C-USA Week 4 Overview: Nothing Hokie About Va. Tech Blitzing ODU

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018 3:27 PM UTC

After being "hurricaned" out by Florence last week, Virginia Tech makes the cross-state trip to Norfolk to complete the home-and-home contract with Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon.

Doug's 2018 CFB Record: 3-3

C-USA Spotlight: No. 13 Virginia Tech (2-0 SU, ATS) at ODU (0-3 SU, ATS)Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)Free NCAAF Pick: Virginia Tech -28.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Virginia Tech will look to shake off the rust from an unexpected Saturday off, taking on Old Dominion. With games at Duke and Notre Dame the following two weeks, coach Justin Fuente will want his Hokies to be sharp from the opening kickoff. Having whipped William & Mary 62-17 two weeks ago, Fuente would seem to want to treat this as more than just another contest where the reserves play a great deal in the second half versus a weak foe.

Fuente will be after three quality quarters of exceptional football. Old Dominion is laboring in spite of having 16 returning starters, most of whom are seniors. The college football odds board has the Monarchs at +28 and that could go up. ODU has no shot to win, but can they cover?

The Monarchs are in serious trouble this season. On offense, they are 116th in scoring at 18.5 PPG and 116th in total offense (345 YPG). You cannot blame the schedule, having faced Liberty, FIU and Charlotte, not exactly the upper rung of college football. On the season, this trio has given up 26 PPG and 396 YPG, leaving the fault with Old Dominion.

A weak offense backed with a defense conceding 36 PPG against that level of competition, this spells trouble for ODU.

With how Florida State is playing, we know next to nothing about Virginia Tech and do not figure to learn much in this confrontation either.

Josh Jackson has the makings of a good quarterback and he should be able to complete a high percentage of passes in the game. There is no reason to believe Deshawn McClease, Steven Peoples and whoever else plays running back will not average five or more yards per carry.

Though defensive coordinator Bud Foster still receives much acclaim, the Hokies' defense no longer brings in All-Americans as they did in Frank Beamer's prime years. But defensive linemen such as Ricky Walker and Vinny Mihota and safety Reggie Floyd are All-ACC types.

One can only guess at Virginia Tech's state of mind. While they might start slow after an unwanted break, as bad as Old Dominion has played, it's hard to imagine the Monarch's better 5-15 ATS record in September and 4-13 ATS mark after two or more SU setbacks.

For college football picks, it's Virginia Tech by 30 or more.

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Sophomore linebacker Lawrence Garner has 42 tackles and leads FBS with 14.0 tackles per game #ODUFB #ODUSports #Monarchs pic.twitter.com/tC4iQrgK10

— ODU Football (@ODUFootball) September 17, 2018
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Around Conference USA (All Games Saturday Unless Noted)

Florida Atlantic at No. 16 Central Florida (-14), Friday 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN: The only prior meeting was in 2003 when FAU was still an FCS team. The Owls are 13-3 ATS away vs. winning teams. UCF is 29-20 ATS since 2009 as a home favorite.

Western Kentucky (+3.5) at Ball State, 3 p.m. ET, on ESPN3: This is the return game of last year's home-and-home won by the Hilltoppers 33-21 at 12-point home favorites. Ball State is 15-22 ATS as a home favorite.

Florida International (+26.5) at No. 21 Miami-FL, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: These two schools are nine miles apart and this is their third meeting. FIU is 0-2 (1-1 ATS) and faces a Hurricanes crew that is 11-1 ATS after a win by 17 or more.

Charlotte (+10.5) at Massachusetts, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ELVN: This is Charlotte's first road game of the season and they are 7-10-1 ATS since 2015. UMass is back home after three straight road losses and non-covers, losing by 31.3 PPG.

North Texas (-13.5) at Liberty, 6 p.m. ET, on ESPN3: North Texas is off to a 3-0 (2-1 ATS) start and is 11th in scoring in the country (49.3 PPG) and third in passing offense. Liberty is 1-1 SU & ATS and is 14th nationally tossing the pigskin.

Louisiana Tech (+20) at No. 6 LSU, 7 p.m. ET, on ESPNU: This is the fourth bayou battle since 2003, with LSU 3-0 and 2-1 ATS. Bulldogs coach Skip Holtz is 30-15 ATS as a road dog in his career and LSU is 8-19 ATS as a home favorite of 14.5 to 21 points.

Rice at Southern Miss (-14.5), 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN+: This is the conference opener for both teams. Since 2007, Rice holds a 6-2 ATS and has won outright half the time. Southern Miss is 48-30 ATS the first month of the season.

Texas State at UTSA (-7), 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN+: These Lone Star State combatants are a combined 0-5-1 ATS and Texas State has the lone victory, over FCS Texas Southern. The Roadrunners have won and covered both prior meetings but are 0-6 ATS at the Alamodome since the last home contest of 2016.

N.C. State at Marshall (+6), 7 p.m. ET, on CBSSN: Marshall has not beaten North Carolina State in four previous tries. The Thundering Herd is on a 7-0 ATS underdog run. The Wolfpack is 25-12 ATS in road games when playing with two weeks or more of rest.

New Mexico State at UTEP (+3), 7:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN3: For two bad football programs, the I-10 rivalry is intense. The Miners hold a 15-8 SU edge since 1993 and in El Paso are 10-2 and 5-4 ATS. (No lines prior to 1998.)

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