-Maryland gained just 223 total yards against Connecticut
-Gained 96 rushing yards and averaged 2.4 yards per carry against a defense that came in allowing just 0.88 yards per carry
-Edsall is 1-7 versus West Virginia, losing the last six by 12 ppg
-QB Geno Smith has as many incompletions as TD passes after two games, similar to RGIII
-Smith set the school record for career passing yards (8,191)
-Scored 181 points in their last three games (school record)
-James Madison was missing their leading rusher
-A total of 33 players have starting experience
-Won six straight over Maryland
UAB Blazers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
-Allowed 501 yards against the Gamecocks (out-gained by 234 yards)
-QB Jonathan Perry completed 17 of 34 passes for 219 yards before getting pulled late in the third quarter
-Hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team outside of Conference USA
-Blazers are 3-32 versus BCS teams on the road
-Buckeyes escaped, Cal missed three FGs and had a touchdown called back
-Surrendered 512 yards (out-gained by 100 yards)
-Meyer is now 37-4 in September
-Won 60 consecutive regular-season non-conference home games against unranked competition
-QB Braxton Miller had a hand in all five touchdowns
-Won 10 straight prior to starting Big Ten play, by an average of 22 points
Bowling Green Falcons vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
-Out-gained by a 452-351 margin
-Gone UNDER the total in all three games
-The Falcons are 0-5 against ACC opponents, average loss by 17 points
-Began the year 0-4 versus ranked opponents under Dave Clawson, average loss by 33 points
-Out-gained by a 537-324 margin, minus-three turnover differential
-13-game road win streak snapped
-QB Logan Thomas was 14 of 31 for 265 yards, with a TD and three INTs
-Own a 19-2 record against MAC opponents
Virginia Cavaliers vs. TCU Horned Frogs
-Allowed three gains of 60 yards or longer in the first four plays (out-gained by a 594-297 margin)
-Perry Jones limited to five carries for 15 yards (149 yards last year)
-Most points allowed since 1999
-Failed to reach 300 yards of total offense in consecutive games for the first time since 2009
-Gone 2-6 in regular season non-conference road games since 2006
-Extended nation’s longest win streak to 10 games
-Not allowed a TD in its opening two games
-QB Casey Pachall threw for 335 yards, second-best game of this career
-15 true freshman have seen action
-Gone 19-2 at home versus non-conference opponents
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators
-Kentucky’s 19-game win streak over non-BCS opponents was snapped
-Second SEC team to lose to a Sun Belt Conference opponent in as many weeks
-Won the statistical battle by a 373-323 margin, lost turnover battle 4-2
-Won eight straight against the Volunteers
-RB Mike Gillislee ran for 115 yards, Gators finished with 336 on the ground (555-340 edge in yards)
-Won an SEC road game for the second straight week after trailing at halftime
-Outscored opponents by a 50-13 margin in the second half, 27-0 in fourth quarter
-Started 3-0 in eight straight years
Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina
-Defense forced four turnovers, won the yardage battle (318-296)
-QB Corbin Berkstresser made his first career start (21-41, 198, INT)
-First time a starting QB has missed a start since Pinkel’s first season in 2001
-Allowed zero first-quarter points this season
-Forced multiple turnovers in every game this season
-Tigers are 6-1 in L7 road openers
-QB Connor Shaw re-injured his throwing shoulder, offense still gained 501 yards
-Start a stretch of playing seven straight SEC opponents
-RB Marcus Lattimore hasn’t topped the 100-yard mark in five of his past seven games
-Defense hasn’t allowed a TD from the red zone
Eastern Michigan vs. Michigan State
-Out-gained by a 576-313 margin, allowed 392 rushing yards
-Senior QB Alex Gillett finished 9-of-15 for 66 yards with three INTs
-Gone 0-8 in this series, outscored by an average of 41 points in last five meetings
-Lost eight straight versus ranked opponents, average loss of 43
-15-game home winning streak snapped
-Allowed four sacks, didn’t allow one in first two games
-Failed to cause a turnover for just the second time in 16 games
-Out-gained by a 300-237 margin
-Failed to score a TD for the first time since 1991
Oregon State vs. UCLA
-Only played one game this year, first game postponed, bye last week
-Gone 1-3 L4 trips to the Rose Bowl
-RB Johnathan Franklin, the nation’s leading rusher, gained 110 yards on 25 carries
-Defense caused six turnovers, offense turned the ball over five times
-Bruins won the TOP battle by a 41:14 to 18:46 margin
-The 122 points through the first three games are the most since starting the 2005 season with 148 points
-Won two straight and seven of the last nine meetings against the Beavers
Florida Atlantic vs. Alabama
-Allowed Georgia to pile up a school-record 713 yards
-Didn’t have to face three Bulldogs defensive starters, including Jarvis Jones
-Won the turnover battle by a 4-2 margin, out-gained 713-318
-Lost their last 10 games versus ranked opponents
-Third time playing defending national champ, average loss by 28 ppg
-Forced five turnovers, won 21st consecutive SEC opener
-Won the statistical battle by a 438-137 margin, 5-0 turnover margin
-Offensive line didn’t allow a sack, allowed six in previous game
-Biggest shutout win over SEC opponent since 1948
-Entered this year 17-1 versus SBC opponents
California vs. USC
-Missed three FGs, had a touchdown called back by penalty
-Maynard was 26 of 37 passes for 280 yards and a TD
-Out-gained the Buckeyes by a 512-412 margin
-Gained 500-plus years in back-to-back games
-Haven’t won in the Coliseum since 2000, dropping five straight by 14 ppg
-Largest halftime deficit in school history last time on the road versus the Trojans
-Barkley was 20 of 41, 254 yards and two INTs
-Held scoreless for the final 41:19
-Center Khaled Holmes was limited, offensive line struggled
-Trojans have been outscored by 12.8 ppg versus the Cardinal the last four years, outscored the rest of the Pac-12 by 8.6 ppg in that span
-Beaten the Bears in eight straight by 19 ppg
LSU vs. Auburn
-Nation’s longest regular-season win streak of 16 games
-QB Zach Mettenberger completed 17 of 22 passes for 222 yards
-Finished with a 472-213 statistical edge, 4-1 in turnover margin
-24 consecutive wins in September
-63 points scored, the most in the Les Miles era
-Visiting team is 1-11 in the last 12 meetings in the series against Auburn
-Out-gained Louisiana-Monroe by just eight yards, lost the TOP battle by a 34:45 to 25:15 margin
-Gone 23-0 under Gene Chizik when scoring 30-plus points
-RB Onterio McCalebb finished with 128 yards, second-highest total in his career
-Finished with a season-high 418 yards of total offense, season-high 255 yards rushing
Louisville vs. FIU
-Nearly squandered a 36-7 halftime lead against UNC
-Won the statistical battle by a 462-410 margin
-Opened up a year 3-0 for the first time since 2006, while winning three games in a row for the first time under head coach Charlie Strong
-Defense hasn’t given up a point in the first quarter (34-0)
-Three consecutive games of 450-plus years of offense
-Gone 8-3 in road openers (3-0 versus non-BCS)
-Gone 0-4 hosting BCS teams
Michigan vs. Notre Dame
-QB Denard Robinson put up 397 yards of total offense
-Finished with a 585-259 edge in yardage
-260 passing yards in the first half, ranks second in program history
-Underdog has won seven of the last eight meetings
-Robinson set a school record 502 total yards for a QB last year
-Notre Dame won its road opener for the first time since 2006
-Snapped a string of six consecutive losses against top 25 teams on the road
-Improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2002
-Surrendered 30 points over first three games, not surrendered fewer points since 1988
-Gone 1-5 versus Wolverines, including three straight losses, all by four points each
Vanderbilt vs. Georgia
-RB Zac Stacy gained 174 yards on eight carries, 605-149 statistical advantage
-QB Austyn Carta-Samuels earned his first starting assignment, started 21 games at Wyoming
-Gone 4-43-1 versus Georgia since 1963, five straight losses
-Murray passed for a career-best 342 yards
-Gained a school-record 713 total yards
-Both freshman RBs went over 100 yards on the ground
-Scored 40-plus points in each of its first three games for the first time in school history
-Won 16 of their last 17 versus the Commodores, including five straight
Kansas State vs. Oklahoma
-Won the statistical battle by just 20 yards versus North Texas
-Lost the TOP battle by a 37:04 to 22:56 margin
-Entered sixth nationally in averaging better than 300 yards rushing, gained just 143
-Gone 54-5 in games played in September under Snyder
-Lost five straight versus Sooners by an average of 22 ppg
-Gone 14-0 under Bob Stoops at home versus ranked teams, 44-2 at home versus Big 12 competition under his watch
-Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards and also threw five touchdowns in last year’s meeting
-The two teams are 4-4 in the previous eight meetings when both squads are ranked
-Gone 11-2 in Big 12 openers under Stoops, 7-0 at home
-Won four straight Big 12 openers, winning by an average of 19 points
-Gone 13-0 in Big 12 home openers under Stoops, outscoring opponents by a 512-219 margin
Clemson vs. Florida State
-WR Sammy Watkins finished with 119 all-purpose yards, QB Tajh Boyd had 310 yards and three TDs
-Won the statistical battle by a 498-352 margin, held the ball for just 21:41
-Opposing teams are 9-for-41 on third-down conversions against them this year
-RB Chris Thompson gained 197 yards on nine carries
-Outscored first three opponents by a 176-3 margin
-Won the statistical battle by a 612-126 margin
-Scored 50 or more points in all three games this year, first time in school history
-Home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this series
Arizona vs. Oregon
-Won the statistical battle by a 689-154 margin (school-record 43 first downs)
-Ran a school-record 102 plays
-Won five straight games dating back to 2011
-Passed for 300-plus yards in 12 consecutive games
-Lost eight of their last nine trips to Eugene
-Lost 10 straight road openers to BCS teams by an average of 21 ppg
-Won the statistical battle by a 652-177 margin, held the ball for just 21:42
-De’Anthony Thomas had 222 all-purpose yards
-Gone 15-3 L18 meetings with Wildcats, won four straight, averaging 51 ppg and 504 ypg in those contests
I've already written that the UCLA Bruins may hold a considerable edge in this Pac-12 matchup due to the amount of games both teams have played, especially with Saturday's host covering its first three contests.
The opening line may have been a bit inflated, considering the Beavers knocked off the Wisconsin Badgers as six-point home underdogs.
UCLA enjoyed a similar result against a Big Ten Conference opponent, capturing a 36-30 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers as 3.5-point home underdogs in Week 2.
Sports bettors will find that the program getting points has covered four of the last five games in this series.
Opening Line: UCLA Bruins -11.5 Current Line: UCLA Bruins -10
The Florida Gators have opened up Southeastern Conference play with back-to-back road wins over the Tennessee Volunteers and Texas A&M Aggies, which is why sharp action has landed on the other side in early wagering.
In sports betting, one of my favorite scenes is watching a team celebrate after a big victory, as they will likely come out flat the following week.
Look at this picture, and it tells the story, especially when you've won 25-straight games against your next opponent.
The Kentucky Wildcats will look to bounce back after suffering a 32-31 setback to Western Kentucky in overtime, as they've gone 5-0 ATS following a straight-up loss.
Opening Line: Florida Gators -25.5 Current Line: Florida Gators -24
College football handicappers will have a lot of fun breaking down the biggest game in the Atlantic Coast Conference this week, as the Clemson Tigers (3-0) take on the Florida State Seminoles (3-0) on Saturday night inside Doak Campbell Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 8:00 ET on ABC.
The Seminoles are currently 14-point home favorites in the Week 4 college football betting odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total has settled in at 57 across the board.
Let's take a closer look at this high-profile affair from a betting perspective, while I also provide an official pick on the total.
The Florida State Seminoles earned a 52-0 blowout win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as 28-point home favorites last week, which allowed the program to gain revenge from last year's 35-30 setback in the series.
Sports betters will notice that the Seminoles suffered a five-point loss against the Clemson Tigers last year in Death Valley, but they played that entire contest without starting quarterback EJ Manuel, who was injured a week earlier against the Oklahoma Sooners.
There's no doubt in my mind that college football odds-makers are expecting a double-digit victory for Saturday's host, but I'm more interested in playing the total.
Clemson's recent success in the series
Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd completed 22-of-35 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns against the Seminoles last year, as the offense finished with 452 yards.
I'm not expecting the same type of numbers with this game being played on the road in Tallahassee, but it's still significant from a confidence standpoint.
The Tigers are 8-17 all-time in this series, but have come away with a victory in six of the last nine meetings.
Florida State has proven to be a tough customer at home in this matchup, winning 10 of 13 games in the Sunshine State.
ESPN College GameDay Factor
The ESPN College GameDay crew will be setting up shop outside Doak Cambell Stadium at Bobby Bowden Field, which may cause a lot of people to add the Florida State Seminoles as one of their Week 4 college football picks.
I'm not sure that angle carries much weight in this situation, considering Saturday's host has a losing 10-14 record when being one of the featured teams on the broadcast, including a 3-4 mark at home.
With both teams being ranked, it's important to note that the higher ranked has compiled an impressive 161-72 record in the 26-year history of the show.
The road team has won both games that ESPN has taken the show onto a college campus this year.
Clemson fails to deliver in Top 10 matchups
The Clemson Tigers will be playing in just their ninth game featuring top 10 teams, with the school losing five of the previous eight games in that situation.
Florida State is trying to regain its lofty standing in major college football, which includes a 4-1 mark when facing ACC opponents in such a contest.
Home-field advantage looms large when looking at those records, especially with the Tigers having just 20 all-time wins against ranked teams on the road.
The BYU Cougars will look to bounce back after a disappointing 24-21 loss to the Utah Utes as 3.5-point road favorites last week, as the program travels to play in one of the toughest venues in college football.
Boise State has won both previous meetings in this series, and its offense has averaged more points (41.7) than any other school in the nation since the 2000 campaign.
It's important to note that Nelson is currently listed as probable with a back injury for this prime-time affair on ESPN.
LSU Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers
The visiting LSU Tigers are a high-priced favorite against the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, which is a bit surprising considering the home team has won 12 of the last 13 meetings in this Southeastern Conference series.
Sports bettors will also find that the host has gone 8-3-1 against the spread in the last 12 meetings, but the favorite has covered the last four overall.
Les Miles has beaten the Las Vegas number in seven of his last eight games as a road favorite, which fits nicely with LSU's current 24-game win streak in September contests.
Auburn's Gene Chizik has really missed Cam Newton and his Heisman-winning talents, but it's important to note the head coach has won all three SEC home openers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
I suggest taking the points, especially with the host going 5-1 ATS in its last six games with conference revenge.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson has certainly had his way with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish over the course of his career, which includes gaining a school record 502 total yards in last year's 35-31 come-from-behind victory as 3.5-point home underdogs.
I'm not sure he can duplicate that effort inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, especially against a defense that's holding opponents to 10.0 points per game. Michigan is going to have a hard time scoring 28 fourth-quarter points like it did in last year's meeting considering the host has out-gained its opponents by a 260-103 margin in yards in the first three games.
Many will blindly back the Wolverines due to the underdog covering the last four games in this rivalry, but I'm not sure that's the right course of action.
The Fighting Irish have the opportunity to turn around their bad numbers as home favorites in recent years with their plus-five turnover margin this year. In the same span in 2011, Notre Dame was minus-eight in that category.
Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks
The scoreboard operator at Autzen Stadium may have a hard time keeping up with the action Saturday night, as the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks both open up their Pac-12 conference schedules.
It's a very interesting game to handicap, as the Wildcats have played all three of their games in Tucson, while the Ducks haven't left Eugene in winning their three contests by a 159-73 margin.
Taking the 23 points in this affair may seem attractive, but it's important to note that Arizona has lost nine of its last 10 road openers, while going 2-8 ATS in that situation.
Be careful in backing Rich Rodriguez in this spot.
Oregon State Beavers vs. UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins offense is getting tremendous production out of quarterback Brett Hundley and running back Johnathan Franklin, as the program looks to start a season with a 4-0 record for the first time in seven years.
Franklin is a legitimate early-season Heisman Trophy candidate, but the Oregon State Beavers know a thing or two about facing such threats in the backfield. The defense limited Wisconsin's Montee Ball to his fewest amount of yards in 21 games, which led directly to a 10-7 win as six-point home underdogs on Sept. 8.
The Bruins have gone 40-15-4 in this series, while they've also covered eight of the last nine meetings against the spread.
Don't get carried away in backing the host at this type of price considering the Beavers are 6-1 ATS when playing with conference revenge.
Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina Gamecocks are looking for their first win ever against the Missouri Tigers, which includes a 38-31 setback as four-point neutral-site favorites in the 2005 Independence Bowl.
Gary Pinkel is guiding his team through the Southeastern Conference gauntlet for the very first time, and the Tigers suffered a 41-20 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs as one-point home underdogs a week ago. The team will now play on the road for the first time in 2012.
The Gamecocks have built up quite the home-field advantage under Steve Spurrier, winning 22 of their last 25 games inside Williams-Brice Stadium.
A very difficult game to handicap, but I believe the road team has the edge in terms of the point spread; the host is 0-2 ATS after two straight covers as a favorite the last two-plus seasons.
California Golden Bears vs. USC Trojans
The USC Trojans have a great opportunity to bounce back after dropping a 21-14 decision to the Stanford Cardinal as 9.5-point road favorites last Saturday.
Quarterback Matt Barkley has never lost in this series versus Cal. The Trojans have won eight consecutive meetings overall, with the defense allowing an average of 10 points per game in that span.
Bettors cashed in an easy ticket in backing the Golden Bears last week, with head coach Jeff Tedford improvingto 14-3 ATS when getting six or more points.
Too many mixed signals for my liking, but Saturday's visitors have dropped three consecutive conference openers when playing away from home.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners are double-digit home favorites against the Kansas State Wildcats, which may cause casual sports bettors to back a ranked underdog in this spot.
I suggest that you think twice about taking that type of approach—Sooners head coach Bob Stoops is a perfect 14-0 versus such opponents at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
If that doesn't convince you, take into account that the program has won all 13 of its Big 12 conference home openers by an average of 22.6 points per game.
After picking up two huge wins away from Gainesville, it's hard for me to imagine that the host Wildcats will snap its five-game spread losing streak when playing at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium after playing back-to-back road games.
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips is on the hot seat, as the program looks to snap a five-game losing streak against the Las Vegas number in this series.
-Gone 0-7 all-time against current Big 12 members
-Rank second in the Sun Belt and 11th nationally with 328.5 passing yards per game
-QBs have thrown 24 TDs and four INTs during the team’s eight-game win streak
-Scored 30-plus points in a school-record eight straight games
-Posted more than 500 yards of total offense in eight consecutive games
-Forced 25 turnovers over the last seven games
-Have four career 1,000-yard receivers, with Terrance Williams ranking third nationally in averaging 134.5 receiving yards per game this year
-Gone 13-1 all-time against Sun Belt Conference opponents
-Baylor has road game against WV on deck
-Monroe is 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS as home dogs of four or more points
Bowling Green vs. Virginia Tech
-Brought back 10 players on defense, rank third in the MAC in allowing 22.3 points per game, while sitting fifth in total defense (391.7)
-Allowed 203.5 rushing yards last year, 118.7 this year
-10 touchdowns have been scored by nine different players
-Have four interceptions this year, lead the nation since 2000 (231)
-BG is 19-9 ATS as a road underdog, Va Tech is 6-16 ATS in non-conference
-BG playing third road game in four weeks
-Beamer 7-3 ATS versus MAC teams
Central Michigan vs. Iowa
-Lost both previous meetings at Kinnick Stadium
-Only team in the nation not to be penalized this year
-Gone 2-5 in its last seven games against Big Ten Conference opponents, with five being decided by seven points or less
-Rank 117th in pass efficiency
-Featured different leading rushers in each of the first three games
-Haven’t allowed a point in the fourth quarter
-Gone 9-1 in games that QB James Vandenberg has completed at least 60 percent of his passes
-Rank 16th in the country in fewest turnovers lost (two) and 19th in turnover margin (+4)
-Averaging 74.3 offensive plays through three games, 53 a year ago
-Allowed six sacks in the season opener, haven’t allowed one the last two weeks
-Gone 25-2 in its last 27 non-conference home games
-CMU is 0-8 ATS on the road, 10-24 ATS in non-conference road games
-Iowa is 11-3 ATS versus MAC opponents at home
Maryland vs. West Virginia
-Edsall is 1-7 against the Mountaineers
-Rank 14th nationally in allowing just 2.58 yards per rush
-Rank 27th with 2.67 sacks per game
-Best defensive performance in a three-game span since 2004 (682 total yards allowed)
-All 10 of their turnovers have come from freshmen
-Won the last six meetings in the series
-Gone 98-97-5 against current members of the ACC
-Run a total of 148 plays, 61 on the ground, 87 in the air
-Rank second nationally in averaging 386 passing yards
-Terrapins were one-point home underdogs in last year’s meeting
-Spartans are on a two-game win streak after defeating Colorado State
-Lead this series, 17-15-2, winning the last two meetings. Haven’t won three straight since an 11-game streak from 1938 to 1952
-Above .500 for the first time since 2006
-Produced back-to-back 500-or-more yards of offense since 2002
-Rank sixth nationally with 12 sacks, had 16 sacks in a 12-game season last year
-Two-game win streak that produced the highest two-game point total since 1996
-Won eight straight September home games
-Gone 9-5-1 in this series at home
-One of eight teams nationally to have two RBs ranked among the top 60 in average rushing yards per game
-In 31 of the previous 35 contests in this series, the margin of victory has been over 10 points
-Rocky Long is 0-2 in his coaching career against San Jose State
Utah vs. Arizona State
-Trails the series 17-6, losing eight straight games, including the last six in Tempe
-Jon Hays’ first career start came against ASU last year, 35-14 loss
-Gone 9-0 when John White rushes for 100 or more yards
-Outscored opponents by a 34-0 margin in the third quarter
-Split its last 10 conference openers
-Facing its fourth consecutive back-up QB
-Defense hasn’t allowed a point in the fourth quarter
-Lead the Pac-12 and rank seventh nationally with 29.7 penalty yards
The Missouri Tigers hit the road for the first time during the 2012 college football season, as they get set to play their second-ever Southeastern Conference affair. The program has covered seven consecutive games after enjoying a three-game homestand.
Quarterback James Franklin seems ready to battle the South Carolina Gamecocks inside Williams-Brice Stadium, after missing last week’s 24-20 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils as 3.5-point home favorites due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He ranked 15th in the nation in total offense last year, while accounting for 36 touchdowns.
The Gamecocks have won 22 of their last 25 home games, but they’ve failed to cash in after covering the spread as a favorite in two consecutive games. It’s very hard to back this team as one of your against-the-spread picks this week due to being overvalued in this spot.