Sep 21, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins defense stops Virginia Mountaineers running back Charles Sims (3) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Marcel Howard: A second team All-Big 12 selection at right tackle in 2001, started the last 23 games of his Cyclone career. After college he signed a free agent deal to join the Detroit Lions NFL camp before retiring in 2002. He’s currently living in Chicago working for a medical device company (ERMI, Inc.). His little brother Austin Howard is the starting LT for the Oakland Raiders.
West Virginia @ Maryland – I think this is going to be a great match-up between West Virginia’s high powered offense versus an up and coming yet unpredictable defense from Maryland. Looking at what WV did against super powerhouse Alabama and only holding them to 33 points coupled with the fact that Maryland allowed 17 points by a bleak South Florida squad, I’m going to have to go with West Virginia dominating in this game (especially in the second half). West Virginia wins 45-17.
Georgia @ South Carolina – I think this is going to be one of the better games this weekend. Historically Georgia has not fared well win facing the Gamecocks on the road and have had quite the task of getting the ball in the endzone. With that being said, you don’t play history on Saturdays…you play teams. South Carolina’s defense has been questionable the last couple of weeks yielding 52 points to Texas A&M (not even close to Georgia’s talent) and 23 points to ECU which isn’t exactly a powerhouse. However Georgia plays more of a zone scheme of an offense so expect the Gamecocks to fare much better as far in containing Heisman candidate and freak of nature Todd Gurley. The thing to remember is a running back is only as good as his offensive line so I anticipate Georgia eventually wearing down South Carolina’s defense and winning a close but low scoring game 20-13.
Arkansas @ Texas Tech – In week 1, Texas Tech barely won against Central Arkansas. Teams usually improve the most between the first and second game of the season. That being said, I haven’t seen much improvement with the Red Raiders between the first and second week (they barely squeaked by UTEP). I will definitely be rooting for a fellow Big 12 team but I think Arkansas is is just way to talented and way to quick on both sides of the ball than Tech can handle. Sorry, but I think Arkansas routes the Red Raiders 52-17.
Iowa State @ Iowa – Okay, before I give my rationale you have to understand that I HATE the Hawkeyes with passion. I can’t stand them. My blood boils everytime I see their craptastic logo. What’s even worse is that 75 percent of their so-proud (and clueless) fanbase never even attended a single class there. Okay — my rant is done.
As much as I would like to say the CLONES dominate this game in every aspect of the game, I’m not even remotely convinced that we’ll win this game. Let’s start off with the offense. I truly think our specialty guys can line up against any top ranked team and go toe to toe in performance. Jarvis West has done an excellent job in the past couple of games; giving a much needed spark to our normally abysmal offense.
But as you know, games are lost and won in the trenches and our offensive line has not shown that they can get much of a push from the line of scrimmage so I am weary of our ability to run the ball on Saturday (please Clones prove me wrong!). Also our pass blocking hasn’t been much better and when Sam Richardson gets pressured, he completely falls apart.However, Iowa’s defense has NOT looked impressive by any means so I hoping we can expose them when they’re defense breaks down (trust me, they WILL have some major break downs).
ISU’s defense has been a mixed bag. The D-backs have been pretty solid against the pass and in filing in gaps versus the run. But our defensive line struggles to get pressure and our linebackers seem to still be learning their positions. Again, the good thing is that Iowa’s offense is pretty bad so they can definitely be stopped.
I guess what I’m the most concerned about is Iowa State’s lack of ability to play as a solidified team. I was at the home opener and not once did I see the team rallying for each other or having each others backs. The sidelines were completely silent and reaked of disparity. The K-State game showed some improvement (as seen from TV) but not much. If Iowa State can play with the heart and passion that has been demonstrated in previous years within this rivalry, they will win the game hands down; they are more talented. However, if the energy and lack of comradery is like it has been the last couple of games, we will lose.
Iowa has gotten lucky the last couple of weeks. They should have lost to UNI and they should have lost to Ball State. THEY SHOULD LOSE TO IOWA STATE. However, we need our boys to actually show up. My prediction for the game: pick ’em.
Tennessee @ Oklahoma – Tennessee has played 22 true freshman this year. ’nuff said. Oklahoma 48-13.
UCLA @ Texas – Not impressed with either team here. Texas just got their tails handed to them by BYU and they don’t look like the Texas of old. However, UCLA hasn’t been that impressive either. Because this is a home game, I’ll expect Texas to bounce back and squeak by with a 28-23 victory.