Week 2 Primer
Published on Friday, 9/11/15, at 8:52 a.m. Eastern.
–Toledo will be without stud RB Kareem Hunt for Saturday’s road game at Arkansas. Hunt, who is serving a two-game suspension, rushed for 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns as a true sophomore last season. He averaged an eye-popping 8.0 yards per carry. Also, the Rockets will be without DE Allen Covington, a second-team All-MAC selection in 2014 who is also suspended. Another defensive starter, CB Jordan Martin, is ‘questionable’ with a leg injury. As of Friday morning, most spots had the Razorbacks listed as 21-point home favorites for this non-conference showdown that’ll be played in Little Rock.
–Missouri has covered the spread in nine consecutive road games. Going back to 2007, the Tigers are 26-9 ATS in their 35 road assignments. They go to Jonesboro on Saturday to take on Arkansas St., which is 2-6 ATS in eight home underdog situations over the last decade. Mizzou RB Russell Hansbrough (ankle) is ‘questionable’ along with center Evan Boehm. The Tigers are favored by 11 at most spots.
–When was the last time Tennessee won a big game? Shit, I don’t know! One of my (very) few Vol friends, Tyler Alexander, inquired about a lovely brunette I was talking to one night at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta (not closing down anytime soon, by the way). It was the same night the Falcons pimpslapped the Jets on MNF when they had brought Vinny Testaverde out of retirement (’04 or ’05ish?). As it turned out, the young lady was my ex (from college days) and my realtor. Anyway, I proceeded to try and hook them up for at least six months. I had given up on it until one night I caught a ride to the bar with Tyler and he mentioned her. I called her, she answered, we picked her up and the rest is history. Where the hell am I going with this? Well, she’s a GATOR and he’s a d-bag Vol. They’ve been married for nearly a decade and have two kids, BUT HE STILL HASN’T TASTED A VICTORY AGAINST THE GATORS SINCE I HANDED HIM HIS GATOR WIFE!!
—My notes filed to VegasInsider.com earlier this week for this trio of games: Oklahoma at Tennessee, Kentucky at South Carolina and LSU at Mississippi St.
–Also, I broke down both of Friday’s matchups over at VI.
–Florida will start Will Grier at QB at home Saturday vs. East Carolina. Treon Harris will also play and then I would think Jim McElwain will likely settle on a starter going into next week’s SEC opener at Kentucky. With Temple knocking off Penn St. last week to end a 31-game losing streak to the Nittany Lions, UF now owns the longest active winning streak over an opponent with its 28-game winning streak over UK. The Gators beat ECU by a 28-20 count at The Birmingham Bowl this past January. Nine months later, they’ll do battle at The Swamp. However, the Pirates won’t have QB Shane Carden, WR Justin Hardy or former offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, who is now the OC at Oklahoma. Hardy is poised for a big rookie year with the Falcons, while Carden was cut by the Bears last month. In Riley’s ‘Air-Raid’ attack, Carden and Hardy became the school’s all-time leaders in passing and receiving yards.
–ESPN2 will have the UF-ECU telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
–Western Ky. improved to 2-0 and avenged last year’s blowout loss in Ruston by edging La. Tech 41-38 last night. The Hilltoppers scored on their first drive and never trailed, winning outright as two-point home underdogs. Brandon Doughty threw for 441 yards and one TD without an interception. In the losing effort, Jeff Driskel had another solid outing for the Bulldogs. The transfer from Florida completed 28-of-48 passes for 357 yards and two TDs. He also rushed nine times for 55 yards and one TD. For the season to date, Driskel has completed 63.5 percent of his throws for 631 yards with a 6/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has also rushed for 70 yards and a pair of scores.
–The win for Western Ky. was bittersweet due to the gruesome knee injury suffered by Leon Allen, who won’t be in uniform anytime soon. Allen rushed for 1,542 yards and 13 TDs last season.
—Lots of Week 2 goodies in this column over at Bleacher Report from Adam Kramer.
–I’ll be on ESPN Nashville talking pigskin today at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Then at 12:40 p.m. Eastern, I’ll join Verno in Memphis on the Chris Vernon Show. Finally, I’ll be on with Paul Howard in Las Vegas around 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
–Check back later today for more injury notes and hopefully a couple of links to radio interviews. Best of luck with your Week 2 wagers!