YTD : 10-12-1, -7.65 Units
Well it obviously wasn’t the way we wanted to cap off a huge Saturday slate and I definitely pressed too much on FSU with the live betting. Look, I saw FSU starting to control both lines of scrimmage and with the better QB through 3.5 quarters, despite trailing 10-7. Then it all went to shit for the Noles. Blocked punt inside their own 10, which led to 3 for Bama, followed by a fumbled kickoff (again inside the 10), which led to 8 by Bama after the 2-pointer. All of the sudden we’re looking at 21-7. Francois tried to press too much, as seen by the 2 interceptions he threw on the next two possessions inside their own territory. It’s really unbelievable what the FSU defense was able to do giving Bama the ball inside their own territory 4 TIMES (Twice inside the 10) and only allowed 14 points on those four possessions. This is not even to mention the chip shot FG by Aguoyo at the end of the half that would have tied the game being blocked. Needless to say, Bama ST changed this game, which led to Francois pressing into 2 picks, followed by an awful looking knee injury. Like Francois, I also pressed too much on this one and it’s back to the drawing board for two fantastic matchups on a Sunday night.
7:30 / ABC | #22 West Virginia v. #21 Virginia Tech | Landover, MD | VT -5, O/U 55
Big matchup tonight at FedEx Field with a lot of excitement around both of these teams. West Virginia comes in with questions about their receiving corps and offensive line, as well as who will replace the 8 starters lost on the defensive side of the ball. The Hokies come in with an awesome defense once again under Bud Foster but questions all around the offensive side of the ball, where they will be breaking in a redshirt Freshman at QB (Joshua Jackson) with not a whole lot of talent to help him out at the skill positions.
Will Grier is the former Florida QB who got booted for PED’s but he is back on the college scene and this will be a really strong test for him right off the bat. VT has to replace 3 starts along the DL but have massive talent to replace all 3 to go along with a nasty set of LB’s under Foster. The secondary will again be a killer with a good mix of underclassmen mixed in with some seasoned vets. How well the three new starters along the offensive front for WVU can hold up against all of the exotic blitzes Foster will bring could go a long way in deciding this game. Don’t forget about how serious of a threat out of the backfield that Justin Crawford is (1,184 yds, 7.3 avg LY), along with Grier’s ability to scramble and make plays. WVU also has questions at WR after the transfer of Jovon Durante and the suspension of Marcus Simms for DUI. However, they still have plenty of talent and playmakers to go around, led by Ka’Raun White but it’s the secondary receivers like Gary Jennings, David Sills, and true FR Reggie Roberson who could be the difference tonight for Grier. Either way, it’s awesome to see Grier back in college football and I cannot wait to see the numbers he can put up in Holgorsen’s system.
On the other side of the ball, questions all around for the Mountaineers defense with 8 starters lost (actually 9 if you consider WLB David Long is out all of September with a knee). I actually like the replacements, though, particularly in the secondary to pair up with returning studs, Al-Rasheed Benton and Kyzir White. The 3-3-5 alignment combined with all of the crazy pressure that DC Tony Gibson loves to bring will definitely cause some issues for Jackson in this one. I really do not like the skill position talent at VT and it will take them some time to get any kind of offensive rhythm. I like the matchups for WVU in this one and will gladly take the points here.
BET : West Virginia +5 | 2 Units
7:30 / FOX | 42 Texas A&M @ 36 UCLA | UCLA -5.5, O/U 61
So A&M started out 6-0, only to go 2-5 down the stretch again? What’s new? Pretty much the exact same way the last 3 seasons have gone under Sumlin with 3 straight 8-5 campaigns. A&M is breaking in a new QB in this one and who that is has not actually been revealed yet just an hour or so before kick. Will it be rFR Nick Starkel, the SR Jake Hubenak who got some experience LY when Trevor Knight went down, or the big time recruit, Kellen Mond. I think no matter who Sumlin tags as his starter, there is talent to go around with a strong RB combo of Williams/Ford, as well as the electric Christian Kirk paired with Damion Ratley and true FR stud Jhamon Ausbon. The offensive line is big an talented so whoever is taking snaps should be fairly clean with the strong running game leading the way. This UCLA defense will be much better this year with some extremely talented and experienced vets mixed in with some uber-exciting freshman. I fully expect to see a whole lot of maybe the best Freshman recruit I have seen in DE Jaelan Phillips and also the #2 DB recruit, Darnay Holmes. These guys are going to be tough throughout the year and will give the new QB for A&M all kinds of things to consider tonight.
Switching to when the Bruins have the ball, everyone’s focus will be on future top pick Josh Rosen at QB. However, you have to think Jim Mora Jr HAS to be focused on establishing SOME kind of running game this season after a pitiful 84 ypg (2.9 avg) last season. Now a lot of this was a result of Rosen going down mid season and teams starting to focus on the running game BUT you have to think UCLA will be significantly improved running the ball, especially considering the talent along this line paired with a guy like Soso Jamabo who is big (6-2,215) and a speed threat who can take it to the house at any time. I expect Soso to be a major factor in this one to take some of the pressure off Rosen, particularly when there is no Myles Garrett or Daeshon Hall on those edges this year. A&M will definitely be looking to bring pressure to get Rosen off balance but I think there is just enough of a running game to give Rosen time to deliver to some very experienced receiving threats.
This should be an awesome matchup but I like what UCLA has on the offensive side of the ball compared to A&M and I cannot wait to see what all of the young talent can do on the defensive side of the ball for the Bruins.
BET : UCLA -5.5 | 1 Unit