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P6 Pick’em: Quinton Flowers and Ed Oliver square off for the first time

A small slate of games await. But one has the potential to be stunning

NCAA Football: Rice at Houston John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

A small slate of games that includes just three conference contests awaits us this weekend. You might think that none of these games will be close if you look at the spreads, but we’ve come to expect the unexpected in this conference. Four of the five games shouldn’t be upsets, but one game has a good chance to end in favor of the underdog. Our records for P6 Pick’em have been fairly close, and that should continue this week unless one of us decides to pick a big upset.....

P6 Pick’em Records- Joe: 51-12 Joey: 53-10

Game of the Week

Houston at #17 USF (USF -10.5, Saturday 2:45pm CT)

This game probably will go one of two ways. The first is the most obvious: a USF blowout. The Bulls continue to score points, and they do it by running the ball with their three-headed monster of Quinton Flowers, Darius Tice, and D’Ernest Johnson. That trio averages 259.4 yards per game on the ground, and will be a focal point for Houston’s defense. If any of them get going, it could be a long night for the Cougars. USF’s streak of scoring 30+ points was extended last week in their 34-28 win over Tulane, and it doesn’t seem like that will end anytime soon.

The other scenario is the opposite: a Houston upset. While it may seem far-fetched with the spread of 10.5, the Cougars aren’t a pushover. We saw what this team is capable of last week against Memphis and, even though they lost, this team proved they can compete with anyone in the conference. Major Applewhite decided to pick up the tempo offensively, and it worked wonders for the offense. We mentioned the rushing attack of USF, but that attack meets Ed Oliver for the first time ever. If USF can’t run the ball, Houston’s going to love their chances in this one.

Joe: USF 38 - Houston 24

Joey: Houston 24 USF 23

Rest of the AAC

Tulane at #24 Memphis (Memphis -10.5, Friday 7:00pm CT)

Last week’s 34-28 loss confused most of us, and we’re not quite sure if Tulane found a spark or if USF was letting up. They now face an offense that is more dynamic than the Bulls, and another slow start could mean a wave of points for the Tigers. Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller have been unstoppable as of late, connecting 35 times for 492 yards and six touchdowns in the last three games. Stopping them should be Tulane’s first priority, but they have their own weapons that could present Memphis with some problems as well. Dontrell Hilliard is tough to take down, and has 359 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games, and the Tigers are going to receive a heavy dose of him.

Joe: Memphis 41 - Tulane 27

Joey: Memphis 38 Tulane 24

Tulsa at SMU (SMU -9, Friday 8:00pm CT)

One team plays great offense, but their defense needs work. The other team pulled off the upset of the conference a couple weeks ago, only to follow it up with an embarrassing loss to UConn. SMU’s offense is loaded, and new playmakers have emerged on top of the players they already have. It just comes down to their defense. SMU scores an average of 42 points per game, but allows 30.6. Tulsa won’t be the best offense they face, so it could be a good chance for this group to gain some confidence going into the final stretch. As for Tulsa, we’re starting to think the Houston game was an anomaly.

Joe: SMU 41 - Tulsa 20

Joey: SMU 55 Tulsa 14

Austin Peay at #18 UCF (No line, Saturday 4:00pm CT)

UCF should win. By a lot.

Joe: UCF 55 - Austin Peay 13

Joey: UCF 63 Austin Peay 10

Missouri at UConn (Missouri -12, Saturday 5:30pm CT)

UConn is giving up 373.4 passing yards per game. Missouri’s offense averages 314 yards threw the air. One of those has to give, and it’s usually the Huskies. Drew Lock is coming off of a 467 yard and six touchdown performance against Idaho. The Vandals were giving up just 163.7 yards passing before that game so that should tell you what’s going to happen Saturday.

Joe: Missouri 34 - UConn 20

Joey: Missouri 56 UConn 17