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Iowa State Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Free Pick 9/26/13

Iowa State Cyclones (0-2) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-2)

NCAAF Football: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Chapman Stadium)

The Line: Tulsa Golden Hurricane -3-- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports 1

Storyline: Iowa State is winless after two games for the first time in six years, but could easily be 2-0 after a tight season-opening loss to FCS Northern Iowa and a 27-21 loss to interstate rival Iowa Saturday night. The Cyclones face a must-win this week against Tulsa before the slate takes a perilous turn, with games against Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State rounding out the halfway point of the season and allowing not even the slightest bit of respite. Tulsa, meanwhile, was idle last week, but were throttled 51-20 by the Oklahoma Sooners in week three, conceding 607 total yards and a career outing to OU quarterback Blake Bell.

The Breakdown: The Cyclones rushing game didn’t show up against Iowa, totaling 59 yards and leaving Soph. QB Sam Richardson to shoulder the load. And Richardson nearly came through with two touchdown passes in the final 4:27 of the game, but a failed onsides kick thwarted Iowa State’s last gasp. Richardson finished 22-of-39 for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns. Soph. WR Quenton Bundrage had outstanding day, snagging 7 balls for 146 yards and three touchdowns. On the defensive side, the Cyclones surrendered 378 total yards, 160 through the air and 218 on the ground. Jr. Iowa RB Mark Weisman rushed for 145 yards on 35 attempts. The Iowa State ground game that held so much promise for 2013 with the return of last season’s leading rusher, Sr. James White, has yet to materialize. White has carried 12 times for 60 yards after rushing for 505 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and 743 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2011.

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Iowa State Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Free Pick  9/26/13

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane may be a better team than their 1-2 record indicates. They took out a tough Colorado State team that actually hung around against Alabama and only conceded 338 yards and 31 points to the nation’s clear number one. There was the hiccup against Oklahoma and the season-opening loss to Bowling Green, but if Tulsa could find some consistent offense (Tulsa comes in ranked 72nd in passing, 95th in rushing and 104th in points for), they might be actually be 2-1.

Betting Trends: Iowa State is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games, 1-6 SU in its last 7 games, 6-3 ATS in its last 9 road games and the total has gone under in 7 of their last 10 games. Tulsa is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 home games, 5-0 SU in its last 5 home games, 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games, 12-4 SU in its last 16 games, and the total has gone over in 4 of Tulsa’s last 6 games.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one settled at -3 for Tulsa, but the Cyclones have the ability to erupt offensively without warning. It just hasn’t happened yet. They started to breakout Saturday night against Iowa, but ran out of time. Look for it to continue here against the nation’s 113th-ranked defense in points allowed per contest.

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