The opening odds start here
San Diego St -16 over New Mexico St:
It hasn't been exactly pretty for the Aztecs (2-0) through their first 2 non conference tilts, but SDSU has managed to get the job done using a slowed tempo packed with defense thus far in the young season. Their 23-14 win over UCLA last week featured an inspired performance by Ryan Agnew (23/31 293 1 TD) who gave SDSU the lead for good early in the third quarter connecting with Kobe Smith (7-131 1 TD) on a 34 yard TD pass. Matt Araiza added 3 field goals, and Chase Jasmin got the Aztecs on the board with a 2 yard TD run. San Diego St recorded 22 first downs, held the ball for nearly 2/3 of the game, produced 373 total yards, and forced 2 turnovers. Dorian Thompson Robinson (24/35 199 1 TD) was much more efficient than in the opener against Cincinnati but most of his passes were mere dump offs underneath in the flat. Joshua Kelley (15-53 3.5 1 TD) got the Bruins on the board early with a 5 yard TD run, but other than a 20 yard scoring pass from Robinson to Greg Dulcich (3-37 1 TD), the offense could not get much else going. Robinson was sacked 4 times by the Aztecs and lost 2 of his team's 3 fumbles. SDSU recorded 11 tackles for loss in all. Tomorrow night SDSU visits independent New Mexico St (0-2) at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The only good news for Aggies bettors last week was that they covered a 56 point spread against Alabama but were ambushed 62-10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Yua Taglovailoa (16/24 227 3 TD) raced the Crimson Tide off to a 38-0 halftime lead and cruised from there. Jerry Jeudy (8-103 3 TD) and Henry Ruggs III (4-66 1 TD) picked apart the NMSU secondary and Alabama got 4 more scores on the ground led by Kellen Robinson (5-80 16.0 1 TD). Ruggs also busted loose on a 75 yard scoring run, his only carry of the contest, while Taglovailoa even found the end zone with his legs himself carrying twice for 33 yards (16.5). The Crimson Tide sacked Josh Adkins (19/30 145 1 TD 1 INT) 4 times. forced 4 turnovers and held the Aggies to 262 total yards.

Agnew (39/61 401 1 TD) has not been spectacular through his first 2 games but nonetheless efficient. The team runs a fairly methodical offense and has a dangerous play-maker in Smith (8-139 1 TD) who can turn some heads against opposing secondaries when the Aztecs look to make an impact in the passing game. Juwan Washington (42-96 2.3) has been held in check thus far in the backfield after a 1000 yard season in 2018. Jordan Byrd (15-69 4.6) is a viable second option who could see more of the workload in week 3. The Aztecs offense should be improved after ranking down at 120th in points last year, but this is a team that relies on defense to win games. SDSU is 8th in the country against the run and have allowed its opponents to score just 14 points in all through its first 2 games. Head coach Rocky Long's strategy is use a defensive ace to play anywhere on the field, a safety/linebacker hybrid combination that moves around disrupting plays, attacking on the blitz, or roaming for picks on poor throws or in man to man coverage. Tayler Hawkins recorded 11 tackles last week, recorded a sack and had 3 tackles for loss overall. NM State quarterbacks coach Chase Holbrook played against Long's 3-3-5 defensive scheme while he was a quarterback for the Aggies and Long was coaching at the University of New Mexico. The Aztecs were No. 32 last year in scoring defense at 22 points per game and No. 7 in rushing defense at 104 yards per game. Expect their fortunes to improve Saturday as NMSU has committed 7 turnovers through their first 2 losses, not to mention scoring just 17 total points while giving up 120.

Adkins (47/72 366 1 TD 2 INT) has been relatively inefficient thus far not necessarily with his accuracy but more so leaning on his decision making and lack of pocket presence. Like the Aztecs, there hasn't been mich of a running game behind Adkins either though both featured backs Jason Huntley (12-63 5.3) and Josh Foley (7-51 7.3) haven;t had much opportunity to make an impact. Adkins' top targets (Tony Nicholson (9-84) and OJ Clark (11-73) do show promise and possess reliable hands downfield, and Huntley (9-48 1 TD) is a skilled duo option back. NMSU no doubt would love to speed up the tempo against SDSU to take them out of their element, however they would have to surpass early season expectations in the run and passing game. The Aztecs like to prolong the timing of the game and while not necessarily choosing to run things up, rather let their defense make plays in order to force opposing turnovers and good field position.

Agnew and company should endure much more success in the passing game, and Washington should be able to break out after being held in check through his first 2 games. Adkins cannot afford to make mistakes against this SDSU defense, who possess quick backs and a secondary that will be able to put pressure up front and up the middle. The Aggies haven;t really been able to take too many chances, falling behind early and not being able to showcase a comeback. The San Diego State Aztecs should have a field day in the trenches and just bull their way with defense and a more physical ground game. Expect San Diego St to control the game from the outset and put up enough points to cruise to their 3rd victory opening 2019.

I'll have a second play up shortly for Saturday.


The opening odds start here
(13) Penn St -17 over Pittsburgh (bought half):
The post Trace McSorley era has started off quite well for Penn St (2-0), who breezed through their first 2 non-conference tilts and now prepare for ACC and interstate rival Pittsburgh (1-1 0-1) at Happy Valley on Saturday. After rolling Kent St with 79 points a couple of weeks back in the opener, the Nittanies blasted Buffalo last week 45-13 overcoming a lackluster start with a 28 point third quarter outburst. Sean Clifford (16/22 278 4 TD) threw 2 TD passes each to Jahan Dotson (4-109) and Pat Friermuth (8-99) after a slow start, igniting a sleeping Giant contained by the Bulls' defense in the first half. Clifford also ran for 51 yards on 11 carries (4.6) while the Nittany Lions defense held Buffalo to just a second half field goal. THe Bulls actually outgained Penn St 439-377, but could not punch it in the end zone nor compete in the second half. Matt Myers (16/32 245 1 TD 1 INT) found Julien Bourassa on a 6 yard scoring pass late in the first half, but was subpar overall from there. Penn State's defense forced 3 turnovers, including a 36 yard INT return to paydirt by John Reid and used the momentum to take control in the second half despite only 17 minutes all game possessing the ball. Pitt bounced back last week with a 20-10 win over Ohio thanks to a solid performance by Kenny Pickett (26/37 321 1 TD) including a 74 yard scoring strike to Maurice Ffrench (10-138 1 TD) midway through the second quarter. AJ Davis ran for 89 yards on 13 carries (6.8), Alex Keesman converted 2 field goals, and the Panthers outgained the Bobcats 481-212. Nathan Rourke (15/27 177) fared just mediocre at best and was sacked 7 times, 3 by Jalen Twyman.

Clifford (30/45 559 6 TD) has looked like a seasoned veteran at the helm through his first 2 games in this, his sophomore season and first in the starting role for Penn St. The Nittanies have a nice threesome combination in the receiving core in KJ Hamler (7-177 2 TD) and Freiermuth (9-124 2 TD) along with Dotson (5-122 2 TD). With multiple options, Clifford has shown versatility in the pocket and is always looking to improve with exposure and gained experience. He;s also nimble on his feet (18-108 6.0) and has a long yardage weapon in the backfield with Devyn Ford (7-108 15.4 1 TD). With all of these weapons clicking in Penn State's arsenal, this could be another campaign where opposing defenses will have their hands full to stop. Meanwhile, Pitt's defense bounced back after an ugly showing in their opening loss to Virginia. Pitt needs to get more pressure up front and that’s conceivably going to be tougher without Rashard Weaver. Tvyman made quite an impact last week, and he will have to do more of the same in order to slow down Penn State's high octane attack

Pickett (47/78 506 2 TD 2 INT) shook off some much needed rust from week 1 last week, and has to be thankful he has Ffrench (16-192 1 TD) as his top target. Tasyir Mack (9-90) is a viable second option, but the Panthers realize they can't be throwing haymakers sticking around in tempo with Penn St. They do have depth in their running game with AJ (21-114 5.4 1 TD) and Vincent Davis (14-56 4.0 1 TD). Head coach James Franklin could sport his best defense yet in his tenure at the school. Robert Winsdor, a 5th year senior, has assumed quite the leadership role mentoring his young up and coming stars. Jan Johnson had 13 tackles last week while Reid thrived in the spotlight with his scoring pick. Micah Parsons is an intimidating presence and had a great game against Buffalo with 11 tackles, 3 for loss.

The best strategy for Pitt is to find a way to work the clock and keep the Penn State defense on the field. The Nittanies need to be a better third down conversion squad, as they managed just 3 for 17 against Buffalo last week. Look for Clifford to keep tight end Pat Freiermuth involved early and often in the passing game. Penn State should have some good touchdown drives in them again this week and they’ll play the kind of defense that will frustrate the Panthers all afternoon. As long as they can execute and not prolong too many drives, their attack will be too much to overcome for Pitt, who prefers to grind it out and control the clock by possessing the ball superior against their opponents.

Best of luck however you play!
YTD 4-0 1.0000