Friday Night College Football
SMU -6.5 @ Tulane O/U 68
BYU -3 @ Houston O/U 63
SMU (37 Implied Team Total)
Shane Buechele has thrown for 344+ yards in 3 out of 4 games this season. The senior gunslinger has thrown for 1,326 yards, 10 TDs, and 2 INT through 4 games. He’s also recorded 48 rushing yards and 1 TD on 17 attempts. This is a great spot for the SMU passing game. This week’s opponent, Tulane, is hemorrhaging yardage in the passing game (271.3 passing yards per game) and has been beaten for 7 pass TDs in 4 games. Tulane allowed Houston’s Clayton Tune to throw for 319 yards, 2 TD, and 2 INT in last week’s game (Tune also recorded 15 yards rushing and 1 TD). The Mustangs offense is favoring the run (52.8/47.2 run-pass split) and averaging 75.3 plays per game this season.
It should be Ulysses Bentley IV’s backfield as TJ McDaniel was lost for the season. Bentley IV has crossed the 100-yard rushing mark in 2 out of 4 games. He has 2+ TDs in 3 out of 4 games. In total the freshman has ran 412 yards and 7 TDs on 49 carries. He’s also caught 5 balls for 42 yards. Up next is a Tulane defense that has surrendered 8 rush TDs in 4 games. Despite allowing a ton of rushing TDs, they have actually held opposing ball carriers to 2.95 yards per carry (USA, NAVY, USM, and HOU). Look for Tyler Lavine to rotate in the backfield with Bentley IV. Lavine has run for 68 yards on 15 carries.
Notable target counts through 4 games: Reggie Roberson Jr. (31), Rashee Rice (25), Kylen Granson (20), Danny Gray (19), Tyler Page (13), Austin Upshaw (9) and Uylsses Bentley IV (6).
The big news is that Reggie Roberson Jr. is out of for the season after sustaining a non-contact knee injury in SMU’s last game. With Roberson Jr. out, Danny Gray and Rashee Rice along with Kylen Granson will all have to step. Austin Upshaw and Tyler Page should see more action as well. Over the final 5 games with Roberson Jr. out in 2019, Rice had 17 receptions, 299 receiving yards, and 1 TD. Danny Gray hasn’t disappointed as a lot of expectations were placed upon him after transferring from ju-co. Gray has 14 receptions, 198 receiving yards, and 3 TDs through 4 games. He’s in a phenomenal spot as the starting slot WR. Tulane has been torched by USA’s slot WR Kawaan Baker for 7/129/1 and Houston’s slot WR Marquez Stevenson for 5/118/1. Tyler Page should be the 3rd WR now that Roberson Jr. isn’t around. He has 10 receptions for 62 yards this season. Austin Upshaw has 7 receptions for 87 yards.
Over the last 5 games of the 2019 season, Rice had 17 receptions, 299 receiving yards, and 1 TD.
Kylen Granson ($8.1k FD/$6k DK) is one of the college football’s best TEs. Granson has posted 13/168/2 in 4 games in 2020. With Roberson Jr. out, Granson caught 21 passes, had 366 yards receiving, and recorded 6 TDs (final 5 games) last season..
In 2020 (4 games), SMU is 41st in passing yards allowed with 248.3 yards/game. They are 51st in rushing yards allowed with 164.3 yards/game. The defense has given up 4 TDs on the ground (1 TD/game) and 8 TDs through the air (2 TD/game) this season.
Tulane (31 Implied Team Total)
Michael Pratt’s passing game is a work in progress. In 2 starts, the freshman has completed just 20 out of 44 passing attempts for 283 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INT. He’s also run for 31 yards and 2 TDs on 20 attempts. If Tulane hopes to stay in the game this week, they’ll need Pratt to step up. The SMU defense has been throttled through the air. They’re allowing nearly 250 yards passing and 2 pass TDs per game in 2020. Pratt will be the least popular of the 4 QBs this week because this 2-game Friday night slate is absolutely loaded at QB (Tune, Buechele, and Wilson). He’s a fine play though with Tulane carrying an implied team total of 31. The Green Wave offense favors the run (64.4/35.6 run-pass split) and is averaging 71 plays per game.
Cameron Carroll will rotate in the backfield with Stephon Huderson. Amare Jones is the change of pace back and is typically utilized in obvious passing situations. Carroll has run for 285 yards and 7 TDs on 54 carries while also adding a reception TD (1 reception for 32 yards) through 4 games. He was held to 34 yards rushing on 18 carries by Houston last week. His 7 rushing TDs ranks 3rd nationally. SMU is allowing 3.89 yards per carry which is the worst amongst the 4 teams on Friday night. Huderson checks in with 177 yards rushing and 1 TD on 25 carries. With Tyjae Spears out for the season, Huderson received 7 carries in last week’s loss to Houston. Lastly, Jones has run for 120 yards and 1 TD on 25 carries. He leads the Green Wave in targets (14) and receptions (8). The versatile back junior has 53 receiving yards and doubles as a kickoff returner.
Notable target counts through 4 games: Amare Jones (14), Phat Watts (13), Duece Watts (12), Mykel Jones (9), Jhaquan Jackson (8), Tyrick James (8), Christian Daniels (7), Jacob Robertson Jr. (6), Stephon Huderson (5), and Cameron Carroll (2).
Combine an inaccurate QB with a team that loves to run the ball and you get a Tulane WR corp. that is extremely in DFS. If you’re taking a shot here, it’s probably on Jhaquan Jackson. Jackson’s 6 receptions are tied for team lead amongst the WRs. He leads Tulane with 100 receiving yards and 2 TD receptions. Tulane QBs are also posting a 156.3 passer rating when targeting Jackson (by far the best and it’s not even close, all other WRs are in the 60’s). Duece and Phatt Watts along with Mykel Jones are the other WRs that play a lot. Phatt has 6 receptions for 61 yards while Duece has 4 receptions for 88 yards. Jones a former Oklahoma transfer has just 1 reception for 21 yards.
Beside Jackson, Tyrick James might be the one other Tulane pass catcher to consider in tournaments. The TE has 4 receptions for 69 yards. He just missed a sure-fire TD in last week’s loss to Houston. I can’t remember if it was a drop or an inaccurate throw, but he was wide open down the seam and just missed catching the ball for a walk in TD. Also, SMU struggled to contain Memphis TE Sam Dykes (6/85/1) in the Mustangs’ last outing.
In 2020 (4 games), Tulane is 55th in passing yards allowed with 271.3 yards/game. They are 29th in rushing yards allowed with 124 yards/game. The defense has given up 8 TDs on the ground (2 TD/game) and 7 TDs through the air (1.75 TDs/game) this season.
BYU (33 Implied Team Total)
BYU looks to rebound after struggling against a bad UTSA team last week. The Cougars won 27-20 despite being nearly 35-point favorites. Anyway, they should have no problem bouncing back against Houston. While Houston played well on defense last week, I have a hard time believe they fixed all of their issues from last season (allowed 53 total TDs on defense in 12 games). Emerging star QB Zach Wilson is averaging 310.3 passing yards, 15 rushing yards, and 3.5 total TDs per game (8 pass/6 rush). The junior is completing a video-game like 81.2% of his passes. He’s clearly a great play as he’s accounted for 12 TDs over the last 3 games (accounted for 2+ TDs in 5 straight games). The BYU offense is favoring the run (60.7/39.3 run-pass split) this season and averages 71.3 plays per game.
Lopini Katao ($6.8k DK) and Tyler Allgeier ($6.8k DK) have formed a formable tandem in the backfield. Allgeier has been the better runner as he’s averaging 7.4 yards per carry. The sophomore leads the Cougars in carries (53), rushing yards (391), and rushing TDs (4). Katoa has been solid in his own right as he’s averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The junior has tallied 215 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 40 carries through 3 games. Katao is the better pass catcher amongst the 2; his 8 receptions rank 4th on the team (78 receiving yards). After nearly splitting the carries 50/50 through the 1st 3 games, Allgeier out-carried Katoa 19 to 8 in last week’s win. Sione Finau may see his first action of the season in this week’s game. The sophomore ran for 359 yards and 2 TDs on 59 carries over the final 5 games of the 2019 season. He’s probably not DFS relevant this week as it’s likely he’ll be eased into action (worth a shot in the showdown format if there is confirmation that he’s playing). Houston allowed 24 rush TDs in 12 games a season ago. FB Maxon Wake has 16 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 3 carries; he also has 4 receptions for 46 yards.
Notable target Counts through 4 games: Dax Milne (28), Gunner Romney (27), Neil Pau’u (16), Lopini Katao (9), Isaac Rex (6), Tyler Allgeier (5), and Mason Wake (4).
Romney ($8.2k DK), Milne ($6.8k DK), and Pau’u ($4k DK) have been the starting WRs for the Cougars. Romney leads the Cougars with 453 receiving yards. He’s found the end zone on 2 out of his 20 receptions. He’s caught 4+ balls in all 4 games while also clearing 80 receiving yards in all 4 games. Romney should be fine this week after leaving last week’s game for a short period of time due to an injury. The junior has a 45+ yard reception in 3 out of 4 games. He’ll look to expose a Houston pass defense that was creamed for 29 TD passes in 12 games in 2019. Milne checks in with 24 receptions, 366 receiving yards, and 1 TD. He’s intriguing due to his versatility. The junior WR has 7 receptions and 89+ receiving yards in 3 straight games. He’s also received at least 1 carry in all 4 games (8 carries for 44 yards this season). Pau’u has 14 receptions for 154 yards and 1 TD this season. The junior has 9 receptions over the last 2 games.
Isaac Rex has posted 5/54/1 from the tight end spot. He has 2 receptions in each of the last 2 games.
In 2020 (3 games), BYU is 13th in passing yards allowed with 179.5 yards/game. They are 6th in rushing yards allowed with 70.7 yards/game. The defense has given up 1 TD on the ground (.25 TD/game) and 4 TDs through the air (1 TD/game) this season.
Houston (30 Implied Team Total)
Clayton Tune ($8.2k FD/$7k DK) threw for 319 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INT while also rushing for 15 yards and 1 TD in Houston’s 49-31 season opening win over Tulane. Tune posted game averages of 219 passing yards, 34.9 rushing yards, 1.86 total TDs (11 pass/2 rush), and 1.29 INT over 7 games last season. This week’s matchup with BYU will likely be Tune’s toughest challenge of the season. The Cougars are holding opposing QBs to just under 180 passing yards per game. They’ve only been beaten for 4 pass TDs in 4 games. However, if Houston is to stay in this game, it’ll likely come through the passing game. BYU has been dominating against the run; they’ve only surrendered 1 rushing TD in 4 games. BYU is holding opposing backfields to 70.7 rushing yards per game. The Houston offense favored the run (59.8/40.2 run-pass split) last season and averaged 65 plays per game.
Kyle Porter and Mulbah Car rotate in the Cougars’ backfield. Porter led the Cougars with 57 rushing yards in the season opener. He scored 1 TD on 11 carries. Car ran for 30 yards and 2 TDs on 7 carries before departing early due to ankle injury. He also caught 2 balls for 21 yards. Reportedly he’ll be fine for this week’s game against BYU. This is a brutal spot for the Houston backfield. As noted above, BYU has one of the best run defenses in college football.
Target counts from the season opener: Keith Corbin (8), Marquez Stevenson (7), Jeremy Singleton (4), Tre’Von Bradley (3), Nathaniel Dell (2), Mulbah Car (2), Ke’Andre Street (1), Chandler Smith (1), Bryson Smith (1), Cole McGowan (1), Kyle Porter (1), and Christian Trahan (1).
Star WR Marquez Stevenson torched Tulane for 5/118/1 in the season opener. He also took a kickoff back for a TD. The game changing WR also ran for 8 yards on 1 carry. Stevenson tallied 127 receptions for 1,926 yards and 18 TDs over the last 2 seasons. He also received 23 carries in which he ran for 215 yards and 2 TDs in that time frame. Stevenson, the H-receiver (one of the slot WRs), will look to take advantage of a BYU defense that hit up for 3/82/2 by LaTech’s H-receiver Smoke Harris 2 weeks ago. Keith Corbin was the 2nd leading pass catcher last week (4/46/0). He nearly came down with 2 TDs late in the game. Corbin should play Robin to Stevenson’s Batman this season. Corbin returns to Houston after redshirting last season (played in 4 games). Trevon Bradley (2/45/0 in Game 1), Nathaniel Dell, and Jeremy Singleton should also play large roles in the passing game this season. Dell caught 1 pass for 26 yards in the season opener; he also had a TD erased due to a penalty. Singleton had 2 receptions for 23 yards last week (26/381/3 last season). He’s the starting X-receiver. BYU held LaTech’s X-receiver Adrian Hardy to 0/0/0 while they ceded 7/79/1 by UTSA’s X-receiver Zakhari Franklin in last week’s game. Bryson Smith and Ke’Andre Street are also part of the WR rotation (both had 1 reception in last week’s win).
The starting TE is Christian Trahan ($5.9k FD/$3.5k DK). Trahan is an athletic pass catcher who recorded 22 receptions, 244 receiving yards, and 1 TD on 26 targets in 12 games last season. He caught 1 pass for 3 yards in the season opener.
In 2020 (1 game), Houston is 2nd in passing yards allowed with 141 yards/game. They are 5th in rushing yards allowed with 70 yards/game. The defense has given up 1 TD on the ground (1 TD/game) and 1 TD through the air (1 TD/game) this season.
Target counts are from Pro Football Focus