College Football Picks: QB Questions Make Fresno State & Under the Smart Bets vs. San Jose State

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 9:49 PM GMT

We have no idea who will be starting at QB for Fresno State on Saturday, but apparently Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter doesn't know, either. SJSU is -4.5 on college football odds with a total of 56.

QB Carousel At Fresno State
Fresno State (1-2) closed as an 11.5-point underdog last week at home against No. 21 Utah and the Bulldogs lost 45-24. I did think FSU might cover that spread with Utah perhaps looking ahead to this week's big Pac-12 game at Oregon. The Utes led Fresno 24-3 through three quarters before the game got a bit interesting. Fresno State made it a two-score game early in the fourth on a Zack Greenlee touchdown pass to Josiah Blandin. But Utah's Cory Butler-Byrd returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown for the Utes and then two minutes later Britain Covey brought back a punt 77 yards for another score. FSU would again get within two scores on a Greenlee 82-yard TD pass to Jamire Jordan and 32-yard TD pass to Da'Mari Scott. But Utah closed the scoring with 14 seconds left to cover easily.

The big news from that game was an injury suffered by Fresno starting QB Chason Virgil. He was knocked out early in the fourth quarter with what would prove to be a broken clavicle -- at first the school didn't think it was serious -- so his season is over. Virgil had come off the bench behind Greenlee the first two games. He became the first true freshman to start at QB for Fresno since 1973.

So presumably, Greenlee would start in this one. He was 6-for-10 passing in the Utah game in relief of Virgil for 144 yards and three fourth-quarter touchdowns. However, he was arrested early Sunday morning for public drunkenness. Here's all DeRuyter has said about any possible suspension: “Discipline will be handled internally. He will practice this week, and Saturday we’ll make another announcement on it.”

Well that doesn't help!

If Greenlee is suspended for part or all of the San Jose State game, the Bulldogs have two scholarship quarterbacks available: junior transfer Ford Childress and redshirt freshman Kilton Anderson. Childress, from West Virginia, got some mop-up snaps against Ole Miss on Sept. 12 and threw two passes, with one picked off and returned for a score. Anderson has yet to take a collegiate snap.

Fresno State is 1-2 ATS on college football picks this season and 2-1 'over/under.'

 

SJSU Also Has QB Question
San Jose State (1-2)  opened with a 43-13 win over FCS school New Hampshire but has followed with a 37-16 loss at Air Force and then last week 35-21 at Oregon State. SJSU lead the Pac-12's Beavers 21-14 at halftime but was on the short end of three Beavers' touchdowns in a 3:59 span of the third quarter.

The Spartans also may have a quarterback quandary. Kenny Potter started against Oregon State but had to leave early in the second quarter because of an ankle injury. An MRI on Monday showed no signs of serious damage. But Potter is questionable for Saturday. Senior Joe Gray would start if Potter can't go.

Potter, a junior transfer from Long Beach City College, overtook Gray in the competition for the starting job last week because of his practices after the Air Force game. Potter went 8-for-9 for 72 yards before leaving with the injury. Gray struggled in that game, going 4-for-10 for 20 yards with a TD and a pick. Third-stringer Malik Watson also played and was 8-for-14 for 57 yards and an interception.

San Jose State is 1-2 ATS on college football odds and 2-1 O/U.

 

All-Time Series
Fresno State leads the series, 40-35-3, which dates back to 1921. This is the earliest in a season they will meet since 1994. The schools met last year in Fresno and the Bulldogs won 38-24. Trailing 14-7 in the second quarter, Fresno State scored 21 unanswered points in the final three minutes of the first half. Marteze Waller, who is currently FSU's leading rusher, had 145 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Gray was 26 of 44 for 350 yards and two touchdowns for the Spartans. The teams have split the last four meetings over a five-season span. Since joining the Mountain West in 2012, Fresno State has won its first league game of the season all three times. The Bulldogs are 19-5 overall in the Mountain West since joining.

College Football Picks:  Fresno State +4.5 & Under 56 at TheGreek