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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Look-Aheads


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 24, 2018
   
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Saturday, October 20, 2018 Auburn vs. Mississippi (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -175 Auburn Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Earlybird (WIN) HC Gus Malzahn's (in his 6th season with Tigers coming over from Arkansas State) have taken it on the chin thus far this season as they enter the weekend @ 4-3. They ran up 448 total yards last week versus coming-off-the-bye Tennessee but still got upset 30-24. However, this week Auburn steps down in class when they travel to on 5-2 Mississippi. In 2 quality games (Washington & L.S.U.), they outscored those opponents 42-38. But in the Rebels 2 quality games (Alabama & L.S.U.), they got ran over by a 107-23 count. Even though the Tigers come off 2 straight losses, this team DID beat Alabama 26-14 & Georgia 40-17 in the regular season last year on their way to win the SEC West before bowing to Georgia 28-7 in the SEC Championship. I believe Auburn has a good enough ground game (with JaTarvious Whitlow) to take advantage of an Ole Miss defense (ranked 101st) giving up 263 rushing yards per game (5.5 yards a pop) in SEC games. These same Rebels had to rally from behind to beat a weak Arkansas team (lost to North Texas 44-17 @ home) 37-33 last Saturday. My bottom line says Mississippi's offense stats are largely padded after taking on defenses like Southern Illinois, Kent State, Louisiana Monroe & Texas Tech. Expect Malzahn's troops to be motivated & focused after their uncharacteristic 4-3 start since their HC is now on the hot seat. Numbers also tell us that the Rebels have failed the last 3 times as a home dog & are also a dismal 2-10 SU versus the Tigers @ this venue. Let's trek to Oxford's Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to play the AUBURN TIGERS to notch the "W" as my CFB Earlybird! Minnesota vs. Nebraska (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -200 Nebraska Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (WIN) Guys, the mushes seem to believe that Nebraska may lose out. I feel HC Scott Frost is making adjustments after a horrendous start. This guy knows its a rebuilding year & will bear down coming down the stretch to grab some momentum for next season. This is one games that is definitely CIRCLED after the Golden Gophers embarrassed them 54-21 in Minneapolis. In addition, this is a good situational spot for the Cornhuskers since Minnesota is coming off some hard-fought contests including leaving much on the field in last week's 30-14 loss to Ohio State. What stands out for me is NOT their 0-6 SU worst in school history record, but their offensive output while @ home. In their 33-28 opening loss to a now 5-1 Colorado team, they put up 565 yards in total offense against 395 for the Buffaloes. In a 24-19 loss to presently 5-2 Troy State, they out-gained & held the Trojans to 253 total yards. Their last home game in a 42-28 loss to currently 3-3 Purdue, they turned up the heat good for 582 offensive yards but turnovers still did them in. What's different about this home game? P.J Fleck's 3-3 Golden Gophers are struggling to move the football on the road. They're averaging 13.5 PPG away from TCF Bank Stadium & we learned this 3 weeks ago when we had them in a 42-13 beating @ 4-2 Maryland. Key numbers tell us the Huskers' output is clearly about 100 yards MORE than their opponents & this trend without a win in the last 10 tries no longer applies versus a struggling roadie. My bottom line says Minny-ha-ha games have now seen the chalk come through in 9 out of their last 10 games & grabbing NU for a straight up win has more than normal value. I'm ready to go to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln to witness Win #1 as we hop all over Scott Frost's NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS as my CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Oregon vs. Washington State (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -149 Washington State Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Saturday Night Bailout Play (WIN) I see the mushes (Paul Finebaum included-should stick to the SEC) putting their bucks all over the Ducks since they're fresh off knocking off Washington 30-27 in OT @ Eugene. They left a lot on the field after that one & NOW make just their 2nd road trip in 7 games when they play the Cougars tonight. Again, we'll take a serious look @ a Washington State team where HC Mike Leach has had 2 weeks to prep for this one. This identical situation appeared 2 years ago when his team put up 51 on them. Speaking of Leach, he's definitely had his way with Oregon (who won 8 straight prior to this) & now goes for his 4th straight win against them (a feat that hasn't happened since the 81' thru 84' run when RB Rueben Mayes & a QB called Mark Rypien was king for HC Jim Walden). What intrigues me about this matchup is this. By the 4th quarter, I feel Leach's high-octane offense featuring the excellent QB play from Gardner Minshew (5/0 last game &19/4 TD/INT ratio overall including over 68% completions) should find some major gains in between a spent Ducks' secondary. Minshew & Co. are averaging OVER 39 PPG @ this venue & having been ticket-cashers there going 14-4 ATS of late. Many other numbers point toward us here as the Cougs are not only 10-0 SU on this field but play a new Oregon HC in Mario Cristobal whose team dropped their last 8 of 10 PAC-12 roadies against the number. My bottom line looks a well-rested & #1 passing offense of Washington State also having a #7 ranked passing defense (which comes in handy once the Cougars offense kicks in). When you compare passing offenses, Washington State holds a commanding 463-225 YPG edge. The dagger for us has to be the Cougars ALSO enjoying a substantial defensive rushing edge as well while yielding 120 yards per game (3.3 YPC) compared to the Ducks' 241 (5.9 YPC). The Green N' Gold O-Line is clearly not healthy heading into this. BANG! I'm ready to make a road trip to Pullman's Martin Stadium to play the WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS as my CFB Saturday Night Bailout! NOTES/LOOK-AHEADS: The colleges came through in (Triple D) double-digit domination. I thought Washington State could have won by more than 2 TD's (34-20) IF they didn't turn the ball over. The Huskers' did what I thought they's do. They ran 73 offensive plays for 659 total yards including 383 yards on the ground. We enjoyed this same ground advantage with Auburn as they rang up 269 rushing yards @ Mississippi. The MAJOR shock of the week had to be the Purdue Boilermakers destroying the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes 49-20. HC Jeff Brohm (came along way from his last pro days in 2001 QB'ing for the Orlando Rage in Vince McMahon's XFL) got outstanding play from Senior QB David Blough. The true story really happened on the sidelines. There we saw the broadcast booth turn to a Purdue die-hard fan called Tyler Trent. Trent showed the epitome of what being a Boilermaker was all about as he predicted (before the game) that the Boilers' would upset the Buckeyes. His prediction came to fruition as Purdue pulled away in the 4th quarter for the "W" as the spirits were flying high for Trent whose showed tremendous grit for someone battling terminal bone cancer. My dad had this & my prayers are with this kid to fight through it & beat it. Let's look ahead & take in some pivotal games having an impact on the 4-team playoff. Games under the microscope are: Baylor @ West Virginia, Georgia @ Florida, Clemson @ Florida State, Navy @ Notre Dame, Texas @ Oklahoma State & Kansas State @ Oklahoma. Stay tuned as we've built some serious momentum into Week 9! Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 CFB Overall Seasonal Record: 13-8 for 62%
 


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