We hit the ground running with our midweek MACtion college football predictions this week. And now, we’ve got our eyes set firmly on some big, marquee matchups for the weekend slate of Week 10.
Week 10 College Football Picks and Predictions
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North Carolina (-7) vs. Virginia
One has a powerful offense. The other has a middling defense. Despite a distinct home-field advantage, Virginia just doesn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Tar Heels.
That being said, the under is potentially in play as UVA’s defense has allowed an ACC-low 16 touchdowns this year. However, they just don’t cause enough turnovers and have done a great job of limiting opposing rushing attacks, but not creating incompletions.
For the season, UVA has allowed a completion percentage of 60.2% and has thrived on allowing space in front of their defenders to then limit big plays. This UNC pass attack needs only a sliver of space to get past even the best defense so the Cavs will have to tighten up their off-coverage and island cornerbacks to keep the Tar Heels out of the end zone.
As good as UVA has been against the pass, they’re not nearly as good against the run. Because of that, look for Drake Maye to be able to utilize his legs and open up rushing lanes the running back rotation of Omarion Hampton and Caleb Hood.
Tar Heels run away with it, literally.
Prediction: North Carolina 38, Virginia 17
Kentucky vs. Missouri (-1)
The Kentucky offense really hasn’t lived up to the hype from last season with Will Levis at the helm. And yet, they’ve still been very efficient for the most part. They rank in the top half of all SEC teams in yards per pass attempt, completion percentage, and touchdowns.
The unfortunate thing for the Wildcats’ passing attack in this game is the fact that Missouri has allowed just six passing touchdowns this year. That’s only one more than SEC-leading Georgia have allowed all year long.
Missouri’s talent gap with Kentucky is not nearly as big as preseason talk would have indicated. In fact, the more talented secondary with more NFL-level prospects is the Tigers. Kris Abrams-Draine, Jaylen Carlies, Ennis Rakestraw Jr., and a host of others have made play after play this year for Missouri.
They have the talent and scheme on the backend to limit Levis and Kentucky. Does that mean they can pull off the victory? If they feature Luther Burden, yes, they can.
Prediction: Missouri 21, Kentucky 18
Oklahoma State vs. Kansas (pick)
Oklahoma State’s run to 5-0 and ultimately 6-1 was the greatest fiction of this season. They manufactured close victories despite abhorrent defensive performances all year long.
In Week 9, they were called out and ultimately exposed by Kansas State in a 48-point shellacking. All that did was bring to light just how statistically and stylistically this Oklahoma State defense is in their first season without Jim Knowles as their defensive coordinator.
OSU ranks last in yards allowed per game in the Big 12, allowing 455.2 yards per game. They’ve been equally as bad against the run as they have the pass, allowing 302.6 yards through the air per game and 152.6 yards on the ground per game, ranking dead last and third to last, respectively, in the Big 12.
They haven’t quite been able to muster enough on offense to mitigate these defensive woes. They’ve been inconsistent with the ball, both on the ground (3.73 yards per carry, ninth in the Big 12) and just a 57.4% completion percentage as a team (last).
The outcome of all of those discrepancies came to light when they took on Kansas State last week and now they get Kansas with Jalon Daniels reportedly practicing and perhaps being ready to return to action.
Even if Daniels doesn’t return to this one, Jason Bean has been thrown for nine touchdowns in just three games of extended action. He’s more than capable of producing high-level play against what is a hapless defense.
Prediction: Kansas 33, Oklahoma State 30
Washington State (-4.5) vs. Stanford (under 48.5 points)
The only thing that the Stanford Cardinal have brought to the table in 2022 is a ferocious defense. And yet, they’ve allowed 38 or more points in four games this season including most recently to UCLA last week.
Still, the Cardinal are the Pac-12 leaders in tackles for loss while Washington State sits right behind them at second. Stanford has done a great job at limiting completions and big plays from potent offenses, they just haven’t been able to capitalize on offense nor keep their defense off the field due to their offensive struggles.
Still, in this contest, Washington State has the edge in defensive prowess thanks largely in part to their linebacking corps. Led by Daiyan Henley, the Cougars present a blanketing underneath coverage that should limit anything in between the numbers, where Tanner McKee has found some success.
Washington State’s defense is the top defense in terms of allowing the fewest touchdowns and in a bevy of other important, game-shortening metrics. With Stanford’s lack of offensive success and Wazzu’s defensive prowess, expect the lion’s share of points to be scored by Washington State.
Prediction: Washington State 30, Stanford 15
Florida State vs. Miami (FL) (under 53.5 points)
Wide Left, Wide Right, and utter beatdowns from one side, this game will not be. As both programs need a staple win, the Florida State Seminoles are on much better ground than in-state rival Miami.
FSU has seen a large uptick in production and consistency from their core roster this season under Mike Norvell. Despite an October month that saw the Seminoles finish with a 1-3 record, the promise of a bright future is there.
The rushing attack has been solid with a stable of playmakers in Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson, and Lawrance Toafili. With Ward injured, Toafaili and Benson have stepped up, showcasing the importance of depth at the positions.
FSU currently ranks first in the ACC with 209.6 rushing yards per game.
However, it’s an intriguing battle of strength vs. strength as the Hurricanes are limiting opponents to just 113.5 yards on the ground per game. That’s the third-best figure in the conference.
Expect the ‘Canes to hold the Seminoles in a hard-fought, physical rivalry game. FSU wins it, but it’s a tighter game on the scoreboard than the final score indicates.
Prediction: Florida State 30, Miami 20
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