Friday Tip Sheet
September 25, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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**Middle Tennessee at Brigham Young**
--As of Wednesday afternoon, most books had BYU (1-2 straight up, 1-2 against the spread) listed as a 23-point favorite with a total of 59.5 for 'over/under' wagers. 5Dimes had the Blue Raiders with 11/1 odds to win outright (risk $100 to win $1,100).
--Middle Tennessee (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) has won back-to-back games since losing 40-20 at North Carolina in Week 2. The Blue Raiders captured a wild overtime win at Florida Atlantic last week, 42-35. FAU forced OT with a 21-yard touchdown pass with three seconds remaining, but MTSU responded in the extra session with a 19-yard scoring strike from Logan Kilgore to Kyle Griswould. A stop by the defense in OT gave it the victory and its first spread cover of the year as a 3-point favorite.
--Junior RB and special-teams ace Reggie Whatley was the catalyst in the win over FAU. Whatley rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. He also had 80 yards on just a pair of kick returns for the Blue Raiders. Kilgore threw for 150 yards and a pair of TDs.
--Bronco Mendenhall's squad suffered a 19-16 loss at Virginia in its opener, but it bounced back by trashing Texas 40-21 as a seven-point home underdog. BYU had an open date going into last Saturday's home game vs. Utah. The Cougars trailed throughout and lost a 20-13 decision to their in-state rivals as seven-point home favorites. Taysom Hill threw for 260 yards and ran for 99, but it wasn't enough.
--BYU running back Jamaal Williams is 'out' after sustaining a concussion in the loss vs. Utah. Williams has rushed for 378 yards this season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
--Hill has rushed for a team-high 400 yards and four TDs, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. The sophomore signal caller exploded for 259 rushing yards and three TDs in the win over the Longhorns. However, Hill is completing only 35.1 percent of his throws for 564 yards with a 1/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
--Middle Tennessee QB Logan Kilgore is connecting on 60.7 percent of his passing attempts for 729 yards with a mediocre 4/5 TD-INT ratio. Kilgore was more effective last season when he had 16 TD passes compared to only six interceptions. Jordan Parker is the Blue Raiders' leading rusher with 435 yards and four TDs.
--BYU owns a 23-19 spread record as a home favorite during Mendenhall's nine-year tenure.
--As a road underdog on Rick Stockstill's watch, Middle Tennessee has compiled a 14-17 spread record.
--Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.
**Utah State at San Jose State**
--As of Wednesday afternoon, most spots had Utah St. (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) installed as a 10-point 'chalk' with a total of 61. The Spartans are +300 on the money line (risk $100 to win $300).
--Utah St. is coming off a 17-14 loss at Southern Cal as a 6.5-point underdog. Junior QB Chuckie Keeton tossed a pair of TD passes and didn't commit a turnover. But the Aggies couldn't answer a field goal from the Trojans early in the fourth quarter and suffered another narrow defeat.
--Matt Wells's team has wins at Air Force (52-20) and vs. Weber St. (70-6), but it lost 30-26 at Utah as a two-point underdog in the season opener. Keeton has been sensational as usual, throwing for 1,102 yards with a remarkable 14/1 TD-INT ratio. Keeton now has a 52/12 TD-INT ratio in 25 career games.
--San Jose St. (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) has dropped back-to-back games since beating Sacramento St. 24-0 on Aug. 29. The Spartans lost 34-13 at Stanford but took the money as 24-point underdogs. They came up on the wrong end of a 43-24 game last week at Minnesota, failing to cover as four-point 'dogs.
--SJS has an NFL prospect at QB in David Fales, who threw for 4,193 yards with a 33/9 TD-INT ratio in 2012. This year he has completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 880 yards with a 6/3 TD-INT ratio. Noel Grigsby is Fales's favorite target, but the WR went down with a knee injury at practice last week and is out indefinitely.
--Grigsby had to sit out the loss at Minnesota. In the first two games, the senior wideout caught 10 balls for 106 yards and a pair of scores. Grigsby had a banner 2012 campaign, making 82 receptions for 1,307 yards and nine TDs.
--The 'over' is 3-1 for Utah St. this year, 2-1 in its three road assignments. The 'under' is 2-1 for San Jose St., 1-0 in its lone home game.
--Utah St has won four in a row over SJS, going 3-1 ATS. The Aggies rolled to a 49-27 win as 2.5-point road underdogs last season. Keeton threw for 273 yards and three TDs without an interception. Fales completed 38-of-50 passes for 467 yards and three TDs without being intercepted. Grigsby hauled in 11 receptions for 181 yards and two scores.
--The 'over' has hit in three consecutive head-to-head meetings.
--ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.'s Bonus Nuggets**
--Arkansas QB Brandon Allen has been downgraded to 'doubtful' for Saturday's home game vs. Texas A&M. Allen has a 5/1 TD-INT ratio. The Hogs lost 28-24 at Rutgers last week when back-up QB A.J. Derby was under center.
--Florida stud DT Dominique Easley is 'out' at Kentucky and possibly for the season. He suffered a non-contact knee injury at practice on Tuesday. Will Muschamp called it a 'tweak' on Wednesday morning's SEC teleconference. However, Easley sent out a tweet moments later that indicated his career could with UF could be over. The Gators have incredible depth on the defensive line, but this would still be a huge loss. Easley was well on his way to garnering first-team All-American honors. Tyler Murphy will make his first career start at QB following Jeff Driskel's season-ending injury in last week's 31-17 win over Tennessee. Murphy's first start will come at Kentucky, as did Chris Leak's. UF is favored by 13. UK has lost 26 in a row to the Gators.
--Stanford safety Ed Reynolds, a third-team All-American in 2012, will miss the first half of Saturday's game at Washington St. (in Seattle) for violating the NCAA's targeting rule in a win over Arizona St. The Cardinal will be without All-American OG David Yankey for the entire game. Yankey won't make the trip with the team due to a personal matter.
--Arizona St. has lost three defensive players to season-ending injuries, including DE Junior Onyeali and nose tackle Jaxon Hood, who had six and three sacks last year, respectively.
--Vandy owns a 7-2 spread record as a home favorite under James Franklin. The Commdores are favored by 20 Saturday vs. UAB.