Week 3 Primer

Justin Wilcox has thrived as an underdog during his six-year tenure at Cal. He's 14-3 ATS when listed as an underdog of seven points or more and 9-3 ATS as a double-digit underdog.

Game Day, ladies and gentlemen! The action starts at noon Eastern today but before the games kick, let’s hit you with the latest news, notes, stats, links, injury updates and whatever other nuggets I can locate. Let’s do this…

Here’s how I’m looking to attack this Charlotte defense that your high school might score 35 points against. (I still don’t think we’re going to know about the 49ers’ star QB Chris Reynolds until an hour before this 7:00 p.m. Eastern kick in Atlanta tonight.)

Here’s my Week 3 article for GamecockCentral.

Check out this week’s BetCFB pod with my featured guest, Teddy Covers.

–Max Johnson will replace Haynes King at QB tonight for Texas A&M vs. Miami.

–If Syracuse can beat Purdue at the Carrier Dome today, it’ll be 3-0 in this make-or-break season for Dino Babers. The Orange should be favored at home vs. Virginia and Wagner, so it has a chance to be 5-0 with two weeks to prepare for a home game vs. NC St.

–Florida starting MLB Ventrell Miller and starting OT Michael Tarquin are ‘out’ of tonight’s home game vs. South Florida with injuries sustained in last week’s home loss to Kentucky. For UF fans and alums (hand raised) who spent some time this week concerned that Miller might have suffered a season-ending injury like he did in a Week 2 win at USF last year, I have some good news. Although I can’t assure you that Miller will be ready to go at the Swamp North (Neyland Stadium) next Saturday, a source confirmed for me this week that Miller (and Tarquin) aren’t expected to be out for an extended period of time.

–BYU WR Gunner Romney will miss his third straight games today at Oregon. Romney had 34 catches for 594 yards and three touchdowns last season. WR Puka Nacua (ankle) will be a game-time decision. The Cougars, who are 3.5-point underdogs, are 11-3 against the spread in 14 games as road underdogs during Kalani Sitake’s seven-year tenure.

–Iowa WR Nico Ragaini will make his season debut today vs. Nevada. Ragaini had 26 catches for 331 yards and one TD in 2021.

Here are the picks, including mine after going 3-2 in the first week, for the Circa Friday Football Invitational. Chuck Edel is in the lead after going 5-0.

–FSU improved to 3-0 last night by overcoming four separate deficits, the loss of its starting QB Jordan Travis to an ankle injury, its best defensive player Jared Verse to a lower-body injury and several other players to various injuries to win 35-31 at Louisville last night. The Seminoles even covered the 2.5 or three-point spread. Backup QB Tate Rodemaker found Johnny Wilson for a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes, and the defense got a critical fourth-down stop at crunch time. FSU is 3-0 for the first time since 2015. The ‘Noles play four of their next five games at home.

–Barring a setback in warmups, Texas QB Hudson Card will get the start in today’s home game vs. UTSA. H/T, Chris Hummer of 247Sports.

–According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Temple true freshman QB E.J. Warner will get this first career start today against Rutgers. Warner, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, got his first playing time last week in a 30-14 home win over Lafayette. He completed 14-of-19 throws for 173 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. The Owls are 18-point home underdogs to the Scarlet Knights. They are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as home ‘dogs.

–A lot of people I respect are on Troy today as a double-digit underdog at Appalachian St., which is in a vintage flat/letdown spot after winning at Texas A&M last week and playing back-to-back Power-Five opponents in 60-minute wars (losing 63-61 to UNC in Week 1). The Trojans might be without their best player, though. According to Thamel, LB Carlton Martial is ‘doubtful’ with a lower-body injury. Martial is a three-time, first-team All-Sun-Belt selection who had a team-best 127 tackles in 2021.

–Boston College starting right tackle Kevin Cline is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Eagles lost four starters from last year’s offensive line, and the lone returning starter (Christian Mahogany, a second-team All-ACC selection in 2021) had season-ending surgery on his shoulder over the summer. Since starting 4-0 last year, Jeff Hafley’s team has lost eight of its last 10 games.

–Wyoming improved to 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games as a home underdog with last night’s 17-14 win over Air Force as a 16.5-point home underdog. The Cowboys have ripped off three straight wins since getting thumped at Illinois in Week Zero.

–Here are some more nuggets below in a series of my tweets:

–I’m going ahead and posting this with the first games kicking in an hour, but I’ll be posting more notes and injury updated above as they come in, so check back or hit refresh.

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