Check out our NCAAF Top 25 cheat sheet for Saturday's evening action.
Missouri Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs (-7.5, 64.5)
The Tigers, new to the SEC as of 2012, are making their first trip to Georgia after getting blown out 41-20 at home by the Bulldogs last season. The 2013 squad already matched last season’s win total and owns four rushers, including quarterback James Franklin, with at least 278 yards and an average of 5.2 yards per carry or better.
The Bulldogs can put up points with the best of them but are hurting at several key positions on offense and had three players leave last week’s game with knee injuries. The Bulldogs already played three teams ranked in the top-10 and beat two - South Carolina and LSU - but had their toughest test last week at the Volunteers, when running back Keith Marshall and wide receivers Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley were all knocked out early.LINE:
UGA opened -9.5 and moved to -7.5. Total opened 63.5 and moved to 64.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures in mid 70s, clear skies, winds SW 1 mph.TRENDS:
* Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.
* Bulldogs are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 7-0 in Bulldogs last seven games overall.Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns (+13.5, 57.5)
The Sooners won the last two games by a combined 80 points – 55-17 in 2011 and 63-21 last season – and Saturday’s winner will at least share the Big 12 lead. Oklahoma ranks 17th in rushing offense (246 per game) and both senior running back Brennan Clay (450 yards) and junior quarterback Blake Bell (175 yards) could rack up the yards against a Texas defense that allows 248.4 per outing – 117th out of 123 FBS teams.
Texas not only has lost three straight games to No. 10 Oklahoma, but the Longhorns haven’t even been competitive in the last two meetings heading into Saturday’s Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Longhorns have been abysmal on defense and are still reeling from the September loss of linebacker Jordan Hicks to a torn Achilles’ tendon. The poor rushing defense has been the biggest issue despite recent strong play by sophomore defensive tackle Malcom Brown.LINE:
OU opened -12.5 and moved to -13.5. Total opened 56.5 and moved to 57.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures in high 70s, 40% chance of thunderstorms, winds S 8 mph.TRENDS:
* Sooners are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
Pittsburgh Panthers at Virginia Tech Hokies (-8.5, 42.5)
The Panthers were off last week, providing an opportunity to devise a plan to crack a Virginia Tech defense ranked fifth nationally at 263.7 yards allowed per contest. The Panthers feature the conference’s top receiving duo in senior Devin Street (111.3 yards per game) and freshman Tyler Boyd (106.3).
Virginia Tech leads the nation in interceptions (13) and has picked off opposing quarterbacks at least two times in each of its past five games. The division-leading Hokies have won their first two conference contests and five in a row overall since losing their season opener to top-ranked Alabama. LINE:
VT opened -9.5 and moved to -8.5. Total opened 43 and moved to 42.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures in mid 60s, 25% chance of rain, winds NE 5 mph.TRENDS:
* Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Purdue Boilermakers (+14, 57)
Huskers coach Bo Pelini has indicated that QB Taylor Martinez will step back into the starting role “when he’s ready to go”, but Tommy Armstrong Jr. has made a compelling case with two very efficient performances. The freshman from Texas is 20-for-28 for 304 yards with three touchdowns and no turnovers in Martinez’s absence while also sharing time with senior Ron Kellogg III.
First-year coach Darrell Hazell named freshman Danny Etling the starting quarterback during the Boilermakers’ bye week after he came on in relief and sparked Purdue’s attack - ranked 117th nationally in total offense - with 241 yards passing and two touchdowns in just over two quarters of play against Northern Illinois. Hazell also suspended redshirt freshman receivers B.J. Knauf and Jordon Woods, who were arrested Monday on charges of theft.LINE:
Nebraska opened -13.5 and moved to -14. Total steady at 57.WEATHER:
Temperatures in low 70s, 40% chance of rain, winds SSW 9 mph.TRENDS:
* Cornhuskers are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 road games.
* Boilermakers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.
* Over is 14-3-1 in Boilermakers' last 18 home games.
Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Tech Red Raiders (-14, 56.5)
Iowa State is one of four teams in the nation still perfect in the red zone while the Red Raiders are tied for third in red-zone defense, allowing two touchdowns and four field goals in 11 trips. The Cyclones have scored nine touchdowns and four field goals in 13 trips inside the 20-yard line.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury got good news as his No. 21 Red Raiders prepare for Saturday's visit from Iowa State. Freshman walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has thrown for 1,488 yards and eight touchdowns in five starts, won't be lost for the season after leaving last week's win at Kansas with a knee injury. LINE:
TTU moved from -16 to -14. Total steady at 56.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures in high 60s, clear skies, winds NE 4 mph.TRENDS:
* Favorite is 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Cyclones are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
* Red Raiders are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.South Carolina Gamecocks at Arkansas Razorbacks (+5, 51)
While DE Jadeveon Clowney's "injury" situation clouds the defensive picture, the offense continues to roll. It has generated 2,383 yards of through the first five games, most for the program at this point of the season since at least 1962. Connor Shaw has thrown seven touchdowns without an interception and completed 17-of-20 passes against Kentucky while contributing 50 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Mike Davis had 106 rushing yards and is ranked 12th nationally with 614 this season.
Arkansas continued a season-long trend of starting fast when it gained a 7-0 lead at the Gators last Saturday, but it was dominated from that point in losing its fifth straight SEC game, a slide that dates to a loss at South Carolina last November. The Razorbacks have outscored opponents 54-24 in the first quarter but have been outscored 117-104 thereafter. Brandon Allen has competed just 34-of-77 passes and has three interceptions in his last two games since returning from a shoulder injury. LINE:
South Carolina moved from -6.5 to -5. Total steady at 51.WEATHER:
Temperatures in low 70s, 43% chance of thundershowers, winds W 6 mph.TRENDS:
* Over is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Gamecocks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 meetings.Florida Gators at LSU Tigers (-7, 48)
The Gators' offense has flourished since Tyler Murphy took over under center, as the junior's 209.4 quarterback rating against Arkansas was the highest for a Florida quarterback in an SEC game since Rex Grossman in 2001. The return of running back Matt Jones also has bolstered the offense with Jones (322 yards, 2 TDs) and Mack Brown (284 yards, 3 TDs) leading a strong ground game.
The Tigers have won five straight and 27 of 28 at home, winning their three home games this year by an average of 28.3 points. The Gators have won only once in their last four trips to Baton Rouge but they spoiled the Tigers' title hopes with a 14-6 home win last year. LINE:
LSU opened -3 and moved to -7. Total moved from 47.5 to 48.WEATHER:
Temperatures in the high 80s, partly cloudy skies, winds S 5 mph.TRENDS:
* Gators are 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in Louisiana State.
* Gators are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Under is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings.
Northwestern Wildcats at Wisconsin Badgers (-10, 58)
The Wildcats use a two-quarterback system, seamlessly transitioning between the pass-oriented game of Trevor Siemian and the running threat provided by Kain Colter. Colter is on the verge of eclipsing 2,000 yards both passing (1,945) and rushing (1,944) in his career to go along with 676 receiving yards.
The Badgers aren’t quite the offensive and defensive juggernauts they were in years past but are still dominant on the ground, where they are averaging over 300 yards. Wisconsin RB Gordon (knee), TE Jacob Peterson and WR Kenzel Doe (hamstring) all are expected to play.LINE:
Wisconsin steady at -10. Total moved from 57 to 58.WEATHER:
Temperatures in the mid 60s, 30% chance of rain, winds WSW 8 mph.TRENDS:
* Home team is 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Wisconsin.
* Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings in Wisconsin.
Baylor Bears at Kansas State Wildcats (+17, 74)
The Wildcats have employed two quarterbacks — Jake Waters and Daniel Sams — this season, with Sams (team-leading 323 rushing yards, four touchdowns) throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble against Oklahoma State while Waters (65.4 completion rate) has thrown four TDs and five interceptions. Kansas State leads the series 7-3 after Baylor's 52-24 victory in 2012. The teams have alternated victories in the last six meetings.
The Bears lead the country in yards per play at 9.6 with running back Lache Seastrunk (589 yards, eight touchdowns) averaging an eye-popping 11.1 yards on 53 carries. Baylor is just as powerful through the air as quarterback Bryce Petty (72.8 percent completion rate, 10 TDs, one interception) has plenty of options to choose from, including Antwan Goodley (25.7 yards per reception, five TDs) and Tevin Reese (23.6, four). LINE:
Baylor steady at -17. Total moved from 72 to 74.WEATHER:
Temperatures in high 60s, clear skies, winds N 6 mph.TRENDS:
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.Boston College Eagles at Clemson Tigers (-24.5, 61.5)
Clemson’s task won’t be easy against the improving Eagles and talented running back Andre Williams, who leads the nation in rushing yards per game. Williams has enjoyed a tremendous senior season with 768 yards, highlighted by 263 and five touchdowns against Army in the 48-27 victory last week. Clemson owns an 11-9-2 edge in the all-time series and has won four of the last five meetings, including 45-31 last year in Boston.
Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd recorded 650 passing yards combined in wins the last two years versus Boston College and leads a Tigers’ offense that averages 44.2 points. Clemson has 19 different players on the roster with at least one reception — 11 with a touchdown — and Boyd spread the ball around to 10 receivers against the Orange. Boyd’s first look is often Sammy Watkins, who has a team-high 481 receiving yards.LINE:
Clemson moved from -24 to -24.5. Total moved steady at 61.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures in the high 70s, clear skies, winds NNE 1 mph.TRENDS:
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Clemson.
* Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Eagles are 0-7 ATS in their last seven road games.
Oregon Ducks at Washington Huskies (+14, 76)
The status of Oregon junior running back De’Anthony Thomas (ankle) remains unknown, and Thomas stated Wednesday that he needs to be 100 percent to play. Powerful Oregon has won its first five games by an average of 47.4 points and is attempting to notch its 18th straight road victory - tops in the nation.
The rise of the Huskies – particularly on the offensive side – has increased the anticipation for a renewal of the rivalry that recently has been dominated by the Ducks. Washington is averaging 37.4 points and 557 yards (fifth nationally). The Huskies have a 58.3 percent success rate on third-down conversions, tied for third-best nationally.LINE:
Oregon moved from -13.5 to -14. Total moved from 75.5 to 76.WEATHER:
Temperatures in mid 50s, 41% chance of rain, winds N 4 mph.TRENDS:
* Ducks are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Favorite is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
* Ducks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings in Washington.