Conference USA Week 3 Overview – Georgia Eases Up As Middle Tennessee Covers

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Middle Tennessee has more than they could handle at Vanderbilt, losing 35-7 as 3.5 point underdogs two weeks ago. It will only be harder for the Blue Raiders in Athens where the Bulldogs reside.

Coach Rick Stockwell welcomed back 17 starters, including his son Brent at quarterback, but they were no match for Vanderbilt and will face a much stronger SEC foe on the road.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart was paying attention at Alabama as their defensive coordinator and he’s building a program in the exact likeness to Nick Saban, where the games are easier than the practices. The Bulldogs took out South Carolina on a hot steamy afternoon in Columbia and left no doubt they are a Top 4 team again this season.

The college football odds have Georgia as a heavy 31.5-point pick over the Blue Raiders and they are 9-2 ATS after a victory by 21 or more points over Smart.

Middle Tennessee Has a Matchup Problem

Coach Stockwell has always been known for a keen offensive mind and his Indeed.com resume would have these words on it – Offense Balance. Stockwell’s team seldom gives up on the running game, firmly believing it helps the pass offense.

His most success clubs averaged 175 or more yards on the ground, with a close relationship to rush and pass attempts. The latter is true again this year to date with 69 passes and the same number of runs.

 The quandary is effectiveness, averaging 102 YPG on the ground at 3.0 yards a carry. Even against Tenn.-Martin, it was 33 rushes for only 88 yards and we’ll go out on a limb and suggest the Georgia defense is a smidge better.

If it’s third and long between the hedges all night for M.T., it will be a long evening.

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