BYU's loss to Boise State last Thursday night was the most-wagered NCAA football game of the week at Bovada, and the Cougars will again have the college spotlight to themselves one night this week. They host Hawaii on Friday in the lone game and are 27-point favorites at the book.
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Brigham Young had one of its worst offensive outputs in years in falling 7-6 at Boise State. The Cougars had just 61 passing yards - their fewest in nine years - and 200 total yards while committing five turnovers. The only scoring drive was led by freshman backup QB Taysom Hill, who led an 11-play, 95-yard march that ended with Hill scoring from 4 yards out. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall elected to go for two points and Hill's pass was deflected incomplete.
Hill is the likely starter Friday with Riley Nelson dealing with a back injury. Plus Nelson was totally ineffective vs. Boise State, throwing three interceptions, fumbling once and getting sacked twice. Hawaii could be the perfect opponent for the first-time starter to face.
The Warriors were gashed 69-24 by Nevada last week as the Wolf Pack totaled 575 total yards and 30 first downs. Hawaii, which has covered in only two of its past 10 games, allows 40 points per game, the sixth-worst mark in college football. The Warriors are coached by Norm Chow, who was a BYU assistant for 27 years. This is Chow's first head coaching job.
In Honolulu last year, BYU won 41-20 as an 8-point favorite. Nelson threw for 363 yards and three scores as Brigham Young had 530 yards of offense. BYU is also 8-0 all-time vs. Hawaii in Provo.
Saturday's Live Betting Options
No. 25 Baylor at No. 9 West Virginia (-13): West Virginia makes its Big 12 debut Saturday afternoon against Baylor in a matchup of schools that could produce the two most recent Heisman winners.
Baylor QB Robert Griffin III of course won last year's Heisman but is now starring with the Washington Redskins. Replacement Nick Florence has been very good in Griffin's place, leading the nation in total offense at 387.7 yards per game (354.7 passing, 53 rushing). The Bears are No. 5 in the country in scoring 51.3 points per game in starting 3-0 (1-2 ATS). However, WVU will be Baylor's first BCS conference opponent.
West Virginia QB Geno Smith is the new Bovada odds-on favorite to win the 2012 Heisman. He's second in the nation with a quarterback rating of 191.2 and is completing a national-high 81.4 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and no interceptions (both tied for No. 1 nationally). WVU is No. 10 in the country in scoring at 47.3 ppg.
This is the first-ever meeting between these teams. The total of 79 is by far the highest on the board in Week 5.
Tennessee at No. 5 Georgia (-13): The top offense in the SEC belongs to Georgia as the Dawgs are averaging 47.5 points per game in their 4-0 start, the first time in school history that Georgia has topped 40 points in four consecutive games (all four games have gone over the total).
But arguably UGA's toughest test thus far will come vs. the Vols on Saturday. The bad news for Tennessee is that it is 0-11 under coach Derek Dooley vs. Top-25 teams and has dropped eight straight games in Athens. Overall, UT is 1-18 vs. ranked foes since 2008. It has covered just once in its past nine SEC games. Georgia also is expected to get a boost this week with the return of two suspended defensive starters: All-America safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree. Coach Mark Richt has remained quiet on their status. They would help against a UT offense that ranks No. 8 in the nation in passing (341.3) behind Tyler Bray.
No. 4 Florida State at South Florida (+17): Off the school's biggest victory since Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach, Florida State looks to keep its focus as the Seminoles go out-of-conference to face a dangerous but wounded South Florida team.
FSU exploded for 35 second-half points last week in a 49-37 win over then-No. 10 Clemson. That jumped the Noles to the third-favorites on Bovada at 6/1 to win the BCS Championship Game. FSU is No. 2 in the nation in scoring (56.3 ppg) and No. 8 in scoring defense (10.0 ppg). This will be its first road game of the season.
South Florida, of the Big East, has dropped back-to-back games. Last Saturday's shocking 31-27 loss at Ball State was just the Bulls' fourth non-conference loss in the past five years. USF has faced Florida State once, and the Bulls upset then No. 18 FSU 17-7 in Tallahassee in 2009. However, South Florida hasn't covered a home game vs. a BCS conference team since late that season.
Mississippi at No. 1 Alabama (-31): Ole Miss looks much improved this season under first-year head coach Hugh Freeze as the Rebels (3-1) already have exceeded last year's wins total. And Mississippi has put up 147 points, its most through four games since 2003. But the Rebs face a defense unlike another Saturday night in the Crimson Tide's SEC home opener.
Alabama, which is the 8/5 national title favorite at Bovada, is No. 3 in the nation in total defense (185.0 ypg) and No. 2 in scoring (5.3 ypg) and passing (122.8 ypg) defense. In addition, 15 of Alabama's past 17 wins have come by 21 points or more. Since 2008, Alabama is 21-0 in September games. Ole Miss would make history with a win as it is 0-8 all-time vs. top-ranked teams. The Rebels have won once in 25 visits to Tuscaloosa. The road team has covered in the past four meetings in this series, however.
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