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College Football Week 2 Betting Recap

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Each week during the college football season, we will do a Monday morning autopsy to figure out where we were right, where we were wrong and where the box score may not have lined up with the final result. Here are some notable results from Week 2:

Where We Were Right…

Kansas -3 vs Illinois
The Jayhawks put this one to bed pretty early, and the final score probably flattered the Illini just a bit. Kansas had a 539-341 advantage in total yards, plus a 27-19 gap in first downs. The Jayhawks led 28-7 at halftime, and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes of possession on 6.0 yards per carry. The turnover differential was even, so the Illini can’t point to that as the cause.

Notre Dame -7.5 at NC State
We felt like we were on an island when it came to NC State QB Brennan Armstrong coming into this season. He put up some fantastic numbers in the first half of his career at Virginia, but there’s no way to sugarcoat it: Last year was a disaster. A lot of analysts expected him to have a resurgence in Raleigh this season, but we were skeptical. Armstrong was 22-of-47 for 260 yards and three interceptions against the Irish but he didn’t get any help from the run game. The ‘Pack rushed for 84 yards on 30 carries.

UCLA -14 at San Diego State
As each week goes by, San Diego State’s resume gets worse. The Aztecs are one of the few teams with three games under their belt, and each one is unflattering to SDSU. Ohio was running up-and-down the field in Week 0 before Bobcats’ QB Kurtis Rourke was knocked out of the game. The Aztecs earned a 36-28 win over FCS-level Idaho State last week. Idaho State lost 78-28 to Utah State on Saturday, so for the Aztecs to only beat them by eight compared to a 50-point win by the Aggies, is pretty telling. UCLA out-gained San Diego State 550-259.

Texas +7 at Alabama
Tyler Buchner has only thrown five passes for Alabama this season, but with the benefit of hindsight, his name carries a lot of weight in Tuscaloosa right now. After Bryce Young left for the NFL, the college football world assumed that Jalen Milroe would be the heir to the Crimson Tide throne. When Buchner transferred from Notre Dame to Alabama in the offseason, that raised some eyebrows and questioned how much confidence Nick Saban had in Milroe. Those questions have gotten louder this week. Texas has three games against tricky opponents leading into the Red River Rivalry, so the Longhorns can’t afford to their their foot off the gas over the next month.

Georgia Southern -7 vs UAB
Trent Dilfer has a fun prospect at quarterback in Jacob Zeno (71-of-84 for 676 yards and five touchdowns through two games), but the rest of the Blazers’ roster has plenty of holes.

Where We Were Wrong…

Colorado vs Nebraska Over 58.5
After committing four turnovers in Week 1 at Minnesota, surely the Huskers’ offense and Jeff Sims would limit the mistakes against Colorado, right? Nope. We’ll see what new head coach Matt Rhule decides to do at quarterback, but it’s hard to see Big Red getting behind Sims moving forward.

Wisconsin -5.5 at Washington State
We got duped. One week after Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi combined for 298 rushing yards on 30 carries against Buffalo, the Badgers’ backfield combined for 69 yards on 19 carries against Washington State. The Cougars’ rushing defense was outside of the top-70 in yards per carry last season, so Wisconsin should have been able to run the ball against Wazzu’s defense. It appears that there is still plenty of work to do for Phil Longo’s offense in Madison.

Texas A&M -4 at Miami (Fla)
Truth be told, we were torn between laying the points with Texas A&M or playing the over. We went with the Aggies. We chose wrong. If you would have told us before the game that Texas A&M would hold a 26-16 advantage on first downs while running 28 more plays than Miami, we’re probably running to the window to bet the Aggies again. But the Hurricanes made the bigger, more explosive plays, including a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second half to break things open.

UTSA vs Texas State Over 66
UTSA opening the season with a 31-point game against Houston and a 33-point game against Texas State was not on anyone’s bingo card. A 3-0 first quarter had the over doomed from the jump, but an injury to UTSA’s star quarterback, Frank Harris, didn’t help matters. Harris eventually returned and should be good-to-go this week against Army, but he was clearly hobbled during stretches of this contest.

UNC -19 vs App State
We recommended an early-week play on North Carolina and/or the over in last week’s game with the Mountaineers under the assumption that star wide receiver Devontez Walker was going to be cleared to play after his NCAA appeals meeting last week. That did not happen, and clearly that was weighing heavily on the minds of the Tar Heels last week. Mack Brown had some very strong words for the NCAA, the players wore decals on their helmet to support Walker and North Carolina’s board will be holding a meeting on Monday, presumably to address the situation with the NCAA. This situation is likely to linger over Chapel Hill for a little bit longer.

Maryland -14 First Half vs Charlotte
Mike Leach was widely regarded as the most interesting man in college football until his untimely passing last season. Charlotte’s Biff Poggi has taken the crown. The 63-year-old is in his first season with the 49ers after spending several years under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. The 49ers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in College Park against the Terps, and if you didn’t know the jersey colors, Poggi’s team looked more like a Big Ten team for large chunks of that game before the Terps eventually pulled away for an uncomfortable win. Florida and SMU better take notice, because the 49ers will not be a rollover opponent for either in the upcoming weeks.

Cal vs Auburn Over 55
This was probably our biggest miss of the week, and it’s going to be very important to see how these two teams approach their quarterback situations. Both teams entered this season with a fluid quarterback room. Sam Jackson V entered the year as the starter in Berkeley, but the Bears also have a talented transfer in Ben Finley from NC State. Robby Ashford was the presumed starter at Auburn until the Tigers added Payton Thorne from Michigan State late in the offseason. Both teams made the dual QB gameplan work in Week 1: Auburn scored 59 points in Week 1 behind 7.1 yards per play, while Cal scored 58 in its opener on 7.0 yards per play. Neither could make it work on Saturday night. There were seven turnovers and three missed kicks in this contest. Cal’s pace of play will continue to position them as an “over” team, but it seems like the QB rotation (and kicking game) need to get sorted out a little bit more.