Week 3 was wild, but Week 4 has the potential to be just as exciting, if not more. Conference play starts up for a few teams, but it’s the two Power 5 matchups that everyone wants to see. Houston faces yet another Power 5 opponent from the Big 12 when they host Texas Tech, while UCF travels Maryland to take on the red hot Terps. Are we in for more upsets? Memphis started the chaos, and the Cougars and Knights can keep the party going.
P6 Pick’em Records: Joe 28-1, Joey 29-0
Game of the Week
Texas Tech at Houston (Houston -6, Saturday 11:00am CT)
Nic Shimonek is not Patrick Mahomes, everyone knows that. But Shimonek isn’t worse than Mahomes so far in terms of production. Texas Tech has moved on from their star, and might have found a brighter one in the senior from Mildred, Texas. He has already thrown for 927 yards and nine touchdowns in just two games of action. Much of the doubt surrounding his position has since been erased, and his experience last season when Mahomes was hurt contributed to his success.
Texas Tech now faces the best defense they’ve seen to date, and one of the better defenses on their schedule. While the Red Raiders defense still struggles to make stops, the offense likely will need to continue lighting up the scoreboard. That might be difficult against Houston. The Cougars may have one of the best defenses in the nation, but they have yet to be tested by an offense like Texas Tech’s. Their secondary will need to be sharp, as the Red Raiders like to spread the ball around the field to multiple receivers.
Only two things should concern Red Raider fans, but they’re BIG concerns. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver is going to be the best defensive player they see all season. He is a dominant force who is difficult to stop, and already has shown his play-making abilities with 15 tackles, two forced fumbles, and a blocked field goal. The other concern for Texas Tech is their own defense against Houston’s offense. The Cougars have big receivers, and plenty of weapons on offense, while Kliff Kingsbury’s team doesn’t appear to have figured out the actual playing defense part. TDECU Stadium should be rocking once again, and the Cougars are looking to add another Power 5 win to their resume.
Joe: Houston 45 Texas Tech 41
Joey: Houston 42 Texas Tech 38
The Rest of the AAC
Temple at #21 USF (USF -19.5, Thursday 6:30pm CT)
The Owls are looking to make a statement that they haven’t lost a step, but that’s going to be tough when they’re trying to stop Quinton Flowers. USF’s quarterback appears to be heating up, and had is best game of the season last week against Illinois. Temple’s defense could be in trouble, and their offense is far from ready to put up 30+ points.
Joe: USF 42 Temple 17
Joey: USF 49 Temple 21
Army at Tulane (Tulane -1.5, Saturday 11:00am CT)
Triple option. Need we say more? Tulane should be well prepared after facing Navy two weeks ago, but it’s going to be tough without starting quarterback Jonathan Banks. Backup Jonathan Brantley has done an admirable job in Banks’ absence, but will he be able to produce a win?
Joe: Tulane 31 Army 27
Joey: Tulane 23 Army 20
New Mexico at Tulsa (Tulsa -12.5, Saturday 12:30pm CT)
If you like watching teams run the ball, this is your game. Both teams finished in the Top 10 in rushing last year, and appear to be on their way to replicating those performances. If Tulsa can get the score into the high 30s/low 40s, this one could be over, but their defense needs to show they can make a stop first.
Joe: Tulsa 41 New Mexico 27
Joey: Tulsa 34 New Mexico 27
UCF at Maryland (Maryland -3.5, Saturday 2:00pm CT)
More questions remain unanswered after UCF canceled another game, but there are more important things than football, so we understand. Quarterback McKenzie Milton torched FIU in the Knights first game, and he’s had more time to learn the offense with the time off. Maryland stunned Texas in their first game, and the Terps enter this game 2-0.
Joe: Maryland 44 UCF 38
Joey: UCF 37 Maryland 34
Cincinnati at Navy (Navy -11, Saturday 2:30pm CT)
Cincinnati came back late to beat Miami-OH last week, but they can’t expect to do the same this week. The Bearcats defense will battle with Navy’s triple option attack, but the Midshipmen’s defense won’t allow Cincy to score a lot. Hayden Morre needs to vastly improve if this team is going to compete in the conference, because the defense can’t continue to win games by themselves.
Joe: Navy 34 Cincinnati 24
Joey: Navy 30 Cincinnati 17
Arkansas State at SMU (SMU -5.5, Saturday 6:00pm CT)
If SMU can regroup and refocus, the Mustangs should be fine. If there are any lingering effects from the loss to TCU, Arkansas State could surprise them. Red Wolves Justice Hansen has already passed for 750 yards and eight touchdowns. If the Mustangs can play tight coverage and force the Red Wolves to run, their offense should take care of the rest.
Joe: SMU 42 Arkansas State 41
Joey: SMU 45 Arkansas State 31
Southern Illinois at Memphis (No line, Saturday 7:00pm CT)
Mike Norvell is already refocusing his team on their latest task, and letting them know one game doesn’t define their season. This game isn’t one that Tiger fans should stress about, but they can’t overlook it either. Norvell also knows his team can’t get caught looking ahead to next week, as UCF awaits. Still, this one should be over at halftime.
Joe: Memphis 55 Southern Illinois 20
Joey: Memphis 50 Southern Illinois 24
East Carolina at UConn (UConn -4.5, Sunday 11:00am CT)
Good news: one of these teams is guaranteed to win this week. Bad news: one of them is guaranteed to lose. UConn’s defense is looking to rebound from a brutal performance last game against Virginia. ECU just wants to get a “1” in the win column.
Joe: UConn 24 ECU 20
Joey: UConn 17 ECU 14