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Beyond the BCS: Scanning the Card

   by Ben Burns - 09/22/2009


North Texas quarterback Riley Dodge returns for the Mean Green this week against Middle Tennessee. Dodge sat out last week’s game at Alabama after separating his shoulder in an overtime loss against Ohio. But coach Todd Dodge told reporters that his son and quarterback will be at full strength against the Blue Raiders, who are coming off a win over Maryland.

Riley Dodge originally committed to Texas, before electing to join his father at UNT. He is a difference maker for the Mean Green, who also expect to get offensive tackle Victor Gill and defensive tackle Kelvin Jackson back this week.

Middle Tennessee is a 7 ½-point favorite.

Well-traveled

Louisiana-Monroe will be a little road weary in Saturday’s game at Florida Atlantic.

The Warhawks lost at Arizona State in a late kickoff Saturday and head to Florida Atlantic on Saturday as four-point underdogs to the Owls.

By the time, the Warhawks return to Louisiana Saturday night, they will have traveled nearly 5,000 miles in a week.

First-half value

Take a good look at the first-half line in Friday’s Missouri-Nevada game. The 0-2Wolf Pack has been outscored 42-0 in the first half this season.

The slow start to the season has Wolf Pack fans calling for coach Chris Ault’s job and threatening to boycott Friday’s game. That doesn’t sound like an environment conducive to winning.

The visiting Tigers are 7-point favorite against the 0-2 Wolf Pack.

Under value

Eastern Michigan has lost senior quarterback Andy Schmitt for the season. Schmitt tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss at Michigan. His replacement is true freshman Alex Gillett.

Gillett looked poised after replacing Schmitt against Michigan. He finished with 36 yards on six carries and completed 2 of 4 passes for nine yards. But he’s still a true freshman and will suffer through growing pains.

The Eagles (0-3) have a bye this week before opening MAC play at home against Temple. With Gillett taking over, bettors should expect Eastern Michigan to rely much more heavily on the ground game, featuring emerging running back Dwayne Priest.

The increased emphasis on the ground game combined with EMU’s No. 1-ranked pass defense could add some value to the under in the near future.

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