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TERRAPINS: Maryland is coming off one of their most disappointing seasons in recent history, a paltry 2-10 record. Including in those 10 losses was finishing the season with 7 consecutive losses. The Terrapins faithful were asking for the firing of Head Coach Ralph Friedgen, but he is back for at least one more season. Maryland has only had 2 winning seasons in their past 6, yet this year's edition has the tools to be competitive. 7 starters return on offense this year, which should help this team improve from last year's 21.3 PPG. RB Da'Rel Scott is completely healthy for the first time since 2008. Scott was a 1st team All-ACC performer in 2008, and will be looked upon early and often this year. Defensively, 4 of the top 5 tacklers from last year return for the Terrapins. These 4 Terrapins will look to improve a unit that was tied for last in scoring average in the ACC at 31.2 PPG. Sharp money appears to be coming in on Maryland, as this point spread originally opened up with the Terrapins as a double digit underdog.
Projected Score: 21 (SIDE of the Day)
Terrapins are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in September.
Over is 5-1 in Terrapins last 6 non-conference games.
MIDSHIPMEN: (-6.5, O/U 48.5) Navy enters this season with much optimism. The Midshipmen return the core nucleus of a team that won 10 games last year, including a dismantling of Missouri in the Texas Bowl last year. Navy nearly entered the preseason Top 25 polls, so this service academy is finally getting the respect it deserves. Speaking of respect, QB Ricky Dobbs might be the best player in college football that you've never heard of. Last year, Dobbs rushed for 1,200 YDS, threw for 1,00 YDS, and had 33 total TD's. Dobbs is entering his 3rd year as the starting QB for the unique Navy offense. Last year, Navy was 4th in the country in rushing, averaging 280.5 YPG. Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo is entering his 3rd year with Navy, and he's gone 18-10 SU in his tenure thus far. Navy is looking to start their season strong, yet their schedule does them no favors. The Midshipmen have only 1 home game before October 16th. Navy has played in high scoring games against the ACC conference in the past, going 9-2-1 in their past 12 contests.
Midshipmen are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 neutral site games.
Under is 4-1 in Midshipmen last 5 games on grass.
BRONCOS: (-1.5, O/U 50.5) Boise St. finally has a legitimate chance of winning the BCS National Championship. That statement isn't made to disrespect any past edition of the Broncos, as they simply started the season behind too many other teams. This year, Boise St. is starting the season ranked #3 in the country, so they only have to pass 1 other team to play for the National Championship. The Broncos toughest game is today, as this is the only game this year that will feature a single digit spread for the Broncos. 22 of 24 starters are back from last year's team that ultimately went undefeated. QB Kellen Moore is a legitamte Heisman candidate, after finishing 7th in the voting last year. Moore finished 2nd in the country in pass efficiency last year at 161.65, including 39 TD passes against only 3 INT's. Moore will be throwing to all conference receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young, both seniors who totaled double digit TD's last year. Defensively, this unit only lost 1 significant contributor from last season's overlooked defense. Coach Chris Peterson has had several months to prepare for Virginia Tech, so you know he has some trick plays at his disposal. Peterson is 49-4 SU since taking over as head coach of the Broncos.
Projected Score: 24 (UNDER-Total of the Day)
Broncos are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Under is 6-1 in Broncos last 7 non-conference games.
HOKIES: Watching this Virginia Tech team this year, you will quickly realize this isn't your father's Hokies. This years edition of the Hokies are explosive on offense, and likely to be a bit shaky on defense and on special teams. Virginia Tech is very young and inexperienced with these units, so they are likely to lean on their offense and experienced skill players to lead them to the promise land. Virginia Tech has a relatively easy schedule to start the year, with only 2 true road games in their first 9 games overall. QB Tyrod Taylor is the unquestioned leader of this offense, as he made great strides last year with his ability to manage a game. Proof of this in his passing efficiency, as he led the ACC in this category. Taylor threw 13 TD's against only 5 INT's last year, to go along with his running ability that makes him so elusive and dangerous. Despite an ACC best 15.6 PPG allowed last year, the Hokies defense is in a bit of a rebuilding mode. This coming year will prove whether the system makes the players or if the players make the system.
Projected Score: 21
Hokies are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in September.
Over is 4-1 in Hokies last 5 neutral site games.