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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 5 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 2, 2018
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Saturday, September 29, 2018 Army vs. Buffalo (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7.5/-101 Army Rating: 7* Mike's CFB Earlybird Dogger (WIN) All the mushes are praising Buffalo & their unblemished 4-0 SU record as we enter Week 5. HC Lance Leipold has been getting excellent performance out of his QB Tyree Jackson whose 15/3 TD/INT ratio is not too shabby. DC Jay Bateman should have a superior game plan to pressure Jackson who is a pure pocket passer. Remember, Bateman spent 3 years in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) as DC for Ball State & is very familiar Bulls' protocol. Even though buffalo comes in averaging 40 PPG, it is the Black Knights who have limited their last 2 opponents to season lows in scoring. Hawaii averaged 47 PPG but mustered 21 versus Army 2 weeks ago & Oklahoma who averaged 50 PPG put up just 28 including OT last week. For those of you who missed the Black Knights barn-burner last week, they held the ball for 45 of 60 minutes of regulation & ran 87 plays (339 yards rushing) from scrimmage to the Sooners' 40. Two costly turnovers by QB Kevin Hopkins Jr. were the only thing standing in the way of the upset where Army came in @ a 30-point dog. HC Jeff Monken has taken his team a long way going 18-8 overall the past 2 seasons with back-to-back bowl wins. They recently bagged the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the first time since 1996! The defense returns 8 solid defenders spear-headed by ILB James Nachtigal who led the team in tackles last year with 103. Last time @ this venue, these Cadets got edged 23-20 in OT after missing a 34-yard FG with 3 seconds left in regulation. I love the fact that Army has a bye week on deck before travelling to San Jose State. Let's go toUB Stadium in Buffalo to play the ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (buying to a key number of +10 1/2 as my CFB Earlybird Dogger! Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -270 North Texas Rating: 7* Mike's CFB Smiling Cobra Play (LOSS) This game has definite ramifications in naming the winner of the Conference USA West Division by seasons' end. North Texas HC Seth Littrell (ex-Oklahoma RB) is now in his 3rd year (9-5 last year) @ the helm of the Mean Green & sure looks like he's turned the corner since taking over a 1-win team to post a 5-8 record in his inaugural season. HC Skip Holtz embarrassed North Texas by a combined 101-37 score in past seasons BEFORE getting upset 24-23 last season in Ruston. Littrell's troops have jumped out 4-0 SU (best start since 1966 when a player called Mean "Joe" Green played for them) with their closest win being opening day when they beat S.M.U. 46-23. On the flip side, the Bulldogs left it all on the field last week in a 38-21 loss to L.S.U. in Baton Rouge. Even though Holtz has been notorious for covering the number as a dog, that's NOT where we're going here. My bottom line says that the best player on the field is QB Mason Fine whose turned in a superb 10/1 TD/INT ratio for a fast-striking offense averaging 48.8 PPG. He's really flourished under ex-Texas Tech QB & OC Graham Harrell. The Mean Green have a strong nucleus returning 9 on offense & 8 on defense including their anchor in MLB E.J. Ejiya who led them in tackles with 109 & sacks with 7 last season. They're VERY opportunistic with a +9 turnover ratio & take on Louisiana Tech who average 2 TO's per game. The most consistent happening with North Texas is home wins. They'll be looking for 10 straight Saturday afternoon. This team is on a definite UPSWING! Let's get juiced as we invade Apogee Stadium in Denton to play the NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN for the "W" as my CFB Smiling Cobra Play! NOTES: Saturday started off like a charm with Dog Army controlling Buffalo throughout rushing it 64 times for 281 yards as they cruised 42-13! Things looked excellent early on with our Mean Green pick as North Texas dominated early on 21-6. They started turning into over & let Louisiana Tech back in it. NT out-rushed & out-passed the Bulldogs but came up short in the end 29-27. On other fronts, I guess Penn State HC James Franklin will take big-time heat for his questionable 4th-down play-calling as the Nittany Lions came up short to Ohio State 2 seasons in a row losing to 27-26. PSU out-gained the Buckeyes 492 to 389. The bigger question looks into whether Ohio State breaks the string of 3 consecutive seasons they've lost as a 14 or more point Big Ten favorite. With Alabama & Georgia looking strong, I feel the final 2 spots for the 4-team playoff is up for grabs between Clemson (4th in total defense, 7th in passing defense, toughest games remaining are N.C. State home & @ Boston College), Notre Dame (toughest games remaining @ Virginia Tech, Navy (@ SD) @ U.S.C.), West Virginia (8th in total offense with 545.3 YPG, toughest games remaining are @ Texas & Oklahoma home), Ohio State (2nd in scoring offense & 3rd in total defense, toughest games left are @ Purdue, @ Michigan State & Michigan home). Of the Power 5 conferences, look for the PAC-12 to knock each other off eliminating chances for a National Championship. The dark horse remains Michigan if they run the table AND win the Big Ten. Look for UCF, Kentucky, Auburn, NC State, L.S.U. & Oklahoma to lose & drop out of Top 4 considerations. Marquee matchups to watch closely this weekend are: L.S.U. @ Florida, Notre Dame @ Virginia Tech, Kentucky @ Texas A&M & Oklahoma VS. Texas @ Cotton Bowl Stadium in the Red River Rivalry. Look for 2 to 3 solid plays as we get back on the sweep train! Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 CFB Overall Seasonal Record: 8-5 for 61%

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