BAYLOR BEARS at IOWA STATE CYCLONES, 7 PM ET
BetAnySports NCAA Football Line: Iowa State -14, Total 47.5
It was not the easiest thing in the world for Baylor to get the 2020 season underway amidst all the COVID-19 stuff, particularly when head coach Matt Rhule, who had done a quick turnaround job, departed for the Carolina Panthers and took some of his staff with him. Not that the Bears didn’t get themselves a “flavor of the month” hire in LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but – not for nuthin’ – the stop unit was not the best part of that Bayou Bengal squad.
Baylor’s defense has actually done a credible job in games against foes like West Virginia and Texas. But the offense is without much spark. Charlie Brewer – he’s okay at the quarterback spot, but you’re getting yardage only in small slivers with him behind center (5.9 yards an attempt – that’s kind of ‘blah’).
We’ll see now if Baylor can put the clamps on Breece Hall (6.7 ypc, 11 TD’s), who may be as good a running back as there is in the Big 12 right now (with apologies to Chuba Hubbard). NFL-bound QB Brock Purdy can not only get it down the field (8.8 ypa), but he’s thrown only three interceptions in 192 attempts. Nice yard-per-carry ratio for the Cyclones (5.8 for, 3.2 against). Baylor’s is a little different (2.8 to 4.1). And we know from the win against Oklahoma that this ISU crew can keep pace with almost anyone in the country. The number is generous, but IOWA STATE has what it takes to extend a margin.
SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS at COASTAL CAROLINA CHANTICLEERS, 8 PM ET
BetAnySports College Football Odds: Coastal Carolina 17.5, Total 55.5
Can you imagine that just a few short years ago Coastal Carolina was doing its best to keep up with other clubs at the FCS level? And now, at 15th in the Associated Press poll, if they keep up with this unbeaten record, they could find themselves playing in a New Year’s Six game? That’s possible, but they would have to get by a Group of 5 showdown against emerging Liberty, which, believe it or not, has also appeared in the polls at #25.
No doubt their former coach, billionaire Joe Moglia (ex-CEO of TD Ameritrade), who is still involved with the athletic program, is proud. Too bad the staunch conservative didn’t have enough juice in the Omaha area to grab that single electoral vote for Donald Trump. But that’s another discussion for another time.
What’s operative here is that CCU has won by at least two touchdowns in dominant home performances against the likes of Arkansas State and Georgia Southern. And if there was a G-5 Heisman-type trophy, QB Grayson McCall would surely be up to it, with a monstrous 10.7 yards an attempt and a 15-1 TD-INT ratio.
We are wary about laying points to South Alabama, and we respect that Desmond Trotter has made significant strides over last season. But we also have to recognize other factors; one is that, even though they scored what was regarded at the time as a genuine upset over Southern Miss (since then, not so much), the only time USA really stepped up, they were beaten pretty handily by UAB (42-10) at home.
Now maybe the attitude is different for the Chanticleers, since they have ascended into the rankings and thus are playing for bigger stakes than just a Sun Belt title. So laying the number, even a slightly inflated one, not such an unreasonable notion with COASTAL CAROLINA.
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