Football celebration

The Memphis Tigers celebrate after a touchdown during the season opener against Nicholls State. They are looking to maintain that offense against Mississippi State Saturday.

With college football back in full swing, the Daily Helmsman sports crew decided to take a crack at predicting some of the top games of the weekend, including Memphis’ road date with Arkansas State Saturday night. 

Memphis @ Arkansas State - Saturday/ 6:00 p.m/ Jonesboro, Arkansas

Johnny Hill: 34-24 Memphis

The reason why I say that is because the Tigers are still trying to build and groom freshman quarterback Seth Henigan. Even though Memphis has a freshman quarterback,  they have ample weapons for him to succeed. Watch out for Javon Ivory on offense. He will have a breakout season for the Tigers. 

Brian Bada: 31-24 Memphis

In the Tigers' first road game of the season, they will face a very tough Arkansas State team. The 2-QB system of the Red Wolves will be very tough to handle. If the Tigers stay balanced on offense, they should win a close one. 

James Brisentine: 37-31 Memphis

Both offenses are high flying and will be able to move the ball on each other, but with Henigan getting reps for the whole week leading up to Saturday, and the depth at running back for Memphis, the Tigers have the slight edge.   

Zach Thompson: 27-24 Memphis

Every time the Tigers travel to Jonesboro, it feels like something bizarre happens. While I do expect Memphis to come away with the win in this one, the Red Wolves are always feisty and should not be taken lightly. Look for the run game to anchor this one for Memphis.

#10 Iowa @ #9 Iowa State- Saturday/ 3:30 p.m./Ames, Iowa

Johnny Hill: 24-10 Iowa

In this epic top-10 matchup between ranked Iowa and Iowa State, I pick Iowa to pull it out. They were great last week against ranked Indiana. Their defense is looking good, coming out with three interceptions last week. I think they are going to make it tough for Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy. Last week he didn’t even throw a touchdown against Northern Iowa. Now he has to try to do it against the Hawkeyes. 

Brian Bada: 24-20 Iowa State

Iowa St.  Head Coach Matt Campbell is still looking for his first win against Iowa. They will have to play much better this week to have a chance to beat the Hawkeyes. In the end, Brock Purdy’s experience helps the Cyclones prevail.

James Brisentine: 20-17 Iowa State

Iowa State is going to want to show out in this game for many reasons. The rivalry is one of the best early matchups each year. With College Gameday in town and the Cyclones having more hype around them than anytime in program history, they are going to make a big early season statement with a win at home against the Hawkeyes. 

Zach Thompson: 31-20 Iowa

Entering the first ever ranked matchup between these in-state rivals, I see two programs on different wavelengths right now. This is not meant to take away from what Iowa State could potentially accomplish this season, but grinding out a win over Northern Iowa was not the most inspiring start. Iowa thumped Indiana in their opener and I expect their defense to make it extremely tough on Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy.

#12 Oregon @ #3 Ohio State- Saturday/11:00 a.m./Columbus, Ohio

Johnny Hill: 41-24 Ohio State

It’s going to be a long day for the Oregon Ducks. They are facing a high flying Buckeye offense coming off a great win at Minnesota a week ago. With redshirt freshman quarterback C.J Stroud at the helm of the offense it’s going to be tough on the Ducks defense to keep up. The Buckeyes feature two of the best receivers in the country in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.

Brian Bada: 35-21 Ohio State

The game of the week has a chance to be one of the best games of this season. The big question coming to this game is whether Oregon’s star pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux will play and how effective he will be after leaving with an injury last week in their win over Fresno State. It will not matter either way because Ohio State is at home, and they will win by double digits.

James Brisentine: 42-17 Ohio State

This matchup is a huge advantage for the Buckeyes. Kickoff for this game is set for 11 a.m., which is 9 a.m. in Eugene. It is hard for any west coast team to really physically prepare themselves to play that early. The Ducks are going to come out sluggish, and Ohio State is just going to jump all over them.

Zach Thompson: 41-31 Ohio State

While the Ducks did not look great in their week one victory, it also took a second half comeback for Ohio State to defeat Minnesota on the road. Although I think Oregon’s offense is capable of competing with the Buckeyes, I ultimately expect it to get away from them in the second half, similarly to how it went for the Gophers. Ohio State will pull away down the stretch and improve to 2-0. 

South Carolina @ East Carolina - Saturday/ 11:00 a.m./ Greenville, North Carolina

Johnny Hill: 27-13 South Carolina

South Carolina has first year head coach Shane Beamer coming off his first career win last week. I believe going on his first road trip he will also get the W. Running back ZaQuandre White  had a big week for the Gamecocks, rushing for 128 yards on only 12 carries. He is the X factor for this week. On the other hand, the Pirates are coming off a loss at Appalachian State and I expect a similar result in this one. 

Brian Bada: 45-20 South Carolina

The first game of the Shane Beamer Era could not have gone any better. South Carolina Quarterback Zeb Noland had a great debut. East Carolina will be a tougher opponent, but the Gamecocks will still win big.

James Brisentine: 30-21 South Carolina

This is a sneaky good matchup that could be interesting, but I think South Carolina is going to prevail in the end. The Pirates will keep it close due to it being a big home game for them. 

Zach Thompson: 38-17 South Carolina

East Carolina will assuredly be amped up for this one, but ultimately I think the talent disparity will be too much to overcome. Shane Beamer will pick up his second win as head coach and the Gamecocks will end up rolling in this one. 

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