What a glorious time to be alive… football Saturdays are back and what a wild Saturday it was. Blowouts featuring FBS powers pounding ITT Tech into submission, punt fests, RANKED teams squaring off and more… lets unpack what we saw yesterday.
Anthony Richardson and Florida: The big question this week was, could Utah go on the road and win in the hot confines of the Swamp? Answer: No… Squares who laid the 3 with the road favorite got punished and a lot of it had to do with the Florida QB. Anthony Richardson was stupendous making plans with his arm and his legs. He ran for 108 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns and made some ala Michael Vick type of plays. I've said many times in my previews this preseason that one of the things people need to watch out for is Richardson and Billy Napier. AR is the best quarterback Florida has had since Tim Tebow. Remember, that was a long time ago and Gator fans had to deal with the likes of Austin Appelby, Malik Zaire and Treon Harris since then. The defense played stout and made a huge play in the guts of the game. It was clear from watching that the crowd played a major part and must be celebrated for quite the atmosphere. It's clear the offseason hire of Napier will pay big dividends. Seems like the culture in Florida might be back and if the QB keeps doing stuff like this, who know how far they can go?
UNDER bettors: Generally most people don't want to bet UNDERS. No one likes to root for no scoring, but for Saturday it was profitable. Off the 56 games in total yesterday, 30 went UNDER the closing number, 25 went OVER and one game pushed which was UTEP/Oklahoma. An UNDER bettor made 2.50 units of profit if let's say they bet 10 dollars a unit, wins- loss/vig= nice little profit. Also some of the games that people viewed as higher scoring went way UNDER including Notre Dame/Ohio St, Alabama/Utah St and Buffalo/Maryland. The 12pm window for UNDER bettors was particularly profitable going 8-1. The only over was the wild North Carolina/App St. A game that saw 124 points and 62 total 4th quarter points.
Favorites: As customary in the first couple weeks of football, there's a lot of big powerhouse teams facing off against small D1 schools and FCS programs. Favorites on Saturday cleaned up going 34-22 in 56 games for 61 percent. A very nice profit if you blind bet all them. There were also no upsets as far as big favorites. The biggest dog to win was the Delaware Blue Hens as 12 point dogs against Navy. They were +380 on the money line. The biggest favorite on the board from what I saw was Miami who laid 51 against lowly Bethune Cookman. They rolled 70-13. Shout out Danny Boy Cane.
Georgia is still REALLY good: How about that fuckin beatdown? What a pathetic effort by Oregon. Then again though, the QB in Eugene is Bo Nix, did anyone really think he would play well? He was an abject failure throwing 2 interceptions, throwing for just 173 yards in a game they were being blown out in and had a QBR of 58.9. I want to give this Georgia defense most of the credit though. They are still incredible even after losing so much. Replacing 7 starters is no easy task. They flew around, forced turnovers and caused plenty of havoc. Will they be as historically good as they were last year? Probably not, but they will be close and still a top 5 defense. Stetson Bennett was also the talk of the town yesterday and maybe had the best day of any quarterback in the country. He went 25-31 with 368 yards, and had 2 passing touchdowns as well as a rushing TD. I mean.. this play was something:
East Carolina coaching and special teams overall: Look, I'm not all for bashing one kicker or something when they miss but the loss for ECU shoulders plenty of blame to go around. The kicker first as we know misses an extra point to tie the game. Some blame needs to go the holder with the laces facing him as he kicked. Next they get the ball back with about 2 minutes to go as the defense did multiple times yesterday bailed the offense out. QB Holten Ahlers was then very poorly coached in my opinion. Head coach Mike Houston played TIMID and settled. Case in point after a 35 yard completion to one of the fastest players in the country Keaton Mitchell, ECU was at the NC State 33 with 1:49 to go. Over the next 1:40, they gained just 9 yards, playing conservative running the ball. They didn't attempt a pass. It's like Houston didn't know that a first down stops the clock, or a spike. They had plenty of time to move the ball down the field and take some shots at the end zone. They didn't. How he was so confident in a kicker who clearly wasn't feeling it yesterday is beyond me. It's not like they were close either. In the end, ECU settled for a 41 yard field goal, hardly automatic for a college kicker. Look, long term ECU can take a lot of positives from the game. They outgained a really good team, defense was good and Ahlers/Mitchell and WR CJ Johnson looked good. But to lose this way should never happen.
Scott Satterfield: Louisville got blown out 31-7 last night on the road at Syracuse. The new look on offense Orange sliced and diced a bad Cardinal defense and it's time to very much look at Scott Satterfield. This was a flat performance. Malik Cunnigham has not really matriculated into much and this program is stale. They don't seem to have much of an identity and the defense is bad. Satterfield is 18-20 in this time at Louisville and the string seems to be running out. This was a listless performance
South Dakota State/Iowa: 10 combined points, 21 combined punts, 2 safeties, No TD's in the game and 14 penalties. What more do I need to say? Iowa gets the win though 7-3. Jackrabbits cover easily.
South Florida still sucks: One of the question marks yesterday was how BYU was going to fair down in very humid Tampa. They answered any questions blowing out the Bulls 50-21. The line in the game was strikingly low at 12.5 and many believed including sharps that USF would hang because of what exactly? Was Gerry Bohannon going to the be the savior? He wasn't, he was awful and they had just 279 total yards. What was most pathetic was the defense. They got carved up in the first half giving up big play after big play enroute to being down 28-0. Ultimately they were down 38-7 at half. The BYU defense even got involved with a pick six of their own. It could be another long year in Tampa and I am looking at myself in shame after not playing this one yesterday.
This was only WEEK 1… See ya next week for Week 2