College Football Review Week 1

College Football Review Week 1

A look back at the week that was with three college football teams that impressed and three whose weekends did not go as planned.

Three Up

Houston Cougars

2016 Record: Straight-Up 1-0, Against-the-Spread 1-0

Greg Ward Jr. threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns in Houston’s 33-23 upset of Oklahoma but the play of the game was a 100-yard (really, more like 109) return off a missed field goal.

The Cougars are legit. Houston now has consecutive wins (beat Florida State in the bowl game last year) over top ten ranked teams for the first time in school history. The Cougs have made their intentions clear, its playoff or bust.

Next Up: Lamar

Trend

Houston will be favored next week against Lamar but keep this in mind the next time the Cougs are dogs. Houston has won four straight as an underdog and is 10-0-1 against-the-spread since 2012 when getting points.

Alabama Crimson Tide

2016 Record: Straight-Up 1-0, Against-the-Spread 1-0

It looked like a game for a quarter. That’s about the most positive thing you can say for USC. Alabama rolled the Trojans 52-6 in Jerry-World Saturday night. Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts threw two touchdowns and ran for two more scores in the win.

Bama began its national-title defense by racking up 465 yards of total offense and holding USC without a touchdown for the first time since 1997. The 46-point loss was the most lopsided for USC since 1966.

The Tide is now 10-0 (8-1 ATS) in season openers under Nick Saban.

Next Up: Western Kentucky

Trends

Since 2005, Alabama against non-Power 5 teams is 29-1 straight-up but 10-20 against-the-spread including 0-5 ATS vs. C-USA.

Georgia Bulldogs

2016 Record: Straight-Up 1-0, Against-the-Spread 1-0

Nick Chubb looked great in his return from a devastating knee injury. The Heisman hopeful ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-24 win over No. 22 North Carolina. The junior running back sealed the game with a 55-yard score with just over three minutes to play.

After the poor showing from Tennessee, Georgia looks poised to make a run at the SEC East. The biggest question mark for the Dawgs is at quarterback. Though freshman Jacob Eason made a case (8 of 12 for 131 yards and a touchdown) to be the full-time starter.

Next Up: Nicholls State

Trends

When Georgia faces an unranked opponent after playing a Top 25 team, the Bulldogs have gone 11-16 against-the-spread.

Three Down

09-03-2016 Brandon-Harris-LSU-loss-to-Wisconsin

LSU Tigers

2016 Record: Straight-Up 0-1, Against-the-Spread 0-1

Do you smell that? Must be Les Miles on the hot seat again. After nearly being run out of town last season fans will be clamoring for his removal once again after dropping the season opener for the first time in 12 years.

The offense struggled as quarterback Brandon Harris went 12 for 21 throwing for 131 yards and two interceptions. Leonard Fournette was productive (23 rushes for 138 yards) but he will need more help if the Tigers are to score more than one offensive touchdown per game.

Wisconsin knocked off LSU 16-14. Tiger fans will be aiming to do this to Miles after a disappointing start to what was supposed to be a championship season.

Next Up: Jacksonville State

Trends

Wisconsin ended LSU’s streak of 41 straight wins vs. non-conference opponents since 2005. The Tigers are now 24-18 ATS vs. teams outside the SEC.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

2016 Record: Straight-Up 0-1, Against-the-Spread 0-1

Clank! Just like that South Alabama pulled off a monster upset. Mississippi State was favored by as many as 33 points over the Jaguars before losing 21-20. If you were brave enough a $100 wager on South Alabama would have returned $7,000 on the money-line.

Insult to injury. As is often the case in these big upsets, the Bulldogs paid South Alabama $150,000 to make the trip to Starkville.

Next Up: Georgia Southern

Trends

With the team’s first win vs. a Power 5 conference South Alabama is 5-3-1 against-the-spread against the big boys. The Jags’ schedule softens next week but the team will get another shot at the Southeastern Conference later in the year with a trip to LSU.

Tennessee Volunteers

2016 Record: Straight-Up 1-0, Against-the-Spread 0-1

A favorite to win the SEC East and a dark horse for the national title, Tennessee stumbled out of the gate against Appalachian State. The Vols needed a fumble recovery in the end zone during overtime to escape with a 20-13 victory.

It was not an impressive victory but from a gambling perspective the result wasn’t surprising. The Vols with Butch Jones are now 19-4 straight-up as favorites but 12-11 against-the-spread.

Twitter enjoyed dogging Tennessee Thursday night but in a weak SEC East, Josh Dobbs and the Volunteers may have the last laugh. Heck, you hardly remember this game after all the action over the weekend.

Next Up: Virginia Tech

Trends

Tennessee will play VaTech at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Vols haven’t played very many neutral site games during the regular season but since 2005 Tennessee is 2-0-1 against-the-spread in those games.

©2016 Sports Insights Inc.

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