College Football Predictions: Baylor Bears at Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Baylor Bears at Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Friday, September 21, 2012, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Malone Stadium – Monroe, Louisiana
Opening Line: Baylor -8
Current Line: Baylor -7 1/2
Opening Total: 68
Current Total: 69
Opening Money Line: Baylor -280 / ULM +240
Current Money Line: Baylor -270 / ULM +230
The Baylor Bears and Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks meet for the first time ever on Friday night. The two campuses are roughly 323 miles apart. Baylor travels to Monroe this season, but the Warhawks will make the return trip to Waco in 2013.
Baylor is 2-0 under coach Art Briles. The Bears have won 8 straight games dating back to last year, the nation’s second longest winning streak behind TCU’s 10 game streak. Baylor has blowout wins at home over SMU 59-24 and Sam Houston St 48-23 to start the season. Through two games, Baylor is averaging 578.5 yards per game including 352.6 passing yards and 226 rushing yards. Baylor is in the top 10 nationally in passing and total offense. On defense, the Bears are giving up 459 total yards per game including 323.5 passing yards and 135.5 rushing yards per game. The Bears are #101 in total defense and #117 against the pass. Baylor is outscoring opponents 53.5-23.5 this season. The Bears are 1-1 ATS and the total is 1-0.
The Bears were 30 point favorites at home last week against Sam Houston St, and there was no total. SMSU was up 20-10 at halftime, but Baylor outscored them 38-3 in the second half. Baylor had 544 total yards including 312 passing yards from quarterback Nick Florence. Florence was 24/41 passing with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 9 carries for 80 yards. Receiver Terrance Williams had 6 catches, 131 yards, and 2 touchdowns. The Bearkats had 411 total yards including 285 passing yards. Baylor had 11 penalties for 84 yards, and Sam Houston had 7 penalties for 48 yards. The Bearkats had 4 turnovers and the Bears had 2.
Through two games, Florence has completed 45 of 71 passes (63.4%) for 653 yards, with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He also has 12 carries for 104 yards. Running back Jarred Salubi has 30 carries for 174 yards with a touchdown, and 4 catches for 14 yards. Glasco Martin has 19 catches for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Terrance Williams has 13 catches for 269 yards with 2 touchdowns. Tevin Reese has 7 catches for 159 yards with a touchdown. Lanear Sampson has 10 catches for 109 yards with 2 touchdowns.
ULM is coached by Todd Berry. The Warhawks are 1-1 with an upset win over then #8 Arkansas 34-31 in overtime in Little Rock, and a 31-28 defeat at Auburn in overtime. The Warhawks are averaging 480 yards per game, including 328.5 passing yards and 151.5 rushing yards. On defense, ULM is allowing 397.5 yards per game, including 222 passing yards and 175.5 rushing yards. The Warhawks are averaging 31 points a game and are also giving up 31 a game. ULM is 2-0 ATS this season, and both games have gone over.
Last week, ULM was a 14 point underdog at Auburn, and the total was 53.5. Auburn took a 28-14 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Warhawks scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to force overtime for the second straight week against an SEC team on the road. The Warhawks missed a 37 yard field goal in their half of overtime, and Auburn made a 35 yard field goal to escape with the 31-28 win.
ULM had 410 total yards including 245 passing yards. Quarterback Kolton Browning completed 28 of 46 passes for 237 yards with 3 touchdowns, along with 14 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. Auburn had 418 total yards including 255 rushing yards. Auburn had 7 penalties for 65 yards, and also had 2 turnovers. The Warhawks didn’t have any turnovers, but did miss both their attempted field goals.
Browning has completed 70 of 113 passing (61.9%) for 649 yards with 6 touchdowns and an interception. He is also the leading rusher with 30 carries for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jyruss Edwards has 32 carries, 112 yards, and a touchdown, along with 4 catches for 34 yards. Brent Leonard has 18 catches, 165 yards, and a touchdown. Je’Ron Hamm has 11 catches for 49 yards. Tavarese Maye has 13 catches for 121 yards. He is questionable for an undisclosed reason Friday. Colby Harper has 11 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. No other Warhawk receiver has more than 4 catches.
Baylor is 5-1 ATS overall, 4-1 after scoring 40 points, after a straight up win, in non-conference games, in September, after passing for 280 yards or more, against Sun Belt teams, and after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 14-6 after failing to cover, 4-9 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and 0-5 in road games.
ULM is 5-1 ATS overall, 4-1 after a straight up loss, in September, and on grass, 15-6 after allowing less that 170 passing yards, and 4-9 against teams with winning records.
Expect a ton of points in this game as both teams have bad defenses and explosive offenses. After upsetting Arkansas and narrowly losing at Auburn, ULM will not be intimidated by Baylor from the Big 12. I think the Warhawks have a chance to pull off the upset at home.
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