BOZICH & Crawford: Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, WKU, Brohm wee - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH & Crawford: Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, WKU, Brohm weekend forecast

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Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford make their weekly college football selections. Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford make their weekly college football selections.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A week after Louisville was positioned to become the talk of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Kentucky gets its chance to become the talk of the Southeastern Conference. (Unless Vanderbilt topples Alabama.)

Television programmers regularly slot games into the Saturday schedule according to expected viewer response. You want maximum eyeballs, you’ll get more viewers as the day winds on.

That’s a long-winded way of saying Florida’s trip to Lexington is the signature local game Saturday. Louisville and Indiana need to win big. Western Kentucky simply needs to win. Jeff Brohm and Purdue need to entertain the first full house predicted for Ross-Ade Stadium in nearly a decade.

It’s time for the weekly check of the schedule – with predictions by Eric Crawford and me included with requiring a coupon.


Kent State has played two games against FBS competition this season. The Golden Flashes failed to score a touchdown against Clemson or Marshall, getting whacked 77-3.

The good news: Kent losses have have been quick, averaging three hours and nine minutes.

Even if you include the 38 points Kent hung on Howard, the Golden Flashes rank 115th nationally in scoring and 128th in passing offense at 74 yards per game. Kent has failed to complete more than eight passes in a game. Woody Hayes might like what Kent is going, but I can’t imagine the Golden Flashes will bring many fans to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

This is a game to see if the Louisville defense can punish an inept offense. This is a game to see if the Louisville offensive line can push people around. This is a game where guys who have not played much – Hi there, Jawon Pass – should play a lot.

THE LINE: Louisville by 42.

Eric’s Pick: Louisville 45, Kent State 14

Rick’s Pick: Louisville 52, Kent State 7

FLORIDA AT KENTUCKY, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

Where were you Nov. 15, 1986?

I was only 13 days back in town from my two-day stint as the sports columnist at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. If you don’t know that story, I’ll share it at another time. But I still laugh at the reader who sent me a post-card promising to send me a week’s worth of long underwear if that was the only thing keeping me from staying in the Twin Cities.

That was the last time UK beat Florida, on a day when Bill Ransdell completed nearly every pass for the Wildcats and Kerwin Bell barely completed a pass for the Gators.

This Florida team is a mystery. It got blown out by Michigan in the opener, but a string of starters were out with suspensions and injuries. Game two was canceled by the hurricane. In game three, Tennessee out-gained Florida by 62 yards, but the Gators won on a Hail Mary on the game’s final play.

This seems like Kentucky’s moment. Florida isn’t the Florida of the Urban Meyer or Steve Spurrier regimes that strung together so many of those 30 wins. Mark Stoops has players who showed they could compete with the Gators in 2014 and 2015.

And Florida has never won a game at Kroger Field, which will be rocking.

THE LINE: Florida by 3

Eric’s Pick: Florida 24, Kentucky 21

Rick’s Pick: Kentucky 20, Florida 13

GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT INDIANA, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Who plays quarterback for the Hoosiers?

Richard Lagow, the high-velocity thrower who completed 40 passes against Ohio State?

Or Peyton Ramsey, who relieved Lagow at Virginia and rallied IU to win a victory by passing with more accuracy and giving the offense a better run/pass blend?

Georgia Southern is one of two teams with a less active and successful passing attack than Kent State. The Eagles have completed 15 of 31 throws, running the football in their triple-option attack on 82 percent of their snaps.

Kevin Wilson’s Indiana teams had no clue how to stop Navy’s triple-option. Tom Allen had extra time to prepare IU for this one. Must-Win for the Hoosiers with a trip to Penn State on deck.

THE LINE: Indiana by 23 1/2

Eric’s Pick: Indiana 45, Georgia Southern 14

Rick’s Pick: Indiana 42, Georgia Southern 10


Comparative scores are a dangerous path to follow while making predictions, but there is less danger here because Ball State and Western Kentucky played the same opponent (Illinois) in the same stadium (the Illini’s) one week apart.

Ball State lost by three, the Hilltoppers by seven. The Cardinals have not been great against the run, giving up better than 4.6 yards per carry.

Ball State quarterback Riley Neal is a three-year starter who has completed better than 67 percent of his throws this season. WKU’s Mike White has yet to show the form he showed last season. It’s time.

THE LINE: WKU by 9 1/2

Eric’s Pick: WKU 28, Ball State 21

Rick’s Pick: WKU 24, Ball State 21


The Boilermakers have out-performed expectations three consecutive weeks, creating momentum that has inspired a dormant fan base and made reasonable people ask if Purdue can double last season’s victory total (three), finish ahead of Illinois, Northwestern and Nebraska in the Big Ten West and qualify for a bowl game.

Yes. Purdue can do all that without beating Jim Harbaugh and the unbeaten Wolverines Saturday. Brohm has noted Michigan will attack with an unrelenting defensive front that will force Purdue quarterback David Blough to make quick and efficient decisions.

Blough has not thrown an interception since the Louisville game, but he struggled against the better Big Ten defenses last season, so this game will be a measuring stick of his improvement.

Michigan’s primary offensive flaw has been its performance in the red zone. In 10 trips, the Wolverines have one touchdown, eight field goals and a whiff.

There’s hope for Purdue, but Michigan likely has too much speed and talent.

THE LINE:  Michigan by 10

Eric’s Pick: Michigan 31, Purdue 28

Rick’s Pick: Michigan 27, Purdue 16

Last week: Eric 2-3; Rick 4-1

Season totals: Eric 7-8; Rick 11-4.

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