Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM
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The College Football world is zooming full-speed ahead towards next month’s playoffs – see Saturday, Dec. 29th – but there’s plenty of “meat on the bone” when it comes to this 2018 regular-season sked … we’ll offer up some handicapping tips as we examine a batch of games on the Saturday docket. But first …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers banged out plenty of winners last week/weekend and now we’re ready to roar with lots more gridiron goodies as NFL Week 11 rolls on … and note there’s College Football winners every night this week too. Plus, get all the NBA and College Basketball winners – call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or get the winners right here online at www.jimhurley.com and pile up the profits.
On Saturday, it’s …
#12 SYRACUSE (8-2) vs. #3 NOTRE DAME (10-0) (at The Bronx, NY) – 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Wait a second: Might it be Notre Dame’s strategy here to “take the air out of the ball” a bit here considering Syracuse has averaged a whopping 46.5 points per game in knocking out wins the last four games in a row? Overall, the Orange has scored 32 rushing TDs while ranking 14th nationally in total offense, so if Notre Dame looks to grind things out here at what could be a chilly Yankee Stadium then don’t be entirely shocked if Brian Kelly’s club looks to limit the ‘Cuse plays from scrimmage. If you want/need our handicapping opinion, then ring one up for the Irish running it more than ever this year – hey, the Irish average 199.4 ypg on the ground but that’s only 42nd-best in the FBS rankings – but whether that’s enough to cover the 10.5-point price tag is another question. If Syracuse gets off 80-plus snaps, it covers.
ARIZONA (5-5, 4-3) at #8 WASHINGTON STATE (9-1, 6-1) – 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
If you’re gonna get “lost in the stats” when it comes to handicapping Washington State games, then you must discover where an opponent fits as a pass defense: In Arizona’s case, the answer is not very good! The U of A Wildcats rank 91st nationally in pass defense (yielding 248.7 ypg) and that’s troublesome when you’re going up against legit Heisman Trophy “invitee” QB Gardner Minshew who leads the country with his 385.2 yards-per-game pass stat line. Minshew and the Coogs have cooled a bit lately with “only” 19 and 31 points scored the past two weeks against California and Colorado, respectively, but if the weather conditions are good here, gotta believe Wazzu will put up “half-a-hundred” as 10.5-point betting favorites.
#24 CINCINNATI (9-1, 5-1) at #11 UCF (9-0, 6-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
If the TD-underdog Cincy Bearcats are gonna spring any kind of outright upset surprise here – and thus KO a Central Florida squad riding a 22-game SU (straight-up) winning streak these days – then slowing down QB McKenzie Milton (2,309 yards passing with 21 TDs) is a no-brainer but an even bigger challenge here could be stopping Milton as a runner: The dude has piled up 285 rushing yards and 8 TDs via the ground route and often his scrambling ability “buys” that extra second for receivers to get open downfield. Gotta think Cincinnati will “spy” Milton in this American Athletic Conference clash and thus take away some big throws downfield. Could have us thinking about “under” 61 points but the truth is nobody in the AAC tackles very well, so you better check with www.jimhurley.com for a game-day selection. Got it?
#16 IOWA STATE (6-3, 5-2) at #15 TEXAS (7-3, 5-2) – 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network
It’s not your imagination: Eight of the first 10 games played this year by the Texas Longhorns have been decided by 7 points or less (three of them decided by 3 points or less, in fact) and so an official’s call here or a dropped pass there has made all the difference in the world to head coach Tom Herman’s team … Now consider the ‘Horns rank a lowly 118th nationally in pass defense (allowing 276.2 yards per game thru the air waves) and you get the sense that if Iowa State kid slinger Brock Purdy (13 TDs / 2 INTs) is “on” here, then the 3-point home-favored ‘Horns will be in a heap of trouble. P.S., Iowa State won’t have RB David Montgomery in action in the first half after he was suspended for the first 30 minutes of this game after last week’s Baylor brawl. The I-State Cyclones have covered five of their last six games heading into this night tilt. Hmmm.
NOTE: Catch our NFL Week 11 previews in tomorrow’s Jim Sez as we dissect the likes of Dallas at Atlanta and the crucial Sundy Night Football clash between Minnesota at Chicago.