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Last weekend had some of the best non-conference games we’ve ever seen. This week sucks. However, there are six games I’ll be eyeing over the weekend.
SMU AT Baylor
When: 2:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1
Instead of being a complete and delusional homer, I will not be touching the 31.5 point underdog. As far as the score goes, SMU could either keep it competitive like last year or give up 80. Whatever the final score will be, it’ll contain a lot of points. Baylor still has all the offensive weapons with Russell, Cannon, and Linwood still around, among others.
SMU still has no defense. Baylor also has very little defense. Even though SMU starting QB Matt Davis may be out, their backup QB, Ben Hicks, was a 4-star prospect out of high school and has spent a year learning Chad Morris’ offense. When you give him weapons like Courtland Sutton and James Proche, Hicks will put up some points. I honestly could see this being a 63-28 type of game. Say goodbye to SMU’s title hopes, though.
Texas Tech AT Arizona State
When: 9:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1
Pick: Over (and take Tech +3)
If there is one thing I’ve learned from betting on Texas Tech in my past, it is that they will hit the over. When you have one of the most explosive offenses in the country and one of the worst defenses in the country, you are going to be involved in a shootout. Arizona State’s offense isn’t too shabby, either. Their defense — also bad. Patrick Mahomes is going to light up the scoreboard to the tune of 50+ points. Only real question is does Kliff take his QB to the Tempe bars after the game to see who can get more tail?
UTEP AT Texas
When: 6:00 p.m. on the defunct Longhorn Network
Is Texas football back? Let’s wait and see how they do against Cal, OSU, and OU first before we can declare them “back.” I will say this, though — I’ve been on the Shane Buechele train since he arrived on campus. The kid can throw the football and is way more mature than your typical freshman QB. The offense looked real good last week against Notre Dame, too. Boo has guys like Burt, Heard, Armanti Foreman, and Warrick to throw to on the outside. And then you have to deal with not one, but two running backs who are about 250 pounds and can run 4.4 forties. Oh yeah, then there’s that Swoopes guy. Those three guys combined with a mauling offensive line will wear a defense down. On the defensive side of the ball, they looked average. UTEP comes in with a running back who had 249 yards rushing last week. I expect Texas to give up a few points in this one, but also scoring a bunch.
Kentucky AT Florida
When: 2:30 p.m. on CBS
Did you watch both of these teams last week? Florida leaned on their defense to defeat UMass 25-7, while Kentucky put up 35 in a loss. This just seems like the kind of game where Florida doesn’t need much offense to win because they will be able to stop Kentucky’s offense. Just your typical SEC game where Florida wins something like 20-14.
Virginia Tech AT Tennessee
When: 7:00 p.m. on ABC
Line: Tennessee -11.5
Pick: Virginia Tech
Tennessee was one bounce away from letting App. State go into Knoxville and walk away with a victory. While App. State sports a really good defense, their passing offense sucked. Virginia Tech has more playmakers on offense than the Mountaineers, especially on the outside with Bucky Hodges and Isaiah Ford. Va. Tech will keep it close; Bud Foster’s defense will keep them in the game. I expect Tennessee to come out with the W, but definitely not by 12 or more points. Giving Tennessee 11.5 against a better team than App. State is kinda mind boggling, especially at a neutral site (Bristol Motor Speedway).
Arkansas AT TCU
When: 6:00 p.m. on ESPN
Really only included this game because it’s one of the few interesting games on this weekend. Since you won’t be watching anything else, might as well watch a little Big 12 vs. SEC action. I actually like Arkansas in this game. TCU didn’t impress me last week. Arkansas didn’t, either, but control the clock and run the ball and you’ll have a shot, Razorbacks. Only will want TCU to win if SMU pulls off a miracle — to keep those title hopes alive..
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