Week 5 picks: Duke over Miami, Mizzou upsets South Carolina, more
Editor's note: Every Thursday during the season, Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel will present their picks for the week.
Below are Week 5's selections (all times ET). Enjoy.
TENNESSEE (+17) at No. 12 GEORGIA (Noon, ESPN)
Mandel: I still believe Georgia is the best team in the SEC East, its 0-1 conference record be damned. Todd Gurley should be able to do whatever he wants against the Vols’ young defense. Tennessee QB Justin Worley has played well at times but is just the nation’s 87th-ranked passer and won’t be able to exploit the Dawgs’ secondary like South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson did. If anything Georgia’s pass-rushers could net quite a few sacks. Georgia 34, Tennessee 14.
Feldman: The Vols are so young, especially on both lines (UT is No. 112 in sacks allowed), that I suspect they'll get overmatched by the Dawgs’ talented pass rushers while Todd Gurley and the ridiculously deep UGA running backs group hits a bunch of long runs on the visiting Vols. Georgia 30, Tennessee 10.
No. 1 FLORIDA STATE (-19) at NC STATE (3:30, ABC)
Mandel: Carter-Finley Stadium has proved a trap for Florida State before, most recently in 2012, but this NC State team is not nearly what its 4-0 record against four non-power conference foes indicates. While Florida transfer QB Jacoby Brissett has provided a spark, the Wolfpack are still likely a middle-of-the-pack ACC team. With Jameis Winston back, expect the ‘Noles to take out their frustrations and put together their first notably overpowering performance of the season. Florida State 38, NC State 10.
Feldman: A matchup of two undefeated teams but the Pack has beaten no one of much consequence, and I don't see this being close even by late in the second quarter. Jameis is back so expect the Noles to come out really fired up. FSU 45, NC State 17.
ARKANSAS (+8.5) vs. No. 6 TEXAS A&M (3:30, CBS)
Mandel: I like what we’ve seen from the Razorbacks the past two weeks, and most of us haven’t seen A&M play in a month. Arkansas should have some success establishing the run the way Bret Bielema wants. But I have doubts that the Razorbacks’ defense, while improved from a year ago, is up to the task of slowing down Aggies QB Kenny Hill and his plethora of receivers. It could be another 600-yard type day for A&M. Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 31.
Feldman: Mark Snyder's D at A&M is improved, but I'm not sure they're stout enough inside to contain the Hogs’ power run game. That said, I think Kenny Hill and the Aggies’ attack is way too explosive for the Hogs, who are No. 78 in the nation in most plays allowed of 20 yards or longer. Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 35.
No. 16 STANFORD (-7.5) at WASHINGTON (4, FOX)
Mandel: Washington, while 4-0, has been all over the map, beginning with a scare at Hawaii. Last week the Huskies trailed lowly Georgia State 14-0 at the half. It seems like Chris Petersen’s team is still finding its identity. Stanford’s hasn’t changed, though it’s unclear whether this year’s backfield stable will provide David Shaw the type of rushing attack he preaches. The Cardinal’s defense may have to carry them through this one. Stanford 20, Washington 17.
Feldman: David Shaw's team had an extra week to get ready for this trip up to U-Dub, where they'll face a team that, while undefeated, has seemed to sleepwalk through their games against lackluster opponents. The Huskies have some difference-makers on both sides of the ball, but the hunch here is that Stanford will be able to derail the Washington offense, which is still pretty young with QB Cyler Miles at the controls. Stanford 24, Washington 10.
MISSOURI (+5.5) at No. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA (7, ESPN)
Mandel: At this point I’m inclined to believe that Mizzou is not as bad as its loss last week to Indiana might indicate, and South Carolina is not as good as its ranking suggests. Vegas seems to agree given the modest point spread. Tigers QB Maty Mauk should be able to throw all over against the Gamecocks’ 120th-ranked pass defense. Standout DE Markus Golden’s return after missing the Indiana game should help Mizzou contain Steve Spurrier’s offense. Missouri 34, South Carolina 31.
Feldman: I don't think the Tigers are anywhere as bad as they looked last week against Indiana. Still, South Carolina has a huge O-line and some good weapons on offense and I'm not going to pick against them at home after they've been called out again by Steve Spurrier. South Carolina 24, Missouri 17.
DUKE (+7) at MIAMI (7, ESPN2)
Mandel: Duke played as light a schedule its first four games as anyone in the country, making it difficult to get a read on the Blue Devils. Miami, on the other hand, has shown in losses at Louisville and Nebraska that freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya is talented but expectedly mistake-prone (he’s thrown seven interceptions) and that its defense is still struggling. The ‘Canes will ride star RB Duke Johnson in this one and hope its D can make a few stops. Miami 24, Duke 20.
Feldman: The Blue Devils have won 12 straight regular-season games and last year thumped the Canes. In fact, David Cutcliffe told his players midway through the game last season to enjoy what they're doing because they were physically dominating Miami. UM's D still looks very suspect, but the bright side has been the development of FR QB Brad Kaaya, who is coming on. I think Kaaya and the Miami speed on offense makes this one tight down to the wire, but I just can't buy in enough on the Miami D till we actually see some sign of life. Duke 30, Miami 28.
CINCINNATI (+15.5) at No. 22 OHIO STATE (6, BTN)
Mandel: Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel has thrown 10 touchdowns in his first two career starts, albeit against Toledo and Miami of Ohio. It will be interesting to see how he fares against a more talented defense. Meanwhile, it’s been three weeks since the Buckeyes’ stunning loss to Virginia Tech. Here’s guessing QB J.T. Barrett and Ohio State’s offensive line will perform better in this game, though not without a couple of mistakes that help UC hang around. Ohio State 27, Cincinnati 14.
Feldman: Gunner Kiel and the weapons Cincy has on offense should test the improved OSU defense, but ultimately I think Ohio State has too much speed for what seems to be a very suspect Bearcats defense that is No. 110 in the country despite not having faced anyone of note yet. Ohio State 41, Cincinnati 30.
OREGON STATE (+9) at No. 18 USC (10:30, ESPN)
Mandel: The Beavers are performing well enough on offense but have yet to fill the void left by standout WR Brandin Cooks. While Boston College certainly had a field day with USC’s defense, it’s still a talented group that won’t likely let Sean Mannion throw all over them. Oregon State’s defense, on the other hand, has been exceptional. The Trojans might not produce an abundance of big plays but they’ll do enough through the air to get by. USC 26, Oregon State 23.
Feldman: The Trojans have had plenty of time to stew after getting embarrassed at BC. Expect a much better, more focused effort against an undermanned Beavers team that is without their most explosive weapon, WR Victor Bolden. USC 31, Oregon State 17.
MARYLAND (+4.5) at INDIANA (1:30, BTN)
Mandel: Kevin Wilson’s Indiana offense is rolling, averaging 315 rushing yards per game, but the Hoosiers aren’t accustomed to dealing with success. Coming off their biggest win in years last week at Missouri, look for the Hoosiers to come out flat. Maryland’s C.J. Brown is just the type of dual-threat quarterback that gives Indiana’s often overmatched defense fits. Maryland wins its Big Ten opener. Maryland 40, Indiana 28.
Feldman: Kevin Wilson has done a nice job at IU and is coming off a terrific week with the upset of defending SEC East champ Mizzou, but expect there to be some emotional letdown and the Terps are still actually pretty explosive. Maryland 38, Indiana 34.
No. 11 UCLA (-4) at No. 15 ARIZONA STATE
Mandel: Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly’s absence hovers over this key Pac-12 South matchup. While Sun Devils backup Michael Bercovici has a strong arm and should have good command of ASU’s offense, Kelly brought an extra dimension that made him tougher to defend. UCLA’s defensive front will bring pressure on Bercovici, and they’re fast enough to keep D.J. Foster from shredding them. So long as Brett Hundley plays, UCLA survives. UCLA 23, Arizona State 20.
Feldman: Without QB Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils probably won't get as much run game from the QB, but backup Mike Bercovici has a big-time arm and they figure to do some damage downfield against the Bruins. Still, I'm going with Hundley and RB Paul Perkins playing in a homecoming game for the two Arizona kids against a rebuilt, inexperienced ASU D. UCLA 31, ASU 24.
TEXAS TECH (+13.5) at No. 24 OKLAHOMA STATE
Mandel: Kliff Kingsbury’s team has gone through a shakeup since we last saw it in a 49-28 beatdown by Arkansas, what with 33-year-old Mike Smith moving up from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. The change may make some difference but probably not enough for the Red Raiders to slow down Tyreek Hill and the Cowboys. Davis Webb and the Texas Tech offense will move the ball, but also commit a couple of turnovers. Oklahoma State 35, Texas Tech 24.
Feldman: The Red Raiders have been dreadful on D and now are breaking in a new DC (Mike Smith). The personnel, though, is still underwhelming on all three levels and I don't see Davis Webb, as gifted as he is, being able to cover enough for Tech's issues on D against a good, fast opponent like OSU. Oklahoma State 42, Texas Tech 31.
Mandel season (through Week 4): 27-18 straight-up, 26-19 vs. spread
Feldman season (through Week 4): 30-14 straight-up, 20-24 vs. spread