Look for Longhorns to win big but not to cover 42-point spread

Darren Mitchell

New Mexico State at Texas (-42)

Texas is going to win, but by 42 points? The Longhorns have gotten off to slow starts in season openers the last couple of years, beating a subpar Wyoming team by only 20 points a year ago. They haven’t won a season opener by this large of a margin since 2008. David Ash and Co. need a little time to shake off the rust from the offseason. Texas easily gets the win, but the Aggies cover the spread.

 

Lock of the Week

Alabama (-20) vs. Virginia Tech

Its tough nailing down a lock in Week 1, but Alabama is always a safe bet to get off to a quick start. Last season in their opening game they demolished a much better Michigan team, 41-14, en route to their second straight national championship and third in four years. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Hokies, who are no longer the college football power they once were. Frank Beamer’s squad finished last season 7-6 and three of those wins came in overtime. Expect Alabama to continue their dominance.

 

Upset Alert

Penn State vs. Syracuse (+8) 

The Orange lost their quarterback (Ryan Nassib) to the New York Giants and their head coach (Doug Marrone) to the Buffalo Bills. But new head coach Scott Shafer will keep the defensive intensity high for a budding Syracuse team that finished last season with a dominating 38-14 victory over West Virginia and Geno Smith in the Pinstripe Bowl. Penn State, still feeling the effects of the historic punishments levied by the NCAA, has yet to even name a starting quarterback for Saturday. The Nittany Lions started last year in a rut as well, being upset by Ohio and Virginia in the first two weeks of the 2012 season. Syracuse is poised to pull an upset.