Before we move forward to Week 8, here’s a quick look back at a few games from last week’s action. App State had a big win over Louisiana which kept their undefeated season in tact as well as their hopes of a New Year’s Six bowl game. Temple had another key win over a Top 25 opponent, and Western Kentucky won their third consecutive game with an upset over Army. WKU is a threat to win Conference USA which seemed unlikely after they stumbled out of the gate with a loss to Central Arkansas. The opening lines for this week’s games have been released and here’s a quick preview of some of the matchups.
South Florida at Navy
Spread: Navy -14
Navy is playing great football at this point in the season. Their only loss was at Memphis in a game they jumped out to a big lead and ended up losing by 12 points. Since that loss, the Midshipmen have defeated Air Force and Tulsa. Quarterback Malcom Perry had 218 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday in the blowout win over Tulsa. Navy had 388 yards on the ground and held the Golden Hurricane to 69 yards rushing. USF had their most impressive win of the season beating BYU 27-23. The Cougars jumped out to a 13 point lead before the Bulls came storming back for the win. USF was dominated in the time of possession and in total yards, but running back Jordan Cronkrite had his best game of the season with 158 yards and two scores. It’s a challenge to prepare for an option attack in a week’s time and it seems like Navy is really hitting their stride. Navy should have the advantage in this matchup.
Look for Navy to cover the fourteen points
Houston at Connecticut
Spread: Houston - 22
A lot of people have said that Houston is “tanking” because players are redshirting and leaving the team, but I see a team that has a lot of talent and is playing hard. They gave Cincinnati all they could handle on Saturday, and the game was closer than the final score indicated. One thing to monitor is the health of quarterback Clayton Tune who was limited with a hamstring injury. If the Cougars come to play, this game will get out of hand. UConn has really struggled this season losing five games in a row by an average of 29 points.
I like Houston to roll in this game, but monitor the injury to Clayton Tune.
Temple at SMU
Spread: SMU - 7
The Owls had a great win over Memphis on Saturday by the score 30-28. Temple jumped out to 23-7 lead and then held on for their second win over a ranked team this year. They were out gained by Memphis, but they won the turnover battle which was the difference in the game. I think Temple is a good team but this is a tough spot for them. Playing on the road against a ranked team who is coming off a bye will be a challenge. The Mustangs are 6-0 and had an amazing comeback win over Tulsa two weeks ago. It also looks like one of SMU’s star receivers Reggie Roberson Jr. will play after leaving the Tulsa game in the second half. This will no doubt be one of the best games of the weekend.
Lean SMU in this matchup
UTEP at FIU
Spread: FIU - 21.5
FIU is finally playing like the team we expected this season. The offense is playing well and the secondary was great in the win over Charlotte. Quarterback James Morgan had an efficient game with 160 yards and two touchdowns, but the key was the FIU rushing attack which accumulated 350 yards. Anthony Jones and Napoleon Maxwell both had over 100 yards and accounted for four scores. UTEP has lost four games in a row and recently lost to UTSA 26-16. In the loss to UTSA, the Miners were dominated on defense giving up 320 yards rushing. FIU is hitting on all cylinders, and I can’t see them looking past UTEP after their struggles to begin the season. If they want to make a bowl game and possible contend for a championship, the Panthers can’t afford any slip ups.
FIU should win big on Saturday night