(Thursday, 6:30 pm, ESPN)
N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is finally getting healthy again. When he’s 100% he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. Top defender Nate Irving is also coming back from his injury? The Wolfpack and Tom O’Brien desperately need a win to stay afloat and what better place to do it than on your home field on a Thursday night ESPN game? The inconsistent Seminoles will once again talk more than they’ll actually play and get knocked off by an inferior opponent. Does Bobby Bowden do anything any more?
J.Pike’s Pick: N.C. State 24, Florida State 20
#8 BYU @ #21 TCU
(Thursday, 7 pm, VERSUS)
TCU has continually exceeded my expectations this season thanks to an always solid defense and a reliable running game. BYU enters the game as media darlings thanks to their 6-0 start and top 10 ranking. Max Hall is a good quarterback, but I’m not sure the Cougars are top 10 material. The Horned Frogs will give them all they can handle, and I’m putting BYU on Upset Alert.
J.Pike’s Pick: TCU 28, BYU 27
Hawaii @ #17 Boise State
(Friday, 7 pm, ESPN)
It’s been a rocky season post-June Jones on the islands. Hawaii has struggled to a 3-3 start. Boise State on the other hand has proven that they don’t rebuild – they reload! … for a WAC team anyway. Freshman Kellen Moore has been great at quarterback this season forming a solid backfield duo with veteran running back Ian Johnson. The ‘Bows have never been a great road team (can you blame them?), so the Broncos should handle their business on the Smurf Turf and move to 6-0.
Mark this down as one of my locks for the week: Boise State (-5) over Hawaii.
J.Pike’s Pick: Boise State 35, Hawaii 20