West Virginia Mountaineers
(5-2, 4-3 ATS)
(3-4, 3-4 ATS)
If there is any hope for a Big East team to get into the Top 25 any time in the near future, the West Virginia Mountaineers had better not trip up again on Friday night’s NCAA football betting affair against the Connecticut Huskies.
WVU made an absolutely vital blunder last week when it lost to the Syracuse Orange in a game that made start a train wreck in Morgantown. The offense had a dreadful day, as it only ended up getting to 284 yards at home against a defense that historically is nothing to write home about. QB Geno Smith was having a great season before he ran up against the ‘Cuse, who picked him off three times. Now, the first year starter has thrown for 1,536 yards, 15 TDs, and five picks on the season. RB Noel Devine was the real start of the show for the blue and gold against the Orange, as he rushed for 122 yards. Though he is clearly not the Heisman Trophy candidate that many thought he would be, Devine has been solid this year, rushing for 626 yards and four TDs. Simply put, the West Virginia defense has been great this year. The Mountaineers have held all seven of their foes to 21 points or less this year, and the end result has been some great numbers. The ‘Neers rank No. 4 in the nation in both total defense (245.9 yards per game) and passing yards (148.4 yards per game), and they chime in this week at No. 11 in rush defense (97.4 yards per game). If UConn can’t get on the board to the tune of more than the 13.3 points per game that WVU is averaging, it is going to be a long, long game.
Though Huskies might look like they have had a great offensive year considering the fact that they have scored at least 40 points three times this year, they have also been held to 16 points or less three times as well. It should come as no surprise that those three games came against the three toughest teams on the slate. This is going to be the toughest game of the season, and it comes off of getting shut out by the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Stadium last weekend. RB Jordan Todman seems to be the only man that can carry this offensive load, and as we found out last week when he was limited to just 80 yards for the game, the unit just fails miserably. Todman has a whopping 141 carries this year, an average of 20.1 per game, and though he does have 841 yards and eight TDs this year, there is question whether or not he will break down at some point with all of this added pressure from a passing game that just has not gotten the job done this year. There are only seven TD passes between QB Zach Frazer and QB Cody Endres. QB Michael Box will get his first career start this week against the WVU defense.
Neither one of these teams have been worth much of late, but we know that the Mountaineers have the talent to put forth a great effort, even on the road. Especially after getting shut out last week, we have no confidence at all in UConn. The WVU defense should have a field day.
College Football Free Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers -6.5