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Rocketman’s Weekly NCAA Football Analysis

College Football Week 7: What We Learned

Rocketman

Rocketman

Texas gets signature win in ugly fashion:

Heading into the Red River Shootout against Oklahoma, most experts didn’t know just how good this Texas team is because they really hadn’t been tested up until this past Saturday.  It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination but Texas pulled out a 16-13 win over the Sooners in a tough, hard fought game.  Texas knocked out Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford early in the first half but still let the Sooners’ QBs throw for 327 yards.

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However, they were able to keep the dynamic running game of Oklahoma completely in check as Oklahoma was held to negative yardage on the ground.  The Texas offense struggled and they were actually out gained by Oklahoma.  Colt McCoy threw for just 127 yards but Texas was able to get the run game going which helped propel them to victory.  There are still some concerns about whether or not this team is as good as their number 2 ranking says they are as Oklahoma took them to the wire and had opportunities to win this ball game.

Ohio State is not a Top 10 team:

Everyone expected Ohio State to roll into West Lafayette on Saturday and blast Purdue but that just did not happen.  Purdue outplayed the Buckeyes in all three phases of the game and won the ball game outright as 14 point underdogs.  The Purdue defense which has not been very good all season long really stepped up in a big way and forced Terrelle Pryor into making costly mistakes.  Pryor threw two interceptions and the Buckeyes also fumbled three times for a total of five turnovers in the game.  The Ohio State defense didn’t live up to its billing either.  This was a unit that was supposed to be the best in the Big 10 but Joey Elliot had open receivers downfield all game long.  Elliot played outstanding as he went 31 of 50 for 281 yards and 2 touchdown passes.  Ohio State trailed at one point in the third quarter 23-7.  They eventually mounted a bit of a comeback to make it a one score game but the Purdue defense was able to stop the Buckeyes’ late charge and come away with a 26-18 win.

Charlie Weis still can’t win a big game:

Many people in and around South Bend were saying that Charlie Weis needed to beat USC on Saturday in order to still be the head man at Notre Dame next season.  Well, once again Charlie Weis failed to win another big game and is now 0-5 versus the Trojans of USC.  Notre Dame was down by 20 points early in the fourth quarter but climbed back into the game and actually had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds.  Jimmy Clausen had two shots in the final four seconds to punch the ball into the end zone but came up short and USC prevailed 34-27.  Once again, the Notre Dame defense was horrific yielding 501 yards of total offense.  Matt Barkley played well as he was able to throw for a whopping 380 yards and 2 TDs against the Irish secondary.  Meanwhile, Heisman Trophy candidate Jimmy Clausen went 24 of 43 for 260 yards and 2 touchdown passes but it wasn’t enough as the Notre Dame defense couldn’t find a way to stop the USC offense.  Year after year, the Notre Dame defense can’t stop anybody particularly in big games when it matters most.  If Weis is going to keep his job, his defense has got to improve immensely or they will simply continue to get torched against quality opponents.

Top Teams to Bet Against in College Football

Illinois: 0-6 ATS

Illinois is the only team in Division IA college football that has failed to cover at least 1 game in 2009. Illinois suffered another embarrassing loss to Indiana this past Saturday by a final score of 27-14. The Illini were 3.5 point underdogs in that game but were yet again unable to keep the game competitive against an Indiana team that is not very good their own right. Illinois is losing by an average of 12 points per game and have struggled on both sides of the football. The defense has been getting torched allowing more than 28 points and 420 yards of total offense per game. They have juggled quarterbacks and still haven’t found an answer as to who can jumpstart an offense that is averaging just 188 yards passing per game. The Big Ten schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Illini and they likely will continue to struggle to cover the number in a tough conference.

Rice: 1-5-1 ATS

Rice is 0-7 straight up thus far this season and has only covered one of those 7 games. The Owls have been one of the worst defensive teams in the country allowing 45 points per game. This unit is also giving up 470 total yards per game and 209 yards rushing per contest. When you can’t stop the run, it is extremely difficult to be competitive and that is one of the major reasons why this is one of the top go against teams in the country. This team is losing by an average of 29 points a game as the offense has been ineffective as well. They are only putting up 16 points a game and are averaging just 2.8 yards per rush. When you can’t run the football or stop the run at all, you are not going to win or cover. That’s just how the game of football goes.

Eastern Michigan: 1-5

Eastern Michigan is also winless on the season and has only been able to cover the number once this season. Their one ATS victory came as 21 point underdogs at Northwestern where they lost 24-21. Other then that game, this team has not been very competitive at all. They are losing by an average of score 34-13 and much like Rice, they have struggled on both sides of the ball. The offense is shuffling between three quarterbacks and is only averaging an abysmal 270 total yards per game. Defensively, teams have been running the ball right down their throats for over 243 yards per game. This team needs to find the right man to play quarterback and stop the run or they will continue to lose games in big fashion.

New Mexico: 1-5

The Lobos are another team that has failed to win a ball game as they have started out 0-6 in 2009. Their most recent loss came at Wyoming where they were manhandled 37-13 as 10 point underdogs. In their first three games, they were absolutely embarrassed by Texas A&M, Tulsa, and Air Force. New Mexico is getting outscored by an average margin of 23 points per game and their defense has been giving up yards in huge chunks. Opponents are averaging 37.8 points and just over 430 yards of total offense per game. The secondary has been the biggest weakness as they have allowed an average of nearly 259 yards passing. It is extremely difficult to cover the spread when you can’t stop anyone on defense and that is the case for the Lobos of New Mexico.

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