Check out quick-hitting betting notes for Saturday's evening college football Week 2 action:
Syracuse Orange at Northwestern Wildcats (-17, 53)
quarterback Trevor Siemian was the hero for Northwestern against
Syracuse last season, and he may get a chance to squeeze the Orange
again this weekend. In Northwestern’s 2012 season opener, Siemian came
on for an injured Kain Colter and threw the game-winning touchdown pass
with 44 seconds left, lifting his team to a 42-41 victory over the
Orange. With Colter banged up again, Siemian could get the start for the
No. 20 Wildcats on Saturday in their home opener versus Syracuse.
is coming off a 44-30 victory at California in which the offense piled
up 508 yards despite Colter suffering a concussion on the opening drive.
Siemian came on to pass for 276 yards and a touchdown, while the
Northwestern defense also made some big plays, including two
interceptions returned for touchdowns by junior linebacker Collin Ellis.
Syracuse fell to Penn State 23-17 last week in the debut of senior
quarterback Drew Allen, a transfer from Oklahoma who was 16-of-37 for
189 yards and two interceptions against the Nittany Lions.
Key betting stat: Wildcats are 8-0 ATS in their last eight home games.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-28, 59.5)
survived a scare from Wyoming in its season opener but should be able
to celebrate a larger margin of victory when it hosts Southern
Mississippi on Saturday. The No. 19 Cornhuskers allowed a stunning 602
yards in a 37-34 victory over Wyoming and strive for a much better
performance against the Golden Eagles, who possess the nation’s longest
losing streak at 13 consecutive games. Southern Miss lost 22-15 to Texas
State in Todd Monken’s debut as coach.
The Golden Eagles
outgained FCS school Texas State 400-207 but sabotaged themselves with
six turnovers – four fumbles, two interceptions. Nebraska’s yardage
allowed was its second-most ever in a victory (610 versus Ball State in
2007) as a young unit took its lumps against Wyoming and allowed eight
plays of 20 or more yards. Senior quarterback Taylor Martinez bruised
his left shoulder during the contest and is expected to be fully ready
Key betting stat: Golden Eagles are 0-4 ATS in their last four vs. Big Ten.
Texas Longhorns at BYU Cougars (+7, 57.5)
16 Texas set a school mark for total offense in its opener and now
faces a tough defensive squad when it visits Brigham Young on Saturday.
The Longhorns rolled up 715 yards in a 56-7 rout of New Mexico State and
had four scoring plays of 50 or more yards for the first time in
program history. Brigham Young finished third in total defense last
season and allowed 223 yards and forced 13 punts in a season-opening
19-16 loss to Virginia.
The Cougars hope to have senior receiver
Cody Hoffman on the field after he missed the opener with a hamstring
injury. Hoffman had eight 100-yard receiving games last season and ranks
third in BYU history in receiving touchdowns (28), fourth in career
receptions (203) and fifth in receiving yardage (2,718). Texas has won
13 consecutive non-conference road games and is attempting to get back
into the national championship discussion this season after going 22-16
over the last three years.
Key betting stat: Longhorns are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.
UAB Blazers at LSU Tigers (-34.5, 60.5)
11 LSU will look to carry forward the offensive fortitude it displayed
in last week’s season-opening 37-27 victory over TCU, but as the Tigers
host UAB on Saturday, there will be a focus on eliminating the mistakes
that kept the opener close. The Tigers gave up a kickoff return for a
touchdown, set up another TCU score with a fumble at their 6-yard line
and kept a drive alive with a roughing the passer penalty. “If we
improve on our tackling, we minimize some of the penalties, we don’t
turn the ball over, it could have been a much different game,” LSU coach
Les Miles told reporters Tuesday.
The Tigers figure to have an
easier time with a UAB squad that allowed 497 yards and blew a 14-point
fourth-quarter lead in a 34-31 overtime loss to Troy in its season
opener. The Blazers allowed 319 yards passing as Troy quarterback Corey
Robinson set a NCAA record by completing 93.8 percent of his passes
(30-for-32). LSU senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for 251
yards and a touchdown against TCU in Cam Cameron’s first game as
offensive coordinator, and the Tigers’ defense surrendered only 259
Key betting stat: Over is 7-3 in Tigers' last 10 non-conference games.
West Virginia Mountaineers at Oklahoma Sooners (-21, 57.5)
15 Oklahoma and visiting West Virginia enter Saturday's Big 12 opener
after debuting new quarterbacks and improved defenses in season-opening
wins last week. The Sooners, who posted their first shutout since 2010,
pointed to a 2012 meeting with the Mountaineers as one of their
defensive low points. "Between that night (a 50-49 road win) and what
happened in the bowl game (a 41-13 loss to Texas A&M), it obviously
convinced us that we needed to adjust our defense," defensive
coordinator Mike Stoops said at Monday's press conference. "(We had to)
be more flexible and more diverse and put more pressure on the
West Virginia posted a second-half shutout in a
rally against William & Mary after an inexperienced defense settled
down. Junior quarterback Paul Millard has been tabbed the starter for
the Mountaineers for the second straight week but junior backup Clint
Trickett could figure in the offense attack. Oklahoma redshirt freshman
Trevor Knight showed off more of his running ability than his arm in his
Key betting stat: Mountaineers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
Sam Houston State Bearkats at Texas A&M Aggies (-37.5)
week before its highly anticipated showdown with No. 1-ranked Alabama,
seventh-ranked Texas A&M welcomes FCS opponent Sam Houston State to
Kyle Field on Saturday. All eyes figure to be on Heisman Trophy winner
Johnny Manziel, who tossed three touchdown passes in the second half of
the Aggies’ 52-31 win over Rice last Saturday. The sophomore quarterback
was also benched late in the game after drawing an unsportsmanlike
conduct penalty for taunting.
Manziel’s antics overshadowed the
Aggies’ season-opening win, which featured a shaky performance by the
defensive unit. With five defensive starters suspended, Texas A&M
allowed a surprising 509 yards of total offense against Rice. Two of the
suspended players are due back against Southland Conference opponent
Sam Houston State, which extended its home win streak to 15 games with a
74-0 victory over Houston Baptist last Saturday.
Key betting stat: Under is 8-2 in Aggies last 10 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Wolverines (-3.5, 50)
Dame hasn't won at Michigan's "Big House" since 2005, a fact the
13th-ranked Fighting Irish need to remedy Saturday to keep their hopes
of getting back to the national championship game alive. The 17th-ranked
Wolverines seek their 400th victory at Michigan Stadium - and their
16th straight under coach Brady Hoke. Michigan has won six of its last
seven home games versus Notre Dame, including three straight - one shy
of its longest home win streak in the series.
hold a 23-16-1 edge in the series between the teams with the two best
winning percentages in college football history. But the Irish defense
dominated last year's matchup, intercepting Denard Robinson five times
in a 13-6 victory. That sort of defensive performance would be even more
impressive against this Michigan team, which rolled up 463 yards in a
59-9 win over Central Michigan last week.
Key betting stat: Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
Washington State Cougars at USC Trojans (-15.5, 53.5)
22 USC hopes explosive tailback Silas Redd will be ready when it begins
Pac-12 Conference play against visiting Washington State on Saturday.
Redd missed last week's game at Hawaii, further hampering an offense in
flux. The Trojans still haven't decided on a starting quarterback for
Saturday with Max Wittek and Cody Kessler still battling for Matt
Barkley's old job.
The Cougars opened the season with a
hard-fought 31-24 loss at Auburn last week. Washington State surrendered
a kickoff return for a touchdown and had its comeback hopes ended when
Connor Halliday was picked off in the end zone with five minutes left.
Washington State has lost 20 straight games to ranked opponents and
hasn't beaten USC since 2002.
Key betting stat: Over is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings.
San Jose State Spartans at Stanford Cardinal (-25, 48.5)
enters its season opener Saturday against visiting San Jose State as a
heavy favorite, but the Spartans are very capable of making things
interesting. San Jose State has won eight straight and 12 of its last 13
games, including a 24-0 win over Sacramento State in Week 1. The
Spartans are unlikely to be overlooked by the fourth-ranked Cardinal,
who won their fifth straight game in the series last season by a narrow
San Jose State’s upset hopes are fueled by senior
quarterback David Fales, who is 12-2 as a starter and ended last season
as the nation's most accurate passer. He’ll be tested by a Stanford
defense that led the country in sacks last season and returns eight
starters, including linebackers Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy. The
Spartans’ running game could struggle without starting tailback Tyler
Ervin, who hasn’t practiced since leaving last Thursday's game with a
right foot injury.
Key betting stat: Spartans are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
Check out our NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet for Saturday's afternoon action.