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Katie Stats' Week 0 College Football Preview & Pray for Scott Frost

Rebecca S Gratz. Shutterstock Images.

Hi. We're back. It is going to be Walmart football on Saturday, but it'll be football, so we'll take it. It is going to be so shitty, but so glorious. If you're new to my sheets, here's the gist: they're choppy, it is long, it is a bunch of facts and tidbits thrown together. No I don't expect anyone to read the full thing, yes I expect you to find the game you're interested in and dip out. They are segmented like this for a reason. These are the same sheets that Dave, Big Cat, and Rico get. I'm trying to streamline a bit this year, and instead of pulling teeth to find stats that might not be there, I'm just putting what I think is good. This one in particular is a bit low on stats, and higher on narrative since it is week 0, and there are a lot of turnover, and I feel less reliant on long term stats. Can't wait to stay up all night watching some shitty Hawaii Vandy football.

One thing I'll say for the FSU and UNC games, yes it is a very big spread and against FCS teams, but both of them face huge opponents the next week. As a UNC fan, I'll say with chagrin, that that App State game is very big. So how much will each put on the field, when will they take their foot off the gas? FSU and UNC will be covering, if they want to.

My card:

Now for the sheet:

Nebraska vs. Northwestern, in Dublin at 12:30pm

  • Matchup

    • Nebraska beat Northwestern 56-7 at home. Nebraska put up 56 points and 664 yards, the most ever by a Fitzgerald defense in both categories. Why is the spread so low this year?

    • In 2020, NU won 21-13 at home. In 2019, Nebraska won 13-10, at home. In 2018, NU won 34-31 at home. 

  • Nebraska

    • Have Casey Thompson as QB, transferred in from Texas. He had 2,118 yards, 24 TDs, and 9 INTs last year. Dealt with thumb injuries in the second half of the season. 104th in returning production.

    • Brought in Mark Whipple, from Pittsburgh, as OC. 

    • Had 8 losses that had 8 points or fewer last year, a cfb first. All 9 losses were by single digits. Finished 3-9, beat Fordham, Buffalo, and Northwestern. Win total is 8.

    • Scott Frost estimates there are 15-20 total vomits per practice from offensive linemen under new position coach Donovan Raiola. “It’s not because they’re not in shape – he’s just working them hard.”

  • Northwestern 

    • In the 8 B10 losses last year, the average margin of defeat was -25 ppg. Finished 3-9, beat Indiana State, Ohio University, and Rutgers. Ended on a 6 game losing streak. Win total is 4. 69th in returning production.

    • Lost S Brandon Joseph to Notre Dame

    • LT Peter Skoronski and RB Evan Hull, had 1,000+ yards last year, are their stars. The QB is Ryan Hilinski. Had 978 yards last year, with 3 TDs and 4 INTS.

    • In 2018 they finished first in the West, last in 2019, first in 2020, and last in 2021.

    • In L5 games, 1-5 ATS.

UConn @ Utah State, 4:00pm

  • UConn

    • Went 1-11, only beat Yale. Brought in Jim Mora for new HC.

    • Win total is 2.5. 29th in returning production.

    • QB is between Penn State transfer Ta’Quan Roberson, former Oregon transfer Cale Millen, freshman Zion Turner, or returner Tyler Phommachanh who suffered season ending injury last year. Depth chart has all as “ORs”. 

    • Their DC, Lou Spanos, has taken a leave of absence. Star WR Cam Ross out for the season, after a season ending injury early last year too. Behind Ross there are a lot of other options. LB Jackson Mitchell finished 12th nationally in sacks last year. 

    • In season openers, 0-5 ATS.

  • Utah State

    • Win total is 7. 113th in returning production. HC is Blake Anderson. For the first time in 5 years, will have returning OC, DC, and special teams coordinators. 

    • Went 11-3, losses to Boise State, #13 BYU, and Wyoming. Won the Mountain West. Beat Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. In 2020 they had 1 win. 

    • They play at Alabama on September 3rd. 

    • QB Logan Bonner has a lot of hype around him. He was the MVP of the Mountain West championship game, but hurt his knee in the LA Bowl. Missed spring game, but should be good to go now. Behind him is Cooper Legas, his backup, earned MVP of the LA Bowl. They need to replace 3,328 yards and 31 TDs of receiving production. Bring in transfers from Maryland, Alabama, and juco to build the receiver room. 5 OL starters are back. Top RB, Calvin Tyler Jr. is back. 

    • In their L8, are 7-1 ATS. When a double digit favorite, the under is 7-1, and they’re 6-1 ATS.

Wyoming @ Illinois, 4:00pm

  • Illinois

    • QB1 is Tommy DeVito, who lost his job at Syracuse after 2019 and transferred in.

    • Bring in Barry Lunney Jr, former UTSA OC. Finished 5-7 last year, beat #20 Minnesota and #7 Penn State in 9OT. Bret Bielema’s second year. 

    • Win total is 4.5. 122nd in returning production.

    • Improved from giving up 34.9 ppg in 2020, to 21.9 ppg in 2021. Finished with a plus point differential in conference play for the first time since 2011. Was 46th in total defense, and 112th in total offense. Top 3 rushers are back, led by RB Chase Brown. New OC is Barry Lunney Jr, who was UTSA’s AHC/OC/QB last year. Top 2 receivers are back, but weren’t that productive. 

    • 0-1-4 ATS against non-conference teams, since 2018. Unders were 9-3 with Illinois last year. When favored by more than 7, under is 5-0-1.

  • Wyoming

    • Win total is 5. 112th in returning production. HC’s Craig Bohl’s 8th year.

    • Seems that Utah State transfer Andrew Peasley is in the lead for QB1. Were 20th in rushing offense, but 117th in passing offense. 12th in passing defense, but 98th in rushing defense. Only 2 defensive players are back, and none from the secondary. Using the portal to restock.

    • When an underdog by more than 7, under is 6-1. Their L6 games, the over is 5-1.

Duquesne @ FSU, 5:00pm

  • FSU

    • They play LSU next week, how much are they going to show this week?

    • Started 0-4, including a loss to FCS Jacksonville State. Finished 5-7. Win total is 6.5.

    • QB is Jordan Travis, is also the top returning rusher. Growing hype around Oregon transfer WR Mycah Pittman. Only 8 seniors on the team, very young. Have a lot returning, but not a lot of proven talent.

    • As of February were 11th in returning production, and second most on defense at 90%.

  • Duquesne

    • FCS program, that went 7-3. Lost to TCU 45-3 in 2021 season opener.

Florida A&M @ UNC, 8:15pm

  • UNC

    • They play App State (unfortunately a tough game) next week, how much are they going to show this week? Win total is 7.5. 75th in returning production.

    • Named Drake Maye as QB1, brother of former UNC basketball player Luke Maye who is a UNC legend.

    • Did not have a defense or an OL last year. Lost Sam Howell and leading rusher Ty Chandler, big drop off in rushing yards. New DC is Gene Chizik. WR Josh Downs is the MVP on the team so far, on a lot of preseason lists. 

  • Florida A&M (HBCU in the SWAC)

    • Went 9-3 last year, finished 2nd, to Jackson State, in the east in the SWAC. Play Jackson State on 9/4.

North Texas @ UTEP, 9:00pm

  • Matchup

    • They played on November 13th last year, at North Texas, who won 20-17. UNT’s punter made a FG with 7 seconds left to win. North Texas has won the last 5 meetings, in the last 5 years. 

  • North Texas

    • Went 6-7 last year. Started 1-6 last year. They had the 5th best rushing offense at 234.08 ypg last year. Yet 98th in passing offense. 4 OL return from a line that only allowed 15 sacks. Lose top RB that had 1,215 yards. Next 2 returning combine for 1,000+. Top 3 WRs are back, led by Roderic Burns. Rebuilding the DL. 

    • Win total is 6.5. 13th in returning production.

    • QB1 Austin Aune is back. He spent 6 years as an outfielder in the Yankees organization, he turns 29 in September. 

    • HC Seth Littrell’s contract ends in 2023, this is a make or break year for him.

    • 5-0 ATS against conference opponents. On the road 4-0 ATS. As a favorite, (-1.5 at time of writing), 4-0 ATS.

  • UTEP (don’t confuse with UTSA that went 12-2, least I did for a hot sec)

    • Went 7-6 last year. Coming off of their first winning year since 2014. 

    • Win total is 5.5. 51st in returning production. Must replace 70% of catches and yards at the wideout position. But besides receivers and secondary, elsewhere have good returning production.

    • QB1 is Gavin Hardison, will be his 3rd year starting. 

    • In L6 games, over is 5-1. At home, 5-1 ATS. As a dog, (+1.5 at time of writing), the over is 4-0.

Nevada @ New Mexico State, 10:00pm

  • Matchup

    • Played last year in October at Nevada, who won 55-28.

  • Nevada

    • Lost QB Carson Strong to the NFL. HC Jay Norvell went to Colorado State. Must replace 3,842 yards and 35 TDs of receiving production. 

    • Their win total is 4.5. Are 131st (dead last in FBS) in returning production.

    • New HC is Ken Wilson, former Oregon DC. 2 offensive starters returning, RT and leading rusher, Toa Taua. A DT and 3 starters in the secondary are returning on defense. Have 14 incoming transfers. 

    • Have former Oklahoma State QB Shane Illingworth. Last year’s backup Nate Cox is back, only had 279 yards last year. Nate Cox is 6’9”. August 22nd depth chart had them at “OR”.

    • In week 1, 4-0 ATS.

  • New Mexico State

    • Win total is 2.5. 116th in returning production.

    • Went 2-10 last year, beat UMass and South Carolina State.

    • New HC, Jerry Kill. Formerly TCU’s interim HC and asst. to HC. It is his bday today.

    • At QB there is an “OR” between Diego Pavia, who led New Mexico Military Institute to a juco natty last year, and freshman Gavin Frakes. 

    • All new faces on the offense besides 2 OL. have 7 returning defensive starters, led by LB room. 

Vanderbilt @ Hawaii, 10:30pm

  • Vanderbilt

    • Went 2-9 in Clark Lea’s first year. Win total is 2.5.

    • QB1 is Mike Wright. 

    • Starting LT transferred to Alabama. Lost top 2 of 3 receivers. Top 5 rushers, including Mike Wright, are back. Eyes on LB Anfernee Orji to become a draft prospect. Clark Lea could start as many as 10 defenders who started at Vandy or elsewhere last year. So there should theoretically be a step up on defense. Get top RB Re’Mahn Davis back from injury.

    • First year with Joey Lynch, the OC, fully in charge. He was QB coach, and promoted to OC in the first week of fall camp last year. New DC Nick Howell, from UVA.

    • In week 1 games, are 8-0 for the under. As a favorite, are 1-5 ATS, and under is 6-2. Have covered their L4 games. In away games, are 8-2 ATS, and the under is 8-2.

  • Hawaii 

    • New HC is Timmy Chang. As a player at Hawaii he set the program’s passing record at 17,072, but it has since been broken. Win total is 4.

    • Depth chart has ORs at all QBs. Between Wazzu transfer Cammon Cooper, 2021 backup Brayden Schager, and Pitt transfer Joey Yellen.

    • 3 OL back, new faces at RB and WR. Leading returning rusher, Dedrick Parson, had 618 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Only 1 defensive starter is back, a LB.

    • Had no defense last year besides stopping the run. Was 63rd in total offense. 

    • As a home dog, 7-0-1 ATS. When they have a home season opener, are 9-0 ATS. 11-1 ATS in FBS season openers since 2010, per Ebo, which spans 4 HCs.

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