Before we move forward to Week 12 of the college football season, let’s take a quick look back at a great week of action. Western Kentucky traveled to SEC country and blasted the Arkansas Razorbacks 45-19. The Hilltoppers took a 35-7 lead into halftime and then cruised to the win. App State also traveled to play an SEC team and the Mountaineers knocked off South Carolina 20-15. This was App State’s second win over a Power Five opponent as they also defeated North Carolina earlier in the season. With Georgia State and Georgia Southern both losing App State has regained control of the Sun Belt East division. Below you can find my initial thoughts on a few Week 12 games.
Louisiana Tech at Marshall
Spread: Louisiana Tech + 2.5
This could be a preview of the C-USA championship game in early December. Louisiana Tech is leading the West division and Marshall is a half game behind FAU in the East, although they do have the tiebreaker advantage over the Owls. The Bulldogs have won eight in a row and are riding high after a blowout win over North Texas. To escape with a win Saturday, the Bulldogs will need to slow down the Marshall rushing attack that averages over 200 yards per game. Marshall quarterback Isaiah Green is a talented player but has struggled with turnovers at times this season. This could be a problem when he faces a ball hawking secondary led by one of the top corners in the nation Amik Robertson. The Bulldogs are playing great football on both sides of the ball and senior quarterback J’Mar Smith has played well this season. This should be an exciting game, and I slightly favor Louisiana Tech in this matchup.
I’m leaning towards Louisiana Tech
Navy at Notre Dame
Spread: Navy + 9.5
Navy leads the nation in rushing, averaging almost 360 yards per game on the ground. The Irish defense only allows 156 yards rushing per game. This will be a fascinating chess matchup Saturday in South Bend. The Irish have had a good but not great season. They are already out of the National Championship hunt after losing to Georgia and Michigan. Navy is right in the thick of AAC race but will need some help to make the conference championship game after suffering a loss to Memphis in September. The Midshipmen had a rough 2018 season finishing with an unusual 3-10 record. They have bounced back this season due to an improved defensive unit that is only giving up 18 points per game. Notre Dame has more overall talent, but I think Navy will give the Irish all they can handle and keep this game close.
Look for Navy to cover the spread in this matchup
Memphis at Houston
Total Points: Over 70
The Tigers control their destiny in the AAC East division due to their wins over Navy, SMU and Tulane. They had a bye last week after their massive prime time win over SMU. Houston also had a bye after a hard fought loss to UCF on the road. The Cougars have had a tough season but have played well against the best teams in the conference. Memphis averages 41 points per game and scored 54 in the win over SMU. The Tigers’ defense has struggled recently, allowing over 40 points in back to back games. Even with three separate players starting a game at quarterback, the Cougars still average 30 points per game. Clayton Tune has settled into the starting position and he has some elite weapons at receiver including Marquez Stevenson. The Houston defense has been disappointing, allowing 30 points or more six times this season. There will be a ton of explosive players on the field, and with the struggles of both defenses, this game should go over the total.
I think this game goes over the total of 70 points
Southern Mississippi at UTSA
Total Points: Over 52
The Golden Eagles dominated UAB last weekend 37-2 to become bowl eligible, and the win kept their conference championship hopes alive as well. UAB was playing without their starting quarterback, but it was still a dominant performance from start to finish by Southern Miss. UTSA won on the road at Old Dominion and moved to 4-5 on the season. Quarterback Lowell Narcisse is starting to show some promise and played well in the comeback win. Narcisse finished 18 of 23 with 240 yards with one touchdown. The Roadrunners also have one of the top freshman backs in the country in Sincere McCormick who had 137 yards and 2 scores in the win. Southern Miss has an explosive offense, and UTSA is starting to play much better on offense. This game will be played indoors at the Alamodome so weather won’t be a factor. I believe the total opened up low because Southern Miss has only allowed eight points combined over the past two games. They are playing well on defense, but they played Rice who struggles on offense and UAB when they were without their starting quarterback. I think this game has a great chance to go over 52 points Saturday.
I lean towards the over in this matchup