Week 1: 4-3, (57.14%)
Season: 4-3, (57.14%)
Sides: 3-3, (50.00%)
Totals: 1-0, (100.00)
Overall: 4-3, (57.14%)
4-3 in week 1 and now to we move along to week 2. Every year as we go into week 2 there are a ton of hot takes and over-reactions based on what happened in week 1. I’ll be looking to sift through all that find some value in a week that usually treats me pretty well. Here’s what I’m going with…
Rice (+19): Going to go with the Owls here as a sizable home dog. Last week Rice as a 23 point dog actually took Army right down to the wire. Army needed a TD and then a last second stop in the red zone to hang on for a narrow 14-7 win. Rice admittedly really struggled throwing they were able to go for 181 yards on the ground. Now they get to do battle with a Wake Forest team that gave up nearly 600 yards of total offense last week against Utah State. Now obviously Rice doesn’t have an offense attack to the level of Utah State. That said, I do still think they should be able to move the ball both on the ground and even through the air. That loss against Army was one of those close losses that even though it’s a L in the books it still inspires a bit of confidence. A bit of “hey we are actually half way decent” instilled in the players. For Wake I think there could be a little bit of a letdown angle in play. Last week they won that game on a 4th and goal with a minute left and next week they start conference play against North Carolina. On the other end Rice should be pretty fired up. Getting a power 5 team to come to their home stadium, plus it being their home opener should be plenty reason enough for a 110% type of effort. Now there’s no denying there’s a talent gap here. It’s an ACC school against a Conference USA school. I’m certainly not going to say Rice wins this game outright or anything but there’s plenty here to think they can hang around and keep it from getting out of control. To Wake’s credit they played a very clean game against Utah State in that win last week. 13/24 on 3rd down, only 1 turnover, only 1 penalty, 30 first downs. Offensively for as impressive as it was it’s tough to play back to back games that cleanly, even when factoring in the dip in quality of opponent. Ultimately talent should win out and Wake likely gets their W but I can see a 10-14 type win as the scrappy Owls hang around.
Purdue (-7): We all know about Purdue’s collapse and how they gave away what looked like a sure win last week at Nevada. For as ugly as that collapse was we can’t ignore the fact that the Boilers throughly controlled most of that game. Even when the dust settled they outgained Nevada 519-404, held them to 5/17 on 3rd down, and threw the ball all over the field. It’s hard to take away positives after a choke job like that in the 4th quarter but there are still some silver linings for Purdue in my opinion. Sindlear made threw a critical pick that ended up costing them the game but fact still remains he threw for 423 yards and 4 TD’s while completing 65% of his passes. At his disposal is Rondale Moore who is one of the best and most dangerous WR’s in the nation. The ground game is something they’d admit needs to improve but that passing attack looks like it’ll very dangerous and difficult to deal with. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to excuse blowing a 31-14 lead late in the 3rd quarter but it is what it is. The Boilers let off the gas and it cost them a game they had no business losing. As it’s happening it’s beyond ugly to watch but in the long run it might do them some good. If they jump out to a lead as expected in this one I guarantee you Brohm is not going to let off the gas down the stretch. On the other side we have Vandy who is coming off a 30-6 loss to Georgia. There are a few problems when you play Georgia. First of all is the obvious point that they are very, very good but the other often overlooked angle is how they just beat you up, and I don’t mean only on the scoreboard. They are big, strong, fast and physically your team is usually just beat to hell after playing them. This is now presumably a weary, beat up, and exhausted squad. Now they have to hit the road to face a Purdue team that as mentioned earlier should be angry, hungry and looking to take it out on someone. This one could get ugly and if Brohm keeps his foot on the pedal as I expect, we could be looking at a 37-17 type of game.
Oregon (-24): I’m going to work last weeks Nevada/Purdue game from both angles. Above I already took Purdue and here I’m going to fade Nevada. I went into pretty good detail about that game in the last write up so I’ll keep it more minimal here. To be frank about it Nevada was vastly outplayed and pulled a rabbit out of their hat to come away with a win that had no business getting. Their defense was chewed up (especially by the pass) and in my opinion Purdue lost that game more than Nevada won it. On the flip side we have an Oregon team that was right there knocking on the door of a big win against Auburn before giving it up in the final seconds. They actually led 21-6 mid way through the 3rd before Auburn ripped off the last 21 points (the last TD as mentioned with 9 seconds left) to get the win. In that game the Ducks defense actually help Auburn QB Bo Nix to just 13/31 for 177 yards and 2 INT’s. Yes they were run on a bit but if they jump out to a big lead as I expect they will, that in turn will make Nevada one dimensional and force them into a heavy passing attack. Then of course we have Ducks QB Justin Herbert who many think will flirt with being the #1 overall pick in next years NFL draft. Herbert was respectable enough last week against Auburn and in this one he’ll see a huge drop off in quality of the defense he faces. The Ducks already have a massive talent edge on the Wolfpack and in this one they’ll have a chip on their shoulder too. The polar opposite is where Nevada is. They just beat a BIG-10 team and stormed the field like they won the national title. Good for them, it was nice to see a dog pull of (what for them) is considered a massive win. The challenge now however for Norvell and his staff will be to keep these kids heads on straight and make sure they aren’t taking victory laps all week. Under normal circumstances a line of 23.5 would be in line with what I have, but I don’t consider these normal circumstances. You have one team in a classic let down spot and the other in a spot where they are looking to kick someones teeth in. This one could get very ugly and something like a 35-40 point Ducks win wouldn’t surprise me at all.
Miami FL (-5): I’m going to roll with the Canes here as they look to get things back on track after that season opening loss to Florida 24-20. That was a back and forth game where in the 4th quarter the two teams took turns trying to give the game away with stupid mistakes. The weakness of this Miami team is offensively where they clearly have some kinks to work out, mostly on the offensive line. When they kept Williams upright he was actually ok going 19 for 29, for 214 yards and 1 TD with no INT’s. Not great numbers by any stretch but against a top notch Florida defense they are pretty respectable. Of course the elephant in the room is the fact he was sacked 10 times. Yes 10 times, that isn’t a typo. The good news however is they’ll be facing a front 7 against North Carolina that isn’t close to the level they dealt with against the Gators. If they can protect Williams I think they’ll open up the playbook a bit more and give him and chance to make some throws downfield. In that opener there was a lot of dinking and dunking. I’m sure a lot of that was game plan and a lot of it was simply they couldn’t protect him well enough to let receivers actually work their way downfield. The clear and unquestioned strength of this Canes team is their defense. Against the Gators they only allowed 304 total yards and even more impressively only 50 yards rushing. Their front 7 is among the best in the nation and they figure to cause plenty of havoc in this one. As far as UNC goes they are coming off a 24-20 win over South Carolina in a game they trailed 20-9 in the 4th before storming back. I had the Heels in that game and for the life of me couldn’t understand all that money coming in on the Gamecocks. To be honest I just don’t think South Carolina is that good. So while still a very nice win for UNC it doesn’t impress me as much as it seemed to impress others. With 238 yards rushing the Heels absolutely ran all over South Carolina and that’s something they just won’t be able to do here. At QB Howell was solid yet unspectacular but in this one he’ll face a level of defense he’s never seen before. Some money has come in on UNC pushing this line from 6 to 5 and that’s just fine with me as I was leaning Miami at 6 already. Now at 5 I’ll go ahead and make it official.
Texas State (+7): This is one of those plays where I’m looking for water to find it’s level a little bit. What I mean by that is simply that Wyoming isn’t as good as they showed last week, and Texas State isn’t as bad as they showed. We’ll start on the Texas State as they were hammered by Texas A&M 41-7. The total yards, the overall stats, etc all look like what you’d expect from a 41-7 game. There was nothing lucky about this. No bad breaks, no bad bounces, the Bobcats flat out just got their asses kicked, no way around it. It’s a different level of athlete, a different level of talent, and there’s no reason to beat around the bush… they were just in over their heads. Starting QB Tyler Vitt was awful and eventually pulled in favor of Gresch Jensen who was a little less awful. Everything I’m reading points to probably both guys seeing playing time Saturday. Both are getting reps with the first team and it doesn’t seem like either is really pulling away from the other. For as bad as things looked it’s important to remember they faced a fringe top 10 team who jacked up and ready to go. Getting hammered by them isn’t something to be ashamed of and now playing in their home opener I think you’ll see some renewed spirit from Texas State. The other side of this coin is Wyoming and their surprising win over Missouri. Before I get into that game I want to give Wyoming credit. They scored more points, they got the W, and that’s good for them. A deeper look however shows they were outplayed pretty clearly. Missouri won the yardage battle 537-389, first downs 28-16, threw for 423 yards, but what ultimately led to their demise was losing the turnover battle 3-0. The Cowboys won this game and scored 37 points despite only throwing for 92 yards. Chambers was 6/16 for 92 yards passing. They were however able to run for 297 yards but at the end of the day this is a pretty one dimensional offense. None of that above even factors the situational aspect of this game which I see as huge. Simply put in the world of Wyoming football beating an SEC team is HUGE. Things like that just don’t happen often for a school like Wyoming so when it does it’s impossible to ignore the hangover angle. Trying to keep these kids grounded and keep their heads on straight after a win over an SEC team is hard enough to begin with. That challenge gets even tougher when you need to try and fire them up for a game in San Marcos, Texas against the Texas State Bobcats. To me this game screams reality check, come back to earth, letdown spot for Wyoming. I won’t quite go as far to predict an outright Bobcats win, but they certainly should hang around throughout.
I also have a few others where I didn’t have enough time for a full write up bit do have a few quick thoughts…
UAB/Akron Ov 46: Circa actually opened this one up at 53 on Sunday. At that number I agree under was the play but now that it’s come all the way down to 46 I think the under love has gotten out of hand. I’ll jump in going against the one way traffic and take the over. 2
Texas A&M/Clemson Un 64: Another one where I think the movement has become a bit much. Circa opened this one at 59.5 and Pinnacle a bit higher at 61. Now however it’s up to 64 and I think that’s too high. I’ll hit the under.
Miami FL (-5)
Texas State (+7)
UAB/Akron Ov 46
Texas A&M/Clemson Un 64