Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Louisiana Tech at Marshall, Friday 7 p.m. ET (Marshall -2.5)
While Louisiana Tech is working on an eight-game winning streak, Marshall represents its toughest test since a 45-14 shellacking from Texas in the Bulldogs’ opener. The Thundering Herd are working on a four-game winning streak of their own and have a potent rushing attack that is averaging 201.2 yards per game. That will be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Marshall 31, Louisiana Tech 24
Fresno State at San Diego State, Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET (SDSU -2.5)
The battle for the Old Oil Can trophy has significant implications on the West Division of the Mountain West, as San Diego State is clinging to a one-game lead over Nevada and Hawaii. It’s been a disappointing season for Fresno State, due in large part to its porous defense, but the Aztecs’ own offensive struggles won’t allow them to take full advantage, and the Bulldogs will score their biggest win of the year.
Prediction: Fresno State 24, San Diego State 20
Tulane at Temple, Noon ET (Tulane -5)
The AAC has been a battleground this season, and while Tulane and Temple are not part of a group of four ranked teams, they both have strong resumes. The Green Wave are 6-3 and played Navy tough a few weeks ago, while the Owls are also 6-3 and responsible for Memphis’ only loss. Tulane dual-threat quarterback Justin McMillan accounted for four touchdowns in a win over Tulsa in his team’s most recent game, and he’ll be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Tulane 37, Temple 24
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET (VT -5.5)
This won’t be a cakewalk for the Hokies. Georgia Tech has won four of the last five against Virginia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets played tough on the road against a good Virginia team last week. If they can torch a shaky Hokies pass defense for a few big plays, they’ll hang around. Virginia Tech will eventually wear them down, though, and pull out the victory late.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Georgia Tech 21
USC at California, 11 p.m. ET (USC -6.5)
Devon Modster was back under center last week for the Golden Bears and led the team to a solid 33-20 victory over Washington State with three passing touchdowns and a rushing score. Aside from their blowout loss to Utah when Modster was on the sidelines, Cal has been a tough draw all season. Can the Bears secondary slow a potent Trojans passing attack?
They’ll do enough to cover, but not enough to win.
Prediction: USC 31, California 27