Sports‌ ‌Prediction‌ ‌Central:‌ ‌Season‌ ‌2,‌ ‌Edition‌ 4

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Brent Gelick/Talon

Welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ fourth ‌edition‌ ‌of‌ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌for‌ ‌Sports‌ ‌Predictions‌ ‌Central,‌ ‌a‌ ‌column‌ ‌for‌ ‌predictions‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌exciting‌ ‌games‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌sports‌ ‌docket‌ ‌this‌ ‌week.‌ ‌ ‌

In‌ ‌this‌ ‌edition,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌predicting‌ ‌and‌ ‌breaking‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌outcomes‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌games:‌ CFB: #7 Michigan State vs. #4 Ohio State, CFB: UCLA v. USC, CBB: #18 North Carolina vs. #6 Purdue, Titans vs. Texans, and CBB: #2 UCLA vs. #1 Gonzaga.

CFB: #7 Michigan State vs. #4 Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.

Adam: Ohio State is heavily favored in this one, despite the teams being pretty close in ranking. Ohio State has been on a tear recently, while Michigan State collapsed in a loss to Purdue two weeks ago. I expect Ohio State to win this, but it’ll be much closer than the experts have been predicting.

Ohio State 35, Michigan State 31

Alex: In a very important game for both Ohio State and Michigan State, a loss for either team will secure their fate outside of the college football playoff. Though most people are expecting Michigan State to get blown out due to their weak pass defense and Ohio State’s strong passing attack, I do feel that this one will be a lot closer than expected. 

Ohio State 34, Michigan State 27

Eric: In a big game between two top 10 BIG10 rivals, this game will be a significant addition to the winner’s resume. Ohio State’s offense is clicking right now, with sophomore quarterback, CJ Stroud. I think that Ohio State’s offense will be too explosive for Michigan’s defense and believe that this game will be out of reach for Michigan.

Ohio State 32, Michigan 24

CFB: UCLA vs. USC, Saturday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m.

Adam: Neither of these teams is having very successful seasons, but that can all change with a win in this game, one of the biggest rivalries in college football. USC is clearly the more talented team, but as has become routine for them, this talent is completely wasted. They don’t even have a winning record. UCLA’s defense has been bad, but their offense has been pretty potent. UCLA will pull this one out.

UCLA 34, USC 24

Alex: Despite both teams having largely disappointing seasons up until this point, a rivalry win could be a huge confidence booster for either program. In an afternoon game at the Coliseum in front of the home crowd, I expect USC’s offense to click against a weak UCLA defense. True freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart has been named the starter for the Trojans and I expect him to surprise college football analysts across the country. Although it won’t be pretty, USC will win this one in a close game.

USC 31, UCLA 28

Eric: Even though this game features two storied rivals, both teams are having unsuccessful seasons after being ranked early in the season. The USC offensive line is simply not good and without their best receiver in, Drake London, the USC offense has been stagnant. UCLA started off the season strong with a win over LSU, but have sputtered ever since. This game will not be pretty, but I think that UCLA comes out in a close one. 

UCLA 23, USC 20

CBB: #18 North Carolina vs. #6 Purdue, Saturday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m.

Adam: Purdue is one of the most underrated teams in the country, in my opinion. While North Carolina is an incredibly talented team, they have struggled with some lesser opponents to open the season. Purdue’s Jaden Ivey is a star-in-the-making and I believe that he will lead them to a win in this one.

Purdue 72, North Carolina 61

Alex: In a ranked college basketball matchup early on in the season, anything can happen. Purdue has impressed early on, backed by stellar performances out of Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey and I don’t see their high-scoring ability to be halted by North Carolina. The Boilermakers will handle the Tarheels with ease, coasting to their first ranked victory of the season,

Purdue 85, North Carolina 74

Eric: While both teams are undefeated at 3-0, Purdue has 3 straight convincing wins over lesser opponents, while North Carolina has had some close games over lesser opponents. Zach Edey has averaged 18.7 points on the season, pacing Purdue’s offense. Purdue’s offense will be stout for North Carolina’s inconsistent defense. 

Purdue 71, North Carolina 65

Titans vs. Texans, Sunday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m.

Adam: Even without Derrick Henry, the Titans have been rolling lately. I don’t see the Texans doing anything to stop them. They’ve been at the bottom of the pack the whole season, and I see no reason why anything will change. The Titans will win big.

Titans 27, Texans 10

Alex: The Titans have been the hottest team in football lately and unfortunately for the Texans, I don’t see this changing one bit. The Texans are officially one of the worst teams in the NFL, whereas the Titans have proved to be one of the best. Tennessee will win big on Sunday morning.

Titans 31, Texans 24

Eric: After beating the Rams on Sunday night football two weeks ago, the Titans are regarded as one of the best teams in the NFL. The Texans have been tanking this season with a weak roster, attempting to acquire a high draft pick. In a battle between two AFC south teams, I think that the Titans will blow the Texans out.

Titans 32, Texans 13

CBB: #2 UCLA vs. #1 Gonzaga, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m.

Adam: By far the biggest matchup of the young college basketball season, this should be a classic in Las Vegas. A rematch of one of the most dramatic final four games of all time ending with that infamous Jalen Suggs shot, UCLA should be looking for revenge. Gonzaga has looked like a buzzsaw so far this season, completely overwhelming a top 5 team in Texas. UCLA also has a top 5 win, beating Villanova in a thriller. Even with the status of big man Cody Riley up in the air, UCLA will simply refuse to lose this game. They won’t let what happened last year happen again.

UCLA 90, Gonzaga 88

Alex: In the early college basketball season, this will be the highlight matchup everyone will be talking about for months. The #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs face off against the #2 UCLA Bruins in what will be a season-changing game for both programs. This game will be a true test for Gonzaga in order to see if their dominance from last year has carried over yet again. Although the Bruins will put up a good fight, the Bulldogs will pull away in the end. 

Gonzaga 82, UCLA 76

Eric: This is probably the most anticipated matchup of the year, as the first and second-ranked teams match up against each other in Vegas, a neutral site. After losing in the Final Four to Gonzaga, I think that UCLA gets their revenge as they return their entire team. Both teams have beaten top 5 teams, with UCLA beating #4 Villanova, and Gonzaga beating #5 Texas

UCLA 80, Gonzaga 76

Current Prediction Standings (Through Third Edition):

Alex: 7-8 (2-3 last week)

Adam: 7-8 (3-2 last week)

Eric: 7-8 (3-2 last week)