David J. Neal

David vs. Goliath: College football predictions for Week 12


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Goliath’s record



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FIU at Marshall, Marshall by 11 1/2

David: FIU needs one win to be bowl eligible. Marshall needs one win to stay within a game of Conference USA East leader Western Kentucky. On Senior Day. On the 45th anniversary of the plane-crash tragedy that sparked an immense Can Do response, a school touchstone.

Marshall 40, FIU 24

Goliath Herd own it here to the tune of 93-23 point edge the past two. If not for two OT losses, they would be in the running for a top-tier bowl. Panthers with their No. 117 rush offense aren’t close to challenging top-tier Conference USA teams.

Marshall 38, FIU 21

Oklahoma at Baylor, Baylor by 2 1/2

David: Baylor thinks they can be Michael while feeling like everyone treats them like Fredo. They want respect. They know they need to march through this late part of their schedule with panache to impress the College Football Playoff committee.

Baylor 50, Oklahoma 28

Goliath: My good friend and Baylor drama grad Rusty has been on me for years to pick the Bears in big games, but I run a business and have to pick with my head, not my heart. That is until now. Hard-charging Bear DL and true freshman QB Jarrett Stidham take down mighty Sooners.

Baylor 48, Oklahoma 40

Middle Tennessee State at FAU, MTSU by 5 1/2

David: Bet that MTSU coach Rick Stockstill already reminded his team of how FIU got poleaxed facing Florida Atlantic and looking ahead to bowl eligibility.

MTSU 45, FAU 28

Goliath:This is a trap game as the Blue Raiders are off emotional OT win over Conference USA bully Marshall. They also have faced Power Five conference opponents Alabama, Illinois and Vanderbilt, so I doubt during the plane trip down they are thinking much about facing the Owls and their 2-7 record. Upset special!

FAU 34, MTSU 31

Florida at South Carolina, Florida by 8

David: The Spurrier Bowl, Recent Past vs. Distant Past. Yeah, Vanderbilt made the Gators get down in the muck and ugly their way out. So what? Vandy’s done that to a lot of teams this year. Florida’s fine. South Carolina’s been better post-Spurrier. Not good enough here.

Florida 30, South Carolina 23

Goliath: Gators offense is stuck in the mud. It appears obvious that the South Carolina kids don’t miss recently retired coach Steve Spurrier as they are a perfect 3-0 ATS since he tossed his visor for the last time on any sideline.

Florida 23, South Carolina 20

Virginia at Miami, Miami by 7 1/2

David: North Carolina just drubbed Duke 66-31 but that seems like the anomaly of a rivalry game gets out of hand. That line could use a little Dick Gregory. Hard to trust these Hurricanes, though.

North Carolina 24, UM 21

Goliath: Canes should move the ball against the No. 113 run defense of the Tar Heels. That stat doesn’t tell you the real story, which is they are plus-8 in turnover ratio and have allowed only two teams to score above 19 points and one Duke came in garbage time. The Canes’ two-game win streak and Coastal Championship dreams die a swift death.

North Carolina 44, UM 24

North Carolina State at Florida State, FSU by 9 1/2

David: Now, we’ll see how professionally the pseudo-amateurs at Florida State will approach the pseudo-amateurs from North Carolina State. The Seminoles lost any ACC title-game shot. They won’t be happy with their bowl. And here’s N.C. State. Watch your step — could be a trap down there.

FSU 27, N.C. State 17

Goliath: Wolfpack will have to do their damage through the air as they will be without their top two RBs for the rest of the season. Seminoles will be in a foul mood after losing to Clemson and only lightweight Chattanooga on deck.

FSU 38, N.C. State 24