Middle Tennessee State vs. Texas San Antonio: Friday Night College Football

Middle Tennessee @ Texas San Antonio -7 O/U 60

Middle Tennessee State (26.5 Implied Team Total)
Where to start… Middle Tennessee has been a complete disaster to start the season. They’ve been outscored 89-14 through 2 games in 2020. Asher O’Hara entered this season with high expectations, but he’s played awful in both games. Through 2 games, he’s thrown for 155 yards, 0 TD, and 3 INT. His 63 rushing yards on 24 attempts are both led MTSU. He has recorded the only rushing TD this season. The dilemma in rostering O’Hara has been his inability to stay on the field. The sophomore has ceded time to Chase Cunningham in both games this season (one was due to injury and the other time was due to performance). However, this is a “get right” spot for the dual threat O’Hara and the MTSU offense. This week’s opponent, UTSA, was carved up by Texas State QB Tyler Vitt in their season opener. Vitt threw for 349 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 INT in UTSA’s 51-48 double overtime win. UTSA then allowed 285 passing yards in last week’s 24-10 win over Stephen F. Austin.

The MTSU backfield isn’t pretty. As noted above, O’Hara is easily the Blue Raiders’ leading rusher. No RB has more than 7 carries in 2 games. That’s likely due to MTSU being boat-raced in each of the first 2 games. Jayy McDonald has started both games at RB. He has 6 carries for 24 yards this season. Frank Peasant has rotated with McDonald and leads the RBs with 7 carries and 40 yards. Though both RBs are in play, UTSA has been solid against the run through 2 games. They’ve allowed 183 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 65 carries through 2 games.

Target counts for the Blue Raiders through 2 games: Jarrin Pearce (19), CJ Windham (7), Javy McDonald (5), Jimmy Marshall (5), Jaylin Lane (4), JaMichael Thompson (3), Brad Anderson (3), DJ England-Chisolm (3), Chaton Mobley (3), Landon Burrell (2), Frank Peasant (2), and Will Gilchrist (1). England-Chisolm, Pierce, Marshall, and Windham are the starting WRs. Pearce is clearly the preferred target in MTSU’s passing game (was the top returning pass catcher from 2019). The senior has 15 receptions and 114 yards receiving in 2 games. Windham is 2nd on the team with 5 receptions (24 yards receiving, 0 TD). Windham’s 4 receiving TDs in 2019 were tied for 2nd most amongst MTSU pass catchers. Marshall has been limited to 2 receptions for 7 yards. He led the Blue Raiders with 6 TD receptions last season. His 35 receptions and 513 yards receiving ranked third amongst MTSU pass catchers last season. England-Chisholm has 2 receptions and 10 receiving yards this season. The sophomore is a tiny speedster (former HS track star). While UTSA has been stellar against the run, they’ve been vulnerable through the air. Texas State pass catchers piled up 27 receptions, 349 yards receiving, and 4 TDs in UTSA’s season opener. Last week, UTSA allowed 6/94/1 to Stephen F. Austin’s top WR (Xavier Gipson). My top 2 MTSU WRs are Pearce then Marshall. Marshall’s slow start should help depress his ownership on this single-game slate.

Crews Holt is the Blue Raiders kicker. He is 2/2 on extra points and has not attempted a FG yet this season. He’s viable on DK.

Texas San Antonio (33.5 Implied Team Total)
Dual threat QB Frank Harris has completed 46/67 passes for 438 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT through 2 games this season. He’s also the Roadrunners second leading rusher with 155 yards rushing and 5 TDs on 28 carries. In total, he’s accounted for 7 out of UTSA’s 8 TDs this season. He’ll be the popular MVP/Captain choice on this single-game slate. The matchup with Middle Tennessee is phenomenal. The Blue Raiders defense is searching for answers after allowing 42 to Army in the season opener and then 47 to Troy (allowed 3 TD passes). Through 2 games, UTSA’s offense have favored the run (59.4/40.6 run-pass split) and averages 83.5 plays per game.

Sincere McCormick is off to a fast start in his sophomore season. Through 2 games, he’s run for 295 yards and 1 TD. He also plays well in the pass game as he’s hauled in 6 balls for 55 yards this season. He’ll be popular but he’ll carry less ownership at the MVP/Captain spot than QB Harris. Middle Tennessee State has been stomped by opposing backfields this season. The Blue Raiders allowed Troy to run for 240 yards and 4 TDs on 55 carries last week. Prior to Troy, they yielded 340 rushing yards and 5 TDs to Army’s triple option offense. Brenden Brady is the UTSA’s 3rd leading rusher behind McCormick and QB Harris. Brady has 55 rushing yards on 10 carries while he’s recorded 3 receptions for 14 yards.

Target counts for the Roadrunners through 2 games this season: Joshua Cephus (21), Brennon Dingle (10), Decorian Clark (9), Sincere McCormick (7), Gavin Sharp (6), Sheldon Jones (6), Brenden Brady (3), Leroy Watson (2), and Julon Williams (1). Cephus, Clark, and Dingle are the starting WRs. Cephus is the UTSA’s clear top target in the passing game. Cephus leads the team in all relevant receiving stats through 2 games. He has 21 targets, 13 receptions, 128 receiving yards, and 2 TDs. QB Harris is posting an eye popping 110.8 passer rating when targeting Cephus. The sophomore is the brother of current Lions WR Quintez Cephus. Dingle checks in with 7 receptions and 96 receiving yards (0 TD). Dingle is a grad transfer from UMass. He recorded 23 receptions, 239 receiving yards, and 1 TD last season for the Minutemen. Clark has 7 receptions and 43 receiving yards (0 TD) through 2 games. The sophomore combines solid size (6’2”, 205lbs) with elite speed (member of the track team). He appeared in 8 games last season and recorded 1 reception for 5 yards. Sheldon Jones played in 12 games last season and earned 10 starts. The diminutive WR caught 31 passes for 259 yards in 2019.

Gavin Sharp has caught all 6 of his targets for 68 yards from the TE spot. Sharp had 11 receptions, 74 receiving yards, and 1 TD a season ago. He’s a TD or bust play.

Hunter Duplessis is the Roadrunners kicker. He has converted 9/9 extra points and made all 4 of his field goal attempts. He’s in play on DK.

All targets have been pulled from Pro Football Focus

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