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Thread: NCAAF Trends and Indexes - Week 6 (Thur., Oct. 4 - Sat., Oct. 6)

  1. #16
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    Friday's Tip Sheet
    Brian Edwards

    **Georgia Tech at Louisville**

    -- Bobby Petrino and Paul Johnson have had better days. Both bring their teams into Friday’s ACC showdown in dire need of a victory. Their respective schools have a combined 2-6 record against FBS competition going into this contest at Cardinal Stadium. As of early Wednesday, most betting shops had the Yellow Jackets installed as 4.5-point road favorites with a total of 57.5. The Cardinals were +160 on the money line (risk $100 to win $160).

    -- Georgia Tech (2-3 straight up, 1-4 against the spread) is 0-2 both SU and ATS in a pair of road assignments. Johnson’s club lost 49-38 at USF in Week 2 and dropped a 24-19 decision at Pittsburgh in Week 3. The Yellow Jackets returned home to take on Clemson, but they got smashed by the Tigers, 49-21, as 16-point underdogs. Georgia Tech stopped the bleeding and avoided a four-game losing streak by beating up on Bowling Green 63-17 as a 28-point home ‘chalk’ last week.

    -- Senior QB TaQuon Marshall completed 5-of-6 passes for 160 yards against the Falcons. He also rushed for 42 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts. Redshirt freshman Tobias Oliver rushed for a team-high 115 yards and two TDs on seven carries, while Jordan Mason ran seven times for 61 yards and a pair of scores.

    -- Georgia Tech is ranked second in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 339.2 yards per game. Johnson’s flexbone offense has thrived through much of his 11-year tenure in Atlanta, but its production waned from 2015-17. This unit averaged 34.3, 33.6, 35.1 and 37.9 points per game from 2011-14, but those numbers were reduced to 29.3, 28.2 and 28.1 the past three seasons. The Yellow Jackets are scoring at a 36.4 PPG clip so far this year. Nevertheless, with a 2-3 record and an offense that can grow tiring for a fan base since it’s extremely lacking in homerun potential throwing the ball, Johnson is undoubtedly on the hot seat.

    -- Marshall has connected on 30-of-63 passes (47.6%) for 543 yards with a 2/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has run for a team-best 382 yards and seven TDs with a 4.3 yards-per-carry average. Mason has run for 365 yards and three TDs while averaging 8.1 YPC, and Oliver has run for 318 yards and five TDs with a 6.9 YPC average. Senior A-back Clinton Lynch has seven receptions for 209 yards and two TDs, in addition to 57 rushing yards and one TD on 10 totes.

    -- Georgia Tech is ranked No. 83 in the country in scoring defense (27.8 PPG), No. 53 in total defense, No. 51 at defending the pass and No. 57 in run defense. The Yellow Jackets have struggled to get pressure on the QB, sacking opposing QB only six times through five games. Senior DB Malik Rivera has shine on this unit, producing a team-high 25 tackles with two interceptions for 84 return yards.

    -- Louisville (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) has won two of its three home games, but it has limped to a 1-2 spread record and basically just gave away a victory last week due to perhaps the most inept play-call of Petrino’s career. With U of L leading FSU 24-21 with just over two minutes to play, it took over possession on FSU’s 21 with the Seminoles having two timeouts remaining. In this situation, the worst-case scenario is to run it three times in a row and settle for a short field-goal attempt. Willie Taggart would have to use both timeouts and the clock would drip down to around 1:15 left by the time FSU took over without a timeout and most likely down by six points. Instead, Petrino called a pass play that was intercepted by A.J. Westbrook. Five plays later, FSU hit a long TD pass and got a defensive stop to capture a 28-24 victory. The Cardinals still took the cash as 5.5-point home underdogs, but they allowed a 14-point halftime advantage and a double-digit lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter slip away.

    -- U of L sophomore QB Jawon Pass completed 24-of-45 passes for 306 yards with two TD and two interceptions vs. FSU. He also had a 14-yard TD run to open the scoring. Senior WR Jaylen Smith, a first-team All-ACC selection last season, had five receptions for 100 yards. Dez Fitzpatrick had four catches for 45 yards and one TD, while Micky Crum had eight grabs for 47 yards and one TD. RB Trey Smith rushed for a team-best 70 yards on 14 carries.

    -- Louisville had a 24-16 advantage in first downs over the ‘Noles and a 421-370 edge in total yards. FSU was plus two in turnover margin, however.

    -- With Lamar Jackson as its starting QB the past two seasons, U of L averaged 42.5 and 38.1 PPG in 2016 and ’17, respectively. Through five games this year, the Cardinals are ranked No. 122 in the nation in scoring with a pedestrian 18.4 PPG average. They’re No. 120 in total offense, No. 112 in rushing yards and No. 102 in passing yards.

    -- Louisville opened the season by losing to top-ranked Alabama by a 51-14 count down in Orlando. The Cardinals responded with back-to-back home victories (but non-covers) vs. Indiana State (31-7) and vs. Western Kentucky (20-17). They lost 27-3 at Virginia before last week’s meltdown.

    -- Pass has completed merely 51.7 percent of his passes for 760 with an abysmal 4/7 TD-INT ratio. RS freshman QB Malik Cunningham has been given playing time under center as well. In fact, he’s rushed for a team-high 209 yards and one TD with a 4.9 YPC average. Cunningham has connected on 64.7 percent of his throws for 198 yards with a 1/1 TD-INT ratio. Jaylen Smith has 13 receptions for 224 yards and one TD, while Fitzpatrick has caught 14 balls for 168 yards and one TD. Trey Smith has run for 105 yards with a 4.4 YPC average.

    -- Louisville has compiled a 3-2 spread record as a home underdog during Petrino’s second run at the school that started in 2014.

    -- According to an SB Nation report on Tuesday, U of L would owe Petrino more than $14 million if it fires him during the 2018 season or right after it. Remember, it was recently-fired AD Tom Jurich who brought Petrino back to the school (after he bolted for the Atlanta Falcons less than a year after signing a 10-year contract) and extended his contract to 2023 after Jackson won the Heisman and the Cards went 9-4 in 2016. Amid the FBI investigation that led to basketball coach Rick Pitino being fired, Jurich was also fired but is owed more than $7 million from the school. Pitino has sued U of L to collect $37 million. Therefore, with the amount of money it would take to attract a quality new coach, the Cardinals appear to be stuck with Petrino. Like I said when Jurich decided to give Petrino a second chance, the school new it was getting into a bed with fleas.

    -- Georgia Tech owns a 10-12-2 spread record in 24 games as a road favorite during Johnson’s 11 seasons on the job.

    -- The ‘under’ is 3-2 overall for U of L, 2-1 in its home contests. The Cardinals’ games have averaged combined scores of 44.4 PPG.

    -- The ‘over’ is 3-2 overall for Georgia Tech, 1-1 in its two road outings. The Yellow Jackets have seen their games average combined scores of 64.2 PPG.

    -- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    **Utah State at BYU**

    -- As of Wednesday, most spots had BYU (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) listed as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 55. The Aggies were +120 on the money line (risk $100 to win $120).

    -- Utah State (3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS) has had two weeks to prepare for the Cougars, who are playing their sixth game in a six-week stretch. Since losing 38-31 at Michigan State as a 23.5-point road underdog in its season opener, Matt Wells’s squad has ripped off three consecutive wins both SU and ATS vs. New Mexico State (60-13), vs. Tennessee Tech (73-12) and vs. Air Force (42-32).

    -- Utah State led 35-14 against the Falcons late in the third quarter, only to see them cut the deficit to three with an 18-0 run in less than six minutes of play. Air Force got a 21-yard scoop-and-score fumble return from Christopher Musselman with 13:00 remaining to make it 35-32. But the Aggies answered with Gerold Bright’s 70-yard TD run with 6:52 left to cover the spread. Sophomore QB Jordan Love completed 26-of-38 passes for 356 yards and two TDs without an interception. Bright rushed for 101 yards and two TDs on 11 carries, while junior RB Darwin Thompson had 34 rushing yards and two scores on six attempts. Senior WR Ron’quavion Tarver hauled in nine catches for 128 yards, and Dax Raymond caught four balls for 68 receiving yards and one TD.

    -- Utah State is averaging 51.5 PPG to rank fourth in the nation in scoring. The Aggies are No. 31 in the country in total offense and No. 29 in passing yards.

    -- Love has completed 66.7 percent of his throws for 1,070 yards with a 5/3 TD-INT ratio. Tarver has 22 receptions for 228 yards and Raymond has 15 catches for 210 yards and one TD. Bright has rushed for 288 yards and four TDs with a 7.2 YPC average, while Thompson has run for 265 yards and six TDs with a 9.5 YPC average.

    -- During Wells’s six-year tenure, Utah State has produced an 8-12 ATS mark when playing in the road underdog role.

    -- BYU has wins at Arizona (28-23), at Wisconsin (24-21) and vs. McNeese State (30-3), but it lost 21-18 vs. California as a 2.5-point home favorite in Week 2. The Cougars dropped a 35-7 decision at Washington as 18.5-point road underdogs last week. They managed merely 194 yards of total offense, averaged only 1.2 YPC and didn’t score until Lopini Katoa found paydirt on a one-yard plunge with just 41 ticks remaining. Tanner Mangum completed 18-of-21 throws but for only 160 passing yards. Katoa had seven catches for 66 yards, in addition to 27 rushing yards and one score on eight carries.

    -- Making matters worse in last week’s defeat at UW, tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau was lost to a season-ending knee injury. Laulu-Pututau had 14 catches for 120 yards and one TD.

    -- Mangum was forced into the starting QB role in the season opener at Nebraska in 2015 when Taysom Hill sustained a season-ending leg injury. All he did in his freshman debut was successfully throw a Hail-Mary TD pass on the game's final play in Lincoln. He then created fourth-quarter heroics in a home win over Boise State. the next Saturday. Mangum posted a 23/10 TD-INT ratio and threw for 3,377 yards that campaign. Hill returned in ’16 and regained his starting role, limiting Mangum to mop-up duty. He became the starter again last year, but he completed just 57.2 percent of his throws for 1,540 yards with a 9/8 TD-INT ratio. Here in the first five games this season, Mangum has 772 passing yards and a 3/2 TD-INT ratio.

    -- BYU is ranked No. 125 nationally in total offense, No. 116 in passing yards, No. 102 in rushing and No. 115 in scoring with its meager 21.4 PPG average.

    -- BYU is 4-6 ATS in 10 games as a home favorite during Kalani Sitake’s three-year tenure.

    -- The ‘under’ is a perfect 5-0 for BYU, 2-0 in its home games. The Cougars have seen their games produce an average combined score of 42.0 PPG. This is the second-highest total they've seen this year. The 51 combined points in their season-opening win at Arizona fell below the 58.5-point tally.

    -- The ‘over’ is 4-0 for Utah State with its games averaging combined scores of 75.2 PPG.

    -- ESPN2 will have the broadcast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- Marshall (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) will play host to Middle Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports College Network. The Thundering Herd won 20-17 at Western Ky. last week thanks to a 32-yard TD pass from Isaiah Green to Tyre Brady with 1:44 remaining. Brady helped Green overcome three interceptions by making eight receptions for 162 yards and two TDs, including a 40-yard TD catch early in the first quarter. As of Tuesday, most spots had Doc Holliday’s team installed as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk’ with a total of 53. Rick Stockstill’s club improved to 2-2 both SU and ATS with last week’s 25-24 win over FAU as a 2.5-point home underdog. Stockstill chose to go for two after a potential tying TD late in the fourth quarter and the conversion was good when Brent Stockstill found Gatlin Casey with 38 ticks left. Since 2008, the Blue Raiders have limped to a 15-24-1 spread record as road underdogs.

    -- FAU fell to 0-5 ATS in last week’s loss in Murfeesboro. The Owls are joined as winless for our purposes by other schools such as Nebraska (0-4 ATS), UConn (0-4-1) and UTSA (0-4-1).

    -- The ATS Perfection Club is led by Washington State with its 5-0 spread record. West Virginia, FIU, Utah State, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are 4-0 ATS, while Syracuse is 4-0-1 versus the number. App. State (and Utah State, as previously noted) has seen the ‘over’ go 4-0, while Georgia Southern has watched the ‘under’ hit at a 4-0 clip.

    -- UNLV star QB Armani Rogers could be out up to six weeks with a broken toe, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mark Anderson (formerly of the Tallahassee Democrat WAYyyy back in the day). Rogers has completed just 41.5 percent of his passes for 369 yards with a 6/4 TD-INT ratio. However, the sophomore signal caller out of powerhouse Bishop Gorman HS, where Tony Sanchez coached before moving from the prep to the FBS level to take the UNLV gig, has rushed for a team-best 488 yards and six TDs with a 6.9 YPC average.

    -- Something’s got to give with the total (55.5 pts.) in South Alabama’s road game at Georgia Southern. The ‘over’ is 5-0 for the USA Jaguars, who have seen combined scores of 56, 68, 72, 87 and 59. As noted earlier, the ‘under’ is perfect for the Eagles. USA is playing its third consecutive road game and is looking to avenge a 52-0 loss to the Eagles last year. In fact, Georgia Southern has beaten the Jags in all four meetings since moving up from FCS to the Sun Belt Conference.

    -- Best wishes to Texas Tech true freshman QB Alan Bowman, who remains hospitalized with a partially collapsed lung sustained during last week’s 42-34 home loss to West Virginia. Likewise, we’re rooting hard for Tennessee State LB Christion Abercombie, who collapsed on the sidelines in last week’s narrow loss at Vanderbilt. Before collapsing, Abercrombie complained of a headache. He was rushed to nearby Vanderbilt Medical Center and underwent immediate emergency surgery on his brain. Abercrombie is reportedly showing small signs of progress but remains in Nashville in critical condition.

    -- I’ve talked plenty on radio shows this week about James Franklin’s atrocious play call on fourth down at crunch time vs. Ohio State this past Saturday night, but I’ve yet to put anything about it in print here at VI. Until now, that is. My goodness, have you ever seen anything worse than that?! (This was worse than throwing on 1st and goal in the Seahawks-Patriots’ Super Bowl.) There are basically zero situations where you run the ball there on fourth and five unless you have Jim Brown, Earl Campbell and Barry Sanders lined up in the Power-I formation, right? But the circumstances were that PSU’s best player is QB Trace McSorley, who by the way, was more than capable of running or throwing for first-down yardage, especially if you call a play to get him out of the pocket. He’s your ‘horse,’ your senior leader and your Heisman Trophy candidate. And on the most important play of the season, you take the ball out of his hands? Hey, I’ve always liked Franklin and still do, but that was utterly insane! The dude literally lost his sanity at a time in which that’s not acceptable for any head coach at any level.

    -- Boston College star RB A.J. Dillon is ‘questionable’ at N.C. State. and is expected to be a game-time decision. He had not practiced yet this week, as of Wednesday, due to the ankle injury suffered in last week’s 45-35 home win over Temple. Dillon is ranked tops in the ACC and third in the nation with 652 rushing yards. He’s in a 10th-place tie nationally in rushing TDs (six) and is averaging 6.2 YPC.

    -- Stanford RB Bryce Love is ‘questionable’ with an ankle injury for a home game vs. Utah. The Cardinal is favored by five points over the Utes, who are 18-11 ATS in 29 games as road underdogs in the past decade.

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    DILLON A GAME-TIME DECISION

    Boston College running back AJ Dillon is officially a game-time decision for Saturday's game against N.C. State. Dillion has been limited in practice since suffering an ankle injury that forced him out of last weekend's win over Temple after racking up 161 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Head coach Steve Addazio remains optimistic that Dillon will return to action this weekend, but Dillon likely won't know if he's good to go until just before kickoff. Dillon ranks third in the country in rushing yards (652) and has six touchdowns through his first five games.

    Dillon's absence not only impacts the Eagles' ability to cover as 5.5-point underdogs – up from a +3.5 opening – but also their shot at surpassing their totals. Pay particular attention to BC's first-quarter and first-half totals; Dillon has been truly dominant in the opening quarter this season, rushing for 373 yards and four TDs while averaging 7.6 YPC.


    EASLY DOWN FOR THE COUNT

    The North Texas Mean Green will have to make do without their top rushing threat for the remainder of the season. Redshirt junior Loren Easly suffered a leg injury against Louisiana Tech last weekend and has been ruled out for the rest of the year. It's a significant blow to a North Texas rush attack that averages just 4.01 yards per carry but has produced 11 touchdowns on the season. Easly ends the season with 386 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 74 carries, and had put together back-to-back 100-yard games prior to the season-ending injury.

    North Texas should still cruise past UTEP this Saturday, entering as a 27-point road favorite. But covering that massive spread just became a whole lot more difficult, even with the Miners allowing 222.4 rushing yards per game on 5.6 YPC.

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    The Triple Option: College football Week 6 picks, predictions
    Andrew Caley

    College football bettors like Texas in Red River Rivalry as well as these NCAAF odds

    It happens so fast.

    One day, you’re sitting out back on your deck with a cold brew as you grill some meat. Sun beating down on you with a baseball game on in the background. Then, BOOM! You wake up and need a sweater and pumpkin and leaf centerpieces magically appear on your table and suddenly we just have to go apple picking. That's right, it's basic fall time.

    Now, I'm not above a nice pumpkin spice latte every now and then, but this basic fall stuff is over the top. It's just another reminder that winter is around the corner. And East Coast winter's are brutal.

    The one good thing about fall is that we now have a better grasp on what college football teams actually are. The cream puffs on the schedule are mostly done and conference play is a couple games in already. And what better way to open a fall column than to talk about a team called the Orange?

    Syracuse nearly put itself on the map in its attempt to stun Clemson as a 24.5-point road dog last week, before a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback led by Tigers third-string quarterback Chase Brice dashed those dreams.

    Win or lose, the number of 24.5 was super disrespectful for an ACC team that was undefeated and facing a freshman quarterback making his first career start. And the Orange are getting more disrespect this week as they look to bounce back when they visit the Pitt Panthers.

    Syracuse opened this game as a slight 3.5-point road dog and something just feels wrong about that. The Orange operate a balanced offensive attack led by dual-threat quarterback Eric Dungy. The senior signal caller is completing 62.7 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns to just two interceptions while adding another 365 yards and six scores on the ground. The Orange rank 26th in the nation in total yards and 17th in points scored.

    That should spell trouble against a Pitt team that ranks 102nd in total defense, which includes allowing teams to rumble for 200.8 yards against per game (104th).

    Pitt’s offense is in even deeper trouble, ranking 113th in total yards and 119th in passing yards, while ranking 106th in points scored per game at just 22.4. Additionally, the Panthers rank 100th in red-zone offense percentage and this will play perfectly into SU's bend-don’t-break style of defense.

    Moreover, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers won’t let his team keep their heads down after last week’s disappointing loss. He’ll have them motivated to take their frustrations out on Pitt.

    Pick: Syracuse -3.5


    Arizona State Sun Devils at Colorado Buffaloes (-2.5, 64)


    A quick glance at this line and you might say, “The undefeated (3-1 ATS) Buffs are only laying 2.5-points at home? I’m all over that!” But a deeper dive into the odds reveals why the number is so low, and why it could maybe even be a little lower.

    The Buffs may be 4-0 but their opponents have a combined record of just 1-16 this season. They won at Nebraska as 3-point dogs, but knowing what we do now about the Cornhuskers, that line was way off. They were also only 9-point home faves against a truly awful UCLA team.

    The Sun Devils, meanwhile, have done pretty much everything you could ask from them when it comes to covering the spread. They’ve easily covered twice as 15-plus point faves, they covered easily as big underdogs at Washington and they’ve even won outright as a short dog at home against Michigan State.

    Arizona State does all the things you want out of an underdog. It doesn't turnover the ball (just one interception and one lost fumble in five games) and it pressures the hell out of opposing quarterbacks, ranking fifth in the country in sacks.

    The Sun Devils have an excellent shot of grabbing another outright win as a short dog this week.

    Pick: Arizona State +2.5


    SMU Mustangs at UCF Knights (-24, 74.5)


    That's right, we're back on the "National Champs" for a second straight week. What do we know about the Knights? We know they can score. We know McKenzie Milton would be a legit Heisman hopeful if he didn’t play in the AAC. And know that it’s unlikely the Knights will even get a sniff of the College Football Playoff.

    But, if they have even the slightest hope, they’ll need to not only win but steamroll everyone in their path. Thus, making the only argument against them (and it’s a fair one) is that they play in the AAC. And unfortunately, for SMU fans, the Mustangs look like their latest victim.

    Central Florida ranks second in the nation in total offense and seventh in points scored and it's in the Top 5 in turnover differential. A new thing we know about the Knights is that they're extremely tough to throw on, allowing just 159 yards per game through the air.

    And that’s the Mustangs bread and butter. That being said, this isn’t the same old air-it-out Mustangs offense, ranking 105th in total yards and 70th in passing. The defense is no better, ranking 91th in total yards and 115th in points allowed.

    The Knights will continue to make their statements. Even if no one is listening.

    Pick: UCF -24

    Last week: 3-0
    Season to date: 9-6
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-06-2018 at 09:34 AM.

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    NORTHWESTERN LOSES LB

    The Northwestern Wildcats will be without one of their top defenders for Saturday's pivotal conference encounter with Michigan State. Linebacker Nate Hall is out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury, putting a major dent in a Northwestern defense that ranks in the middle of the pack in total defense (379 yards per game) but is averaging just 1.5 sacks per game. Backup linebacker Chris Bergin should see the majority of snaps in Hall's place, and he faces a daunting task against a Michigan State offense that has racked up 66 points the past two weeks.

    The absence of Hall makes the Spartans a more solid option to surpass their 27.5-point team total, especially when you consider that the Wildcats could have a hard time maintaining possession against a team allowing just 1.6 yards per carry.

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    College Essentials - Week 6
    October 6, 2018
    By Tony Mejia


    Be sure to set your alarm clocks for Saturday morning because the top college football matchup on tap this week kicks off bright and early. Since the resurgent Longhorns come into their annual rivalry game with Oklahoma streaking and the rest of the card is light on a true blockbuster, all eyes should be on the Red River Showdown. Even if they’re bleary from partying at the center bar too late on Friday, make sure you’re tuned in to the action in Dallas. Here are Saturday’s top contests.

    Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12 p.m. ET, ABC: Tom Herman has won four consecutive games with the Longhorns for the first time – he didn’t win more than two straight last season – and can match Texas’ longest run since Mack Brown’s final year at the helm back in ’13 if he can pull off an upset here. Defense has keyed the success, surrendering just over 16 points per game during the win streak after looking terrible in a 34-29 setback against Maryland to open the season. Although USC and TCU have been victims, both have had issues with consistency due to youth, so this will be a far tougher test considering the Sooners are averaging a touchdown roughly every nine plays they run.

    Oklahoma is averaging 48.6 points and scored nine touchdowns in 14 drives against Baylor, racking up school records in passing yards per completion (25.17), attempt (18.78) and single-game team passer rating (317.77). OU has only played one above-average defense thus far this season (Iowa State), so this will be a challenge for Kyler Murray as he looks to quarterback Oklahoma to its fourth win in five games in this series.

    Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. ET, NBC: Although their puzzling loss to Old Dominion puts a slight damper on this one, the fact Virginia Tech rallied behind its backup to defeat Duke last week has me encouraged that this could be a fun contest. They’re unveiling a statue of the legendary Frank Beamer in Blacksburg this weekend, so the atmosphere at Lane Stadium is going to be electric. With apologies to Wake Forest, this will be the first true road test for the Irish, who have played all their games in South Bend except for their lopsided win in Winston-Salem two weeks ago. That doubled as sophomore QB Ian Book’s first start, a move that has made Brian Kelly look awfully smart since the offense has looked much sharper with the better passer in there ahead of junior Brandon Wimbush.

    It will be interesting to see how quick Kelly’s hook is for Book should he struggle and a more experienced hand is needed. The Hokies won the only meeting between these schools two seasons ago at Notre Dame and will need junior Kansas transfer Ryan Willis to pick up where he left off last week in Durham to have a shot at an upset here. Although he’s not the runner Josh Jackson is, Willis showed off a strong accurate arm. Another reason to potentially believe in Virginia Tech is that Bud Foster will have his defense ready to play after being embarrassed at ODU.

    LSU at Florida, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2: The Gators responded to its first loss to Kentucky in over three decades by posting road wins at Tennessee and Mississippi State. They’re ready to love Dan Mullen in Gainesville, so pulling off a victory over unbeaten LSU at the Swamp would be a great way to open a month that features games against top East contenders Georgia and Missouri.

    LSU gained some confidence with its offensive group putting on a show at home against Ole Miss, getting a tremendous game out of QB Joe Burrow that was very necessary given the four-game stretch that begins with this match up against Florida. The Tigers return to Baton Rouge for home dates with Georgia and Mississippi State before a bye week allows them to prepare for a showdown at Alabama. Points should be hard to come by here.

    Auburn at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC: The other huge SEC clash will be played under the lights in Starkville, where the Bulldogs will hope to bounce back from managing just six points against the Gators in one of the most disappointing results in school history considering how badly the locals wanted to ruin former coach Dan Mullen’s return. Mississippi State has now scored just 13 combined points in losses to Kentucky and the Gators, so new head coach Joe Moorhead’s seat is already warm considering that’s supposed to be his specialty.

    Facing Auburn doesn’t offer much of a reprieve considering the unit has been the driving force behind the Tigers’ success all season, ranking eighth in the country against the run and tied for third with Kentucky in points per drive (1.0), which ranks only behind Alabama and North Texas. Auburn comes off a win in which it held Arkansas to just 290 yards of offense and 3-for-17 on third-down conversions, among the finest outings the team has produced under standout defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

    Utah at Stanford, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    The Cardinal will look to bounce back from a disappointing 38-17 loss at Notre Dame by taking in the comforts of the Farm and reminding players that the Pac-12 title remains within reach since they’ve already defeated Oregon and USC. A visit to Washington will open November and dictate plenty, but it’s worth watching to see how Stanford responds here. David Shaw’s team may have to pick themselves up off the mat without standout RB Bryce Love.

    Once the Heisman preseason favorite, Love is dealing with ankle issues that crept up after he found the end zone early in South Bend, so the offense could have to prove it can move the football without the increased attention he receives. Utah came up just short at Washington State last Saturday despite giving up no rushing yards to the pass-happy Cougs in Pullman and is always formidable under Kyle Whittingam, especially since they can run the ball right back at Stanford. Love won't be 100 percent if he does play and may get a night off to make sure the ankle issue doesn't linger, so it isn't shocking to see the number dip.

    Florida State at Miami (FL), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC: Redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry will play in his first one of these, having wrestled the starting spot away from senior Malik Rosier. He's proven to have an accruate arm so far and has invigorated a listless offense as a result of those sharp throws. The 'Noles have struggled against the pass all season but won't have to deal with Ahmmon Richards, who is still out with a bone bruise and may pursue a redshirt. Jeff Thomas has stepped up in his place and makes for a capable deep threat. Running the ball well will be the key to covering this spread since FSU has been stout against the ground game but will face a formidable combination in DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer.

    This will be Deondre Francois' second one of these games, having led FSU to 20-19 win in South Florida in 2016 that you may remember since a blocked extra point made the difference. Francois had his best half of the season at Louisville in leading a comeback win, hooking up with Noonie Murray on a big play to pull out a road win. The Noles haven't lost on the road at Miami since 2004, a streak the Canes are eager to snap as a substantial favorite.

    San Diego State at Boise State, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU: The Aztecs survived an awful call and OT against Eastern Michigan, but now must prove resilient as they take the field without top RB Juwan Washington for the first time. The seventh-most prolific rusher in the country in yards per game is out over a month due to a broken collarbone, so of course San Diego State’s first test without him would be on the road against unsympathetic Broncos squad. The Broncos won in San Diego as an underdog last season and held future first-round pick Rashaad Penny to just 53 yards, a season-low, which doesn’t bode well for Chase Jasmin to look forward to a very productive debut as a starter in his first game filling in for Washington. Consider that SDSU head coach Rocky Long held Washington out of practices in training camp because he didn’t want to risk him getting injured and you should be able to appreciate that there aren’t many around the program optimistic that his production can be replaced. Jasmin will just have to do his best, and there isn’t much proven depth behind him.

    Boise is playing just its second game on its smurf turf this season, having destroyed UConn 62-7 in the home opener. Brett Rypien has won 13 of 14 at Albertsons Stadium after losing the final two games he started as a true freshman. Boise is 59-5 SU over the last decade-plus and will look to keep from being one-dimensional against an Aztecs defense that ranks second in the nation against the run. Stud end Jabril Frazier (head), DT David Moa (calf) and CB Tyler Horton (leg) are all expected to be in the lineup for this key Mountain West clash.

    Indiana at Ohio State, 4 p.m. ET, FOX: The Hoosiers will be looking to snap a 23-game losing streak at the hands of the Buckeyes, who will be guarding against a letdown following last week's riveting comeback win at Penn State. An IU squad that comes in winners of four of five may not have receivers Luke Timian and Whop Philyor available.

    Ohio State is 43-3 in Columbus under Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes will have RB Mike Weber in the mix despite a foot injury and will have Dre'Mont JOnes, Damon Arnette and Marcus Cooper in the mix to help fill in for absent safety Isaiah Pryor, who is out for the first half due to a targeting call against the Nittany Lions.

    Others to watch: Kentucky at Texas A&M, Arizona State at Colorado, Boston College at N.C. State, Iowa State at Oklahoma State, Clemson at Wake Forest, Nebraska at Wisconsin, Vanderbilt at Georgia, Washington at UCLA, Missouri at South Carolina, Northwestern at Michigan State, Maryland at Michigan, Fresno State at Nevada, Cal at Arizona, Navy at Air Force, Iowa at Minnesota, Syracuse at Pitt, Alabama at Arkansas.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #21
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    ⚠️WEATHER WATCH⚠️
    Glass Bowl could see thunderstorms and strong winds when Toledo (-21.5, 70.5) hosts Bowling Green at 3:30 pm ET. Under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.
    Last edited by Udog; 10-06-2018 at 10:41 AM.

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    Biggest College Football Line Moves

    NEB@WIS Open: -22.5, Move: -17.5

    NIU@BALL Open: +7, Move: +2.5

    UNM@UNLV Open: -13.5, Now: -9

    IOWA@MIN Open: +3, Now: +7

    MIZZ@SCAR Open: -2, Now: +2

    CAL@ARZ Open: -1.5, Now: +2.5

    ND@VT Open: +2.5, Now: +6.5

    ECU@TEM Open: -14, Now: -10.5

  8. #23
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    Wrapping up a college football Saturday

    13) Texas 48, Oklahoma 45— Sooners were -3 in turnovers, trailed 45-24 with 9:00 left in game, but rallied to tie game before Texas won it with 40-yard FG with 0:09 left. Total yardage was 532-501 Oklahoma, but the there turnovers sunk them.

    My question is this: Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray can also play next year for the Sooners, but he’s signed to play minor league ball for the Oakland A’s. As good a football player as Murray is, why would he give up his last year of college and a potential pro career? To me, Murray is a lot like Michael Vick as a QB— I’m an A’s fan, I hope he gives up football, but…….

    12) Miami 28, Florida State 27— Seminoles led 27-7 with 5:00 left in third quarter, but Miami scored two TD’s within 0:42 late in third quarter and pulled out a dramatic win, dropping FSU to 3-3 this season, 1-3 in ACC games.

    Neither team completed more than half their passes- they combined to convert only 10-34 on third down. Total yardage was 306-200, Miami; FSU is 8-9 in its last 17 games overall.

    11) Iowa State 48, Oklahoma State 42— Loudest people in the Golden Nugget sportsbook this afternoon were three Cyclone fans who were very….enthusiastic. Freshman QB Brock Purdy was 18-23 passing for 315 yards and four TD’s. Iowa State had 30 points at halftime.

    10) Florida 27, LSU 19— Wonder how many SEC head coaches went to HS in New Hampshire and went to college at D-III Ursinus. Dan Mullen is a good coach; his teams play sound football and Florida is lucky to have him. Mullen was Alex Smith’s QB coach at Utah, under Urban Meyer.

    9) Pitt 44, Syracuse 37 OT— Kicker for Syracuse made a 54-yard FG on a wet field at Heinz Field (NFL kickers have trouble kicking there) to give the Orange a 37-34 lead, but Pitt tied it on a 45-yard FG with 0:09 left, then won in OT. There was a 75-minute rain delay in this game.

    Pitt’s kicker made 54 and 55-yard FG’s, too. Second straight brutal loss for Syracuse, which got beat by Clemson’s 3rd-string QB 27-23 last week.

    8) Colorado 28, Arizona State 21— Buffaloes are 5-0 for first time since 1998. Colorado was 8-16 on third down, 2-2 on fourth down.

    Early in 4th quarter, with score 28-21, ASU had 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, but instead of kicking the easy FG and getting closer, Sun Devils went for it, failed and never came close to scoring again. Herm Edwards isn’t a great game manager.

    7) Upsets of the Day:
    — San Diego State (+14) 19, Boise State 13
    — Northwestern (+10) 29, Michigan State 19
    — New Mexico (+9) 50, UNLV 14
    — Iowa State (+9) 48, Oklahoma State 42
    — UAB (+8.5) 28, Louisiana Tech 7

    6) NC State 28, Boston College 23— Bad beat if you had the Wolfpack, -5.5. NC State led 28-3 with 2:00 left in third quarter- BC covered spread on a blocked punt with 3:33 left in the game.

    Yardage was 533-318, NC State; Wolfpack was 10-15 on third down, BC was 1-10.

    5) Baylor 37, Kansas State 34— Bears kicked FG with 0:08 left for the win; game was 20-14 after third quarter, but teams combined for 37 points in 4th quarter to put game over total.

    Charlie Brewer is Baylor’s QB; both his dad and grandfather played QB for Texas. Think he’ll be fired up when Baylor plays the Longhorns?

    4) Western Michigan 27, Eastern Michigan 24— Eagles lose by three points for third week in a row; they’re 14-2-1 vs spread in last 17 games as road underdogs. 16 of EMU’s last 31 games were decided by 5 or fewer points; Eagles are 7-9 SU in those games.

    3) San Diego State 19, Boise State 13— Boise is now 3-15 vs spread in last 18 games as a home favorites. Aztecs won despite gaining only 267 yards with only nine first downs.

    2) South Carolina 37, Missouri 35— Tigers had gone ahead on a 57-yard FG with 1:18 left, but Gamecocks got walk-off winner, a 33-yard FG with 0:02 left. Mizzou ran ball for 286 yards on a rainy day in South Carolina; there was a 76-minute lightning delay with only 2:42 left in the game- the 57-yard FG was kicked after the delay.

    Carolina backup QB, senior Michael Scarnecchia threw for 249 yards, three TD’s in his first college start. Gamecocks were down 23-14 at halftime.

    1) Texas A&M 20, Kentucky 14 OT— Wildcats missed a 43-yard FG short in OT— ball hit the crossbar, then Aggies scored TD to hand Kentucky its first loss of season- Kentucky had tied game with a defensive TD with 4:21 left.

    A&M outgained Kentucky 390-178, held Wildcats to only 8 first downs.

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