Purdue shakes up college football with smashing of Ohio State
October 24, 2018 3:00 AM
by Ian Cameron
The big development in college football last weekend was No. 2-ranked Ohio State’s stunning loss to Purdue.
It wasn’t a complete shocker to me that Ohio State lost as I recommended a bet on Purdue as a home underdog in last week’s column. But the fact the Buckeyes were soundly dominated by the Boilermakers in that 49-20 loss was the surprising part.
Purdue’s offense moved the football up and down the field against Ohio State’s defense for the entire game with a balanced attack which gained 378 passing yards and 161 rushing yards (on 5.6 yards per rush) for 539 total yards while Ohio State didn’t do much offensively against Purdue until the fourth quarter when they were trailing and the Boilers were playing more of a passive, prevent defense down the stretch.
The loss takes Ohio State out of College Football Playoff positioning and now the mental side of football becomes the big obstacle for the Buckeyes as they try to move on and bounce back from this massive setback. There are rumblings surrounding the program that head coach Urban Meyer’s relationship with Ohio State athletic department officials has been fractured to a certain extent by the Zach Smith domestic abuse situation and certainly this type of loss isn’t going to make the relationship any stronger. Ohio State goes on their bye next week and they could certainly use it. The Buckeyes have problems on the field they need to fix: a defense that got ripped apart and an offense that failed multiple times in the red zone last week and there remains some serious off the field concerns in terms of the potential disruption of harmony and camaraderie between Meyer, his players and the program in general.
Let’s look ahead at some of the games I’ve circled as solid betting opportunities this week in College Football…
Boise State (-9) at Air Force: Boise State travels to Colorado Springs to face the Air Force Falcons who have been a very tough out all season long and a team that the Broncos have had their struggles with in recent seasons. The triple option is always a tough thing to prepare for on a regular week and the Broncos have looked somewhat ordinary on the road this season.
Boise State suffered two key defensive injuries a few weeks ago and since then, they’ve shown vulnerability on that side of the football, allowing 55 points in the last two games combined against Nevada and Colorado State. Air Force’s triple option is led by QB Isaiah Sanders and RB Cole Fagan and they’ve put up over 30 points per game on average in home games this season. Air Force is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 six meetings against Boise State. The Falcons haven’t lost a game by more than 10 points all season and I think the home team manages to stay inside this number. AIR FORCE
Arizona State (+6.5) at USC: It is a Pac-12 South divisional battle in LA as the Trojans host the Sun Devils. The Trojans have had a tough early-season slate, featuring losses to quality foes Stanford, Texas and Utah. It’s been an uneven, up-and-down season for Clay Helton’s squad, but I feel USC is the superior team in this matchup and will prove it here against Arizona State and it’s worth noting USC 3-0 SU at home this season.
QB JT Daniels sustained a head injury in the loss at Utah last week but he is expected to be OK to play and start for the Trojans. Arizona State is coming back down to earth after a surprisingly strong start to the season in the first year under head coach Herm Edwards. The Sun Devils are coming off a frustrating loss at home against Stanford last Thursday night in a game that was there for the taking but the Sun Devils defense struggled to stop Stanford in the second half and their offense couldn’t bring them back and that included a terrible display of clock mismanagement late in the game as they tried to mount a comeback. ASU is now 1-4 SU in their last 5 games with the only victory during that span coming against Pac-12 bottom feeder Oregon State. I expect the Trojans to flex their superiority here and win this game by a TD or more at home. USC
UAB (-16.5) at UTEP: Each season, there is usually at least one instance in college football where a team looks hopeless early in the season losing decisively SU and ATS on a weekly basis in the process and it happened to UTEP in their first two games of the season against Northern Arizona and UNLV.
UTEP is still searching for their first SU win of the season entering this game at 0-7. But the Miners are absolutely not the hopeless entity oddsmakers think they are and that has left them as an undervalued commodity in the betting markets in recent weeks. This is not a good spot for the big road favorite here with UAB coming off a big win and now having to go on the road to face a winless Miners squad. UTEP
Last week: 1-4