TUCKER’S PICK ‘EM 2015: College football picks and previews for Week 1

  • All times EASTERN
  • All rankings reflect latest AP poll

North Carolina vs. South Carolina (Charlotte)
Thursday, September 3 at 6 p.m. ESPN
The Carolina schools kick off their seasons against one another for the second time in three years.

Gene Chizik takes over a UNC defense that was awful last year (117th).

His Tar Heels will benefit from playing an inexperienced South Carolina O:

North Carolina 28, South Carolina 27

Actual Score: South Carolina 17, North Carolina 13 (LOSS)

Fort Valley State @ Delta State
Thursday, September 3 at 7 p.m.
FVSU opens its season at Delta State, expecting a better performance than last year in Fort Valley.

After taking a 6-0 lead, the Wildcats were outscored 56-7:

Delta State 49, Fort Valley State 13

Actual Score: Delta State 48, Fort Valley State 7 (WIN)

Alcorn State @ No. 16 Georgia Tech
Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m. ESPN3
Georgia Tech returns 13 starters from a team that won 11 games in 2014.

I saw the Braves play against my alma mater once. Troy won 65-0.

This Alcorn State team is better. It won the SWAC last year:

Georgia Tech 56, Alcorn State 10

Actual Score: Georgia Tech 69, Alcorn State 6 (WIN)

Western Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
Thursday, September 3 at 8 p.m. SEC NETWORK
One of the nation’s best passing attacks invades Nashville with hopes of knocking off the SEC’s worst team.

I’m one of the few feeling Vandy will anchor down:

Vanderbilt 35, Western Kentucky 31

Actual Score: Western Kentucky 14, Vanderbilt 12 (LOSS)

Charlotte @ Georgia State
Friday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m. ESPNU
Conference USA’s newest member opens its season on the road against one of the Sun Belt’s newest members.

Both teams have a chance at their first FBS win:

Georgia State 35, Charlotte 21

Actual Score: Charlotte 23, Georgia State 20 (LOSS)

ULM @ No. 9 Georgia
Saturday, September 5 at 12 p.m. SEC NETWORK
Georgia finally named its starting quarterback this week.

Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert will lead the Dawgs into battle against the Warhawks.

The good news for UGA fans is he can play poorly and Georgia will still win:

Georgia 42, ULM 17

Actual Score: Georgia 51, ULM 14 (WIN)

Louisville vs. No. 6 Auburn (Atlanta)
Saturday, September 5 at 3:30 p.m. CBS
Can you believe these two teams have met only once?

Way back in 1974, the Tigers and Cardinals met in the season opener at Legion Field. Auburn won 16-3.

We’ll see more points this time:

Auburn 31, Louisville 24

Actual Score: Auburn 31, Louisville 24 (WIN)

Mercer @ Austin Peay
Saturday, September 5 at 5 p.m.
It’s year three of the second installment of Mercer football and the Bears’ second year as members of the Southern Conference.

Every starter returns from a team that beat Austin Peay 49-21 a year ago:

Mercer 56, Austin Peay 17

Actual Score: Mercer 28, Austin Peay 7 (WIN)

No. 15 Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (Houston)
Saturday, September 5 at 7 p.m. ESPN
One of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend takes place on a neutral field.

A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is 6-1 in season openers, including last years 52-28 win at South Carolina:

Texas A&M 41, Arizona State 37

Actual Score: Texas A&M 38, Arizona State 17 (WIN)

Georgia Southern @ West Virginia
Saturday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m. FSN
The Eagles exploded onto the Sun Belt scene last season, going 8-0 to win the conference in their first year as a full-time member.

They also took a few ACC teams to the wire, losing to NC State and Georgia Tech by a combined five points.

Their triple-option shotgun attack will give West Virginia fits, but the Mountaineers will survive and burn a few couches:

West Virginia 38, Georgia Southern 27

Actual Score: West Virginia 44, Georgia Southern 0 (WIN)

Texas @ No. 11 Notre Dame
Saturday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m. NBC
Texas and Notre Dame meet on the football field for the 11th time.

The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 8-2 and will win again:

Notre Dame 31, Texas 17

Actual Score: Notre Dame 38, Texas 3 (WIN)

No. 20 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Alabama (Dallas)
Saturday, September 5 at 8 p.m. ABC *College GameDay
The Badgers and Crimson Tide clash in Jerryland in the weekend’s premier game.

Wisconsin has a new head coach. Alabama has a new starting quarterback:

Alabama 28, Wisconsin 24

Actual Score: Alabama 35, Wisconsin 17 (WIN)

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Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Sports

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