NCAA Week 8 Preview

Only 3 games this week between Top-25 teams so let’s look at them.

#12 Oregon at #25 Washington

These teams are essentially equal on the offensive side of the ball. With both teams averaging about 36 points per game and 177 rushing yards per game, the only difference is ~40 passing yards. Justin Herbert has seen his name drop in the Heisman and NFL draft rankings, but not because of poor play. On the road this season, Herbert has an outstanding 167.7 passer rating which bodes well for this matchup. His opposition, Jacob Eason has somewhat comparable numbers as the home team QB, but his lone game against another Top-25 team saw him struggle to move the ball down the field. 

Oregon QB Justin Herbert, NCAA Week 8
Justin Herbert via Fox Sports

Washington could struggle in this matchup because of the stellar defense shown by Oregon so far this season. Oregon is allowing less than 9 points per game and under 270 total yards of offense. It can be argued that Oregon has had a fairly easy schedule so far this season, unlike Washington, but the statistics don’t lie. Oregon should be able to slow down Eason and the rest of this Washington offense today without too much trouble, as harsh as that sounds.

There is a low spread of -2.5 in favor of Oregon on the road in this game. I feel that number is too low based on what we have seen from Oregon this season. Shop around for the best line, as always, and tread lightly with a total set at 48 points. That number seems like a trap and could go either way.

Prediction

#12 Oregon: 28

#25 Washington: 17

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Jacob Breeland

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Mycah Pittman

#17 Arizona State at #13 Utah

Whereas Utah has better statistics, Arizona State has beaten multiple ranked teams. A battle-tested team will usually outperform an opponent that beats up on cupcakes and loses to a lame USC team. Credit where credit is due, Zack Moss is one of the best running backs in the entire nation. But, he will not be able to carry this team passed a strong Herm Edwards squad.

Arizona State Head Coach Herm Edwards, NCAA Week 8
Herm Edwards via “Elisfkc” from Orlando

A spread of -13.5 in favor of Utah in this game is downright ridiculous. Not only do I believe Arizona State will cover the spread, I believe they will win outright! Look for the best line you can find and sprinkle some action on Arizona State in this one.

Prediction

#17 Arizona State: 21

#13 Utah: 17

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Zack Moss

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Jayden Daniels (rushing)

#16 Michigan at #7 Penn State

Each of these teams has an impressive victory over a ranked and talented Iowa team. Besides that solid win versus Iowa, Michigan was dominated by Wisconsin in their only other ranked matchup this year. I’ll try to summarize this matchup fairly quickly.

  • Scoring Offense: Penn State
  • Scoring Defense: Penn State
  • Passing Yards: Penn State
  • Rushing Yards: Penn State
  • Passing Yards Allowed: Michigan
  • Rushing Yards Allowed: Penn State

So what can we assume will happen based on this bare-minimum statistical research? Penn State will win because they are the better team. 

Analysis!

Shea Patterson has been up and down as the starting QB for Michigan so far, which in turn has resulted in the uber-talented Donovan Peoples-Jones being underutilized. For Penn State, Noah Cain has burst onto the scene as the true freshman has put a stranglehold on the starting running back gig. This game will be a showcase for Cain as he will double-down on his introduction to BIG10 football.

Michigan QB Shea Patterson, NCAA Week 8
Shea Patterson via Maize and Blue Nation

Penn State is -9 on the spread and a -335 moneyline favorite. I do firmly believe that Penn State will win but I’m not overly confident in the total. Michigan is still an immensely talented team and that should not be overlooked. I feel like this could be a good game to go under the current line of 46.5 points.

Prediction

#16 Michigan: 12

#7 Penn State: 21

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Noah Cain

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Conclusion

I’m looking forward to some college football action this weekend! Who do you have winning these games and what are you watching this weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

-Mitchell Seefeldt

Fox Sports [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Elisfkc from Orlando, FL, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Maize & Blue Nation [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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