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Black Shoe Degenerates, Week 12: May I Borrow Your Quarterback?

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Quarterbacks will decide the lines this week, with a few games coming down to the signal callers (or lack thereof).

NCAA Football: Tulane at Houston Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the five underdogs last week put up, the other three had no option but to shut up. For the rest of the way, just take Purdue to cover the first half. Can’t fail at this point. Ever since firing Darrell Hazell, Purdue has been in a close game (and sometimes leading) in the first half, only to see it all crumble in the third quarter. I thought Rutgers’ play as of late was a sign of things to come for the Scarlet Knights, but even hapless Michigan State was able to easily cover at home. As per Illinois, well, when you make the Wisconsin offense look like 2010 Oregon, you know you have a problem.

The Picks

Indiana +24 @ Michigan - I don’t doubt Michigan is coming out for blood this weekend, after having their chances at an undefeated [regular] season dashed last week. The bad news here is that Wilton Speight is out of the game with a collarbone injury, and an already suspect running game will be put on the spot in order to give John O’Korn, who has thrown 18 passes this season, a chance to settle down early. Indiana’s defense actually exists this season, so I see this getting as bad as the Ohio State game did, which is 21 points.

Houston +15 vs Louisville - Here’s the tricky thing for the Cardinals. If they wait until the fourth quarter to actually score against Houston, they’re not going to win. Louisville has been playing with fire for about five weeks now, needing fourth-quarter heroics in all but two of their recent games to come out with a win. Houston may be out of the playoff (and NY6) picture with two losses, but they’re not suddenly a bad team. Louisville probably wins this, but Houston keeps it close.

Washington State/Colorado OVER 60 - Colorado’s defense isn’t entirely inept, and neither is Washington State’s, but both of these offense are potent enough to eclipse the 30-point mark. Washington State has failed to score over 30 points twice this season —against Boise State and UCLA, while Colorado has done so four times. It looks to me that this is quite a small total given each team’s propensity for fireworks on offense.

Temple -15 @ Tulane - Temple has been quietly putting another good season together, and when it’s all said and done, could match their 10-win season from last year. They’re assured another American East title with two more wins, and this week’s opponent does not present too much of a threat. There’s a chance Tulane can keep it close —they did against Navy and Memphis, but when Temple dropped 46 against what many thought was the best team in the American behind Houston, they should easily be able to ride the Green Wave.

Fun Props

A lot of undress in prop land last week.

Total punts between both teams: 11.5 - UNDER (by half a punt)
Penn State turnovers: .5 - OVER (2)
Saquon Barkley rushing yards: 109.5 - UNDER (58)
Indiana missed FGs + XPs: 2.5 - UNDER (0)

This week:

Trace McSorley passing attempts: 20.5
Rutgers touchdowns + first downs: 1.5
Rutgers tackles for loss: 2.5
Rutgers punts from inside the Penn State 30: .5

Record

Last Week: 2-3
Season: 18-20-1