Season Record 2-7, Last Week 1-3
If ‘close’ counted in wagering college football games then I’d be kicking some serious butt. Unfortunately it doesn’t and therefore I’m struggling through the first two weeks.
I’m bound to get back on track and I think this is the week to do it.
Boston College (+14) at USC – The Trojans have had a heck of a week haven’t they? They lose to Washington State in the Coliseum behind some atrocious quarterback play and then have to deal with rumors about a ‘players’ only meeting.’ I’ve found that in most cases, those meetings typically don’t do much for the success of a team.
Boston College travels West with a 2-0 record over Villanova and Wake Forest. The defense is giving up just 12 points per game but the offense is only averaging 24. The Trojans can still play pretty good defense and I think that’s the difference here. I also look for the Trojans to get the ground game going too. I like the athleticism of USC to cover.
Northern Illinois (-28.5) at Idaho – The Vandals have been outscored 82-16 in their first two games against North Texas and Wyoming. They rank 124th in the nation in scoring and 114th in the country in scoring defense. The Northern Illinois Huskies had a week off following their 30-27 win at Iowa.
Quarterback Jordan Lynch accounted for over 300 yards of total offense and the Huskies’ D picked up three Hawkeyes’ turnovers despite giving up over 400 yards. This game being played in the Kibbie Dome worries me slightly but the Huskies will still romp over arguably the worst team in the FBS.
Kansas (+7) at Rice -Charlie Weis’ Jayhawks are 1-0 following a 31-14 win over South Dakota State. Rice meanwhile is 0-1 having lost their season opener to Texas A&M in College Station 52-28 but the score doesn’t indicate how competitive the game was. The Owls rolled up over 500 yards of offense on the Aggies and trailed by only three points entering the third quarter.
It was only when Johnny Manziel entered the game in the second half that Rice was behind the eight ball. The Owls rushed for over 300 yards on 51 carries against an Aggies defense that was supposed to be better than that. Despite being from the more powerful conference Kansas is really bad. I like Rice to win by more than seven.
Notre Dame (-21) at Purdue – I have to say I’m really surprised by this spread. Purdue enters at 1-1. Their loss came against Cincinnati by the score of 49-7. Their victory came in their home-opener 20-14 over Indiana State who by the way gave up 73 points in their opener to Indiana. For the Fighting Irish, this is a classic trap game.
They are coming off a shootout loss to Michigan and host rival Michigan State next week. The loss in Ann Arbor was disappointing because Brian Kelly had to think his defense was better than what they showed. The Boilermakers should offer them the perfect opportunity to earn back some confidence and respect.
The Boilers rank 99th in passing and 103rd in rushing nationwide. That should be more than enough for the Irish defense to lay their ears back. I fully expect Notre Dame to continue to throw the ball with Tommy Rees, but I also think they’ll try to establish some dominance on the ground too.
I think Darrell Hazell will get things turned around in West Lafayette in time but it won’t be this season. Look for the Irish to put a whipping on the Boilermakers and cover the 21.