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Week 11 College Football Recap – Week 12 Betting Lookahead

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College Football Betting Recap For Week 11

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Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his college football Week 11 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 12 of college football kicking off on Tuesday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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What Did We Learn in College Football Week 11?

Reviewing past box scores should be something each handicapper does before moving on the next week’s action.

I record data from each box score onto my individual team sheets. I chart turnovers, sacks, and run and pass figures among other things.

As I’ve said in the past, I also take away sacks from the rush total for each team, along with kneel downs, bad snaps, and fake punts that went awry.

That gives me more of a “true” reading on how a team matches up with its opponent in the run game. This is NOT something everyone needs to do. Just using other sources for data will give you numbers that are similar to mine.

Below are a few box scores and game nuggets that interested me from last week.

Michigan’s last 32 plays were runs, and they did not have a recorded pass attempt in the 2nd half. That says more about their lack of fear regarding the Penn State offense as opposed to their personal confidence in QB McCarthy, but by doing so I think McCarthy’s Heisman candidacy was rightfully downgraded.

Speaking of taking the air out of the ball, did you know that Syracuse did exactly the same thing in their 28-13 victory over Pittsburgh? Trailing 13-7 at the half, they obviously saw something that could work vs. the aggressive Panther defense. By game’s end they ran for 384 yards and possessed the ball approximately 37 ½ minutes.

See the section below for more on this game.

Nebraska lost 13-10 at home to Maryland and after reviewing the game script I feel it was a deserved loss. Matt Ruhle has a reputation for making defenses better, but his offenses have struggled.

Consider this: Maryland, had a 384-269 yardage advantage and were penalized 10 times for 92 yards, to Nebraska’s 1 time for 15 yards. They were also stopped on downs (4th and one) at Nebraska’s 17-yard line.

I never thought I’d see this statistic, but Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins held the ball for just 23 minutes vs. ASU. How did the Sun Devils get outgained 300 to 250 yards and posses the ball that long? Each team had one turnover.

I’ve said all year the ASU can be sneaky-good on defense, but with fan support wavering as it is, UCLA’s recent efforts have to be considered disappointing. The game vs. rival USC is potentially a very important one for the staff.

Moving outside of the Power Five, Marshall beat Georgia Southern 38-33 but based on the stat sheet they were more in command than the final scored indicated. They led 38-26 until the last 2+ minutes despite a -2 turnover ratio and nine committed penalties.

Finally, in the unpredictable MAC, NIU led Ball State 17-10 but found a way to lose late, 20-17. At blame was a -3 turnover ratio, as Ball State scored twice in the final 3:44 of the game.

General Thoughts Worth Noting Heading Into College Football Week 12

UNLV is 8-2 after going wire to wire in a convincing win over Wyoming. New Head Coach Barry Odom deserves plenty of credit for getting UNLV to play to its potential and beyond. How can we tell things have changed?

UNLV has for over two decades been a money burner when favored. That has not been the case in 2023.

We can one-up Barry’s performance with what’s going on in Northwestern. It’s hard to believe that this team can become bowl eligible with just one more win after what they endured prior to September.

David Braun had only joined Northwestern’s staff as defensive coordinator in January. He got promoted when Pat Fitsgerald was fired prior to the season due to a hazing and abuse scandal.

On the road at Wisconsin, Northwestern won 24-10, and led 24-3 at the half in a game that was never in doubt.

Honorable mention? Jerry Kill of New Mexico State. His two-year turnaround of this downtrodden program is incredible. They went from independent to conference participant and have earned a berth in the CUSA title game.

There’s always a flip side to teams that have overachieved. Texas A&M won 51-10 last week to become 6-4 and fired Jimbo Fisher despite owing him somewhere in the neighborhood of $76 million.

Most colleges don’t earn anywhere near that much money in football revenue. Boise State beat New Mexico 42-14 to move to 4-2 in conference play and fired their coach, Andy Avalos.

Maybe the firings are warranted, but the timing, coming after big victories seems strange, and I doubt the players will be on board with when it went down.

Speaking about A&M, here’s what I said in my NCAA football preview, which was published right here at Wager Talk before the season:

BOTTOM LINE: I was correct in writing that A&M faced enormous growing pains coming into last season. Can supporters (and the media) be patient if the Aggies show only modest improvement in ’23? If there are no portal defections, I truly believe this is a top 12 team in the 1st year of the new playoff format. As for this year, the early record may only be around 4-3, making this a 7-5 or perhaps an 8-4 conclusion. Maybe that won’t satisfy the “win now” group, but it puts them on the right track for continued improvement once the starters gain more experience.

SEC football is all about winning NOW. I would have given Fisher another year, but Texas is coming, and that scares A&M.

My favorite quote of the weekend came from Pittsburgh Head Coach Pat Narduzzi.

“Obviously they didn’t plan on passing,” Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi said. “I’m not sure Shrader could throw it.”

My take: Narduzzi has an excuse for everything. His team (once again) was ill prepared to make in-game adjustments.

I didn’t see the Missouri freight train coming. They are legit, as evidenced by their dismantling of Tennessee 36-7. They won the yardage battle 532-350 and did so with their best player, WR Luther Burden hampered by injury.

Finally, we saw teams in a number of prime situational spots win last Saturday. These spots can be quite powerful, when combined with the other two aspects of handicapping, Power Numbers (assessing line value), and matchup indicators. I wrote about motivational factors a week ago. Here’s a summary of my top five spots from last weekend.

San Jose State opened as an underdog, creating a tremendous situation based on revenge and having a week off. They closed as a short favorite, but the situation was still in play, especially when combined with Fresno’s record being not as good as their overall game performance (3-0 in tossup games).

Teams that start 5-0 or more tend to have a letdown when off their 1st loss. This doubles and triples in value when that loss is by double digits, AND when the team in question has a poor offensive output. Air Force fit this profile, and as a double-digit favorite, the situation was in the best possible category.

It was certainly possible that Air Force’s run dominant offense could compromise this situation but as one could tell from how that 1st quarter went, that was not to be the case.

Oklahoma State was thrilled with the Bedlam win over Oklahoma, and it was a hard-earned victory. As I noted last week, that set them up for a letdown, something many handicappers failed to see.

I would have understood it more under different circumstances, but UCF had the stat sheet edge, and the Cowboys were going on the road to play an unfamiliar opponent that had a losing record.

Arizona became bowl eligible, meeting one of their goals. Colorado had line value according to my Power Numbers and double digits was too much to give in this spot.

Not every situational play wins. We always hope that we get good ROI overall in the long run. A case in point was North Carolina State, traveling to play Wake Forest.

I charted this as a classic letdown spot after the Wolfpack beat two heavyweights as a home dog. In addition, Wake had a solid home record in the series. Hats off to the Wolfpack, who made this one look far easier than I would have thought.

Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and to find my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris on Tuesday and Jeff Dawson on Friday, where I discuss NCAA content as well as NFL content.

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