College Football Preview - Texas A&M Aggies at Miami Hurricanes 7:45 PM EST
Over the last three seasons, Miami is a horrendous 9-18 against the spread (ATS), including just 2-7 in September. A&M, on the other hand, have covered 67% of the time they were underdogs, over the same time period.
Thus far, Miami has had time of possession (TOP) issues as their TOP averages 27:21 a game. This could be an issue as they face A&M's lethal rushing attack which averages 296.3 rushing yards per game.
Definitely keep an eye on the weather, storms could add to the advantage of a team that prefers to grind it out on the ground.
Given all of the intel above, it isn't surprising that 63% of the early money is on Texas A&M (+2.5).
The Hurricanes are a slight 2-point favorite and the total for the contest is set at 46 at sportsbook.com. Thursday's contest is the first of 48 on the weekend college betting board.
As expected this season the 20th ranked Aggies have been powerful on the ground, led by running backs Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson who are averaging 296.3 yards a game.
As most college programs strive to have a "thunder and lightning" running back combination; the Aggies have thunder and earthquake with Goodson and Lane. Goodson has good speed and hits the hole with power.
When Lane and his 250-pound plus body hit the hole, an audible "Uugh" is heard from would be tacklers. Quarterback Stephen McGee has also been a contributor, averaging 9.1 yards per carry as a mad scrambler on the perimeter.
Though his passing numbers had not been impressive, McGee was on target last week throwing for 237 yards and a touchdown on 19 of 33 pass attempts in 54-14 thumping of UL-Monroe.
Defensively, Texas A&M have been vulnerable thru the air at 232 yards a game (70th in the country), with DC Gary Darnell's preference to preventing long plays.
The Aggies have also faced teams persistent in running the ball at 43 attempts per game for 151 yards. The positive out of this for Texas A&M defenders is they are gaining just 3.5 YPC.
Miami plays second straight home game in farewell tour at Orange Bowl. Last year's problems are at quarterback are not going away, as neither Kirby Freeman nor Kyle Wright shines in the spotlight.
Wright has the better feel for the game and thus far the Hurricanes have a more pop getting in and out of the huddle with him in the lineup. Overall the offense is like rice pudding, in gaining a bland 302.7 yards per game.
Running backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper helped raise the rushing totals to 172 yards a game with last week's 204 yard outing against overmatched Florida International.
It's a good thing Texas A&M does not throw the particularly ball well, as the coordination between corners and safeties at the "U" has not been there, being burned frequently on slants or deep in-cuts as Oklahoma proved.
The 303 yards per game allowed is potentially fraudulent, since Marshall and the aforementioned FIU are far from offensive juggernauts.
In seeking history between these teams, you have to go back 63 years (1944) to find the last and only time they have met.
Sportsbook.com has chosen not to use this as viable information and instead is working in the present with Miami a two point favorite with a total of 46. In theory, Texas A&M would appear to be the better team, however they are 2-14 ATS in first road game of the season the last 16 seasons.
Miami has the athletes to slow down the Aggies run game and if Wright can throw with accuracy, the Hurricanes should move the pigskin against the Aggies.
Texas A&M is 7-19 ATS as a road underdog and a unthinkable 1-30 ATS when they lose on the road.
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