NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Florida vs. Georgia
By Brian Edwards
There’s never any love lost when Florida and Georgia tangle in Jacksonville next to the St. John’s River. With that said, emotions will be riding at an even more fevered pitch for this Saturday’s SEC showdown.
Mark Richt gets the credit for that. Until last year’s meeting, the Gators had dominated the Dawgs in the previous 17 seasons, winning 15 times. A rivalry that UGA owned in the 1970s and ‘80s turned upon Steve Spurrier’s arrival at UF in 1990, and things had not changed even while Richt was guiding Georgia to big-time success in the first six years of his tenure.
In the two games prior to the trip to Jacksonville last season, Georgia had lost in blowout fashion at Tennessee and needed to come from behind and get a last-second kick to win at Vandy. Richt surmised that his team wasn’t playing with enough emotion.
To remedy the situation, he suggested that his players get a penalty for a team celebration after scoring their first touchdown of the game. Therefore, when Knowshon Moreno barely broke the plane of the goal line, UGA’s entire team rushed from the sidelines into the end zone.
To my knowledge, the move was unprecedented. It did result in 30 yards worth of penalties, giving the Gators great field position on their next possession. And Florida did score on its ensuing drive. Nevertheless, the point was this: Georgia wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore, at least not on that day.
Moreno turned in a monster performance, rushing for 188 yards and three touchdowns to lead UGA to a 42-30 victory as a7½-point underdog. Matthew Stafford threw for 217 yards and three TDs, including an 84-yard scoring strike to Mohamed Massequoi.
This time around, both teams come to River City with just one loss. The winner will most likely go on to face Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and it will clearly remain a player in the national-title picture.
Since losing 31-30 at home to Ole Miss, Florida (6-1 straight up, 5-2 against the spread) has won three in a row both SU and ATS. For nine consecutive quarters, starting with a 21-0 spurt in the final stanza at Arkansas, the Gators have looked dynamic offensively. They have scored 135 points during that stretch, hanging 51 and 63 on LSU and Kentucky, respectively.
The Wildcats had not given up more than 24 points in a game all year, yet Urban Meyer’s team led 28-0 with more than three minutes left in the first quarter. UF went on to a 63-5 triumph as a 26-point home favorite.
Tim Tebow threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for two TDs as well. Percy Harvin scored a touchdown both rushing and receiving, while Jeff Demps had the other TD catch from Tebow, electrifying the Swamp crowd with his dazzling speed.
Before trashing UK, the Gators dealt woodshed treatment to LSU in the form of a 51-21 clubbing.
Georgia (7-1 SU, 3-4) gave out a similar shellacking in Baton Rouge last week, taking the Tigers out 52-38. Moreno ran for 166 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown scamper that essentially put the game on ice late in the third quarter. Stafford threw for two TDs and ran for another.
For the season, Stafford has 1,946 passing yards with a 12/5 touchdown-interception ratio. He has enjoyed the presence of true freshman A.J. Green, who has a team-high 39 receptions for 662 yards and five TDs. Massaquoi is also a big-time wideout playing the best football of his career. He has 28 catches for 366 yards and four TDs.
Moreno has been nothing short of sensational since he put a UGA uniform on for the first time. The sophomore RB has 925 rushing yards and 12 TDs in 2007. That’s good for a 6.2 yards per carry average.
The Gators couldn’t tackle Moreno last season, but he’ll face a much stingier unit this time around. In fact, Florida has the SEC’s premier scoring defense, allowing just 11.9 points per game.
UF junior LB Brandon Spikes is the catalyst for the defense. He’s third in the SEC in tackles and will be called upon to keep Moreno in check.
With last week’s win at LSU closing as a pick ‘em, UGA hasn’t seen an underdog spot yet this season. During Richt’s eight-year tenure, the Dawgs own a 10-4-1 spread record as an underdog.
Meyer is 2-1 against Richt, but the Dawgs are 2-0-1 ATS since Meyer arrived at UF.
The ‘over’ is 4-3 overall for the Gators, but they have seen it cash in back-to-back games. Dating back to last season’s loss at LSU, UF has watched the ‘over’ hit at an 11-4 clip in its last 15 games.
The 'under' is 4-3 overall for UGA this year.
CBS will provide television coverage at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--UGA leads the all-time series 46-37-2. This is just the fifth time both schools have been in the top 10 and the first time since 1999, when Robert Edwards ran wild and led the Dawgs to a 37-17 victory.
--The 'under' is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these SEC East rivals.
--UGA’s odds to win the national championship are now +2500 at Sportsbook.com (risk $100 to win $2,500). UF’s future odds, +700 back in August, are now +1000 (risk $100 to win $1,000).
--UF leads the SEC in scoring offense, averaging 42 points per game. UGA has the SEC’s second-best scoring offense with a 34.2 PPG average.
--The Gators lead the SEC in turnover margin (+10).
--Tebow has a 12/2 TD-INT ratio in 2007.
--The weather forecast for Saturday in Jacksonville calls for temperatures in the low 70s with a 30 percent chance of rain.
--Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did a Q+A with Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun for his thoughts on Saturday's UF-UGA matchup.
--The AJC's Tony Barnhardt addressed these five burning questions.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Texas at Texas Tech
By Judd Hall
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Longhorns are in for another “make or break” game. Unlike the last few season making matches they’ve played, this one will be in a true hostile environment.
Texas is used to these tests already after taking on all comers in the past three weeks. The Longhorns showed how resilient they are by coming back from a double-digit deficit to beat Oklahoma on Oct. 11. Missouri found out that you can outscore the Orange Bloods in the second half, 28-21, and still lose by 25. And just last week Oklahoma State learned that you have to play a full 60 minutes against Mack Brown’s club as they could not overcome a 21-7 lead last Saturday.
The sportsbooks continue to take notice of the ‘Horns by making them four-point road favorites with a total of 75. The public is betting big on Texas to cover the line as Sportsbook.com shows that 65 percent of the money going that way. Yet 75 percent of the public are backing the Red Raiders to win at home straight for a return of plus-145 (wager $100 to win $145).
The Longhorns have been able to win this year thanks to one man, Colt McCoy. Texas’ signal caller nailed 38 of 45 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Cowboys. We shouldn’t be surprised by his success now since he is seventh in the nation when it comes to total offense by averaging 337.1 yards per game. And McCoy is the second most efficient passer in the country with a 186.5 rating.
Should Texas’ offense falter, they do have a defense that can keep itself in a game. The Longhorns are home to the top scoring defense in the Big XII by surrendering 18.4 points per game. What is easily apparent about the Texas defense is they don’t stop the pass all that well, ranking 10th in the league with a secondary that gives up 265.5 YPG through the air.
Texas Tech will look to exploit that weakness early and often this Saturday as they have the No. 1 pass offense in the country, averaging 418.4 passing YPG and second overall with 48.0 PPG.
Graham Harrell is an all-world talent when it comes to throwing the ball, completing 71.1 percent of his passes for 393.4 passing YPG and a touchdown to interception ratio of 28:5. Yet he wouldn’t be able to rack up those numbers if it wasn’t for an offensive line that returned this season intact. Texas Tech’s are a huge group, averaging 331.2 pounds per man. But they are fantastic at protecting their quarterback as evidenced by giving up just three sacks all year long.
While everyone notices how strong the Red Raiders’ offense is (and rightfully so), their defense is extremely opportunistic. Texas Tech has a plus-nine turnover margin this season that is bolstered by a secondary that has intercepted 14 passes thus far. Also, they’ve managed to convert those turnovers into 80 points this season…28 alone in last week’s 63-21 victory at Kansas.
The head-to-head battle between these in-state rivals has been hotly contested, but one-sided in the only stat that counts. Texas has gone 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings with the Raiders, but 6-4 ATS. Texas Tech is 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS in the last five matches against the ‘Horns in Lubbock. You can also expect a high scoring affair for this contest as five of the last six scuffles have seen the ‘over’ cash tickets with an average combined score of 78.6 points.
Texas Tech is in somewhat familiar territory as a home pup, happening 15 times since 1997. But the Red Raiders have fared well as far as bettors are concerned by going 8-7 SU and 10-5 ATS in that stretch. They’ve also seen the ‘under’ go 11-4 for that timeframe as well.
The Red Raiders and Longhorns aren’t the only teams in the Big XII doing battle. We’ve got another five games happening in the league this weekend:
Nebraska at Oklahoma: The Sooners appear to be back on track after losing to Texas, putting up 45 and 58 points in the past two victories since Oct. 11. Nebraska is also riding a two-game win streak after a 32-20 victory on the road against Baylor last Saturday. Oklahoma has owned the Cornhuskers as of late, going 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS. Bob Stoops won the last meeting against the ‘Huskers as a 3 ½-point home “chalk” in 2006, 21-7.
Missouri at Baylor: After snapping a 13-game losing streak in the Big XII on Oct. 11 against the Cyclones, Baylor has fallen back down with two straight defeats. One factor for the Bears’ returned futility is not being able to defend the pass by allowing 574 yards in their past two games. That will be music to Chase Daniel’s ears since he helms a Missouri attack that averages 361.0 YPG through the air this season. The Tigers have not lost Baylor in Big XII play (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) started in 1996.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State: The Cyclones seem like they haven’t gotten the close loss to Kansas out of their heads. Iowa State has been outscored 122-52 during in its last three losses, failing to cover the spread in any of those matches. Oklahoma State is on the rebound this week after a solid performance in a losing effort to the Longhorns in Austin. It might sound surprising but the Cyclones have gone 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four meetings with the ‘Pokes. However, Oklahoma State is 5-0 SU and 4-0 ATS in Stillwater this year.
Kansas State at Kansas: Ron Prince’s Wildcats found a way to fight back from a 28-7 deficit in the second quarter at home against Oklahoma last Saturday. But K-State just didn’t have the horses to run with the Sooners in a 58-35 defeat. The Jayhawks must get a more consistent effort from Todd Reesing this weekend after getting picked off three times versus Texas Tech. Mark Mangino’s squad is 3-1, both SU and ATS, in their last four head-to-head tilts.
Colorado at Texas A&M: Dan Hawkins has the Buffaloes going in the right direction, but that 58-0 loss to Missouri had to hurt. That was the first time that Colorado was shut out since 1988. The Aggies were able to snap a three-game losing skid last week by beating Iowa State, 49-35. A&M’s Jerrod Johnson connected on 31 of 39 passes for 381 yards and four scores in the win. The Buffs have gone 3-1 SU and 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games versus Texas A&M. The lone loss came in College Station as the Aggies won 29-26 in overtime 2004.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Pac-10 Tip Sheet
By Brad Young
**Washington at Southern Cal**
-The Las Vegas Hilton installed Southern Cal as a decided 44½-point home ‘chalk’ over Washington, with no total listed. FOX Sports Net will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
-Washington (0-7 straight up, 1-6 against the spread) takes the field for the first time since head coach Tyrone Willingham announced his resignation effective at the end of the year. The Huskies downward spiral continued with their loss to Notre Dame last weekend as a 10-point home underdog, 33-7. The combined 40 points failed to eclipse the 54½-point closing total.
-Washington was dominated in first downs (25-9), rushing yards (252-26), passing yards (207-98) and time of possession (37:28-22:32). Signal caller Ronnie Fouch was 11-of-25 passing for 98 yards with a touchdown, while Terrance Dailey paced an anemic ground game with eight carries for 24 yards.
-Southern Cal (6-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) is off a hard-fought victory over Arizona last weekend as a 15-point road favorite, 17-10. The combined 27 points never seriously threatened the 52 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 4-0 the past four outings with a total attached.
-The defense limited the Wildcats’ passing attack to just 88 yards, but the Trojans’ scoreless quarter streak ended at 10 when Arizona connected on a second-quarter field goal. Quarterback Mark Sanchez was 21-of-36 passing for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while running back Stafon Johnson had 19 carries for 83 yards with a score.
-USC is 3-0 SU the previous three meetings with Washington, but 0-3 ATS after prevailing last year as a 20½-point road favorite, 27-24. The last two games in this series have been decided by a combined nine points.
-Washington defensive end Kalani Aldrich (undisclosed) is ‘questionable’ against the Trojans, while defensive back Victory Aiyewa (groin) and running back David Freeman (ankle) are ‘doubtful.’ Defensive lineman Senio Kelemete (knee) has been downgraded to ‘out.’
-USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton (toe), defensive end Everson Griffen (toe), wide receiver Damian Williams (shoulder), defensive tackle Averell Spicer (ankle) and running back Marc Tyler (thigh) are ‘questionable’ versus the Huskies.
-Saturday’s forecast for Los Angeles, California calls for partly cloudy skies, with a high of 74 degrees and a low of 57.
**Oregon at California**
-The Las Vegas Hilton opened California as a three-point home favorite over Oregon, with the total set at 64½. ABC Sports starts its coverage of this contest at 3:30 p.m. ET.
-Oregon (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) routed Arizona State last weekend as a 3½-point road ‘chalk,’ 54-20. The combined 74 points soared ‘over’ the 54-point closing total.
-Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was 17-of-26 passing for 147 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while rushing eight times for 85 yards and a score. The ground game racked up 304 yards on 43 carries for a 7.1 yards per carry average.
-California (5-2 SU and ATS) got back on the winning track by pummeling UCLA last weekend as a 19 ½-point home favorite, 41-20. The combined 61 points toppled the 51-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to improve to 4-1.
-The Golden Bears broke open a close contest with 24 points in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with advantages in first downs (18-11), rushing yards (232-16), turnovers forced (4-0) and time of possession (34:25-25:35). Quarterback Kevin Riley was 11-of-22 passing for 153 yards with two touchdowns, while Jahvid Best had 17 carries for 115 yards with a score.
-Cal has beaten Oregon SU and ATS the past two years after prevailing last year as a seven-point road underdog, 31-24. The combined 55 points never seriously threatened the 74-point closing total.
-Oregon linebacker Terrance Pritchett (suspension) and running back Remene Alston (foot) are expected to miss this matchup with the Golden Bears.
-Cal quarterback Kevin Riley (none) is expected to start against the Ducks, while running back Jahvid Best (ankle) is ‘probable.’ Kicker David Seawright (groin), offensive lineman Mike Tepper (pectoral) and defensive back Bernard Hicks (thigh) are ‘questionable,’ while offensive lineman Matt Laird (shoulder) and Chet Teofilo (ankle) are ‘doubtful.’
-Saturday’s forecast for Berkeley, California calls for a 70 percent chance of rain with high winds. The high is projected to be 63 degrees with a low of 54.
**Washington State at Stanford**
-The Las Vegas Hilton lists Stanford as a 30½-point home ‘chalk’ over Washington State with no total posted. This Pac-10 affair is scheduled to kickoff at 5:00 p.m. ET.
-Washington State (1-7 SU, 0-7 ATS) is coming off a bye week after getting dominated by Southern Cal Oct. 18 as a 42-point home underdog, 69-0. There was no total on that contest.
-The Cougars were on the short end of first downs (28-4), rushing yards (362-88), passing yards (263-28) and turnovers forced (3-0). Signal caller Kevin Lopina completed 6-of-9 passes for 28 yards with an interception, while Logwone Mitz had 19 carries for 52 yards.
-Stanford (4-4 SU and ATS), also coming off its bye week, has alternated wins and losses SU and ATS its last four games after falling to UCLA two weeks ago as a 2 ½-point road underdog, 23-20. The combined 43 points went ‘under’ the 46½-point closing total.
-Signal caller Tavita Pritchard completed 5-of-12 passes for 51 yards and an interception, while Toby Gerhart paced the ground game with 27 carries for 138 yards with two touchdowns.
-Washington State has beaten Stanford SU and ATS the past two years after prevailing last season as an 11½-point home favorite, 33-17. The combined 50 points went ‘under’ the 52-point closing total.
-Washington State offensive linemen Steven Ayers (neck) and Vaughn Lesuma (shoulder) are ‘questionable’ versus the Cardinal, while running back Dwight Tardy (knee), running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) and tight end Devin Frischknecht (ankle) are ‘doubtful.’
-Stanford offensive lineman Chase Beeler (ankle) is ‘questionable’ against the Cougars, while defensive lineman Levirt Griffin (knee) and offensive lineman Chris Marinelli (shoulder) are ‘out.’
-Saturday’s forecast for Palo Alto, California calls for high winds and a 70 percent chance of showers. The high is projected to be 65 degrees, with a low of 51.
**Arizona State at Oregon State**
-The Las Vegas Hilton installed Oregon State as a 14½-point home favorite over Arizona State, with the total listed at 53½. FOX Sports Net will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET.
-Arizona State (2-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) is currently mired in a five-game SU losing skid (0-4-1 ATS) after getting roughed up by Oregon last weekend as a 3½-point home underdog, 54-20. The combined 74 points soared ‘over’ the 54-point closing total.
-Quarterback Rudy Carpenter was 17-of-33 passing for 146 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Freshman running back Ryan Bass had 10 carries for 56 yards, while wideout Nate Kimbrough caught four passes for 66 yards in the setback.
-Oregon State (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS), coming off its bye week, has won two games in a row SU and five consecutive contests ATS. The Beavers upended Washington Oct. 18 as a 16 ½-point road ‘chalk,’ 34-13. There was no total on that matchup.
-Quarterback Lyle Moevao completed 18-of-22 passes for 191 yards with a touchdown. Wideout James Rodgers ran three times for 110 yards and two scores while catching three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
-The Sun Devils are 3-1 SU and ATS the past four encounters with Oregon State after winning last year as an 11 ½-point home ‘chalk,’ 44-32. The combined 76 points eclipsed the 52-point closing total.
-Arizona State safety Troy Nolan (leg) is ‘probable’ versus the Beavers, while running back Jarrell Woods (ankle) is ‘questionable.’
-Oregon State tackle Tavita Thompson (academics) is ‘probable’ against the Sun Devils, while cornerback James Dockery (knee) and tight end Gabe Miller (groin) are ‘questionable.’
-Saturday’s forecast for Corvallis, Oregon calls for a 40 percent chance of showers, with a high of 63 degrees and a low of 46.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
The Florida-Georgia game takes center stage this weekend, but there’s also other action in the SEC. There are three other league games, while Alabama, LSU and Arkansas host non-conference tilts.
**Auburn at Ole Miss**
--Most books are listing Ole Miss (4-4 straight up, 4-3 against the spread) as a six-point favorite. Look for the Tigers to be available on the money line for a plus-190 return (risk $100 to win $190).
--Houston Nutt’s team is 1-3 ATS as a favorite this season, 0-3 versus the number when favored against SEC squads. The Rebels won 23-21 last week at Arkansas, but they cost their backers as six-point ‘chalk’ by giving up a backdoor cover when the Razorbacks got a late touchdown.
--Jevan Snead threw for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns to pace the Rebels last week. Mike Wallace had five receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown, an 11-yard grab early in the fourth quarter.
--Snead, the third-year sophomore who played his freshman season at Texas, has been up and down all year. This is evident in his 12/11 touchdown-interception ratio, in addition to a meager 54.7 completion rate. Snead is fifth in the SEC in passing efficiency (128.8).
--Auburn (4-4 SU, 1-7 ATS) continues to be on the of the nation’s best go-against teams. Tommy Tuberville’s squad failed to cover the number for the seventh straight time last Thursday when it jumped out to a 17-3 lead at West Virginia, only to completely fall apart in a 34-17 loss as a 3 ½-point underdog.
--In the second half of its last six games, Auburn has been outscored 77-16. According to the Birmingham News, a media member suggested Tuesday that the Tigers quit when they fell behind last week in Morgantown, prompting Tuberville to say, “We haven’t quit yet and never have quit. Our guys have a lot of pride. One thing we’re going to do is we’re going to play hard and we’re going to play for four quarters.”
-- Since 1971, Auburn has won 22 of the 25 head-to-head meetings between these SEC West rivals. The Tigers have won seven in a row in Oxford. However, the Rebels have taken the cash in the last two encounters, including last season’s 17-3 loss on the Plains as 18-point road underdogs.
--Auburn junior DE Antonio Coleman leads the SEC in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (10 ½). Senior Robert Dunn leads the SEC in punt-return average (21.4).
--This is the Raycom game scheduled to kick at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
**Kentucky at Mississippi State**
--Kentucky (5-3 SU, 3-4 ATS) has now lost 22 in a row against Florida after taking a 63-5 shellacking Saturday at The Swamp. Since taking a similar beating from LSU by a 49-0 count in 2006, the Wildcats had won 18 of 26 games. But this past week was a return to the Bill Curry-Steve Spurrier days of the UF-UK rivalry. The Gators led 28-0 to go ahead of the 26-point number before the first quarter was over.
--Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks announced a change at the quarterback position Monday. True freshman Randall Cobb will take over for Mike Hartline.
--Kentucky has replaced North Carolina St. as the most injured team in the country. The Wildcats have already lost their best wide receiver (Dicky Lyons Jr.), best running back (Derrick Locke) and one of their best offensive linemen (OG Christian Johnson) to season-ending injuries. Locke was sixth in the SEC in all-purpose yardage, while Lyons led the SEC in receptions per game (5.5). Now the defense is riddled with injuries. LB Micah Johnson (ankle) is “doubtful” this week, while CB Trevard Lindley, DT Myron Pryor, safety Marcus McClinton and DT Ricky Lumpkin are “questionable.” Lindley and Pryor are most likely going to be first-team All-SEC selections.
--Mississippi State (3-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) is coming off a 31-22 win over Middle Tennessee as an 11-point home favorite. Anthony Dixon ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Bulldogs in the non-covering victory. His one-yard plunge to paydirt early in the fourth quarter got MSU ahead of the number with a 31-16 lead, but MTSU produced the backdoor cover by scoring a TD with 2:44 remaining.
--Most spots are listing the Bulldogs as three-point home favorites. They are 3-1 SU at home, 2-1 ATS. Meanwhile, UK is 2-1 ATS as a road underdog this season.
--UK is in a major revenge spot here after Mississippi State went into Lexington last year and captured a 31-14 win as a 14-point road underdog.
**Tennessee at South Carolina**
--Most books are listing South Carolina (5-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) as a six-point favorite.
--Steve Spurrier’s team is coming off an open date that was preceded by a 24-17 home loss to LSU as a 2 ½-point underdog. The Gamecocks had a 17-10 lead at intermission, but they were completely shut down offensively in the second half. In his first career start, Stephen Garcia led USC to 212 yards of total offense in the first half, only to be limited to 42 yards in the final two quarters.
--Spurrier wouldn’t commit to a starter until after practice Tuesday when he announced that Garcia would get the nod. The redshirt freshman from Tampa has exhibited an excellent arm and an ability to scramble. He had 215 passing yards against LSU and also scrambled for 64 yards, but 49 of those rushing yards were wiped away on six sacks. And that’s the thing with Garcia – his decision-making and general know-how isn’t quite where it needs to be. In other words, don’t be surprised if Spurrier turns to Chris Smelley if Garcia struggles.
--Tennessee (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS) is coming off its third defeat by a double-digit margin, a 29-9 home loss to Alabama as a 5 ½-point underdog. With the loss, the Volunteers are seemingly out of ways to salvage this season and Phillip Fulmer’s job.
--UT is winless in three road games, but it has a 2-1 spread record. The Vols took the cash in both previous contests as road ‘dogs, losing 14-12 at Auburn as 6 ½-point ‘dogs and 26-14 at Georgia as 13-point puppies.
--Fulmer owns a 150-50 career record, but the Vols are just 27-19 since 2005. Addressing the speculation of his job status on Tuesday, Fulmer said, “I’m not a dog that barks and then runs into the house. I’m going to do my job on a daily basis or bark from inside the house. I’m going to do my job and do it the right way.”
--South Carolina is last in the SEC in sacks allowed, as its QBs have been taken down 30 times.
--South Carolina hasn’t beaten Tennessee in Columbia since 1992. The Vols have won seven in a row at Williams-Brice Stadium, including a 31-24 triumph in 2006.
--South Carolina TE Jared Cook, who leads the team with 31 receptions for 460 yards, is “questionable” after suffering a foot injury in practice last week. Also, OT Jamon Meredith, probably the team’s best o-lineman, is “questionable” with an ankle injury.
--The ‘under’ has cashed in five straight games for UT. The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for the ‘Cocks, 3-0 in their home games.
--ESPN2 will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--This Saturday will mark the first time Florida and Georgia have met with both teams in the top 10 since 1999.
--Vandy has lost three in a row after starting the season 5-0, including this past Saturday’s 10-7 home loss to Duke. The Commodores need at least one more win to garner their first bowl bid since 1982. They are off this week before a four-game stretch that looks like this: vs. Florida, at Kentucky, vs. Tennessee and at Wake Forest. Remember, this is a squad that had a season win total of just three.
--Arkansas has covered the spread in three consecutive games and if not for a long TD run by UF’s Jeff Demps with 1:04 left, the Razorbacks would be sporting a four-game ATS streak. They host unbeaten Tulsa from out of Conference USA Saturday as seven-point home underdogs. The Golden Hurricane played Sunday night, beating UCF 49-19, so they are on a short week of preparation. Meanwhile, the Hogs are dealing with a slew of injuries.
--Arkansas junior RB Michael Smith leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 131.4 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry. He also paces the league in all-purpose yardage with 177.9 yards per game.
--Alabama will take on Arkansas St. this week as a favorite in the 22-23 point range. The Tide is in control of the SEC West with a two-game lead thanks to LSU’s 52-38 loss to Georgia. Nick Saban’s bunch is in a classic look-ahead spot with next Saturday’s trip to Baton Rouge looming.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
News and Notes - Week 9
Florida blocked 2 punts and a FG all 3 setting up TD’s early as they rolled to a 63-5 romp over Kentucky...
Texas Tech already led 42-14 when Todd Reesing was int’d on 3 of his next 4 passes and TT extended it to 63-14 before KU got an 80/16pl drive for a garbage TD with 3:52 left.
The key play of the game happened with Texas leading 21-14 3Q. McCoy was int’d but roughing the QB gave UT a FD and they converted a TD a few plays later to lead 28-14 and held on for a 28-24 win. Over the last 3 games Colt McCoy has thrown for 333 ypg, completing 84% with an 8-1 ratio...
The steady rain greatly aided Navy in their game vs SMU. SMU came in avg 332 ypg passing and was held to 157. Navy became the first team in Div IA in the last 11 years to go an entire game without attempting a pass, the last was Ohio vs Akron in 1997. Navy rushed for 440 yds on 77 carries...
While Texas A&M beat Iowa St 49-35, showing what kind of year it’s been for the Aggies D, the 35 points they allowed was actually the fewest they’ve given up in conf play. The Aggies did lead 49-28 when ISU got a TD with 3:30 left and ISU gained 60 yds on their final drive giving them the yardage and FD edges...
For the first time in their school history, LSU has yielded 50+ points twice in the same season! Georgia did get a pair of IR TD’s and while LSU had 497-443 yd and 21-16 FD edges, they trailed by 14-21 points almost the entire 2H...
Cal only led UCLA 20-13 in the 4Q but UCLA faked a punt on 4th & 23 and gained 22 yds. Cal ran a flea-flicker for a 53 yd TD pass on the next play and then added a 20 yd IR TD to lead 34-13 with the TD’s coming within :19 of each other. Cal did add another TD with 2:08 left for a 41-13 lead before UCLA got an 81 yd KR setting up a garbage TD with 1:33 left...
The 54 points Pitt allowed was their most since 1996 and also the most they have allowed at home since 1993. Rutgers was held to 12 points or fewer 4 times but shockingly had 54 vs the Panthers and Mike Teel set a school record with 6 TD passes...
Missouri trailed Texas 35-0 late in the 2Q last week but rebounded big time. They got their first shutout over a Big 12 opponent since 1988. The Tigers led 34-0 at the half with a 298-33 yd edge and coasted 58-0 past Colorado...
Vandy’s 6th win has been tough to come by as they dropped their 3rd straight and will likely be an underdog in each of the last 4 games. Duke led 10-0 after 3Q’s despite being SOD at the VU39 and missing 33 and 34 yd FG’s. Duke also fmbl’d at the VU9 with :03 left in the 3Q. VU got a 79 yd TD pass 4pl later to get back in it. VU missed a 43 yd FG and then was SOD at their own 19. On their last drive VU got to the 39 but was int’d at the 1 with :38 left...
USC had a battle in the desert and 2 key plays helped them win by 7. Arizona was stopped on 4th & inches at midfield mid-4Q and then with USC pinned at their own 3, Johnson fumbled at their 10 but TE McCoy picked it up and ran an additional 29 yds to the 39 allowing them to escape the shadow of their own EZ...
Kent St finally played to its talent level and waxed Miami, Oh 54-21. Kent St had a 468-318 yd edge on the road. MU gained a lot of its yards late with two 4Q TD’s...
Notre Dame demolished Washington on the road with 25-9 FD and 459-124 yd edges. The Huskies avoided their first home shutout loss since 1976 scoring a TD with 2:56 left. In the 1H ND had a 238-38 yd edge...
ULM led Florida Atlantic almost start to finish jumping out to a 21-0 lead but FAU battled back and got a TD with :22 left in the game to pull out the win.
THIS YEAR’S MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAMS
Arizona St is right at the head of the list of this year’s most disappointing teams as they came into the season as a contender for the Pac-10 Title but have not only been losing, but getting blown out. Oregon led 44-13 after 3Q’s with ASU getting a TD with :52 left in a 54-20 loss...
Alabama beat Tennessee on the 4th Saturday of October in the “3rd Saturday In October” rivalry. UA got off to their usual strong start in the 1H with a 13-3 edge but this time won the 2H as well (16-6) in their 29-9 win. They managed 23-10 FD and 366-173 yd edges as the seat got a bit hotter for Phil Fulmer. Tenn scored a TD mid-4Q trailing 29-3 and their only FG was set up by a fumbled punt at the 5.
ANOTHER WEEK OF NEAR MISSES FOR THE BIG DOG PLAYS
We had Over 59’ in the UNLV/BYU game. The teams scored on almost every poss of the 1H and it was 21-21. UNLV got a TD with 6:49 left to lead 35-34. BYU drove for a TD with 1:46 left, 42-35 but UNLV had their chance to win. The Rebels went 55/11pl and had a FD at the BYU13 but a sk forced a 3rd & 21 Hail Mary which was int’d in the EZ...
Fresno St’s K Kevin Goessling has struggled this year including 3 missed FG’s vs Wisconsin and 2 in OT vs Hawaii. Utah St appeared to get a Big Dog outright upset winner as they scored a TD with :38 left to lead FSU 28-27 but FSU got 19 and 6 yd passes and Goessling hit a 58 yd FG on the game’s final play to pull out the win...
San Diego St piled up 392 yds vs Colorado St and led 17-10 at the half but couldn’t hold on losing 38-34 although they did get the cover.
TURNOVERS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Cincinnati had a 6-0 TO deficit to Connecticut and was also SOD twice so it was like having 8 TO’s. UC led 13-10 at the half and started Tony Pike, who had missed the previous 4 games with injury. Pike only lasted the 1H hitting 10 of 27 and Chazz Anderson was 9 of 20 in the 2H. Conn was also missing their QB Zach Frazer and 3rd string Cody Endres started and hit 18 of 42 for 196. It was 23-16 when Conn got a 40 yd IR to the 22 setting up a 22 yd FG with 5:46 left, 26-16. Conn got 2 TD’s in the final 2:00 and Cincy had a 16-15 FD edge but lost by 24 points...
Northwestern had a 5-0 TO deficit vs Indiana. One of the key plays came when they fumbled at their own 34 with 1:04 left in the half leading 9-7. Indy, 7 plays later, got a TD with :11 left in the half to lead 14-9. NU, trailing 21-19, was int’d at the Indy36 with 4:03 left and then on 2nd & 1 backup QB Kafka was hit from behind and fmbl’d and Indy rec’d at the 8 with 1:34 left and took a knee for the win. NU had a 23-17 FD edge but lost RB Sutton (wrist) and QB Bachér (leg) to inj.
Michigan’s streak of 33 straight bowls appears to be in serious jeopardy as they already lost their 6th game and have no margin for error. Their schedule also includes a road trip to Ohio St. This, despite the fact they benefitted from a blown replay call where the receiver only hit the pylon and not the ground. NCAA rules state that he should have been ruled OOB but was given a TD. MSU had a 473-252 yd edge but missed 3 FG’s and UM actually led 21-14 late 3Q but lost by 14 points.
FOURTEEN POINT TURNAROUND
After AF turned the ball over on 3 of their first 4 poss, NM was in control. They led 10-0 and were deep in AF terr when they fmbl’d at the 4. AF ret’d it 96 yds for a TD and instead of NM leading 17-0, it was 10-7. At the half NM had a 177-122 yd edge but it was 10-10. NM fmbl’d the opening KO of the 3Q and then was SOD at the AF10 after a 62/12pl drive. NM was int’d at the AF17 and fmbl’d a punt setting up an AF 43 yd FG and lost 23-10 despite a 303-228 yd edge...
Wake Forest came into the Miami game just #111 in the NCAA in rushing (93 ypg, 2.6 ypc) but rushed for 195 yds vs Miami, Fl. Unfortunately, Riley Skinner hit just 3 of 8 passes. WF had a 185-110 yd edge at the half and led 10-3 but UM’s D took over in the 2H and the Hurricanes won by 6....
Rutgers got their first road win vs a ranked team since 1988...
USF gave up a TD with 7:07 left and trailed UL 24-20. UL missed a 36 yd FG with 2:10 left but USF was called for def holding with a player lifting another player to blk the FG, which gave UL the FD and they ran out the clock...
N Illinois QB Chandler Harnish became the first Huskie QB since 1990 to top 100 yds rushing in a game. K Mike Salerno not only booted the game-winning 30 yd FG with :12 left, but he tied a school record with a 52 yd FG in the 1Q.
MISLEADING FINALS, BACKDOOR AND FRONTDOOR COVERS
At the end of the 1Q there were only 2 FD’s in the Boise St/San Jose St game but each team had a TD as Boise blk’d a punt setting up a 14 yd drive for a TD and SJSt got a 62 yd IR TD. It was still 26-16 late when BSU went on a 55/7pl drive for a TD with 1:04 left and BSU did have a 393-207 yd edge with the misleading part being the total points scored...
Nebraska had a shot at covering vs Baylor. They missed an xp with 12:11 left. NU then drove 78/7pl and had a 1st & gl at the 5 but Castille fmbl’d it at the 2. After BU was tkl’d for a safety, 32-20 (6:59), NU was SOD at the BU37 with 4:42 left. BU actually punted with 2:52 left and NU got 2 FD’s to run out the clock...
Oklahoma and Kansas St each had 23 FD’s but the Sooners won by 23 taking advantage of 5 KSU TO’s. The game was tied at 28 with 8:00 left in the 1H when OU drove for a TD. KSU then turned it over twice setting up short TD drives and OU got a 68 yd PR TD to lead 55-28 at the half. OU QB Sam Bradford had his worst completion % hitting just 13 of 32 passes for 255 yds and the Sooners scored just 3 points in the 2H but KSU missed a 49 yd FG, was SOD at the OU 1, int’d at the OU34 and SOD twice on the 41 on their last 4 drives...
Mississippi St appeared to get the frontdoor cover vs Middle Tenn driving 51/11pl for a TD with 4:45 left. MTSt went 76/16pl converting on 3rd & 7 and 4th & 1 and got a TD with 2:45 left for the backdoor cover...
Mississippi led Arkansas 20-7 in the 4Q but UA got a TD with 4:28 left to get in the backdoor, 20-14. Ole Miss got ahead of the spread with a 29 yd FG with 1:45 left but Arkansas hit 29, 19 and 22 yd passes on the next 3pl getting a TD with 1:07 left for the backdoor cover. UA rec’d the onside kick but their 4th & 25 pass fell incomplete.
One of our favorite systems is the Injury System as just when it looks bleakest when the top players are out for the team they usually rebound with a win. Memphis was not only without its starting QB Arkelon Hall, but also lost backup QB Will Hudgens. Fourth stringer Tyler Bass, who shared time with 3rd stringer Brett Toney in this game, left with an injury in the 3Q and Toney was the team’s lone remaining QB. Bass had hit 10 of 13 for 130 while Toney hit 7 of 13 for 102. MU was actually a 5 pt home dog despite coming in 3-5 while SM was just 2-5. UM led 36-24 before SM got a 2 yd TD pass on the game’s final play.
INJURIES OF NOTE
Virginia Tech lost their starting QB (Taylor) on the first series of the game. Backup QB Glennon went out in the 3Q with injury and Cory Holt QB’d most of the 4Q hitting just 3 of 6 for 28 yds. VT led 10-0 after 1Q and FSU did not get their first FD until early 2Q with VT having a 205-70 yd edge at the half. Florida St scored TD’s on drives of 66, 71 and 45 yds to open the 3Q and after VT fumbled the KO at their 26, added a 29 yd FG to lead 27-13...
Purdue QB Curtis Painter hurt his throwing shoulder in the 1Q, missed some time and then DNP in the 2H. PU was down to their #3 QB who was playing RB the previous week and Siller hit 10-17 for 73 yds but he was sk’d 4x and int’d once. PU also had a 4-1 TO deficit..
Hawaii QB Greg Alexander was inj’d early in the year and entered the Nevada game as the 3rd string QB but sparked the team off the bench. He had a 24 yd TD pass with :20 left as UH was in FG range to win it. UH hadn’t scored in the 1Q since the 2nd week of the season. Alexander was the starter for the season opener vs Florida and hit 17 of 22 for 205 yds, one of three QB’s that the Warriors used.
TEAMS GIVEN UP FOR DEAD
Army lost at home to New Hampshire. They then lost at home in a circle-the-wagons game to Akron and looked ugly doing it. They looked like the worst team in college football. Since then, Army has won 3 of their last 4 games and last week their D, which had been a sieve, held Louisiana Tech to 152 total yards. While Army had just 235 total yards, they prevailed 14-7 at home...
Virginia opened the season with a 1-3 record, with their only win over a IAA foe but have now rebounded to win 4 in a row. GT had scored on their first 2 poss and led UVA 14-3 after 1Q but UVA only punted once and actually outgained the Yellow Jackets 396-259. Cedric Peerman rushed for 118 yds and Marc Verica hit 29 of 39 for 270. UVA is actually now the leader in the ACC Coastal Div.
Many times at this point in the season you are going to see teams from warm weather struggle in cold weather and for Auburn it happened in the 2H vs W Virginia. Auburn led 17-3 and appeared in control but in the nighttime game the temp kept dropping. After the half AU had just 33 yds offense as WV came back and took the lead with 4:06 left in the 3Q, 20-17. AU missed a 44 yd FG and WV added two 4Q TD’s to ice it.
TITLE GAME FAVORITES
Penn St has the easiest slate to get to the title game as they get a week off after their win over Ohio St to get ready for Iowa on the road. They will be a huge favorite over Indiana and take on a beatable Michigan St team at home. Iowa is maybe the last chance for those folks rooting for a PSU loss.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Games to Watch - Week 10
By Chris David
Saturday's slate features two big games that have conference and national championship implications at stake, plus a handful of other key matchups on tap as well. Even though this week lacks a lot of drama, Week 11 will pick up the slack with some solid battles on deck, including TCU at Utah, Alabama at LSU, California at USC and Texas Tech at Oklahoma State.
Florida vs. Georgia from Jacksonville
The game that has been known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" has major implications this Saturday when Georgia and Florida meet from Jacksonville. The winner will more than likely earn a trip to the SEC Championship and possibly get a shot at the BCS Championship. The Bulldogs (Alabama, 41-30) and Gators (Ole Miss, 31-30) both suffered their only losses of the season on Sept. 27 but each school has rebounded with three straight wins. Florida's overall team speed has helped the team own the best scoring offense (42 PPG) and defense (11.8 PPG) in the SEC. The Gators QB Tim Tebow (17 total TDs) hasn't had to carry the load this year, getting help from playmakers like Percy Harvin (26 catches, 6 TDs) and RB Jeffrey Demps (357 yards, 4 TDs). Georgia isn't short on talent offensively either, boasting a dangerous trio of QB Matthew Stafford (1,946 yards, 12 TDs), RB Knowshon Moreno (926 yards, 12 TDs) and WR A.J. Green (662 yards, 5 TDs). In a game that could be tight the all important turnover battle gives the edge to Florida, who is ranked first in the SEC and third nationally with a turnover margin of plus-10.
Florida has owned the recent meetings against Georgia, winning 15 of the last 18 and eight of the previous 10. However, it was the Bulldogs that celebrated a 42-30 victory over the Gators last year in Jacksonville which was punctuated with the UGA team touchdown dance after its opening score. Moreno ripped up Florida's defense for 188 yards and three scores, plus Stafford added three touchdowns through the air. Tebow passed for 236 yards but was held to minus-15 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs are 1-3 ATS in their last four games, while the Gators have covered three in a row and are 5-1-1 ATS on the year. The 72 points scored in last year's meeting was the highest output between the two schools in the last 10 years. The 'under' has gone 6-4 in the previous 10 meetings.
Texas at Texas Tech
Once again, the Big 12 takes center stage on Saturday as No. 1 Texas travels to the hostile confines of Lubbock for another tough test against No. 6 Texas Tech. The Longhorns go as QB Colt McCoy (2,697 total yards, 28 TDs) goes and he's been on fire this year. The dual threat gun slinger can beat you with his legs or toss it to a pair of underrated receivers in Jordan Shipley (737 yards, 10 TDs) and Quan Cosby (56 catches, 688 yards). Texas was held to 28 points last week in its win over Oklahoma State, which was 17 points (45 PPG) below its season average. Texas Tech's offense is averaging 48 PPG and 556 YPG of total offense behind QB Graham Harrell (3, 147 yards, 28 TDs) and WR Michael Crabtree (60 catches, 794 yards, 14 TDs). Most would expect the ball to be in the air often in this matchup considering Texas (69 YPG) and Texas Tech (101 YPG) have both been run stuffers. The Longhorns' defense has also been able to pressure the quarterback this season, notching 29 sacks through eight games, which is ranked second nationally.
Texas has won five straight against Texas Tech including a 59-43 shootout victory in Austin last season. McCoy rallied the Longhorns past the Red Raiders 35-31 in Lubbock two years ago with 256 yards and four touchdowns. T-Tech led 21-0 after the first quarter and held a 31-21 lead at the break in this matchup but was outscored 14-0 in the final 30 minutes. Harrell passed for 519 yards but the team couldn't convert late in the game. Five of the last six have gone 'over' the total. Texas had its perfect record against the spread come to an end last week, but 7-1 isn't anything to cry about. T-Tech has gone 3-3 ATS but is 0-2 ATS at home. The Red Raiders have gone 4-4 ATS as home 'dogs under head coach Mike Leach and that includes a 34-27 upset over No. 3 Oklahoma last season as seven-point pups. Even if T-Tech pulls the upset, it could be short lived with Oklahoma State coming to town the very next week.
Other Games to Watch
West Virginia at Connecticut
The Big East has been up and down this year, but the winner of this game will put themselves in a good position to win the conference. Connecticut is 4-0 at home this year and WVU has suffered setbacks in its two road trips. The Mountaineers have owned the Huskies, winning and covering all four of the previous meetings by double digits.
Northwestern at Minnesota
This battle could've been listed above if Northwestern didn't tank it against Indiana (21-19) last Saturday. Minnesota has done a complete 180 this year after going 1-11 in 2007. The Golden Gophers have been perfect at home with a 4-0 record both SU and ATS. Last season, NW nipped Minny 49-48 in a back-and-forth overtime battle.
Tulsa at Arkansas
Is this the week that Tulsa (8-0) goes down? Arkansas has won 16 straight against the Golden Hurricane but the oddsmakers believe that streak could come to an end this Saturday. The Razorbacks have dropped five of six but Bobby Petrino's team has been competitive in the last two losses, losing by a combined three points.
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame
Notre Dame hasn't been ranked all year but a victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday could push Charlie Weis and company closer to the polls. The Irish are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in South Bend this season and the offense gets to face a Pitt defense that just gave up 54 points to Rutgers.
Oregon at California
The Ducks earned an impressive victory at Arizona State last week and appear to be back on track. We'll find out when they travel this week to California, who bounced back with an easy win over UCLA (41-20). Since Oregon was drubbed 44-10 by USC on Oct. 4, it appears that the Golden Bears are the only legit Pac 10 school remaining that can defeat the Trojans.
Florida St at Georgia Tech
Don't look now but the Seminoles are starting to heat up and they picked a great year to do so considering the ACC is awful. The wins haven't been pretty for Bobby Bowden's squad but they're winning. The two schools haven't met since 2003 but FSU has won 12 straight against Georgia Tech.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
What bettors need to know: Georgia vs. Florida
By CHRIS MARAKOVITZ
The line opened at 6.5 and was immediately bet down to 5.5. It went as low as 5 and then climbed back up to 6.
The over/under opened 56.5 and now sits at 57.
Head to Head
Florida has won eight of 10 meetings between the two teams and 15 of 18. A notable exception was last year’s 42-30 Georgia victory in which Knowshon Moreno ran wild for 188 yards and the entire Georgia team famously rushed the field and celebrated in the end zone after the first of his three TDs.
The rivalry, formerly referred to as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” has been played on a neutral field in Jacksonville every year with the exception of two since 1933. Ticket disbursement is split evenly between the two teams.
This amounts to an elimination game for the SEC East title and, in turn, national title chances.
Both teams come in with one loss. Georgia is ranked No. 6 in the BCS while Florida is ranked No. 8.
Any doubts as to whether last year’s end zone celebration remains fresh in the minds of Gator coaches and players were eliminated by Urban Meyer in “Urban’s Way,” the autobiography he released this summer.
"That wasn't right," Meyer wrote in the book. "It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We'll handle it and it's going to be a big deal."
"It's huge. Motivation, intensity, passion,” Florida QB Tim Tebow said after last week’s game. “Those things are so critical for a football game. It's just a mentality that everybody has. It's something that you can't even explain. It makes you play better; it makes you play harder. It makes the other team play on their heels, play back, play nervous."
Bulldogs Clicking on Offense
Georgia is leading the SEC with 431 total yards per game and is second only to Florida in scoring offense at 34.2 per game.
The attack is built around three central cogs: QB Matthew Stafford, RB Moreno and freshman WR A.J. Green. Stafford, a potential top five NFL pick, combines elite arm strength with solid decision making. He has thrown for 14 TDs against just five interceptions this season. Moreno is averaging 115 yards per game and has scored 12 TDs. Green leads the SEC with 662 receiving yards.
Although a young offensive line featuring three freshmen has been viewed as a potential weakness, the front five appears to jelling and has played well of late.
Gators Stacked with Playmakers
The only SEC offense playing better than Georgia right now is Florida. The Gators lead the SEC with a scoring average of 42 per game, including a total of 114 points in their last two.
The team has converted 29 of 30 red zone opportunities and has achieved ideal balance, averaging 196 rushing yards per game and 214 passing.
As of late the unit has become increasingly diverse, flashing an array of talented playmakers. Everyone knew about Tebow and WR Percy Harvin coming into the season, but now defenses must contend with additional threats such as RB Jeff Demps, RB Chris Rainey and WR Louis Murphy.
The team may receive an added boost this week with the return of starting LG Jim Tartt who has missed the last three games.
Georgia Vulnerable to Pass
Georgia’s defense has not been nearly as dominant as their offense. The team is giving up an average of 20 points per game, just eighth in the SEC. A particular vulnerability is the pass defense which has allowed 221 yards per game.
Defensive Edge for Florida
The Gators rank 3rd in the SEC in allowing 273 yards per game. They are first in scoring D, allowing just 11.3 points per game. The unit has shown a knack for the ball, helping the team to attain a +10 turnover ratio.
Look for the Gators to stack up against the run, attempting to force Georgia to beat them with the pass.
Two excellent freshmen will be going head to head in the matchup between Georgia WR A.J. Green and Florida DB Janoris Jenkins. As good he is projected to be, the 5-10 Jenkins will be at a disadvantage against the 6-4 Green. Jenkins also left week’s game early with an injury. Look for Stafford to test him early and often.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Top 25 cheat sheet: Week 10
By MATT SEVERANCE
Texas at Texas Tech (+3)
Why Longhorns cover: They have won five in a row in the series, averaging 48.0 points in those victories. Texas is second in the country in sacks, so it may be able to pressure Graham Harrell, and UT is 8-1 ATS in its past nine games overall.
Why Red Raiders cover: The TTU offensive line has allowed Graham Harrell to be sacked only three times this year and the Longhorns’ secondary is suspect, allowing an average of 265.5 yards passing per game. Oh, and this is the best running game and defense Mike Leach has had in Lubbock.
Total (74.5): The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings.
Arkansas St. at Alabama (-23.5)
Why Red Wolves cover: They have a good ground duo in Reggie Arnold and Derek Lawson and have been competitive in recent years vs. BCS schools. In addition, Arkansas State is 10-4 ATS in its past 14 games vs. SEC schools.
Why Crimson Tide win: Because their ground game should have a field day against a team that allowed an average of 216.0 rushing yards to in its past two games. Meanwhile, Bama’s offense ranks fifth in the country and just shut down Tennessee (although that doesn’t mean a lot this year).
Total (46): The under is 4-0 in ASU’s last four road games and 5-2 in the Tide’s last seven non-conference games.
Nebraska at Oklahoma (-21.5)
Why Cornhuskers cover: Oklahoma’s defense was gashed last week by Kansas State through the air and Nebraska QB Joe Ganz has three consecutive 300-yard passing games.
Why Sooners cover: OU found its rushing game last week, gaining 273 yards and QB Sam Bradford has thrown at least two TD passes in every game this year. Also, the Huskers are 1-9 ATS in their past 10 games following a win.
Total (70.5): The over is 4-0 in Oklahoma’s past four games.
Washington at USC (-45)
Why Huskies cover: Maybe as a going-away present for Tyrone Willingham? It’s hard to find a reason the Huskies can stay in the same area code against a team that is 23-0 in November under Pete Carroll. A reason for hope: Washington has lost the past two years to USC by a total of only nine points.
Why Trojans cover: They have won four straight conference games by a combined 158-20. And pitiful Washington only managed 124 yards against an average Notre Dame defense last week, so imagine what USC, No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense and in yards allowed, might hold the Huskies to.
Total (57): The under is 14-3 in USC’s last 17 home games.
Florida vs. Georgia (6.5)
Why Gators cover: They are 15-3 in the last 18 meetings and still steaming from last year’s team-wide, storm-the-field celebration by the Bulldogs following their first touchdown vs. Florida. UF has outscored opponents 152-33 since a 31-30 loss to Mississippi on Sept. 27.
Why Bulldogs cover: Well, if Knowshon Moreno runs for 100 yards, they may win straight up: Georgia is 10-0 all-time when Moreno reaches the century mark and he shredded Florida last year. UF has allowed an average of 125.5 yards on the ground in its last four games this year.
Total (57): The over is 11-2 in Florida’s last 13 games vs. a team with a winning record.
Iowa St. at Oklahoma St. (-30)
Why Cyclones cover: Oklahoma State might have a letdown after last week’s near miss against Texas. Iowa State also is 5-2 ATS in its past seven vs. a team with a winning record.
Why Cowboys cover: The Cowboys’ seventh-ranked scoring offense goes against the 102nd-ranked scoring defense. And OSU is 8-0 ATS this season.
Total (63.5): The under is 5-2 in ISU’s last seven road games and 5-1 in OSU’s past six conference games.
Utah at New Mexico (+7.5)
Why Utes cover: They need to stay impressive to convince the voters and computers that they are BCS worthy. Utah also had two weeks to prepare and is coming off a season-high 549 yards of offense in a win over Colorado State.
Why Lobos cover: They have given Utah trouble, winning five of the past eight meetings and three of the past four home matchups. The Lobos are 8-2-1 ATS in their past 10 following a loss and they are coming off a defeat vs. Air Force.
Total (47): The total has gone over in every Utah game this season.
Boise St. at New Mexico St. (+21.5)
Why Broncos cover: They have never lost to the Aggies and beat them 58-0 last year. NMSU can’t run the ball a lick and it has committed four turnovers in each of the past two games.
Why Aggies cover: Well, they are 4-0 ATS in their past four home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Yeah, that’s probably stretching. Chase Holbrook actually is one of the better QBs in the WAC and may be able to keep it close. And the home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings.
Total (54.5): The under is 4-1 in Boise’s last five November games and in NMSU’s last five conference games.
TCU at UNLV (+14.5)
Why Horned Frogs cover: They have won four games in a row, holding each opponent to just seven points and outscoring those four foes 140-28. And they have beaten UNLV four straight, outscoring the Rebels 151-41.
Why Rebels cover: Perhaps the Horned Frogs are looking ahead to next week’s big game at Utah. And UNLV has played three ranked teams already this year and been competitive in all three, including upsetting Arizona St.
Total (54): The over is 5-0 in UNLV’s last five games.
Missouri at Baylor (+21)
Why Tigers cover: Chase Daniel has thrown for at least 300 yards in three straight games. Missouri, which is 6-0 vs. Baylor since the Bears joined the Big 12, is 8-1 ATS in its past nine road games. Baylor is only 4-14 in its past 18 conference games.
Why Bears cover: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. And Missouri’s defense had been suspect all season before last week’s shutout of Colorado. Dual-threat Baylor QB Robert Griffin might be one of the better players you’ve probably not heard of and he simply doesn’t throw interceptions.
Total (68): The over is 8-1 in Mizzou’s past nine road games.
Florida St. at Georgia Tech (-3)
Why Seminoles cover: Bobby Bowden just doesn’t lose to the Jackets: He is 12-0 against them. Tech hasn’t beaten FSU since 1975. And that speedy Seminoles defense might give the one-dimensional Georgia Tech offense problems.
Why Yellow Jackets cover: They lead the ACC in rushing and opponents are generally unfamiliar with Tech’s option offense. Tech also is 5-1 ATS in their past six games.
Total (42.5): The over is 9-2 in FSU’s last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Northwestern at Minnesota (-7)
Why Wildcats cover: Well, the road team is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings in this series and Northwestern is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 games following a loss. Perhaps backup QB Mike Kafka and backup RB Omar Conteh can have career days filling in for two injured starters.
Why Gophers cover: They catch a huge break in that Northwestern will be without its top player, RB Tyrell Sutton, and likely its starting QB, C.J. Bacher. Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings and this year’s Gophers team, especially on defense, is much better than in recent seasons.
Total (44.5): The over is 13-3 in the Gophers’ last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Tulsa at Arkansas (+7)
Why Golden Hurricane cover: They are due after losing 16 straight in this series and they have the nation’s top offense. Tulsa hasn’t been held under 20 points this season (or last season, for that matter) and has covered in seven of eight games.
Why Razorbacks cover: They will try and stay close and keep the Tulsa offense off the field by playing ball control and leaning on RB Michael Smith, who leads the SEC in rushing. And this is the Hogs’ last home game on campus this season, so that might be a rallying cry.
Total (76.5): The over is 5-1 in both teams’ past six non-conference games.
Tulane at LSU (-27)
Why Green Wave cover: This clearly isn’t the LSU defense of 2007 they are facing, as the Tigers have allowed 103 points in their two losses. LSU is only 1-4-1 ATS in its past six home games and may be looking ahead to next week’s game vs. No. 2 Alabama.
Why Tigers cover: They own their intrastate neighbors, having won 16 straight in the series. And Tulane’s best offensive player is RB Andre Anderson (No. 8 in the country in rushing), but he’s out with an injury.
Total (54.5): The over is 12-3 in LSU’s past 15 games.
BYU at Colorado St. (+14)
Why Cougars cover: They have won 11 of the past 13 meetings and averaged 40.5 points in those victories. QB Max Hall ripped apart the Rams last year, throwing for 355 yards and three TDs. The Cougars have covered in 17 of their past 26 conference games.
Why Rams cover: The BYU defense has sprung a leak, allowing 67 points in the past two games after yielding 61 in the first six games combined. CSU is 4-1 in its past five home games, while BYU is 0-4 ATS in its past four games overall.
Total (55): The under is 8-1 in CSU’s last nine games following a win.
Wisconsin at Michigan St. (-5.5)
Why Badgers cover: They have had Michigan State’s number, winning eight of the past 11 games. And while they remain the Big Ten’s biggest disappointment, maybe the Badgers turned their season around in beating Illinois last week. MSU is only 7-17 ATS in its last 24 home games.
Why Spartans cover: They don’t have to deal with Badgers All-American tight end Travis Beckum, who killed them last year. Beckum is out for the season. Javon Ringer also should have a big day against a defense allowing an average of 133.3 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin is 1-8 ATS in its past nine road games.
Total (48): The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings.
Oregon at California (-3)
Why Ducks cover: The two-headed running attack of Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount has led Oregon to at least 300 yards rushing in three of the past four games as the Ducks rank fifth in the nation in rushing. They face a Bears team that is 0-6 ATS in its past six November games.
Why Golden Bears cover: They have beaten a ranked Oregon team in each of the past two seasons, and the Bears are 5-0 ATS in their past five home games. The strength of their defense is against the run, which is Oregon’s main weapon.
Total (62): The under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
College News and Notes
Florida vs Georgia- Bulldogs clobbered Gators 42-30 last year…Dawgs ran for 196…Richt 28-4 SU away from Athens…Bulldogs double-digit penalties in 6 of 8 games…Georgia 7-2 ATS as dog since ‘05…Florida +10 Turnover Margin…Gators have blocked 4 punts this year…winner likely claims SEC East title
Texas @ Texas Tech- Longhorns have allowed 90 points last 3 weeks, but have scored 129…Texas has scored in 30 of 32 quarters of play…McCoy 21 TD, 4 INT, 82% completions, and is leading rusher…Horns 50+ points in 4 of 8 games…Tech has scored at least 35 in all 8 games…TT has scored in 31 of 32 quarters, including double-digits 18 times…4 Red Raiders have at least 30 receptions
Clemson @ Boston College- BC has won 3 straight, by 3 in OT, by 1 in 2OT, and by 3 in regulation (last year)…Eagles just 244 yards last week at No. Carolina…Clemson allowing 15.5 ppg in 4 conference games…Tigers 0-5 ATS this year
Tulsa @ Arkansas- SEC team a home dog to Conference USA squad!…Tulsa 5-1 ATS this year…Golden Hurricane has scored at least 45 poiints in 7 of 8 games…QB Johnson 32 TD, 9 INT…three players with at least 6 TD catches…Razorbacks 1-3 SU at home this season with -66 point differential…Arkansas has not scored more than 28 points in a game in ‘08
Rice @ UTEP- Owls won at home 56-48 in ‘07…Rice QB Clement 24 TD, 6 INT…Rice has scored between 42 and 77 points in their 5 wins, 28 or less in 3 losses…UTEP has allowed between 42 and 77 points three times this season…each team has allowed 22 passing TD’s…Total opened 80
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Weekend Football Betting Preview
by Marc Lawrence
Eight is enough. The eight undefeated teams that remain in college football, that is.
As we head in to Halloween weekend it will be interesting to see how many of the eight unbeaten teams remain unscathed after this week's action. In addition, can the Tennessee Titans duplicate last year's 8-0 start by New England when they host Green Bay on Sunday? Answers to these questions to follow.
Let's take a look at some of the big game on tap on the football card this weekend. Remember, Series History reflects results in head-to-head battles between the two teams. All results are ATS (Against The Spread) unless noted otherwise.
Florida vs. Georgia
Series History: Georgia beat Florida, 42-30, last year. Gators are 15-3 SU and 12-5-1 against the Bulldogs since 1990, including 10-0 SU and ATS when playing off back-to-back wins.
Florida Key Stat: Urban Meyer is 13-2 as a dog or favorite 7 or less points when playing with revenge.
Georgia Key Stat: Bulldogs are 2-7 ATS in games after facing LSU.
You Need To Know: teams who beat the defending National Champions are 0-8 SU and ATS in their next game as an underdog since 1990.
Oregon at California
Series History: California has defeated Oregon, 31-24 and 45-24, the last two years. The Ducks are 9-4 SU and ATS against the Bears since 1992.
Oregon Key Stat: Ducks average 31 PPG on the conference road under Mike Bellotti.
California Key Stat: Bears are 3-9 SU and ATS as conference home favorites of 7 or less points versus revenge.
You Need To Know: California is 4-18 in regular season games from Game Six out since 2005.
Texas at Texas Tech
Series History: Texas has won nine games in a row SU against Texas Tech, including last year's 59-43 victory in Austin. The Longhorns are 2-6 SU and ATS as favorites of 6 or less points versus the Red Raiders.
Texas Key Stat: Mack Brown is 4-14 ATS as a favorite versus undefeated opponents.
Texas Tech Key Stat: Red Raiders average 41.3 PPG at home under Mike Leach.
You Need To Know: Texas is 0-15-1 in its last 16 road games in which they have allowed 22 or more points.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
The Big 12 Report
By Tony George
ANOTHER Sweep in my Big 12 Selections last week, 2-0 in my report and we unloaded on Oklahoma State +12 for my game of the week, who had a chance to win one down in Austin Texas last Saturday but fell 4 points short. There should be no disappointment in Stillwater this this week, the Cowboys played punch for punch with Texas in front of the largest crowd ever in the state of Texas to see a College Football game! Okie State has a date with destiny at seasons end against big brother Oklahoma in Stillwater, and that date looms large for both teams. Have no doubts, Okie State is for real and with a strong running game out of the spread attack, it makes them very dangerous for any team to play.
Speaking of those 2 Oklahoma teams, they are the biggest Texas Tech fans on the planet this Saturday as the Red Raiders shocked everyone as an underdog (line moved big on Saturday in some places) in a BLOWOUT in Lawrence Kansas. I was shocked at the spread in this game when the buzzer rang, and Mike Leach dispelled any rumors that Texas Tech cannot beat a good team on the road, handing both Texas AM and Kansas convincing losses in back to back weeks on the road. That's sets the stage for this weekend in Lubbock. Can Texas survive another week? The schedule has been brutal and Texas has shown little letdown in the past 3 weeks with Oklahoma, Mizzou and Okie State all falling at the hands of the Longhorns, but can they keep pace with a fast track offense hell bent on destruction? Stay tuned for this one folks, it will be a shootout. Texas opened up at -4 and shot to -6 at press time here. A live home dog anyone? The Red Raiders qualify in my book!
The South Division is killing the North division in mixed games, as the South division of the Big 12 is 10-2 against the North winning by an average of 20 points per game, and that includes powerhouse Missouri, who is 0-2 against the South! Nebraska continued to show improvement this past weekend, trailing Baylor at halftime but turning it on when it counted and getting a win. The Huskers continue to improve and it looks like Kansas's trip to Nebraska could be a deciding factor in which teams gets any type of bowl bid at all because both will play second fiddle to Mizzou in the North.
Kansas looked like a JUCO team this past weekend and have no pushover this weekend! Texas AM as I predicted won at Ames Iowa this past weekend as an underdog and the score shocked me as it was a shootout. With a decent showing for 3 quarters against Texas Tech and a road win here for the Aggies, perhaps Mike Sherman is making progress in College Station, time will tell. Colorado got POUNDED by Missouri 58-0 as Missouri has started to play teams with losing records again, so they will dominate the north and win it, but will have to change their ways against good opponents as they will have a date with the South at years in at Arrowhead in Kansas City for the Big 12 Championship. No one in the north will touch them, including Kansas. Colorado has NO offense what so ever, keep that in mind for future reference and the Big 12 north's leading and #1 ranked defense of the Buffs gave up 58 points this weekend!
Kansas State put up a fight for 2 quarters before OU settled down and blew them out at home. The Sunflower Showdown is this weekend between Kansas and Kansas State. KU opened up at as a 10 point favorite, an interesting line after last weeks debacle. Neither team as good as advertised and it should be an interesting week in the state of Kansas leading up to this one, and this will be on of my Plays at weeks end in my premium package.
This weeks Highlighted Games (7-2 ATS the past 4 weeks!)
Missouri -20 @ Baylor
While Baylor QB Griffin continues to impress for Baylor, they really have nothing in the tank in terms of support around him or a defense that can slow the Mizzou attack. While they have played tough in most games this year and gave Nebraska a game last week in Lincoln for awhile, the lack of depth for the Bears is substantial. Mizzou on the other hand took care of Colorado, a better team than Baylor by 58 points last week allowing no points for the Buffs throwing spread attack. Look for Mizzou to continue to roll this week as they still have their ears pinned back and are clearly focused on a Big 12 north title and getting a second chance at a South Division opponent. There will be NO letdown for Mizzou. Mizzou 48 Baylor 17
Texas -6 @ Texas Tech
Out on a limb here, but after I witnessed what Texas Tech did to Kansas and Texas having back to back to back games with OU, Mizzou and Oklahoma State, this is a tough spot for Texas. I will say this, if Texas wins this game, just give them a national title, no one in the USA has a tougher schedule the past 4 weeks including any SEC team. That being said I am going with the Longhorns to win here, who have beaten every foe they have faced including a team that is is explosive on the ground and through the air in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys had massive run yards against Texas and they still pulled it out, and I think the front 4 of Texas's defensive line will get to Red Raider QB Harrell this week and make a difference. That is KEY in this game, Texas can rush the passer with success with just their front four, thus having great coverage downfield. Two of the best QB's in the Big 12 clash here and I think the battle tested Colt McCoy wins the battle in a squeaker in Lubbock. It is not impossible to Texas Tech to win this guys, but got to give the Longhorns the benefit of the doubt, they are real good! Texas wins but fails to cover. Texas 41 Texas Tech 38, grab the points.
Oklahoma -21 vs.. Nebraska
Not the rivalry of old here by any stretch of the imagination, and Nebraska DOES NOT match up well against Oklahoma. There is NO WAY Nebraska can trade punches on offense, and I doubt Nebraska's non-existent pass rush can perform well enough to contain the the no huddle attack and QB Bradford for 4 quarters on the road. Bo Pellini spent a year with Bob Stoops at OU after Nebraska fired him in 2003, and they are friends, but I doubt with BCS points and margin of wins now becoming a factor for OU, that the Sooners lay down for the Huskers, who have improved their play but against the likes of Baylor and Iowa State. I do not put much stock into a near upset at Texas Tech 3 weeks ago for my beloved Huskers, OU is flat out a better team in this game and should name the score unless they fail to show up, and I doubt that happens. There are better days on the horizon for the Husker nation, but not here. Oklahoma 41 Nebraska 14
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
Line moves and weather-affected games
Iowa St 62.5
Oklahoma St -30
- The total was hit by wise action at: Under 64.5
- The pointspread is down from: -31
- Where the public is: Oklahoma St by a ratio of 4.1 to 1.2
- Where the money is: Oklahoma St and under
- This is an extremely lopsided match. We give Iowa St no shot at wining this game but a moderate favorite to cover the spread.
GAME BEING PLAYED AT JACKSONVILLE MUNICIPAL STADIUM JACKSONVILLE, FL
- The pointspread was hit by wise action on: Georgia +7
- The total is down from: 57
- Where the public is: Florida by a ratio of 15.6 to 4.6
- Where the money is: Florida
- Florida should win this one. We have them as moderate favorites to win outright but the wise action is telling us to keep the pointspread low.
Kansas St 72
- The point-spread was hit by wise action on: Kansas St +10
- The total is up from: 71.5
- Where the public is: Split
- Where the money is: Kansas St
- We have Kansas as big favorites to win the game but give them only coin-flip odds to cover.
Texas Tech 75
- The total was hit by wise action at: Under 75.5
- The pointspread opened at: Texas -6
- Where the public is: Texas by a ratio of 13.0 to 6.0
- Where the money is: Split
- We have Texas Tech down as decent underdogs to cover the spread but only give them a slim chance to win outright on home field.
Florida St 42
Georgia Tech -2.5
- The pointspread was hit by wise action on: Georgia Tech -1
- The total is down from: 41.5
- Where the public is: Florida St by a ratio of 5.2 to 2.3
- Where the money is: Split
- We have this game very close to even odds, but will be leaning towards Georgia Tech due to the wise action.
- The pointspread was hit by wise action on: UNLV +15
- The total opened at: 53.5
- Where the public is: TCU by a ratio of 10.6 to 3.0
- Where the money is: TCU
- We don’t give UNLV much of a chance to win this game outright, but the pointspread might be high enough for them to cover as home dogs.
- 70 percent chance of rain.
- The total was hit by wise action at: Under 60.5
- The pointspread opened at: California -3
- Where the public is: Split
- Where the money is: Split
- The weather could have an impact on the total of this game, plus we have wise action on the under. We have this matchup as almost even odds but give California the home-team edge to win and cover.
Washington St 53.5
- 70 percent chance of rain.
- The point-spread opened at: Stanford -30
- The total opened at: 53.5
- There has been no movement on this game.
Arizona St 53.5
Oregon St -15
70 percent chance of rain.
- The total was hit by wise action at: Under 54
- The pointspread opened at: Arizona St -14
- Where the public is: Oregon St by a ratio of 5.1 to 1.7
- Where the money is: Oregon St
- The weather could have an impact on the total of this game, plus we have wise action on the under. We have Oregon St as a big favorite to win the game but we also give Arizona St equal odds to cover the spread.
Re: NCAAF Gameday News and Notes
(1) Texas (8-0, 7-1 ATS) at (6) Texas Tech (8-0, 3-3 ATS)
The marquee game on the schedule takes place in Lubbock, Texas, tonight, where the top-ranked Longhorns face their fourth consecutive Top 11 conference opponent when they battle Texas Tech in a showdown for Big 12 South supremacy.
Texas has survived a murderous schedule over the past month, first defeating then-No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35 as a seven-point underdog in Dallas, then pummeling No. 11 Missouri 56-31 as a four-point home favorite before holding on to win last week’s 28-24 thriller against No. 6 Oklahoma State, falling short as an 11½-point favorite in that one. In last Saturday’s win over the Cowboys, the Longhorns rolled up 504 total yards, but gave up 416 and got outrushed 217-113.
Texas Tech prepped for this showdown by going to Lawrence, Kan., last week and throttling Kansas 63-21 as a one-point road underdog. Star QB Graham Harrell (34-for-42, 386 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs) was near perfect as the Red Raiders outgained the Jayhawks 556-315 and forced five turnovers.
These teams are tied atop the Big 12 South standings at 4-0, with Texas cashing in all four games while the Red Raiders are 2-2 ATS in league play.
The Longhorns hammered Texas Tech 59-43 last year, easily covering as a 6½-point home favorite. Texas has won the last five meetings and eight of the last nine, going 6-3 ATS during this stretch (3-1 ATS in the last four). However, the underdog is 4-2 ATS in the past six battles, and the host is 7-3 ATS in the last 10.
Two of the nation’s top offenses go at it in this one. Texas Tech ranks third in the nation in scoring (48 ppg), second in total offense (556.9 ypg), first in passing offense (418.4 ypg) and third in passing touchdowns (29). Texas is fifth in scoring (45.6 ppg) and ninth in total offense (486.5 ypg), but the Longhorns have a more balanced attack that gets it done both through the air (303 passing ypg) and on the ground (183.4 rushing ypg).
The quarterbacks are the key to both of these offenses. Texas’ Colt McCoy is completing an astounding 82 percent of his passes – tops in the nation – for 2,285 yards with 21 TDs and four INTs, and he’s also rushed for 412 yards and seven touchdowns. Tech’s Harrell, who ports a completion rate of 71 percent, leads the nation with 3,147 passing yards and his 28 TDs rank third nationally, and he’s thrown just five picks. Harrell also has five rushing scores.
Defensively, Texas rates a slight edge, giving up 18.4 points and 334.8 yards per game, including 69.2 rushing ypg, which is the third-lowest total in the nation. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders yield 21 points and 346.5 total yards per contest (101 rushing ypg).
Not only have the Longhorns cashed in seven of their eight games this year, but they’re on spread-covering streaks of 10-2 overall, 4-0 on the road (3-0 this year) and 19-9-2 in November. Texas Tech has won 24 of its last 30 home games in November and is on ATS runs of 13-6 as a home underdog and 6-2-1 on artificial turf, but the Red Raiders are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five following a spread-cover.
Not surprisingly, the scoreboard lights up when these schools get together, as the over is 5-1 in the last six meetings overall and 5-1 in the last six clashes in Lubbock. The over is also 4-1 in Texas’ last five overall, 5-1 in its last six on the road, 6-1 in its last seven conference games and 4-1 in its last five in November. However, Texas Tech has stayed under the total in six straight home games.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS and OVER
(5) Florida (6-1 SU and ATS) vs. (8) Georgia (7-1, 3-4 ATS)
(at Jacksonville, Fla.)
First place in the SEC East is on the line today in Jacksonville, where Florida and Georgia battle it out in the annual World’s Largest Cocktail Party, with the loser knocked out of the national championship race.
The Gators pummeled Kentucky 63-5 a week ago, easily covering as a 25-point home favorite to improve to 3-0 SU and ATS since their stunning home loss to Ole Miss back on Sept. 27. During the three-game streak, Florida has outscored the opposition 152-33 while averaging 478.3 total yards per game and allowing just 316.7 ypg.
Like the Gators, Georgia has rebounded from its only defeat – a 41-30 home loss to Alabama – with three straight wins, the most impressive being last week’s 52-38 drubbing of LSU in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs cashed in the pick-em contest to snap a three-game ATS slide, and even though they got outgained 497-443 against the Tigers, they snared three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Also, RB Knowshon Moreno rushed for a career-high 188 yards and three TDs.
These teams are tied atop the SEC East standings at 4-1, one game ahead of Vanderbilt.
The Bulldogs thumped Florida 42-30 as a seven-point underdog in last year’s meeting, finishing with a 413-343 yard edge in total offense (196-107 in rushing). Prior to last year’s contest, the Gators had won two in a row and eight of the previous nine clashes, though the Dawgs are 3-1 ATS in the last four. Finally, the underdog has been the play in five of the last seven series battles.
Both explosive offenses are guided by solid junior quarterbacks. Florida’s Tim Tebow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, is completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,415 yards with 12 TDs and two INTs to along with 227 rushing yards and five additional scores. Meanwhile, Bulldogs QB Matthew Stafford is connecting on 61.6 percent of his throws for 1,946 yards with 12 TDs and four INTs.
Overall, the Gators are putting up 42 points and 410.3 total yards per game (196 rushing ypg) and giving up 12 points and 273.4 total yards (102.7 rushing ypg). Georgia puts up 34.2 points and 431.2 total yards per outing (172.5 rushing ypg) while yielding 20.2 points and 298.1 yards per contest (77 rushing ypg).
Florida enters this showdown on ATS streaks of 9-1 in regular-season action, 6-1 in SEC play, 4-0 in November and 10-3 versus winning teams. Meanwhile, Georgia sports pointspread streaks of 7-3-1- overall, 4-1-1 in November, 4-0 in neutral-site contests, 7-2 as an underdog since 2005 and 7-2 against a winning team.
For the Gators, the over is on streaks of 11-4 overall, 8-2 in SEC action, 14-5 on grass and 4-0 at neutral sites. The over is also 6-2 in Georgia’s last eight at neutral venues. On the flip side, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these bitter rivals, though last year’s contest easily topped the total.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
Miami, Fla. (5-3, 3-4 ATS) at Virginia (5-3, 4-3 ATS)
Two teams on the rise in the ACC standings square off at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., when the Hurricanes come calling on the Cavaliers.
Miami got a 16-10 home win over Wake Forest a week ago as a three-point favorite, the team’s third straight victory and second consecutive spread-cover. The ‘Canes blanked Wake Forest in the second half and rallied from a 10-3 halftime deficit to get the win, holding the Demon Deacons to just 252 total yards (57 passing). For the season, Miami is allowing 279.6 yards per game (110.5 rushing ypg).
Since an embarrassing 31-3 loss at Duke on Sept. 27, Virginia has rattled off four straight victories (4-0 ATS), capped by last week’s surprising 24-17 win at Georgia Tech as a two-touchdown road ‘dog. The Cavaliers now sit in first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division, led by an offense that is averaging 26.5 points and 382 yards per contest during its winning streak after scoring a total of 36 points in its first four games. Virginia’s defense leads the conference with 23 sacks, 10 of them coming from linebacker Clint Sintim, who lead the ACC in that category.
Virginia crushed Miami in South Beach a year ago, winning 48-0 as a four-point underdog to deal the Hurricanes their worst shutout loss in Orange Bowl history on the final game in the old stadium. It was the second straight year the Cavs beat the ‘Canes and their third straight spread-cover in the rivalry. The last time the two met in Charlottesville was 2006 when Virginia got a 17-7 win as a three-point pup.
The Hurricanes are 4-0 ATS in their last four roadies, but otherwise they’re on ATS slides of 6-15-1 in ACC contests, 7-33 following a spread-cover and 3-7 in November contests. Virginia is 28-12 in its last 40 games in Charlottesville (4-1 last five), and all four of its victories and covers during its current winning steak have come against teams with a winning record.
The over is 5-2 in Miami’s last seven ACC games, 6-2 in its last eight on the road and 8-3 in its last 11 against winning teams, but the under is 20-7 in its last 27 November contests and 10-4 in its last 14 after a spread-cover. For the Cavaliers, the under is on runs of 4-1 overall, 9-3 in November games and a whopping 20-7-3 in its last 30 ACC contests.
ATS ADVANTAGE: VIRGINIA
West Virginia (5-2, 2-4 ATS) at Connecticut (6-2, 3-4 ATS)
The Mountaineers are looking for their fifth straight victory today when they make the trek to East Hartford, Conn. to take on Connecticut in a Big East battle.
West Virginia has had eight days off since beating Auburn 34-17 as a three-point home favorite. QB Patrick White threw for three TDs against the Tigers, but it was RB Noel Devine who did most of the damage, rushing for 207 yards on 17 carries and scoring on a 30-yard run late in the game to seal the win. West Virginia had a whopping 445-260 advantage in total yards and outrushed Auburn 271-149.
Connecticut rebounded from two road losses with a 40-16 home win over Cincinnati last Saturday, cashing as a three-point home ‘dog. QB Cody Endres threw for 196 yards, but RB Donald Brown II ignited the offense with 150 yards and two TDs on 29 carries. Both Endres and Zach Frazer took snaps with the first-team offense this week, and the starting QB for today’s matchup with the Mountaineers is uncertain.
West Virginia has destroyed UConn each of the last four years (4-0 ATS), including last year’s 66-21 home rout as a 21-point chalk. The closest the Huskies have come to beating the Mountaineers was back in 2004, when West Virginia 31-19 as a seven-point road chalk. The average margin of victory in the four meetings is 28.8 points per game.
The Mountaineers are on ATS slides of 1-5 in Big East games, 1-10 after a spread-cover and 1-4 after straight-up wins. On the flip side, Connecticut is on ATS runs of 16-5 at home, 7-1 as a home underdog, 8-2 in Big East action and 5-0 at home against teams with a winning home record.
It’s been all unders for West Virginia lately, including 4-1 in Big East contests, 20-7 against teams with a winning home record and 4-1 after a straight-up win. Conversely, the over is 4-1 in UConn’s last five at home. Finally, the total has alternated in the four all-time meetings between these schools, with last year’s contest easily soaring over the total.
ATS ADVANTAGE: WEST VIRGINIA
Northwestern (6-2, 3-4 ATS) at (20) Minnesota (7-1, 6-1 ATS)
The Golden Gophers will try to keep their magical season going when Northwestern pays a visit to the Metrodome for a key Big Ten matchup.
Minnesota, who went 1-11 last season, have won seven of eight games in 2008 while getting the cash in each of its last six lined games. It’s the defense that has kept the Gophers close to the top of the conference, forcing 24 turnovers and giving up just 17.1 points per game. Last week, Minnesota downed Purdue 17-6 as a one-point road favorite, allowing just 109 passing yards, which was the Boilermakers’ lowest output in a game in 12 years.
Since reaching the cusp of the Top 25 a month ago, Northwestern has gone on to lose two of its last three, including last Saturday’s 21-19 setback at Indiana as a 7½-point road chalk. The Wildcats lost much more than the game, as senior RB Tyrell Sutton is now out the rest of the regular season with a wrist injury. Sutton had 3,772 rushing yards and 31 TDs in his career, while his replacement, Omar Conteh, has run for just 223 yards on 61 carries.
Minnesota has won three of the last four meetings in this rivalry, both SU and ATS, but dropped a 49-48 overtime decision at Northwestern last season, cashing as a 6½-point pup. The Gophers are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings, including a 43-17 win as 13½-point favorites the last time Northwestern came into the Metrodome in 2004. Finally, the ‘dog has cashed in eight of the last nine series battles.
The Wildcats are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 after a straight-up loss and 5-1 ATS in their last six after a non-cover. But Northwestern is on slides of 1-4 ATS on the highway and 5-13 ATS in road games against teams with a winning home record. Meanwhile, in addition to its current 6-0 ATS run, Minnesota is on positive pointspread streaks of 6-0 in Big Ten play, 5-1 in November and 4-0 against winning teams.
For Northwestern, the under is on runs of 7-2 in November, 11-5 after a SU loss and 5-1 after a non-cover. Minnesota has stayed low in four of its last five games, but otherwise the over is on streaks of 20-6 in November and 27-10-1 at home. Finally, the over has been the play in three of the last four meetings in this rivalry.
ATS ADVANTAGE: MINNESOTA and OVER
(19) Tulsa (8-0, 6-1 ATS) at Arkansas (3-5, 3-4 ATS)
Tulsa steps out of Conference USA play when it travels to Arkansas needing a win to keep its BCS Bowl hopes alive.
The Golden Hurricane stumbled out of the gate in Sunday night’s home game against Central Florida, falling behind 19-14 at the half. But they got their top-ranked offense cranked up in the final 30 minutes, outscoring Central Florida 35-0 en route to a 49-19 win as a 23½-point chalk. Tulsa produced “just” 435 total yards, including 264 passing, but the defense stepped up in allowing just 187 total yards and forcing three turnovers.
With less than two minutes to play, Arkansas scored 10 points in 38 seconds last week against Ole Miss, but still came up short in a 23-21 home loss, covering as a 6½-point underdog. The Razorbacks have lost five of their last six games, but the last three were decided by a total of six points, and the Hogs cashed in each contest, all as an underdog.
These teams last met in 2003, when Arkansas rolled to a 45-13 victory, though Tulsa got the cash as a 36-point road underdog. The Razorbacks have won 16 consecutive meetings in this rivalry, with the last 10 going dating to 1985 being played on Arkansas’ home turf.
Tulsa leads the nation in both scoring offense (56.6 ppg) and total offense (624.7 total ypg), and despite an average game last week against Central Florida, QB David Johnson still is completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 332.6 yards per game with an NCAA-best 32 TDs against nine INTs. Meanwhile, despite scoring 25, 20 and 21 points the last three weeks, the Hogs are putting up just 19.1 points and 361.6 total yards per outing while allowing 32 points and 359.2 yards per game.
The Hurricane have cashed in seven of their last eight games dating to last season and are on additional pointspread streaks of 13-5 after a spread-cover and 10-4 in non-conference play. The Razorbacks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 November contests, but they’re stuck in pointspread slumps of 1-3 at home this year, 1-5 as a home pup since 2005 and 2-8 outside of SEC play.
For Tulsa, the over is on runs of 4-1-1 overall, 5-1 in non-conference play and 5-2 in November, but the under is 6-0 in the team’s last six games on grass. For Arkansas, the over streaks include 8-3 at home, 5-1 in non-conference action, 11-5 on grass and 4-1 in November.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TULSA and OVER
Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-4-1 ATS) at Notre Dame (5-2 SU and ATS)
Notre Dame will try to secure its first winning season in three years when it hosts Pitt as this regional rivalry resumes for the first time since 2005.
The Irish bounced back from a heartbreaking 29-24 loss at North Carolina with last week’s 33-7 drubbing of Washington, easily getting the cash as a 10-point road favorite for their fourth consecutive spread-cover. Notre Dame had a ridiculous 459-124 edge in total offense last week, including a 252-26 advantage on the ground. Going back to last year, Charlie Weis’ team is on a 7-2 SU and ATS run, including five straight wins in South Bend (4-1 ATS).
The Panthers saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt in last week’s embarrassing 54-34 home loss to lowly Rutgers as a 9½-point home chalk, falling to 2-4-1 ATS in their last seven. Pitt actually had the edge in total offense (486-442) and held the ball for five more minutes than Rutgers, but the offense committed two turnovers and the defense allowed six touchdown passes.
These schools have squared off against each other 10 times since 1992, including five straight years from 2001-05. During this 10-meeting stretch, the Irish are 8-2 SU and ATS (4-1 SU and ATS) at home). The SU winner cashed in all 10 games.
Pitt is on ATS steaks of 6-2 on the highway and 5-1 as a road pup, both since last year. On the flip side, the Panthers are in pointspread nosedives of 1-7 in November, 1-4-1 in non-conference play and 4-8-1 after a non-cover. Meanwhile, despite its current positive ATS runs, Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in its last five versus the Big East.
The under is 9-4 in Pitt’s last 13 overall and 13-6 in Notre Dame’s last 19 overall. However, the over is 5-2 in the Irish’s last seven in South Bend and 5-1 in their last six against the Big East.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NOTRE DAME
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Nebraska (5-3, 4-4 ATS) at (4) Oklahoma (7-1, 5-2 ATS)
Oklahoma and Nebraska renew their storied rivalry for the first time since 2006 when the teams meet in Norman, Okla,, where the Sooners hope to keep their BCS title game hopes alive.
Oklahoma’s offense put on a show in the first half of last week’s game at Kansas State, scoring a school-record eight touchdowns and taking a 55-28 halftime lead en route to an easy 58-35 victory. The Sooners actually got outgained 550-528, but finished with a whopping 273-64 advantage in rushing. Bob Stoops’ offense has tallied a combined 103 points the last two weeks and is averaging 48.2 points and 542.1 total yards per game this season, scoring at least 35 in every game.
Nebraska evened its Big 12 record at 2-2 with last week’s 32-20 home victory over Baylor, but the Huskers failed to cover as a 13-point home favorite despite finishing with 147-yard edge in total offense (497-350). They have outgained their last three foes (Texas Tech, Iowa State and Baylor) by a total of 527 yards.
These rivals haven’t faced off since a three-year stretch from 2004-06, with Oklahoma winning all three contests and covering the spread in the past two. The most recent battle came in the 2006 Big 12 Championship game, and the Sooners rolled to a 21-7 victory as a 3½-point favorite. The chalk is on a 6-2 ATS roll in this rivalry.
Despite covering the number in two of its last three games, Nebraska is still just 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games overall. In addition, the Cornhuskers are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 on the highway (but 2-0 ATS this year), 4-9 ATS in their last 13 league games and 5-10 ATS in their last 15 as a road pup. Meanwhile, the Sooners have won 22 consecutive home games, going 13-7-1 ATS, including 12-4-1 in their last 17 in Norman (all as a favorite). OU is also on ATS tears of 5-2 in November and 15-7 following a spread-cover.
Oklahoma has topped the total in four straight games overall, six of its seven lined contests this season and four of its last five in Norman. Conversely, the Huskers are on under streaks of 5-2 overall, 7-2 on the road, 9-4 in Big 12 action and 6-1 when playing on grass. Also, the under is 4-1 in the last five Nebraska-Oklahoma battles.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OKLAHOMA and UNDER
(23) Oregon (6-2, 4-4 ATS) at California (5-2 SU and ATS)
Having climbed back into the Top 25 after consecutive victories, Oregon will now try to move up the rankings when it visits California in a key Pac-10 clash.
The Ducks followed up a sluggish 31-24 home win over UCLA by destroying Arizona State 54-20 as a three-point road favorite last week. Oregon, which has outgained nine of its last 10 opponents dating to last year, piled up 537 total yards (304 rushing) and allowed just 333 (107 rushing) and won easily despite committing three turnovers. Even though they got the cash last week, the Ducks are just 2-4 ATS in their last six outings (2-2 ATS on the road).
Cal bounced back from a 42-27 loss at Arizona with last week’s 41-20 home rout of UCLA, barely holding on to cover as an 18-point favorite. The Bears, who like Oregon have outgained nine of their last 10 foes, ran all over UCLA for 232 yards while holding the Bruins to 16 net rushing yards. The SU winner is 11-0 ATS in Cal’s last 11 games.
The Bears went to Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., last year and surprised the Ducks 31-24 as a 6½-point road underdog, ending a four-game winning streak by the home team in this rivalry. Cal has won and covered the last two meetings after Oregon had gone 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in the previous eight clashes.
Oregon is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games on artificial turf and 14-7 in its last 21 when catching points, but only 1-4 ATS in its last five versus winning teams. Meanwhile, the Bears ended last season in a 1-7 ATS funk, but they’ve cashed in six of their eight games this year, including all four at home. However, they’re still 3-8 ATS in their last 11 conference contests and 0-6 ATS in their last six November outings.
The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these schools. However, the over is 4-1-2 in Oregon’s last seven games overall, 5-1-1 in its last seven on turf, 6-2 in Cal’s last eight overall and 13-6 in Cal’s last 19 at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
Wisconsin (4-4, 3-5 ATS) at (22) Michigan State (7-2, 5-3 ATS)
Wisconsin tries for consecutive victories for the first time since starting the season 3-0 when it travels to Michigan State for a Big Ten contest.
The Badgers snapped a four-game SU and ATS losing skid – all in Big Ten play – with last Saturday’s come-from-behind 27-17 victory over Illinois as a 2½-point home underdog. Wisconsin outrushed the Illini 163-88, and the defense picked off Illinois QB Juice Williams three times en route to the team’s first league victory of the season.
Michigan State bounced back from an embarrassing 45-7 home loss to Ohio State with last week’s 35-21 trouncing of Michigan, cashing as a 3½-point road chalk. The Spartans enjoyed a 473-252 edge in total offense and forced four turnovers, but lost three fumbles. Michigan State is on a 7-1 roll (5-2 ATS), going 3-1 (2-2 ATS) in Big Ten play.
The SU winner is 7-0 ATS in Wisconsin’s last seven games and 7-2 ATS in Michigan State’s nine contests this year.
The host has taken the last three meetings in this rivalry dating to 2003. Last year, Wisconsin prevailed 37-34, but the Spartans got the cash as a seven-point road underdog.
The Badgers are on ATS slides of 6-13 overall, 1-8 on the highway and 1-5 in league games. As for the Spartans, they’re 8-3 ATS in their last 11 after a SU win and 5-2 ATS in their last seven in Big Ten, but they’re mired in pointspread funks of 5-12 in November and 7-17 at home.
The over is on runs of 6-2 for Wisconsin in Big Ten play, 4-1 for Wisconsin in November, 4-1 for Michigan State overall, 8-1 for Michigan State in conference and 15-7-2 for Michigan State in November action. Finally, each of the last five series meetings have topped the total.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
(16) Florida State (6-1, 3-2 ATS) at Georgia Tech (6-2, 5-1 ATS)
Florida State hopes to maintain at least a share of first place in the ACC Atlantic Division when it hits the road for a league game at Georgia Tech.
The Seminoles opened conference play with a disappointing 12-3 home loss to Wake Forest on Sept. 20, but they’ve bounced back to win four in a row (3-1 ATS). Last week, Florida State rallied to beat Virginia Tech 30-20, covering as a 6½-point home favorite. Bobby Bowden’s club is 3-1 in ACC play (2-2 ATS), tied with Maryland for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Georgia Tech’s four-game SU and five-game ATS winning streaks came to a stunning halt a week ago in a 24-17 loss to Virginia, even though the Yellow Jackets were a 14-point home favorite. They gave up 396 total yards (270 passing) and mustered just 259 on offense (103 passing) in falling into second place in the ACC’s Coastal Division at 3-2 (4-1 ATS).
These teams last met in 2003, with Florida State eking out a 14-13 victory but never threatening to cash as a 24-point home chalk. The Seminoles have won 12 in a row in this rivalry, but after cashing in five straight from 1994-98, FSU is just 1-3-1 ATS in the last five battles with Georgia Tech – with those five contests decided by an average of six points per game.
Despite its recent pointspread successes, the ‘Noles are still just 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 November games and 7-15 ATS in their last 22 following a SU victory. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 following a non-cover, but 2-5 ATS in their last seven at home.
The under is 3-0 in the last three series meetings between these teams, 5-1 in Tech’s last six overall, 35-17-2 in Tech’s last 54 ACC contests and 17-6 in Florida State’s last 23 November outings. However, the Seminoles have topped the total in five of their last seven on the highway.
ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGIA TECH and UNDER
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Tulsa vs. Arkansas
This is going to be a fun game to watch. I don’t know if you noticed, but Tulsa is 8-0. Their quarterback has thrown for over 2600 yards and 32 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. They come into this game as 7 point favorites and the total is set at an unbelievable 77 points. But, considering this Tulsa team put up 77 points against UTEP alone, maybe that should not come as surprising. Arkansas has struggled terribly of late and this is a game that Tulsa could certainly win and win big as I have no faith in the Razorbacks against quality teams as they typically struggle.
Kentucky vs. Mississippi State
Kentucky is 5-3 while Miss State is the inverse at 3-5. But, State’s all three wins this year come at home as they are 0-4 on the road. Miss. State beat this team 31-14 on the road last year as thirteen point dogs so Kentucky undoubtedly has revenge coming into this game. Kentucky comes off an embarrassing 5-63 game on national television and they will likely be fired up for this game. Remember, this is the same team that beat Louisville outright on the road 27-2 to start the year and fell short by just a field goal to Bama. Bless the hear of Miss. State and I really like Buddy Croom, but I think the Wildcats will outmatch them today coming off an ugly loss, a better offense and revenge from last year.
Tulane vs. LSU
This could be a game that LSU finally finds its footing. After all, this team is furious after back to back ugly losses to both Georgia and Florida. LSU beat this team 34-9 last year and Tulane comes off an ugly 17-42 loss to Rice at home. This team did cover against Utep and Alabama on the road but LSU of course, comes off back to back ugly losses so they are fired up for this game here. I don’t want to lay this many points with LSU but at the same token, I don’t want to test the heart of a pissed off SEC team.
Tennessee vs. South Carolina
You want to talk about some fans that are furious, look no further than Tennessee. This is a game that the Vols certainly need to step up and do well as the Gamecocks are favored by -5.5 here. Tennessee beat this team in overtime last year by a field goal and that was a game that the Vols had to come back in. South Carolina is obviously looking for revenge from that game. South Carolina had some big wins including winning at Ole Miss and Kentucky but fell short to LSU at home by a touchdown. Normally, I would jump all over South Carolina, but I have always said any spread that is a -5.5 spread always worries me because I feel that it is a shady spread to begin with. So, I’m just going to stay away and be a fan of this game. I hate the -5.5 line despite leaning towards South Carolina in this game as the Gamecocks are coming off a loss.
West Virginia vs. Connecticut
Just above 63% is riding West Virginia here on the road as they face Uconn. WVU beat this team 66-21 last year easily covering the -22 point spread placed on them at home. How times and fortunes have changed. West Virginia does come off a big win over Auburn at home winning 34-17 but currently is unranked after losing to East Carolina and Colorado in back to back games on the road. Connecticut comes off back to back covers in particular a big win at home against Cincy by a score of 40-16 as they won outright as 3 point dogs. What a cover huh? To be dogged by 3 points and ending up winning at home outright by 24 points – wow. I think this game is likely to go under for several reasons, one being that it is a conference game, the second being that the public actually favors the over, but I believe it is small for a reason. After all, West Virginia on the road has only put up 14 and 3 points on the road – not that impressive and that was against Colorado and East Carolina. I think this is going to be a defensive battle.
Pittsburgh vs. Notre Dame
This should be a good game. The line has actually come down steadily from the opening line of 7 down to -4.5 and -5 in many books. What many are not realizing is the fact that Pittsburgh is 5-2. Go figure. The Panthers have come back strong this year and they sit at 5-2 with some big wins including at Navy, at South Florida, Iowa at home and at Syracuse. I think this could be a game that Notre Dame could find itself flat after defeating Washington with such ease. Remember, Pittsburgh lost 34-54 at home to Rutgers so this team will be fired up for this game. Take a gander at the over too for this game. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have both played 3 of 4 overs and the Irish have covered 4 games in a row.
Louisville vs. Syracuse
I understand that Syracuse is terrible, but note that over 61% of the public favors Louisville here on the road which is never a good sign. Syracuse actually beat this team 38-35 on the road last year and they were 37 point dogs going into that game. Louisville comes off a big win over South Florid at home as they have covered three straight games. Syracuse got dismantled by South Florida (in part b/c the Bulls were ticked they got beat by Louisville on the road) by a score of 13-45. I think this could be a game where the Orangemen step up and keep it relatively close. I think the total is set high for a reason in this game as I would not see it rise above the posted total.
Minnesotta vs. Northwestern
Big 10 Class here and note that over 61% are favoring Northwestern at home here as they are slightly more than a touchdown favorite. Minny is 7-1 and ranked top 20 in the nation while Northwestern 6-2. Remember, Northwestern beat this team 49-48 in overtime last year in an extremely tight game that went well over the posted total of 66. Certainly, Minnesotta is looking for revenge this game. Minny has covered the last 3 in a row in this contest and remember, Northwestern comes off an ATS loss at Indiana as they failed to cover the -7.5 number. Minnesotta on the other hand of course won easily at Purdue 17-6 (covered the game), won at Illinois 27-20 (covered the 12 point spread outright), and defeated Indiana 16-7 at home as well. In fact, Minny is 6-1 ATS in the last seven games. I actually won love to lean Northwestern today, except for the fact Northwestern comes off a loss at Indiana and they will be fired up for this game. Thus, a lean here on Northwestern as the dog here as I believe they are likely to lose, but still manage to cover the spread.