David J. Neal

David vs. Goliath: College football predictions for Week 9


David’s record



Vs. spread


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Goliath’s record



Vs. spread


Last week










FIU at FAU, FIU by 2 1/2

David: FAU’s best performance might have been the first half vs. UM. In fact, the Owls seem to be a pretty good half-game team. And that’s a perfect half-game line. As a whole-game line, it’s too skinny to hold up pants. Smallest margin in a Shula Bowl: seven points.

FIU 33, FAU 17

Goliath With a win here, the Golden Panthers all but lock up a bowl bid. QB Alex McGough is firing on all cylinders with 17 TD passes and only three interceptions. FIU locks up the Shula Bowl in back-to-back years.

FIU 37, FAU 26

Notre Dame at Temple, Notre Dame by 9 1/2

David: Notre Dame doesn’t visit Philly often. And with 7-0 Temple on the other side, The Linc will feel like Bruce Springsteen opening for Ali-Frazier. For Temple, something new will be added. That’s Notre Dame’s every week. When the knees start knockin’, the Irish will start rockin’.

Notre Dame 45, Temple 19

Goliath: The Irish play a varsity schedule. The Owls play a JV schedule. Notre Dame has scored 30 plus points in every game except for the loss to Clemson. The Owls only playmaker is running back Jahad Thomas, and that’s not enough.

Notre Dame 34, Temple 20

Clemson at North Carolina State, Clemson by 10

David: Clemson’s coming off a 58-point road blowout that snuffed a conference rival coach’s torch (The Canes tribe has spoken). And the Seminoles come in next week. Sleepwalk cakewalk.

Clemson 40, North Carolina State 24

Goliath:Things don’t change that much in a year. The Tigers blanked the Wolfpack last year 41-0 and held quarterback Jacoby Brissett to 4-of-19 passing. No Clemsoning here!

Clemson 37, North Carolina State 23

Georgia at Florida, Florida by 3

David: I liked Florida without quarterback Will Grier better than Georgia without running back Nick Chubb. Both teams coming off a bye, but it does the Gators better as quarterback Treon Harris benefits from a second and third week of unshared first-team reps.

Florida 30, Georgia 20

Goliath: The Bulldogs don’t pass the eye test since they lost RB Nick Chubb. I expect the Gators to run the ball right at the Bulldogs’ front seven. Last year they gained 418 yards rushing in their 18-point win. Mark Richt is also a miserable 2-8-1 ATS as an underdog since 2008.

Florida 23, Georgia 13

Miami at Duke, Duke by 10

David: Still stunned over the Hurricanes’ left guard and center posing for football-card photos while half a two-man pass rush concusses quarterback Brad Kaaya into November. Redshirt freshman Malik Rosier gets his first start. You can hear the Dukies sneering, “Bye, Felicia.”

Duke 38, Miami 20

Goliath: Your heart tells you to pick the Canes as these players have been through so much the past week. The problem is without quarterback Brad Kaaya, they lack the leadership and passing skills to stay close to a streaking Blue Devil squad.

Duke 31, Miami 13

Syracuse at Florida State, Florida State by 20 1/2

David: I keep waiting for the dark side of Florida State quarterback Everett Golson’s moon. As it hasn’t really happened, I’ll look at the other side of the equation. Points allowed by Syracuse in its two road games: 45 and 44. Seminoles breathe, breathe in the air.

Florida State 42, Syracuse 17

Goliath: Do you really want to lay almost three touchdowns when FSU scored only 14 points vs. Boston College, 16 vs. Georgia Tech and 29 points on a Miami defense that surrendered 58 last week to Clemson? I’ll take the generous spot here.

Florida State 35, Syracuse 20