Let’s take a look at the critical Big 12 matchup, as well as the latest chapter in Boise State’s resurgence:
Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns, Noon ET
College Football Odds from BetOnline: Texas -9.5
Total: 55.5 Points
Texas still has a remote shot at appearing in the Big 12 title game, so that’s a little extra motivation for them here. Texas are still a Football betting favorite, and most bettors think they will win.
We genuinely wonder about the emotional status of the Bears, as they don’t have long to recover from a heartbreaking and improbable last-second loss to TCU. If you watched that game, you could see that they literally snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory against a team that may be ticketed for the four-team playoff.
Arch Manning is on the way for Texas, which pleases coach Steve Sarkisian.
But you have to figure Quinn Ewers, Texas’ current ballyhooed freshman quarterback (#1 prospect in the country last year), will be auditioning his act for other programs. We should let you know that his stats have not blown anyone away – 55.4%, 14 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, and over his last four contests, he’s completed just 47.1% for about 5.6 yards an attempt. But he’s a guy who’s been sacked only four times.
And one of the reasons for that is a rushing game that can dominate at any time behind the electric Bijan Robinson, who has scored 16 touchdowns and run for 1401 yards. When Texas rolled up 427 on the ground against Kansas last week, it was kind of scary.
Still, back to Ewers. He’s not been the same since an injury suffered against Alabama. And will he stick around and be part of an off-season “competition” Sarkisian is trying to tout (between him and Manning), which he knows will go Manning’s way, or go someplace where he knows he’ll get some playing time?
Baylor has proven itself to be a dangerous dog, covering its last eight games when getting points. That most certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by us because there are many points to lay. And should we really spend a lot of time contemplating how difficult it is for Baylor to get up for a team like the Longhorns?
Let’s see if maybe artful head coach Dave Aranda could cook up a scheme to slow down Robinson and force Ewers, who’s had limited range, to the air.
The Play: BAYLOR +9.5
Utah State Aggies at Boise State Broncos, Noon ET
Football Odds at BetOnline: Boise State -17 (-107)
Total: 52.5 Points
Utah State is now eligible for a bowl game, and that has been an accomplishment in and of itself. But in this day and age, a team can be at the .500 mark and get there. The Aggies haven’t necessarily been beating the highest level of opposition.
The story with Boise State is that they had to make a change in the coaching staff. They had suffered what was referred to as the worst loss in the program’s history when they fell to UTEP, and a listless offense (177 total yards) was responsible. So Tim Plough was fired as offensive coordinator, and Andy Avalos turned to Dirk Koetter, a former Boise State head coach who also was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was already on board as a “senior offensive analyst.”
Quarterback Hank Bachmeier left the program, and Taylen Green took over. Let’s put it this way – Bachmeier completed 54% of his passes. Green has completed 65%. The offense for the first four games averaged 283 yards under Plough, while the average with Koetter is 440 yards. So the operation was a success.
Utah State is one-dimensional at best because they do not run the ball with any kind of results. And for what it’s worth, this series has been owned by Boise, with 18 wins in the last 19 meetings.
The Play: BOISE STATE -17
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