Week-3 College Football Picks w/ Joe Lisi: Two Dogs and an SEC Favorite to Break the Bookies

Week-3 college football picks

SBR Staff

Thursday, September 14, 2017 7:56 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017 7:56 PM GMT

Joe recommends betting two underdogs, one is Army plus almost 5 touchdowns at Ohio State. Also, betting San Diego State hosting Stanford. In the B1G vs SEC matchup, Joe looks towards the touchdown favorite Missouri

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 Army vs. Ohio State: Line: Ohio State -30.0  

Keys to the game:  Army’s Triple Option Offense vs. Front Seven of Ohio State: 

Facing the triple option is a lot different in game speed than defending it in practice situations. An overly aggressive defense that over-pursues the football, can get caught with misdirection plays on the back side because the unit is not maintaining “gap” integrity.  

Ohio State is coming off a significant home loss to Oklahoma (31-16) and allowed 490 total yards to the Sooners with quarterback Baker Mayfield (386 passing yards). While the secondary has allowed 420 and 386 passing yards in the first two games (403.0 ypg), this game will come down to the Buckeyes defensive front seven and their ability to stuff the run. 

Entering this game, the Buckeyes are allowing only 60 rushing yards per game but did allow Oklahoma to rush for 104 yards in last week’s loss. The Buckeyes defense must be disciplined and not be overly aggressive in their approach to stopping the run. If they fail, this can lead to big plays on the ground for Army and cause the Cadets to achieve first downs which could lead to long drives ending with points.  

More importantly, will be the fact that if Ohio State allows Army to move the football on the ground, the Cadets can attack the secondary with the play action passing game over the top. Army has only completed 2 of 10 passes in their first two games for 17 games, but could pull out all of the stops this coming Saturday in the Horseshoe.  

Army enters this game rushing for 417 yards per game and has a one-dimensional offense that will look to slow the game down and keep Ohio State’s offense on the sidelines.  

Army has converted 53% of their third down attempts, which is a critical statistic entering this match-up.  

If the Cadets can slow the tempo and maintain the time of possession, they can score points and force Ohio State into an ugly blue-collar type of game. The Buckeyes are allowing 41% to opposing offenses on third down conversions.  

Through two games this season, Ohio State is allowing 26 points per game. That is their highest total since the 2014 season when they allowed (26.0 points per game through the first two games-17 points to Navy and 34 points to Virginia Tech).  

Ohio State is averaging 229 rushing yards per game and 243 passing yards per game. The Buckeyes are converting 44% of their third down attempts and must be able to strike first to put the pressure on the Cadets to match them score for score.  

In order to beat triple option offenses, you must be able to dictate the tempo and jump up early with big plays to force them out of their game plan. Triple option offense struggle when they are forced to pass to play catch when playing from behind.  

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Purdue vs. Missouri  Line: Missouri -7.0  

Keys to the game: SEC vs. Big 10 “Speed Perspective”

Missouri enters this game averaging 383 passing yards per game and rushing for 236 yards on the ground. The Tigers struggled last week losing at home 31-13 to South Carolina.  

Quarterback Drew Lock has completed 53% of his passes for 766 yards with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Lock struggled last week throwing two critical interceptions and allowed the Gamecocks to rebound from an early 10-0 deficit in Columbia.  

Missouri will look to start fast in this game and put the pressure on Purdue to match them score for score. The Tigers will look to spread out the Boilermakers to utilize their speed on the perimeter with wide receiver J’Mon Moore and Johnathon Johnson (combined 12 receptions for 332 yards with 4 touchdowns).  

Missouri will want to attack a Purdue secondary that has allowed 300 passing yards per game and has struggled in man to man coverage through the first two contests.  

Missouri can utilize their up -tempo attack to wear down a bigger and slower Big 10 defense in this game. Even though the Boilermakers are playing very well this season, this was a team that was 1-8 in the conference in 2016.  

Purdue has only recorded one sack through the first two games and if the defense cannot get pressure on Drew Lock it can force their defensive backs to cover for long periods of time.  

The Boilermakers have had a more balanced offense in 2017 rushing for 159 yards per game and have passed for 294 yards per game this season.  

In 2016, the Boilermakers struggled with offensive balance and only rushed for 96 yards per game. This made their offense one dimensional and put pressure on their offensive line which forced long third down situations. Purdue allowed 29 total sacks as an offensive unit and converted 44% of their third down attempts last season.  

Entering this game, the Boilermakers will need to convert on third downs to sustain drives and not allow the Tigers offense back onto the field with a “short” field.  

Purdue is converting 36% of their third down attempts this season and has allowed 5 sacks as an offensive line unit. Missouri has recorded 5 sacks through the first two games and will look to utilize blitz packages to get pressure to force quick throws underneath coverage.  

This is an SEC vs. Big 10 match-up with both teams looking to start at 2-1. While Purdue has played very well in their first two games, they now must go on the road and face an SEC team with a speed advantage on both sides of the ball. 

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 Stanford vs. San Diego State Line: Stanford -9.5  

“This Game Should Be Played in a Phone Booth” 

The Cardinal are coming off of a disappointing 42-24 win at the hands of USC, while the Aztecs had an impressive road win over Arizona State 30-20. 

Stanford was manhandled at the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively by the Trojans. The Cardinal allowed 623 yards of total offense to USC (307 rush, 316 pass) and was put into long third down situations by the USC defense  

Quarterback Keller Chryst was under pressure all night long and completed 15 of 28 passes for 172 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.  The Cardinal passed for 182 yards last week and rushed for 170 yards on the ground in last week’s loss.  

Last year, Stanford was 7-0 every time they rushed for over 200 yards and won those games by 17.7  points per game. In the first game of the year against Rice, the Cardinal rushed for 289 yards en route to the 62-7 win.  

Even though Stanford was 10-3 in 2016, the Cardinal beat up on inferior competition throughout the season.  

In Stanford’s first seven games of 2016, the team was 4-3 against opponents with a combined overall record of 57-34 or .626%. In the final six games of 2016, the team was 6-0 against opponents with a combined overall record of 27-46 or .369%.  

Stanford enters this game allowing 205 passing yards-per-game and 226 rushing yards per game.  

San Diego State will be looking for their second consecutive win over a PAC-12 opponent. The Aztecs have been able to wear down teams at the point of attack and are rushing for 277 yards entering this game against Stanford.  

Running back Rashaad Penny is averaging 10.5 yards-per-carry (413 rushing yards) with 3 touchdowns and will look to wear down Stanford’s defensive front the exact same way USC did last week.  

San Diego State has a blue collar mentality on the offensive line and entered this season with two redshirt freshman and a sophomore on a revamped unit. The group has had cohesiveness and will need to open up holes to allow the Aztecs to dictate the tempo.  

If San Diego State can run early on in this game, this can open up the play action passing game for quarterback Christian Chapman. On the season, Chapman has completed 64% of his passes for 293 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He will need to make plays against Stanford to take the pressure off of Penny to carry this team.  

The Aztecs are allowing 50 rushing yards per game entering this matchup and must force Kelly Chryst to beat them over the top. Last season, Stanford only had two games in which it passed for over 200 yards (Washington State and Oregon). The Cardinal passed for over 300 yards in their week one game against Rice but only managed 182 in last week’s loss. 

This is back to back road games for the Cardinal. 

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