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NCAAF

Sep 26, 2018

Post-Mortems: Power-5

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Group of 5

Penn State at Illinois (-27/60): The Illini played their best game of the season in leading the Nittany Lions deep into the third quarter, so it took an enormous collapse for them to fail to even cover the spread here. Penn State's 35-0 run in the fourth quarter included Trace McSorley throwing two of his three TD passes and special freshman Ricky Slade put together his first multi-TD game. He's scored in three of four games. Since that opening-game fourth-quarter disaster that nearly produced an upset loss to App State, Penn State has outscored opponents 70-0 over the final 15 minutes. Result: Penn State 63-24. ATS: Favorite/Over

Washington State at USC (-4.5/51): East Carolina transfer Gardner Minshew proved quickly that Pac-12 play wouldn't be too much for him, throwing for 344 yards and three scores at the Coliseum. 18-year-old true freshman J.T. Daniels posted his first career fourth-quarter comeback, hooking up with high school teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown, who looks like the real deal. USC had scored just three second-half points in losses to Stanford and Texas, so the late surge was a welcome sight.Result: USC 39-36. ATS: Underdog/Over

Kansas at Baylor (-7.5/55): The Bears made Jayhawks' backers feel badly about their decision to ride KU's rare hot hand, taking a commanding 23-0 lead into the break after holding the visitors to 48 total yards. Losing guard Xavier Newman affected the Bears up front late as they ran the clock out but sophomore QB Charlie Brewer tightened his grip on the job. KU got another big run from talented freshman Pooka Williams, who will at least give opposing defenses a legitimate threat to key on going forward.Result: Baylor 26-7. ATS: Favorite/Under

Clemson (-16.5/55.5) at Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets fumbed four times in five plays early, struggling to adjust to the speed and power they were up against. Trevor Lawrence got the vertical passing game going after Kelly Bryant struggled to find the end zone early, adding fuel to the fire that the true freshman needs to be the guy going forward. Tigers LB Chad Smith was ejected for targeting, which could affect them in the first half against Syracuse. Result: Clemson 49-21. ATS: Favorite/Over




Michigan State (-6.5/51.5) at Indiana: The Hoosiers looked like a live 'dog until the game kicked off and they quickly found themselves down two touchdowns after Shakur Brown's 69-yard pick-six. Sparty QB Brian Lewerke threw for a pair of scores but left the door open with a couple of interceptions as Indiana rode WR Whop Philyor (13 rec./148 yds.) to offset a lack of a running game with freshman Stevie Scott shut down for the first time due to a lack of push up front. MSU's Jalen Nailor broke off a 75-yard run with just over three minutes left to secure the cover and lock in the high side. Result: Michigan State 35-21. ATS: Favorite/Over

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State (-13.5.5/77): Even after pulling away from Houston at home, this one was hard to see coming. Tech hadn't beaten the Cowboys in a decade and true freshman Alan Bowman was making his first road start against a defense that effectively stifled Boise. Instead, it was the Red Raider resistance that secured the spoils, holding Oklahoma State scoreless in the second half after dominating up front for four quarters. Bowman threw for 397 yards and outplayed Taylor Cornelius, whose lack of accuracy has opened up the QB debate in Stillwater and has top returning WR Jalen McCleskey transferring out due to a lack of touches. Result: Texas Tech 41-17. ATS: Underdog/Under

Virginia Tech (-28.5/53) at Old Dominion: This was the classic case of letting a team hang around so long that you supply confidence for them to choke you out with. The Hokies looked like a team that hadn’t done their homework all week and was just looking to show up and collect a win, possibly having already let their mind wander on to a trip to undefeated Duke in Durham. ODU turned to backup Blake LaRussa early and watched him throw for 495 yards, the second-highest total ever allowed by a Virginia Tech defense. When QB Josh Jackson went down in the third quarter, the door was left open for the Monarchs to rally and post a 28-7 fourth-quarter edge, becoming the talk of college football for a weekend. Jackson’s ankle will be an issue going forward and talented defensive lineman Trevon Hill was dismissed the following day. Old Dominion WR Jonathan Duhart, who drew a mention here last week, is a problem. Result: Old Dominion 49-35. ATS: Underdog/Over

Boston College (-6.5/62.5) at Purdue: The Boilers shut down an offense that had overwhelmed Wake Forest, holding AJ Dillon to just 59 yards and picking off the efficient Anthony Brown four times. Although the Eagles run a completely different system than Mizzou, it was an impressive rebound for Purdue after being carved up at home by Drew Lock and the Tigers. David Hough isn’t handing back QB duties, taking advantage of Elijah Sindelar’s absence by showing off an improved feel in getting the ball out quickly and putting his playmakers in position to excel. Special freshman Rondale Moore isn't slowing down and gives a shrewd offensive staff a weapon who is a threat to score whenever he touches it. Result: Purdue 30-13. ATS: Underdog/Under

TCU (-3/50) at Texas: The Horned Frogs imploded in the second half, but credit the Longhorns for their role in that. They took advantage of Shawn Robinson’s sloppy mistakes and made the play of the game on the offensive end when junior WR Collin Johnson hauled in a diving 32-yard grab in between two defenders to secure a 17-16 lead, the first time Texas led TCU since 2013. Freshman Caden Sterns, one of the top young safeties in this year’s class, shined with two interceptions as Texas forced four turnovers to help turn the game around, putting QB Sam Ehlinger in position to do what he does best in guarding leads by extending drives and keeping things moving. With corner Kris Boyd also impressing, the Longhorns have a secondary that has grown into a formidable force, which is kind of a big deal in the pass-happy Big 12. Result: Texas 31-16. ATS: Underdog/Under

Lousville at Virginia (-4.5/53): Bronco Mendenhall's defense came up with a stifling performance you simply don't see teams not named Alabama come up with against Bobby Petrino-coached teams. The Cards failed to score an offensive TD for only the second time in Petrino's eight-plus seasons as the three points were the fewest ever scored by one of his teams. Jawon Pass will likely get back the QB job from runner Malik Cunningham but Louisville has bigger issues than simply who lines up under center. Virginia looks capable of reaching a bowl for a second straight season with QB Bryce Perkins looking extremely comfortable as a formidable dual threat. It definitely helps to have a game-breaker like Olamide Zaccheaus as a top target and speaks volumes that the 'Hoos won this despite him failing to come up with a first-half catch. Result: Virginia 27-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Notre Dame (-6.5/59.5) at Wake Forest: The Irish were so impressive in dominating Wake Forest that Dave Clawson ultimately fired defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel since the unit had regressed staggeringly since Mike Elko left for Notre Dame. With Ian Book starting ahead of Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame scored its most points on the road since a 57-7 win over Stanford back in 2003, converting via TD all seven times it reached the red zone. Leaving points on the board has been a major concern with Wimbush at the helm, so expect his days as a starter to be over. Book is definitely the better passer and will add more ammo to work with since RB Dexter Willliams has completed a four-game suspension and will be available for Stanford's visit. Result: Notre Dame 56-27. ATS: Favorite/Over

Connecticut at Syracuse (-30.5/75.5):Those who were on the Orange and the over could only watch helplessly as Tommy DeVito overthrew a wide open receiver late on the heels of settling for a field goal on their previous drive despite taking over inside the UConn 20 due to drops and miscues. The Huskies came within 30 points of an opponent in a loss for the first time this season. QB David Pindell caught a helmet to the knee, ending up with a bone bruise. Result: Syracuse 51-21. ATS: Underdog/Under

Buffalo (-6/53.5) at Rutgers: The Bulls put this out of reach quickly as there was no push back from a Scarlet Knights' squad that should've been embarassed after being crushed at Kansas, falling behind 35-6. The Bulls out-gained Rutgers 220-40. Freshman Art Sitkowski threw a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, getting pulled for senior Gio Rescigno. Nothing is going right in Piscataway. Meanwhile, the Bulls are legitimately solid and can win the MAC if a hamstring injury to likely NFL first-round WR Anthony Johnson doesn't become a lingering issue. Result: Buffalo 42-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

Minnesota at Maryland (-1.5/47.5): Playing on the road didn't agree with the Gophers, who fell behind 14-0 and then tripped right out of the gate when freshman Zach Annexstad threw what ended up being a game-clinching pick-six. Worst yet, Minnesota lost its best player, standout safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. to a foot injury that will cost him the rest of his season. Maryland thrived due to the return of key offensive linemen Derwin Gray and Terrance Davis up front but lost starting safeties Darnell Savage and Antwaine RIchardson to injuries whose severity hasn't been determined. Result: Maryland 42-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

Florida (-4/46.5) at Tennessee: The Gators responded extremely well to their first road test, jumping all over the Vols in building up a 33-3 lead before cruising some. Feleipe Franks threw for three scores and ran for another, but Dan Mullen’s work with him is about to see tougher tests given the schedule that awaits between now an November. Getting Jordan Scarlett, Freddie Swain and Tyrie Cleveland to each make huge plays in finding the end zone should prove beneficial going forward as a confidence boost but the true tests begin for this group at Mississippi State this weekend. Jarrett Guarantano threw a pair of picks and the Vols didn’t even bother teasing the faithful at Neyland Stadium into thinking they had a chance here. Outside of a non-conference game vs. Charlotte to open November, Tennessee won’t be favored in a game the rest of the way and doesn’t inspire much confidence that it can pull off an upset, stabbing itself in the eye even when it was able to move the ball early. Jeremy Pruitt has inherited a rough-looking group. Result: Florida 47-21. ATS: Favorite/Over

Kansas State at West Virginia (-16.5/61): David Sills made the Wildcats look silly and overwhelmed in the red zone, catching three of Will Grier's five TD passes and making it look awfully easy with his size and technique. K-State's lack of offense kept this from being much of a game as it failed to pick up a critical fourth down and watched the Mountaineers cruise into the break up 21-0. Bill Snyder called out his group and will apparently switch things up, reversing course after giving Skylar Thompson a vote of confidence. Alex Delton, who can create breakdowns with his feet, will get the call against Texas. Result: West Virginia 35-6. ATS: Favorite/Under

Texas A&M at Alabama (-24.5/59): The Crimson Tide again came out and immediately imposed their will, scoring on a one-play drive after securing a turnover. Texas A&M tied things up but was never actually in the game. The Aggies were nonetheless able to secure a cover here, becoming the first team to do so against 'Bama in '18. The Ags did so by becoming the first team to win a quarter from the Tide this season, claiming the fourth 7-0 as they also managed to hold this group scoreless for the first time over a full quarter. Kellen Mond threw a TD pass after a drive was extended by a roughing-the-passer penalty to deliver for those on the Ags. Result: Alabama 45-23. ATS: Underdog/Over

Pittsburgh (-3/49) at North Carolina: The Panthers were favored on the road for a reason given how poorly the Tar Heels had played over their first few games, but QB Nathan Elliott put together his best effort here. It's good timing since Chazz Surratt is set to return for the Miami game and Elliott likely held on to his spot by throwing for 313 yards in his most accurate performance this season. WR Dyami Brown hauled in a TD to snap a 28-all tie as Pitt's defense was gashed in a demoralizing effort since Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi's sepcialty is supposed to be that side of the ball. The Panthers have major issues, but Larry Fedora's seat is much warmer given the growing apathy in Chapel Hill. With Dazz Newsome and Brown emerging and help on the way on both sides of the ball, the next few weeks will be important ones for the immediate future of this UNC program. Result: North Carolina 38-35. ATS: Underdog/Over

Wisconsin (-3/44) at Iowa: This game will haunt the Hawkeyes the rest of the way whether they're able to pick up the pieces and recover or not. A victory looked likely until an awful decision from Shaun Beyer to throw a block on a punt no one was returning, touching the ball and setting up Wisconsin with new life, setting up its first touchdown on a silver platter. Alex Hornibrook came up with huge throws on a game-winning touchdown drive inside the final minutes, so Iowa wasn't pardoned for leaving the door open for a rival. The Badgers scored off a Hawkeyes breakdown with the outcome basically decided to hand 'under' bettors an awful beat. Result: Wisconsin 28-17. ATS: Favorite/Over

Stanford (-3/59) at Oregon: Speaking of giving games away, the Ducks took a backseat to no one in that department, suffering one of the most painful losses of the season and doing so at home. A replay review overturned a score that had given the Ducks a 31-7 lead and they fumbled the snap on the next play, one of two miscues that helped fuel an improbable Cardinal comeback. Justin Herbert definitely looks to be one of the country's best quarterbacks, but Oregon is going to have a tough time overcoming the one that got away here. Stanford still hasn't gotten Bryce Love off but has managed to remain undefeated, which is a credit to how effectively K.J. Costello has executed in the passing game. Result: Stanford, 38-31, OT. ATS: Favorite/Over

Mississippi State (-10/56) at Kentucky: A game that went to the break even at 7-7 created an opportunity for both teams to respond, but only the 'Cats did, dominating at the line of scrimmage. Benny Snell ran wild as the best player on the field but most of the credit has to go to how effectively the bigs dominated up front, overwhelming the favored Bulldogs. The homefield advantage didn't hurt but this was all about the 'Cats buying in for one another and the Bulldogs wilting when things got tough. The honeymoon is over for Joe Moorhead and his staff, who inherited a group that commanded expectations. Their response at home against Florida and former head coach Dan Mullen will be telling. UK is 4-0 for the first time in a decade and should be confident given its recent run of success against South Carolina, which visits Lexington to close the month. Result: Kentucky 28-7 ATS: Underdog/Under

Georgia (-14.5/68.5) at Missouri: The Dawgs were the superior team in Columbia, but the Tigers never quit, secured a cover and gave a solid account of themselves. Drew Lock struggled. If he had come through with a big game instead of being forced to check down due to top target Emanuel Hall struggling to get open, this could've come down to whoever had the ball last pulling off a win. Instead, Jake Fromm utilized his weapons well enough to post a convincing win, albeit minus the cover. Corner Deandre Baker was the best player on the field, helping neutralize the potent Mizzou aerial attack. Result: Georgia 43-29. ATS: Underdog/Over

South Carolina (-1.5/53) at Vanderbilt: The Gamecocks were barely favored by the time this game kicked off since most of the "smart" money was on Vandy at home. The Commodores ended up losing their 10th straight against South Carolina just the same, and it wasn't even close. An inability to run the ball and QB Kyle Shurmur creating as many opporunities for the visitors via turnovers as he did for his own offense made this a laugher. Vandy head coach Derek Mason called it a "comedy of errors" but the only people chuckling were the ones who never bought into Vandy despite a solid showing in South Bend. SC WR Shi Smith scored on one long pass and set up another score with another catch so Jake Bentley has another weapon to work with as he looks to bounce back from a rocky early performance agaisnt Georgia. Result: South Carolina 37-14. ATS: Favorite/Under

Arkansas at Auburn (-29.5/58): The Tigers didn't have to risk much offensively since it became pretty clear early that the Razorbacks weren't going to be able to move the football. Ty Storey came out, executed a run-based spread option that did little more thna kill time and took a beating. He helped work the clock but couldn't sustain drives and the defense ultimately wore down after holding Auburn to just 10 first-half points until the final minute before the break. Rakeem Boyd of "Last Chance U" fame did come up with over 100 yards of total offense, so we'll see if sticking with Storey and giving Boyd more opportunities will help an offense that has bogged down over the last 10 quarters to gain some traction. Auburn's offensive struggles have folks on the Plains upset, especially since the offensive line has looked unimpressive thus far. They won't be in danger against Southern Miss on Saturday, but the schedule will intensify the rest of the way. Result: Auburn 34-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Northern Illinois at Florida State (-10/45.5): Willie Taggart beat his first FBS foe by getting the 'Noles off early, which took a little luck since their first score came on a fortunate bounce that could've easily gone another way and resulted in a turnover. Coming up empty could've been a killer given all the angst FSU was working with entering the week after two team meetings and a testy week of practice, but instead, the offense scored on their first two drives. They were penalty-free too, setting the tone for a 473-yard day. With the offense getting healthier as OT Landon Dickerson and RB Jacques Patrick near a return, the 'Noles have a chance to put their best foot forward when they open October in Miami. NIU's offense continues to sputter but did acheive some success in a comeback bid as Marcus Childers accounted for three TDs. Result: Stanford 17-3. ATS: Favorite/Under

Tulane at Ohio State (-38/67): Urban Meyer was pleased with how his team handled his absence and ecstatic over how the Buckeyes fared in his return, ending the Green Wave's challenge quickly and efficiently thanks to a 42-6 lead at the break. Parris Campbell hauled in nearly half of Dwayne Haskins 304 passing yards and the Buckeyes have a truly imposing downfield passing game for the first time since Cardale Jones' brief championship-winning run. Tulane held Ohio State to a single second-half score but came up empty on the scoreboard and failed to cover. Result: Ohio State 49-6. ATS: Favorite/Under

Army at Oklahoma (-29/60): The Black Knights came into Norman with a plan and executed to perfection, nearly coming away with a monumental upset. Controlling time of possession kept their defense from being dominated by the Sooners' speed and power and almost helped them steal this. Army held the ball for 44:41 of the 60 minutes that they played OU to a tie in, running 78 times for 339 yards and running 87 plays while their highly-ranked foes ran 40. Kelvin Hopkins' final pass was intercepted in overtime, ending the upset bid, but it's hard to say many teams pulled off exactly what they wanted to better than Army. Oklahoma has to be concerned that Trey Sermon wasn't more effective in his first game starting at running back or that kicker Austin Seibert missed a chip-shot game-winner to put the season in jeopardy. Result: Oklahoma 28-21 OT. ATS: Underdog/Under

Nebraska at Michigan (-18/52): The Huskers got freshman Adrian Martinez back from his knee injury but could do nothing with the Wolverines up front and kept him from finding a rhythm. Scott Frost is getting a full understanding of the rebuilding job that awaits him at his alma mater after seeing how overwhemed his offensive and defensive front was by one of the strongest teams in the Big Ten, so it's hard to imagine games against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa going well, especially since only the one against the Spartans will come in Lincoln. Nebraska isn't likely to go winless but there's no way a bowl bid is in its immediate future. Michigan RB Karan Higdon returned from a one-game absence and took advantage of the space up front. He's currently averaging over 7 yards per carry. Michigan has won every time he's topped the 100-yard mark. Result: Michigan 56-10. ATS: Favorite/Over

Arizona State at Washington (-18/53): There is reason to criticize ASU for not force-feeding elite WR N’Keal Henry more, but anyone who wants to disparage Herm Edwards' first month of action as head coach was likely rooting for him to fail. The Sun Devils covered and showed up to battle the Pac-12 preseason favorite, trading punches throughout the night and battling despite being on the road for a second straight week. Myles Gaskin kept the pressure off Jake Browning and helped him excel with three touchdown passes to help pull off a win in their Pac-12 opener. The Huskies' elite secondary helped Henry from altering the dynamic and held senior QB Manny Wilkins to just 104 passing yards.Result: Washington 27-20. ATS: Underdog/Under

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