Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Post-Mortems: Group of 5

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Power-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

Liberty at Army (-7.5/58): The Flames looked like a completely different team than the one that crushed Old Dominion at home, failing to score in the opening half as a strong receiving corps failed to make plays against a Black Knights secondary that performed extremely well. Buckshot Calvert threw for 307 yards but missed throws on a rainly afternoon in West Point. Although a cover wasn’t coming, the over looked likely when Calvert hit Damien King for a long gain, but he was stripped as he attempted to flee towards the end zone. Liberty’s top receiver, Antonio Gandy-Golden, was shut down, while the absence of LB Brandon Tillman hurt the cause against the Army triple option. Kelvin Hopkins has the best arm we’ve seen from a Black Knights’ quarterback in years, which he showed off in finding Christian Hayes for a 44-yard score that made it 24-0 and put the game virtually out of reach. Fullback Darnell Woolfolk scored twice as Army won its eighth straight game at Michie Stadium and held the ball for 41:30. Result: Army 38-14. 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

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

Florida International (-3/51.5) at Old Dominion: The Golden Panthers overcame a halftime deficit and a delay of over two hours due to lightning to rally past the Monarchs for their first win. It was a gutsy performance from Butch Davis’ team, who had to deal with the distraction of backup RB Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller being injured in a drive-by shooting on Thursday. QB James Morgan removed all doubt that he should be the No. 1 QB by throwing for 251 yards and three TDs, spreading the ball around nicely. ODU was held scoreless after weather-related delay. ODU got a pair of TD receptions from Jonathan Duhart, who amassed 150 yards on three catches. And was led in rushing by Jeremy Cox, who rushed for 43 yards on 13 carries in place of absent starter Kesean Strong (hamstring). Result: FIU 28-20. ATS: Favorite/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

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

Buffalo at Temple (-4/52.5): The Bulls were even at 29 after squandering a lead and put it on standout QB Tyree Jackson to drive it down the field, pulling off a victory on a 29-yard strike to Anthony Johnson. Buffalo RB Kevin Marks ran for two scores and kept heat off the passing game as Temple failed to register a single sack despite 45 throws. Temple hasn’t displayed the teeth on the defensive end that we’ve grown used to seeing from its program over the past few years. Offensively, QB Frank Nutile tossed a pair of interceptions and hasn’t been sharp, potentially opening the door for Anthony Russo to potentially take over if his struggles continue. Buffalo has weapons on both sides of the ball and is 2-0 for the first time ever at the FBS level, starting off a season with consecutive wins for the first time since 1983. The winner of this weekend’s home game against Eastern Michigan will unexpectedly open 3-0. Result: Buffalo 36-29. ATS: Underdog/Over

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

Memphis (-7/67) at Navy: After an amazing debut against Mercer, Arizona State transfer Brady White struggled in his first road start against an FBS foe, completing just 15 passes for 145 yards in inclement weather. He failed to throw for a score on an afternoon where the Midshipmen were vulnerable given the rain and a triple-option offense that can bog down amid sloppy conditions. The Tigers led 21-9 early in the fourth despite three turnovers thanks to Darrell Henderson (13 carries, 212 yards), who broke off scoring runs of 78 and 59 yards. A fourth miscue, RB Patrick Taylor’s fumble opened the floodgates as QBs Malcolm Perry and Zach Abey each found the end zone to help Navy avoid an 0-2 start. White couldn’t lead a comeback and has too many weapons not to succeed, so it will be interesting to see how he responds since Memphis should be favored in each of the next four weeks prior to an Oct. 13 home showdown with defending conference champ UCF. Result: Navy 22-21. ATS: Underdog/Under

Ball State at Notre Dame (-34.5/60.5): Coming off a win over Michigan that was undoubtedly one of the most impressive performances from September’s opening weekend, the Fighting Irish came out flat and didn’t appear very interested in imposing their will against the MAC’s Cardinals. Ball State’s defense deserves credit for hassling Brandon Wimbush into three interceptions, but Notre Dame aided the cause with its sloppy play and would’ve been in more trouble if its own defense hadn’t risen to the occasion to keep Riley Neal from getting going. Tony Jones, Jr. scored twice on runs, but redshirt freshman Jafar Armtrong picked up 127 total yard and receiver Miles Boykins added 119 on six catches, but if Wimbush is unable to find consistency after showing signs of dramatic improvement against the Wolverines, Notre Dame will have trouble over the next month and won’t make it unscathed through a stretch that features visits to Wake Forest and Virginia Tech in addition to home games against Vandy and Stanford. Result: Notre Dame 24-16. ATS: Underdog/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

UMass at Georgia Southern (-1.5/60.5): The Eagles weren’t forced to punt until the fourth quarter and consistently moved the ball in chunks against a Minutemen defense that has been carved up in each of the last two weeks after dominating FCS member Fordham. GSU QB Shai Werts needed just six completions to throw for 154 yards and two scored, adding 83 yards on 14 carries to contribute to a rushing attack that racked up over 300 yards. UMass didn’t reach the end zone via an Andrew Ford pass and will need to get him going to have any chance against an FIU squad that is showing signs of life under Butch Davis, looking for its fourth win in six tries. Result: Georgia Southern 34-13. ATS: Favorite/Under

UAB (-9/55) at Coastal Carolina: This looked like a rout after the Blazers found the end zone for the third time just 1:25 into the second quarter on a 64-yard run from WR Kendall Parham to go up 21-7. It’s hard to believe that would be the last time that the visitors would find the end zone. A.J. Erdely got nothing going in the passing game and Coastal simply took the game over in the second half, scoring the final 27 points. Chants dual-threat QB Kilton Anderson ran for 72 yards and a TD and threw for 167 yards and two scores. Running backs Marcus Outlow and Torrance Marable combined for 220 yards and four touchdowns on just 27 carries in an impressive performance that gives Coastal a chance to dream about a bowl since its finally eligible to play in one following its move up to the FBS level. Result: Coastal Carolina 47-24. ATS: Underdog/Over

Louisiana-Monroe at Southern Miss (-6/67): The WarHawks will unexpectedly take a perfect record into College Station after its defense forced three fumbles, two picks, recorded key fourth down stops and benefited from a pair of missed field goals to survive the heavily favored Golden Eagles. UL-M shut down the run, surrendering 58 yards on 34 carries. Caleb Evans and Marcus Green hooked up twice and will be a threat to every secondary they’ll run into and sophomore Austin Vaughn racked up 85 yards on only nine carries to make up for an off night from Alabama transfer Derrick Gore. Louisiana-Monroe has some depth and may flirt with their first bowl appearance since 2012, opening 2-0 for the first time since ’14. With Kwadra Griggs suspended indefinitely, JC transfer Jack Abraham is going to hold on to the starting job and piled up 378 passing yards on 31 completions but must limit mistakes. Sophomores Qwez Watkins and Jaylond Adams, the top returning receivers, each found the end zone and combined for 20 catches and 239 yards. Result: UL-Monroe 21-20. ATS: Underdog/Under

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

Appalachian State (-15/48.5) at Charlotte: The Mountaineers didn’t let the disappointment of falling to Penn State in OT take them down twice, dominating the 49ers in their building. App State ran the ball down its host’s throat early and then opened up the offense to let new QB Zac Thomas feast. The sophomore who nearly beat the Nittany Lions with his dominant fourth quarter performance in the first weekend of the month followed that up by going 14-for-14, passing for three scores and running in another. Charlotte’s big gun was kicker Jonathan Cruz, who knocked down field goals of 46, 48 and 54 yards to keep the team from being shut out. QB Chris Reynolds, a redshirt freshman in the lineup because Miami transfer Evan Shirreffs is out a month with an abdominal strain. Result: Appalachian State 45-9. ATS: Favorite/Over

Air Force at Florida Atlantic (-8/60.5): Those who still believed in Lane Kiffin after the Week 1 debacle at Oklahoma caught a bad beat. The Owls outplayed visiting Air Force, getting a record-setting performance from QB Chris Robison. The ex-Sooner recruit threw for 471 yards and three scores as the advantages FAU had against the Falcons secondary were exploited constantly. With the score 33-20 in the game’s final minute, Air Force was able to force one last punt, blocked it and returned it for a score to cover the number. The Academy almost came all the way back after recovering an onside kick, but Isaiah Sanders was intercepted in the end zone to end the comeback bid as the ‘under’ survived. Sanders kept AFA in it by hitting big plays in the passing game on a day where the Owls’ edge in athleticism ruled the day even though it failed to produce the cover. Air Force’s run game barely produced 200 yards, over 100 fewer than they’ve averaged over the last two years. Backup QB Arion Worthman, last year’s starter, didn’t get in. Result: FAU 33-27. ATS: Underdog/Under

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

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

Cincinnati at Miami, Ohio (-1/46): Preseason expectations factored into the RedHawks being favored over their crosstown rivals despite 12 straight losses in the Victory Bell series and Cincy’s upset win at UCLA. Heavy rain marred the action and helped contribute to rough offense from both teams, but redshirt freshman QB Desmond Ridder made the most of his first career start by running for 100 yards and putting the game away with a fourth-quarter TD pass to tight end Josiah Deguara, who had a team-high four receptions. Bearcats receivers had two catches while backs had none. Banged-up RB Michael Warren II carried 29 times and scored twice, but the story here was Miami QB Gus Ragland amassing just 139 yards through the air despite 22 completions, seven of which went to All-MAC WR James Gardner. He was intercepted once on a batted pass, setting up the Bearcats’ second score. Miami hadn’t been blanked since a 58-0 less at Wisconsin in 2015 and runs up against the toughest defense they’ll see all season at Minnesota this weekend. Result: Cincinnati 21-0. ATS: Underdog/Under

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

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

New Mexico State at Utah State (-21.5/63): These teams met in an Arizona Bowl that NMSU won in OT last December, so the Aggies being favored by more than three touchdowns should tell you what direction these programs appear to be headed in. Big plays on the ground helped Utah State separate itself in this battle of Aggies as backs Gerold Bright and Darwin Thompson combined for 230 yards. Safety Aaron Wade picked off a pair of passes to keep this from getting close, while kicker Dominik Eberle tied NCAA records with 24 points and three field goals of 50-plus yards. In all, he made six, so add reliable to special teams to the list of reasons to like USU this season. It covered a large spread despite not reaching the end zone until the 5:46 mark of the second quarter. Matt Romero again failed to move New Mexico State effectively as his offensive line again did him no favors. Result: Utah State 60-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

UTEP at UNLV (-23/55): The Rebels were favored by more points than they’ve been since last season’s embarrassing loss to Howard (-45) in the opener and laid their highest number against a fellow FBS/D-I school in over a decade. At the break, UNLV led 38-10 and finished with 414 rushing yards, helping close out the final 8:26 after the Miners pulled within four touchdowns. Neither UTEP quarterback played well. Ryan Metz was picked off almost immediately after replacing Kai Locksley and the duo finished 11-for-29 for 123 yards despite the Rebels only generating one sack against a suspect offensive line. Half of Armani Rogers’ completions went for touchdowns (3) and he added a score via rush, finishing with 103 yards on 10 carries. Prarie View comes into Vegas next, followed by a huge road game at Arkansas State. Result: UNLV 52-24. ATS: Favorite/Over

UConn at Boise State (-33.5/64): The Broncos are now averaging 59 points per game through their first two wins and were up 41-0 at the break, allowing them to apply the brakes and cruise home. They outgained the Huskies 514-78 in the first half en route to a record-setting 818 yards of offense. Receiver John Hightower, a highly-regarded JUCO transfer who doubled as a track standout, scored on a 67-yard pass and on a 55-yard run, taking an end-around to the house. Top returning WR A.J. Richardson opened the second half by taking a screen pass 74 yards. UConn is a disaster. Despite all the fireworks, ‘over’ bettors still needed a fourth-quarter TD on a pass from Boise backup QB Chase Cord to clear the closing number. Result: Boise State 62-7. ATS: Favorite/Over

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

Rice at Hawai’i (-17.5/69): The Rainbow Warriors handled going from pulling two upsets as a double-digit underdog to being a double-digit favorite well, grabbing a 14-0 lead and never trailing despite things getting dicey late. Cole McDonald is up to 13 touchdown passes without being picked off. He’s lighting up opposing secondaries throwing it to Cedric Byrd and John Ursua to help Hawai’I move to 3-0 for the first time since ’07. Rice forced a couple more fumbles in the loss and are tied for second in the nation with Clemson in that category with five. They forced just three all last season. Vandy transfer Shawn Stankavage has thrown for five scores over the last two games to help produce covers for Rice against unbeaten Houston and Hawai’I, which should give you pause before fading them after next week’s bye as they visit Southern Miss and Wake Forest to close out September. Result: Hawai’I 43-29. ATS: Underdog/Over

Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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