Daily Herald Football Picks

After a very tough week in which nobody had more then six correct, Week 5 went much better.
Kerry Webster, Kerry Naylor, Jim Cushion, Christina Pryor and our guest panelist, Bud Wertz, all went 8-2. Everybody missed the Alabama handling of Georgia, the only miss on my card as I led for the week with a 9-1 week. Webster, Naylor and Pryor all picked Altoona over Central Dauphin, and Wertz had Penns Valley over St. Marys.
Overall, Cushion (40-10) still has a slim lead, but I crept up to within a game (39-11), and Naylor (38-11) is just behind. Pryor and Webster are both 36-14 and the combined guests are 34-16.
This week’s guest picker is another in our line of favorites, whom we call on yearly to help us out. This week, our guest panelist will be Rich DeLeo, area sports personality and Altoona Curve PA announcer. Good luck Rich!
Tyrone at St. Marys: Tyrone started a new win streak against Bald Eagle Area last week, but has a couple really tough games coming up, the first of which is this week at St. Marys. These two teams and undefeated Central are fighting for the MAFC Nittany Division title, a crown, which Tyrone has won or shared every year the conference has been in business. St. Marys, defending District 9-AAA champ, is undefeated in league after opening the season with a tough 24-20 loss in their opener to Bellefonte. The Flying Dutchmen have given up just nine points in their last four games, while scoring 106. Tyrone got another big performance from Larry Glace, but has several significant parts of their starting lineup out altogether, or only playing one-way while they try to recover from injury. Some may return this week.
The picks: Miller Tyrone 27-7, Kerry Webster Tyrone 42-12, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 28-14, Jim Cushion Tyrone 24-8, Christina Pryor Tyrone 35-13, Rich DeLeo Tyrone 28-6.
Moshannon Valley at Bellwood-Antis: Moshannon Valley is 5-0 and on a roll for Tyrone native Murray Fetzer. Valley had a decent season last year and has stepped up another notch in 2008. Bellwood-Antis is home and has been firing on all cylinders. The defense has thrown three consecutive shutouts, while the offense after getting demoralized by Tyrone, has come back to outscore their next four foes 173-29. Something has to give – Mo Valley is allowing only 92 yards rushing per game – B-A is averaging 262 on the ground. This battle will be won in the trenches.
The picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 33-7, Kerry Webster Bellwood-Antis 24-20, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 35-6, Jim Cushion Bellwood-Antis 30-28 (in OT), Christina Pryor Bellwood-Antis 42-6, Rich DeLeo Bellwood-Antis 20-12.
Penns Valley at Philipsburg-Osceola: A pair of 1-4 teams, both have been hurt by inexperience after graduating a ton of talent from last year’s big winners. P-O has seemed to get the most to this point from their underclassmen. Look for that trend to continue. Valley lost two tough ones to begin the season (13-12 to undefeated Central, and 14-11 to Bald Eagle Area) Both have defeated Lewistown in back to back weeks by nearly the same margins (PV 40-13, P-O 34-12).
The picks: Miller Philipsburg-Osceola, Kerry Webster Philipsburg-Osceola, Kerry Naylor Philipsburg-Osceola, Jim Cushion Penns Valley, Christina Pryor Philipsburg-Osceola, Rich DeLeo Philipsburg-Osceola.
Glendale at Juniata Valley: Juniata Valley (1-4) has been having trouble on defense, giving up 36, 49, 34 and 46 since a 21-14 opening win against Tussey Mountain. Glendale (2-3) has scored more than 13 points only twice, and that was against West Branch and Williamsburg, who are a collective 0-10 thus far. This one could be a low-scoring affair, with the winner able to take more advantage of mistakes.
The picks: Miller Glendale, Kerry Webster Glendale, Kerry Naylor Juniata Valley, Jim Cushion Juniata Valley, Christina Pryor Glendale, Rich DeLeo Juniata Valley.
Hollidaysburg at Central Mountain: Hollidaysburg (4-1) got drilled by State College, 37-0 in their opener, then have been the ones doing the drilling, including 53-7 and 49-7 back-to-back wins over Bellefonte and Indian Valley the last two weeks. Central Mountain (3-2) has lost to Tyrone in a 6-3 no-touchdown game and last week to DuBois 24-14. Last game of season matchup between Golden Tigers and DuBois Beavers could determine Seven Mountain Division title.
The picks: Miller Hollidaysburg, Kerry Webster Hollidaysburg, Kerry Naylor Hollidaysburg, Jim Cushion Hollidaysburg, Christina Pryor Hollidaysburg, Rich DeLeo Hollidaysburg.
Auburn at Vanderbilt: First game of any consequence for Vandy (4-0). While Auburn (4-1) has already felt the claws of defending national champ LSU. No. 19 Vanderbilt was open last week, while No. 13 Auburn rebounded (just barely from the loss to LSU, by getting past Tennessee 14-12, on a fumble recovery in the end zone. This is another non-divisional SEC battle among two of the five Southeast Conference teams ranked in the top 25 this week.
The picks: Miller Auburn, Kerry Webster Auburn, Kerry Naylor, Auburn, Jim Cushion Auburn, Christina Pryor Auburn, Rich DeLeo Auburn.
Ohio State at Wisconsin: Wisconsin was upset by Michigan 27-25 in the first signature win for new Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez, last week coming from a 19-0 Wisconsin lead. Ohio State was demolished by USC two weeks ago, but responded with the “Beanie and Terrelle Show” with Beanie Wells running for 106 yards and Terrelle Pryor (who did not go to Penn State) scoring twice and throwing for another TD
The picks: Miller Ohio State, Kerry Webster Wisconsin, Kerry Naylor Ohio State, Jim Cushion Ohio State, Christine Pryor Ohio State, Rich DeLeo Ohio State.
Pitt at South Florida: Pitt tries to knock off their second Top 10 team in No. 10 South Florida, after defeating then- No 2 West Virginia in the final game of 2007. The Panthers (3-1) play the undefeated Bulls (5-0) tonight. Pitt running back LaSean McCoy had his first 100-yard rushing game of ‘08 last week, and scored three TDs in last year’s game – a 48-37 South Florida win. This year, the Bulls defense hasn’t allowed any team to rush for 100 yards.
The picks: Miller South Florida 20-7, Kerry Webster South Florida 35-7, Kerry Naylor South Florida 33-17, Jim Cushion South Florida 33-21, Christina Pryor South Florida 35-28 (another shootout), Rich DeLeo South Florida 28-17.
Penn State at Purdue: Penn State has been operating so well on offense, fans expect 30 or 40 points every week and so far the “Spread HD” hasn’t failed. Purdue would like nothing better than to derail the Nit, as USC, Georgia and Florida have already found out, on any given Saturday. Lions will need to stay on their game against all comers, or suffer the same result as so many top teams have done over the past two seasons.
The picks: Miller Penn State 33-10, Kerry Webster Penn State 42-21, Kerry Naylor Penn State 37-20, Jim Cushion Penn State 42-14, Christina Pryor Penn State 48-24, Rich DeLeo Penn State 31-13.
Steelers at Jaguars: Steelers have to go on a short week after getting a win in a physically-demanding game that left four players hurt, two of them out for the season against a Jaguar team that manhandled them last year in the playoffs. Running back Nijah Davenport may be ready to go after being dropped by Pittsburgh at the end of last season. Davenport knows the play book and the personnel, but this can’t be viewed as a permanent move, rather a stop-gap measure – the little boy who stuck his finger in the dam to stop the flow momentarily.
The picks: Miller Jaguars 27-24, Kerry Webster Jaguars 20-13, Kerry Naylor Jaguars 24-20, Jim Cushion Steelers 29-27, Christina Pryor Steelers 13-10, Rich DeLeo Jaguars 23-16.