Week 5 College Football: Joe Lisa Has Two Dogs and Two Faves To Bang the Books

SBR Staff

Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017 5:06 PM UTC

Drew Martin and Joe Lisi have found betting value in a few of this week's college football games. Let's look at Joe's article which dives deeper into detail on the games he selected.

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Friday Night: Nebraska vs. Illinois Line: Nebraska -6.5  

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Keys to the Game: 
Nebraska is 3-1 over Illinois since 2012 and has won those three games by an average margin of victory of 11.0 ppg.  

Nebraska has not played well and is coming off of a lackluster effort against Big 10 opponent-Rutgers at home. On the other hand, Illinois will be coming out of a bye week and will have an extra week of preparation for this contest.  

Nebraska has struggled to find offensive consistency with new starting quarterback Tanner Lee. On the year, Lee has completed 52% of his passes for 898 yards with 7 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. The Tulane transfer has not adjusted well to play in the Big 10 and will need to be more poised in the pocket on Friday night against the Illini.  

Nebraska is averaging 154 rushing yards per game and should look to run the football against the Illini front seven. Illinois is allowing 184 rushing yards per game and has worn down late in ball game especially in run support.  

The Cornhuskers have a number of backs that can carry the load and look for head coach Mike Riley to utilize a number of players this Friday to keep the backfield fresh in critical third down situations.  

Illinois is allowing opposing offenses to convert on 50% of their third downs this season and will be a key to this game in Champaign.  

Illinois is averaging 179 passing yards per game and has had problems stretching defenses vertically dating back to the 2016 season. Last year, the Illinois threw for only 13 touchdown passes and will need to loosen up the Cornhuskers front seven, by passing the football. Nebraska enters this game holding opposing offenses to 114 rushing yards per game and is holding opposing offenses to 38% of their third downs this season.  

Illinois as a team has thrown only 2 touchdowns with 5 interceptions this year and has struggled at the quarterback position with both Chayce Crouch and Jeff George Jr. completing less than 55% of their passes (52% as a team entering this game).  

Saturday:Colorado vs. UCLA  

Line: UCLA -6.5  

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Keys to the Game: 
UCLA is 4-1 over the Buffaloes since 2012 and have won those games by an average margin of victory of 14.2 points per game. Colorado did pick up the 20-10 win last season in Boulder.  

Both teams are coming off of PAC-12 losses and will be looking to regroup this coming weekend.  

Colorado trailed 17-10 to Washington late in the third quarter and had the football looking to tie the game. However, on their own 30-yard line, quarterback Steven Montez threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. That play changed the momentum of the contest and the Huskies were able to score in the fourth quarter to blow the game wide open 37-10.  

UCLA allowed 405 rushing yards last week and was worn down at the point of attack by a bigger and more physical Stanford team. The Bruins lost on the road in Palo Alto by a score of 58-34.  

Entering this game, UCLA is giving up 307 rushing yards per game (yes-three football fields per game) to opposing offenses and will face another blue-collar team in the Buffaloes.  

Colorado enters this game rushing for 141 yards per game and is passing for 272 yards per game through the air. The Buffaloes are converting on 43% of their third-down attempts and will look to move the football on a Bruins defense that is allowing 43 points per game along with allowing opposing offenses to convert on 40% of their third-down attempts.  

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has completed 65% of his passes for 1,763 yards with 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In order for UCLA to preserve their defense, they must be able to run the football. Entering this game, the Bruins are rushing for 120 yards per game and will need a better on Saturday night in the Rose Bowl to win this game.  

The Buffaloes are holding opposing offenses to 29% of their third-down attempts and will look to force UCLA into third down and long situations which will allow the defensive staff to utilize blitz packages on UCLA. Through the first four games, UCLA has allowed 8 sacks (2.0 per game) and will be challenged by a physical group up front for Colorado.  

Colorado is giving up 142 rushing yards per game and has been able to force turnovers with 8 forced turnovers through the first four games (even in turnover margin). UCLA enters this game -5 in turnover margin and cannot lose the turnover battle at home in order to get this win.  

Colorado has been able to play very good man to man coverage this year and is holding opposing offenses to 199 passing yards per game.  

Baylor vs. Kansas State 

Line: Kansas State -17.0  

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Keys to the Game: 
Baylor is 4-1 over Kansas State since 2012 and has won those games by an average margin of victory of 14.0 points per game.  

Kansas State had an impressive 9-4 record in 2016, against 8 FBS opponents with a combined overall record of 39-60 or .393%. The Wildcats are very solid defensively allowing 132 rushing yards per game along with 153 passing yards to opposing offenses.  

Kansas State won this game last year in Waco 41-21 against Zach Smith-who was making his first career start for the Bears filling in for injured Seth Russell.  

Last week, Smith stepped in for injured Anu Solomon (2nd game since being injured) and completed 66% of his passes for 463 yards for 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.  

Kansas State is coming out of a bye week and will look to run the football against a Baylor defense that allowed Oklahoma to rush for 342 yards in last week’s 49-41 loss. 

Baylor’s defense is allowing 236 rushing yards per game. Kansas State enters this game rushing for 230 yards per game and has rushed for 8 touchdowns through the first three games.  

In the win over SEC opponent, Vanderbilt, the Wildcats rushed for 201 yards on the ground.   

Over the past three games, the Bears have allowed 220, 246 and 342 rushing yards in three losses to UTSA, Duke, and Oklahoma. Baylor was outscored by a margin of 100-71 or 9.6 points per game.  

Baylor’s speed could be a factor in this game against the secondary of the Wildcats. 

Baylor’s offense finally saw consistency in the passing game and that should carry through this weekend in Manhattan. Through the first three games, Baylor completed 37 of 91 passes or 40.6% before last week’s 33 of 50 performance against Oklahoma.  

Part of the reason for the turnaround is the play of the offensive line.  

Head coach Matt Rhule came from Temple in which he predicted a physicality on the offensive and defensive lines. His offensive philosophy is to run the football between the tackles and work off of play action in the passing game. However, the Bears were not built that way under former coach Art Briles and last year’ with interim head coach Jim Grobe. Over the past three games, the Bears have rushed for 137, 57 and 60 yards (84.6 rushing yards per game) and will look to throw over the top of the Wildcats to get them into a high scoring ball game.  

Kansas State quarterback, Jesse Ertz, has completed 55% of his passes for 587 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Wildcats have struggled when put into third down and long situations and are converting 38% of their third-down attempts this year.  

Baylor enters this game, converting on 28% of their third-down attempts, but did have their best effort last week converting 9 of 21 attempts (42%) against the Sooners.  

Baylor is 0-4 on the season but should bring their best effort this weekend with another Big 12 opponent in Kansas State on tap.  

North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech   

Line: Georgia Tech 10.0  

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Keys to the Game: 
North Carolina is 3-2 over Georgia Tech and won last year’s contest 48-20 in Chapel Hill.  

Georgia Tech enters this game rushing for 393 yards per game and will look to challenge a Tar Heels defense that is giving up 176 rushing yards per game. In last week’s loss to Duke, the Tar Heels gave up 186 rushing yards en-route to the 27-17 loss at home to the Blue Devils. 

Georgia Tech is converting 54% of their third down conversions and will look to move the football methodically against the Tar Heels front seven. North Carolina is giving up 40% on third downs to opposing offenses.  

If the Yellow Jackets have success pounding the football at the middle of the defense, it will force the Tar Heel to creep up their defensive backs in run support.  

North Carolina is allowing 293 passing yards per game and Georgia Tech could have success throwing over the top on first downs after running the football on the Tar Heels defense. Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall has completed 60% of his passes for 280 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. The junior has made solid decisions and leads the team in rushing with 386 yards and a team-leading eight touchdown runs.  

In order to move the football against Georgia Tech, North Carolina must try and throw over the top of their secondary and force the Yellow Jackets out of their game plan.  

North Carolina is averaging 280 passing yards per game with quarterback Chazz Surratt completing 64% of his passes for 845 yards with 5 touchdowns and one interception.  

Georgia Tech has one of the best statistical defenses in the nation allowing only 264 total yards per game. The Yellow Jackets are holding opposing offenses to 164 passing yards per game and only 100 rushing yards per game. The ability to run the football has allowed the team to control the time of possession and keep opposing offenses on the sidelines while resting their defense.  

Georgia Tech has recorded 8 total sacks through the first three games and will look to get pressure on Surratt to force him into quick throws underneath coverage. The Tar Heels offensive line has surrendered 9 total sacks through the first four games and must be able to give time to Surratt to locate his wide receivers.  

The Yellow Jackets are consistently winning the third down battles as well and enter this game against North Carolina holding opposing offenses to 26% of their third-down opportunities.  

North Carolina enters this game allowing 33 points per game while Georgia Tech is allowing 23 points per game.  


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