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S. Mississippi at Marshall (-5) 7:00 ET CBC TV
It was over 50 years ago that Dinah Washington recorded the hit single “What a Difference a Day Makes.” In this case, it has been an entire year. But, the difference is undeniable. In 2014, with S. Mississippi in the beginning phases of rebuilding under 3rd year HC T. Monken, Marshall was a 26 point road favorite in Hattiesburg, winning the game 63-17 as 26 point road chalk. Without QB Cato at the controls, who led Marshall to 40 PPG and over 500 YPG in each of the 3 previous seasons, the Herd has taken a step back on the offensive side of the ball. That includes averaging just 347 YPG on only 4.9 YP play. Their 1-3 ATS record combined with the Golden Eagles’ 5-0 ATS mark and (+59) AFP would normally have us knee-jerking to this value pointspread favoring Marshall. But, Marshall replacement QB Birdsong is no Cato and his running mate, RB Johnson (back), is most probably going to miss this contest. The momentum reasoning continues with S. Miss QB Mullens offering a 10/0 ratio L3G and leading an explosive offense that is now averaging 40/514/7.2, a far cry from the 18/340 that the Eagles posted on offense in the 2 previous seasons combined. In a battle of 2 teams headed opposite directions, we have the better team as underdog, despite the loss in value.
NC State (P) at VA Tech 8:00 ET ESPN …. No selection with this game at press time!
NC State returned to earth, when they got bitten in the butt by a non-competitive September schedule that had them overconfident after wins against Troy, E. Kentucky, ODU and USA. The result, a 20-13 home loss to Louisville, in which they were outrushed 203-45 and had a (-2) net TO margin. Will the real NC State please come forward?! For VA Tech, the 2-3 SU ATS mark has an infuriated Frank Beamer threatening to change personnel and coaches, acknowledging that “right now isn’t good enough.” Beamer is right on, considering that in last Saturday’s loss on this field to Pitt by a score of 17-13, the Panthers outgained the Hokies 276-100 (that’s right … VA Tech totaled 100 yards for the game!). Flashback to the opening night of the season, when VA Tech was hosting defending champion Ohio St. Behind starting QB Brewer, they fought tooth and nail with the Buckeyes through the early 3rd quarter. But, the flood gates opened when Brewer left the game with injury, leaving the offense in the hands of 2nd stringer, Motley. Ergo, the reason for the 2-3 SU ATS start. Tonight, QB Brewer (shoulder) may make his return, meaning “ALL BETS ARE OFF” UNTIL HIS STATUS AND MEDICAL HEALTH IS DETERMINED.
100-45-3 ATS (69%) ATS Joe’s FREE Plays this Season