Miami Hurricanes (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 17th, 12:00pm
Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium - Boone, NC
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIA -3.5 / ASU +3.5
Over/Under Total: 52
We all remember the day. It was one of those moments in sports when you knew exactly where you were, what you were drinking, who you were with, etc. The day that tiny outmanned Appalachian State went into The Big House and upset number five Michigan in the season opener. Not only did App State make a name for themselves that day, just two weeks ago they almost pulled off yet again an opening weekend win over another top ten team when they went into Neyland Stadium and took the Tennessee Volunteers to overtime only to fall short 20-13. Great effort. Came up just a tad short.
This weekend, Appalachian State will not be traveling into anyone's home. This Saturday, at noon, the Miami Hurricanes will take their talents to Boone, North Carolina and the Mountaineers of App State will be the home team. The Hurricanes are a 3.5 point favorite on the road and the total points are set at 52. You would think that Miami would be favored by much more and this game has "trap bet" written all over it...or does it? Maybe its finally time we took Appalachian State seriously and stop considering them the "big underdog" any longer.
The Miami Hurricanes are still working themselves into a new era. After being fired by Georgia, Mark Richt has taken over as the head coach of his alumni, Miami. Richt has admitted his complacency at times at Georgia which led to under achieving with teams that should have been legit national title contenders. Well, the Richt Era has started well at Miami, they are 2-0 but truth of the matter is that they haven't played anyone yet. But, 2-0 is 2-0 and a win on the road would be a great boost as Miami gets ready to enter the ACC schedule here soon. The key to this game is to just go into Boone and win. Just win the game. Sounds easy enough, right? Miami has the better athletes, more depth, and the environment in Boone, NC is nothing compared to some of the ACC venues that Miami has to travel to.
Miami quarterback, Brad Kaaya, is considered one of the top, if not the top NFL prospect headed into next year's draft. Kaaya has thrown for just four touchdowns and two interceptions and what I consider a low 326 yards in their first two games. The running game however has been what has boosted Miami. Maybe due to the inferior opponents, Mark Richt is not showing his hand just yet and letting his bigger athletes just pound the ball until they get into the meat of the ACC schedule. Trust me, as a Georgia fan, I am very very familiar with Mark Richt. He will begin to let Kaaya air it out often, and that just may start this weekend against the Mountaineers.
Can Appalachian State do it again? Can they beat a ranked opponent? Well, if they play to, here is how. Control the ball. Marcus Cox has already rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns and much of that was against Tennessee, who many think could be the winner of the SEC East and the entire SEC. If you watched the offensive and defensive line of App State against Tennessee it was mind blowing. They mandhandled Tennessee for much of the game and they were outsized big time. These guys just play hard and they are going to bring their best efforts against Miami. The run game and O Line needs to take the pressure off Taylor Lamb. Lamb's numbers are not great and the last thing you want to do is put this kid in position to fail. Just control the ball and keep Miami's offense on the sideline. Do that and App State could again be the talk of Saturday.
I am absolutely torn on this game. I stated earlier that I thought the line was a little low, but I am starting the think it may be spot on. I never do this, ever, but I am going to admit this: I am picking this game with my heart. I have no logical evidence, I don't know enough about both teams to confidently say "This is the play." I despise Miami, I am not a fan of Mark Richt, and I hope Appalachian State beats the dog mess out of the Hurricanes. That probably will not happen but I will tell you this...at noon on Saturday, while I drink my jack and coke and watch this game, my money will be on the Mountaineers +3.5.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE APPALACHIAN STATE +3.5
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