NCAAF Week 8 upset watch: Michigan will roll over in Big Ten debut
It’s Week 8 of the 2020 college football season, and the Big Ten has officially entered the chat.
Sports bettors everywhere will be looking to take advantage of some favorable lines, as 12 new teams enter the fray, and with plenty of entertaining matchups this week, there are sure to be some upsets.
Let's find the best to wager on.
#18 Michigan vs. #21 Minnesota
Sat, October 24 2020, 11:30 PM
Minnesota Golden Gophers
All the buzz coming into this game surrounds new Michigan quarterback Joe Milton, as the redshirt sophomore will take over Jim Harbaugh’s offense.
Milton will be expected to stretch the field vertically with his strong arm. However, he will be without one of his best weapons, as wide receiver Nico Collins decided not to play this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Milton will also be working with an offensive line that returns just one starter from 2019.
Minnesota went 11-2 last year but is replacing more than half of its starters on defense. Fortunately for the Gophers, their secondary starters are all back.
The Wolverines will have to keep up with Minnesota, which returns the explosive duo of quarterback Tanner Morgan and wideout Rashod Bateman, the Big Ten’s best receiver last year.
With Michigan also without its best cornerback (another COVID loss), it might be too much for the Wolverines to handle.
#9 Cincinnati vs. #16 SMU
Sun, October 25 2020, 1:00 AM
Southern Methodist Mustangs
SMU is 5-0 but has been fortunate.
The Mustangs have won three games by a touchdown or less, and their last two games have been three-point margins. Last week, they needed three overtimes to beat Tulane, as the Green Wave became the fourth team this season to rush for more than 180 yards against the Mustangs’ struggling defense.
Further complicating things is the season-ending injury to Reggie Roberson, who led SMU in all receiving categories.
Cincinnati Bearcats CB trio Ahmad Gardner, Coby Bryant and Arquon Bush have combined to allow a 23.8 passer rating in coverage this year (@PFF_College).— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) October 15, 2020
Throwing the ball in the dirt every play would give the QB a better passer rating at 39.6. pic.twitter.com/tMNgeON2mI
The bigger problem for the Mustangs is that Cincinnati’s defense is great. The Bearcats shut down USF in their last game Oct. 3, when they held the Bulls to fewer 300 yards and forced five turnovers. Cincinnati also limited USF to just 2.5 yards per carry on 33 attempts. Cincinnati also has one of the best red-zone defenses in the nation.
On the other side of the ball, the Bearcats have a terrific rushing attack that should be able to rack up plenty of yards. This will allow them to keep SMU’s offense off the field enough to stay unbeaten on the season.
Florida State vs. Louisville
Sat, October 24 2020, 4:00 PM
Florida State Seminoles
Louisville has seen its season quickly go downhill.
The Cardinals have just one win, an opening-weekend victory over hapless Western Kentucky. They showed signs of life last week, when they nearly upset Notre Dame and held the Irish to just 12 points.
However, the Louisville offense was putrid. It gained only 233 yards, while penalties, dropped passes, and third-down inefficiency cost the Cardinals the game.
The emergence of Jordan Travis at quarterback for Florida State has reinvigorated a stagnant offense, and after they rushed for 241 yards in an upset win over North Carolina, the Seminoles have injected some life into their season.
Florida State jumped out to a 24-0 lead and led 31-7 at halftime against North Carolina, but there are concerns about how the Tar Heels were able to shut out FSU in the second half.
If the Florida State offense can put up points and paper over the cracks on defense, it might be enough for the Seminoles to pull off the upset against a tired Cardinals team.
LSU vs. South Carolina
Sat, October 24 2020, 11:00 PM
South Carolina Gamecocks
The Tigers have had two weeks to figure out their defense, after a 45-41 loss to Missouri. They have plummeted out of the rankings and will try to recover a bit of their season against South Carolina.
Their biggest issue on offense is the lack of a rushing attack (97 yards per game this season). Compounding that problem is the loss of quarterback Myles Brennan, who will miss the game with a leg injury.
This puts more pressure on a defense that was shredded by Mississippi State to open the season — a team that has looked pathetic offensively since.
The Gamecocks are playing well and are much more confident than the Tigers. They knocked off Auburn last week, behind seven turnovers, and they’re one of the better teams in the nation at getting stops on third down.
They also love to control the clock and lead the SEC in time of possession.
If quarterback Collin Hill can take care of the football, he should have plenty of opportunities to throw to open receivers against an LSU defense that gave up 406 yards and four passing touchdowns to Connor Bazelak last week.
Look for the Gamecocks to compound LSU’s misery with an upset win.