Editor's note: Brian Edwards is No. 1 on VI in college football with a 19-9 record (68%, +917). Don't miss out on tonight's pay-if-it-wins-only selection for Baylor-ULM.
ULM will remain in the national spotlight in Week 4 when it takes on Baylor in Friday’s home opener at Malone Stadium in Monroe, LA.
Todd Berry’s team burst on the national landscape with its stunning come-from-behind win at Arkansas as a 30-point underdog. Junior quarterback Kolton Browning guided the War Hawks to a 34-31 overtime victory by completing 42-of-67 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. The southpaw also rushed 16 times for 69 yards, including the 16-yard scramble for the game-winning score in the extra session. ULM
ULM’s defense knocked Arkansas All-SEC quarterback Tyler Wilson out of the game and held the Razorbacks scoreless in the final 24 minutes, allowing Browning to work his magic while the team rallied from a 28-7 deficit.
After stunning the Hogs, ULM (1-1 straight up, 2-0 against the spread) faced another SEC West foe in the Auburn Tigers. The War Hawks led 7-0 and 14-7 in the first half but found themselves down 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter.
But that’s when Browning put on his rally cap – again. He hit Harley Scioneaux with a four-yard scoring strike with 6:15 left and then brought his squad even by connecting with Colby Harper on a six-yard TD pass at the 1:18 mark.
In OT, Auburn won on a 35-yard field goal by Cody Parkey. Nevertheless, ULM backers collected a winner as a 14 ½-point underdog. The 59 combined points went ‘over’ the 53 ½-point total.
As of Thursday night, most sports books were listing Baylor (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) as a 7 ½-point favorite with the total in the 69-70 range. Gamblers can take the War Hawks to win outright for a plus-200 payout (risk $100 to win $200).
You're going to see two teams that are going to go out there and lay it on the line every snap,'' Berry told the Associated Press. “It's going to be fast-break football like you've never seen before in terms of the speed of the game.”
Art Briles’s team has won eight in a row dating back to last year. The Bears destroyed SMU 59-24 as 7 ½-point home favorites in their opener. Nick Florence was dynamite against the Mustangs, connecting on 21-of-30 passes for 341 yards and four TDs without an interception.
Following an open date, Baylor went through the motions in the first half against Sam Houston and trailed 20-10 at intermission. But in the second half, the Bears outscored the Bearcats 38-3 en route to a 48-23 non-covering win as 30-point home ‘chalk.’
Florence completed 24-of-41 throws for 312 yards and three TDs, but he was intercepted twice. Florence also rushed for 80 yards on nine carries. Lache Seastrunk scored on a 15-yard TD run and Darius Jones had a 73-yard pick-six.
During Briles’s five-year tenure, Baylor has a 2-2 spread record in four games as a road favorite. Meanwhile, LMU is 1-1 ATS as a home underdog on Berry’s watch.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Baylor has lost outright in nine of its last 11 road openers.
--ULM could be without a pair of key contributors on offense. Junior WR Tavarese Maye is ‘questionable’ with a lower body injury, while RB Centarius Donald is ‘doubtful’ with a knee injury. Donald, who had three rushing TDs and averaged 7.0 yards per carry last season, missed the Auburn game.
--Florida owns the nation’s longest head-to-head winning streak with 25 consecutive wins over Kentucky. The Gators are favored by 24 in Saturday’s game against the Wildcats at The Swamp.
--Kentucky QB Max Smith had six TD passes compared to zero interceptions in the first two games, but he was intercepted four times in last week’s 32-31 overtime loss to Western Ky.
-When Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson was cleared to play Thursday, the Hogs went from seven-point favorites to 8 ½ for Saturday’s home game vs. Rutgers.
--Since 2002, Ole Miss is an abysmal 3-12 ATS as a road favorite. The Rebels are favored by 18 ½ at Tulane.
Brian Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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