The Pac-12 was the last of the power five conferences to get their college football season underway last weekend. With that in mind, I’m going to provide some observations with some of these teams after one game.
USC didn’t play its best, but found a way to win SU against Arizona State on Saturday, rallying from a double-digit deficit to win 28-27. QB Kedon Slovis looks to be another good one in a long line of USC QB’s but the defense still has issues.
I think USC will be a good over team moving forward. Meanwhile, Arizona State got the money ATS as double-digit dogs and they remain a very good bet as an underdog under head coach Herm Edwards. That is a point spread role that should continue to pay dividends for Sun Devils backers.
Oregon lost QB Justin Herbert to the NFL, had a rebuilt offensive line and a shorthanded secondary and yet the Ducks rolled past Stanford 35-14. The new starting QB Tyler Shough was solid, going 17-for-26 passing and 227 total yards. Stanford’s offense was stuck in mud as their offensive line was mauled by Oregon’s terrific front seven and the defense got worn down as the game went along. It was an impressive showing for Oregon given all the question marks.
Colorado may have been the most surprising performance last weekend in the Pac-12 as the Buffaloes defeated UCLA, 48-42. The final score was closer than the actual game was as Colorado led by 21 at halftime. The Buffaloes had a new head coach, new starting QB and lots of changes on both sides of the ball, making that win a very impressive showing.
Oregon State was my biggest disappointment of the weekend losing at home to Washington State. Their defense was expected to improve but they couldn’t stop or slow down the Cougars offense as their new QB Jayden de Laura was very sharp running the run-and-shoot offense under new head coach Nick Rolovich.
The Oregon State offense with new starting QB Tristian Gebbia struggled and couldn’t really get going for almost 3 quarters and by the time they finally did, they were in catch-up mode.
The Oregon State offense with new starting QB Tristian Gebbia struggled and couldn’t really get going for almost 3 quarters and by the time they finally did, they were in catch-up modeWalk in your trap...😏#TBIA pic.twitter.com/C7DwNKHJOO— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) November 8, 2020
Washington State will get tested with a game against Oregon this weekend. Despite the opening game loss this past weekend, Oregon State may be worth a look this weekend at Washington though, as the Huskies have the makings of a team that could take a few steps backward in their first season after Chris Petersen stepped down as head coach.
Iowa at Minnesota +3.5: Both teams won their first game of the season last Saturday and should have more confidence for this Friday night Big Ten matchup.
Iowa’s offense is still a work in progress with QB Spencer Petras, who only has a 54.3% completion rate. They routed Michigan State 49-7 last week but feasted on three turnovers by the Spartans, making that score look inflated.
Minnesota got its defense back on track last week against Illinois and the offense, led by QB Tanner Morgan, has scored 41+ points in two straight games. I think Iowa is getting too much respect for last week’s win. MINNESOTA
Miami-Florida at Virginia Tech, Total 67: We should see a shootout here between two very good offenses and two shaky defenses in this ACC clash.
Miami’s offense with new OC Rhett Lashlee and QB D’Eriq King are thriving in the new up-tempo spread offensive system. Miami has scored 31+ points in five of its seven games. Virginia Tech has surrendered 35+ points in two straight games.
On the flip side, The Hokies' offense led by QB Hendon Hooker, is balanced and also quite explosive. Virginia Tech has scored 35+ points in six of their seven games. Look for this game soar over the total. OVER
Ohio State -25 at Maryland, Total 73: It’s time to start giving Tua’s younger brother Taulia Tagovailoa, the starting QB at Maryland, some respect. He has led an explosive Maryland offense to consecutive victories against Minnesota and Penn State, scoring 80 points combined in those wins.
The Terps defense is still very shaky and could be up against it facing this prolific and dynamic Ohio State offense under the controls of QB Justin Fields. The Buckeyes have scored 38+ points in every game averaging 511 total yards per game. The total is high for a reason but these teams could make it look small. We saw Rutgers come through the backdoor to cover against Ohio State last week. Maryland can certainly do the same here. MARYLAND & OVER
Penn State at Nebraska +3: Penn State is a team that I bet against last week in their outright loss as 25-point chalk against Maryland and I think they remain a team to fade right now. The Nittany Lions are 0-3 and they showed signs of quit last week against Maryland. They came out flat and never recovered.
This team’s preseason goals and expectations are now out the window and motivation is a worry for Penn State moving forward thanks to this disappointing start.
Nebraska has struggled so far as well, starting 0-2 with losses to Ohio State and Northwestern. But this is a step down for the Cornhuskers and head coach Scott Frost is entertaining the idea of a much-needed QB change going into this game with Taylor Martinez struggling once again as he often has in his career.
I think Nebraska can still salvage something positive out of this season. Penn State not so much. NEBRASKA
Last week: 1-3