This Week's Picks

Can Syracuse get its second win? Can Notre Dame stay undefeated? Can Penn St. stop Maurice Clarett?

Rutgers (+14.5) at Syracuse

Saturday, 1:30 p.m., No TV

Troy Nunes takes over at quarterback, but don't expect much of a change. It's been the defense that has delivered Syracuse's worst start since 1982.

Giving up more than 30 points and 300 yards a game and ranking last in the Big East, or close to it, in every defensive category will give the Orangemen another loss to a lowly conference team.

Pick: Rutgers 14, Syracuse 10


Boston College (+4.5) at Pittsburgh

Saturday, Noon, No TV

The Eagles' two losses have come against Big East powers Miami and Virginia Tech. Boston College kept pace with the Hokies until Virginia Tech used its devastating running game to smash the Eagles defense — which allowed 380 rushing yards against woeful Navy.

Pittsburgh nearly upset undefeated Notre Dame on Oct. 12, coming up just short behind Rod Rutherford's 313 passing yards.

This game should be a shootout.

Pick: Boston College 31, Pittsburgh 28


Notre Dame (+11.5) at Florida State

Saturday, Noon, ABC

The Fighting Irish held Air Force to 104 rushing yards on 38 carries and only 10 first downs last weekend while pounding out a season-high 335 rushing yards. The Irish also squeaked out a win against Michigan on Sept. 14.

But, then again, Florida State was one kick away from beating Miami.

Pick: Florida State 35, Notre Dame 27


Penn State (+4.5) at Ohio State

Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC

One of the most storied rivalries in college sports will be as heated as ever with the resurgence of Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions.

But who will stop Buckeyes' back Maurice Clarett, who has averaged 140 yards? Probably no one.

Pick: Ohio State 28, Penn State 23


Alabama (Even) at Tennessee

Saturday, 7:45 p.m., ESPN

Santonio Beard surprised even himself after rushing for five touchdowns and 138 yards as Alabama trounced Mississippi, 42-7.

Meanwhile, Tennessee dropped its second conference game, losing to Georgia, 18-13, on Oct. 12, without quarterback Casey Clausen (collarbone). Later in the week, Clausen said he could've played with one arm and Tennessee would've won.

Although Clausen returned to practice Monday, Tennessee's record won't improve.

Pick: Alabama 42, Tennessee 28

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