Will look to keep the good times going here in week 3 as I am coming off a 4-0 sweep in week 2. Over the years week 2 has always been one of my favorite and once again the results were strong this season. Nothing better than being able to go against all those week 1 overreactions. Still good spots to be had this week too, here’s what I’ve got….
Army (-6.5): Hawaii is one of the best stories of the early part of the season but they find themselves in a tough spot here. With a 3-0 start and video game like numbers offensively they’ve gotten plenty of attention, there’s plenty working against them in this one though. First of all is the noon eastern start time, which works out to 6 AM Hawaii time. That isn’t to mention the nearly 5000 miles of travel between Hawaii and West Point. With Army you’ll get what you always get from the service academy schools, run, run and more run. Hopkins was forced to throw 21 times against Duke because they fell behind early, but it was back to business as usual with only 7 pass attempts last week against Liberty. The way Hawaii is going right now the best way to stop them is keeping them off the field. A run oriented offense like Army’s should be able to do that. Now you might be thinking “David they scored 59 on Navy who is also a run, run, run service academy team.” While that is true the travel and early start make me think it’s far less likely they can pull off something like that again. For as great as the Hawaii offense has been we can’t look past the fact they are allowing 34.6 points per game. Not surprisingly Army is averaging over 300 yards per game on the ground and I think they chew Hawaii up on the ground. McDonald is playing great but you’ve got to expect some regression at some point. He now has 13 TD’s and 0 INT’s on 388 yards per game. Even a tipped pass, a deflection, something has to happen soon enough. No matter how good you are to have 111 pass attempts and no INT’s isn’t sustainable. The Rainbows are due for a few turnovers and overall just a come back to earth game in general. I think this is the spot for it. Army wins a 38-24 type of game.
Florida (-20): A nice buy low, sell high spot here with Florida and Colorado State. I cashed Colorado State +14 last week against Arkansas in a game they not only covered, but actually won outright. Florida on the other hand suffered a double digit home loss to Kentucky as nearly a two TD favorite. Now you have the hangover plus travel angle working against Colorado State, and the bounce back angle in favor of the Gators. Last week the Rams were down 27-9 before running off 25 unanswered points to close the game. They were absolutely dominated in the trenches as Arkansas outrushed them 299-40. With nothing going on via the ground they had to rely on Carta Samuels throwing for nearly 400 yards to get the win. Arkansas lost that game because of awful QB play, but they were able to do just about whatever they wanted on the ground. I’m not a big fan of Franks but he’s better than what Arkansas has going at QB right now and I think he’ll find more success through the air than the Hogs did. In the trenches Florida should be able to impose their will and completely dominate there. Defensively Florida can be run on but Colorado State isn’t the kind of team to exploit that weakness. They are looking to throw it all over the lot and I don’t think they’ll be able to do that against the Gators. The running game is nearly non existent at only 86 yards per game so unless Carta Samuels throws the team on his back again this could be a long night. It was a big accomplishment for the Rams to beat an SEC team last week but to try and do it again is just too much for them to handle. I think Florida jumps out to an early lead and then just runs the ball down their throat in the 2nd half and keeps adding on. I could see a 41-13 kind of game.
Oklahoma (-17): It was only a year ago but I’m sure many of you have forgotten that Iowa State went into Norman and beat Oklahoma last year. I can tell you who hasn’t forgotten though, that’s Oklahoma. You can bet (and I will) that the Sooners will be looking for their revenge in this one, and I don’t see them letting up if the game gets out of hand. The offense hasn’t slowed a bit with Kyler Murray taking over for Baker Mayfield and this is still one of the best and most explosive offenses in the nation. They did lose RB Rodney Anderson but this team has so many weapons and so much talent it’s just next man up. To fill that void they’ll look to guys like Pledger and Sermon who are both plenty capable of stepping in and putting up big numbers. At QB Murray is doing just about whatever he wants. He can throw, he can extend plays with his legs, he can take off for yards downfield, he’s a nightmare to deal with. Brown and Lamb lead a very talented WR group and the simple point here is this offense is beyond good, it’s lights out. On the other hand we have Iowa State who has only played one game so far. You don’t want to bury a team or overreact from one game but things were really ugly for the Cyclones last week. They couldn’t run, they couldn’t pass, and they scored only 3 points on less than 200 yards of total offense. Their defense is solid but offensively they don’t have anywhere close to enough talent or weapons to hang around in this game. Throw in the fact that Oklahoma will be playing mad and looking for revenge and I could see this thing getting out of hand. Now with Kempt dinged up there is a question of who plays at QB for the ‘Clones. We might see Noland, hell we might even see both. Either way just not close to enough firepower. I see Oklahoma winning somewhere in the neighborhood of 42-17.
Purdue (+6.5): A nice situational spot for Purdue here. The Boilers are coming off a 20-19 home loss to Eastern Michigan last week as a 15.5 point favorite. They are in a classic bounce back spot where everyone thinks they are awful and I think they get up off the mat with a nice showing this week. On the other side we have Missouri who is off to a nice 2-0 start but they haven’t really been challenged yet. I know Wyoming was a trendy pick coming into this season but beating up on them doesn’t greatly impress me. Their other win was against Tennessee-Martin and both of which were at home. That 2-0 record and all the gaudy stats that have come along with it need to be taken with multiple grains of salt. Lock is putting up his typically big numbers but they aren’t terribly balanced. Their 3 top rushers are all under 4 yards per carry and if Purdue can slow them in the air, I like their chances to at least keep them under control overall. The Tigers also have quite the look ahead in play here with #3 Georgia coming to town next week. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they already have an eye on that game. If they think Purdue is a pushover because they lost to EMU, and are instead preoccupied with Georgia they not only might not cover this game but they could get beat outright. For Purdue the plan will be to keep the ball on the ground and away from Lock. Led by Knox and Jones the Boilers are averaging 271.5 yards per game rushing and combined that Knox/Jones duo is at 7.8 yards per carry. At the end of the day Missouri isn’t as good as they’ve shown so far, and Purdue isn’t as bad as they’ve played either. Throw in the situation angles on both sides and I’ll happily take Purdue.