The Morning Rush

The Morning Rush

The Morning Rush wakes you up on 97.5 WCOS every weekday morning. Drive to work while you listen to Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash.Full Bio


Kelly Nash CFB Picks For This Saturday

Every Friday morning I join Teddy Heffner host of "Talking Sports" on Fox Sports 1400. Teddy gives away tailgate package from Mathias Sandwich shop to someone who can beat our picks. The picks include point spreads so for example if a team is a 10 point underdog and they lose by 9 then they have won. If you'd like to text your picks to enter get them in before Saturday noon on the Talking Sports Text Line at 803-315-3292. Now here's this weeks games and my picks.

Worst week of the year for me in picks, as the Gamecocks and both Tigers teams, Clemson and Mizzou did better than I anticipated. Coastal also suffered a major upset! I called the Auburn, Michigan, and NC State games correctly. But 3 of 7 is less than 500! Let’s try to get back on track.

Kentucky at USC +1.5

Weird that the spread has Kentucky winning while the analytics give the Gamecocks a 58% chance of winning. I guess the brains are on the Gamecocks while the money is betting on Kentucky. Several analytics I think is what tip it for USC. Home night game. A home game gives you 3 more points according to the historians. A Willie B night game is probably good for 7. Last year. The Shane Train figured out how to roll the cats last year for a 10 point win. It was actually 24-7 when Kentucky got a TD in garbage time. That was only the 2nd win in 9 years for SC (who still controls the series 19-14). Beamer knows how to beat Stoops. Gamecocks D is clicking. Last week was arguably the D’s best game of the year. Not just because it’s Vandy. They were in the right spots at the right time. Nick Emmanwori commented after the A&M game that they were trying some new stuff out in the game and it clicked in the 2nd half (only giving up 9 points). It improved against JSU and clamped down on Vandy.  The Kentucky run game has fallen way off not breaking 100 yards in their last 3 games. That means Kentucky will have to score through the air and they are pretty pedestrian there ranked 87th in the country. SC gave up a crap load in the air to FL & Miss State which makes their average look pretty bad, but only 104 last week, 190 the week before and in the the A&M game after getting torched for almost 200 yards including 9 completions in a row in the first half only gave up around 50 in the second half. On offense they’re trending in the right direction as well. Currently averaging only 93 YPG on the ground they went for 136 last week. If the Gamecocks D continues it’s trend, the passing game remains elite (#12 in the nation) Kentucky is in for a long night. I’m taking the Gamecocks!

UNC at Clemson -6.5

Unranked Clemson is almost a TD favorite over #20 in the Coaches poll UNC. Another day game for the Tigers with a 3:30 kickoff won’t do much to improve the atmosphere. Tarheels are flying high after knocking off their rival Duke last week. North Carolina features a world class pass game ranked 8th. Clemson pass game has for the first time in my memory dropped out of the top 50 to #56. Rushing UNC is #18 while Clemson is tied with UTSA for 47th. Defense is similar with Clemson giving up a little over 21 PPG and the Tarheels 25. Every way I look at it UNC should win. Plus every time I’ve picked Clemson this year they have lost! But something tells me to take the Tigers at home to cover.

FL at Mizzou -11.5

The Gators fanbase has to be shocked to be massive underdogs to Mizzou. They were crushed last week at LSU and really need to win this game as not many folks give them much hope next week against #4 FL State. It would be devastating to lose 3 in a row and not be bowl eligible. So whatever tricks Billy Napier has he better pull em out this week! Mizzou is a very dangerous offense averaging over 150 YPG on the ground and 283 through the air! Unfortunately Defense isn’t Florida’s thing currently ranked 73rd in the country. Florida isn’t too high on Offense either ranked 45th. Back to D. Beginning with the USC game where they surrendered 39 points the D has been abused. Over the last 4 games it’s been 173 points for a 43 PPG average. Mizzou should see how to exploit that and match it. Mizzou on the other hand has played the entire SEC East and a ranked Kansas State without surrendering more than 30. Florida also has 2 road wins in 2 years. SC this year and A&M last year. It’s a big spread but I’ll take Mizzou.

Louisville at Miami +1.5

Final home game of the year for the U, who find themselves only slight underdogs vs the 9-1 Cardinals. The Canes will have their hands full with Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan who seems to be over his hamstring injury rushing 17 times for 95 yards last week versus Virginia last week. He’s been one of college football’s best running backs with 975 yards, a 6.9 average. Louisville’s top receiving option is Jamari Thrash who sat out the VT game but creeped into last weeks win over VA with 2 catches. He is expected back to full speed this week. The Cardinals average 439 YPG in total offense and Miami is right there at 427. They’re both very similar in total D with Louisville surrendering 300 YPG and Miami 312. IT’s a noon kickoff and other than pride not a lot of meaning for this in Miami. Louisville on the other hand punches their ticket to the ACC Championship game with a win so I’ll take the Cardinals.

Georgia at Tennessee +10

Not much to say here. Georgia is heating up. 9th best total offense. 5th best total D. Just held what had been a top 10 offense to 3 second half points in a 52-17 win last week. Tennessee just got worked by Mizzou 36-7. The Tigers aren’t as good on either side of the ball as the Dawgs. I’m picking Georgia.

Washington at Oregon State -2

#10 Oregon State has beat one ranked opponent and that was Utah early. Their only other ranked opponent was #19 AZ and they lost. They also lost to unranked Washington State. Both of those losses were on the road so this fares better for them being unbeaten at home. #5 Washington however is perfect on the year and only scored less than 35 twice. They are an elite offense ranked 6th in the nation. But their D? #99. Surrendering over 409 YPG. Oregon State is playing with a chip on their shoulder as well after ESPN Gameday turned down their invitation to host their top 10 matchup. ESPN hasn’t been to their campus since 2010 but chose the James Madison vs App State game instead.  But being at home with a chip on your shoulder isn’t enough to win. Kalen DeBoer has proven himself as one of the best young coaches in the country! He’s 49 years old and an unbelievable record as an HC of 100-11! He’s 21-2 at Washington and hasn’t lost since losing those 2 back to back in weeks 5 & 6 last year. This guy will take care of business this week and then probably sign one of the biggest contracts in history with A&M.

UCLA at Southern Cal -6.5

The wheels have fallen off the Trojans bandwagon. People were thinking Natty and Heisman. Now they’ve lost 3 of their last 4. Talk about opposites! Their offense is ranked 9th gaining 477 YPG but their D is ranked 124th giving up almost the same amount! UCLA on the other hand has an elite D ranked 10th and a pretty good Offense ranked 34th. They are trying to rebound from a laid egg last week against 3-7 AZ State. The only team that really stopped Southern Cal from scoring this year was Notre Dame who held them to 20. ND has the 7th ranked D which almost matches UCLA. Trojans have only held 1 opponent below 34 points this year and I doubt they’ll do it again vs a team who is getting 434 YPG. I’ll take the Bruins and the points.


Rattlers total passing + Leggett total receiving+ Mario Anderson’s total rushing plus DJ Uiagalelei passing yards.

Teddy has come up with a crazy competition. DJ averages around 250 ypg. I expect a few less this week so 220. Rattler averages around 300. Kentucky has the 91st ranked pass D so that’s worst in the SEC besides Carolina’s and worse than Liberty’s (ranked 79th) making this probably the easiest pass D he will face. So lets give him a big night around 380. (He went for 351 last week). Legette had 120 last week so I’ll up that to 150. Super Mario went for 102 last week but Kentucky is much better against the run ranked 27th (115 YPG) to Vandy’s 176 YPG (ranked 108). So I’ll dial him back to 70 yards. Total for all is 820.  

Florida v South Carolina

Photo: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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