College Football Picks: Week 1 Predictions for Every Game

College Football Picks: Week 1 Predictions for Every Game

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

North Carolina Central at Duke, 6 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Duke beat NC Central 49-6 last September.

Daniel Jones made his college debut in last year's matchup, accounting for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore will propel the Blue Devils to a similar victory over the FCS school.

Prediction: Duke 47, NC Central 10


James Madison at East Carolina, 6 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is their first meeting.

East Carolina gets an interesting opponent to start 2017. The Pirates take on James Madison, the reigning FCS champions. However, suspensions to three key returning Dukes will allow ECU to narrowly edge a worthy opponent.

Prediction: East Carolina 32, James Madison 30


Albany at Old Dominion, 6 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Old Dominion beat Albany 66-10 in September 2013.

Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox will be a frustrating combo for Albany to contain. Together, they accumulated 1,987 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground last season. Old Dominion will limit the pressure on first-time starter Blake LaRussa and rumble to a win.

Prediction: Old Dominion 38, Albany 17


Miami (Ohio) at Marshall, 6:30 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Marshall beat Miami, Ohio, 42-27 in August 2014.

Gus Ragland helped Miami win six straight games to close the 2016 regular season and earn bowl eligibility. He'll show off that efficiency in a solid victory over Marshall, which is retooling the offense around third-year starter Chase Litton.

Prediction: Miami 30, Marshall 24


Lamar at North Texas, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: North Texas beat Lamar 33-13 in October 1986.

The first year of Seth Littrell's tenure was promising, and North Texas should be confident the 2017 team will sustain that momentum. Most importantly, starting quarterback Mason Fine is healthy after an injury ended his freshman campaign. The Mean Green roll to 1-0.

Prediction: North Texas 41, Lamar 14


Eastern Kentucky at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Western Kentucky beat Eastern Kentucky 37-13 in September 2008.

The in-state clash is worth monitoring for two main reasons. First, it's the debut of head coach Mike Sanford. Second, the Hilltoppers must replace Taywan Taylor and Nicholas Norris. Western Kentucky will score a bunch of points with Mike White behind center, but the receiving corpswhile promisingis loaded with players who haven't been in featured roles before.

Prediction: Western Kentucky 48, Eastern Kentucky 13


Northwestern State at Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Northwestern State beat Louisiana Tech 30-27 in September 2014.

On the surface, this matchup may appear to be a typical FCS vs. FBS guarantee game. However, the programs met annually from 1926 to 1987sometimes even playing twiceuntil Louisiana Tech joined college football's top division. Historical tangent aside, the Bulldogs won't have any trouble Saturday night.

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 41, Northwestern State 3


Stephen F. Austin at SMU, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: SMU beat Stephen F. Austin 52-0 in September 2012.

Cautious excitement should surround SMU. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton is terrific, and the Mustangs return every top contributor at the skill positions on offense. Quarterback play and defensive execution will determine the course of the season, but it'll be another week until SMU needs to worry about that affecting a result.

Prediction: SMU 44, Stephen F. Austin 14


UMass (0-1) at Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is the first all-time meeting.

It's unfortunate that head coach Joe Moglia, who took a medical leave, won't experience Coastal Carolina's first game as an official member of the FBS. The Chanticleers need to keep UMass tight end Adam Breneman out of the end zone, but they'll stay balanced on offense and clip the Minutemen.

Prediction: Coastal Carolina 30, UMass 27


Liberty at Baylor, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is their first meeting.

The Baylor offense is one big question mark. Zach Smith and Arizona transfer Anu Solomon will probably share snaps. Running back Terence Williams is sidelined, leaving JaMycal Hasty ahead of several young reserves. The receiving group is full of speed and short on experience. But in Game 1, all of that speed will overwhelm Liberty.

Prediction: Baylor 54, Liberty 7


Southeast Missouri State at Kansas, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: Kansas beat SEMO 34-28 in September 2014.

David Beaty is moving Kansas in the right direction, and hiring Doug Meacham as offensive coordinator only bolstered that opinion. The Jayhawks won't name a starting quarterback until Saturday, per Matt Galloway of the Topeka Capital-Journal, but SEMO is a favorable welcome for either Peyton Bender or Carter Stanley.

Prediction: Kansas 31, Southeast Missouri State 13


Hampton at Ohio, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is their first meeting.

Ohio brings back a healthy portion of the back seven on defense. That cohesion will show in a straightforward victory over an FCS opponent, particularly once Hampton needs to start throwing the ball. The secondary won't offer much space.

Prediction: Ohio 38, Hampton 6


Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: SE Louisiana beat Louisiana 7-0 in September 1981.

After a tumultuous offseason, Mark Hudspeth must be eager for the campaign to start. Louisiana will control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, easing the pressure on new starting quarterback Jordan Davis to excel right away.

Prediction: Louisiana 34, SE Louisiana 14


Houston Baptist at Texas State, 7 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is their first meeting.

Texas State had a rough 2016, especially to close the campaign. The offense mustered no more than 14 points during any of its final six games. Most of the offensive skill-position players are back, though, so Texas State will start strong in 2017.

Prediction: Texas State 33, Houston Baptist 10


South Alabama at Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. ET

Last meeting: This is their first meeting.

Ole Miss must've enjoyed watching its rival, Mississippi State, fall to South Alabama in 2016. It would be awfully embarrassing for that to be repeated. Fortunately for the Rebels, Shea Patterson and an exciting receiving corps will connect for a handful of explosive gains and send the Jaguars home unhappy.

Prediction: Ole Miss 44, South Alabama 17


Cal Poly at San Jose State (0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

Last meeting: San Jose State beat Cal Poly 19-9 in September 2009.

San Jose State put a scare into South Florida before consecutive interceptions allowed the 19th-ranked Bulls to break open the game. Cal Poly is no pushover, but the Spartans will avoid costly mistakes after building another early lead.

Prediction: San Jose State 37, Cal Poly 20

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