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NY Post
New York Post
2 Dec 2023

NextImg:College football predictions: Three underdogs to take in title games

Florida State loses outright.

The Seminoles don’t have the juice to overcome the Jordan Travis injury.

Backup Tate Rodemaker, who may miss the game due to a concussion, completed just 12 of 25 passes for 134 yards against Florida.

If Rodemaker can’t play, Florida State will turn to third string quarterback Brock Glenn.

How will either Rodemaker or Glenn fare against a Louisville secondary that ranks 12th in Pass Success Rate allowed?

My guess is bad.

Even worse, they don’t have a ground attack to fall back on, ranking 107th in Rush Success Rate. They mustered 90 rushing yards at 2.9 YPC last week.

Meanwhile, Florida State’s defensive weakness is on the ground, ranking 70th in EPA per Rush allowed.

That’s good news for Louisville, which sets up its offense by establishing Jawhar Jordan on the ground. The Cardinals rank 18th in Rush Success Rate.

It’s a bad matchup for a reeling Seminoles squad.

I hope they lose so we can avoid the “12-0 FSU without Jordan Travis” Playoff arguments.

The pick: Louisville +1.5

Georgia shouldn’t be favored by five and a half against a surging Alabama team.

The projections agree. Our Action PRO model projects Georgia as only a three-point neutral-field favorite over Alabama.

The Bulldogs are 3-8 ATS this year. They’ve allowed almost every team to keep it close, especially the ones that shouldn’t have.

Jalen Milroe

Jalen Milroe USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Meanwhile, the Tide have covered six of their past eight.

Alabama could be a tad undervalued after its embarrassing performance against Auburn, but that was the ultimate bounce-back spot for War Eagle, who was coming off an embarrassing loss to New Mexico State.

UGA can’t stop the run, ranking 106th in EPA per Rush allowed. Alabama’s been hitting the ground with authority since the Texas A&M game, averaging over 200 rush yards per game, which should help the Tide keep it close while setting up the Jalen Milroe downfield passing game.

There’s no way this epic SEC Championship game is decided by a touchdown or more, so I’ll take the points.

Roll Tide!

Appalachian State is cooking, winning five straight to earn a Sun Belt Championship Game bid.

It’s all thanks to Joey Aguilar, who has completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards and 33 touchdowns at 8.4 YPA. Behind him, the team ranks 10th in EPA per Pass.

Troy’s defense is excellent, but the Mountaineers can score and keep it close against anyone. They’ve averaged over 40 PPG during the win streak.

Meanwhile, I’m concerned about Troy’s offense.

The key to beating App State’s defense is on the ground, as the Mountaineer front seven is weak. But Troy ranks 110th in Rush Success Rate and EPA per Rush, generating only four yards per carry.

App State rides its momentum to a Sun Belt championship. Or, at least, to a cover.

Last week: 1-2. Auburn (W), Illinois (L), UNLV (L)
2023 season: 15-21