Conference USA Week 6 Overview: Louisiana Tech Blazes A Trail Over UAB

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 3:09 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 3:09 PM UTC

The C-USA conference campaign is just getting started but the winner between UAB and Louisiana Tech will have a leg up in the West Division and be able to control their destiny the rest of the way.

UAB (3-1 SU and ATS) at Louisiana Tech (3-1 SU and ATS)Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (Stadium)Free NCAAF Pick: Louisiana Tech coversBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Coming off a shocking bowl appearance after giving up in football, UAB will continue to try and define the odds. Other than one poor outing against Coastal Carolina, the Blazers are a sharp 3-0 SU and ATS and have won by 26.6 PPG.

Louisiana Tech stunned then undefeated North Texas on the road 29-27 as 7.5-point underdogs, blocking a field goal attempt with just 33 seconds remaining. But for coach Skip Holtz, covering the spread away from home has become the norm.

Holtz and his troops change roles, as the college football odds have them as 8-point home favorites this time. After road covers at Baton Rouge and Denton, TX, will Louisiana Tech be a little flat even for what might prove to be an important confrontation?

The Blazers Have To Remain Balanced On Offense and Defend Pass

UAB head coach Bill Clark is the reason they are playing football again in Birmingham. His dedication is a completely different article. On offense, the Blazers are committed to the run, averaging 46 attempts at 5.2 yards a clip and they are 22nd in the nation at 239 yards.

But this is not all UAB does and quarterback A.J. Erdely has his offense throwing for 201 YPG. When the Blazers can run and pass, they are hard to beat.

With Louisiana Tech at nearly 300 YPG passing, how Clark's team defends the pass with coverage and pass rush will decide their fate.

Bulldogs Also Prefer a Ground and Air Attack

Louisiana Tech is more of a short passing team but they do not give up on running the pigskin. The Bulldogs average 40 passes and 35 run attempts. Quarterback J'Mar Smith throws a nice catchable ball and 13 different players have caught passes. The best of the bunch is Adrian Hardy with 26 receptions, four that went for touchdowns.

Israel Tucker is the go-to running back, but Jaqwis Dancy averages 9 YPC and has found the end zone four times.

Louisiana Tech held up against the LSU rushing offense at 4.5 YPC and if they can make UAB a throwing team, they advance their chances.

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The Most Likely Outcome

As mentioned, this is not Louisiana Tech's best role with Holtz as coach. However, they do have the ability to slow the UAB ground game since they permit 3.8 YPC.

Also, the Louisiana Tech offense keeps moving the chains and this will frustrate the Blazers defense.

That is why for college football picks the Bulldogs will get the call and win by 12.

Doug's 2018 CFB Record: 6-4

Around Conference USA

Middle Tennessee at Marshall (-6.5), Friday 7:30 p.m. ET, on CBSSN: Both clubs won conference openers by three points or less last week. Marshall has won and covered both previous home matchups and is a sterling 17-5 ATS at home having won three out of their last four games. The Blue Raiders are 1-8 ATS on the road off a spread winner.

Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic (-15), 5:00 p.m. ET, on Stadium: Old Dominion almost engineered another upset at East Carolina, but lost 37-35, catching seven-points. However, the Monarchs are 0-8 ATS after allowing 525 or more total yards over two games. FAU is nearly as bad at 1-11 ATS off a conference loss by three points or less.

UTSA at Rice (-2), 7:00 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: After a 0-3 start, UTSA has won two straight, though they have been a backer's nightmare at 0-5 ATS. Rice has dropped three straight to the Roadrunners, but the Owls covered two of those and is 5-1 ATS vs. UTSA.

North Texas at UTEP (+25.5), 7:30 p.m. ET, on beIN: North Texas was stunned by Louisana Tech, as it's game-winning field goal was blocked in 29-27 loss. The Mean Green is still 10-4 ATS after passing for 280 or more yards. UTEP comes in a dismal 7-21-1 ATS versus winning teams.

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