College Football Week Four Betting: Virginia Cavaliers at TCU Horned Frogs
Virginia Cavaliers at #17 Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Saturday, September 22, 2012, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, Texas
Opening Line: TCU -16 1/2
Current Line: TCU -17
Opening Total: 51 1/2
Current Total: 53
Opening Money Line: TCU -1000 / Virginia +650
Current Money Line: TCU -950 / Virginia +625
The #17 TCU Horned Frogs host the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday in the third ever meeting between the schools. The series is tied 1-1. TCU won 30-14 in Charlottesville to open the 2009 season. Virginia won the previous meeting in the 1994 Independence Bowl. This is the first ever meeting between the schools in Fort Worth.
The Virginia Cavaliers are coached by Mike London. The Cavaliers are 2-1 this season with home wins over Richmond 43-19 and Penn St 17-16. Last week, Virginia was routed at Georgia Tech 56-20. The Cavaliers are averaging 379 yards per game, including 274.3 passing yards and 104.7 rushing yards. On defense, Virginia is allowing 396.7 total yards, including 193.3 passing yards and 203.3 rushing yards. The Cavs are being outscored 30.3-26.7 this season. Virginia is 0-2-1 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season.
Virginia was a 10 point underdog in their ACC opener at Georgia Tech, and the total was 52. The Cavaliers were never in the game. Georgia Tech scored the first 14 points, before Virginia scored to make it 14-7 in the first. The Yellow Jackets would then score 35 unanswered points to make it 49-7 early in the fourth. Georgia Tech would end up winning 56-20.
The Cavaliers gained 297 total yards, including 199 passing yards. Virginia had only 14 first downs. Cavalier quarterback Michael Rocco completed 15 of 25 passes for 143 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. He was yanked in the second half and former Alabama quarterback Phillip Sims threw two fourth quarter touchdowns when the game was decided. The Yellow Jackets had 594 total yards, including 461 rushing yards. Georgia Tech had 7 rushing touchdowns. The two teams combined for 15 penalties and 3 turnovers.
Rocco has completed 61 of 75 passes (64.2%) with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Sims is 13 for 17 passing for 111 yards and the two touchdowns he threw against Georgia Tech. If Rocco struggles again like did in the last game, Virginia fans could start clamoring for Sims to start. Running back Kevin Parks has 36 carries for 128 yards, and 2 touchdowns, and 10 catches for 80 yards. Khalek Shepherd and Perry Jones also get significant carries for the Cavaliers. Receiver Darius Jennings has 13 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown. Jake McGee has 9 catches for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tim Smith has 7 catches for 108 yards, but he is questionable with a leg injury. Including the running backs, seven Cavalier receivers have at least 7 catches.
TCU is 2-0 this season under long-time coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs have wins at home against Grambling St 56-0 and last week at Kansas 20-6. TCU has the nation’s longest winning streak at 10 games dating back to last year. TCU is averaging 509 yards per game, including 305.5 passing yards and 203.5 rushing yards. On defense, TCU is allowing 225 total yards including 164.5 passing yards and 60.5 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are 17th or better nationally in all three categories. TCU is outscoring opponents 38-3 this season. The Horned Frogs are 1-1 ATS and the total is 0-1 this season.
TCU was an 18.5 point favorite at Kansas last week, and the total was 58.5. It was the Big 12 debut for TCU after years in the Mountain West. The game was close in the first half. The Horned Frogs took a 10-6 lead at halftime. They expanded their lead to 20-6 in the third and neither team scored in the fourth.
TCU had 487 passing yards including 335 passing yards from quarterback Casey Pachall, who completed 24 of 30 passes with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Horned Frogs did have four lost fumbles though. Kansas had 380 total yards including 303 passing yards. The Jayhawks had 2 turnovers of their own.
Pachall has completed 33 of 39 passes (84.6%) for 536 yards and 5 touchdowns, with no interceptions. Running back Waymon James has 17 carries, 168 yards, and a touchdown, along with 3 catches for 38 yards. He is questionable against Virginia with a knee injury. Matthew Tucker has 19 carries for 100 yards, along with 2 catches for 19 yards. B.J. Catalan has 13 carries for 63 yards, along with 4 catches for 57 yards. Receiver Josh Boyce has 9 catches, 168 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Carter has 9 catches, 162 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Virginia is 4-1 ATS after allowing 40 points or more, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 2-5 after failing to cover, and after rushing for less than 100 yards, 1-4 after a straight up loss, 1-4-1 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 1-5 after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 0-5-1 in non-conference games, 0-3-1 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 0-4 after allowing 450 yards or more, 0-5-1 in September, 0-4-1 overall, and 0-3-1 on grass.
TCU is 6-1 ATS after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 23-8 after failing to cover, 2-5 after a straight up win, and 3-8 after allowing 20 points or less.
Even if James can’t go, I still think TCU can run the ball against a Cavalier team giving up over 200 yards per game on the ground. I don’t think the Frogs will run for almost 500 yards like Georgia Tech did, who employs the run first triple option. I also think Pachall can do some damage against the Virginia secondary. TCU won last week against a bad Kansas team, but the Horned Frogs didn’t play a very good game. TCU plays much better at home this week.
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