterbacks, turnovers will play a role in this one and keep it close. Notre Dame covers the 3.5 point spread, but loses a close one on the road.
Michigan 27 – Notre Dame 24
Enjoy the games and feel free to weigh in on the polls along the left side.