College Football Game Picks: Week 8

Story posted October 21, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Evan Popalis

Week 8 of the college football season is right around the corner with some highly anticipated matchups. Here is a look at some of the best games to watch out for this Saturday.

Game of the Week: No. 10 Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins

The opportunity for the Pac-12 to make the College Football Playoff hinges on Oregon defeating UCLA. The Ducks are banged up, while the Bruins continue to stride in the right direction health-wise.

Not having C.J. Verdell is a stinger for Oregon. However, neither team has looked brilliant over the previous two games. Pasadena is hosting a pivotal matchup at the Rose Bowl. Expect Dorian Thompson-Robinson to be the difference-maker in this battle.

Prediction: UCLA 37, Oregon 32

Clemson Tigers vs. No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers

The roles are reversed this time around between these two ACC squads. Pitt is ranked, and Clemson is an unfamiliar underdog in conference play. It has not been pretty for Dabo Swinney’s Clemson crew, but a weak conference instills hope in the Tigers.

Pitt deserves the recognition it has spotlighted on itself at this moment. This Panthers team is dominant offensively, averaging 48 points per game. The Pennsylvania team is complemented by a stellar defense as well.

The underdog status for Clemson will inject a ferocity that has not been prevalent this season. The Tigers will be the better cat on Saturday and knock off the impressive Panthers.

Prediction: Clemson 30, Pittsburgh 26

USC Trojans vs. No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Give credit to Notre Dame for embarking on a demanding schedule this season and answering the bell beside a game it threw away against Cincinnati. It is not crazy to consider the Irish as a potential playoff candidate, depending on how the rest of the season plays out.

Notre Dame has a quarterback issue, rotating through three different arms over the last two games.

The unpredictability of USC is a significant problem. This offense can tally yards and points, but the defense is nonexistent at points.

The Trojans allowed Utah, Oregon State and Stanford to score the most points of the season in a single game for those respective clubs. Notre Dame by a smidge less than two touchdowns feels right in this one.

Prediction: Notre Dame 29, USC 20

LSU Tigers vs. No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels

Well, try to predict this one, folks. Ed Oregeron is not returning as the head coach of the Tigers after this season, and Lane Kiffin is recovering from getting hit by a golf ball in Knoxville.

In all seriousness, LSU got a massive win over Florida last weekend, while the Rebels escaped Tennessee with a win in a brutally physical game. The concern now relies on the health status of Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. The Heisman-hopeful is questionable for Saturday’s showdown, yet Kiffin did not sound optimistic about his chance to play.

The Rebels are having a great year but have played three taxing games in a row. The Bayou Bengals are out for blood, and if Corral does not play, LSU has an actual shot at stealing this game.

Prediction: LSU 34, Ole Miss 28

Underrated Game of the Week: Maryland Terrapins vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Maryland has been tested the past two games against Ohio State and Iowa. The Terps can provide an explosive offense, but the rushing defense is an area of concern.

Minnesota lost arguably its best player in the season opener in running back Mohamed Ibrahim. The Golden Gophers have won four of their last five, with the only defeat coming against Bowling Green. The head-scratching loss makes it challenging to buy into this Minnesota squad fully.

Taulia Tagovailoa must put on a show to give his team a quality opportunity for victory. The Terps will rise to the occasion and knock off the boat rowers.

Prediction: Maryland 27, Minnesota 21

Evan Popalis is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com.

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).