Lot To Like With Locker, Washington

Expect a few upsets Saturday, including Washington beating Ohio State

Sept. 13, 2007

By Roland Williams

Special to CSTV.com

 



Roland Williams

Roland Williams is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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One of CSTV's newest analysts, former Syracuse tight end Roland Williams will breakdown a few of the nation's best games every Thursday and give you his guaranteed winners.

 

No .1 USC at No. 14 Nebraska

Keys To The Game: I played for Bill Callahan with the Oakland Raiders so I know the guy has a pulse and wants to win. He's got a good group of guys with him in Lincoln, but he's headed up against an insurmountable obstacle in the Trojans. Last season, the Huskers didn't really show me much, coming into The Coliseum and playing like they were trying to lose. They weren't aggressive and it was disgusting. Now with Sam Keller at the controls, I think they have a chance to surprise, but unfortunately for them, USC is not playing around.


 

 

 

In order for Nebraska to win this game they have to do something they haven't been able to do under Callahan, which is run the ball consistently. Obviously, USC's defense is a very aggressive bunch, but the Cornhuskers need to keep the ball out of John David Booty's hands to have any chance.

 

X-Factor: Sam Keller. He needs to come in and do something impressive, play consistent and not throw interceptions like he did in his last start against the Trojans -- in 2005 with Arizona State where he threw five picks, four in the second half -- they have a great chance to be successful against the Trojans.

 

Prediction: USC, 42-24. I'm looking for the Trojans to blow this game out.

 

No. 21 Boston College at No. 15 Georgia Tech

Keys To The Game: It starts with the Georgia Tech defense. They've been outstanding, only giving up 17 points, the fewest they've allowed in their first two games since 2002. But the Eagles are also good defensively, forcing 11 turnovers in a couple of games. Boston College has the strength at quarterback with Matt Ryan while Taylor Bennett hasn't been great, barely throwing the ball in the first two games.

 

X-Factor: Taylor Bennett. I don't think BC is going to let Tashard Choice eat them up. Tech has out-rushed opponents by almost 300 yards per game so far so the Eagles should force Bennett to beat them through the air.

 

Prediction: Boston College, 34-31. I'm calling the upset in a squeaker.

 

No. 16 Arkansas at Alabama

Keys To The Game: Word on the street is that everyone doesn't believe Mr. McFadden can carry the Razorbacks over Alabama. I do not agree with that statement. I think the Arkansas-grown McFadden is a beast and obviously last year Nick Saban wasn't around for that disappointing loss to Arkansas. So I think the players will be hyping this one up. Arkansas is probably not going to have Marcus Monk in the lineup, still nursing the two knee operations he's undergone since practice began in early August. He's their big-play receiver. To me, it's Saban vs. McFadden.

 

X-Factor: Marcus Monk. If he shows up, then that provides a huge lift for the Razorbacks. He's their big-play receiver and all-time leader in touchdown catches.

 

Prediction: Arkansas, 28-17. I like McFadden to win the battle with Saban.

 

No. 10 Ohio State at Washington

Keys To The Game: Ohio State on paper looks like it could be the dominating team. But I don't think that's going to happen. Ty Willingham and his guys are coming off that big win over then-No. 24 Boise State and I think Jake Locker is a good quarterback. He's able to compete in these big time games and I think the Big Ten is hurting. Ohio State has to keep Washington out of the red zone -- the Huskies have scored seven touchdowns in eight opportunities below the 20-yard line.

 

X-Factor: Washington defense. They need to force two turnovers to come away with a win.

 

Prediction: Washington, 19-17.

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