David J. Neal

David vs. Goliath: College football predictions for Week 2

This feature used to be Joe vs. The Pro. Between The Pro working Joe over the last five falls and dealing with the Heat through South Florida winters, Joe Goodman got motivated to skedaddle back to Alabama. This leaves David J. Neal to sling his prediction skills against the professional prognostications of Lee Sterling.

Friday: Miami at FAU, Miami by 17 1/2

David: Even at less than full health, UM brings more firepower to The Schnellenberger Shootout (Howard saved one program, started the other and left his FAU successor with a sweet, perfectly sized, well-appointed stadium). FAU’s guys know UM’s too well to be scared. They’re just not good enough. Miami 42, FAU 20

Goliath: This is probably the game the FAU kids have been thinking about since they chose to play for the Owls. The UM kids are probably peeking ahead to next week for their rematch with Nebraska. Canes also on a 1-6-1 ATS run as a road favorite. Miami 30, FAU 17

South Florida at FSU, FSU by 28 1/2

David: The Seminoles aren’t the only national power easing into the 2015 season. But after they let Texas State hang around for a half, wouldn’t it be more interesting to see how they come out snarly against a quality opponent instead of the Save Willie Taggart’s Job Tour ’15? FSU 50, South Florida 23

Goliath: Miami Jackson High product Quinton Flowers might not be a pro prospect, but he’s a pretty good fit for the Bulls’ up-tempo offense. USF coach Willie Taggart a buy as a visitor, going 17-3 ATS in the past 20 games at USF and Western Kentucky. Florida State 38, South Florida 14

East Carolina at Florida, Florida by 20

David: The Pirates ended last season with a 28-20 Birmingham Bowl loss to the Gators, lost 11 starters, then opened 2015 at home with a desperate 28-20 win over FCS foe Towson. No 28-20 hat trick. Florida welcomes East Carolina to The Swamp and back to real football. Florida 48, East Carolina 17

Goliath: When you watch new Pirates QB Blake Kemp and compare him to former three-year starter Shane Carden, you will probably agree he’s no Shane Carden. Florida 44, East Carolina 14

LSU at Mississippi State, LSU by 4

David: I’m uneasy about the way Mississippi State gave up a delta’s worth of passing yards to Southern Mississippi, even after a common season-opening late wakeup call. I’m more uneasy about this being LSU’s opener after weather canceled last week’s likely slaughter of McNeese State. Mississippi State 28, LSU 21

Goliath: If LSU rush four players or more most passing downs and turns the ball over two times or less, it should avenge last year’s loss in the Bayou. LSU 28, Mississippi State 20

Oklahoma at Tennessee, Oklahoma by 1

David: The Zapp Bowl — two Bowl Alliance-era national championship programs trying to bounce back up to college-affiliated football’s VIP floor. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield stands 6-2 with the angry cockiness associated with 5-2. Tennessee is at home with offensive experience. The Vols get more bounce to the ounce. Tennessee 42, Oklahoma 31

Goliath: Love the Vols matchup of defensive end Derek Barnet and outside linebacker Curt Maggitt vs. two new starting offensive tackles. Time for all the young kids to grow up and win their first big game. Tennessee 37, Oklahoma 24

Oregon at Michigan State, Michigan State by 3 1/2

David: A typically Oregonian cornucopia of snaps and possessions doesn’t excuse 42 points allowed to Eastern Washington, 35 in the first three quarters. Bringing that defense to Michigan State, which wants a revenge duck dinner for last year’s spanking, invites more than pronoun trouble. Duck Season. Michigan State 47, Oregon 38

Goliath: Don’t kid yourself if you think the Spartans prepared much for Western Michigan. Ducks have three new defensive backs that Connor Cook should be able to exploit. Michigan State 42, Oregon 32

FIU at Indiana, Indiana by 7 1/2

David: The test for FIU — after playing so well in so many areas against Central Florida, doing it again. The Hoosiers’ test hasn’t changed in about 25 years: suspended starters or not, stop somebody. If I didn’t have to pick it here and on my pregame blog, I wouldn’t. But I’d sure watch. FIU 34, Indiana 31

Goliath: The Golden Panthers defense played great against a Central Florida offense that is way down from past years. Hoosiers have an offense that is scary good, and their awful defense should be somewhat improved with four starters returning from suspension. Indiana 38, FIU 27

Central Florida at Stanford, Stanford by 19

David: Each team got punked physically by teams they expected to dominate. Both teams could spend this season finding themselves. Play this game at the bottom of a swimming pool. I just want to say one word. Just one word: Turnovers. Stanford 23, UCF 17

Goliath: I’m not sure why Stanford was so flat and conservative with its play-calling last week vs Northwestern. It should be a rout if the Cardinal open things up and let quarterback Kevin Hogan start slinging the ball. Stanford 34, Central Florida 13