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College Football Handicapping: Fresno State looks promising under DeRuyter

08.16.2012     02:52 PM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
I think first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter walks into a pretty good situation at Fresno State. Under Pat Hill, the Bulldogs were consistent winners but could have been better had Hill tightened up the reigns some. The just-let-the-kids-play attitude no question helped when they were asked to step up in class. But with the amount of talent the Bulldogs had, there's really no excuse that under Hill they failed to finish better than third in the WAC from 2004-11.

Going back and looking at some of FSU's stats the last few years, the one that stands out was turnovers. From 2004-11, they were a combined -65 in turnover margin despite winning 56% of their games and posting five seasons of eight wins or better. And it wasn't just offensive miscues but more the inability to force turnovers. Over the last five years, no team in the country had as few takeaways as Fresno State (65). As a comparison, Air Force, where DeRuyter spent three seasons, posted 140 during that span.

Another thing that really deteriorated during Hill's last few seasons was the defense. And despite some injuries, I saw it more as a lack of effort and discipline. DeRuyter is the perfect Read more

Tags: College Football Fresno State Bulldogs Mountain West Andrew Lange

College Football Gambling: Washington seeks turnaround with new defensive staff

08.16.2012     12:55 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Moving the football and putting up points on the board was not an issue for the Washington Huskies last season. Quarterback Keith Price quietly put up Andrew Luck-type numbers and the Huskies were last seen racking up 56 points in the Alamo Bowl. The problem, in that game and others, was that they couldn't stop anyone. Despite the 56-point outburst, Baylor hung 67 and the Huskies amazingly failed to cover +9.5. And Baylor wasn’t the only squad to pick on this defense. Against ranked teams Nebraska, Oregon, USC and Stanford, UW allowed 47.5 ppg. Fourth-year head coach Steve Sarkisian did what any coach would do and brought in a completely new defensive staff led by coordinator Justin Wilcox (Boise State, Tennessee). Wilcox will try to implement a 3-4 scheme this season, putting more emphasis on man-to-man coverage and pressure.

"Aggressive, swarming to the ball, man-to-man coverage," said safety Justin Glenn, describing the new Read more

Tags: College Football Washington Huskies PAC-12

NCAAF Betting: Texas A&M goes with redshirt frosh at quarterback

08.16.2012     10:45 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Texas A&M announced that redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel will be Week 1's starter against Louisiana Tech. He'll work behind a veteran offensive line that has 95 career starts.

"Johnny has performed the best at this stage and we will proceed until the season opener with him getting the first-team reps,'' Sumlin said. ''My policy is simple really; the best player plays. Competition is a great thing and we need more competition at all of our positions. All of our quarterbacks have competed well, and I expect them to continue to push Johnny."

Tags: College Football Texas A&M Aggies SEC

College Football Gambling: Colorado names former Kansas QB Webb its starter

08.16.2012     07:21 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Colorado named Jordan Webb its Week 1 starting quarterback. Webb graduated from Kansas and was able to transfer without having to sit out. In two seasons in Lawrence, Webb threw for 3,078 yards, 60.6% completions and had a 20-20 TD-to-INT ratio. Colorado had the lowest QB Rating in the PAC-12 last season (123.7).

"Obviously, the experience shows, the poise shows," added CU quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer. "He was able to transfer terminology. Concepts are concepts, but he was able to transfer the terminology relatively quickly. There's still a learning curve for him, but he really progressed quicker than I thought he would."

Tags: College Football Colorado Buffaloes PAC-12

College Football Gambling: Maryland loses starting quarterback CJ Brown

08.15.2012     11:59 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Whoa, Maryland’s quarterback situation is an absolute mess right now. Head coach Randy Edsall couldn’t decide between Danny O’Brien and CJ Brown for much of last season. That issue though pales in comparison to what Edsall and the Terps face heading into 2012. During the offseason O’Brien transferred to Wisconsin leaving Brown as the projected starter. At times, Brown has shown some strong ability, especially with his legs (see: 162 yards vs. Clemson). But those legs have been put on ice, literally, as Brown recently tore his ACL during a non-contact drill at practice. With Brown out, Edsall will have to turn to one of two redshirt freshmen. Don’t forget that Maryland is changing offenses too. Last year’s spread is being replaced by first-year offensive Read more

Tags: College Football Maryland Terrapins ACC

College Football Betting: Utah State poised for huge offense in weak WAC

08.15.2012     08:19 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Remember how Utah State almost won at Auburn in Week 1 last year? The Aggies were virtually unstoppable offensively (38 points, 448 total yards) and finished the season among the WAC leaders in a number of offensive categories. One of the keys was the two-headed rushing attack of Robert Turbin and Michael Smith (283 ypg). Of schools that didn't run the option, only Oregon produced better numbers on the ground. The question is can they duplicate that production with Turbin and Smith now gone? USU also has a new offensive coordinator, Matt Wells, who served as the QB coach last year. The offensive line looks strong with three returning starters and a few JC signees. Running back Kerwynn Williams averaged 6.7 ypc on 81 attempts and quarterbacks Chuckie Keeton and Adam Kennedy make a pretty good tandem (22-6 TD-to-INT ratio in 2011). The WAC is going to be very weak this season after losing Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State and adding Texas State and UT-San Antonio. The Aggies should average well over 30 ppg in Read more

Tags: College Football Utah State Aggies WAC

NCAAF Betting News: Arizona State's Graham leans towards unheralded quarterback

08.14.2012     11:55 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Another starting quarterback announcement and according to the media, it's a surprise. Arizona State had a three-man race between Michael Eubank, Michael Bercovici and Taylor Kelly. A lot of folks like to compare Eubank to that of Cam Newton in terms of his size and strength. He also was recruited by Todd Graham during his time a Pitt. Bercovici served as Brock Osweiler's back-up last year and so did Kelly who of the lot was considered the least likely to earn the starting job. You probably know where this is going. Though Week 1's starter hasn't been officially named, Graham says Kelly is currently atop the depth chart. Obviously this could be a way of motivating the other two – especially Eubank who is likely to be the starter at some point. But Kelly is noted for his running ability and Graham likes using quarterbacks in the run game – Tulsa's G.J. Kinne rushed for 561 yards in 2010, and when he wasn't getting sacked eight times per game, Pitt's Tino Sunseri was let loose as well (154 rushing attempts). 

"By no means do we Read more

Tags: College Football Arizona State Sun Devils PAC-12

College Football Handicapping: UCLA's Mora goes with rookie quarterback

08.14.2012     06:58 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
UCLA first-year head coach Jim Mora recently announced that redshirt freshman Brett Hundley will be the team's Week 1 starting quarterback (at Rice). Hudley beat out seniors Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut who have combined to throw nearly 1,000 passes during their careers. More often than not, when a rookie quarterback beats out a veteran for the starting gig, it is a positive. Note that the Bruins just lost starting linebacker Pat Larimore. Larimore, the team's leading returning tackler, was forced to retire due to concussions.

"Brett has consistently demonstrated the qualities we value in a starting quarterback and is an outstanding leader who commands the respect of his teammates," Mora said in a statement. "He has shown excellent decision-making skills, and his accuracy and timing continue to improve with each practice. In addition, he has shown the mobility and creativity needed when a play breaks down." 

Tags: College Football UCLA Bruins PAC-12

College Football Gambling: Bettors show early love for Michigan State

08.14.2012     06:41 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Boise State at Michigan State -7

Michigan State is expected to start Andrew Maxwell at quarterback for the team's opener against Boise State. According to reports, Maxwell looked the part during a recent scrimmage. Boise State meanwhile has yet to commit to a signal caller. Junior Joe Southwick has the most experience but head coach Chris Peterson wants to keep the position open. The Broncos return only seven starters this season (5 off, 2 def). The betting markets have come out in strong support of the Spartans thus far. Line history courtesy of CRIS.



Tags: College Football Michigan State Spartans Big Ten Boise State Broncos Mountain West

NCAAF Handicapping: Illinois tries to match last year's defensive output

08.13.2012     01:38 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Like a lot of bettors, we are curious about how Illinois' offense will to look under first-year head coach Tim Beckman. But perhaps even more important is whether or not the Illini can match last year's defensive output. Under coordinator Vic Koenning, Illinois went from mediocre to really good in just two years. Last season, the stop unit quietly ranked second in the Big Ten in yards per game allowed (286.2) and held its opponents to under 20 ppg. Koenning however has move on (North Carolina DC) leaving Tim Banks in charge. Banks served as DC at Central Michigan and most recently Cincinnati.

“The pieces are in place,” said defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, the holdover from the previous staff. “It can be a lot similar as far as what we accomplished last year.”

“You look at all the different points where we have guys who can dominate,” Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase said. “That’s what makes it tough. You have to be deep on defense, but we have four players who are dominant at what they do. Read more

Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten


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