If you want to start pre-gaming early for Saturday football, you can begin on Thursday this week as the scheduling gods give us Jacksonville State at Sam Houston in a battle between the two newest members of the FBS. We also get a quality CUSA matchup with MTSU at Western Kentucky.
But the Friday night lineup really stands out as Louisville hits the road for an ACC contest at NC State, and Utah goes to Corvallis to take on Oregon State in a PAC-12 showdown. Both are CollegeFootballPoll.com Feature Picks as projected outright upset plays.
Louisville enters the weekend with a 4-0 record overall and a 2-0 conference mark to tie Florida State at the stop of the standings. The Cardinals doubled-up Boston College at home last week with a 56-28 win on the heels of BC taking Florida State to the mat in Chestnut Hill. NC State (3-1, 1-0) is coming off a much closer than expected 24-21 road win over Virginia. The Cards lead the ACC in total offense, rushing offense and passing offense, while the Wolfpack are 11th in the conference out of 14 teams.
NC State QB Brennan Armstrong, the Virginia transfer, threw 3 picks in the Notre Dame, but just one total in the other 3 games. Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan is averaging 9.56 yards per carry and 119.5 per game with 6 touchdowns on 50 total rushes.
These schools have played every season, except the Covid year, since 2014. Louisville has won 3 of the last 5 during the Wolfpack's most competitive streak in the 72-year history of the series which the Cards lead 8-4. So far in 2023, Louisville is 2-2 ATS and NC State is 0-4.
The Beavers (3-1, 0-1) are coming off a 38-35 loss at Washington State in the PAC-2 conference championship game. Oregon State was a 2.5-point road favorite and a 12.48-point computer pick to win. The Beavers' rally from a 21-point deficit fell short when the Cougars recovered the onside kick after scoring on a TD pass from Clemson transfer quarterback DJ Uiagalelei with 1:12 left in the game.
Utah was a 14-7 home winner over UCLA in a battle of defenses that are tied atop the PAC-12. The teams only had a combined total of 462 yards on offense and the Utes, who were 3-point favorites and a 7.56-point computer pick, scored on the opening play of the game on 21-yard pick-6.
Utah QB Cam Rising will likely be a game-time decision on seeing his first action of the 2023 season after tearing his ACL in the Rose Bowl.
The Utes are next-to-last in the conference in total offense. Utah is 2-1-1 ATS while Oregon State is 2-2.