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Houston Cougars vs. Memphis Tigers Free Pick 10/12/13

Memphis Tigers (1-3) at Houston Cougars (4-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Reliant Stadium)

The Line: Houston Cougars -11 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Memphis Tigers look for their 2nd win of the season as they pay a visit to the undefeated Houston Cougars in an AAC battle Saturday at noon on ESPN news.

Memphis fell to 0-1 in conference play this past weekend with a tough loss to the visiting Central Florida Knights 24-17.  Memphis executed their game plan to perfection through three quarters, stifling quarterback Blake Bortles and a usually potent Central Florida offense.  After taking the lead early in the fourth quarter on a 13 yard Sam Craft run, the Tigers imploded on offense as Central Florida returned 2 fumbles for TD’s in a span of 12 seconds to steal the road victory.  With the deflating loss, the Tigers fall to 1-3 and once again missed out for a quality early season win that they very much could have had.  Brandon Hayes led the offense with 76 yards and a TD on the ground and Paxton Lynch continues to struggle converting drives in his young career, finishing with 279 yards through the air but two picks and no TDs.  The Tigers will need to put this one behind them and put forth their best effort against a potent Houston offense on the road this weekend.

Houston Cougars vs. Memphis Tigers Free Pick 10/12/13

Houston comes off a bye week sitting at 4-0 on the year and looking to keep their hot start to the season alive.  The Cougars dominated UT-San Antonio two weekends ago 59-28 as their offense exploded for 500 yards and no touchdowns and their defense forced the Road Runners into 5 turnovers.  John O’Korn was rock solid once again, tossing for 4 TD’s and 312 yards passing.  Justin Hicks and Greg Ward each added TDs on the ground for the Cougars who saw multiple backs get snaps in this lopsided affair.  Though they have yet to face any real strong competition, the Cougars rank in the teens in all important offensive categories.  A stingy Memphis secondary will be a good measuring stick for how legit the Cougars really are.

Some trends to consider - Memphis is 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 October games and Houston is 6-0 against the spread in their last 6 games overall.

Memphis suffered a heartbreaking loss at home and I expect their young team to feel the effects as they take to the road for a tough matchup versus Houston.  I like the Cougar offense and the efficient play of John O’Korn to be the difference here as Houston builds a 2-3 TD lead early and hangs on tight for the late cover in this one to get to 5-0 on the year.

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