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Post-Mortems: Power 5
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on College Football Winners from Antony Dinero on VegasInsider.com this sesaon. Click to win!

Group of 5 Post-Mortems

TCU (-23.5/60) at SMU: Awful weather was a factor in Dallas, leading to the Battle for the Iron Skillet starting late. After a slow start where they fell behind 9-0 thanks to a 51-yard TD run from RB Braeden West and a safety, the Horned Frogs got after the Mustangs defensively, dominating up front and rattling QB Ben Hicks. TCU QB Shawn Robinson missed a ton of throws or the score here would’ve been uglier but did manage to create plays with his speed and elusiveness. KeVontae Turpin changed this game by scoring on a punt return and a touchdown reception but needs to touch the ball more since he’s one of the Big 12’s most impressive playmakers. With Robinson playing through expected growing pains, Gary Patterson will need Turpin to make life easier for his QB against Ohio State in Arlington this weekend. SMU lost high-profile transfer WRs Reggie Roberson (West Virginia) and CJ Sanders (Notre Dame) to ankle injuries, which affected their chances of covering the spread despite being down just 14-12 at the break. It remains to be seen whether either can return for Saturday’s visit to Michigan. Result: TCU 42-12. ATS: Favorite/Under

Arizona at Houston (-3.5/71): It’s fair to say Kevin Sumlin’s tenure at Arizona has started as poorly as this game did since his Wildcats were down 31-0 at the break and looked overwhelmed. U of A is 0-2 for the first time since 1981. Khalil Tate’s Heisman candidacy was put on life support after a rough first contest against BYU and officially died here as the Cougars got after him. Although he ended up throwing for 341 yards, DT Ed Oliver and the Cougs’ defensive front dominated the Arizona offensive line and completely shut down the run, holding a QB that ran for 1411 yards last season to only eight here. Perhaps the return of left tackle Layth Friekh can help jump-start a dormant attack. Houston looked much sharper than it did against Rice as QB D’Eriq King accounted for six touchdowns, four of which came via pass. He missed a few more chunk plays due to erratic throws, so the score here could’ve been even more of a disaster for an Arizona defense that remains without a takeaway and hasn’t generated much pressure. Tate tweaked his ankle so it remains to be seen if he’ll be out there for this weekend’s game with Southern Utah. Result: Arizona 45-18. ATS: Favorite/Under

Mississippi State (-7.5/56) at Kansas State: Nick Fitzgerald had a rocky debut for the Bulldogs, misfiring on throws down the field while completing just 11 of 27 attempts. Keep that in mind when you consider the final score here and the fact that the Wildcats never really threatened at home. Fitzgerald did control the game with his running and his reads, so if he’s able to find a rhythm as a passer, the Bulldogs will be dangerous. Kylin Hill broke off 211 yards on 17 carries and MSU only punted once despite all the miscues in the passing game. K-State’s offense looked anemic, sabotaged in part by an offensive line that was expected to be the team’s biggest strength. Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton combined to pass for 100 yards and were sacked four times and picked off once. Bill Snyder has chosen Thompson as his primary quarterback, likely making his decision after Delton threw a game-altering interception late in the second quarter. There aren’t many playmakers on this K-State squad, so if the bigs up front don’t win battles, the team’s run of consecutive bowl appearances that dates back to 2010 will likely come to an end. Result: Mississippi State 31-10. ATS: Favorite/Under


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Western Michigan at Michigan (-28/55): After looking ordinary in South Bend, the Wolverines played the bully role well back home, handily defeating a Broncos team with a handful of dangerous weapons. Jon Wassink couldn’t spark the passing game at all and threw for just 85 yards on 16 completions. Western didn’t score until settling for a late field goal that foiled ‘over’ bettors that needed them to get in the end zone. At that point, the Wolverines were done trying to score, having scored every point on the strength of seven touchdowns. She Patterson threw for three scores, Dylan McCaffery hit his only throw for a TD and backs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans combined for 242 yards and three touchdowns. The Wolverines dominated without WR Tarik Black or DTs Aubrey Solomon and Lawrence Marshall, who are all week-to-week and not expected to play against SMU.Result: Michigan 49-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Duke at Northwestern (-2.5/47.5): The Blue Devils held the Wildcats scoreless over the final three quarters, pitching a shutout over 12 drives to frustrate the natives in Evanston in their home opener. Senior QB Clayton Thorson and backup T.J. Green finished 31-for-56 and each threw an interception in addition to superback Cam Green getting ejected for targeting, so it was a frustrating day for an offense that also lost tackles Rashawn Slater and Blake Hance to injuries that are expected to linger. Duke held on but lost QB Daniel Jones to a clavicle injury after he tossed three second-quarter touchdown passes. Although the junior should return at some point this season, junior backup Quentin Harris will have to play well for the Blue Devils to capitalize on a fantastic start. Playing Baylor on the road isn’t an ideal setting for his first start, but he has gotten into a lot of games over the years. Corner Mark Gilbert was lost for the season after requiring hip surgery, opening the door for Michael Carter II to play an even larger role after ending a Northwestern drive with a pick in this one. Result: Duke 21-7. ATS: Underdog/Under

Eastern Michigan at Purdue (-15.5/50.5): The Boilermakers squandered opportunities to get off to a strong start against Northwestern and compounded their struggles by faltering against the MAC’s Eagles here, surrendering a last-second field goal that wouldn’t have been possible if not for an ill-timed personal foul to extend the game-winning drive. Taking nothing away from EMU, Purdue killed itself with missed field goals, poor throws and turnovers, fumbling five times and being fortunate in losing just two of them. QB Elijah Sindelar finished up after David Blough was ineffective, but needs to do more to complement a talented rushing attack featuring Markale Jones, DJ Knox and electric freshman WR Rondale Moore. The argument can be made that Purdue has hosted its two weakest opponents on a challenging home schedule featuring Missouri, BC, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin, so it may be a long season ahead. Result: Eastern Michigan 20-19. ATS: Underdog/Under

Nevada at Vanderbilt (-10/60): The Commodores went up and down the field but ended up scoreless in the first quarter due to a fumble and put another ball on the ground late in the half. That must have been some halftime speech from Derek Mason as Vandy scored the final 24 points, pitching a shutout with multiple takeaways. The Wolf Pack needed QB Ty Gangi to be sharper in finishing drives but didn’t give him much help due to an inability to run the ball. Kyle Shurmur and leading returning receiver Kalija Lipscomb continued to show off great chemistry while Illinois transfer RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn strengthened his hold on the primary role ahead of returnees Khari Blasingame and Jamauri Wakefield. The ‘Dores are going to need them all to produce to pull off a road upset of Notre Dame on Saturday, not to mention continue their run of forcing timely turnovers. Result: Vanderbilt 41-10. ATS: Favorite/Under

New Mexico at Wisconsin (-35.5/58): Although RB Jonathan Taylor set a career-high with his 253 rushing yards, he fumbled in the red zone, which combined with another missed opportunity on a poor throw from QB Alex Hornibrook, cost the Badgers a cover in a game they dominated. New Mexico QB Tevaka Tuioti threw a TD pass to Delane Hart-Johnson before leaving with a concussion, leaving third-stringer Sherion Jones to play the rest of the way and ultimately throw the cover-clinching TD in the fourth. He’s expected to start next week against NMSU. Wisconsin has seen A.J. Taylor step up to fill the No. 1 wideout vacancy caused by Quintez Cephus getting into trouble and being suspended indefinitely. Despite consecutive blowout wins in which they’ve won the second half by a combined margin of 45-10, the Badgers have yet to cover. Result: Wisconsin 45-14. ATS: Underdog/Over

Georgia State at N.C. State (-25.5/56.5): The visiting Panthers went right down the field on the opening drive, getting a Destin Coates’ 8-yard run to cap it. This game may have gone differently if the Wolfpack hadn’t immediately answered, but Ryan Finley hit Thayer Thompson to begin a run of 41 unanswered points. Thomas, a redshirt freshman former walk-on, caught nine balls for 114 yards and threw a 56-yard pass on a double-pass to fill in nicely for absent teammate Jakobi Meyers (ankle). With Kevin Harmon also picking up where he left off for N.C. State, Finley has been able to adequately replace versatile standout Jaylen Samuels, but he’ll need Meyers back to match West Virginia’s Will Grier as the Mountaineers visit this week. GSU has seen JC import Dan Ellington pass Anthony Winchester in the race to become Conner Manning’s successor, but couldn’t find the end zone to deliver the cover, surrendering a pair of touchdown runs in the final 3:12. Result: N.C. State 41-7. ATS: Favorite/Under

UCLA at Oklahoma (-31/65.5): This spread opened at 29 and rose, but Bruins backers benefited from true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson growing up as the game unfolded, firing a fourth-down TD pass for the final points to secure a backdoor cover late in the fourth. Chip Kelly’s team was overmatched but definitely looked better than they did in a disappointing home loss to Cincinnati. The Sooners got 306 passing yards from QB Kyler Murray, who also gained 69 on the ground, accounting for five touchdowns. Unfortunately, standout RB Rodney Anderson left with a knee injury that will end his season, so TJ Pledger got some work in alongside Trey Sermon to identify the primary back going forward. The Sooners should still be formidable and remain the Big 12 favorite, but the conference opener against Iowa State just got more complicated since the Cyclones bring the best defense OU has seen to date to the table for its first road test. Result: Oklahoma 49-21. ATS: Underdog/Over

Maryland (-14/66) at Bowling Green: The Terps looked the part of a team satisfied with its upset of Texas that few saw coming in Week 1, struggling in a scoreless first quarter and finding themselves down 14-10 at the break. After wrestling away the lead in the third, Maryland took advantage of the host Falcons wearing down in the final 15 minutes, pouring in four scores to make this look like the blowout it wasn’t. Ty Johnson and Tayon Fleet-Davis each topped the 100-yard mark in fueling a ground game that racked up 444 yards. Redshirt freshman Kasim Hill threw for just one of the scores but Maryland scored on five straight possessions as Matt Canada identified an angle to exploit over 60 minutes and was proven right. Star BGSU WR Scott Miller pulled a hamstring and starting LB Hassan Belton, kick returner Ra’veion Hargrove and WR Julian Ortega-Jones were all hurt against the Terps for a team already down top DE David Konowalski for the season. . Result: Maryland 45-14. ATS: Favorite/Under

Kansas at Central Michigan (-3/48): After losing at home to Nicholls State, there wasn’t a lot of optimism that the Jayhawks would be able to end a 46-game road losing streak. Freshman Pooka Williams scored on a pair of long touchdown runs in his debut and the defense dominated the Chippewas to end wahat was the longest run of futility away from home ever posted by an FBS school. CMU QB Tony Poljan threw four picks trying to fuel a comeback after the team’s conservative run-oriented early game plan yielded little against motivated KU. The Chippewas were missing safety Alonzo McCoy and CB Xavier Crawford but Peyton Barber threw for just 130 yards and a touchdown. Kansas will attempt to post consecutive wins for the first time since 2011 as it hosts Rutgers on Saturday. Result: Kansas 31-7. ATS: Underdog/Under

Colorado at Nebraska (-3/63.5): Scott Frost hadn’t lost a game since the 2016 Cure Bowl but his proclamation that freshman QB Adrian Martinez got hurt on the final drive via a dirty play had little to do with sour grapes. The Huskers found an angle suggesting Martinez had his knee intentionally twisted in the pile as he attempted to fuel a late comeback following Laviska Shenault’s go-ahead TD with 1:06 to play. The ‘Huskers submitted video to the Pac-12 and Big Ten to support their accusations and are preparing walk-on backup Andrew Bunch to play against Troy since Martinez may be a game-time decision. The controversy shouldn’t overshadow what a great job Buffs QB Steven Montez did spoiling the party in Lincoln as Frost finally made his debut as NU head coach, keeping his team together in a hostile atmosphere after they blew a lead. His poise fueling the comeback was impressive. Martinez was excellent in his first college start, leading a run-based spread option that ran for 329 yards. Result: Colorado 33-28. ATS: Underdog/Under

Arkansas State at Alabama (-37/62.5): You would think Nick Saban had no one to be mad at after this one, but he certainly wasn’t happy that the Red Wolves found the end zone in the third quarter or picked up 391 yards of offense. Last year’s Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, QB Justice Hansen, was sacked and intercepted only once, so the defense will have a lot to think about prior to the SEC opener against an Ole Miss offense that can score in a hurry. There’s no sharper attack than what the Crimson Tide have put on display thus far. Tua Tagovailoa threw for four scores and Jalen Hurts added two as he participated for the second time despite speculation that he would be held out in order not to blow his opportunity to redshirt and transfer. DE Isaiah Buggs is dealing with an ankle issue, while freshman safety Jalyn Armour-Davis injured his knee in warmups. Result: Alabama 57-7. ATS: Favorite/Over

North Carolina (-15.5/59.5) at East Carolina: After losing at home to North Carolina A&T, Scottie Montgomery’s seat was getting uncomfortably warm. The ECU head coach had won only six of his first 25 games at the helm but secured a fifth upset and has now defeated both NC State and UNC in addition to BYU. The Pirates led by just two at the break but outscored the Tar Heels 20-0 in the second half, which is an indication that being so shorthanded is catching up with Larry Fedora’s team. QB Nathan Elliott failed to throw for a score as the offense had to settle for four first-half field goals when they should’ve dropped the hammer on the Pirates. East Carolina QB Reid Herring threw for 290 yards and a score to top target Trevon Brown, leading offense that racked up 510 yards. Hurricane Florence canceled UNC’s home date with UCF, sparing the Heels what would’ve almost certainly been an 0-3 start. Result: East Carolina 41-19. ATS: Underdog/Over

Rutgers at Ohio State (-35.5/58.5): After a rough opener on the defensive end against Oregon State, the Buckeyes got after freshman QB Art Sitkowski and backup Giovanni Rescigno, knocking out the Scarlet Knights’ top recruit and leaving him questionable for the weekend’s game with Kansas. Ohio State appeared to take its early struggles personally and took no prisoners, dominating the entire day. Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell combined to complete 30-of-33 passes and five scores and Martell added a TD run in a dominant performance that should have both ready for their biggest challenge this week against TCU in Arlington. The Buckeyes have outscored their opposition 129-34. Result: Ohio State 52-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Georgia Tech (-3/60) at South Florida: The Bulls had no answer for the Yellow Jackets early but were able to hang around thanks to a pair of Terrence Horne’s two kickoff returns for touchdowns that bought them time to eventually get a handle on the Tech triple option in addition to getting their own offense going. A fumble from Qua Searcy with GT driving to push the deficit back to 10 points proved deflating and TaQuon Marshall’s late interception deep in his own territory on the next drive was a back-breaker. USF counterpart Blake Barrett also threw an interception but really became his new school’s quarterback over the course of the four quarters in this one, showing off his speed in winding up with 86 yards on a team-high 15 carries, scoring twice and then throwing for two more TDs and 207 yards. Three-year starter Quinton Flowers and his 112 career touchdowns was always going to be difficult to replace, but Barnett looks capable. After not being able to get on the field at Alabama and Arizona State, he’s settling in in Tampa, forming a connection with leading returning receiver Tyre McCants. Result: South Florida 49-38. ATS: Underdog/Over

Baylor (-17/55) at UT-San Antonio: The Bears and Roadrunners played in front of over 42,000 fans at the Alamodome and largely controlled things, doubling their win total from a year ago despite struggling to establish the run. QB Charlie Brewer threw three touchdowns and passed for 328 of BU’s 403 yards through the air, accounting for 36 more on a catch off a gadget play. UT-SA backers looked to be a good shape when the home team pulled within 27-20 early in the fourth but Brewer led the Bears on a pair of scoring drives and is making good use of an elite receiving tandem in Denzel Mims and Tennessee transfer Jalen Hurd, who each made eight grabs and combined for 269 yards. Baylor’s defense was more disruptive than it was in the opener against Abilene Christian and lucks out by running into a backup QB in this week’s home date against unbeaten Duke. Result: Baylor 37-20. ATS: Push/Over

Iowa State at Iowa (-3.5/46.5): The speed of both defenses was on display in the most recent CyHawk Showdown, a game that sat at 6-3 early in the fourth after an Iowa missed field goal. The absence of QB Kyle Kempt, who was unable to return to the game after suffering a knee injury, played a critical role in ultimately determining this outcome. The Hawkeyes stacked the box and dared backup Zeb Noland to beat them. He couldn’t. Hawkeyes QB Nathan Stanley struggled with consistency but was still able to move the ball through air enough against an equally stingy defense to give his ground game more room to work. Stanley’s 30-yard pass to Brandon Smith set up a 1-yard TD run from Mekhi Sargent that put the game away with 4:47 to go. Kirk Ferentz will happily ride its defense and offensive line to success and has seen his team pitch six scoreless quarters out of the eight they’ve played, surrendering one touchdown in garbage time against NIU in the opener and a field goal here. Iowa leads the country in points per game (5.0). Wisconsin comes into town on Sept. 22. Montgomery needs the passing game to make strides so he can have more room to work with, but Kempt got his MCL “dinged up” and may miss Saturday’s Oklahoma game. Result: Iowa 13-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Clemson (-12/51) at Texas A&M: Kellen Mond showed off improvement in a season-opening win over Northwestern State, but running into Clemson’s defense, particularly that tremendous front, should have provided a dose of reality. Instead, Mond threw for 430 yards and nearly dented the Tigers’ title chances in their first game against an FBS foe. Some were surprised Mond beat out backup Nick Starkel to emerge as Jimbo Fisher’s first quarterback, but the strides he’s shown have taken all the mystery as to why the former FSU head coach came to his decision. Mond had to throw up a ball that got picked off on A&M’s two-point conversion attempt with 46 seconds left but otherwise did little wrong in the upset bid, even leading the Ags in rushing since Clemson shut down Trayveon Williams. The Tigers were able to survive because safety K’Von Wallace was able to turn a sure touchdown into a touchback by slapping the ball out of Quartney Davis’ hands just before the goal line with 4:03 left. He then intercepted Mond on the conversion. Kelly Bryant being out there in crunch time over Trevor Lawrence was also telling. While this weekend’s game against Georgia Southern shouldn’t produce drama, they’ve still got to go to Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida State and Boston College, so it will be interesting to see how long Bryant remains the best option in a hostile atmosphere. Result: Clemson 28-26. ATS: Underdog/Over

Wyoming at Missouri (-18.5/52.5): The Cowboys needed redshirt Tyler Vander Waal to play better than he did against Washington State but saw him stifled again despite a mistake-free game. He threw no touchdowns, no picks and made only one really big play, a 55-yard connection to senior James Price. That simply was never going to cut it against Heisman candidate Drew Lock, who finally got it going after a slow start and finished 33-for-45 for 398 yards and four touchdowns, running for another score against a stingy defense that had no chance once he got it going. Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl actually called Mizzou’s Barry Odom a “gentleman” since he felt the Tigers could’ve run the score up. The beating was sound enough that they both covered and delivered the ‘over.’ Wyoming lost TE Josh Harshman to a knee injury and badly missed top rusher Nico Evans, still out due to bruised ribs. Result: Missouri 40-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

Arkansas (-14/70) at Colorado State: Maybe the altitude played a role, but the Rams had demonstrated no signs that they had the kind of fight in them to produce a comeback after falling behind 27-9, especially against a well-conditioned SEC squad after they were taken apart by both Hawai’I and Colorado. The defense was excellent down the stretch and the combination of K.J. Carta-Samuels and Preston Williams proved unstoppable in the passing game. The duo combined for 121 yards and two scores in the second half. Senior RB Izzy Matthews wrapped up the comeback with one final TD run as Carta-Samuels finished 22-for-27 over the final 30 minutes after going 10-for-20 with a pick in the first half. Arkansas still doesn’t have a quarterback since Week 1 sensation Ty Storey was benched after completing five of 13 passes and was picked off twice after throwing for just 36 yards. Cole Kelley threw for two scores but couldn’t move the Hogs when it mattered most, so new coach Chad Morris enters the third game of the season against North Texas undecided about who his quarterback is. RBs Devwah Wahaley, Chase Hayden and Last Chance U’s Rakeem Boyd combined for 287 yards on the ground, but Arkansas needs a passing game to have any hope of competing for even a few SEC wins. This loss may realistically take a bowl bid out of the equation. Result: Colorado State 34-27. ATS: Underdog/Under

Kentucky at Florida (-13.5/52.5): Although Florida led at the break, this wasn’t some fluke upset. The Wildcats outplayed the Gators and did so practically all night, finally ending a 31-game losing streak at the hands of their tormentors. QB Terry Wilson made mistakes but was dynamic enough to keep an excellent Gators defense on their heels, accounting for 256 yards and three scores in his first college road start. RB Benny Snell may arguably end up having the biggest impact of anyone in school history, surpassing Tim Couch and Randall Cobb. He should emerge as the program’s all-time leading rusher and came up with 175 yards on 27 carries, part of a 303-yard night on the ground. The defense shut down the run and kept UF QB Feleipe Franks from finishing drives. The ‘Cats closed out the upset in style with a last-second exclamation point TD by forcing a fumble on Franks’ final desperate attempt. He’s improved from his freshman form but isn’t effective enough to carry the load when the defense misses 20 tackles and gets gashed repeatedly. Result: Kentucky 27-16. ATS: Underdog/Under

Virginia at Indiana (-5/50): The Cavaliers hung around on the road as Bronco Mendenhall’s defense pitched a second-half shutout. Ultimately, this spread swung thanks to a blocked extra point that UVa ran back for a first-quarter two-point conversion. Weather was a factor all night, though Virginia did get some competent play from ASU transfer Bryce Perkins. It was a decent effort in unfamiliar surroundings on an ugly night for football but ultimately didn’t produce a win. The Hoosiers persevered despite being down to their third-string RB with Morgan Ellison suspended and Cole Gest (ACL) lost for the season. Freshman Stevie Scott, a power back, broke off runs of 40 and 42 yards and wound up with over 200. Peyton Ramsey is trying to become the first quarterback since Kellen Lewis to post a winning season (’07) at Indiana and will need to be more than a game manager to do so, but his first half was definitely encouraging.Result: Indiana 20-16. ATS: Underdog/Under

Utah (-10.5/47) at Northern Illinois: There were a number of tough beats to swallow this Saturday, but if you were on the NIU side here, you likely needed to be talked down from the ledge. The Huskies are typically tough in DeKalb and played a terrific first half of defense, taking a 3-0 lead into the break. The Utes surged ahead in the second half but were only up 10-6 when safety Chase Hansen intercepted Marcus Childers and headed straight for the end zone on a 40-yard dash that closed out NIU and a night where he had 12 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in style. With the extra point, Utah covered. The Utes lead the nation in total defense as they look to shake up the Pac-12 with an upset of Washington on Saturday. Meanwhile, a Huskies team that has just one garbage-time TD this season has wasted a pair of tremendous defensive performances against Iowa and Utah and will look to get on track in Saturday’s MAC opener vs. Central Michigan. Result: Utah 17-6. ATS: Favorite/Under

Fresno State at Minnesota (-1/50): Antoine Winfield, Jr. made one of the most spectacular, impactful plays that anyone turned in this past weekend by stealing a ball out of the hands of tight end Jared Rice from an insane angle while staying in bounds. Although calling a trick play on first-and-goal from the 4-yard-line can be second-guessed, it took an incredible effort from Winfield to create a turnover after Marcus McMariyon had moved the Bulldogs inside the Gophers’ 5-yard line. Credit Minnesota for responding positively after blowing a second-half lead and losing its best player, RB Rodney Smith, to a season-ending knee injury. Fresno State also suffered major injuries, losing left guard Netane Muti, WR Michiah Quick and CB Jaron Bryant to in-game attrition. Result: Minnesota 21-14. ATS: Favorite/Under

Georgia (-9/53) at South Carolina: The Gamecocks couldn’t survive their mistakes since the Dawgs were relentless on the road. Credit Kirby Smart for having his team ready to pounce, which started with being more aggressive with sophomore Jake Fromm, part of the plan this season. UGA scored 17 first-quarter points and then took advantage of a big break due to an awful punt to add a field got right before half, making it a two-score game. South Carolina couldn’t stop the Georgia ground game in the third quarter, surrendering three more touchdowns to take all the spirit out of Williams-Brice Stadium. Jake Bentley let the Gamecocks down in a game where he needed to rise to the level of competition in order to produce an upset, putting his team in a hole early by throwing an interception to Deandre Baker. South Carolina lost control immediately and couldn’t establish a ground game, playing right into Georgia’s hands in being behind all afternoon. Outside of Bryan Edwards (7 receptions, 111 yards, 2 TDs), no one on Cocky’s side can feel good about their effort on Saturday, Will Muschamp included. Result: Georgia 41-17. ATS: Favorite/Over

South Alabama at Oklahoma State (-30.5/64): The Cowboys were more explosive against the Jags than they were against FCS member Missouri State, getting 16 completions to top receivers Tylan Wallace and Tryon Johnson as QB Taylor Cornelius threw for 428 yards. Johnson, an LSU transfer, averaged 27.4 yards per catch, while Wallace hauled in 100 balls. Top RB Justice Hill scored twice despite getting only nine carries as Mike Gundy spread out the touches for his running backs in a game where the Pokes pitched a second-half shutout to avoid being threatened. South Alabama stuck with Evan Orth as its quarterback but watched him get harassed all night in addition to throwing a pick-six. Fourth-string QB Keondre Wudtee, out there because Gundy is looking to secure potential redshirts for backups Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders, threw his first career TD pass to backup RB JD King in the fourth to secure the ‘over’ and ensure the cover. Result: Oklahoma State 55-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

Penn State (-7.5/50.5) at Pittsburgh: Pat Narduzzi apologized for his team’s lack of effort once the game got away from them, while James Franklin stuffed his sorry’s in a sack since he didn’t have to apologize for throwing with a 44-6 lead and less than five minutes to go. There’s no love lost between these coaches or these programs, which means bettors on the Panthers were counting on a repeat performance of that rough fourth quarter against Appalachian State from the Nittany Lions. Instead, Penn State looked got stronger as the game unfolded to hand Pitt its largest loss in 22 years. Weather played a role, but the lack of separation the Panthers got from their receivers against the PSU secondary was glaring and could be the biggest takeaway from this one. Franklin’s decision to have backup Sean Clifford fire a deep ball for a score with the game already decided can be second-guessed but found a gracious audience in ‘over’ bettors who got no help from a Pitt passing game that produced just 55 yards. Result: Penn State 51-6. ATS: Favorite/Over

Tulsa at Texas (-22.5/60): Tom Herman is still talking up his group and reassuring a nervous fan base that couldn’t have been thrilled with a one-score game in the home opener against a Group of Five opponent. Although the Longhorns led 21-0 at the break, Tulsa moved the ball well and sabotaged itself with drops and missed field goals. QB Sam Ehlinger was efficient despite a costly fumble and accounted for three of the four touchdowns while true freshman Keaontay Ingram found the end zone and is showing why he was regarded the top prep running back in the Lone Star State last year. Ingram did suffer a knee injury that has been diagnosed as a bone bruise, likely making him unavailable for Saturday’s showdown with USC. Ehlinger doing his best work in the fourth quarter and Cal transfer Tre Watson helping close things out were positives for a Texas team that still appears to be overrated and fragile. Result: Texas 28-21. ATS: Underdog/Under

USC at Stanford (-5/54): The Trojans showed some fight in that they never collectively hung their heads but their first road trip of the season produced the program’s first touchdown-less game since a 52-6 loss to Alabama in ’16. Freshman QB J.T. Daniels struggled and didn’t hook up with top target Amon-Ra St. Brown until the fourth. Tyler Vaughns caught seven balls from Daniels, who was picked off twice and completed 47 percent of his passes. Stanford RB Bryce Love didn’t break off any home runs but hit a few doubles in finishing with 135 yards on 22 carries, scoring his first TD of the season on the opening drive to help set the tone. David Shaw took offense that his team doesn’t get the credit for being as athletically dominant as the Trojans and drilled that in all week. The Cardinal whipped their Pac-12 rivals up front, surrendering 3.1 yards per carry while harassing Daniels all night. Result: Stanford 17-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

California at BYU (-2/47.5): Cal listed three potential QB starters on its two-deep this week, but incumbent Ross Bowers, who started the opener against UNC, didn’t get in. It appears Chase Garbers has solidified himself as the guy that Justin Wilcox is most comfortable with as a passer and South Carolina transfer Brandon McIlwain has emerged as the guy who will have the ball in his hands when the Bears want to keep it on the ground or run out the clock. The tag-team effort combined with strong defense to get the job done in Provo. The final score ended up closer than it was throughout most of the night since Cal scored first and maintained at least a four-point edge until the final minute. Senior Tanner Mangum was erratic and threw a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, so you can’t imagine his hold on the QB spot is firm at the moment entering the weekend’s showdown at Wisconsin. Result: Cal 21-18. ATS: Underdog/Under

Michigan State (-5/54) at Arizona State: Herm Edwards kept his guys together despite a scoreless first half and a 13-3 deficit entering the fourth quarter and impressively milked the clock down the stretch to leave the visiting Spartans no time while setting up a game-winning 28-yard field goal from Brandon Ruiz. Manny Wilkins was more erratic than usual but the senior QB ended up with 380 passing yards and saved his best for last, helping make up for the Sun Devils’ lack of a run game. Sparty couldn’t run it either and finished with 63 yards on 27 carries, losing senior standout LJ Scott to a second-half injury. Left tackle Cole Chewins came in banged up and couldn’t stay in there, helping contribute to the lack of firepower. The 100-degree temperature at kickoff seemed like it could ultimately catch up to Michigan State and certainly contributed to it wearing down. WR N’Keal Henry made the biggest play of the game on a highlight grab over standout MSU corner Justin Layne for ASU’s lone score and should be a force in Pac-12 play. Result: Arizona State 16-13. ATS: Underdog/Under

San Jose State at Washington State (-30.5/63): Washington State easily posted a shutout despite turnovers creating short-field situations for the Spartans and has now surrendered three or fewer points in seven of eight quarters this season. Gardner Minshew was picked off twice but threw for 414 yards on 51 pass attempts and helped secure the cover for nervous chalk-eaters with a fourth-quarter toss to James Williams. The ECU transfer hit 10 receivers and also scored on a short run off a read option. SJSU was without starting RB Tyler Nevens after he suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit in an upset loss to UC-Davis and managed to run for just nine yards on 23 carries. The Spartans managed just 109 yards of offense. Montel Aaron got the nod at quarterback but threw for just 94 yards and was sacked five times. Result: Washington State 31-0. ATS: Favorite/Under



Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at mejia@vegasinsider.com

  
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