BOZICH & CRAWFORD | Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, WKU football - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH & CRAWFORD | Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, WKU football picks

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Copies of the current Lamar Jackson cover edition of Sports Illustrated are already being hawked on eBay. Copies of the current Lamar Jackson cover edition of Sports Illustrated are already being hawked on eBay.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville is The Story in college football. Sports Illustrated cover. Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn hot topic. Google Search key word click magnet.

BREAKING: Copies of the current Lamar Jackson cover edition of SI are listed for as much as $12.75 on eBay. (Hint: just go to the nearest store. The cover price is half that.) Yep, Louisville is The Story -- and will be with a trip to Clemson eight days away.

Except in Lexington, where The Story is Mark Stoops and whether he can get people talking about his team instead of his contract.

Or in Bloomington, where Indiana gets 60 minutes against Wake Forest before the Hoosiers play No. 8 Michigan State (home), No. 2 Ohio State (road) and No. 20 Nebraska (home) back-to-back-to back.

Or in Bowling Green, where a team from the Southeastern Conference will dress in the visitor’s locker room for the first time.

Time to run through the relevant story lines, questions, statistics and predictions.

LOUISVILLE at Marshall

The Story Line: Sandwiched between Florida State and Clemson, Marshall looked like the ultimate trap game for Louisville before the season — or even last Saturday. But after the Thundering Herd lost to Akron by 27, this game needs a fresh tag line. I’m open to suggestions.

The Question: Will Louisville win by four, five, six or more touchdowns?

The Crazy Stat: Marshall was picked to finish first in the East Division of Conference USA by many (formerly) wise guys.

The Coverage: 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network; Eric Crawford and Katie George for WDRB.

The Line: Louisville by 27.

The Picks: Eric Crawford Louisville 63, Marshall 21; Rick Bozich Louisville 59-17.

South Carolina at KENTUCKY

The Story Line: If Mark Stoops intends to win at least six games, make a bowl and get Kentucky fans to stop talking about his $12 million buyout and start talking about better days, the Wildcats MUST beat the sagging Gamecocks.

The Question: Who wins: The movable force (Kentucky’s running defense) or the resistible object (South Carolina’s running attack)?

The Crazy Stat: The Wildcats rank last in the Southeastern Conference in scoring defense (43.7 points per game); The Gamecocks rank last in the SEC in scoring offense (15.7 ppg).

The Coverage: 7:30 p.m., SEC Network, Tom Lane for WDRB.

The Line: UK by 2 1/2.

The Pick: Eric Crawford Kentucky 35, South Carolina 24; Rick Bozich UK 24-17.

Wake Forest at INDIANA

The Story Line: With the Big Ten cut back to three non-conference games, Indiana’s chances of winning six and returning to a bowl game likely hinge on moving to 3-0 by defeating the improved Demon Deacons (winners against Duke).

The Question: Can Indiana overcome the possible absence of three offensive players — receivers Simmie Cobbs and J-Shun Harris as well as guard Dan Feeney — expected to be mainstays of the offense this season?

The Crazy Stat: According to IU, the Hoosiers have won eight straight regular-season non-conference games for the first time since 1994. According to my research, the Hoosiers have not won nine in a row since … wait for it, 1915.

The Coverage: 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network.

The Line: Indiana by 7 1/2.

The Pick: Eric Crawford Indiana 31, Wake Forest 21; Rick Bozich IU 20-17.

Vanderbilt at WESTERN KENTUCKY

The Story Line: Coach Jeff Brohm’s considerable skills as a play-caller and strategist will be tested because the Hilltoppers will be without their best offensive lineman (Forrest Lamp) against the athletic Commodores whose calling card is defense. 

The Question: Will WKU fans finally fill all 22,113 seats at Houchens-Smith Stadium?

The Crazy Stat: The Hilltoppers rank 123rd nationally and 12th in Conference USA in rushing offense at 85 yards per game.

The Coverage: 4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network, John Lewis, Rick Bozich for WDRB.

The Line: WKU by 8.

The Picks: Eric Crawford WKU 31, Vanderbilt 28; Rick Bozich WKU 27-20.

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