Week 4 picks: Freshman-led Bruins or Pac-12 South champs?

Believe it or not, it’s Week 4 already. And FOX Sports’ picks continue.

Each Thursday, our panel of Stewart Mandel, Bruce Feldman, Joel Klatt and Jim Ross will make the calls on who’ll win the weekend’s most intriguing matchups.

In addition, Mandel and Feldman will dive a little deeper into the games with their picks against the spread.

You can also find predictions for every Division I FBS game for the coming week here, courtesy of WhatIfSports.

In Week 4, UCLA and freshman quarterback Josh Rosen open Pac-12 play with a trip to Arizona. The Bruins have looked like legitimate Pac-12 contenders so far, but will the defending division champs change that narrative in Tucson?

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan, meanwhile, having been flying under the radar of late — imagine that! — and now have a shot at a three-game win streak vs. BYU. 

And with Oregon hosting Utah, USC visiting Arizona State, and Texas A&M squaring off with Arkansas, we’ll have plenty to keep us busy this weekend. 

Without further ado, here are this week’s straight-up picks: 

PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

BOISE STATE (-2.5) at VIRGINIA

Mandel: New QB Brett Rypien may ignite Boise’s 88th-ranked offense but not enough to win a tough one on the road. Virginia 27, Boise State 24

Feldman: I was tempted to pick UVA to win at home, especially with Boise QB Ryan Finley out for the next two months, but I think Boise still finds a way to eke out the road win. Boise State 14, UVA 13

The result: Boise State 56, Virginia 14

BYU (+5.5) at MICHIGAN

Mandel: BYU’s a good team, but it’s been through a grueling month. It’s not the best time for yet another road trip against a physical foe. Michigan 27, BYU 20

Feldman: Some of the air came out of the BYU balloon with the late loss at UCLA. I also think Harbaugh’s offense is starting to take strides and Jake Rudock is ready to settle down. Michigan 20, BYU 13

GEORGIA TECH (-9) at DUKE 

Mandel: Georgia Tech’s triple-option will fare much better against Duke than it did Notre Dame, and Blue Devils QB Thomas Sirk won’t be able to keep place. Georgia Tech 34, Duke 28 

Feldman: Notre Dame contained the potent Tech run game. I don’t think Duke will do as good a job, but the Blue Devils will keep it interesting. Georgia Tech 23, Duke 17

MARYLAND (+17) at WEST VIRGINIA

Mandel: Perhaps it’s reading too much into wins over Georgia Southern and Liberty, but WVU’s defense looks improved. QB Skyler Howard will put up big numbers. West Virginia 41, Maryland 20

Feldman: Dana Holgorsen has some young dynamic weapons at WR to go with a couple of good backs, and I think Skyler Howard can take advantage of the No. 90 defense in the country. West Virginia 37, Maryland 17

TENNESSEE (-1) at FLORIDA 

Mandel: The youth excuse goes out the window for Butch Jones. A Tennessee team that talented should be able to beat rebuilding Florida for the first time in 11 years. Tennessee 24, Florida 20

Feldman: Expect Josh Dobbs to play well and the UT run game to respond against a good Gator defense. I’m going with the team with the better firepower. Tennessee 21, Florida 17

TCU (-7) at TEXAS TECH (4:45 p.m. ET, FOX)

Mandel: The Frogs’ injury-depleted defense is definitely on Upset Alert, but Tech’s defense, while improving, is not yet at the point it can handle Trevone Boykin. TCU 48, Texas Tech 44

Feldman: I almost picked Tech for the outright win because I do think they’re much improved and TCU is really banged up on D, but I won’t pick against Gary Patterson (and Trevone Boykin) here. TCU 37, Texas Tech 35

TEXAS A&M (-7) vs. ARKANSAS

Mandel: Arkansas is allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt, 100th nationally. It could be another long day trying to defend Aggies WRs Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds. Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 31

Feldman: The Hogs’ D is hobbling into this one, giving up the second-most yards per play in the SEC (5.83), and the Aggies have a lot of dangerous receivers to hit big plays. Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 20

UCLA (-3) at ARIZONA  

Mandel: Arizona gets back All-American LB Scooby Wright just as UCLA loses All-American LB Myles Jack. I’m changing my pick from earlier in the week. Arizona 30, UCLA 28

Feldman: Losing Myles Jack is a huge blow to the Bruins’ D, but I still think UCLA finds a way to get a tough road win thanks to standout DT Kenny Clark and LBs Kenny Young and Deon Hollins slowing down Anu Solomon. UCLA 27, Arizona 24

UTAH (+14) at OREGON (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX)

Mandel: Utah is underrated and Oregon is vulnerable, but the Utes don’t have the downfield passing game to exploit the Ducks’ Achilles’ heel, their secondary. Oregon 38, Utah 26

Feldman: The Ducks have walloped the Utes the past two meetings, and with the game in Autzen they can handle them a third time. Oregon 34, Utah 17

USC (-5.5) at ARIZONA STATE

Mandel: Arizona State gets back RB Kalen Ballage, which should boost a struggling offense, but not enough to replicate Stanford’s clinic against the Trojans’ D. USC 35, Arizona State 27

Feldman: The Trojans got pushed around last week at home in the loss to Stanford. I don’t think they’ll produce two clunker showings in a row. USC 35, ASU 24

UPSET SPECIALS:

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (+6) at ILLINOIS

Mandel: The Blue Raiders, a bowl-eligible C-USA team each of the past three years, have put up at least 70 in two of their three games. They outrace the downtrodden Illini. Middle Tennessee 44, Illinois 41

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-4) at BOSTON COLLEGE

Feldman: The Eagles lost starting QB Darius Wade, and they’ll face a very solid NIU team that just gave Ohio State all the Buckeyes could handle. Northern Illinois 16, Boston College 13

SEASON RESULTS

Mandel: 23-10 (including upset picks)

Feldman: 22-11 (including upset picks)

Klatt: 18-9 (minus games he called on FOX or FS1)

Ross: 18-12

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