Sports

What Auburn collapse, QBs mean

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The college football season is winding down. There are still a lot of things left to decide, including the College Football Playoff and all of the bowl teams, so these last couple of weeks won’t lack drama. However, the performances we see from teams could vary greatly based on what they have left to play for and some of the circumstances within the program. 

The statistical summaries of the games can serve as a guide to see which teams are still trying and which teams aren’t. We can also see which teams got lucky or unlucky based on a number of factors to try and figure out what the future may hold for the remainder of the regular season. 

We had some good ones in Week 11 as we look ahead to Week 12 and another round of games. 

Mississippi State 43, Auburn 34:

This game may have been the biggest head-scratcher of the weekend. Auburn led 28-3 with 6:10 left in the second quarter and proceeded to give up 40 straight points before a 90-yard touchdown drive to give us the 43-34 final. All of the points were on offense for Mississippi State as well, with six straight touchdown drives. 

In between, Auburn missed two field goals and had a turnover on downs to go with a couple punts. When all was said and done, Mississippi State outgained Auburn by just 4 yards and the Bulldogs were only 3 of 10 on third down, but had lots of early-down success and threw all over the Tigers secondary. 

Bo Nix broke his ankle in the game, so TJ Finley will get the call this week. 

TJ Finley will take over at quarterback after Bo Nix broke his ankle.
TJ Finley will take over at quarterback after Bo Nix broke his ankle.
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Recommendation: Fade Auburn — Bryan Harsin seems like a good coach, but the defensive collapse against Mississippi State does not bode well for Saturday’s game at South Carolina or the Iron Bowl against Alabama. Auburn is in a really bad look-ahead spot this week and the Gamecocks are a feisty, albeit outgunned bunch. The Gamecocks getting about a touchdown at home looks good. 

Michigan State 40, Maryland 21:

Michigan State was thought to be in a tough situational spot after having its College Football Playoff hopes severely damaged by Purdue, but the Spartans beat Maryland. The yardage wound up being close at 481-447, with the Spartans holding just a 6.5 to 6.1 edge in yards per play. However, Michigan State had 18 fewer passing attempts and 19 more rushing attempts. Don’t just take yards per play on the surface. Keep the run/pass distribution in mind. 

Still, this game could have gone a little bit differently, as Maryland was intercepted inside the red zone on the first possession of the second half and also took a sack and an intentional grounding penalty while inside the MSU 5, leading to a missed field goal. The Terps also turned it over on downs three times. 

It looked like a dominant Michigan State win, but maybe it wasn’t. 

Recommendation: Bet Michigan State Over this week — The Spartans and Buckeyes should be capable of putting up some points (weather permitting), even though a lot of their recent big battles have been lower-scoring affairs. Michigan State’s defense is suspect, especially against the pass. While I’d look at Over this week, I wouldn’t on Nov. 27 against Penn State. We’ll wait to see who Sparty’s bowl opponent is, but the right matchup could lend itself to an Over bet as well.

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