NCAAF: Let Down -- Week 10
NCAAF: Let Down -- Week 10
Let Down -- Week 10
By Judd Hall
The national title herd was thinned a little bit last week as Ohio State was the only club to fall out of the Top 10 after losing at home to the Nittany Lions. Penn State’s 13-6 win shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone considering the “chalk” went 37-13 straight up in Week 9. What should raise an eyebrow or two is the fact the Lions covered a 2 ½-point spread when favorites posted an uninspiring 23-26-1 record against the spread. This was the first time all season that the public would have lost money betting solely on the faves for an entire week.
We have several teams that should be emotionally spent after big wins last week. Let’s break them down.
Don’t give a hoot…
Temple was listed as a four-point home favorite on Oct. 21 when the Bobcats came to Philadelphia, but played like an underdog for much of the game. Ohio was able to hold the Owls to no first downs between first and third quarters. And Frank Solich’s team was poised for the win after Anthony Perlozzo missed a 25-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 apiece with just under five minutes remaining in regulation. However, OU’s Boo Jackson botched a handoff that helped the Owls complete a miracle comeback to win 14-10.
While things appear to be looking up for the Owls, they have to face a true option attack on the road against Navy. The Midshipmen were clicking on offense against Southern Methodist, racking up 404 total yard, all coming from the ground game. Third-string signal caller Ricky Dobbs ran for 224 yards and scored four touchdowns last week against the Mustangs.
Now Temple has to figure out a way to improve its rush defense that ranks fourth in the Mid-American Conference by allowing just 142.6 YPG on the ground.
The Broncos have always had problems when playing at San Jose State. After all, the Spartans have come pretty darn close to thwarting a few undefeated regular seasons for Boise State recently. Ian Johnson didn’t let that happen last Friday by scoring twice on 16 carries for 66 yards in the Broncs’ 33-16 win as seven-point favorites.
Chris Petersen and company can’t dwell too long on last week’s quality victory as BSU is primed for a scare against the Aggies. I’m sure it’s a surprise to many to hear that when you consider New Mexico State lost at Idaho last Saturday, but listen to reason. Aggie head coach Hal Mumme has his style of quarterback playing in Chase Holbrook. The senior gunslinger is in the Top 20 in the country with 278.4 total YPG this season. And Holbrook has thrown for 526 yards against the Broncos two years ago in Las Cruces. Plus, the Aggies is on a 2-0 ATS run when hosting Boise State.
An unholy meeting…
The unthinkable is about to happen in Durham as the Blue Devils are just two wins away from becoming bowl eligible. Duke was able to two interceptions, two missed field goals and a turnover on downs to escape Vanderbilt as a 9 ½-point road pup. Now David Cutcliffe has a squad that has a decent shot at making its first postseason appearance since 1994.
Duke’s next hurdle won’t be so easy to clear as they face the Demon Deacons, who are looking to rebound from a two-game slide. Odds are stacked against Cutcliffe’s club as Wake Forest is 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings.
Don’t be so Cavalier…
The Cavs could barely tie their own shoes at the start of this season much less win a game as they stumbled to a 1-3 record. But Virginia has found a way to notch four straight victories, with the most recent victory being 24-17 decision as a 14 ½-point road ‘dog against the Yellow Jackets. This recent surge has put Al Groh’s team in a spot nobody would have guessed after September, first place in the ACC Coastal Division.
Virginia also finds itself listed as the “chalk” in a game for the first time this season…albeit a small one-point edge at home versus the Hurricanes. A few things factor against the Cavaliers in this spot. First, this club has had to come from behind in two straight fixtures: that kind of effort is bound to have its toll. And let’s not forget about that little measure of revenge the ‘Canes want to exact. The Cavs closed out the Orange Bowl with a 48-0 victory at the fabled home of Miami football last season. It was the biggest shutout in the history of the stadium, which can only help fuel Randy Shannon’s kids when they arrive in Charlottesville.