David J. Neal

David vs. Goliath: College football predictions for Week 8


David’s record



Vs. spread


Last week










Goliath’s record



Vs. spread


Last week










Clemson at Miami (Clemson by 6.5)

David: “Signature Win.” “Statement win.” “Win Over a Team We Care About Beating Because We Perceive Them as Elite Because We Think We’re an Elite Program Even Though The Last Top 10 We Made Came From Dave Letterman.” Whatever Canes fans want to call it, it doesn’t happen here.

Clemson 42, Miami 27

Goliath: Canes will need to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball more than the last two games where they were outgained 408-119. The Tigers’ Deshaun Watson is the best quarterback in the ACC and might be too much to handle.

Clemson 31, Miami 21

FAU at UTEP (FAU by 5.5)

David: Texas-El Paso’s a couple of injuries from signing up the best Madden players on campus. No matter whom FAU uses at quarterback, the surrounding cast should be too much for an undermanned, demoralized Miners team last seen giving up 52 to FIU.

FAU 38, UTEP 17

Goliath Owls look to get back the services of dual threat QB Jaquez Johnson. Owls play much better on the road, going 17-3 ATS. Miners’ only win was against Incarnate Word. Do I need to say any more?

FAU 34, UTEP 23

Old Dominion at FIU (FIU by 13)

David: Old Dominion found an offense last week when it found a quarterback in David Washington. Charlotte’s defense, however, isn’t FIU’s. And the Monarchs didn’t find a defense. And FIU’s offense moved the ball at will the last two weeks, with only some costly red-zone failures at Middle Tennessee State.

FIU 45, Old Dominion 31

Goliath: The Panthers have covered the last two home games by 15 and 26 points. Monarchs made a switch at QB to converted wide receiver David Washington last week as they finally found a solution to bolster the offense as he passed for 365 yards and four touchdowns. This game could be a shootout, and FIU just might have enough weapons to hold on.

FIU 42, Old Dominion 38

Houston at UCF (Houston by 21.5)

David: Two home teams among today’s games appear to be thinking about spring break, spring ball and/or graduation. UCF is one (UTEP’s the other). Houston puts up 45.7 points and 554.7 yards per game. UCF puts that up only in practice … a fortnight’s worth of practices.

Houston 51, UCF 10

Goliath:When your top rushing output versus FBS opponents is 67 yards, you have serious problems on offense. Knights are a mess. Head coach George O’Leary might be five games away from retirement. Cougars are road warriors as evidenced by their 14-1-1 record when they aren’t the home team.

Houston 45, UCF 13

SMU at South Florida (South Florida by 12)

David: South Florida wants to run and play defense. Oh, they’ll get to run. Pass, too, if they want. Skip. Whip. Nae Nae. Any form of locomotion you choose, SMU will accommodate. These Mustangs aren’t Shelbys. Points allowed in their five losses: 56, 56, 48, 49, 49.

USF 45, SMU 24

Goliath: Bulls focus here is matching last years win total of four and then moving forward. The last time they were a double digit favorite was the third week of the 2013 season. Mustangs offense is much improved over last year scoring at least 21 pts in all six games this season as new head coach Chad Morris has them headed in the right direction.

USF 38, SMU 32

FSU at Georgia Tech (Florida State by 6)

David: These Yellow Jackets don’t roll out the old fashioned triple option with the crispness of previous editions, to say the least. This is a good Florida State team with a great running back (Dalvin Cook).

Still, you don’t break five-game losing streaks against the Seminoles.

FSU 37, Georgia Tech 21

Goliath: The offense finally erupted last week for the Seminoles. Georgia Tech’s offense hasn’t been the same this season as the new pieces at RB and injuries on the OL haven’t been enough to keep possession of the ball and score enough to keep a pedestrian defense from being run over.

FSU 31, Georgia Tech 20