WEEK TWO - Top 25 Preview (Part I: 11-25)

Marshall at #11 Wisconsin
(Saturday, 11 am, Big Ten Network)
Wisconsin ran for 404 yards last week and this week should be more of the same. Eventually Allan Evridge will need to complete a pass or two to win in the Big Ten and the soft Marshall defense seems to be the perfect opportunity to work on his arm.
J.Pike’s Pick: Wisconsin 35, Marshall 13

Tulane at #12 Alabama
(Saturday, 6 pm, ESPN360.com)
There will be no letdown for the Crimson Tide after putting a beat-down on Clemson last Saturday night. Without Matt Forte, who makes his NFL debut for the Bears on Sunday, Tulane is no match for Bama, particularly in the trenches. Look for JP Wilson to fine tune the passing game early as he establishes a connection with freshman receiver Julio Jones. Then Terry Grant and the running game can grind out the clock in the second half.
J.Pike’s Pick: Alabama 37, Tulane 10

The Citadel at #13 Clemson
(Saturday, 2:30 pm, ESPN360.com)
After having national title aspirations destroyed on the opening weekend of the season, there’s no remedy quite like playing The Citadel. After getting manhandled at the line of scrimmage by Alabama, I expect the Clemson players to take out all their frustration this week by beating up on a completely insignificant opponent – and I can’t really blame them.
J.Pike’s Pick: Clemson 61, The Citadel 6

Oregon State at #14 Penn State
(Saturday, 2:30 pm, ABC)
As much as I like Sammie Stroughter and the Oregon State Beavers, they are simply no match for this Penn State team, despite all the suspensions. The Nittany Lions are on a mission this season and running backs Evan Royster and Stephfon Green will have a field day against an inexperienced Oregon State front seven that gave up 210 rushing yards to Stanford a week ago.
J.Pike’s Pick: Penn State 31, Oregon State 15

Stanford at #15 Arizona State
(Saturday, 9 pm, FCS-Pacific)
It’s tough to pick against Stanford after their gutsy performance in a victory over Oregon State last Thursday night. Jim Harbaugh just seems to be pushing all the right buttons and has the players believing in themselves and playing at a higher level than anybody could have expected when he took the job. ASU has too much talent to lose this game though. Stanford will hang in there on guts alone, but Dennis Erickson will make adjustments at halftime and win going away.
J.Pike’s Pick: Arizona State 38, Stanford 20

#16 Texas Tech at Nevada
(Saturday, 8 pm)
This is an interesting road game for the Red Raiders. Nevada’s Pistol offense should give Tech’s always questionable defense problems. The Wolfpack have more offensive weapons than you might think and they’ll keep it close for a while. But Tech has too much offense and you better believe Mike Leach will run up the score late in this one.
J.Pike’s Pick: Texas Tech 48, Nevada 24

Utah State at #17 Oregon
(Saturday, 2:30 pm)
It’s a good thing Justin Roper looked good last week because Nate Costa is going to be out for the season (again) with a knee injury. More importantly, Jeremiah Johnson proved he’s going to be one of the best running backs in the country this year. He’ll pile up the yards again this week.
J.Pike’s Pick: Oregon 44, Utah State 14

#18 South Florida at Central Florida
(Saturday, 6 pm, ESPN 2)
This is a rivalry game, but apparently UCF doesn’t know rivalry games are supposed to be close. South Florida has won the last three games in this series by a combined score of 119-43. This year’s edition will be more of the same.
J.Pike’s Pick: South Florida 38, Central Florida 13

UNLV at #19 Utah
(Saturday, 7 pm, mtn.)
Utah pulled out a win in the Big House opening weekend, but they’ll need to clean up the penalties and turnovers if they want to win the Mountain West. Brian Johnson is a fantastic quarterback and he’ll guide Utah to 2-0 over UNLV.
J.Pike’s Pick: Utah 35, UNLV 17

Louisiana Tech at #21 Kansas
(Saturday, 6 pm, FSN)
Be careful here. Louisiana Tech knocked off Mississippi State in a mild upset last week and is looking to do it again this week. Kansas plays sound fundamental football though and won’t turn the ball over like Mississippi State did. I expect the Jayhawks to jump on La Tech early and remind the Bulldogs they aren’t in Kansas anymore. Or something like that. And I’m predicting a special teams touchdown for Kansas.
J.Pike’s Pick: Kansas 31, Louisiana Tech 13

#22 UCLA is off

#23 Tennessee is off

Eastern Illinois at #24 Illinois
(Saturday, 11 am, Big Ten Network)
Juice Williams proved against Missouri that he truly has taken the next step in his development. Nobody in the country has a stronger arm than Juice, but he probably won’t get to show it off as much this week. Eddie McGee should get plenty of playing time and maybe the Illini can find a running back in this blowout.
J.Pike’s Pick: Illinois 51, Eastern Illinois 13

#25 BYU at Washington
(Saturday, 2pm, FSN)
If Tyrone Willingham is going to bust out a big win and get off the hot seat, this would be a good place to do it. BYU is ranked, but there are still questions about the defense. Jake Locker will have to win it with his feet though because he doesn’t have a big league arm, so I don’t see any way the Washington offense can keep pace with the BYU offense.
J.Pike’s Pick: BYU 33, Washington 20

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