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College Analysis

Key Releases

Date

Event

Play

09-12-20

Western Kentucky @ Louisville

Western Kentucky

09-12-20

Duke @ Notre Dame

Duke

09-12-20

UL Monroe @ Army

Army

09-12-20

Clemson @ Wake Forest

Clemson

September 7, 2020

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

BYU 21-1.527
Navy 2452.528 (4)-3

No analysis for this event

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

September 10, 2020

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

UAB 195131
Miami Florida 28-13.521 (3)-13

When last seen, Miami was stuck in a ditch with a broken offense that couldn’t produce a point in a humbling 14-0 bowl loss to La Tech, prompting some longtime boosters to think the Canes were at their lowest ebb since before Lou Saban made a brief stop in the late >70s and effectively saved the program. That loss at the Independence might have been marginally less-humbling than allowing under-the-radar local FIU to push around the Canes and beat them in late November. Feeling some heat, 2nd-year HC Manny Diaz pulled in Gus Malzahn disciple Rhett Lashlee to fix the offense before landing Houston transfer QB D’Eriq King, who looks a good fit to run Lashlee’s Spread. But Miami hasn’t posted a winning spread mark since 2016 and Diaz hardly impressed in his debut LY. The guy the Canes maybe should have hired as HC is on the UAB side, as Bill Clark’s resurrection of the program continued with another bowl last term. The Blazers return almost every starter from LY, worked out some kinks last Thursday vs. Central Arkansas, and entered 2020 having covered at a 65% clip since returning to the gridiron in 2017.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

First meeting

September 12, 2020

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Syracuse 196335
North Carolina 34-20.515 (3)-23

After Carolina’s hoops team cratered last season (the Heels were already out of the ACC Tournament before the shutdown that strange week in March!), Mack Brown once again became the toast of Chapel Hill as he had briefly been a generation earlier. (Who’s Roy Williams, anyway?) It’s easy to understand the excitement after UNC blew the doors off Temple in the Military Bowl to cap an uplifting campaign in Brown’s return to the sidelines after a five-year sentence at ESPN. Now Mack might be favored to win the ACC Coastal with 17 returning starters that include gunslinger soph QB Sam Howell, who posted numbers more befitting a Mike Leach offense when zinging 38 TDP as a frosh. But we suggest pumping the brakes just a bit. Even though it was not the sort of offseason that >Cuse HC Dino Babers needed to implement some planned schematic changes (especially on defense), QB Tommy DeVito emerged as an effective playmaker LY, and new o.c. Sterlin Gilbert is familiar with Dino from their days at Eastern Illinois. It’s been a while since the Heels had to lay this many points in an ACC game (try 2005 vs. pre-David Cutcliffe Duke!).

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

10-20-18 North Carolina 3766.5
Syracuse 40-10.5

SU Record: Syracuse 3-2

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Charlotte 1359.542
Appalachian St 38-2026 (3)-19

App State opens the Shawn Clark era, marking the team’s 3rd HC in 3 years, as the talent-rich Sun Belt squad has sent successful mentors Scott Satterfield to Louisville and Eli Drinkwitz to Missouri the past two years. The Mountaineers were 13-1 SU in 2019, including App’s 5th straight bowl win since moving up to the FBS in 2014. The Mounties have loads of veteran firepower led by sr. QB Zac Thomas and a trio of sr. wideouts who combined for 157 catches LY. Of course, star RB Darrynton Evans will be missed, but jr. Daetrich Harrington and Marcus Williams combined for 971 YR, 7 TD, and 5.9 ypc last term. Charlotte slipped inside a hefty impost at Boone last September, but the 49ers are just 2-15 SU on the road since 2017, and the Thomas-led App attack did torch this defense for 56 points a year ago.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-07-19 Charlotte 4154.524 40/230 20/31/1/296 1/1
Appalachian St 56-23.516 39/276 14/20/0/182 0/0
09-08-18 Appalachian St 45-15
Charlotte 948.5

SU Record: Appalachian St 2-0

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Georgia Tech 1054.529
Florida State 27-1121 (3)-11

The last time FSU missed bowls in back-to-back years, Bobby Bowden had just been summoned from West Virginia after Darrell “The Professa” Mudra authored a 2-year mark of 4-18 before retreating back to the D-II and I-AA ranks (where Mudra would win enough to enter the College FB HOF). Gerald Ford was also in the White House, so it’s been a while. But we digress. Not sure that new Nole HC Mike Norvell, fresh off a spectacular run at Memphis, is going to be another Bowden, and he has some patchwork to do with a program some regional observers fear has dropped so fast that a Miami-like decline might be looming. How quickly holdover jr. QB James Blackman can master Norvell’s up-tempo preference will eventually dictate the trajectory of the season, so at the outset expect FSU to lean on an experienced, fast D that returns 10 starters and will now work out of 4-man fronts installed by new d.c. Adam Fuller. That should be enough to disrupt a Tech side still in the adjustment phase from Paul Johnson’s option years but found the transition to Geoff Collins’ pro-style a bit much LY, ranking a ghastly 127th in offense, while winning and covering only 3 times.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

10-24-15 Florida State 16-5.5
Georgia Tech 2255.5

SU Record: Florida State 14-10-1

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

NC State 29
Virginia Tech 18 (3)-14

No blurb available for this event

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

10-09-15 NC State 1344
Virginia Tech 28-2.5

SU Record: Virginia Tech 27-18-4

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Coastal Carolina 2058.541
Kansas 21-3.539 (2)-4

“The Hat” learned it was much easier coaching in the talent-rich areas of Louisiana and Oklahoma than at a perennially losing program such as Kansas, which can’t even out-recruit K-State. Jayhawk HC Les Miles heads a team that’s won more than it lost on the football field just twice in 25 years and is reliant on first-year starting QB Thomas MacVittie (ex-juco, ex Pitt, KU backup in 2019) and a re-tooled OL. Two--time all-Big 12 smurf RB Pooka Williams is KU’s top threat, but in last year’s 12-7 Chanticleers win, Pooka was outshined by Coastal’s all-SBC RB C.J. Marable, who rushed for 148 yds. while scoring both of CCU’s TDs (1 run, 1 catch). Rock Chalk JayhawkYKU 4-11 as a favorite the last 8 years.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-07-19 Coastal Carolina 125420 48/176 8/14/0/119 1/0
Kansas 7-717 37/173 13/19/2/107 1/0

SU Record: Coastal Carolina 1-0

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Western Kentucky 275632
Louisville 28-1222 (3)-13

*** Key Release: Western Kentucky

WKU has been a solid winner as a dog (12-4 L16) and went 5-0 in that role LY in HC Tyson Helton’s first season in charge. The Hilltoppers made a coup by providing a soft landing for ex-Maryland QB Tyrrell Pigrome, who is a grad transfer and will run an offense that’s veteran and deep on the OL, returns 4 of its top 6 pass catchers as well as 2nd-team all-CUSA RB Gaej Walker (1208 YR, 8 TDs, plus 24 recs. LY). The WKU AD@ is a solid unit with 9 starters back, and they’ll need to be on alert, as Louisville has 8 starters back on each side of the ball from 2nd-year HC Scott Satterfield’s first season in town that exceeded expectations. Still, expect >Toppers will keep this one tight and take some of the sting out of the 111-mile bus ride home back down the I-65.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-14-19 Western Kentucky 214914 23/43 25/47/0/245 2/2
Louisville 38-10.521 51/210 10/16/0/205 1/1
09-15-18 Western Kentucky 1753
Louisville 20-23.5

SU Record: Louisville 21-12

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Clemson 49-32.50-28
Wake Forest 106031 (3)

*** Key Release: Clemson

Perhaps forgive Wake HC Dave Clawson for not wanting to show up after his Deacs have been clobbered a combined 115-6 the past two seasons by Dabo Swinney’s Clemson, which actually took its foot off of the pedal in both blowouts. That hasn’t bothered ESPN’s Game Day, making its first-ever visit to Winston-Salem! Wake’s problem has been two-fold vs. the Tigers, as Clawson and staff have not only failed to figure a way to slow Trevor Lawrence (4 TDP in LY’s 52-3 romp before being humanely removed by Dabo in the 3rd Q), but never able to give their D much rest, either, especially a year ago when touted QB Jamie Newman (who has transferred out) had nowhere to go and the Deacs only gained 105 yards. The Brent Venables Clemson stop unit has been annually losing talent to the NFL, and no different after 2019 with several stars having departed, including a pair of NFL first-round picks (LB Isaiah Simmons & CB A.J. Terrell), but the entire DL is back in tact, and the Venables platoons have finished in the top 10 in defense for six years running. Wake will have a better chance vs. sorts like NC State, Duke and Syracuse later in the campaign, but no evidence Deacs have closed this gap. Good chance for Lawrence to begin his Heisman push with a bang and note Dabo 16-4-1 as chalk away from Death Valley since 2017. TV-ABC

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

11-16-19 Wake Forest 358.55 37/64 6/14/2/41 0/0
Clemson 52-3526 38/168 26/35/1/348 1/0
10-06-18 Clemson 63-21
Wake Forest 360.5

SU Record: Clemson 67-17

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Duke 2453.529
Notre Dame 33-2011 (4)-22

*** Key Release: Duke

Expect lots of positive offensive changes at Duke this year, with Clemson transfer QB Chase Brice pulling the trigger and vet HC David Cutcliffe reprising his old play-calling duties that helped him make a name for himself in the industry in the first place. ND cruised to a 21-0 lead and never faltered en route to a 38-7 decision in Durham, last November but expect a much more spirited effort from revamped Blue Devils. Brice will have a couple of high-work rate targets to use in WR Jalon Calhoun (46 recs. as a frosh LY) and 2nd-team all-ACC TE Noah Gray (51 catches), and a vet OL to help protect him. Sr. Deon Jackson and Mataeo Durant combined for 1102 YR and 7 TDs in 2019, so it doesn’t have to be an all-air attack. The veteran Blue Devil 2ndary will remember allowing Irish QB Ian Book to throw for 4 TDs along with gaining a game high 139 YR. Home edge diminished as "Touchdown Jesus" will join a MAC-sized crowd of (maybe) 15,525 ND partisans.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

11-09-19 Notre Dame 38-7.521 42/288 18/32/2/181 0/0
Duke 749.510 30/95 16/31/1/102 2/1
09-24-16 Duke 3860.5
Notre Dame 35-21

SU Record: Notre Dame 4-2

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

UL Monroe 1045
Army 3836 (3)-12

*** Key Release: Army

Army looked impressive in win against MTSU last week, with the Black Knights’ option offense was operated efficiently by jr. QB Christian Anderson in a 42-0 whitewash of the Blue Raiders. Sr. Army RB Sandon McCoy had 3 TDs and the defense generated 4 TOs. ULM meanwhile had its opener with Troy moved from last week to Dec. 5 due to several positive COVID-19 tests. Additional disruption came in August when defensive coordinator Mike Collins stepped down from the job for personal reasons (was replaced by LB coach Scott Stoker). The Warhawks are just 8-34 SU on the road over the last 6 seasons but are .500 vs. the points as a visitor under HC Matt Viator in the last 4 years. Inexperienced soph Colby Suits will be the ULM QB and have to consider the Warhawk defense susceptible to the Army run game after that unit surrendered 232 ypg and 5.4 ypc over the last 4 seasons. Distractions, home field edge (the cadets were in full voice despite social distance and masks!) and matchup deficiency indicates West Point is the side.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

First meeting

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

UL Lafayette 315729
Iowa State 35-1118 (3)-14

First-ever meeting between these Big 12 & SBC representatives, in what shapes up as a competitive matchup. ULL has played in the Sun Belt title game in its first two seasons under HC Billy Napier, a product of the Nick Saban coaching tree (4 yrs. at >Bama). Ragin’ Cajuns are stacked and pretty deep on both platoons, with sr. QB Levi Lewis coming off a 3050 YP, 26 TD season throwing only 4 picks. Louisiana has historically been a good dog (64% L10Ys; 6-1-1 in role under Napier; 4-1 vs. non-conference opponents LY). Respect abilities of ISU QB Brock Purdy (3982 YP, 27-9 TD-int.; 2nd team all B12 LY), but the Cyclones lost 4 OL starters and the ULL defense has LBs and a vet 2ndary capable of containing his top returning weapons, TE Charlie Kolar and WR Tarique Milton. Points worth taking with explosive Ragin’ Cajun attack.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

First meeting

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

UTEP 958
Texas 4813 (4)-49

Not even a pandemic can keep UTEP off the field, though the Miners might have been better advised to go the Old Dominion route and sit out this campaign after winning just 2 games since Trump entered the White House three-plus years ago. Judging from the troubles vs. Stephen F. Austin in the opener, perhaps relegation to the Southland Conference is a better option. And if soph QB Gavin Hardison had his hands full with the FCS Lumberjacks, we shudder to think what the Texas athletes can do with the aggressive schemes implemented by new d.c. Chris Ash, reunited with Tom Herman after both served on Urban Meyer’s title-winning staff at Ohio State in 2014, and working with 9 returning starters. Granted, Herman’s spread marks laying points are not close to the success he’s had as a dog, but with pressure mounting to accelerate his progress in Austin, doubt the Horns take their foot off the gas, especially as sr. QB Sam Ehlinger looks to gain rapport with a mostly-new collection of targets, especially with more people allowed in person (up to 24,000!) than most locales. No reason to fear laying big points vs. the Miners, just 10-26 vs. the line since 2017.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-10-16 UTEP 758
Texas 41-31

SU Record: Texas 5-0

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Louisiana Tech 1754.538
Baylor 29-17.523 (3)-18

For all of the heights that Baylor scaled the past couple of years under Matt Rhule, the Bears have not always been a reliable spread recommendation, especially laying points in Waco (only 2-8 the last 10) or hosting non-Big 12 foes (a mere 1-5 vs. the line the last six chances). Granted, new HC Dave Aranda arrives with sparkling credentials (LSU’s d.c. the past four seasons under Ed Orgeron), but he’s never been the big chief before, and all of Aranda’s defensive nous will be needed to rebuild a stop unit that excelled for Phil Snow (who accompanied Rhule to the NFL Panthers) but returns just 2 starters. Having a sr. QB like Charlie Brewer can help smooth some of the rough spots for a new coaching regime, but shaking La Tech might not be easy, especially as Skip Holtz has a litany of success (19-8-1) in the underdog role since arriving at Ruston in 2014. Bulldogs dealing with lots of new faces on defense that’s also down 9 starters, and the O struggled last fall when now-graduated QB J’Mar Smith was out. But sr. RB Justin Henderson (1062 YR LY) can provide a proper infantry diversion for soph QB Aaron Allen (with starting experience), and Tech has plenty of past experience vs. Power 5 foes.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

No recent meetings

SU Record: Baylor 5-1

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Tex San Antonio 2048
Texas State 1649 (2)-1

Texas State comes off a valiant effort hosting SMU, leading late in the 3rd Q as a 25-point underdog before eventually falling only 31-24 despite giving up 544 yards to the Mustangs. However, Jake Spavital’s Bobcats have been a money-burning 4-8-1 against the spread under his watch, as an ineffective offense has also generated a heavy “under” trend (now 12-4 that way last 16 for the boys from San Marcos). UTSA's New Mexico State transfer QB Josh Adkins likely an upgrade over LY’s starter, Lowell Narcisse, although new HC Jeff Traylor was guarding the secret of who he had chosen as if it the information were the college football equivalent of the U.S. nuclear arsenal’s launch codes. Roadrunners return their top four rushers and 6 of their top 7 receivers and filled in the defensive line (which lost 4 starters) with 3 seniors and a junior who all have a good deal of game experience. Just can’t back Texas St. side that’s 13-48 SU over the last 5+ seasons in a near-pick game.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-22-18 Texas State 2148.5
Tex San Antonio 25-7.5
09-23-17 Tex San Antonio 44-13.5
Texas State 1445

SU Record: Tex San Antonio 3-0

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Tulsa 1765.534
Oklahoma State 48-2117 (4)-21

*** Key Release: Oklahoma State

OSU’s Mike Gundy glad to get back to work after being forced into an unfortunate penance in the offseason (we’ll leave that alone for now), and the sight of Tulsa is just the thing to get the Mullet Man into a good mood. Though these in-state foes don’t meet every year as they did in the >80s and >90s, Gundy has made sure that Tulsa knows who’s boss in this matchup by winning and covering handily all four meetings since 2010, the latest a 40-21 crackler last year when RB Chuba Hubbard exploded for 256 on the ground en route to his Barry Sanders-like 2094 YR for the year. The Golden Hurricane can feel fortunate it wasn’t worse after the Cowboys scored 59 or more in three previous blowouts dating to 2010. With Hubbard, QB Spencer Sanders, and big-play WR Tylan Wallace (who caught a 90-yard TD bomb in LY’s Cowboy romp) still in the fold, not sure Tulsa can keep pace with a defense breaking in eight new starters. Besides, not about to look against Gundy vs. a non-Big 12 foe after covering 14 straight vs. those sorts since early 2016!

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

09-14-19 Oklahoma State 40-1421 46/337 12/22/1/169 1/1
Tulsa 216422 53/158 19/35/0/238 0/0
08-31-17 Tulsa 2471
Oklahoma State 59-19.5

SU Record: Oklahoma State 41-27-5

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Arkansas St 2437
Kansas State 2726 (4)-15

K-State HC Chris Klieman begins his second season replacing legendary Bill Snyder and going 8-5 with a bowl berth last year. With only 9 starters back, 2020 will be a much tougher test for the 4-time National Champion from N. Dakota State. The Wildcats, who have covered 11 of their last 15 games, have only 3 back on offense, but one of those three is sr. QB Skylar Thompson, who threw for 2315 yds. with a 12-5 TD-int. ratio and rushed for 405 yards and another 11 scores. Arkansas St. has a much more experienced attack (9 starters, including a pair of QBs that combined for 3998 yards and 37 TDs and a deep backfield). Red Wolves triggermen Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher combined for 299 YP in cover at Memphis last week. With a game under the Red Wolves’ belt and the fact KSU’s rebuilt OL might not be able to protect Thompson, will take the points.

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

No recent meetings

SU Record: Kansas State 2-0

Pred. Score

Line

GS PR 

PR Line

Tulane 3032-13
South Alabama 3147 (2)

USA looked potent offensively and riding emotional high after recording first SU road win in 3 years with a 32-21 victory at Southern Miss last Thursday. Jaguar QB Desmond Trotter was much more poised than a year ago, recovering from two early ints. to lead the team to the upset despite suffering & then playing through shoulder and hamstring problems, finishing with 299 YP, 2 TDP and 41 YR with no sacks. The “Jalens” (Tolbert with 169 yds. & 2 TD catches & Wayne; 101 yds.) were impressive along with RB Carlos Davis (5.7 ypc), and Steve Campbell’s Jags have covered now 7 of last 9 as an underdog. Tulane HC Willie Fritz has transformed the Green Wave from horrible to pretty good, taking the team to back-to-back bowl wins in 2018 & 2019. Former transfer QB Keon Howard, who wasn’t good enough to win the job at Southern Miss (nor at Tulane LY, for that matter), is at the controls in the Garden District this season. But Tulane is light on offensive experience (even more so with RB Dauphine’s Achilles’ injury) as well as being a poor road team (11-43 SU L9Ys). If Campbell can refocus his team, Jags get to 2-0 as they open their new stadium, albeit at 25% of capacity (which means about 6250 max in Mobile).

Previous meetings

Date

Team

Score

Line

FD

RA/RY

PC/PA/I/PY

F/F Lost

No recent meetings

SU Record: South Alabama 1-0

Pred. Score: Gold Sheet analysis predicted score, Line: Consensus vegas odds, GS PR: Team Power Ratings (home field value), PR Line: Power Rating line, FD: First downs, RA/RY: Rushing attempts and rushing yards, PC/PA/I/PY: Pass completions, pass attempts, interceptions, passing yards, F/F Lost: Fumbles and fumbles lost

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