Friday's Tip Sheet
September 10, 2015
By Brian Edwards
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Editor's Note: After cashing another winner with Western Ky. last night, Brian Edwards is off to a 6-2 start in college football. He's 3-0 on his guaranteed selections and has another pay-if-it-wins-only play going for Utah vs. Utah St. Also, don't miss out on his Saturday pick package for more winners!
**Miami at Florida Atlantic**
-- Miami (1-0 straight up, 0-0 against the spread) rolled to a 45-0 win over Bethune-Cookman in its season opener this past Saturday. Due to a 75-minute lightning delay in the second quarter, the third and fourth quarters were shortened to 10 minutes apiece. Therefore, all bets on the side and total became no-plays because the game didn't go 55 minutes. Otherwise, the Hurricanes would've covered the spread as a 38.5-point home favorite. Brady Kaaya completed 16-of-27 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. The UM defense limited Bethune-Cookman to just five first downs and 73 yards of total offense. Mark Walton, a true freshman running back who was the prize of the 2015 recruiting class, rushed 10 times for 85 yards and one TD, while sophomore Trayone Gray ran for 77 yards and one score on just eight totes.
-- Miami will head up Interstate 95 about 45 miles to Boca Raton to face Florida Atlantic, the program founded by Howard Schnellenberger, who coached UM to its first of five national championships in 1983. The Hurricanes haven't won the national title since 2001. Even worse, they haven't won an ACC title since joining the league in 2004. In fact, the 'Canes have never even made it to the ACC Championship Game, nor have they recorded a double-digit win season while on the conference. Al Golden is in a pivotal season, his fifth and perhaps his last in Coral Gables. His tenure has been an immense disappointment, though we should note that the Nevin Shapiro Scandal hovered over the program for his first three years at UM. Golden has a 28-22 record and only one of his first four teams has won more than seven games. After going 6-7 straight up and 5-8 against the spread in 2014, UM returns five starters on offense and six on defense.
-- As of Thursday morning, Miami was listed as a 17.5-point road favorite at FAU with a total of 55.5. The Owls were +700 on the money line (risk $100 to win $700). Kickoff is scheduled for Friday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
-- Florida Atlantic (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) dropped a 47-44 decision in Saturday's opener at Tulsa. The Owls took the cash, though, hooking up their backers as 3.5-point road underdogs in the overtime defeat. FAU went ahead 41-38 with 1:48 remaining on a 47-yard field goal from Greg Joseph, but Tulsa answered with three ticks left when Redford Jones tied the game with a 39-yard boot. On the first possession of the extra session, Joseph gave the Owls the lead back at 44-41 with a 27-yard FG. However, a three-yard TD run by Tulsa's Zack Langer gave the Golden Hurricane the victory.
-- FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson connected on 23-of-34 throws for 263 yards and two TDs without an interception. He also rushed 20 times for 97 yards. RB Greg Howell produced 138 rushing yards and two TDs on 22 carries. Jenson Stoshak was Johnson's favorite target, hauling in seven receptions for 114 yards and one TD.
-- FAU finished the 2014 campaign with a 3-9 SU record and a 6-6 ATS ledger. The Owls return six starters on offense and six on defense. Johnson has now made 23 career starts for FAU, posting a 31/13 touchdown-to-interception ratio with 17 rushing TDs.
-- These nearby programs met for the first time two years ago at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Miami cruised to a 34-6 win, but FAU took the cash as a 31-point road underdog. Johnson threw for 83 yards and ran for 30 in the losing effort, but the Owls could generate only a pair of short field goals.
-- FAU has lost 29 of 30 games in the school's history against Power Five opponents.
-- FAU has lost six in a row going back to last season, but it is a respectable 3-3 ATS during this span. The Owls went 2-0 ATS in a pair of games as home underdogs last year, winning outright both times vs. UTSA and Western Ky.
-- Miami has been a road 'chalk' eight times on Golden's watch, producing a 5-3 spread record.
-- Kaaya had an outstanding freshman season and is off to a nice start as a sophomore. He finished last year with 3,198 passing yards and a 26/12 TD-INT ratio. Nevertheless, UM lost four straight games to end the season, including a 24-21 setback against South Carolina at the Independence Bowl. The 'Canes lost by double-digit margins five times in 2014.
-- Miami will be without a pair of starting WRs at FAU. Stacy Coley (hamstring) and Braxton Berrios (knee) are both 'out' after getting injured vs. Bethune-Cookman.
-- FAU could be without a pair of key players. Roman Fernandez, a redshirt freshman center, is 'doubtful' with an illness. LB Robert Relf, who had 65 tackles last year, is 'questionable' with a shoulder injury.
**Utah State at Utah**
-- I was a huge fan of Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton before injuries derailed his career. Since his arrival on campus in Logan, Utah State has gone to four consecutive bowl games. His first coach, Gary Andersen, has landed a pair of jobs at Power Five schools (Wisconsin and Oregon State ) since 2012 when Keeton led the Aggies to an 11-2 record both SU and ATS. In his first 2.5 seasons, Keeton started 27 games and threw 56 TD passes compared to merely 13 interceptions. He also ran for more than 1,100 yards and 14 TDs during this span, but he saw his 2013 season end with a serious knee injury, the second such of his career. Utah State decided to shut him down in 2014 after he wasn't himself in the first three games. Keeton is back this year, but I'm afraid he might not ever be that same special player we saw from 2011-2013. In the Aggies' opener last week, they emerged unscathed in a 12-9 win over Southern Utah. Keeton completed just 16-of-33 passes for 110 yards with one interception. He ran the ball just six times for seven yards. Trailing 9-5 at the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Andrew Rodriguez returned a punt 88 yards for a TD to lift the Aggies into the win column. Utah State 's special teams were responsible for nine of the team's 12 points.
-- Utah State WR Hunter Sharp will serve the final game of a two-game suspension against the Utes. Sharp had team-highs in catches (66), receiving yards (939) and TD receptions (seven) last season. Like Sharp, starting OG Tyshon Mosley and DB Bryant Hayes will also miss a second straight game due to suspensions. Hayes had 20 tackles, four sacks and five passes broken up in 2014. In addition, WRs Brandon Swindall (hamstring) and Zach Van Leeuwen are 'questionable.'
-- As of Thursday morning, most spots had Utah (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) installed as a 13.5-point home favorite with a total of 44.5. Gamblers can take the Aggies to win outright for a +425 return (risk $100 to win $425).
-- Kyle Wittingham's team won its season opener last Thursday by beating Michigan 24-17 as a 5.5-point home favorite. The 41 combined points stayed 'under' the 45-point total. The Utes, who never trailed and led 10-3 at halftime, put the game away with 7:55 left when Justin Thomas intercepted Michigan QB Jake Rudock and returned the pick 55 yards for a score. The Wolverines got a late TD in the final minute to cut the deficit to seven. Travis Wilson threw for 208 yards and rushed for 55 yards and one TD. Devontae Booker rushed for 69 yards and one score while also catching seven balls for 55 yards.
-- As a home favorite during Whittingham's 11-year tenure, Utah owns a 24-23-2 spread record.
-- Utah State has been a road underdog 49 times since 2005, cashing tickets at a lucrative 31-18 ATS clip. However, in two seasons under Matt Wells, the Aggies are just 3-5 ATS as road puppies.
-- Utah State finished 2014 with a 10-4 SU record and a 7-7 ATS mark. The Aggies brought back nine starters on offense and six on defense. They beat UTEP by a 21-6 count as 10-point favorites at the New Mexico Bowl.
-- ESPN will have Friday night's telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E's Bonus Nuggets**
-- Tennessee junior DT Danny O'Brien will not play Saturday vs. Oklahoma after being suspended Wednesday for a violation of team rules. O'Brien had 23 tackles and one sack in 12 starts last year.
-- UT covered the number in its 59-30 home win over Bowling Green as a 21.5-point home favorite last Saturday. However, the defense gave up 557 yards. QB Matt Johnson went down with a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2014 season, but he returned in style at Neyland Stadium. Johnson completed 27-of-49 passes for 424 yards and a pair of touchdowns without an interception. UT's Josh Dobbs threw for 205 yards and rushed for 89. He had two TD passes compared to zero interceptions and also scored on a 18-yard TD run to put the Vols ahead of the number (56-30) for the first time in the game.
-- Pitt RB James Conner was lost for the season to a torn MCL in his team's season-opening win over Youngstown State Conner garnered ACC Player of the Year honors in 2014 when he rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 TDs.
-- BYU quarterback Taysom Hill will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a foot injury in his team's 33-28 win over Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cougars were already without starting RB Jamaal Williams and TEs Colby Jorgensen and Steven Richardson for the year. Nevertheless, there's hope after freshman QB Tanner Mangum connected on a Hail Mary pass on the game's final play to lift BYU to victory in Lincoln. Mangum will make his first start this weekend at home vs. Boise State
-- Missouri has covered the spread in nine consecutive road games. Going back to 2007, the Tigers are 26-9 ATS on the road. They are double-digit road 'chalk' Saturday at Arkansas State.
-- Florida transfer Jeff Driskel had a nice debut as the La. Tech starting QB. Driskel completed 12-of-15 passes for 274 yards and four TDs without an interception in the Bulldogs' 62-15 home win over Southern as 39-point favorites. Driskel also ran 15 yards and one TD on three totes.
-- As for Kentucky transfer Max Smith, his debut at San Diego State didn't go as well. Smith connected on just 9-of-21 passes for 100 yards without a TD and one interception.
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