Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2021 College Football Preview

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2021 College Football Preview

Updated July 26, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 3-7

ATS – 4-6

The Golden Eagles coughed and sputtered their way to a mark of 3-7 and booked their first losing season since 2014. It was a fiasco and a HEAD COACH CAROUSEL and Southern Miss was happy to see the season end. We give them credit for the season-ending win over Florida Atlantic (W 45-31) and head into 2021 with a wee bit of MOJO.


Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Golden Eagles didn’t get much done through the air LY and they’ll be a new QB under center this year. Trey Lowe got a little bit of work in 2020 (59 attempts, 2-3 TD to INT) but it remains to be seen if he’s their long term solution at the position. Frank Gore Jr is one of the best RBs in the conference and will be the focal point of the offense (708, 5.9, 2 TD) and Darius Maberry is a capable backup. #2 WR Tim Jones departs but Jason Brownlee is a good #1 option (610, 17.9, 5 TD LY). It’s unclear if they have quality depth. There are some big bodies up front and they boast well over 100+ career starts as a group. They could be pretty good with decent QB play. <grabs popcorn>

DEFENSE

Southern Miss gave up over 400 YPG and 30 PPG LY for the first time since 2014. They finished the year ranked #83 in the FBS vs the run and #99 in pass efficiency D. They allowed 30+ in seven of their 10 games. PENETRATION wasn’t their strong suit as they finished last in C-USA in sacks/game. New DC Austin Armstrong has nine returning starters and 11 of the top-12 tacklers on board including the team leader in tackles and TFL in LB Hayes Maples. Leading sack man LB Santrell Latham is a force and they have decent beef up front. They’ve got to get a lot better on the back end as they had a scary 24-6 TD to INT mark LY. Losing their excellent safety Ky’el Hemby doesn’t help.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Yes, guy.

Things look pretty solid with the return of PK Briggs Bourgeois (12/16 FG, 3-4 40+) and P Griffen Fleming (38.2 net). KR Camron Harrell brought one back to the HIZZY JIZZY (100Y) and averaged 31.4 YPR.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The schedule maker did them a SOLID as they get an easy draw from the East (FIU, MTSU) and have three winnable games in non-conference play. The road game at ROLL TIDE will be a BLOODBATH but you can’t have everything.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 26

Over 5.5 -105

Under 5.5 -115

updated August 24

Over 6 -105

Under 6 -115

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over.

Seems we like a lot of the C-USA overs in the West. We won’t play them all but this one doesn’t look horrible. That schedule looks pretty JOOCY and they do have some interesting pieces on both sides of the football. Not 100% convinced we’ll get down but it’s a possibility, yo.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The last time Southern Miss had a POSITIVE TURNOVER MARGIN was back in 2010 (!) when they finished +9. Since then? A combined -82. WHOA NELLIE. Amaze your QUADRUPLE-MASKED D-BAG CUBICLE BUDDY with that nugget.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

New HC Will Hall comes over from Tulane and may not need a ton of time to get this ship turned back around in the right direction. You know the running game will work and the defense at least has experience on their side. We’re not sure what to expect at QB but we’ll call for 5-6 wins and a shot at a bowl game.


Want more Southern Miss Football ?

WEBSITE

https://southernmiss.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://southernmiss.forums.rivals.com/forums/the-district.8/

NEWS

http://www.sunherald.com/sports/college/conference-usa/university-of-southern-mississippi/

http://www.clarionledger.com/sports/southern-miss/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2572/southern-mississippi-golden-eagles

TWITTER

Hashtag – #SMTTT

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/SouthernMissFB

Rice Owls 2021 College Football Preview

Rice Owls 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 27, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 2-3

ATS – 3-2

The Owls definitely looked the part of an improving squad during the truncated plandemic season and finished with a mark of 2-3. All three losses were by 10 points or less AND who can forget when they SHOCKED the WORLD and humbled Marshall on their home field (W 22-CACK). Is it too much to expect a significant move forward in 2021? Let’s dig in.


Rice Owls 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Owls used a methodical offense LY (#2 TOP) to keep them in games and while they weren’t potent by any means (#107 FBS total offense) they were very efficient when utilizing the THROW GAME (#26 passing efficiency). Starting QB Mike Collins will be missed (10-1 TD to INT) and they bring in CORN transfer Luke McCaffrey to battle for the starting gig. He was inconsistent at Nebraska but has some upside. Keep your eye on transfer Jake Constantine. The RB group is deep (T3 back) but it’s unclear if they have a true workhorse. Expect a committee approach. The departure of their excellent WR Austin Trammell is a yuuuge blow but almost everyone that caught a pass LY is back for duty. TE Jordan Myers caught 20 balls in 5G and don’t forget that WR Bradley Rozner led the team in receiving yards in 2019 (55-770, 14.0, 5 TD). Everyone is back up front and they have a really good pair of tackles.

DEFENSE

Rice did a good job on D in their 5-GAME SAMPLER LY (#23 FBS total D, #12 scoring D) and were certainly helped by the offense who spent a lot of time on the field. They have some talent at each level of the defense but will certainly miss their excellent LB and leading tackler Blaze Alldredge who’s off to Missouri. They also need to find a pass rush as they only tallied 7 in 5G LY (#12 C-USA sacks per game) whilst achieving minimal PENETRATION (#113 TFL/game). They have a pair of solid men at DT in De’Braylon Carroll (update – Carroll OFY Aug 14) and Elijah Garcia and boast an active LB group. The secondary is experienced and they picked of 6 passes in 5G LY.

SPECIAL TEAMS

They have a good-looking kicking combo in P Charlie Mendes (40.1 net) and PK Collin Riccitelli (9-12 FG LY). Jake Bailey is a talented option at PR and KR.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They have a nasty three-game stretch to start the season (at Arkansas, Houston, at Texas) but get a decent draw out of the East (Charlotte, Western Kentucky). They must face both of the West BIG BOYS (UAB, UTSA) on the road.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 27

Over 6 -105

Under 6 -115

update August 24

Over 5.5 -125

Under 5.5 +105

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Under.

It’s quite possible that they start 0-3 and that would make it tough to hit the ‘over’.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

It feels like the last time Rice was last decent was back in ANCIENT TIMES, but don’t forget that they won 18 games in the two-year stretch from 2013-2014. They took down the Conference USA Championship in 2013.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

It’s been a slow build but the Owls have gotten to the point where they’re no longer a FREE SQUARE for Conference USA foes. Last year’s spanking of Marshall proved that point. It feels like six wins may be the ceiling for this year’s team as the QB situation is a bit of a mystery and the defense might be a bit lacking in overall talent. In any event, GO OWLS!


Want more Rice Owls Football ?

WEBSITE

http://www.riceowls.com/sports/m-footbl/rice-m-footbl-body.html

FORUM

http://csnbbs.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=444

NEWS

https://www.chron.com/sports/rice/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/242/rice-owls

TWITTER

Hashtag – #IntellectualBrutality, #GoOwls

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/RiceFootball

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2021 College Football Preview

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 26, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 5-5

ATS – 4-6

The Bulldogs’ opponents scored eight points more per game on average during the course of the shortened scamdemic season but they still managed to squeak out a .500 record. One thing to note is that the five teams that they lost to in 2020 were all pretty good (BYU, Marshall, UTSA, TCU, Georgia Southern) and they SHOCKED the WORLD by taking down UAB along the way.


Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

Louisiana Tech managed to bag five wins despite finishing a disgusting #117 in the FBS in total offense and an impossibly-poor #119 in rushing offense. QB Luke Anthony looked pretty good when healthy LY and will be the starter in week one (62%, 16-5 TD to INT). A weak RB room gets a nice transfer in Marcus Williams (Appalachian St) who rushed for well over 2,000 yards during his four-year stint with the Mountaineers. The WR group needs to produce more explosive plays. Small but mighty SMOKE Harris caught 39 balls in 2020 (7.8, 4 TD) but it remains to be seen if there’s a legit deep threat on the roster. Three starters return up front and they’ll need to do a better job in pass protection (#11 C-USA sacks allowed per game LY). <update – Anthony currently listed as Q on injury report – ankle>

DEFENSE

The Bulldogs returned a single starter LY and it showed as they allowed 34.7 PPG (#11 C-USA scoring D) and 198 YPG on the ground (#9 C-USA). The Bulldogs don’t have much size on the DL and they lose a yuuuge piece in DT Milton Williams who’s off to the NFL (Eagles) (4.5 sk, 10 TFL LY). The LB group is promising with the return of their top-two tacklers in Tyler Grubbs and Trey Baldwin (combined 16.5 TFL LY). The secondary could be sneaky good with the return of 1st Team C-USA member safety Bee Jay Williamson and the addition of some P5 transfers including CB Baylen Buchanan (Vols).

SPECIAL TEAMS

This looks like a solid group given the return of PK Jacob Barnes (12/14 FG LY) and the addition of P Austin McCready from Memphis. Smoke Harris did a good job returning punts LY.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The non-conference slate is tough and they’ll do really well to escape those games with a 2-2 record (at Mississippi St, SMU, at NC State). They get a soft draw out of the East which is very helpful (Old Dominion, Charlotte) and have a CHARMIN SOFT final three game stretch.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 26

Over – 4.5 +110

Under 4.5 -130

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over

They’re well-coached and have enough talent to win five games. The schedule isn’t that daunting.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Skip Holtz has a 6-1 (!) record in bowl games with the Bulldogs with the only loss coming LY when a depleted roster took on Georgia Southern.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

Louisiana Tech had rattled off six consecutive winning seasons before clocking in at .500 in 2020. It’ll help to have Anthony back at QB and the defense figures to be better this season. It’s probably too much to expect a division title but we think they’re capable of winning six games and getting to another bowl game.


Want more Louisiana Tech Football ?

WEBSITE

https://latechsports.com/sports/football

FORUM

http://www.latechbbb.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?25-Football-The-Blond-Bomber-Board&s=2961ae2614383d196eef42838d4d0306

https://latech.forums.rivals.com/forums/tech-drive.8/

NEWS

http://www.thenewsstar.com/sports/louisiana-tech/

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/sports/colleges/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2348/louisiana-tech-bulldogs

TWITTER

Hashtag – #EverLoyalBe, #resuLTs

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/LATechFB

North Texas Mean Green 2021 College Football Preview

North Texas Mean Green 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 26, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 4-6

ATS – 3-7

The shortened casedemic season wasn’t kind to the Mean Green as they sputtered their way to a second consecutive four-win season. Their conquests were nothing to be proud of (Houston Baptist, MTSU, Rice, UTEP) and they allowed 40+ on six occasions. HC Seth Littrell has at least one more chance to get this program moving in the right direction.


North Texas Mean Green 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

Offense was NOT the issue last year as the Mean Green moved like a TREMENDOUS MACHINE on most occasions. They ranked #8 (!) in the FBS in total offense LY (513 YPG) and were equally adept at rolling on the ground (230 YPG, #13) or using the THROW GAME (#25). Austin Aune essentially split the attempts with the departed Jason Bean LY and looked pretty good (55%, 13-4 TD to INT). Keep your eye on transfer QB Jace Rudder from North Carolina. The strength of offense is the excellent 1-2 RB combo of DeAndre Torrey and Oscar Adaway who combined for over 1,200Y and 9 TD LY. Both men averaged 5.8 YPC. They lose ALL-UNIVERSE WR Jaelon Darden to the NFL (1,190, 19 TD) but note that Deonte Simpson caught 25 balls LY and averaged over 20 YPC (4 TD). It’s also possible that Torrey will be used at WR this season to give defenses fits. The OL returns four starters and did a good job in run blocking and pass protection LY. These guys will still be able to SCORE the FOOTBALL. <update – RB Adaway OFY with injury>

DEFENSE

The stop unit was HOT GARBAGE last year as they allowed 43 PPG (#125 FBS) and 522 YPG (dead last FBS). They were shredded for an impossible 269 YPG on the ground. The vast majority of the two-deep returns this year (10 RS) and we hope that’s a good thing for new DC Phil Bennett. The DL looks to be in better shape than expected with the return of star DT Dion Novil (6’4 330, 8 TFL LY), DE Gabriel Murphy (4 sacks), and DE Grayson Murphy (3 sacks). Leading tackler KD Davis leads the linebacker corps but they have to find a way to improve on the back end. It’s hard to project much improvement but we see promise on the DL and like the upgrade at DC.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Ethan Mooney had a disappointing 2020 season (7/14 FG) but recall that he hit 80% in 2019. P Bernardo Rodriguez does a good job.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – It’s challenging. They draw SMU (A), Missouri (A), and Liberty (H) in non-conference play and have to face Marshall from the East.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at FIU (November 20)

This will be their 3rd road test in 4G and the Mean Green are just 18-29 ATS L10Y as road doggies.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 26

Over 4 +105

Under 4 -125

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

That looks about right. They’ll score enough to bag some wins but the schedule doesn’t do them many favors.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

North Texas won (or shared) four consecutive Sun Belt titles from 2001-2004. They haven’t won a conference title since those glory days.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

This just might be CRAP OR GET OFF THE POT time for Seth Littrell. They showed promise a few years ago with back-to-back nine-win campaigns but have stubbed their toes the last two seasons. They look to have one of the better offenses in C-USA yet again but thinking about that defense keeps us up at night. The high-water mark is probably bowl eligibility by the skin of their teeth.


Want more North Texas Football ?

WEBSITE

https://meangreensports.com/sports/football

FORUM

http://www.gomeangreen.com/forums/forum/4-mean-green-football/

http://meanandgreen.freeforums.org/north-texas-football-forum-f3.html

NEWS

http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/unt-mean-green

https://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/mean_green/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/249/north-texas-mean-green

TWITTER

Hashtag – #GMG

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/MeanGreenFB

https://twitter.com/brettvito

UTSA Roadrunners 2021 College Football Preview

UTSA Roadrunners 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 26, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 7-5

ATS – 6-6

“We’re going streaking!” <Frank ‘The Tank’ Ricard> <Old School>

The Roadrunners busted out of the gate winning their first three games and a pair of those were BARN BURNERS (Texas St, MTSU combined 5 pt MOV). They lost their next three games when the schedule got tougher, and then won four of their next five regular season contests. HOT COLD HOT. They gave the tough Ragin’ Cajuns a battle in the First Responder Bowl but fell by a score of 31-24. Seven wins was the most they’ve booked since 2013.


UTSA Roadrunners 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Roadrunners used what seemed like 13 QBs last year but still managed to get acceptable play out of the position (#84 FBS pass efficiency). Frank Harris was the best of the bunch and he’s back to lead the way in 2021 (64%, 12-6 TD to INT, 528 rush, 9 TD LY). And now we know they have QB depth. The star of the show is RB Sincere McCormick who’s MUST-WATCH TV (1,467, 5.9, 11 TD; 20 receptions). McCormick booked six 100-yard games LY and roasted North Texas for 251Y along the way. Their top-two WRs are back including legit #1 option Zakhari Franklin (694, 14.2, 7 TD) and TE Leroy Watson is a fine receiving option. The OL has good size and is very talented and recall that they paved the way for the #19 rushing attack in the FBS in 2020.

DEFENSE

UTSA made nice strides LY and allowed 25.7 YPG (#6 C-USA) after yielding 33.9 PPG in 2019. Essentially everyone returns on this side of the football so there’s reason to be optimistic heading into the fall. There’s good size in the starting group up front and recall that NG Jaylon Haynes booked four sacks LY. The LB group also has good size and they bring back a pair of good ones in Trevor Harmanson (#2 tackler, 9 TFL) and Jamal Lingon (4 sacks LY). Safety Rashad Wisdom is one of the best defensive players in the conference and comes off a 2020 campaign in which he put up a fine stat line (#1 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 4 INT).

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Roadrunners have one of the best kicking games around with the return of star P Lucas Dean (4th team AA) and PK Hunter Deplessis who hit 17/20 FGA LY. They could use some spice in the return game.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – Things look pretty good. They’re non-conference docket is manageable as both of the road games are tough, but winnable (at Illinois, at Memphis). They get a good draw from the East (MTSU, Western Kentucky).

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Southern Miss (November 13th)

The yuuuge game with UAB is on deck and note that the home team in 0-4 ATS in the series.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 26

Over 7.5 -110

Under 7.5 -110

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over.

This is a good-looking squad and the schedule works in their favor. They get the Blazers at home.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The Roadrunners are still without a bowl win on their resume (0-2 all-time). It’s a 7000 STAR TRIPLE MASK LOCK that they get another crack this year.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

This should be a fun year in San Antonio. They have a really good offense led by a superstar RB and an underrated stop unit. They’re hungry and have one of the most talented rosters in Conference USA. The late season clash with the Blazers will likely determine the winner of the West division. #BirdsUp !


Want more UTSA Football ?

WEBSITE

https://goutsa.com/index.aspx?path=football

FORUM

https://utsa.forums.rivals.com/forums/roadrunner-way.10/

https://utsa.forums.rivals.com/forums/utsa-boulevard-premium.14/

NEWS

https://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/colleges/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2636/utsa-roadrunners

TWITTER

Hashtag – #BirdsUp, #DefendTheDome

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/UTSAFTBL 

https://twitter.com/JaredUTSA

https://twitter.com/theJJPerez

UAB Blazers 2021 College Football Preview

UAB Blazers 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 26, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 6-3

ATS – 3-6

Yes, guy.

The Blazers fought their way to their 3rd consecutive C-USA Championship Game and won it for the second time during that stretch. The took down a really good Marshall squad for the honor (W 22-13) and did it as small underdogs. They lost for the first time at home since the program reboot when the Cajuns came to town and did the honor (L 24-20). Expectations are high once again heading into 2021. Let’s go!


UAB Blazers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Blazers did it with balance LY averaging 200 YPG on the ground (#29 FBS) and through the air (201 YPG, #88). The QB play was erratic as Bryson Lucero and Tyler Johnston combined for a 14-9 TD to INT ratio, and the Blazers completed just 56% of their passes overall (#8 C-USA). Johnston is back as the starter and while he hits a lot of big plays in the THROW GAME he also makes a few too many mistakes (35-25 TD to INT career). There’s bad news at WR where the top-two WRs depart (Watkins, Mitchell) and they were the team leaders in receptions and receiving yards by a large margin LY. Hayden Pittman is a fine TE (2nd team C-USA) and WR Trae Shropshire averaged 22 YPC LY, but the WR/TE group looks to be down a notch. They are deep at RB but lose #1 Spencer Brown and his 10 rushing TDs from a season ago. Dewayne McBride averaged 9.3 (!!) YPC in 2020 and they add a transfer from Miss St (Lee Witherspoon). Everyone returns up front and this is the best OL in the conference. They averaged 4.9 YPC LY and only allowed 4 sacks (!). Hopefully Johnston can stay healthy. <knocks on wood>

DEFENSE

UAB boasted the #7 total defense in the FBS LY (!) and allowed a mere 311 YPG. They were particularly stingy vs the pass and ranked #6 in the FBS in pass efficiency D (53%, 15-8 TD to INT). Impressive PENETRATION was also achieved (#3 C-USA TFL/game, sacks/game). Eight starters return but they’ll miss leading sack man Jordan Smith (4.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 8 QBH). The Blazers are loaded with the return of their top-two tacklers in LB Noah Wilder (2nd Team C-USA) and Kristopher Moll (1st Team C-USA). All three starters are back up front and they add DE Justin Thomas from LSU. The secondary will still be excellent. This is clearly the best defense in the conference.

SPECIAL TEAMS

This should be one of the better units in the conference with the return of PK Matt Quinn (11/12 FG LY, 5-5 40+) and P Kyle Greenwell (40.5 net). Jermaine Brown averaged 25.5 on KR LY.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The non-conference slate has some tough ones in there. They take on Georgia (!) and Tulane on the road and face Liberty at home. They’re in the easier half of the conference but draw Marshall and Florida Atlantic from the East. November road tests vs the Herd and the Roadrunners LOOM LARGE.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Tulane (September 25th)

This will be their 3rd straight road game and 4th consecutive game away from home to start the year. Their home opener is on deck (see below).

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 26

Over 7.5 -145

Under 7.5 -125

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over.

The schedule isn’t easy, but this is the most talented team in C-USA.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

UAB begins play in their new stadium on October 2nd when they take on the potent Liberty Flames!


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

The Blazers are missing some key pieces on offense from last year’s squad but still have a devastating defense and a savvy veteran QB. Hopefully, they can avoid a slow start as they don’t play a true home game until October. They’re well-coached and are the clear favorite to take the West division and go to their fourth consecutive Conference USA title game.


Want more UAB Football ?

WEBSITE

https://uabsports.com/sports/football

FORUM

http://csnbbs.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=388

NEWS

http://www.al.com/uabfootball/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/5/uab-blazers

TWITTER

Hashtag – #WinAsOne

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/UAB_FB 

FIU Panthers 2021 College Football Preview

FIU Panthers 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 29, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 0-5

ATS – 1-4

Not much good came out of the shortened casedemic season for the Panthers as they ended up with a winless mark of 0-5. They gave a really good Liberty squad all they could handle AND THEN SOME in the opener but fell by a score of 36-34. They lost the following week to MTSU and then it fell off the rails. Losing to something called Jacksonville St wasn’t good. Oh well, on to 2021!


FIU Panthers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The offense was flat out BRUTAL LY (#122 FBS total offense) and the main culprit was a non-existent THROW GAME (#121). If we’re to believe the news, it appears as though the Panthers will go with the same cast of characters at QB in Max Bortenschlager and Kaylan Wiggins. Both doods completed WAY less than 50% of their passes and they combined for a 2-2 TD to INT in 2020. Almost every player that caught a pass is back on offense and recall that WR Shermar Thornton led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2019 (51-668, 13.1, 5 TD). The RB group is stacked with the return of their top-two rushers (D’Vonte Price, Shaun Peterson) who averaged 6.8 and 6.7 YPC LY respectively. We worry about an inexperienced OL but the hope is that they get solid play for guys added via the transfer portal. Bagging center Api Mane from Kansas was literally a yuuuge addition (6’4 300).

DEFENSE

It was a small five-game docket but the Panthers got absolutely ROLLED by opposing ground attacks (#117 YPG, 236 YPG). They allowed over 30 PPG (32.4) for the first time since 2016. Nine starters are back on this side of the football as well as 9 of their top-10 tacklers. The best unit on D should be a secondary that returns all five starters including their top-two tacklers Richard and Rishard Dames. They’re deep and talented back there, yo. Three starters return up front including DT Davon Strickland who booked 3 sacks in 5G. Bagging Hal Vinson from Texas St was another nice pickup via the transfer portal. Eric Mitchell just might emerge as the leader in the LB corps (161 tackles, 5 sacks L3Y at UCF). We expect much better things on defense in 2021.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Yes, guy.

The Panthers had the #8 special teams unit in the FBS according to the great Phil Steele mag and appear to be in great shape this season. They have a solid P,PK combo in Tommy Heatherly and Chase Gabriel and note that both EJ Wilson and Lex Joseph booked KR TDs in 2020.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They have a good shot to open at 2-0 (Long Island, Texas St) but the road game at Texas Tech could be ugly. They get a nice draw out of the West (North Texas, Southern Miss) and note that the November schedule is pretty light.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 29

Over 4.5 +125

Under 4.5 -145

update Aug 24

Over 4.5 +110

Under 4.5 -130

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Over.

They could win four games in November. Just kidding. Not really.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

Butch Davis, formerly of YOUR Miami Hurricanes, started out with a mark of 17-9 but has gone just 6-12 over the past year and a half.

MEGALOCKS Outlook:

This is the classic case of, “if it weren’t for the question at quarterback”.

They’ll be able to run the ball. The defense has some solid upside. The kicking game will play. Butch Davis can coach ’em up. Now, if it weren’t for the question at quarterback. We’ll call for six wins and a bowl game for the Panthers and they might even pull a big upset along the way.


Want more FIU Football ?

WEBSITE

http://www.fiusports.com/index.aspx?path=football

News  

https://news.fiu.edu/sports/

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/college/conference-usa/florida-international-university/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2229/florida-intl-golden-panthers

TWITTER

Hashtags – #PawsUp, #PantherPride

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/FIUFootball

Charlotte 49ers 2021 College Football Preview

Charlotte 49ers 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 28, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 2-4

ATS – 3-3

The 49ers sputtered during the shortened 2020 casedemic season and only managed to bag wins over a pair of TOMATO CANS in North Texas and UTEP. They lost their final two contests by a combined tally of 90-38 (Duke, WKU) and will look to regain the momentum they built in 2019 with a seven-win campaign.


Charlotte 49ers 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

It was just a six-game sample but it’s fair to say that the 49ers took a step back on offense LY. They averaged 3.9 YPC (2019 – 5.0) and completed just 55% of their passes (2019 – 61%). The suspect OL play was a major factor and they allowed 16 sacks in 6G LY (#11 C-USA sacks allowed per game). We’re worried about them up front as they lose star C Jaelin Fisher as well as their OL coach. Incumbent QB Chris Reynolds wasn’t as dynamic LY and Texas A&M (!) transfer James Foster will push for the starting gig. WR Victor Tucker is a legit #1 option (909, 17.5, 7 TD in 2019) and Charlotte could use another good option or two to emerge. The 49ers are down their top-two rushers from LY and hope that Iowa transfer Shadrick Byrd can be a legit starter. Overall, we have doubts about the offense.

DEFENSE

Charlotte allowed 32 PPG for the second consecutive year (#10 C-USA) and were particularly soft vs the run (214 YPG, #10 C-USA). They only tallied 5 sacks in 6G which was the worst rate per game in the conference, and recall that they had 36 of those bad boys in 2019. The strength of the defense is at LB where #1 tackler Tyler Murray and #3 Luke Martin return for duty, and it doesn’t hurt to add South Carolina transfer LB Derek Boykins (dnp LY). We’re skeptical about the talent on the DL but they did add a couple of P5 transfers. Speaking of transfers, the secondary adds too many new pieces from P5 schools to mention but we’re particularly excited about safety Davondre Robinson who made 25 starts at East Carolina and should bag a starting role.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Charlotte has finished #103, #130, and #122 in the Phil Steele special teams rankings L3Y and this group doesn’t look promising. They need to find a new P, PK Jonathan Cruz made just 4-7 FG LY (10/13 in 2019), and the return units need a LOT more spice. That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – This sounds nuts, but the 49ers could go 0-4 or 4-0 in non-conference play (Duke, Gardner-Webb, Georgia St, Illinois). Ok. Fine. Be that way. 1-3 is the likely outcome. They play WKU, Louisiana Tech, and Marshall in a 4G stretch late in the year.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 28

Over 4.5 +100

Under 4.5 -120

update August 24

Over 5 -110

Under 5 -110

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Under.

If it weren’t for the abundance of P5 transfers this would be a 570 STAR LOCKDOWN STEAMER but it’s hard to know how big of an impact the new bodies will make in 2021.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Charlotte’s only bowl game appearance came during the 2019 Bahamas Bowl when they lost to the JUGGERNAUT Buffalo Bulls (L 31-9).


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

The 49ers caught LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE in 2019 with some really talented players that carried them to a bowl game. We knew they would take a step back in 2020 but the question is this…..Are they turds? We say NO. First of all, we cheer for them. Second, and most importantly, they added a ton of talent via the transfer portal. Their near-term fortunes are unknown but our best guess is that they struggle this season and finish near the bottom of the division.


Want more Charlotte 49ers Football ?

WEBSITE

https://charlotte49ers.com/sports/football

FORUM

Free

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NEWS

https://www.ninertimes.com/sports/football/

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/college/

https://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2429/charlotte-49ers

TWITTER

Hashtag – #GOLDStandard

Accounts to follow

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Old Dominion Monarchs 2021 College Football Preview

Old Dominion Monarchs 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 29, 2021

2019/2020 Recap

Record – Did not play in 2020

ATS – Did not play in 2020

2019 REVISITED

GLUG. GLUG. GLUG.

The Monarchs squeaked by FCS foe Norfolk St (W 24-21) in their season opener and then proceeded to lose an impossible 11 (!) games in a row. There were a few close calls, but overall, the season was a complete disaster from start to finish. They’re only a few seasons removed from a 10-win campaign and a Bahamas Bowl victory, and it will be up to new HC Ricky Rahne to try and get this ship turned around.


Old Dominion Monarchs 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The last time we saw this offense in action it was a GREASE FIRE. They finished the 2019 season ranked #128 in total offense and didn’t do much of anything right. The good news is that they bagged a yuuuuge transfer QB from UCF in Darriel Mack (7-2 TD to INT in 2018/2019). He provides legit credibility at the position. A pair of their top-four rushers return (Elijah Davis, Blake Watson) and it’s possible that a true freshman makes an impact. Their top-two WRs are back and both Aaron Moore and Nigel Fitzgerald averaged 15 YPC in 2019. They add several pieces at WR and TE through the transfer portal. The OL is still a major work in progress but they’re led by an experienced center in Isaac Weaver. Getting guard Tyran Hunt to transfer from Maryland is a plus.

DEFENSE

The defense performed admirably in 2019 and ended the season ranked #46 in the FBS in total defense (#55 run, #101 pass efficiency D). They only managed to book 17 sacks (#11 sacks per game C-USA) and had all kinds of issues with PENETRATION (#129 FBS TFL/game). Just three (!) starters are back in 2021 and they’ll definitely miss Keion White who tallied an amazing 19 TFL in 2019. In fact, the DL will comprise a group of entirely new starters. LB Jordan Young (#2 tackler 2019) is a good piece to build around and safety Harrell Blackmon provides stability on the back end. The loss of star CB Kaleb Ford-Dement stings quite a bit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Nick Rice hit 15/20 FGA LY (1/2 40+) and Blake Watson averaged 26.4 per KR in 2019. That’s a decent start.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – There are some winnable games on the docket and they have a good draw from the West (miss UAB, UTSA and get UTEP).

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Wake Forest (September 3rd)

They haven’t seen LIVE BULLETS in a long time and we think it’ll take a few games for them to get their SEA LEGS. Not a spot we’ll be taking the points.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 29

Over 3.5 -155

Under 3.5 +135

MEGALOCKS says:

Lean: Under.

It’s tough to get a read on a team that missed the entire 2020 season but this feels like a major rebuilding job to us.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

The Monarchs aren’t too far removed from a 10-win season and a Bahamas Bowl victory over Eastern Michigan (2016).


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

The Monarchs are as close to an unknown as you can get. The defense needs rebuilding but at least they have a legit starting QB and some decent weapons at RB and WR. The schedule should allow them to bag a few wins but we don’t expect to see much from this program until at least 2022.


Want more Old Dominion Football ?

WEBSITE

https://odusports.com/sports/football

FORUM

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NEWS

https://pilotonline.com/sports/college/old-dominion/football/

http://herosports.com/colleges/teams/old-dominion-mens-football

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/295/old-dominion-monarchs

TWITTER

Hashtag – #ReignOn

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/ODUFootball

MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 College Football Preview

MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 28, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 3-6

ATS – 5-4

The Blue Raiders got off to rough start in the first two weeks losing to Army and Troy by a combined score of 89-14 (!) but played competitively the rest of the way and finished the regular season with a mark of 3-6. They fell to UTSA and WKU by a combined 5 points and pulled off a REVENGE-STYLE UPSET in the finale when they beat Troy on the road as DD dogs. A bit of momentum heading into 2021, buh buh.


MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 Outlook

OFFENSE

The Blue Raiders struggled on offense LY (#89 FBS total offense) and averaged fewer than 30 PPG for the fourth consecutive season. DO-IT-ALL QB Asher O’Hara (601 rush, 1900+ pass) is gone and it’ll be up to North Carolina St transfer Bailey Hockman to lead the way. Hockman had a decent 2020 with the Pack but threw a few too many picks (13-11 TD to INT). Essentially every target in the THROW GAME returns this year and the WR group has a nice mix of size and speed. WR Jarrin Pierce has led the team in receiving yards in consecutive seasons (59-584, 3 TD LY). #1 RB Chaton Mobley has good size and had a decent 2020 (366, 4 TD) and they add Florida St transfer RB Amir Rasul who should get lots of reps. Four OL starters return and they add a pair of P5 transfers to the mix. The Blue Raiders averaged just 3.8 net YPC and were #9 in C-USA in sacks allowed per game in 2020.

DEFENSE

MTSU allowed 35.4 PPG (2nd last C-USA) and gave little resistance to opposing ground games (222 YPG, #111 FBS). Nine of their top-10 tacklers return and there’s reason to think they’ll be improved in 2021. Three starters return to the DL and DE Jordan Ferguson provides some HEAT (2.5 sk, 5 TFL, 6 QBH). LB DQ Thomas is a force at LB (#3 tackler, #7 TFL, #2 tackles 2019) and they have one of the best safety combos in 16th year* senior Reed Blankenship and Gregory Grate (1st Team C-USA). They’ll be better in 2021 but it still feels like an average group on paper.

* needs fact check

SPECIAL TEAMS

P Kyle Ulbrich is the best player in the unit (43.8, 39.8 net) and they’ll need to find a new PK. Jaylin Lane did a good job on KR LY (24.1).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They have a pair of lay-ups in non-conference play (Monmouth, UConn) but must also face Virginia Tech and Liberty ON THE HIGHWAY. Things get real in SWEET C-USA action early on when they take on UTSA and Marshall in the first three conference tilts. They have seven true road games.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Connecticut (October 23rd)

This will be their 5th road game in 6G (one bye week in there) and it’s not a spot where we’ll want to lay road chalk.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 28

Over 5 +115

Under 5 -135

MEGALOCKS says:

No leanage.

89 of our 110 sets of power ratings have them winning precisely five games. Six looks like the high-water mark.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The rivalry game between MTSU and Western Kentucky is known as 100 MILES OF HATE. Gotta love that, yo.


MEGALOCKS Outlook:

The Blue Raiders went from 2012-2018 without booking a losing season. They’ve now done it two years in a row (combined record of 7-14). The offense is going to be a lot better with new QB Bailey Hockman, but will that be enough? The defense has a few nice pieces but still looks pretty MEH overall. They’ll do well to get to six wins and bowl eligibility.


Want more MTSU Football ?

WEBSITE

https://goblueraiders.com/sports/football

FORUM

https://middletennessee.forums.rivals.com/forums/the-raider-roundup.6/

NEWS

http://www.dnj.com/blue-raiders/

http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/2393/middle-tennessee-blue-raiders

TWITTER

Hashtag – #BlueRaiders

Accounts to follow

https://twitter.com/MT_FB