Troy Trojans (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (2-2 SU, 1-2 ATS), Week 6 College Football, 7:30 p.m. EST, Tuesday, October 5, 2010, Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro, Tenn. TV: ESPN2
by Ryno, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Troy +3/MTS -3
Over/Under Total: 62
Two teams are 1-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. Two teams play each other on national TV on Tuesday night. Those two teams are Troy and Middle Tennessee State and those two teams will be fighting hard to improve to 2-0 in conference play, which would put them in first place in the Sun Belt, and look impressive in front of a national audience on ESPN2.
Middle Tennessee State started its season with a tight 24-17 home loss to Minnesota, a rather impressive outing against a Big Ten team. Then, the Blue Raiders won 56-33 over Austin Peay. The 56 points are nice, but allowing 33 points to Austin Peay isn’t so nice. Next, they lost another tough one at Memphis, 24-17.
Last week, the Blue Raiders won their first Sun Belt contest, 34-14 over Louisiana-Lafayette. They only led 17-14 late in the first half but they ran off 17 straight points to pull away with the victory. RB Phillip Tanner carried the ball 17 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Fellow RB D.D. Kyles had five carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns. QB Logan Kilgore was 21-for-36 passing for 207 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Kilgore spread the ball around to 11 different receivers with none of them getting more than three receptions. The Blue Raiders totaled 217 rushing yards as a team.
Troy started its season with a dramatic 30-27 home win over Bowling Green. The Trojans then went to Oklahoma State and nearly came away with a monumental upset, ultimately losing by a field goal, 41-38. That loss was disappointing but it was a great confidence builder for this Troy team. The Trojans again had their hopes crushed the next week with a 34-33 loss at UAB.
They rebounded last week with a 35-28 win at home over Arkansas State, but the Trojans could easily be 4-0 right now. Then again, they could also be 0-4, as all four games were decided by seven points or less, so 2-2 is probably an appropriate record. They won both home games and lost both road games. They also scored between 30 and 38 points in all four games.
In the win over Arkansas State, the Trojans held a 27-21 lead with a minute left in the fourth quarter. After Arkansas State scored a touchdown on a 29-yard pass with 57 seconds left in the game to take a 28-27 lead, Troy scored the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds left on a 17-yard pass from Corey Robinson to Shawn Southward. Robinson finished 18-of-38 for 316 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. RB Chris Anderson had 15 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown. WR Jerrel Jernigan had an incredible performance with 10 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown. For the season, Jernigan is one of the top wide receivers in college football with 31 receptions for 384 yards and two touchdowns.
Troy is 4-0 ATS in its last four Tuesday games, 5-0 ATS in its last five October games, and 5-0 ATS in its last five games following a bye week. Middle Tennessee State is 7-0 ATS in its last seven conference games, 19-6-1 ATS in its last 26 games following an ATS win, and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games as a favorite. The under is 9-0-1 in Troy’s last 10 games following a bye week and 4-0 in its last four Tuesday games. The over is 5-0 in Troy’s last five road games. The under is 4-0 in Middle Tennessee State’s last four Tuesday games.
Troy is 4-0 ATS in its last four meetings with Middle Tennessee State. The under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between these teams. The favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like Middle Tennessee State to get the win and cover here.