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The Bearcats of Cincinnati aren’t sexy but they are so damn tough. They run the ball, efficiently pass it and have been preparing for this game the entire offseason. Jerome Ford has back-to-back 100+ yard rushing efforts to start the season and Desmond Ridder has been really good, completing 72.3% of his passes and tossing 6TDs vs just one interception.
Indiana opened the season getting walloped by Iowa before housing Idaho and let me tell you a secret: Cincinnati is a lot more Iowa than Idaho. I’m still figuring out Iowa, but I love the Bearcats here. This is a perfect spot too because Notre Dame is next on their schedule, but they’ll have two weeks to prepare for that road trip, so all eyes are on Bloomington. Bearcats by double-digits.
Coastal got an extra day to get ready for Buffalo after covering my (-26.5) a week ago against Kansas and will probably need it with an early kickoff in their first road game. Big spreads in early games are death, sometimes, and we should always keep the bets modest but Coastal is taking on a Buffalo team that we still don’t know a lot about. Kyle Vantrease is a capable quarterback but make no mistake, this is a running Bulls team but this backfield is missing all-everything tailback Jaret Patterson because he’s in the NFL. Buffalo will make some ‘wow’ plays. Coastal isn’t going into this expecting a shutout (that ain’t happening) but they will stretch out throughout the four quarters that I like this going in the Chanticleers favor by the end.
680. That’s the number of yards Memphis rolled up on Arkansas State last week in a fantastic 55-50 win. They did magical things in the air (417 yards) and added a ferocious effort of 263 yards on the ground. 680 also happens to be the number of yards they allowed so we can stop the bragging because 582 were through the air.
Mississippi State just so happens to have a quarterback named Will Rogers that has passed for 664 yards in two games, that’s 11th in the NCAA. If this one is a low-scoring affair, I’ll be so sad. I expect a shootout of epic proportions that will go back-and-forth and in the end, I don’t trust Mike Leach in a situation like this. It’s close, so I am going to play for the plus-money.
Are your eyes recovered from the East Carolina/South Carolina game from last week? You didn’t watch? Sweet mercy, you’ve been blessed with self-esteem. There wasn’t much worse in terms of football that could have been televised but this week, it’s a new story and it’s Marshall hosting ECU for what looks like a fun, defensive battle.
I have my eyes on the under too, but look at this Marshall team, so majestic. In what other world could you see a team give up 337 yards on the ground to Navy and just 7 points and also win by 6 TDs? The Pirates were getting talked up in the preseason as a potential darkhorse good team but so far, it’s been kaput. For the third straight week, they matchup against a better team. Let’s go Thundering Herd crazy!
HAMMER TIME! My HAMMER plays are 3-0 in the first two-plus weeks of the season (Alabama -18.5 v. Miami, BYU -6.5 1H @ Arizona, Rutgers -2 @ Syracuse). Call me crazy, but Kansas State is about the get hurt at home. Nevada went to Cal and won and even though the transitive property can drive you mad in college football, I still put weight in Cal’s effort in Fort Worth last week against TCU.
Kansas State shut down Stanford who, here’s that property again, upset USC on the road the next week then K-State almost lost to a FCS team last week. Which mind-melt should I trust more when it comes back to Nevada and Kansas State? Well, the Wolfpack have Carson Strong and Carson Strong is my man this week because he is better than Will Howard who is replacing injured, longtime starter Skylar Thompson. It’s an unfortunate place for the Wildcats but good for us. Take Nevada -1.5 and be happy.