Connecticut (2-6) vs. Army (2-6)
I kept deciding what stats I wanted to use to figure out this game. UConn has held each of their last two opponents to 3.9 yards rushing per attempt and 6.8 yards per pass. Only two games has UConn allowed more than 3.9 yards per rush attempt - at Tulane and against BYU. The truth is that either the team can stop the triple option or they can't. If there is one thing Bob Diaco knows, that is defense, so the triple option should (hopefully) not be too much of a problem. To put in perspective how little Army throws the ball, as a team Army has attempted 85 passes - Chandler Whitmer has COMPLETED 102 passes this year. Army has two players with over 120 carries - twice as many as each of UConn's top two rushers, Max DeLorenzo and Ron Johnson.
UConn was outgained by 100 yards last game, but still won thanks to +3 turnover differential. That turnover ratio will probably not happen again. The closest team Army has played to UConn this year (sadly) is Kent State and Wake Forest. Based off of those two games, I will take a shot in the dark and guess a 31-20 UConn victory. Although, the Huskies will trail at halftime. Based off my illogic analysis of this game - it is the only way to analyze the triple option and a football game being played in a baseball stadium. I will go with
Pick: First half Army +2.5
Pick: UConn -4.5
Pick: First half over 24
Tulane (2-6) at Houston (5-3)
The Cougars absolutely own the Green Wave, leading the all-time series 14-4 and winning the last nine games - from 2004 to 2012 - by an average of 42.1 to 13.1 (and leading at half 22.4 to 6.4). Tulane has won the turnover battle in the last four games (+8 turnover ratio), but have been outscored 92-45 over that time span, with a 1-3 record. While Houston has won the turnover batter in six of eight games - losing the two games they lost the turnover battle. The Cougars have not turned the ball over in the last two games- I fully expect the domination of Tulane to continue.
I will be surprised if Tulane scores double figures and would not be shocked to see them shutout. Green Wave starting running back, Sherman Badie, may not play due to injury, which doesn't help. As much as I want to take Houston in the first half - the Cougars will probably be up 14-0 at halftime - there is not much value at 10.5. I will stick with
Pick: Houston -17
Pick: First half under 23
Pick: Under 45
Southern Methodist (0-7) at Tulsa (1-7)
There has been at least 59 total points scored in every game Tulsa has played this year. SMU has allowed 40 points in every game this year. Tulsa has failed to play well in the second half of the last three games- they were leading Temple 24-21 in the fourth quarter before falling 35-24. Tulsa was destroying South Florida 27-7 at halftime, but were outscored 31-3 in the second half to lose 38-30. Last week, they actually led Memphis 14-3, but ended up losing the game 40-20.
This week, Tulsa faces one of the worst teams in the country in SMU. I believe, if SMU comes out throwing the ball like they did against East Carolina, then they could win this game - the Mustangs need at least 50 passing attempts. This is Mustang's first road game since October 4th when they played at ECU. I know Tulsa will put up points, but will SMU come out throwing? I don't think so, but I will take the over just in case.
Pick: First half Tulsa -7.5
Pick: Tulsa -13.5
Pick: Over 56
Memphis (5-3) at Temple (5-3)
Temple pulled off an upset win over East Carolina last week, but was dominated in the game as the Pirates outgained the Owls by three times as many yards and first downs. However, the Pirates committed 12 penalties for 120 yards and had five turnovers that cost them the game. Amazingly, ECU had seven fumbles and lost five of them, while Temple had four turnovers, but did not lose any. Over the last four games, Temple's offense has played 228 snaps compared to their defense that has played 342 snaps. There has been at least one non-offensive touchdown scored in the first half of all but one Temple game this year. Temple has nine non-offensive touchdowns this year.
Five of Temple's eight games have stayed under 53 points in the game - with two having exactly 59 points. Memphis has played three of the worst defenses in the conference - Cincinnati, SMU and Tulsa - in their last four games. In those three games they put up 40 points. Temple has forced at least three turnovers in five of their eight games, while Memphis has only turned the ball over more than two times in one game this year. Temple split their last two games, but have been outgained 894 to 317. In six of eight games, there has been less total points scored in the second half than the first half of Memphis games. In seven of eight games, there have been less second half points scored than in the first half of Temple games. Memphis wins the turnover battle (maybe 2-1?) and the game.
Pick: First half Memphis -4.5
Pick: Memphis -7
Pick: Second half under (I assume it will be about 25)
Pick: Under 52