Week 3 College Football Picks: Play with Toledo's Solid Defense Over Iowa State

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 3:17 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2015 3:17 PM GMT

The Iowa State Cyclones are looking for a spark. The Toledo Rockets know that they will get a spark back into their offense this week. What do these references mean? You’ll see below.

Momentum
The Iowa State Cyclones played one really good half, scoring 17 points and taking a touchdown lead over rival Iowa into the locker room at halftime last Saturday. However, they had nothing left in the second half, scoring zero points and losing to the Hawkeyes, 31-17. Iowa State has not had much of any depth for years, and that lack of stamina shows up in third and especially fourth quarters. The Cyclones are going to have a tough time scoring against almost every team they play, with the likely exception of Kansas.

The Toledo Rockets are sky-high with confidence and optimism after they upset the Arkansas Razorbacks on the road last weekend. Toledo was playing without star running back Kareem Hunt, who was serving a suspension. More on him below. Yet, the Rockets stood tall against Arkansas’ powerful offensive line, allowing only 10 points to the Razorbacks’ offense. The Hogs scored two more points when Toledo took a late safety, creating the 16-12 final score. Toledo plays in the Mid-American Conference, a league which is known for its wide-open and high-scoring games. Toledo’s ability to win a smash mouth, low-scoring game is something which will serve notice to other teams that the Rockets are tough and combative. They can win a dirty and ugly game if they need to. That’s the kind of thing they’ll build on during the season.

 

Line Moves
The College Football Betting Odds have moved to minus-7.5 points for Toledo, down from eight. If there is a downward movement in the line, it’s because Iowa State gave Iowa a closer battle than a lot of people expected. Iowa State might not have been predicted to be as competitive as it was this past Saturday. There might also be concerns about Toledo’s passing game, which was not able to do all that much against Arkansas.

Notable Injuries
Iowa State defensive lineman Demond Tucker is probable for this game. Defensive end Gabe Luna is expected to miss this game. Defensive back Sam Richardson is also expected to miss this contest, for reasons that are undisclosed. The same applies to Luna. Linebacker Brian Mills is questionable with a leg injury. Defensive lineman Devlyn Cousin left the team in August and is no longer on the roster. Tight end Cole Anderson is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Toledo cornerback Jordan Martin is questionable for this game with a leg injury. So is cornerback Trevon Mathis. Linebacker Chase Murdock is questionable with a hamstring injury. Running back Terry Swanson is questionable with an ankle injury.

In good news for the Rockets, defensive end Allen Covington and star running back Kareem Hunt have finished serving suspensions and will play in this game, a big boost for the team. Tight end Adam Kulon, though, is out for the season with a knee injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
As for this College Football Pick I believe the Rockets are a solid defensive team, not just an offensive team. Yet, getting Kareem Hunt back will help a lot, and bettors should realize that. Iowa State is an incomplete team. Toledo should win this game going away.

College Football Pick: Toledo -7.5 at Bookmaker

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