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Air Force hosts TCU in Mountain West battle

The last time Air Force met TCU the 7), but they also outgained them by 331 yards. However, this season's matchup could have decidedly different results since TCU is not the same team it has been in previous years.

The Frogs allowed 564 yards last week against Baylor, an astronomical number considering the defense allowed half that amount just three times in 2010. Still, despite the poor defensive play, they came back from a 47-23 deficit to lead by one with less than two minutes to play only to lose when Bears' kicker Aaron Jones booted home the winning field goal with 1:08 on the clock. It will be interesting to see how the team responds off the loss as it heads straight into a conference matchup on the road against Air Force.

The Falcons opened the season with a 37-20 win over South Dakota, a game they led 37-7 after three quarters. Look for them to be well rested this Saturday versus a team that used up a ton of energy in its opening contest.

Incidentally, the last two meetings between these two teams in Colorado Springs have been extremely close with a pair of 20-17 finals. TCU won the last matchup in '09 while Air Force claimed victory back in '07. This one should be tight early on but the Falcons will prevail late and hand the Horned Frogs their second straight loss.

Take Air Force plus the points.

The other Five-Star play this week has UCLA hosting San Jose State. The Bruins gave Houston all it could handle last Saturday before falling 38-34. They showed how much they missed kicker Kai Forbath when redshirt freshman Kip Smith missed both a 32-yard field goal and an extra point late in the game.

UCLA comes home to face a San Jose State squad that has lost 15 consecutive road games. The Spartans, who were abused by Stanford last week, 57-3, still showed an anemic running attack (27 yards on 32 carries) that has hampered them the last four years. The only chance they have of staying within the number is for quarterback Matt Faulkner to improve dramatically from what he has shown in his brief college career.

Take the Bruins minus the points.

THREE-STAR PLAYS

This week's Three-Star selections both come on Friday night.

First, Missouri travels to Tempe to play Arizona State. The Tigers come into this contest off a poorly played game against Miami-Ohio. They scored just 17 points and gained only 291 total yards. Moreover, they had to travel all the way to Arizona on a short week with a defense loaded with injuries. Defensive end Jacquies Smith (10 tackles for loss last year) and linebacker Will Ebner are out which means just four returning starters are back from a season ago.

Arizona State, on the other hand, came out smoking in its opener with a 34- point win over UC Davis. More importantly, quarterback Brock Osweiler looked good completing 19-of-26 passes for 262 yards.

The Sun Devils will have a couple of more days to prepare since their game was played last Thursday. Plus, they are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games as home favorites.

Take Arizona State minus the points.

The other Friday night matchup pits FIU at Louisville. Despite a seemingly easy 21-9 victory over Murray State, the Cardinals committed four turnovers and were flagged for 10 penalties. Furthermore, they allowed the Racers to convert 10-of-21 third down conversions.

Quarterback Will Stein hurt his left ankle in the win and might not be 100% come this weekend. Speaking of injuries, center Mario Benavides is doubtful after missing the Murray State game with a banged up foot. If he cannot go on Friday, the entire offensive line comes in with just one career start against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) competition.

FIU opened up its 2010 campaign with an easy 47-16 romp over North Texas. The Golden Panthers raced to a 28-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.

FIU's defense held former 1,500-yard rusher Lance Dunbar to just 33 yards on 18 carries and it will do the same to Victor Anderson and company. On offense, the Panthers will stretch the field with T.Y. Hilton and Wayne Times going deep against Louisville's inexperienced cornerbacks while Darriet Perry and Kedrick Rhodes eat up the Cardinals interior defense.

Take FIU plus the points.

TWO-STAR CHOICES

Go with North Carolina and Minnesota minus the points against Rutgers and New Mexico State, respectively, and Boston College plus the points at UCF.

ONE-STAR PICKS

Take Central Michigan plus the points at Kentucky and Middle Tennessee as a home underdog against Georgia Tech.

AFTER ONE WEEK

I went 6-7 last week, good for 46%. Two of the three Five-Star plays proved victorious while the Three-Star selections went 1-1. The Two-Star plays took a beating at 1-4 and the One-Star picks went 2-1.

As a reminder, the Five-Star plays are when my Power Plays and Key Plays coincide. The Three-Star choices are my personal picks, the Two-Star plays are the "power number" picks (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line), and the One-Star plays are my personal secondary selections

THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"

1) Alabama, 102.5; 2) Stanford, 102; 3-T) Oklahoma and Boise State, 101.5; 5) Texas A&M, 101; 6-T) LSU and Florida State, 99; 8) South Carolina, 98; 9-T) Wisconsin and Oregon, 97.5; 11) Nebraska, 97; 12-T) Miss State and Virginia Tech, 96.5