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SOTU Staff Top 25 picks, Week 3

Your panel of SOTU staffers is back to pick all the top 25 games this week, and offer our thoughts on Miami at Appalachian State.

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we go. After an uninspiring Week 2 slate actually gave us some thrills and surprises, we get a few better matchups this week, including what amount to playoff elimination games for Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Here’s how our panel sees it……

How we see Miami-App St.:

Ricky Paolilo: I think the ‘Canes come out swinging in Boone. Brad Kaaya wants to move on from his outing against FAU, there’s still plenty of the playbook that has yet to be seen, and Mark Walton and Joe Yearby are capable of huge numbers. I’m expecting more passes downfield, play-action, and greater play calling variety and aggressiveness than in previous weeks.

I think the defense will be sound against the run, cause disruption along the line and use their speed to swarm the ball carrier. Because of this concentration on the rushing attack, I’m sure they’ll surrender a big play or two in the passing game. Nevertheless, I expect Miami’s talent to prevail. The Hurricanes beat Appalachian State, 31-17, in Boone, NC.

Cam Underwood: I'm tired of hearing about Appalachian State. This game is about one team: The Hurricanes of the University of Miami. Yes, it's the biggest game in AppSt history, but that's by virtue of THE U coming to town.

I'm tired of this team being thought of as a complete band of losers.

I'm tired of this post-Golden PTSD.

I'm tired of the likes of Appalachian State chirping at Miami about beating us completely, totally, and WITH SPEED. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! App State said THEIR SPEED is something Miami can't contend with.

I'm sick of it. I'm fed the f*** up. And so are the Canes. And they're going to prove it on Saturday at Noon on ESPN.

Miami 38

Appalachian State 17

Craig Smith: Sigh……I want to believe the swagger of the new era and just let go of the prior decade-plus of disappointment, let downs, and that general when-is-the-other-shoe-going-to-fall feeling. Years of bad coaching and poor efforts have jaded me, perhaps. This is one of those games that, on paper, the Canes have the better talent, bar none. Few, if any, of these kids received offers from schools of the ilk of UM. And that collective chip on their shoulders will be as heavy on Saturday as that stadium will be rocking. I hope Miami comes to play from the first snap. These kids have played at FSU. At Nebraska. At Virginia Tech. They’d better not take this atmosphere and opponent lightly.

The beauty is, I think this coaching staff won’t let them. I think Richt and company will have our guys ready to go. I can see App St. frustrating and confusing our defense more than I’d like, with our trio of young linebackers having to read and react properly to App State’s read option offense.

But I also think that, while their coach talked about matching up with Miami with speed, it will be Miami’s physicality on offense that makes the difference. Richt loves to grind down opponents, and while the Mountaineers may have speed and quickness up front, they will get worn down by a blunt-force trauma rushing attack led by Yearby and Walton. Kaaya will hit on play action, and the Canes will score just enough to get out of Boone alive. UM 30, App St. 28.

Blain Bradley: Miami: The Canes head to Boone, NC, and look to leave the mountains with a W. Mark Richt is showing the mountaineers the respect they deserve. I love that. The fans will be packing themselves into Kidd Brewer Stadium, and don't expect their team to lay down. It'll be a Miami win, if we stay disciplined and control the clock. These mountain folk have been sipping a little too much moonshine and got cocky on Twitter. Let's humble the App State faithful. They allowed just over 5 yards per carry against old dominion, so we could run on their d if we choose to. We got this. 28-10

Michael Grunewald: I think App State comes out fired up as they're super jacked up to play the Canes on their home field. They may take the lead in this game in the first half but second half adjustments lead the Canes to a victory. Not confident though as the last 10 years has made me weary of games like this.

Miami wins 21-17.