BOZICH & CRAWFORD | Forecasting the Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana & WKU games
Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich make their picks for Louisville-Clemson -- as well as the Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky football games this weekend.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — While you’re waiting for ESPN's Lee Corso to tug on the head of a Cardinal bird or Tiger Saturday morning, there is ample time for more discussion of Louisville’s stirring trip into Death Valley at Clemson.
In fact, there is enough time to consider Kentucky’s visit to Alabama as well as the home games Indiana and Western Kentucky will play Saturday.
Who’s Corso picking?
Not sure. I’ll guess Clemson. But Corso did -- correctly -- pick Louisville against Florida State two weeks ago and he is a former U of L coach.
But I do know which teams Eric Crawford and I are picking in all four local games.
Louisville at Clemson
The Story Line: Louisville is positioned to defeat Florida State and Clemson in a 15-day period. That never happens. But if it does, crown the Cardinals the winners of the ACC Atlantic Division. If it doesn’t happen, they’ll need Florida State to beat Clemson. And we'll all need help sorting through the ACC divisional tiebreakers.
The Question: Can Louisville run more emphatically than they’ve run the ball the last two seasons against the Tigers, when they’ve gained a combined 71 yards and lost two close games?
The Crazy Stat: Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is averaging 185 more yards total offense per game than Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Strike the pose, Number 8.
The Coverage: 8 p.m., ABC, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi. Eric Crawford, John Lewis and Katie George for WDRB.
The Line: Louisville by 2.
The Picks: Eric Crawford, Louisville 35, Clemson 31; Rick Bozich, Clemson 27, U of L 24.
Kentucky at Alabama
The Story Line: I’ll share the best Shock the World scenario that anybody concocts, outlining how Kentucky can win this football game against the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Just e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hurry.
The Question: Western Kentucky played Bama to a 38-10 game in Tuscaloosa. Can the Wildcats win the comparative score game against the Hilltoppers? Trust me, they'll be watching in Bowling Green.
The Crazy Stat: Kentucky has never won in Tuscaloosa (0-9).
The Coverage: 7 p.m., ESPN, Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill.
The Line: Alabama by 35 1/2.
The Picks: Eric Crawford, Alabama 56-14; Rick Bozich, Alabama 49, UK 10.
Michigan State at Indiana
The Story Line: Indiana has not beaten Sparty since John L. Smith was the coach in East Lansing — and the Hoosiers could still be without two injured starting offensive linemen. Kevin Wilson said the absence of Dan Feeney and another lineman did not affect IU against Wake Forest. I humbly disagree.
The Question: Are interceptions (five last Saturday against Wake Forest) going to be an ongoing problem for IU quarterback Richard Lagow against more athletic competition?
The Crazy Stat: Michigan State has averaged 47.1 points while winning its last seven games against the Hoosiers.
The Coverage: 8 p.m., Big Ten Network, Eric Collins, Glen Mason.
The Line: Michigan State by 6 1/2.
The Picks: Eric Crawford, Michigan State 35, Indiana 10; Rick Bozich, Michigan State 31, IU 14
Houston Baptist at Western Kentucky
The Story Line: Jeff Sagarin’s college football computer rankings include 253 FBS and FCS programs. Houston Baptist is ranked 245. Why?
The Question: Will the coaches agree to a shortened clock in the third quarter or the fourth quarter?
The Crazy Stat: HBU is allowing 293 yards passing per game — against FCS opponents. Every QB on Jeff Brohm's roster wants a crack at HBU.
The Coverage: 7 p.m., WKUSports.TV
The Line: No line (FCS opponent)
The Picks: Eric Crawford, WKU 59, Houston Baptist 7; Rick Bozich, WKU 63, Houston Baptist 10.
Other game: Wake Forest at North Carolina State: Crawford likes NC State, 31-28; Bozich takes Wake, 27-24.
Season Record: Crawford 17-3; Bozich 15-5.
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