Very little to be learned from last week’s games since both teams rolled over 1-AA laughingstocks with identical 3-8 records from 2007. Cardinal QB Nate Davis passed for 280 yards and three touchdowns as Ball State racked up 487 yards on offense to beat Northeastern 48-14. Navy managed a similar 41-13 destruction of outmanned Towson, fueled by Middie RB Shun White’s school record 348 rushing yards.
Revenge also appears to be the buzz word in this early-season rematch: Navy’s lone SU loss in 9 straight skirmishes with the MAC came last year when the Gonads hung a 34-31 loss on the Swabbies as 7-point dogs. With the pride of Annapolis owning a strong 23-9 ATS mark seeking revenge on enemy turf, look for the ‘Nads to drop to an impotent 2-11 SU in games played before MAC openers.
Though Michigan fans may disagree, the Wolverines’ 25-23 loss to Utah in UM coach Rich Rodriguez’ debut was not the surprise many have made it out to be: the veteran Utes simply owned better, more experienced players. And that’s the problem once again here today. The RedHawks, the preseason pick to win the MAC East division behind 17 returning starters this season, fell unceremoniously in a puzzling 21-point home loss to Vanderbilt, a game which was near-even in the stats. They are 5-1 ATS on the road in games off an upset loss as a favorite. More importantly, 17 returning starter dogs in Game Two off a SU and ATS loss are a rock-solid 25-9 ATS.
Coupled with information shared in Marc’s SHAKEDOWN STREET article on page 2, we can only envision more trouble on the horizon for the Dazed-and-Blue as they continue to try and adapt to Rich Rod’s new schemes. It should be noted that when Rodriguez took over the West Virginia job in 2001 he inherited a bowl team that proceeded to fi nish 3-8 in his fi rst year at the helm. No surprise to see UM tumble to 2-10 ATS in the ‘Big House’ against non-conference foes.