Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL and NCAA Football Preview

by Alec McMordie

The NFL Thursday night game, along with one game in college football, takes place on Thursday. Utah State and Wyoming had their Mountain Western Conference game canceled for Thursday night amidst a COVID outbreak in the Aggies football program.

Tulane travels to Tulsa for a 7:30 PM ET kickoff in the American Athletic Conference. The Green Wave have won three in a row after their 38-12 win against Army as a 3-point favorite on Saturday. Freshman quarterback Michael Pratt completed 19 of 27 passes for 197 yards with two touchdown passes and without an interception to lead his team to the victory. Pratt is completing only 55.3% of his passes for 1308 yards, but he has thrown 14 touchdown passes with only four interceptions. He has also rushed for 158 yards with five additional touchdowns.

Tulane was on a three-game losing streak before rattling off wins against Temple and at East Carolina before their win over the Black Knights last week. Head coach Willie Fritz has not quite seen this team elevate from 'good to great' as he has preached from the team that finished 7-6 last year after defeating Southern Mississippi in the Armed Forces Bowl by a 30-13 score. The Green Wave are only 2-4 in conference play.

Tulsa responded from a 16-7 loss at Oklahoma State in their opening game to win four straight games after their 28-24 victory over SMU last Saturday. Senior quarterback Zach Smith completed 26 of 38 passes for 325 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception. The former transfer from Baylor is completing 61.5% of his passes for 1249 yards with ten touchdown passes but six interceptions in his five games.

The Golden Hurricane are 4-0 in conference play. After only nine victories in their last three seasons, Tulsa seems to have made the jump to the next level in the sixth year under head coach Philip Montgomery. Thirteen starters are back from the team last year that finished just 4-8 but with a schedule that included nine teams that played in a bowl game. The Golden Hurricane only won two of their eight conference games yet outgained those foes by 45 yards-per-game, including winning the yardage battle against SMU, Cincinnati, and Memphis.

Tulsa is a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 53.5 (all odds from BetOnline). ESPN has the broadcast.

The Thursday night game on Fox presents a battle of two first-place teams in the NFC West. Both Arizona and Seattle share 6-3 records after the Cardinals won the first meeting between these two teams with their 37-34 overtime victory on October 25th. 

Arizona has won two of their next three games after that triumph. The Cardinals come into this game on an emotional high after the Kyler Murray-to-DeAndre Hopkins Hail Mary 43-yard touchdown pass snatched victory from the claws of defeat in the final moments of their game on Sunday with Buffalo. Murray completed 22 of 32 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception while adding another 61 rushing yards with two touchdowns on the ground in leading his team to the 32-20 victory. 

Seattle has lost two straight games after their 23-16 setback in Los Angeles against the Rams on Sunday. Quarterback Russell Wilson struggled by throwing two interceptions while completing only 22 of 37 passes for 248 yards. Wilson also lost a fumble amidst being under constant pressure from the Los Angeles defensive front. He got sacked six times while getting hit 12 times. 

Seattle did not have Jamal Adams available in the October clash with the Cardinals. Adams is healthy again as he registered seven tackles with two sacks and one forced fumble on Sunday. The Seahawks also added defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap since that first game with Arizona. Seattle is a 3-point favorite with the total set at 57.5. Kickoff is at 8:20 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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