by Gary Olshan, Chief Analyst

Northern Illinois at WESTERN MICHIGAN (Tuesday)...NIU is a sterling 25-13 as a visiting favorite since 2008 (2-0 TY). Huskies controlled the pits in LY’s 35-31 win in DeKalb, outrushing WMU 248 to 110.

Ball State at MIAMI-OHIO (Tuesday)...Home team 3-11 SU since 1995. LY was first awarding of the Red Bird Rivalry Trophy, so these two teams will now be playing on an annual basis. Ball State has been bounced around lately, going 4-16 vs spread last 20 on the board. M-O led 28-0 at H in LY’s 28-7 win in Oxford.

Colorado State at AIR FORCE (Thursday)...In battle for the Ram-Falcon Trophy, AF triple-option amassed 413 YR in LY’s 45-28 win in Fort Collins. CSU 3-14 vs spread last 17 on board.

Mississippi State at MISSISSIPPI (Thursday)...MSU’s record-breaking dual-threat QB Fitzgerald excited for TY’s Egg Bowl after suffering a game-ending injury in 1st Q of 31-28 home upset loss. Fitzgerald rushed for a career-high 258 in 55-20 romp in Oxford in 2017.

Akron at OHIO (Friday)...Last 4 in this MAC series decided by 6 pts. or fewer. Ohio in ornery mood after 9-game series win streak was snapped in LY’s 37-34 loss at Akron, which cost the Bobcats a return to MAC Championship.

East Carolina at CINCINNATI (Friday)...Nationally-ranked Cincy amped-up after LY’s 48-20 loss in Greenville, snapping Bearcats 6-game series win skein. Pirates won behind QB Minshew (31 of 45 for 444 & 4 TDP), who’s now the Wazzu triggerman after transferring to Pullman. ECU 9-23-1 vs. spread under 3rd-year HC Montgomery. Upd.

Buffalo at BOWLING GREEN (Friday) ...Believe it or not, BG had 6-game series win streak halted in LY’s 38-28 loss at current MAC East leader Buffalo. Bulls’ proficient QB Jackson threw for 406 yards & 3 TDP.

Texas at KANSAS (Friday)...UT won’t take KU for granted after suffering 24-21 upset loss in Lawrence in 2016. KU 0-4 as home underdog vs. ranked teams since 2015.

Arkansas at MISSOURI (Friday)...Tiger QB Lock threw for 448yards & 5 TDs in LY’s 48-45 victory in Fayetteville. Mizzou 4-1 SU & vs. spread last 5 home finales.

Washington at WASHINGTON STATE (Friday)...Wazzu whipped up to snap 8-game losing streak in 111th Apple Cup. U-Dub resorted to smashmouth, piling up 328 YR in 46 totes (with only 17 pass attempts) in LY’s 41-14 pounding in Seattle. Huskies’ star RB Gaskin accounted for 192 & 4 TDs

Kentucky at LOUISVILLE...In the annual battle for the Governor’s Cup, UK is seeking to avenge LY’s 44-17 bashing in Lexington. Wildcat D happy L’Ville QB Jackson left early for the NFL after he accounted for 373 yds. & 2 TDs. UK RB Benny Snell Jr. rumbled for 219 yards & 2 TDs.

Michigan at OHIO STATE...In The Game, OSU has won 13 of last 14, including 6 straight in this historic rivalry. Buckeyes’ then-backup QB Haskins hit 6 of 7 for 94 yds. to lead 31-20 comeback win in Ann Arbor. Wolverines need a W to keep CFP hopes alive. 

Pittsburgh at MIAMI-FLORIDA...Pitt QB Pickett, in his first career start, accounted for 253 yds. in his team’s 24-14 upset series win at Heinz Field LY. Panther D held Miami to its 2nd-lowest offensive output, behind Clemson.

Temple at CONNECTICUT...Temple in terrible mood after suffering 28-24 upset loss in Philly LY. Owls outgained UConn 473-244, but Huskies capitalized on Temple miscues, scoring one TD on a 34-yd int. return. Frosh-laden UConn 1-7-1 vs spread TY.

Kansas State at IOWA STATE... Nationally-ranked ISU primed to end 10-game series losing skein (9 of those defeats by 8 pts. or fewer). Cyclones led 19-7 mid-way in 4th Q, but allowed KSU’s game-winning 1-yd. TD run with no time remaining LY.

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