Underdogs went 5-2 against the spread with two outright wins in Week Zero, while the ‘under’ cashed at a 4-3 clip.
Notre Dame jumped all over Navy early and often en route to a 42-3 win as a 20.5-point favorite. The 45 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 49.5-point total.
Sam Hartman was outstanding in his debut for the Fighting Irish, completing 19-of-23 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. True freshman wide receiver Jaden Greathouse had three catches for 68 yards and two TDs, while sophomore WR Jayden Thomas had four receptions for 63 yards and one TD.
Junior RB Audric Estime had 95 rushing yards and one TD on 16 carries, in addition to catching two balls for 26 receiving yards. According to Pro Football Focus, Estime forced 12 missed tackles. True freshman RB Jeremiyah Love had 40 rushing yards on only four attempts, while WR Deion Colzie had three catches for 45 yards and one TD.
Marcus Freeman’s team enjoyed a 27-12 advantage over Navy in first downs, and Notre Dame had a 444-171 advantage in total yards. The Fighting Irish host Tennessee St. in Week 1 before going to Raleigh to take on NC St. on Sept. 9.
USC was the only other ranked team in action in Week Zero, hosting San Jose St. at The Coliseum. The Trojans beat the Spartans 56-28, but San Jose St. took the cash as a 31-point road underdog. The 84 combined points soared ‘over’ the 66.5-point total.
Lincoln Riley’s team briefly went ahead of the number for the first time when backup QB Miller Moss scored on a two-yard TD run to put the Trojans ahead, 56-21, with 6:53 remaining.
However, San Jose St. QB Chevan Cordeiro found Nick Nash for a two-yard TD pass with 5:08 left. That score provided the backdoor cover for bettors backing the underdog.
Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, connected on 18-of-25 throws for 278 yards and four TDs without an interception. Junior WR Tahj Washington had two catches for 85 yards and one TD, while true freshman Zachariah Branch had four receptions for 58 yards and one TD. The five-star recruit also had a 96-yard kickoff return for a TD, three punt returns for 66 yards and a 12-yard run on his lone rushing attempt.
Arizona transfer WR Dorian Singer had four catches for 41 yads and one TD. Austin Jones had 54 rushing yards and two TDs on six carries, while South Carolina transfer Marshawn Lloyd had 42 rushing yards on nine attempts.
Cordeiro completed 21-of-38 passes for 198 yards and three TDs without an interception. He had 52 rushing yards on 10 attempts. RB Quali Conley had 108 rushing yards on just six attempts, and Nash had six receptions for 89 yards and three TDs.
The reason why I had USC #10 in my preseason Top 50 Power Rankings (and not higher) was due to my concerns about its defense. The Trojans gave up an average of 29.2 points per game in 2022. Well, my concerns weren’t alleviated yesterday when the Spartans averaged 7.3 yards per carry while producing 198 rushing yards on just 27 attempts.
The Trojans host Nevada in Week 1 and Stanford in Week 2. San Jose hosts Oregon St. a week from today as a 17-point home underdog.
Vanderbilt won its season opener against Hawaii for a second straight year, but it wasn’t nearly as easy as last season’s 63-10 win in Honolulu. The Commodores held off the Rainbow Warriors for a 35-28 win, but Hawaii covered the number as a 17.5-point road underdog. The 63 combined points went ‘over’ the 55.5-point tally when Hawaii cut Vandy’s lead to 35-21 with 11:20 remaining.
Vandy sophomore QB AJ Swann completed 19-of-30 passes for 258 yards and three TDs without an interception. Sophomore WR Jayden McGowan had six catches for 72 yards and had 97-yard kickoff return for a TD midway through the first quarter.
Will Sheppard, a preseason second-team All-SEC pick in most publications, lived up to that billing with six receptions for 68 yards and two TDs. WR London Humphreys had a 32-yard TD catch.
Hawaii QB Brayden Schager completed 27-of-35 passes for 351 yards and three TDs, but he was intercepted twice. Vandy safety De’Rickey Wright had both interceptions, including one late in the fourth quarter to stop a potential game-tying drive.
Vandy LB CJ Taylor recorded nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one pass broken up. Wright added three tackles, one forced fumble, one PBU and the two aforementioned picks.
Hawaii WR Steven McBride, a transfer from Kansas, had seven catches for 98 yards and two TDs, while WR Pofele Ashlock had seven receptions for 127 yards and one TD.
Hawaii had the long flight back home late last night into this morning, and it has a short week with Stanford set to visit Honolulu on Friday night. Circa and the Westgate SuperBook moved Stanford from -6 to -4 this morning.
La. Tech took its first lead of the game on Jacob Fields’ 30-yard TD run with 1:01 remaining and held on to beat Florida International, 22-17. The Panthers took the money, though, as 11.5-point road underdogs, and the 39 combined points fell ‘under’ the 57.5-point tally.
La. Tech QB Hank Bachmeier, the transfer QB from Boise St., completed 34-of-44 throws for 333 yards and one TD with one interception. Senior WR Smoke Harris had 11 receptions for 155 yards and one TD.
FIU’s aerial attack was abysmal. QB Grayson James completed only 5-of-14 passes for four (yes, 4!) yards with one interception.
The Bulldogs play at SMU in Week 1, while FIU hosts Maine on Saturday.
San Diego St. won a 20-13 decision over Ohio as a 2.5-point home favorite thanks to a defense that made three interceptions. The +2 turnover margin was the difference for the Aztecs, who were outgained by the Bobcats 380-309 in total yards.
Ohio also had a 25-15 advantage in first downs. Star QB Kurtis Rourke, who was the MAC’s 2022 Offensive Player of the Year but tore his ACL in November, made a full recovery and started yesterday. However, Rourke was forced to leave the game late in the first quarter after sustaining a lower-body injury.
Before leaving, Rourke had completed 8-of-10 throws for 75 yards. CJ Harris replaced Rourke and struggled, completing just 18-0f-41 passes for 203 yards and one TD with three interceptions.
Ohio WR Sam Wiglusz had 10 catches for 103 yards, while Miles Cross had four receptions for 47 yards and one TD.
San Diego St. QB Jalen Mayden connected on 17-of-27 passes for 164 yards and two TDs without an interception. Mark Redman had five catches for 62 yards and two TDs. Trey White, Cedarious Barfield and New Zealand Williams had one interception apiece for the Aztecs, who host Idaho St. this Saturday.
The good news for Ohio fans is that Rourke pleaded with the coaching staff to let him go back in. HC Tim Albin decided to play it safe, but he said after the game that he wasn’t too concerned about Rourke’s injury being a long-term one.
UMass has already matched its win total from last year after winning 41-30 at New Mexico St. as a seven-point road underdog. The 71 combined points flew ‘over’ the 45.5-point total.
UMass QB Taisun Phommachanh, a transfer from Ga. Tech, ran for 96 yards and one TD on 17 attempts. He completed 10-of-17 throws for 192 yards. RB Kay’ron Adams had 79 rushing yards and two TDs on 15 carries, and Isaiah Rutherford had 55-yard interception return for a TD.
New Mexico St. QB Diego Pavia completed 16-of-27 passes for 248 yards and three TDs, but he threw a pair of interceptions. True freshman WR Trent Hudson had three catches for 63 yards and two TDs.
New Mexico St. hosts Western Illinois on Saturday, while UMass is a huge underdog at Auburn.