Back to winning ways with a 3-2 week last week. Hoff is locked and loaded to take BC this week over Notre Dame
Last Week: 3-2
Season Overall: 4-5-1
Season Lock of the Week: 1-1
Notre Dame at BC (+13.5)
BC is coming off of an embarrassing 24 point blowout loss at home to Wake and understandably BC fans don’t have high expectations for this game. So why on earth am I taking BC?
First off, I think Addazio looked at the schedule before the season and knew he had to have this win and is going ALL IN on Notre Dame. Is that to say that he meant to lose to Wake last weekend? Hell no. But all things being equal a 2-1 record with wins over NIU/Notre Dame looks better than a 2-1 record against NIU/Wake and Daz knows that. That’s why we didn’t see Addazio try to jumpstart the Eagles last week like a fake punt or a trick play or something like that. I really believe Addazio is saving all of those for this weekend so he has a win to hang his hat on the rest of the year, and more importantly, for his new AD. After all it is getting a bit tiring that he still talks about the win over USC from four years ago.
I realize that the elephant in the room is that BC just got its doors blown in by Wake a week ago. However, sometimes you just have to chalk things up to being an anomaly. BC lost the turnover battle 4 to 0 in that game so when that happens what do you expect the outcome to be? I’m banking on BC cleaning that up this weekend, which by the way isn’t exactly unprecedented under Addazio. Think back to that USC win back in 2014----does anyone remember what happened the week before? BC lost to Pitt 30-20 at home and looked just awful. James Conner and company ran for 303 yards on a BC defense that finished 2nd in the nation in rush defense that year. On offense, Tyler Murphy put up a box score of 10-for-28 for 134 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT’s which made many fans question if he was an ACC level quarterback. One week later we all know what happened against USC. The point here is that these are college kids and sometimes they overlook opponents and don’t focus on the task at hand and instead are thinking ahead to the showdown game a week later.
BC covers and I think has a greater than 50/50 shot of pulling the outright upset.
Tulane (+35.5) at Oklahoma
I know I know this is a sick puppy special but hear me out. Oklahoma is coming off an emotional win at Ohio State and has been peppered with attention all week from shows on ESPN and highlights on Twitter and Instagram. Isn’s a letdown in order here?
Most people don’t know a thing about Tulane and I wouldn’t blame you. Here’s the one fact you need to know--- head coach Willie Fritz is one of those coaches that has won at every level from stops at Central Missouri, Sam Houston State and Georgia Southern. He has installed an option attack at Tulane and I don’t think that all of the future NFL talent on Oklahoma is looking forward to getting chop blocked all game on Saturday. Oklahoma wins something like 38-10 and we cover easily.
North Texas (+22) at Iowa
This one is a straight system play for me. Iowa is 10-18 ATS in September home games the last five years which is obviously a good trend to be on the other side of. On top of that, this game is sandwiched between a rivalry win over Iowa State last weekend and a showdown with #5 Penn State at home next week.
North Texas has a decent running back, Jeffrey Wilson, who rushed for 936 yards and 5.5 yards per carry last year. This year, Wilson is averaging a whopping 8.5 yards per carry, albeit against some suspect competition. North Texas sleazes this one out.
Kentucky at South Carolina (-6)
The Gamecocks covered my “Lock of the Week” during the opening week defeating sexy preseason pick NC State, 35-28. Last week, South Carolina went on the road and picked up a solid victory against Mizzou, 31-13. In both instances I took South Carolina because I believed I was getting the better defense and better coach in each game. The bonus to all of that is that I was getting the best playmaker, Deebo Samuel, who has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and also has two receiving touchdowns.
This week South Carolina finally gets to come home and welcomes a Kentucky squad that has been pretty mediocre this year. In week one Kentucky beat Southern Miss 24-17, even though they were outgained by 90 yards. Last week, Kentucky had to come from behind in the 2nd half to beat Eastern Kentucky, 27-16.
The way I see it is South Carolina already beat two teams on the road that are better than Kentucky by more than a touchdown. If the Gamecocks win by a touchdown here it’s a cover.
Lock of the Week
Oklahoma State at Pitt (+13.5)
Pitt went on the road to Happy Valley last week and outgained Penn State in the game despite losing the game 33-14. The effort by the Panthers still good enough to cover the lofty 21.5 point spread. My biggest take away from that one was how well Pitt ran the ball piling up 341 yards on the ground and 6.1 yards per carry.
Pitt traveled to Oklahoma State last year and came away with a 45-38 loss. The Panthers were able to keep that game close by running up 290 yards on the ground at a clip of 5.4 yards per carry. I think Pitt can duplicate that effort and control the clock to keep this one within range. This spread is about 3-6 points too high.