Week 5 Primer

Vandy owns a 4-1 spread record in five games as a road underdog.

Vandy owns a 4-1 spread record in five games as a road underdog.

Published on Friday, 10/2/15, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Saturday, 10/3/15, at 12:49 a.m. Eastern.

–Pittsburgh plays at Va. Tech at noon Eastern. Therefore, it’s not a good thing when the fire alarm at the team hotel starts going off shortly after midnight. Here’s the scoop from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

–I’m embarrassed to say how long it has been since I’ve been to a game at The Swamp, but I can assure you I’ll be all up in that place tomorrow night!

–Ole Miss has covered the spread in five straight head-to-head meetings against Florida. The Rebels have won outright in their last two trips to The Swamp, including the 2008 game as a 23-point underdog and ’03 as a 12.5-point ‘dog.

–Reports out of Gainesville late Friday afternoon indicated that Will Grier was one of 21 UF players who have dealt with flu symptoms this week. If Grier can’t go, Treon Harris will get the starting nod. Harris has seven career starts with the Gators going 5-2 in those seven games. The two defeats came by eight combined points and easily could’ve been victories (vs. South Carolina and at FSU last season).

–Current Iron Bowl line at the Westgate SuperBook: Alabama -7.5 at Auburn.

–Current line for Florida St at Florida: FSU -1.5.

–Egg Bowl: Ole Miss -7 at Mississippi St.

–Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes has been playing great football, but a knee injury sustained in last week’s gut-wrenching home loss to TCU has had him listed as ‘questionable’ all week. The Red Raiders will face Baylor tomorrow at Jerry World in Arlington. As of Friday night, most spots had Baylor favored by 17.5 points. When these teams met last November, the Bears won a 48-46 decision. If Mahomes can’t go (which would surprise me), Kliff Kingsbury will give the starting nod to Davis Webb, a junior with loads of playing experience. Webb has 44 career TD passes. To date this year, Mahomes has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,421 yards with an 11/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The true sophomore, who had a 16/4 TD-INT ratio last season, has run for 165 yards and five TDs this year, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

–Mississippi St. QB Dak Prescott has seven TD passes without an interception so far this season. He’ll lead the Bulldogs into College Station on Saturday night as 6.5-point road underdogs.

–I like how Vandy has been looking the last few weeks. Derek Mason is doing solid work with his defense that’s expected to be without LB Nigel Bowden (concussion) for a third straight game Saturday at Middle Tennessee. Bowden led the Commodores in tackles last season. QB Johnny McCrary is improving every week. Real surprised Vandy is a ‘dog to the Blue Raiders.

–McCrary is third in the SEC in passing yards (1,074).

–Vandy’s defense held Western Ky. to 14 points. The Hilltoppers’ QB Brandon Doughty is second in the nation in passing yards. The Commodores basically held UGA to 17 points in a 31-14 loss since the Bulldogs got a TD on a pick-six and another on a long punt return. Then they limited Ole Miss to 27 in Oxford. Remember, the Rebels scored 43 at Alabama.

–With Friday’s 24-17 win over South Florida as a seven-point road favorite, Memphis improved to 5-0. Now the Tigers have 14 days to prepare for a home game against….. Ole Miss! Very interesting.

–South Florida gave its (late) backers a backdoor push with a TD with less than two minutes remaining. The line was 8.5 or 9 for most of the week, so the early USF backers cashed a winner.

My picks for Saturday.

–You can follow all the Week 5 scores at VegasInsider.com

My Top 50 Power Rankings going into Week 5.

My SEC Tips over at VI.

–Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal breaks down Alabama at Georgia with a few quotes from me.

My take on the SEC games for via Christopher Smith at SaturdayDownSouth.com.

–UF’s Grier has a step mother named Nila. And she’s hot! Her instagram account proves it.

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