22 October 2011

Quick WAC picks for Oct. 22

Sorry people I've been really busy the past week especially with midterms and just a few minutes before the first WAC football game of the weekend I'll make some really quick picks for the weekend. Anyway, SJSU made a 4Q comeback in a roller-coaster game last Friday night to beat Hawaii 28-27 and has today off. I'll post more on that game later.

In the meantime (all these games will be live on ESPN3.com):
- Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1 WAC) at Utah State (2-4, 0-1 WAC): Utah State by 10. All four of the Aggies' losses (most recently last wk against Fresno State) came by losing leads in the 4Q. It's less likely to happen this time around as Utah State, with the 29th-ranked defense in D1 football (vs. La. Tech's 78th) also has a huge edge in its QB Chuckie Keeton who's yet to throw an INT in 2011 (LT's Nick Isham has thrown 7 INTs) and thus Keeton has a 147.3 rating vs. Isham's 117.3. The Aggies' running unit has produced nearly twice as many rushing yards (1,793 over LT's 882) and 22 TDs (LT 12 TDs). (Source: ESPN.com statistics on the teams)
- Fresno State (3-4, 2-0 WAC) at Nevada (3-3, 1-0 WAC): Nevada by 6. The Wolf Pack have the edge in rushing and defense (13 TDs in 1,493 yards, and defensively 354.6 yards per game), but Fresno State has strengths in its passing game. Note that Nevada's QB Tyler Lantrip has thrown 6 INTs and 5 TDs thus far, while Fresno State's Derek Carr 12 TDs and 5 INTs and that Nevada Wolf Pack's average passes span 12.9 yards while Fresno State Bulldogs 11.8. In its three road games so far, the Bulldogs lost 2 (to the mediocre Pac-12 Cal Berkeley and ranked Big 12 team Nebraska) and won against the struggling WAC Idaho. Also interesting of note, both teams will relocate to the Mountain West Conference beginning in 2012. If Nevada wins it'll definitely confirm critics' predictions (i.e. Bleacher Report) that Nevada will again be the top WAC team this year like in 2010. These teams are generally predicted to be the best: Sports Illustrated projected that Fresno State would be the top.
- New Mexico State (3-3, 1-1 WAC) at Hawaii (3-3, 1-1 WAC): Hawaii by 17. Returning to Manoa, the Warriors look to redeem themselves following a shocking loss against the San Jose State Spartans on national television last Friday. Indeed, New Mexico State should be an easy team to beat as Bryant Moniz completed 63.5% of his passes for 17 TDs and also threw 4 INTs; NMSU's Matt Christian 59.4% for 6 TDs and 1 INT. It's doubtful that this will be a repeat of the SJSU/Hawaii Turnover Show (both teams had each around 5 turnovers) as Hawaii in addition to home field advantage also can gain much yardage against a 93rd-ranked NMSU defense (Hawaii has 28th).

No comments: