College Football Betting Preview: A look at Southern Miss-Tulsa

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK
Friday, November 26, 2010, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS College Sports
Opening Line: Tulsa -3
Current Line: Tulsa -3 1/2
Opening Total: 67
Current Total: 67 1/2
Money Line: TU -165 / USM +145

G.J. Kinne and the Golden Hurricane are 3 1/2 point favorites at home over Southern Miss in a crucial Conference USA game.

The 8-3 Southern Miss Golden Eagles travel to Tulsa to take on the also 8-3 Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Both teams are bowl eligible but can still go to the conference championship game next week with a win and some help. Tulsa needs to win this game and hope SMU loses to East Carolina while Southern Miss needs to win and hope UCF loses to Memphis to go to the Conference USA championship game. The big story in this game is three USM players were shot on November 14 coming out of a nightclub. Linebackers Martez Smith and Tim Green along with defensive tackle Deddrick Jones were shot. All survived, but Smith was actually paralyzed in the incident. Southern Miss has dedicated their season to their teammates but it it is obviously a very emotional time for the Eagles. Southern Miss is 10-0 recently ATS in November road games, while Tulsa is 10-3 SU in their last 13 November home games.

Southern miss has three losses on the season, at SEC powerhouse South Carolina 41-13 the first week of the season and one point losses in conference to East Carolina and UAB. Southern Miss has outscored their opponents 37-27 on the season and outgained them 449-337 yards per game. Southern Miss has a turnover margin of +9. They do give up almost 80 yards a game in penalties. The Eagles defense is especially strong against the run only giving up 102 yards a game. The offense is led by dual threat quarterback Austin Davis. He has almost 3,000 total yards rushing and passing, with 26 touchdowns (16 passing) and 5 interceptions. Kelvin Bolden (39 catches, 630 yards, and 6 touchdown catches) and Johdrick Moore (40 catches, 589 yards, 4 touchdowns) are the top receivers. USM rushes for 205 yards a game led by Kendrick Hardy (111 carries, 764 yards, and 7 touchdowns), Davis, and Desmond Johnson (92 carries, 423 yards, 5 TD’s).

Tulsa’s losses are a 2 point loss to East Carolina 51-49, a 65-28 destruction by Oklahoma St, and a narrow 21-18 loss to SMU. Tulsa is outscoring opponents 38-28 and outgaining them 492-432 yards per game. Tulsa has a turnover margin of +13 and has forced almost 2 sacks a game. Tulsa gives up almost 300 yards passing a game. Like Southern Miss, Tulsa is led by a quarterback who can both run a throw the ball well. G.J. Kinne has almost 3,500 combined passing and rushing yards along with 29 touachdowns (24 passing) and 8 interceptions. Eight Hurricane receivers have at least one touchdown catch. Demaris Johnson and Charles Clay are the top receivers for Tulsa. Tulsa rushes for 219 yards a game led by Kinne, Alex Singleton and Demaris Johnson.

These two teams are very similar statistically. Tulsa’s pass defense is worse than Southern Miss but Tulsa is slightly more explosive on offense. Even their losses are similar. Both were blown out by a nationally ranked team from a powerhouse conference, had a narrow shootout loss to East Carolina and another close conference loss. I think Tulsa playing at home might give them the advantage, but in either case I expect tons of points as neither team is really that great on defense.

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