Middle Tennessee vs. LA Tech - 9/24/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
LA Tech Bulldogs (1-2) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-1)
College Football: Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Floyd Stadium)
The Line: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders -4 -- Over/Under: 67.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: American Sports Network; Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area; Comcast Sportsnet Chicago Plus; NESN Plus
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will travel to Floyd Stadium to take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs fell to 1-2 (0-0 C-USA) on the season after losing a high scoring shootout against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 59-45, this past Saturday. Louisiana Tech did a nice job of continuing to battle in this one after falling behind 35-17 at halftime, but couldn’t slow down Texas Tech’s QB, Patrick Mahomes II, who finished with 470 passing yards and 5 TD’s. Louisiana Tech was outgained by Texas Tech by a 666-572 margin and allowed the Red Raiders to complete 80% of their 3-down opportunities in the loss. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was WR Trent Taylor who had 166 yards and 2 TD’s on 7 receptions. On the season, Louisiana Tech is averaging 39.3 ppg on 530.0 total yards (347.0 passing, 183.0 rushing). Louisiana Tech is led by an outstanding receiving core that consists of Trent Taylor (8.7 rec/game, 140.7 yds/game, 5 TD) and Carlos Henderson (6.7 rec/game, 79.7 yds/game, TD). QB Ryan Higgins is completing 64.3% of his passes with 7 TD and 2 INT while averaging 360.0 passing yds/game. The Bulldogs backfield is led by Jarred Craft who has 2 TD’s on the season and is averaging 105 yards per game. Defensively, Louisiana Tech is allowing their opponents to average 34.7 ppg on 418.7 total yards per game (266.0 passing, 152.7 rushing).
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The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders improved to 2-1 (0-0 C-USA) on the season after they were able to go on the road and defeat the Bowling Green Falcons, 41-21, this past Saturday. Middle Tennessee, who more known for their high scoring offense, used a strong defensive 2nd half in which they held Bowing Green to zero points to help secure the victory. Middle Tennessee outgained Bowling Green by a 436-433 margin and forced the Falcons into committing 4 turnovers. Leading the way for the Blue Raiders was RB I’Tavius Mathers who had 3 TD’s and 157 rushing yards on 27 carries. On the season, Middle Tennessee is averaging 40.0 ppg on 537.3 total yards per game (370.7 passing, 166.7 rushing). The Blue Raiders offense is led by QB Brent Stockstill who has completed 65.6% of his passes for 11 TD and 3 INT while averaging 335.3 passing yds/game. I’Tavius Mathers has been outstanding in the Blue Raiders backfield as he has 4 TD’s on the season and is averaging 94.7 yds/game. Stockstill’s main threats at the WR position has been WR Richie James (9.3 rec/game, 112.7 yds/game, 3 TD), RB I’Tavius Mathers (4.3 rec/game, 62.0 yds/game, 1 TD, Patrick Smith (3.3 rec/game, 45.7 yds/game, 2 TD), and Ty Lee (4.7 rec/game, 38.7 yds/game, 2 TD). Defensively, Middle Tennessee is holding their opponents to an average of 22.7 ppg on 307.7 total yards per game (98.7 passing, 209.0 rushing).
The Bulldogs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss. .The Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
This should be an exciting high-scoring affair on Saturday as both of these offenses really know how to put up points on the scoreboard. Louisiana Tech had a few questions coming into the season as they had to replace RB Kenneth Dixon and lost 8 starters on defense, however, the Bulldogs have shown that they can still be part of the C-USA elite as both losses have come in competitive games from power-5 conference teams, including a 21-20 loss on the road to the now 17th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. Middle Tennessee has one of the best passers in the C-USA in Brent Stockstill and with Ole Miss transfer, RB I’Tavius Mathers averaging almost 100 yds/game on the ground, the Blue Raiders offensive will be difficult for any team to stop. This is a tough game to call, but as Middle Tennessee defense has experience in the defensive backfield in Jeremy Cutrer and Michael Minter, I think the Blue Raiders will have the edge on defense and will be able to put up enough points to cover this small home spread. Take Middle Tennessee to cover.