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Westsider Rider

Friday, September 22, 2006

Picks of the Week

After another sub .500 week at 2-3 which brings the season total this year to 9-6 hopefully I can get back on track with these picks for the week starting with tonight's game.

Nevada -7 vs. Northwestern - The Wolfpack look to start a winning streak coming off of a 28-10 victory of Colorado State last week. In the season opener Nevada played Fresno State tough until the end falling by 9. Jeff Rowe is ready to lead the pistol offense against the Wildcats of Northwestern who are coming off terrible performances the last two weeks, falling 34-17 to I-AA New Hampshire followed by a 14-6 victory over Eastern Michigan. Nevada only allowed 64 yards rushing last week and will need to continue their good run D as Tyrell Sutton leads the charge for Northwestern. I don't believe Northwestern can stop the pistol O and I think Nevada will do a decent job of containing Sutton to pick up a big W at home.

Minnesota -2.5 @ Purdue - the Gophers rebounded from a loss on the West Coast to Cal by pummeling Temple last week 62-0. Alex Daniels and Amir Pinnix have done a good job making up for the loss of Gary Russell so far and they should continue to run effectively as they head to West Lafayette this week. Purdue is 3-0 on the season but the wins have been nothing to write home about as the only blowout win was against Indiana State. The other two opponents for the Boilermakers, Miami (OH) and Ball State, have played them close and I think the Golden Gophers will prove that a real team not from a mid-major conference will be too tough for them to handle.

Washington State -10 @ Stanford - The Cardinal opened up their season getting demolished by the Ducks up in Eugene and followed that up by blowing a 20 point lead and falling to San Jose State. Then last week in their home opener they laid an egg by letting Navy come in and beat them 37-9. I think that is explanation enough why I believe Washington State should be able to cover this weekend in Palo Alto. Sure the Cougars barely got by Baylor last week but the way Stanford is playing this year I'd probably bet on a high school team over them.

UCLA -3 @ Washington - I'll continue with another Pac-10 pick as I expect the Bruins of UCLA to head into Seattle and pick up the victory over the Huskies. Washington had a surprising, at least in my eyes, victory over Fresno State after they almost lost to San Jose State, but some may have seen it coming as the Huskies played with Oklahoma for a half in Norman. UCLA started the year with an impressive victory over Utah before sleepwalking through a win against Rice. With Ben Olson at the helm and a much improved defense I believe the Bruins will get the big road W to start off their Pac-10 campaign.

UTEP -9.5 @ New Mexico - The Miners look to get back on the winning track after their last game two weeks ago which was a disappointing OT loss to the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. They face a New Mexico team that is 1-2 on the year including a 17-6 loss to Portland State. The Lobos only win is over one of the few teams that are worse than them their instate rivals New Mexico State. Mike Price will have his guys ready to go and Jordan Palmer should have a big day as the Miners roll.

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