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College Football Pick
If Louisiana Tech wants to play in a respectable bowl game, they'll need to show they can beat the best teams in their conference. Up to this point, the Bulldogs haven't really had a tough opponent outside of Texas A&M. This week, they'll get to face Utah State, who have the same 4-0 WAC record as them and an 8-2 overall record with the two losses coming at Wisconsin and BYU. The Aggies have a surprisingly good defense for a WAC school while the Bulldogs have a surprisingly good offense for a WAC school. Now, these two forces will battle it out.
LA Tech's one loss and No. 20 ranking means nothing to the bookmakers as they are 3-point underdogs at home. In last year's matchup, the Bulldogs won in Utah as 6.5-point underdogs. While their offense didn't get much done, the biggest play of the game was a pick six off Utah St. QB Chuckie Keeton. The last three games between these schools has hit the under, but this is also by far the best offense Louisiana Tech has had in some time.
Led by quarterback Colby Cameron, the Bulldogs are only second in the country in points scored per game behind Oregon. Cameron has played off the charts this season, completing 71% of his passes for 3,283 yards, 27 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Against the SEC defense of Texas A&M, Cameron managed 450 yards and five TDs. Senior wide out Quinton Patton is his top target with 1,086 yards and 11 TDs. Their ground game isn't lacking either with Kenneth Dixon who has 24 rushing TDs on the year. Last week Dixon and Ray Holley combined for 289 yards and five touchdowns.
Utah State hasn't played an offense quite as potent as this all season. Their hardest games of the season came against pound it out teams like Wisconsin and Utah. It will be very interesting to see if they can stop Cameron and company. Even if they can't, their offense should be able to move the ball against a defense ranked outside of the Top 100.
Keeton is having a solid season himself with 2,671 yards and 23 TDs. However, he has thrown seven more interceptions than Cameron. He has a range of targets with five different receivers catching at least 23 passes. Four of them have at least three TDs. Keeton can also make things happen on the ground as seen in his 406 rushing yards and four TDs. Running back Kerwynn Williams is averaging 6.2 yards per carry to produce 1,005 yards and nine TDs. He is also one of Keeton's most looked at options in the receiving game coming out of the back field.
The Aggies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five road games and 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Bulldogs are in that same range going 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 conference games. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
This play for us is based strictly on our model. The model predicts a Utah State win by anywhere from 24 to 30 points. Our model has performed well this year and in most years for that matter, when predicting blow outs. We'll lay the small spot here and call for Utah State gain a little revenge for the past two seasons losses to La Tech. Utah State -3.5