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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18

NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490448

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Saturday 9/22/18
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490449

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Akron Zips vs. Iowa State Cyclones Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Jack Trice Stadium


The optimism that was building among the Iowa State faithful following its most successful season since 2000 has stalled thanks to a pair of 10-point losses to undefeated teams. The Cyclones hope to get in the win column before jumping back into Big 12 play Saturday when they host Akron.

Iowa State overcame a 2-2 start in 2017 to finish with eight victories and a victory in the Liberty Bowl, but its season opener against FCS foe South Dakota State was canceled, leaving the team in a precarious spot for a couple of rivalry games against Iowa (13-3 loss) and Oklahoma (37-27 loss). The Cyclones also haven't had the benefit of relying on quarterback Kyle Kempt (knee) either, as the sixth-year senior was forced from the loss to the Hawkeyes in the second half and did not play against the Sooners. The Zips' season opener against Nebraska was also canceled due to weather, but they moved to 2-0 for the first time since 1993 after rallying from a 21-3 halftime deficit to stun Northwestern on the road 39-34 last weekend. Akron overcame 15 penalties in the upset by forcing three turnovers, returning each miscue for a touchdown over the final 18-plus minutes of the contest.

TV: Noon ET, FSN. LINE: Iowa State -18.5

ABOUT AKRON (2-0): Sophomore quarterback Kato Nelson (33-of-54 for 509 yards and five TDs) has thrown for 13 touchdowns versus three interceptions through his first seven career starts and ranks 13th in FBS in passing yards per completion (15.4) this season. He has spread the wealth over the first two games, as Kwadarrius Smith, Jonah Morris and Andre Williams all have seven catches for at least 100 yards. Van Edwards Jr. paces the team with 162 yards rushing and two scores. Junior cornerback Alvin Davis is tied for the FBS lead with three interceptions and was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week after returning two interceptions (97 and 50 yards) for touchdowns in last weekend's upset.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (0-2): Kempt has already been ruled out this week, paving the way for Zeb Noland to make another start after becoming the third Cyclone quarterback over the past two seasons to throw for more than 300 yards after passing for a career-high 360 yards and two TDs against the Sooners. Hakeem Butler was the beneficiary of both of those scoring tosses (51 and 57 yards) en route to 174 yards receiving - the 10th-highest single-game total in school history. The 6-6 junior has scored 11 career touchdowns - six of which have covered more than 50 yards - while his 26.1 yards per catch average this season ranks fourth nationally.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Iowa State is 25-5 all-time against Mid-American Conference foes, including last season's 41-14 victory over Akron in the first meeting between the schools.

2. The Zips are 10th in FBS in rush defense (81 yards per game), holding opponents to 2.1 yards per carry (sixth best in FBS).

3. All four of Noland's career TD passes have covered at least 35 yards.

PREDICTION: Iowa State 27, Akron 20
________________________


NC State Wolfpack vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Joan C. Edwards Stadium


North Carolina State and Marshall should have an abundance of energy when they meet Saturday in Huntington, W.Va., since the undefeated teams had their games cancelled last week because of Hurricane Florence. N.C. State's chance to see where it stood against No. 13 West Virginia was washed away after opening the season with victories over Georgia State and FCS member James Madison by a combined 65-20.

The Wolfpack, though, won't have it easy against the Thundering Herd, who won at Miami (Ohio) 35-28 and defeated Eastern Kentucky 32-16. "Our first road game and a chance to play in a very good environment,'' N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said at his weekly press conference. "We know their fans will be great. It's an opportunity. I look at it more like that than a concern. Our guys will be excited about it. We like going on the road." The Wolfpack are led by Ryan Finley, who was 29-of-36 for 341 yards and three touchdowns in N.C. State's 37-20 victory over Marshall last season. Finley has four touchdowns and one interception while completing 74.1 percent of his passes in 2018, telling reporters: "We have a lot of weapons. It's pretty special when I can just throw it out there to a lot of different targets."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: N.C. State -5.5

ABOUT N.C. STATE (2-0): Junior wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who had 161 yards on 14 receptions versus James Madison, missed the Georgia State game with an ankle injury but is expected to play Saturday. Former walk-on Thayer Thomas, a redshirt freshman, took advantage of Meyers' absence with nine catches for 114 yards a a highlight reel TD with Finley telling reporters about Thomas: "He's special, he's worked for it, and he's earned the right to be on this stage. And I've really been impressed with him." Junior wide receiver Kelvin Harmon is also off to a fast start with 12 catches and 162 yards and offers Finley another target as the running game struggles at 99 yards per game -- 119th among the 129 FBS teams in the nation.

ABOUT MARSHALL (2-0): Coach Doc Holliday handed the keys to freshman quarterback Isaiah Green, who is off to a solid start by completing 61.8 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and an interception. All five of the TDs have gone to senior wide receiver Tyre Brady (12.1 yards per 15 receptions, three scores) and junior wide receiver Obi Obialo (13.4, eight, two). Junior safety Malik Gant and senior linebacker Chase Hancock pace with the defense with 23 tackles and a sack apiece while junior linemen Ty Tyler and Channing Hames each boast two sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Eighty-two percent of the Wolfpack's points have come from first-time scorers this season with senior RB Reggie Gallaspy II (two touchdowns) the only exception.

2. The Thundering Herd have won 37 of their last 38 games when ahead at halftime, losing to Charlotte 27-24 in 2016 after leading 24-17 at the break.

3. Finley has 12 300-yard passing games, second in school history to Philip Rivers (19 from 2000-03).

PREDICTION: Marshall 28, N.C. State 27
Last Edit: 4 weeks 15 hours ago by Shazman.
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490450

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UMass vs. Charlotte Preview and Predictions in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 20th September 2018 By Charles Jay for Scores And Stats
Scheduled Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium

The Massachusetts Minutemen suffered about as much misfortune as one can imagine last weekend, and have found their mood getting a little "down," in the words of some of the players. At the moment, it is not 100% certain who their quarterback is going to be, so they go into their game this weekend perhaps thinking about where they are going to get answers from behind center.

The Charlotte 49ers have obviously had their own problems to deal with, attributable to natural disasters. And they are still feeling the after-effects. But they have gotten off to a start that is encouraging, and like a lot of teams with winning records, they are harboring bowl hopes, while UMass sees theirs dwindling.

It is under these conditions that these squads meet at 3:30 PM ET at McGirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, MA.

TV: WCCB (Charlotte), NESN Plus, 3:30 PM ET. LINE: UMass -9.5

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE 49ERS: Last week, Hurricane Florence upset the schedule, just as it did for many college football teams in the Carolinas and Virginia. Their Saturday game with Old Dominion, a Conference USA opponent, had to be moved up to Thursday, on very short notice, or risk cancellation. This caused more of a hardship for ODU, which had to get itself situated, and couldn't really prepare on the fly. Charlotte took advantage of this situation and beat the Monarchs 28-25 to bring their record to 2-1 straight-up (also 2-1 ATS). Chris Reynolds, who won the quarterback job as a redshirt freshman, went 23 of 34 for 202 yards. Reynolds is not exactly a "downfield" guy, but he is 63.2% accurate and has managed to keep the chains moving. Charlotte, which beat Fordham 34-10 in the season opener, then fell 45-9 to Appalachian State the week after, has averaged 162.3 yards per game on the ground, but that has translated to only 3.6 yards per carry.

ABOUT THE MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN: They opened up the season with a 63-15 win over Duquesne, but they have lost their last three, on the road, to FBS opposition. Last week against Florida International, they were not only down 42-10 at halftime, they were also down a pair of quarterbacks. Andrew Ford, a fifth-year senior who holds numerous school passing records, went out with a knee injury, and his replacement, Ross Comis, also had to leave the game. That left things in the hands of Michael Curtis, who completed eight of his 15 passes for 158 yards. But he threw a couple of interceptions, one of which was brought back for a touchdown. The Minutemen also had butterfingers, as their receivers dropped five passes. Head coach Mark Whipple did point out that Curtis "made some bonehead plays," and without getting too specific about it, mentioned that Ford and Comis were "better," leading to speculation is that Ford can make the start. UMass failed badly on special teams in the 63-24 loss to FIU, giving up a 69-yard punt return to Maurice Alexander, who also averaged almost 17 yards on his other four returns. Massachusetts is 122nd in the nation in scoring defense, and has allowed more first downs than anyone in the country. This would have to fall into the "must win" category, as UMass (1-3 SU, & ATS), an independent, has the likes of Ohio, South Florida, Coastal Carolina, BYU and Georgia left on its schedule.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Charlotte already has more victories (2) and interceptions (3) than it did for the entire 2017 season.

2. Only once this current reign of Mark Whipple at UMass have the Minutemen averaged four yards per carry for a season. So far they have averaged 4.95 yards per rushing attempt.

3. Charlotte has converted 49% of its third-down chances, which ranks 21st in the nation.

PREDICTION: Massachusetts 28, Charlotte 27
________________________


Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Memorial Stadium


Michigan State looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it travels to face unbeaten Indiana on Saturday night in the Big Ten opener for both squads. The No. 23 Spartans have had a week off since falling at Arizona State 16-13, while the Hoosiers are coming off a home rout of Ball State 38-10.


The Michigan State offense sputtered against the Sun Devils despite 314 yards passing from junior quarterback Brian Lewerke, the fourth-highest output of his career. The Spartans led 13-3 in the third quarter but surrendered 13 points in the fourth on three scoring drives of 65 yards or more, as Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins finished with 380 yards through the air. The Hoosiers' offense has been more running than passing, with freshman running back Stevie Scott leading the way with 388 yards and three touchdowns. But against a Spartans' defense that ranks first in the FBS in rushing defense, allowing 34.5 yards per game, the pressure will be on sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey (479 yards, five touchdowns) to move the ball through the air.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Michigan State -4.5

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (1-1): The Michigan State running game was nearly non-existent against Arizona State, with the Spartans finishing with 63 yards on 27 carries and lead back LJ Scott rushing seven times for 19 yards. Scott didn't play much in the second half of the game with a leg injury, and his status for the Indiana contest is up in the air, though he was listed on the team's starter at running back on the depth chart. Sophomore Connor Heyward was the team's leading rusher against Arizona State with 22 yards to go with four receptions for 43 yards, and the son of former NFLer Craig "Ironhead" Heyward likely see more time against Indiana whether Scott is healthy or not.

ABOUT INDIANA (3-0): Indiana running backs coach Mike Hart knows a little bit about Michigan State, having called them the "little brother" to Hart's Michigan team during his playing days, a comment that drew the ire of Spartans coach Mark Dantonio. Now, Hart is hoping his young running backs -- freshman Ronnie Walker and Scott -- can help the Hoosiers have some success against Michigan State's vaunted run defense. Indiana has averaged 5.3 yards per carry and 235 yards per game during its 3-0 start and will need to continue to attack on the ground to try to break through against the Spartans and set up possible play-action passes.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Michigan State WR Cody White tied his career high with nine catches against Arizona State and also recorded his second career 100-yard receiving game with 113 yards.

2. Indiana has had 24 freshmen, including 12 redshirt, see the field in its first three games.

3. Dantonio is 8-1 against Indiana, including 3-1 at the Hoosiers' Memorial Stadium.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 31, Indiana 21
Last Edit: 4 weeks 15 hours ago by Shazman.
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490451

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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Maryland Terrapins Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Byrd Stadium

Minnesota has reeled off 14 straight nonconference wins after last week's 26-3 thumping of Miami (Ohio), but Big Ten success hasn't been as easy to come by. The Golden Gophers have gone 9-17 in conference play over the last three seasons and are hoping for better results, starting Saturday when they kick off their Big Ten schedule at Maryland.


The Gophers enter the weekend as one of five 3-0 Big Ten teams, but all of the games have been at home with a 21-14 victory over Fresno State on Sept. 8 ranking as their most impressive win. Injuries also have already thinned Minnesota's ranks as three-year starting tailback Rodney Smith went down with a season-ending knee injury against Fresno State and impressive freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad was in and out last week after injuring his left ankle on the Gophers' first offensive series against the RedHawks. "It seems like Zack's going to be OK, according to what our people say, so (I'm) hopeful," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said Monday. It'll also be the Big Ten opener for Maryland, which started off strong with wins over nationally-ranked Texas (34-29) and Bowling Green (45-14) before a puzzling 35-14 home setback last Saturday to previously winless Temple.

TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Maryland -3


ABOUT MINNESOTA (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten): Annexstad has thrown for 537 yards and four touchdowns without an interception so far, and his favorite target has been wideout Tyler Johnson, who has 20 receptions for 283 yards and has been on the receiving end of all five of the team's passing TDs. Freshman Bryce Williams has stepped in for the injured Smith and has rushed for 228 yards on 58 carries over the last two games. The Gophers' calling card, though, has been defense as they rank in the top 16 nationally in points allowed (9.0 per game), rushing defense (72.0 yards), pass-efficiency defense (97.70 rating) and total defense (256.3 yards).

ABOUT MARYLAND (2-1, 0-0): Mastering the forward pass has been a struggle so far for the Terrapins as quarterbacks Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome have completed only 36-of-70 attempts for 428 yards, three TDs and a pair of interceptions. That puts the emphasis on maintaining a positive game script as Maryland can then rely on its ground attack which already features four rushers with at least 84 yards, led by tailbacks Anthony McFarland (179 yards on 21 carries) and Ty Johnson (177 on 29 rushes). The Terrapins' defense ranks 10th nationally in yards allowed per play (4.72), and is led by senior safety Darnell Savage who has notched a team-most four tackles for loss so far and also returned an interception 23 yards for a score for one of the few highlights against Temple.


EXTRA POINTS

1. Maryland leads the series 2-1 after opening Big Ten play a season ago with a 31-24 win in Minneapolis.

2. Minnesota has lost six straight Big Ten road games since a win at Illinois on Oct. 29, 2016.

3. The Terrapins threw for only 63 yards on 8-of-21 passing against Temple and converted one of 12 third-down attempts.


PREDICTION: Maryland 22, Minnesota 19
________________________


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Ball State Cardinals Preview and Predictions in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 18th September 2018 By Charles Jay for Scores And Stats
Scheduled Scheumann Stadium

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers may have gotten the first genuine encouragement of the season last week, even in defeat, as they saw some very good things out of their redshirt freshman quarterback. So maybe they will move ahead with more leadership, as send-year head coach Mike Sanford continues to look for answers.

The Ball State Cardinals haven't generated a whole lot of luck this season, but by the same token, they may have had an emotional hangover from a nice effort against Notre Dame when they were blown out by Indiana.

These teams met up in Muncie, IN in a game slated for Saturday afternoon at Scheumann Stadium.

TV: ESPN 3, 3:30 PM ET. LINE: Ball State -3

ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY: Things looked really bad for Western Kentucky after the game with Maine, when they had a 21-0 lead in the first quarter but then wound up on the short end of a 31-28 final. And yes, Mike Sanford came under fire in his second year at the school. Admittedly he had a tough act to follow, as he was replacing Jeff Brohm, who brought a lot of life to the program. But there were metrics that pointed toward a decline in Sanford's first year, even with QB Mike White still in the fold. For example, the offense gained just 5.3 yards per play, compared with 7.65 the year before under Brohm (which led the nation). What people lose sight of is that Maine happens to be one of the best FCS teams in the nation, having scored a dominant victory in the season opener against nationally-ranked New Hampshire. Then the Hilltoppers (0-3 SU, 2-1 ATS) went out there and almost hung an upset loss on Louisville as a 23.5-point underdog. Sure, the Cardinals are undergoing a re-tooling of their own after Lamar Jackson's departure, but WKU was playing without starting quarterback Drew Eckels, who got hurt vs. Ball State. Redshirt freshman Davis Shanley, who went 22 of 33 for 240 yards. Unfortunately, the Tops couldn’t play two halves of football. They led 14-3 at the half but allowed Louisville to overtake them for the 20-17 win.

ABOUT BALL STATE: You really couldn't complain all that much about what Ball State (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) did a couple of weeks ago, as they went to South Bend and lost only 24-16 to Notre Dame. They had some confidence coming out of that one, which came on the heels of a season-opening win over FCS entry Central Connecticut State, as they had nine players on offense and another seven on defense coming back from a 2-10 team. But they could not get much offense going against Indiana, which beat them 38-10. It was a difficult day for junior quarterback Riley Neal, who completed just 12 of 24 passes for 115 yards. The Cardinals also allowed the Hoosiers to rush for 255 yards, only a week after Notre Dame got just 117 yards on 41 tries against them (less than 3 ypc). Head coach Mike Neu needs to address some problems on special teams, as Ball State had a punt blocked and also surrendered a touchdown on a punt return. "That's not Ball State football," he said. Well, maybe it is, based on the team's 10-28 record since the beginning of the 2015 season. They will look for some payback after last year's gut-wrenching 33-21 loss at WKU.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Steven Duncan actually started at QB for Western Kentucky on Saturday. He threw six passes, one of which was an interception. Coach Mike Sanford said that Shanley "played like a warrior."

2. Mike Neu is a former quarterback at Ball State who coached in the CFL and the Arena Football League, where he had also been a quarterback.

3. Last year's meeting was not kind to Ball State, which had a 21-20 lead late in the fourth quarter but then allowed a touchdown drive with 1:38 left and had an interception returned for a touchdown on the subsequent possession.

PREDICTION: Ball State 27, Western Kentucky 20
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490452

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Boston College Eagles vs. Purdue Boilermakers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Ross Ade Stadium

Boston College is nationally ranked for the first time in nearly 10 years and it will try to keep the hot start going when it visits a desperate Purdue squad Saturday afternoon. The 25th-ranked Eagles weathered the onset of Hurricane Florence and the Wake Forest crowd with a wild 41-34 win last Thursday in North Carolina, improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2007.

"To be in the Top 25 means you're bringing attention nationwide to your school and to your team," running back AJ Dillon told reporters. "It's good for the program but it's even bigger for the university. We talk about representing ourselves, and having the opportunity to be among the nation's best is to shine light on everybody else (at BC)." Dillon continued his dominant start with 185 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Demon Deacons and the sophomore standout has 334 yards on the ground over the last two games. He and the sixth-ranked Eagles' scoring offense (52.7 points per game) will take aim at a Purdue team that gave up 233 rushing yards while falling 40-37 to Missouri last week. David Blough's school-record 572 passing yards went for naught as the Boilermakers fell to 0-3 for the first time in 22 years, although the losses have come by a combined eight points.

TV: Noon ET, ESPN2. LINE: Boston College -6.5

ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-0): While Dillon has been virtually unstoppable since emerging as the starter early last year, the ability of sophomore quarterback Anthony Brown to hit the ground running in 2018 following a major knee injury has been the key to the Eagles' fast start on offense. Brown tossed a career-high five TD passes against Wake Forest and boasts nine TDs with zero interceptions on the year while completing 68.8 percent of his passes. Former quarterback Jeff Smith is the top target with eight catches for 168 yards and two scores - both against the Demon Deacons.

ABOUT PURDUE (0-3): Blough, who took over for starter Elijah Sindelar when the latter was hurt mid-week, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his effort against Missouri, which included three TDs through the air and another on the ground. Sindelar had yet to resume throwing as of Tuesday and it appears as if Blough will get another chance to run with a job that has been shared since the start of last year. Rondale Moore will be the top choice for either passer and his 25 catches leaves him tied for sixth in the country.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Boilermakers RB D.J. Knox had 23 yards on seven carries last week after amassing 229 in 28 carries over the first two games.

2. Brown leads FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency (240.2).

3. This marks the first meeting between the teams.

PREDICTION: Boston College 38, Purdue 34
________________________


Connecticut Huskies vs. Syracuse Orange Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Carrier Dome

Coming off one of its biggest wins this century, Syracuse aims to remain undefeated Saturday when former Big East rival Connecticut visits the Carrier Dome. The Orange improved to 3-0 last weekend with a convincing 30-7 triumph over Florida State but have not started 4-0 since 1991.

Syracuse has not trailed this season, winning at Western Michigan and versus Wagner before the key victory against the Seminoles. "They really played their heart out," coach Dino Babers said after his team's latest victory. "I thought it was a fantastic family win. (The Seminoles) are the top athletes in the country. To get a win like this, we need to enjoy it." Orange quarterback Eric Dungey exited early with an eye injury but said he'll be good to go for Saturday's showdown. UConn, meanwhile, is hoping to pull a big upset after earning its first win of 2018 in last weekend's shootout with Rhode Island.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPNews. LINE: Syracuse -27.5

ABOUT CONNECTICUT (1-2): David Pindell was a one-man show against Rhode Island, throwing for four touchdowns and running for two more scores in a 56-49 win. UConn, which scored a total of three TDs in its first two games, finished with 573 yards of total offense and controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes while going 8-for-15 on third downs. Kevin Mensah added a pair of rushing TDs and, over his last two games, the sophomore running back is averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

ABOUT SYRACUSE (3-0): Redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy DeVito filled in for Dungey last week and went 11-for-16 for 144 yards with a passing touchdown and a rushing score. Dungey (seven TD passes, one INT) is typically the team's top weapon through the air and on the ground, as veteran running backs Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland have gotten off to quiet starts. Freshman tailback Jarveon Howard has provided a spark the last two weeks, averaging 7.4 yards on his 19 touches.

EXTRA POINTS

1. UConn holds a 6-4 lead in the all-time series, although Syracuse won 31-24 two seasons ago in the only meeting over the last five years.

2. Dungey has six career games with 400-plus yards of offense, including the last matchup with UConn.

3. Dating back to last season, Pindell has thrown at least one interception in six straight games.

PREDICTION: Syracuse 41, UConn 27
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490453

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Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Miami Hurricanes Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Sun Life Stadium

No. 20 Miami returns home from a 49-24 victory over Toledo to kick off a three-game homestand with a visit from crosstown foe Florida International. The Panthers and Hurricanes have met just twice before -- both Miami victories -- but the rivalry got off to an emotional start in 2006, when 13 players (eight FIU, five Miami) were ejected due to a bench-clearing brawl in the third quarter.


"It'll be an emotional game for sure," Hurricanes coach Mark Richt told reporters. "But that's where everybody's got to be disciplined and do a good job. ... But everybody knows you do something stupid then you don't get to play." The schools are less than 10 miles apart and many of the local players grew up competing against each other in high school and youth programs. And then there's FIU coach Butch Davis, who coached the Hurricanes for six seasons from 1995-2000, helping recruit many of the players that went on to win Miami's 2001 national championship. In his first season with FIU last year, Davis got the Panthers into their first bowl game in six years but he will have his work cut out for him against these Hurricanes, who have teed off on their last two overmatched opponents -- Savannah State (77-0) and Toledo -- after a season-opening loss to LSU.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Miami -26.5.

ABOUT FIU (2-1): Led by running back Shawndarrius Phillips, who rushed for a career-high 117 yards and two touchdowns and had 56 yards receiving, FIU scored 63 points against UMass last week to tie the team high that was set against the Minutemen last season. The Panthers scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams, marking just the fourth time in school history they turned that trick. The Panthers topped the nation in red-zone scoring last year, converting on 40-of-41 attempts, and they have picked up where they left off with 10 touchdowns in 12 trips to the red zone this season.

ABOUT MIAMI (2-1): Quarterback Malik Rosier enjoyed a career day against Toledo with five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing) and he will get another chance to pad his stats against FIU although Richt figures to also give young backup N'Kosi Perry valuable playing time under center. Sophomore receiver Jeff Thomas has been turning heads with his explosive play and he not only leads Miami in receptions (11) and receiving yards (304) but paces the nation in yards per catch (27.6). The defense, ranked fourth in the nation (236 yards per game), doesn't figure to be challenged by FIU but the unit may be without safety Jaquan Johnson, who left the Toledo game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and the defense wasn't the same without him, giving four up straight scoring drives.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The teams last met almost exactly 11 years ago, with Miami coming away with a 23-9 win on Sept. 23, 2007 at the Orange Bowl.

2. The Hurricanes had 14 tackles for loss against Toledo and they rank first in the nation in that category (11.7 per game).

3. Davis is 3-1 against the Hurricanes, all coming while he coached North Carolina.

PREDICTION: Miami 57, FIU 10
_____________________________


Pittsburgh Panthers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 18th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Kenan Memorial Stadium

Pittsburgh was determined to make up for an embarrassing loss on national television against Penn State in Week 2 and did so with a strong performance against Georgia Tech. When the Panthers visit North Carolina on Saturday in its home opener, the Tar Heels are hoping to do the same after a humiliating 41-19 loss to East Carolina on Sept. 8 followed by a cancellation of last week's game against Central Florida due to Hurricane Florence.

After surrendering 44 unanswered points against the Nittany Lions in a 51-6 thumper in a primetime Saturday night game two weeks ago, Pitt jumped to a three-score lead in the first half and beat Georgia Tech 24-19 last week. The Yellow Jackets finished with over 300 yards rushing but made it into the red zone just twice, and the Panthers defense recovered a fumble, had an interception and made two stops on fourth down. "Obviously a great week. At least a lot better Sunday this Sunday than last week," Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters earlier this week. "Defensively, it's only been two other teams that you look at in the last 39 games that played as good as our Panthers played this weekend. They were the likes of defenses like Clemson and Georgia. You look at the last 39 games against them, shutout in the first half, only Georgia and Clemson has done that to them. North Carolina lost its opener 24-17 at California and then was blasted at East Carolina, surrendering 510 yards of total offense and 11-of-19 third-down conversions in addition to being outscored 20-0 after intermission.

TV: 12:20 p.m. ET, Raycom Sports. LINE: Pitt -4.

ABOUT PITTSBURGH (2-1, 1-0 ACC): Senior Qadree Ollison ran for 91 yards and two TDs on 17 carries against the Yellow Jackets and has 283 yards for the season to go along a 6.3 yards-per-carry average. However, junior Darrin Hall may get extra reps this week after gashing the Tar Heels for 121 yards and four touchdowns last season. After a horrible outing against Penn State (55 yards passing), sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 16-of-23 passes for 197 yards and an interception against the Yellow Jackets.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (0-2, 0-0): In addition to the Tar Heels' defensive struggles, Antonio Williams rushed six times for 96 yards before getting ejected for targeting and the rest of the backs managed 65 yards on 19 carries (14 in the second half), prompting Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora to push reset after an extra week off to deal with their performance and the effect of Florence. "We've got to make it that way," Fedora told reporters this week. "It's an unforeseen break, and we've got to turn it into a positive. It enabled some guys to maybe get healed up, get extra rest, as we go into the rest of the season. Every game we've played against Pitt in the past has always been close, every single one of them ...we've got to have our team prepared to play and we're going to have to do the best job we can." Quarterback Nathan Elliott completed 22-of-38 passes for 219 yards and defensive back Myles Wolfolk led the defense with 11 tackles against the Pirates.

EXTRA POINTS

1. North Carolina is 9-3 in the all-time series, including 5-0 in Chapel Hill, and has wins in five straight overall, including 34-31 last season. The last seven meetings, however, have been decided by a combined 28 points.

2. Pitt DE Rashad Weaver recovered a fumble against Georgia Tech, his third of the season, which ties him for the national lead.

3. North Carolina WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams had 230 all-purpose yards against Pitt last year, including a 99-yard kick return for a TD. "Ratliff-Williams will make plays, he'll go up and get it. He's the guy we're going to have to stop," Narduzzi told reporters.

PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 27, North Carolina 23
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490454

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Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Florida State Seminoles Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Doak Campbell Stadium

The disappointment with its listless start to the season will hit a new level if Florida State doesn't take care of visiting Northern Illinois on Saturday. The Seminoles are off to an uninspiring start under first-year coach Willie Taggart, whose team was routed 30-7 at Syracuse last week to drop to 0-2 in ACC play.

Florida State has totaled only 10 points in its two games against FBS opponents, and its only win was a 36-26 victory over FCS Samford in which it had to rally in the fourth quarter. "Our fans have every right to have high expectations of our program, and I can assure you that no one has higher expectations than I do," Taggart said during Monday's press conference. "Our fans, students, alumni, former players, deserve a team that plays better than what we have so far this season." The Huskies are playing their third Power Five opponent in their first four games after starting the season with losses at Iowa (33-7) and at home to Utah (17-6). Northern Illinois, which lost 31-10 to Florida State in the 2013 Orange Bowl in their only previous meeting, rebounded with a 24-16 victory at Central Michigan to open Mid-American Conference play last week.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Florida State -10

ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS (1-2): The Huskies possess a solid defense led by star end Sutton Smith, who has registered 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks thus far. The offense has been less impressive, as Northern Illinois has yet to top 300 total yards this season. Tre Harbison (228 yards) posted the first 100-yard rushing performance of his career with 124 on 13 carries in last week's win over Central Michigan, but the team has not scored a touchdown on the ground and quarterback Marcus Childers (325 yards, four touchdowns) has put up pedestrian numbers.

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (1-2): Taggart's Gulf Coast Offense has been a flop thus far, as Florida State ranks 111th in total offense and is averaging less than 100 rushing yards. Leading rusher Cam Akers (210 yards) has yet to score a touchdown and Deondre Francois (731 yards) has thrown more interceptions (four) than TD passes (three). Things haven't been much better on the other side of the ball, as the Seminoles have surrendered more than 300 yards per game through the air and rank 96th in the nation in total defense.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Florida State has won 14 consecutive non-conference home games.

2. The Seminoles have not allowed a kickoff-return touchdown in 185 consecutive contests dating to 2004, the longest active streak in the nation.

3. Northern Illinois has blocked two punts and one field-goal attempt this season, recording one block in each of its first three games.

PREDICTION: Florida State 23, Northern Illinois 20
___________________________


Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Bobby Dodd Stadium

Second-ranked Clemson's quest for a fourth consecutive ACC crown begins when it opens conference play against host Georgia Tech on Saturday. Clemson has won three straight meetings and is trying to match its longest winning streak in the series, but the home team has won eight of the last nine matchups.

The Tigers struggled with Georgia Tech's triple-option attack early in coach Dabo Swinney's tenure at Clemson, but after giving up 841 rushing yards in his first three games against Paul Johnson's option offense, the team has limited the Yellow Jackets to 868 in the last five meetings thanks to additional year-round preparation. "I learned real quick that if we're going to have a chance, we're going to have to make this a part of what we do," Swinney told reporters. "If you don't, you're going to be behind the 8-ball." Clemson got a taste of what to expect by facing an option team in Georgia Southern last week and allowed only 80 rushing yards on 43 carries in a 38-7 win. Georgia Tech is 0-2 against FBS opponents after falling into a 21-point hole en route to a 24-19 loss at Pittsburgh to open ACC play last week.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Clemson -16.5

ABOUT CLEMSON (3-0): The Tigers rolled up 595 total yards in last week's rout of Georgia Southern, as Travis Etienne (269 yards, four touchdowns) gained a career-high 162 on 16 carries to surpass 1,000 rushing for his career. Quarterback Kelly Bryant, who has passed for 405 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 125 and two, is expected to start after leaving last week's game with a chest injury, but freshman Trevor Lawrence (424 yards, five TDs) will continue to see action. The Tigers possess an outstanding defense that has registered 30 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (1-2, 0-1 ACC): Despite their lackluster start, the Yellow Jackets rank in the top 25 in the nation in both total offense and total defense. They have a dynamic quarterback in TaQuon Marshall, who has passed for 353 yards and two touchdowns while leading the nation's top rushing offense with 293 yards and four TDs. The Yellow Jackets have been excellent against the pass, but they've had a tough time versus the run the past two weeks and will face a Tigers team that has a potent ground attack.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Tigers are opening ACC play on the road for the seventh consecutive season.

2. Georgia Tech has topped 400 rushing yards in six of its last 14 games, including two of three this year.

3. Clemson has forced a turnover in 11 consecutive contests, its longest streak since a 15-game run spanning the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.

PREDICTION: Clemson 34, Georgia Tech 20
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490455

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Ohio Bobcats vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 18th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Nippert Stadium

Ohio and Cincinnati will renew their in-state rivalry when they meet for the first time in 37 years on Saturday at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The Bearcats have been impressive so far, knocking off UCLA and Miami (Ohio) on the road to start the season, then blowing out Alabama A&M at home last weekend.

Cincinnati freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder has also been impressive since taking over for Hayden Moore in the first quarter against UCLA, passing for 344 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He should find some open receivers downfield against an Ohio secondary that allowed 379 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air last week in a 45-31 loss at Virginia. Ohio junior quarterback Nathan Rourke has the experience edge on Ridder, earning second-team all-MAC last season and he's already in the all-time top 10 in several passing categories at the school. He can also do damage with his legs, rushing for 21 touchdowns last season, setting a program record and tying for third-most in the FBS among all positions.

TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Cincinnati -8.5

ABOUT OHIO (1-1): The Bobcats are averaging just 3.8 yards a carry after averaging 5.7 last season. A.J. Ouellette rushed for 1,006 yards last season to become the first Ohio running back to hit the 1,000-yard mark since 2012, but he's still looking to crack the 100-yard barrier after three games thanks to a backfield that's more crowded with the addition of senior Maleek Irons, who redshirted last season. Ouellette, a former walk-on, needs 36 rushing yards to pass Kevin Babcock (1976-79) for seventh-most in program history.

ABOUT CINCINNATI (3-0): Michael Warren II is getting a lot more opportunities to show what he can do in the offense, and he should be fresh after getting just six carries last week against Alabama A&M. He showed he can handle a big load when he carried 35 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns in the win against UCLA, then came back with 29 carries for 91 yards against Miami. The Bearcats seem to be in good hands if anything should happen to Warren, as freshman Tavion Thomas ran for 141 yards on 18 carries last week and scored two touchdowns.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Cincinnati has 11 rushing touchdowns this season, matching its total from 2017.

2. Cincinnati's 741 yards of total offense last week were the second most in school history behind the 752 generated in a 53-46 loss to Memphis on Sept. 24, 2014.

3, Ohio is the only FBS program with the same head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator over the past 14 years

PREDICTION: Cincinnati 28, Ohio 17
_________________________


Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled BB&T Field


Notre Dame takes to the road for the first time this season and puts its undefeated record on the line Saturday at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are coming off their first loss of the season but will be well-rested after their Week 3 game was played last Thursday.


Wake Forest couldn't stop Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown as the Eagles' sophomore threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-34 win. The Demon Deacons' secondary has been a soft spot all season, with Tulane connecting for two touchdowns of 50-plus yards in their opener. The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish snuck by Vanderbilt with a 22-17 home win last week in what was yet another game in which they came out hot but were outplayed in the second half. Through three games, Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 51-19 in the first half but has been outscored 31-19 in the second half.

TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: Notre Dame -7.5.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (3-0): The run game was a focus for the Irish heading into the Vanderbilt game and they found success, rushing for 245 total yards - including 118 on 17 carries from Tony Jones Jr. and 84 on 19 attempts from quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Notre Dame's senior quarterback was better than his three-interception performance in Week 2 against Ball State but is still struggling in the passing game with only 589 yards and one touchdown through the air on the season. Wimbush protected the ball against Vanderbilt and it wound up being key to the victory as Notre Dame won the turnover battle 3-0.

ABOUT WAKE FOREST (2-1): In addition to its secondary, Wake Forest's offensive line will be under the microscope against Notre Dame's pass rush, which has five sacks on the season - including three in the opener against Michigan. The Demon Deacons had done a great job protecting freshman quarterback Sam Hartman through the first two games, giving up just one sack, but BC was able to bust through for four sacks last week. Hartman has thrown for 834 yards and his favorite target has been sophomore receiver Greg Dortch, who has an impressive 28 catches (first in FBS among players who have played three or fewer games) for 336 yards and a touchdown this season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. After opening on the road, Wake Forest is playing in the third of five straight games at home.

2. Notre Dame PK Justin Yoon kicked three field goals last week to move into third place on the school's all-time scoring list.

3. Fighting Irish LB Drue Tranquill is averaging seven solo tackles per game, ranking him fourth in the nation among all defensive players.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 31, Wake Forest 24
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Louisville Cardinals vs. Virginia Cavaliers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Scott Stadium

Malik Cunningham will make his first start of the season at quarterback for Louisville as the Cardinals travel to Virginia in ACC opener for both schools. Cunningham has come off the bench in the last two games, rallying the Cardinals to come-from-behind victories in both.

Louisville trailed 14-3 at half against Western Kentucky last weekend before Cunningham got the call, and the redshirt freshman threw for 88 yards and ran for 129 in the 20-17 win. "I have to do what I think is best for the team and I think this is best," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino told reporters in making the quarterback announcement on Monday. Virginia returns to Charlottesville, Va., after Hurricane Florence forced the Cavaliers to host Ohio in Nashville last weekend. The 545-mile trip didn't seem to faze Virginia as it scored on its first two offensive plays of the game and dropped 38 points in the first half in the 45-31 win.

TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, RSN. LINE: Virginia -5.

ABOUT LOUISVILLE (2-1): Cunningham replaces sophomore Jawon Pass, who was decent in Week 1 against No. 1 Alabama (20-of-39, 252 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) but was 8-of-14 for 89 yards and an interception in Week 2 before being relieved and 0-for-3 with an interception last week. Cunningham's ability to run - he's the team's leading rusher with 183 yards on 33 carries - opens up the passing game, and he has completed 64 percent of his passes on the season. Running back Dae Williams is another emerging threat for Louisville, as the sophomore rumbled for 58 yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts against Western Kentucky after having just seven rushing yards on 10 carries in the first two weeks.

ABOUT VIRGINIA (2-1): Junior-college transfer quarterback Bryce Perkins has been spectacular all season and was again in Week 3, throwing for 379 yards and three touchdowns to bring his season total to 670 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception and a 163.3 passer rating. Halfback Olamide Zaccheaus caught nine passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio, breaking the school's single-game receiving record and extending his streak to 32 consecutive games with at least one catch. Running back Jordan Ellis added 171 yards and three touchdowns in last week's offensive explosion and is averaging 7.5 yards per carry on the season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Louisville owns a 4-2 all-time edge in the series against Virginia and is 3-1 against the Cavaliers since joining the ACC in 2015, including a 38-21 home win last season.

2. Perkins has been sacked seven times on the season, second-most in the ACC.

3. The Cardinals' offensive average of 308 yards of total offense ranks last in the conference and is 237 yards per game lower than last year's offense.

PREDICTION: Virginia 45, Louisville 28
________________________


Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon State Beavers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 18th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Reser Stadium Corvallis

Khalil Tate and the Arizona offense will try to stay on a roll heading into their Pac-12 opener Saturday afternoon at Oregon State. After a slow start to his much heralded junior season, Tate threw for a career-high 349 yards and five touchdowns last week in a 62-31 win against visiting Southern Utah, the only team the Wildcats and Beavers have beaten this season.

Tate wasn't 100 percent heading into last weekend after spraining his left ankle the week before in a loss to Houston, but he seemed comfortable in the pocket against Southern Utah, completing 13-of-20 passes. Tate is also a gifted runner, totaling 1,411 yards on the ground last season, but he hasn't flashed that aspect of his game yet this season, accumulating just 41 rushing yards on 19 carries so far. Oregon State is also looking to start conference play on a high note after going winless in the Pac-12 last season. The Beavers have experienced a blowout loss at No. 4 Ohio State in the season opener, a 48-25 win against Southern Utah and a 37-35 loss last week at Nevada, hitting the goal post on a 33-yard field goal try as time expired.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Arizona -6.5

ABOUT ARIZONA (1-2): The Wildcats haven't opened conference play with a road win since beating Oregon State in 2009, the same year they came within a win of a Rose Bowl berth. Tate was a handful against the Beavers last season, totaling 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and so was Arizona running back J.J. Taylor, who added another 129 yards on the ground. Taylor is also back this season and he's getting more touches thus far, but he's also looking for his first 100-yard rushing effort this season, a mark that seems within reach against Oregon State, which has allowed 679 rushing yards through three games this season.

ABOUT OREGON STATE (1-2): The quarterback rotation between Conor Blount and Jake Luton is getting even tighter heading into the weekend. Luton, a 6-foot-7 senior, was the starting quarterback at Oregon State this time last season before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the fourth game. He played sparingly behind Blount the first two games this season before getting a chance to throw 35 times against Nevada, completing 23 for 284 yards and a touchdown, while Blount was 12-for-20 against the Wolfpack for 175 yards and a touchdown.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Arizona WR Shawn Poindexter is averaging 23.1 yards per catch and Tony Ellison is averaging 20.1, joining Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith of Alabama as the only teammates averaging more than 20 yards per reception.

2. Tate completed four passes for least 50 yards last week, the most by a Pac-12 quarterback since at least 2007.

3. Oregon State is 5-for-5 on fourth-down conversions this season, the most among the 13 teams that haven't been stopped on fourth down.

PREDICTION: Arizona 48, Oregon State 35
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Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon Ducks Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Autzen Stadium Eugene


After cruising through the non-conference portion of its schedule, No. 19 Oregon takes a step up in competition Saturday when the Ducks host Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love and seventh-ranked Stanford. Love missed last week's win over UC Davis with an undisclosed injury but is expected to start against Oregon, which ranks fifth nationally in rushing defense at 1.96 yards per carry.


The Ducks were rarely challenged in wins over Bowling Green (58-24), Portland State (62-14) and San Jose State (35-22) but will need to play a complete game to avenge last season's 49-7 loss at Stanford. Love rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns in that win over the Ducks but has yet to find his rhythm this season as opponents look to contain the dynamic senior. Saturday's contest features another Heisman Trophy candidate in Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who is tied for second nationally with 12 passing TDs. The Ducks are eighth in the country in scoring at 51.7 points per game but will be tested by a Stanford defense that has given up a total of 23 points in wins over San Diego State (31-10), USC (17-3) and UC Davis (30-10).

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Stanford -2

ABOUT STANFORD (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12): Quarterback K.J. Costello threw a pair of scoring passes in last week's win over UC Davis to JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who is off to a strong start with 13 receptions while averaging 24.9 yards per catch. Coach David Shaw is looking for more consistency from his squad but has been pleased by the play of linebackers Bobby Okereke and Joey Alfieri, a Portland native who has 18 tackles through three games. "We're still growing," Shaw told reporters. "We still have flashes of being really good and some flashes of not being really good, but I think in spots we're getting better."

ABOUT OREGON (3-0, 0-0): Linebacker Justin Hollins had two tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in last week's win over San Jose State as the Ducks held the Spartans to 29 yards net rushing and fewer than 300 yards of offense. Hollins and fellow linebacker Jalen Jelks have combined for 9.5 tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks, while nose guard Jordon Scott has drawn praise from coach Mario Cristobal for his leadership. Tony Brooks-James was held to 39 rushing yards in last week's win but could receive a heavy workload if Stanford focuses on stopping the Ducks' passing game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Stanford holds a 48-32-1 lead in the series - including 16-13 in Eugene.

2. Oregon is averaging 42.9 points per game over 18 contests since 2016 with Herbert in the starting lineup.

3. Oregon backup QB Braxton Burmeister will miss his second straight game due to a left knee injury.

PREDICTION: Stanford 27, Oregon 23
________________________


Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Neyland Stadium

Florida and Tennessee will battle under the lights Saturday as the Volunteers open their SEC slate at home against the rival Gators. Both schools come off resounding victories -- Florida shut down Colorado State 48-10 and Tennessee blanked UTEP 24-0 -- but they are rebuilding under new head coaches and seek their first victory of the season over a Power 5 opponent.

Head coaches Dan Mullen (Florida) and Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee) are on a mission to restore the glory to a storied rivalry that has certainly seen better days, back to the era when they ruled the conference, combining for 10 of the 12 SEC titles between 1989-2000. For Mullen, a positive step in that direction would be avoiding an 0-2 conference start after losing to Kentucky two weeks ago in his SEC debut as Gators' coach, while Pruitt focuses on ending the Volunteers' nine-game SEC skid. "There's a lot of people out there who still think it's a big game," Mullen told reporters. "I think the feel within the program, both programs obviously want to get back where this has a big something to do with who wins the (SEC) East. I think that always adds to the rivalry." The last four meetings were all decided by 10 points or less, including last season's thriller that ended with the Gators scoring on a 63-yard Hail Mary as time expired to give Florida 12 victories in the last 13 meetings with the Volunteers.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Florida -4.5.

ABOUT FLORIDA (2-1, 0-1 SEC): No doubt, Feleipe Franks' biggest college play came on that winning throw against the Volunteers last season, but the quarterback has had his ups and downs and while he is learning a new offense under Mullen, he went 0-for-6 in the first quarter last week before hitting 8-of-9 with two TDs the rest of the way and he completed only 17 of 38 passes in the loss to Kentucky. The ground attack has sputtered at times and last week's injury to backup running back Malik Davis (broken foot) won't help, but Mullen will try to take pressure off Franks and unleash running back Jordan Scarlett on a Volunteers' run defense surrendering just 112.7 yards per game. The Gators' defense was manhandled at the line of scrimmage the first two weeks, especially by Kentucky (303 rushing yards allowed), but the unit stiffened up considerably against Colorado State (70 yards rushing) and more of the same will be needed against the Volunteers.

ABOUT TENNESSEE (2-1, 0-0): QB Jarrett Guarantano hasn't proven to be a big-time passing threat just yet, with his highest yardage total coming in Week 1's 40-14 loss to West Virginia when he threw for 172 yards and a score, but his 72.2 completion percentage ranks him second in the SEC. Guarantano may not need to be a gunslinger, however, if sophomore running back Ty Chandler produces as he did a week ago against UTEP, when he scampered for a career-high 158 yards (13.2 yards per carry) and a touchdown -- an 81-yarder that was the team's longest run since 2006. The defense ranks third in the SEC and 14th in the nation in total defense (291.7 yards per game) after limiting the last two opponents to just 164 yards per game, but the pass defense was torn apart by West Virginia (429 yards) and that could be a problem once again if the pass rush doesn't improve (five sacks in three games).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Florida leads Tennessee by a 27-20 series edge, including 11 straight victories between the 2005 and 2015 seasons.

2. This is just the second time in this series that both schools have new head coaches.

3. In just three games, the Volunteers' wide receivers have converted four plays of 50 yards or more, already tying last season's total.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 27, Florida 24
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 15 hours ago #490458

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Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Commonwealth Stadium


Mississippi State put up some big numbers during non-conference play and looks like a team that can contend with the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU, though it has yet to truly be tested. The 24th-ranked Bulldogs will get their first test against SEC competition when they visit Kentucky on Saturday in the conference opener.

Mississippi State is trouncing opponents by an average of 41.3 points over the first three games, led by an offense that is rushing for 311.7 yards per contest. "Offensively, we operate at our highest level when we are able to run the ball successfully and complete passes at a higher percentage, but never at the expense of explosive plays and protecting the football," Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead told reporters after a 56-10 victory over Louisiana last week. I'm not sure what it was specifically, but I would venture to guess that we hit our number of explosive plays that we were looking for, and we did that within the construct of not turning the ball over and operating efficiently." The Wildcats are undefeated as well and already have one SEC victory on their resume after winning at Florida in Week 2. Kentucky can run the ball as well and boasts three rushers already over 100 yards on the season with a total of eight touchdowns between them.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Mississippi State -10

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-0, 0-0 SEC): The Bulldogs are up to 12 rushing TDs and got one last week from Aeris Williams, who enjoyed a breakout performance with 101 yards on 11 carries. "We set a rotation and from there it can really go the way the flow of the game dictates," Moorhead told reporters of his running back situation with Williams and Kylin Hill. "I think something that's very valuable for Aeris this week, in addition to his carries on first and second down, is his experience as a protector on third down, particularly in medium-plus situations." Mississippi State's running game also heavily features quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who has 266 rushing yards in two games and four scores on the ground.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (3-0, 1-0): Benny Snell Jr. is leading the rushing attack with 375 yards and three TDs and will try to take some of the pressure off quarterback Terry Wilson, who is sitting on two TD passes and three interceptions through three games. "He takes the coaching," coach Mark Stoops told reporters of Wilson. "He works at it. He comes early. He stays late. He does what he has to do to do the studying on his own. Also, take the coaching. It does not surprise me much because I anticipated that. I mentioned that after Week 1in here that he is a sophomore and in game one there was no doubt in our mind that he would improve and he has." Wilson is part of the rushing attack, as well, and owns 223 yards and two TDs on the ground.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Fitzgerald needs 196 rushing yards to pass Tim Tebow for the SEC rushing record by a quarterback.

2. The Wildcats are trying to improve to 2-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1977.

3. The Bulldogs have taken eight of the last nine in the series.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State 34, Kentucky 21
________________________


Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Michigan Stadium

No. 21 Michigan looks to make it three wins in a row when it hosts Nebraska in the Big Ten opener for both teams on Saturday. The Wolverines bounced back from a Week 1 defeat to eighth-ranked Notre Dame by besting Western Michigan (49-3) and SMU (45-20) to extend their non-conference home winning streak to 10 games. They are searching for their 12th win in their last 13 Big Ten openers as they meet Nebraska for the first time since 2013.

"I don't think they have a win yet so they're going to come out hungry," Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson told reporters. "They're going to really try to get that first one so we got to come ready to play." The Scott Frost era in Lincoln is off to a rocky start after Nebraska suffered a disappointing 24-19 defeat to Troy last weekend to fall to 0-2 for the first time since 1957. Nebraska has dropped six straight games dating back to last season, including four in a row in conference play, and the Huskers hope to turn their fortunes around by knocking off a ranked opponent for the first time in over two years. "I think we're a better team than the results say we are but that doesn't matter," Frost told reporters. "It might get worse before it gets better but it's always darkest before dawn and I know where this is going so I want every guy in the locker room on board."

TV: Noon ET, Fox Sports1. LINE: Michigan -18.5.

ABOUT NEBRASKA (0-2): Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez sat out the loss to Troy with a knee injury and will be a game-time decision on Saturday, and walk-on Andrew Bunch will make his second career start if Martinez is unable to play. Stanley Morgan Jr. caught five passes for 64 yards and a score against the Trojans to move into a fifth-place tie on the program's all-time receiving touchdowns list while extending his streak of games with at least one reception to 28 in a row -- the fourth-longest in school history. Safety Aaron Williams, who made five tackles against Troy, was awarded a Blackshirt earlier in the week to become the eighth defensive player to earn the honorary distinction this season.

ABOUT MICHIGAN (2-1): Donovan Peoples-Jones had an afternoon to remember as he caught four passes for 90 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the win over SMU. Karan Higdon, who leads the Wolverines in rushing yards (228), is questionable for Saturday due to an undisclosed injury last weekend while fellow running back Chris Evans will be a game-time decision with a pulled muscle. The Wolverines will be without starting hybrid linebacker Khaleke Hudson for the first half against the Cornhuskers after he was ejected for targeting against the Mustangs. Defensive end Aubrey Solomon will miss his second straight contest as he continues to recover from a minor knee procedure.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Michigan has won 34 of its last 36 conference openers.

2. Nebraska has lost eight of its last nine games overall dating back to last season.

3. The Wolverines are 13-2 in the month of September under Jim Harbaugh.

PREDICTION: Michigan 27, Nebraska 13
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 14 hours ago #490459

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Kansas State Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Milan Puskar Stadium

Coming off an unscheduled bye week courtesy of Hurricane Florence, 13th-ranked West Virginia returns to action Saturday by hosting Kansas State. The contest will serve as the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

After opening the season with one-sided wins against Tennessee (40-14) and Youngstown State (52-17), the Mountaineers were supposed to play at N.C. State last Saturday, but Mother Nature had other ideas and the game was called off early last week. So, instead, coach Dana Holgorsen and his charges got in some extra intrasquad work. "Tuesday and Wednesday we pretty much just turned them back into camp practices and went against each other,"Holgorsen said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "You have to keep playing, you need timing, you need conditioning and just a whole bunch of things. If you want them to improve or if you want them to stay the same, you have to keep doing it. So, we did that on Tuesday and Wednesday and then practiced them over the weekend, which gave us a little bit of time to prepare." Kansas State, meanwhile, will be playing for a fourth straight Saturday and also will be hitting the road for the first time this season after a 2-1 start, including a 41-17 win over UTSA last Saturday.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: West Virginia -16

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (2-1, 0-0 Big 12): Sophomore Skylar Thompson and junior Alex Delton have split snaps at quarterback in all three games so far, but it was Thompson who seemingly grabbed hold of the starting job against UTSA, completing 13-of-18 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns while pacing the Wildcats on the ground with 66 yards and a score on 14 rushes. With 228 yards and a TD on 51 carries, Alex Barnes is Kansas State's leading rusher while wide receivers Isaiah Zuber and Dalton Schoen have combined for 20 receptions for 353 yards and five TDs. Cornerback Duke Shelley is pacing the team with 15 total tackles and six pass breakups, but stopping the run has been troublesome for the Wildcats so far as they're surrendering 201.3 yards per game and 6.1 per carry.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (2-0, 0-0): Senior quarterback Will Grier's Heisman Trophy campaign is off to a flying start as he's completed 46-of-60 attempts (76.7 percent) for 761 yards and nine TDs while tossing only one interception. Senior wideouts Gary Jennings Jr. and David Sills V have been Grier's top targets, combining for 383 yards and six scores on 21 receptions. Defensively, junior linebacker David Long Jr. is pacing the team with 23 total tackles, including 13 solo stops and 2.5 tackles for loss.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Kansas State holds a 4-2 series edge since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012, but the Mountaineers have won the last two, following a 28-23 victory late last season in Manhattan.

2. The Wildcats have won six of their last seven Big 12 road games, including a 45-40 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma State last November.

3. In Grier's 13 starts at West Virginia, the Mountaineers are averaging 38.2 points per contest.

PREDICTION: West Virginia 34, Kansas State 20
___________________________


Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn Tigers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Jordan Hare Stadium

No. 11 Auburn gets a break from its tough early-season schedule when it hosts struggling Arkansas in an SEC matchup on Saturday. Auburn already has faced two teams currently ranked in the top 12, splitting those showdowns.


The Tigers had their 13-game home winning streak snapped with last week's 22-21 loss to LSU, as Cole Tracy booted a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds. They'll try to bounce back against an Arkansas team that is off to a sluggish start in Chad Morris' first season as coach and coming off an embarrassing 44-17 home loss to North Texas. Auburn has won four of the last five meetings and outscored the Razorbacks 108-23 over the past two seasons, but coach Gus Malzahn isn't concerned about his team overlooking its opponent. "Last week, we lost a big game, so I don't think you have to worry about being overconfident," Malzahn told reporters. "In this game, we will get their best and we have to be ready to compete."

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Auburn -30

ABOUT ARKANSAS (1-2): Not much has gone right for the Razorbacks, who don't really have the personnel to excel in Morris' up-tempo offense. Devwah Whaley (205 yards, two touchdowns) has put up decent numbers, but six interceptions led to 24 points in the loss to North Texas, prompting Morris to give Ty Storey the start at quarterback this week in favor of Cole Kelley. The defense, which has been adequate against the run but torched through the air, expects to get back linebacker Dre Greenlaw from an ankle injury that sidelined him for two games.

ABOUT AUBURN (2-1, 0-1 SEC): The Tigers have a strong ground game behind freshman JaTarvious Whitlow (254 yards, two TDs). The passing game has been effective as well, as Jarrett Stidham has thrown for 584 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, and 14 different receivers have caught a pass. Linebacker Deshaun Davis (4.5 tackles for loss) anchors the defense, which has been excellent against the run but had a tough time getting off the field on third down against LSU.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Auburn kickers have converted 237 consecutive extra-point attempts dating to 2013, the longest active streak in the FBS and the longest in SEC history.

2. Arkansas has not won its SEC opener since 2010 at Georgia.

3. Whitlow is the first Auburn freshman with back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances since Michael Dyer in 2010.

PREDICTION: Auburn 41, Arkansas 17
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 14 hours ago #490460

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Navy Midshipmen vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Gerald J. Ford Stadium

Navy has plenty of room for improvement in all phases of its game, according to coach Ken Niumatalolo, as it visits SMU on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference game. The Midshipmen ran wild for 484 yards in a 51-21 victory over FCS member Lehigh last week but it's the passing attack -- namely behind junior quarterback Malcolm Perry -- that appears to be holding them back.

Perry, who scored three rushing touchdowns last week and has six this season, is 5-for-15 with a TD and an interception as off-season work to improve accuracy and touch hasn't paid off yet. "Teams aren't stupid. They're going to see we run the ball a lot. Being able to pass the ball over their heads is a key to being able to run our offense," Perry admitted. "That's something I've got to work on, for sure." The Mustangs have been outscored 133-55 in three losses to start the season, including a 42-12 setback versus No. 17 TCU and a 45-20 loss at No. 21 Michigan. SMU coach Sonny Dykes hasn't publicly decided on who will start at quarterback Saturday as freshman William Brown took over from junior Ben Hicks in the second half last week and went 11-of-17 for 82 yards and two touchdown passes.

TV: Noon ET, ESPNews. LINE: Navy -6.5

ABOUT NAVY (2-1, 1-0 AAC): The Midshipmen are No. 2 nationally in rushing offense at 358 yards per game led by Perry, who averages 6.9 yards on 72 carries. Niumatalolo employs three quarterbacks including senior Garret Lewis (10-for-16, 159 yards), who is the best passer, and senior Zach Abey (35 rushing yards, six touchdowns), the goal-line specialist. Senior linebacker Taylor Heflin and junior linebacker Nizaire Cromartie spearhead the defense with two sacks apiece.

ABOUT SMU (0-3, 0-0): The Mustangs are near the bottom nationally in total offense (125th among the 129 FBS teams at 272.3 yards per game) and total defense (103rd, 452.0). Hicks was 37-of-78 for 476 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions prior to his demotion. Junior wide receiver James Proche has team bests of 15.4 yards per 19 receptions and three touchdowns while senior Braeden West (129 yards, two TDs) paces the ground attack.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Navy is fifth nationally in time of possession at 36 minutes, 37 seconds while SMU is second-to-last at 22:55.

2. The Midshipmen had a rusher and receiver each total more than 100 yards last week for the first time since 2010 as Perry rushed for 223 yards and sophomore tight end CJ Williams caught three passes for 104 yards.

3. Navy leads the series 12-7 and has won all three meetings since joining the AAC, including 43-40 last season when Perry rushed for 282 yards and four touchdowns.

PREDICTION: Navy 45, SMU 20
________________________


Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs. Texas Longhorns Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium


TCU stumbled at a neutral site in its big test against a top-10 opponent last week, and the schedule is not getting any easier. The 17th-ranked Horned Frogs will try to bounce back when they open Big 12 play by visiting resurgent Texas on Saturday.

TCU blew past Southern and SMU by a combined score of 97-19 in the first two games and hung with No. 4 Ohio State for one half before falling off the pace in a 40-28 setback in Arlington, Texas, last week. "If this team can stay healthy, we're going to be a really good football team by the end of the year," coach Gary Patterson told reporters. "But we got to win early. It's a three-game season. Now it's the second game, going into Texas." The Longhorns got off to a slow start with a loss to Maryland and a narrow win over Tulsa, but a 37-14 drubbing of USC in Week 3 turned heads and raised expectations. "This needs to be the standard and not just on Saturday night," Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters. "It needs to be the standard in how we prepare every day this week. I told (the players) that this season is a marathon. This is not a sprint. We're going to have to bring that same level of energy and preparation each and every week in order to achieve our goals."

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: TCU -3.5

ABOUT TCU (2-1, 0-0 Big 12): Sophomore Shawn Robinson is embracing his role as the starting quarterback and is learning to deal with his first bit of adversity after throwing a pair of interceptions in last week's loss. "The main thing with me is just execution and just, with the offense as a whole, just coming out and executing every play," Robinson told reporters. "I think we did better (against Ohio State) than at SMU, but we definitely fell short and had a lot of plays that we didn't execute on that we'll get better at. But that's pretty much the main thing, and just keeping my feet calm in the pocket and just trusting what I see. Still have a long way to go." Robinson threw for a season-high 308 yards in the loss but rushed for a season-low seven yards.

ABOUT TEXAS (2-1, 0-0): Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger was just 15-of-33 passing against USC but threw for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another. "I'm very content with the fact that every week we're progressing and we're doing something that we didn't do the week before and moving forward," Ehlinger told reporters. "Seeing that improvement is really enlightening for me, but I think there's a bunch of things, I think we need to work on everything. There's not like one particular thing that we're really good at and there's not one particular thing that we're really terrible at right now." Junior wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey is one particular part of the offense working well and is up to 275 yards and two TDs on 17 receptions.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Texas LB Gary Johnson recorded a forced fumble, a sack and four tackles for loss against USC and was named Big 12 defensive player of the week.

2. Longhorns LB Malcolm Roach (fractured foot) is expected to miss up to two months.

3. TCU has taken the last four meetings by an average of 30 points.

PREDICTION: TCU 35, Texas 24
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 14 hours ago #490461

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Kansas Jayhawks vs. Baylor Bears Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled McLane Stadium

Fourth-year Kansas coach David Beaty won a total of three games in his first three years as Jayhawks head coach. He can match that total in the span of just three weeks with a win in Saturday afternoon's Big 12 Conference opener at Baylor.

The Jayhawks have been one of the early surprise stories of the season, opening with a shocking 26-23 overtime home loss to FCS opponent Nicholls to drop Beaty's record in Lawrence, Kan., to 3-34 with two of those wins coming over FCS foes Rhode Island and Southeast Missouri State. But the Jayhawks have made a stunning turnaround in the last two weeks, winning at Central Michigan, 31-7, to snap a 46-game road losing streak and then blowing out the Big Ten's Rutgers, 55-14, at home, the team's largest margin of victory over an FBS school since a 58-10 win over Baylor in 2007. Now Kansas, which has won back-to-back games over FBS opponents for the first time since 2009, will try to make it three in a row against a Baylor squad that started 2-0 but was soundly defeated at home by Duke, 40-27, last weekend. "I've gotten to know coach Beaty quite a bit," Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. "I think he's a class act and what he's done there, taking over a program with all the roster issues and turnover they've had. ... What they did against Rutgers on Saturday, they've done a great job. He's doing it the right way, rebuilding that program. It will be a heck of a test on Saturday."

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 LINE: Baylor -7.5

ABOUT KANSAS (2-1, 0-0 Big 12): A big reason for the turnaround has been turnovers. The Jayhawks are plus-12 in turnover margin -- which leads the FBS with 13 takeaways and just one turnover of their own -- and they forced six turnovers in the win over Rutgers including a pair of pick-6's by safety Mike Lee and linebacker Bryce Torneden. Running back Pooka Williams, who missed the opening loss because of eligibility questions, is the first freshman in Jayhawk history to rush for back-to-back 100-yard rushing games to open his career and has 283 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries (8.7 avg.) to lead the offense.

ABOUT BAYLOR (2-1, 0-0): The Bears have forced just two turnovers while losing four which puts the spotlight on that category heading into Saturday's game. "Until we win the turnover battle we're not going to win," Rhule said. "We as coaches have stressed that, but it hasn't worked at the level we need it at." Rhule hasn't decided whether he'll play both sophomore Charlie Brewer (45-of-75, 641 yards, 3 TDs, one interception, 69 yards rushing) and North Carolina State transfer Jalan McClendon (23-of-35, 95 yards, 3 TDs, one interception, 56 yards rushing) at quarterback or stay with just one against Kansas.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Kansas has lost 38 consecutive Big 12 road games dating back to a 35-33 victory at Iowa State on Oct. 4, 2008.

2. Jayhawks senior LB Joe Dineen Jr. leads the Big 12 and FBS in solo tackles (8.7 per game) and ranks third nationally in total tackles (13.3 per game).

3. Baylor leads the series with Kansas 13-4 and has won the last eight by an average of 37 points.

PREDICTION: Baylor 31, Kansas 21
____________________________


South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Vanderbilt Stadium

Do not count coach Derek Mason as one who was satisfied with Vanderbilt's near-upset last week at Notre Dame, and he made clear his team's purpose entering Saturday's SEC opener against visiting South Carolina. The Commodores, who seek to win their conference opener for the first time since 2011, dropped a 22-17 decision to the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish after rallying from a 13-point, second-quarter deficit.

"If people feel good about that, great. We don't," Mason told reporters on Tuesday - three days after admitting his team missed critical opportunities. "We play the game to win." South Carolina looks forward to just playing after its home game against Marshall last week was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, as its last contest was a 41-17 loss to No. 3 Georgia on Sept. 8. "Gave our coaches a chance to start working on Vanderbilt," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told reporters on Tuesday. "I thought we had a very good practice Sunday and working into today." Saturday's matchup features two of the better quarterbacks in the SEC in Vanderbilt's Kyle Shurmur (754 yards, five touchdowns in three games) and South Carolina's Jake Bentley (five touchdowns, 52 completions in two contests).


TV: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: South Carolina -2

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (1-1, 0-1 SEC): One key to Saturday's contest will be the Gamecocks' rushing attack, which produced only 54 yards on 20 carries in the loss to Georgia. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has shown he is healthy so far, recording a team-high 13 receptions, while Bryan Edwards leads South Carolina in receiving yards (164) and touchdown catches (three). Linebacker T.J. Brunson has made 10 solo tackles and 11 stops overall.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (2-1): Shurmur ripped the Fighting Irish for 326 yards and a touchdown last week, moving into third place on the school's all-time passing list with 6,489 yards. Tight end Jared Pinkney (241 yards on 12 receptions) and wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb (league-high 25 catches for 234 yards) have emerged as top targets. Linebacker Josh Smith is tied for second in the conference with 15 solo tackles and has made 21 total stops.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Vanderbilt has not beaten South Carolina since posting back-to-back victories in 2007 and 2008.

2. Bentley set a career high with 47 pass attempts against Georgia, tying for ninth-most in school history.

3. The Commodores struggled establishing the run against Notre Dame, rushing for just 27 yards in the first half and 94 overall.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 31, South Carolina 27
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NCAAFB Betting News and Trends For Saturday 9/22/18 4 weeks 14 hours ago #490462

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Georgia Bulldogs vs. Missouri Tigers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Faurot Field


Third-ranked Georgia has looked every bit the national championship contender through three games - although two were against overmatched opponents - but is wary of what awaits at Missouri on Saturday. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock is one of the more prolific passers in the nation and showed that last season against the Bulldogs by throwing for four touchdowns in a defeat - and Missouri has not lost a regular-season game since, recording nine straight victories.

"He can get the ball out so quick, and he does such a good job of keying your defenders and knowing where to go with the ball," Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters on Monday. Lock certainly has lived up to his reputation through three games, passing for 1,062 yards and 11 touchdowns to fuel the Tigers' 3-0 start. The challenge for Missouri will be slowing down a Georgia offense that has run roughshod over the opposition thus far, averaging 488.3 yards of total offense, and dealing with a defense that has surrendered a total of 24 points in three games. "The bigger we make this game, the tougher it can get," Lock told reporters on Tuesday. "Why not just come in and do your job?"

TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Georgia -14

ABOUT GEORGIA (3-0, 1-0 SEC): Jake Fromm fired three touchdown passes and Elijah Holyfield rushed for a career-high 100 yards in a 49-7 rout of Middle Tennessee State last week, and now the Bulldogs begin a stretch of seven consecutive conference games. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman found the end zone twice, making a 5-yard touchdown catch and returning a punt 70 yards for a score. Cornerback Deandre Baker has made two interceptions and a fumble recovery in his last two games.

ABOUT MISSOURI (3-0): The Tigers squandered a 17-point lead against Purdue last week but survived, escaping with a 40-37 victory on Tucker McCann's fourth field goal of the game as time expired. Lock completed 26-of-43 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns as Missouri rolled up 608 yards of total offense, including a career-best 168 rushing on 23 carries by Larry Rountree III. Safety Adam Sparks recorded a career-high 11 tackles last week, but Missouri allowed 572 yards passing.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Missouri WR Jalen Knox earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after catching five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown against Purdue.

2. Fromm leads the nation in completion percentage (80 percent), while freshman QB Justin Fields is 14-of-17 for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

3. Missouri WR Emanuel Hall (groin/hip), who leads the SEC in receiving yards per game at 143.3, and CB DeMarkus Acy (concussion) practiced Tuesday and could return to the starting lineup versus Georgia.

PREDICTION: Georgia 38, Missouri 21
_________________________


Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF
NCAAF Previews 19th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Bryant-Denny Stadium


Alabama coach Nick Saban has never lost to a former assistant and looks to keep that mark intact when the top-ranked Crimson Tide host Jimbo Fisher and No. 22 Texas A&M in an SEC battle on Saturday. Fisher served as LSU offensive coordinator under Saban from 2000-04 and aims to dent Saban's 12-0 mark against former pupils.

Fisher is well aware his team faces long odds against the Crimson Tide, who have become the first SEC team to score 50 or more points in each of the first three games of a season. "He's created a culture at his place, they expect to win and they know how to win," Fisher said at a press conference. "He's got good players and they're well coached, that makes it a real good combination." Saban feels the Aggies are a dangerous opponent even though Fisher is just beginning to put his fingerprints on the program after leaving Florida State for the post. "I think everybody that takes over a program is really working hard to establish the principles and values of the organization," Saban said at his weekly press conference. "The standard that you want people to work to in terms of effort, toughness, intangibles, discipline, things like that. Jimbo has obviously done a really good job of that."

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Alabama -27

ABOUT TEXAS A&M (2-1, 0-0 SEC): Fisher fell to Saban in last year's season opener when Alabama beat Florida State 24-7 and now will try to solve the vaunted Alabama defense with junior running back Trayveon Williams (SEC-leading 399 rushing yards, four touchdowns) and sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond (824 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions). "He's doing a really nice job right now, playing really good football," Fisher said of Mond. "He's playing smart football. That's what's got me excited. He's making plays all up and down the field, but he's playing good, smart football." Senior linebacker Otaro Alaka has a team-best 16 tackles while senior defensive end Landis Durham has recorded a team-leading 3.5 tackles for loss.

ABOUT ALABAMA (3-0, 1-0): The Crimson Tide are averaging 56.7 points and 544.7 yards per game after trampling Ole Miss 62-7 last Saturday in their SEC opener. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has completed 72 percent of his passes for 646 yards and eight touchdowns, while regularly hitting big plays with sophomore receivers Jerry Jeudy (11 catches for 287 yards and six touchdowns) and DeVonta Smith (10 catches for 204 yards with one score). Junior cornerback Saivion Smith, junior safety Shyheim Carter and sophomore safety Xavier McKinney all have returned interceptions for touchdowns while junior safety Deionte Thompson leads the team with two picks.

EXTRA POINTS
1. Alabama has won five straight meetings and holds an 8-2 series lead.
2. Williams has 11 career rushes of 40 or more yards.
3. The Crimson Tide have topped 500 yards of total offense in all three games.

PREDICTION: Alabama 45, Texas A&M 17
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