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Posted on 12/21/2007 10:25:33 AM
By: CappersPicks.com College Football Handicapping Staff
College Football Betting – Colt McCoy in the Holiday Bowl
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BetUS – Dec. 27 — Holiday Bowl Preview at San Diego, Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3), 8 p.m. (ESPN)
It is interesting that the two teams playing in this year’s Holiday Bowl were both supposed to be more pass-oriented teams this season that they have ended up becoming. Both now rely on and have become much more in tune with their rushing game as their quarterbacks have struggled with different issues. If you bet on college bowls, you’ll want to keep an ear to the ground for any word on how these two are practicing before this big game.
Texas Longhorns –2.5 vs. Arizona State Sun Devils +2.5
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy works a one-back set either from the shotgun or from under center. After a first half that saw McCoy making far too many inexplicably bad decisions in the passing game, the coaching staff had to limit his attempts in order to reel in the mistakes. Since, the offense has featured more of running back Jamaal Charles and has become much more balances and, thus, effective as a result.
Charles has carried the ball more than 21 times in five games this season, all of them victories for the Longhorns. Defenses have been consistently tiring in these games by the fourth quarter, as Charles seems to just get stronger and faster as the game progresses. Getting Charles going early in this game against Arizona State will be easier said than done, however, as the Sun Devils come in ranked 13th in the nation against the run.
Key to defensive success for ASU will be the play of WLB Brandon James against Charles. James, a former safety has great speed and motion and his playmaking abilities make him a rare example of the type of athlete needed to stop Charles coming out of the backfield as a receiver. ASU’s defensive front will have to give James all the help they can in the form of good blocks at the line if they want to free him up to make plays. If they can’t provide the requisite blocking, Charles will ensure that the Longhorns easily cover the 2.5-point NCAAF betting spread.
Holiday Bowl @ Qualcomm Stadium: 8 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2007
Another big key to this game will be McCoy’s ability to quickly read ASU’s pre-snap defensive looks, especially as those looks apply to safeties Troy Nolan and Josh Barrett, who have developed into a very strong tandem as the year has gone on and Barrett’s earlier injuries have healed for the most part.
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