Road kill? Five teams making their road debuts
Home is where the heart is. The trouble is you need plenty of heart to win away from home in college football.
A hostile environment can bring out the worst in teams, especially if the roster is littered with young inexperienced players not ready for a jacked-up home side, hordes of hateful fans and sleeping in a hotel bed two sizes too small.
Here are a handful of teams that have looked strong on their own turf but hit the highway for their first road game of the season in Week 4.
Baylor Bears (2-0, 1-1 ATS)
Last season, Baylor was a perfect 8-0 in Waco but just 1-3 on the road. And that was with Heisman winner Robert Griffin III under center. The Bears have piled on the points in two home tilts versus SMU and FCS Sam Houston State, but travel to UL Monroe as 7.5-point favorites Saturday. The Warhawks are BCS killers, beating Arkansas in OT and losing to Auburn in an extra frame. Nick Florence has been able to toss it around through the first few weeks, but that 63.4 percent completion rate is third-worst in the Big 12.
Arizona Wildcats (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
The Wildcats and new head coach Rich Rodriguez visit No. 3 Oregon this Saturday. Arizona has opened up its air attack in its first three games at home, passing for an average of 357.7 yards – seventh most in the nation. The Ducks are 3-0 (0-3 ATS) to start the season as well, with those games coming against weaker foes at home. Oregon is a 24-point favorite and has covered in just two of its last seven meetings with Arizona.
Kansas State Wildcats (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Kansas State has had no trouble putting up big points at home to start the year, but now Bill Snyder’s crew rolls into Norman to face a Sooners side off a bye week and ready to run through the Big 12 slate. The Wildcats have plenty of experience on the roster and have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last six trips to OU. The road team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings between these conference foes.
Louisville Cardinals (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Teddy Bridgewater has the passing game moving the chains in Louisville, sitting second among Big East quarterbacks. The sophomore makes his first road showing of the season in South Beach, climbing inside “The Cage” with the Golden Panthers. Florida International knocked off UL 24-17 as a 3-point road underdog last season, but that was with WR T.Y. Hilton burning the Cardinals for 201 yards and two scores.
LSU Tigers (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Louisiana State suffered a bit of a bump in their preparation for Saturday’s first road test of the season versus Auburn when someone called in a bomb threat before their practice on Monday. The Tigers are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six away games but are only 1-4-1 ATS in their last six trips to Auburn. LSU spanked Auburn 45-10 in Death Valley last October, avenging Cam Newton’s coming-out party back in 2010. LSU is a 20.5-point road fave Saturday.