Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Washington State Cougars CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/28/14
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-7) at Washington State Cougars (6-7)
College Football: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm (CenturyLink Field)
The Line: Washington State Cougars -8 -- Over/Under: 60.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FOX Sports 1
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Washington State Cougars meet Thursday night at CenturyLink Field to kick off the 2014 season.
This will be the first game Rutgers plays as a member of the Big Ten, and it returns 16 starters from a team that won six games. The Scarlet Knights will go with quarterback Gary Nova, who has 6,000 passing yards, 51 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in his career. Nova hopes to improve a Rutgers offense that ranked 78th in the country in points scored. To help him out, the Scarlet Knights return all five of their starting offensive linemen and a running back duo in Paul James and Justin Goodwin that racked up more than 1,400 yards. Defensively, Rutgers returns seven starters from a defense that allowed close to 30 points per game, and the Scarlet Knights also have a new defensive coordinator. Linebacker Steve Longa and defensive lineman Darius Hamilton will lead the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensively this season.
The Washington State Cougars look to build on last year’s season with 14 starters returning from a team that surprisingly won six games. With Mike Leach running the show, it all starts at the quarterback position, and Washington State has its quarterback in Connor Halliday, who topped 4,000 yards last season. The Cougars also have their go-to wide receiver in Gabe Marks, who caught more than 70 passes and seven touchdowns. The Washington State Cougars are going to continue to throw the hell out of the football and pretty much ignore the running game. Defensively, Washington State returns six starters from a defense that ranked 10th in the Pac-12. Although somebody must step up and be able to replace the consistent production from Deone Bucannon and Justin Sagote. However, a pass rush duo of Xavier Cooper and Kache Palacio produced nine sacks last season.
The Scarlet Knights are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. The Cougars are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
This game could really go either way because neither team is all that great and both quarterbacks are turnover machines. With that being the case, I'm backing Rutgers and the points, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Scarlet Knights won the game SU.