UNC, Sam Howell will give Notre Dame fits

UNC, Sam Howell will give Notre Dame fits

Howie Kussoy picks his winner for three key Friday college football matchups Home teams in CAPS.

NORTH CAROLINA (+5.5) over Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., ABC)

The Tar Heels have averaged 51 points over their past four games. I wouldn’t want to be holding an Irish ticket when Sam Howell — coming off a 550-yard, six-touchdown performance — is about to break down the back door in the final minutes.

Iowa State (+2) over TEXAS (12 p.m., ABC)

After three straight wins, the Longhorns would have been better off without a 20-day layoff. And Texas’ secondary would have been better off if Brock Purdy wasn’t coming off his — and Iowa State’s — best game of the season, giving the nation’s leading-rusher (Breece Hall) and one of the Big 12’s best defenses a chance to win the Cyclones’ first conference championship since 1912.

OREGON STATE (+13.5) over Oregon (7:30, ESPN)</h2

The Beavers have won this battle just once since 2007, but don’t be surprised if victory is in sight in the fourth quarter. If the Ducks — and a defense giving up 5.2 yards per carry — are the Pac-12’s best, it’s no surprise why the conference won’t touch the playoff again.