Tulsa at Houston
Saturday, 4 pm PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener: Houston -19 O/U 72.5
CRIS Current: Houston -21 O/U 72
It is hard to ignore the negative situation for Houston, especially when it involves the Cougs laying three touchdowns. One can’t help but question the team’s mindset after a 46-40 loss to Navy last week; in the process all but crushing their hopes of making it to the College Football Playoff. Adding to it is the constant chatter that head coach Tom Herman will be headed to Texas or another more high profile program after this season. It was a tricky spot for Houston with having to face a unique offense that they rarely if ever see but they didn’t help their cause with a -3 TO margin including a costly pick six early in the second half. Herman is calling upon the leadership group of the team to step up and lead the way but whether this team can maintain their focus and intensity remains to be seen.
If Houston is lethargic in any way for this game, Tulsa is talented enough, especially on the offensive side of the football, to take advantage. The Golden Hurricane have scored 40+ points in back-to-back games and senior quarterback Dane Evans is averaging 7 yards per pass attempt. Tulsa also has a solid running back tandem with D’Angelo Brewer and James Flanders combining for over 1,000 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. Houston’s defense had been great prior to last week against but it’s worth noting Tulsa put up 28 and 24 points and well over 400 yards of total offense against Houston in each of the last two head-to-head meetings. The Cougars were unable to earn a margin of victory of more than 14 points in both contests. It’s worth noting that double-digit road underdog has been Tulsa’s best pointspread role in the two seasons of the Philip Montgomery era going 4-1 ATS. I’ll take a shot backing Tulsa to keep this game within three scores against a team that may not have the focus required to notch a blowout victory.