Week 2 College Football Picks - Two Smart Plays For Friday Night's Action

Joe Catalano

Friday, September 9, 2016 5:34 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 9, 2016 5:34 PM UTC

With one week under our belt in the NCAA Football Season, we can get a better gauge on what to expect. Here are your NCAA Football Picks of the Day for Friday.

#13 Louisville Cardinals (1-0) vs Syracuse Orange (1-0)

Passed With Flying Colors
Even though the real test for Louisville is next week as they face the Florida Seminoles, they come off of a very convincing 70-14 victory over the Charlotte 49'ers. Although Syracuse is a major upgrade from the 49'ers, Louisville really laid it on thick in week 1 as they scored a massive 56 1st half points vs. Charlotte.


The Real Deal
I covered this game last week and sided with Louisville and said that one key to the game would be the play of quarterback Lamar Jackson. I'm saying it again this week as Jackson had about as good a week 1 as a quarterback can have. Against Charlotte, Jackson threw for 286 yards and 6 TD's and rushed for 119 yards and 2 TDs. Having a quarterback that's a double threat that can run and pass the football is a major asset to a football team and I see no reason why Jackson won't have success against the Orange.

Jackson spread the football out last week as 8 different players caught touchdowns and team depth even makes the Cardinals that much more lethal. One of the only players not to catch a TD ball was senior, Jamari Staples, but Staples still led the team with 4 catches for 83 yards. Whether it be this week or during the remainder of the schedule, Staples will get in the endzone. This game is really all about the play of the quarterback where Louisville is concerned as Jackson makes things happen and can make inexperienced receivers look good. I expect Lamar Jackson to outshine Syracuse.


Eric Dungey
Hold the fort; Syracuse had a pretty easy time of it last week also as they dominated the Colgate Raiders, 33-7. In this game, sophomore quarterback, Eric Dungey had a quarterback rating of 176 as he was nearly perfect. Dungey was 34 of 40 for 355 yards and 2 TD. This game could be a "track meet" and Dungey will need receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Ervin Philips to hold up their end of the bargain. As of week 1, both players have exceeded expectations as Etta-Tawo led the Orange with an amazing 12 receptions for 210 yards and 1 TD and Philips caught 14 balls for 87 yards and 1 TD. The only difference in this game is that Syracuse will be facing a tougher defense.

Despite the amazing talent that Lamar Jackson possesses, I expect the Orange to keep the game relatively close at home and cover. Currently, amongst the top rated online sportsbooks, the line reads as Syracuse Orange +15.


Free NFL Pick: Syracuse Orange +15 (-110) 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Maryland Terrapins (1-0) vs Florida International Panthers (0-1)

An Uphill Climb
It will certainly be an uphill climb for the home team in this game as they were grossly outclassed by the Indiana Hoosiers in week 1 in a 34-13. Quite simply, FIU will need to play a lot better as they face a tough Maryland squad.


Avoiding Turnovers
This will be objective number 1 for junior quarterback, Alex McGough, as McGough had a really rough week 1, throwing 3 picks and averaging just 50% on his 46 passing attempts. This is a quarterback that's capable of playing much better as he had an outstanding sophomore season, but he could face more problems this week as his team is a two-touchdown underdog to Maryland and at home.


Alex Gardner
Look for McCough to not force the issue as turnovers were the difference in week 1. FIU's only chance to be competitive is to pass the ball as this was a team that was outgained on the ground 246-63. They scored their only touchdown via the rush, but running back, Alex Gardner was quite ineffective in week 1 rushing the football as he had 10 carries for a mere 23 yards and 1 TD. This is a runner that can play much better as he ran the football for 760 yards and 9 TD's last season along with 60 receptions. On a positive note, this double threat caught 7 balls for 70 yards. Gardner's play will be the key to if FIU's success. I expect him to get his yards and his catches, but will it be enough?


A Feel Good Game
A feel good game is when a team blows away their opponent early as Maryland did to the Howard Bison and there are mass substitutions with every player getting a chance to play and produce.

In Maryland's 52-13 victory over Howard, the Terps got contributions from 6 different runners as 6 players reached the endzone. Freshman, Lorenzo Harrison (9 carries, 67 yards 1 TD), Jake Funk (8 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD), and  backup quarterback, Tyrell Pigrome (7 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD), all got a taste of the endzone in their first collegiate game as Maryland's first game of the season was a blowout. While FIU could present a greater test, the freshman and backups could see more time as this game shouldn't be competitive.

The only negative to come out of their first game of the season for quarterback Perry Hills and the Terrapins was leading receiver, DeAndre Lane (73 yards) suffered concussion-like symptoms and his status is up in the air for this game.

Look for wide receivers Teldrick Morgan and D.J. Moore to see more targets in this game as they're the receivers with experience and FIU's defense leaves a lot to be desired. Maryland is simply the better football team and home or away; it doesn't matter. As for my NCAA football free pick, I say look for the Terps to outclass the Panthers as the heavy betting favorite in this game.

Free College Football Pick: Maryland Terrapins -11.5 (-110) 
Best Line Offered: 
at 5Dimes

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