3 Up 3 Down (College Week 3)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
College Football Review – Week 3

A review of the week that was with a look at three college football teams that stood out for good reasons and three whose weekends did not turn out as successfully as anticipated.

Three Up

Ole Miss Rebels
2015 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 3-0

One play sums up the #MISSvsBama game Saturday night. An errant snap by Ole Miss and an ill-advised throw by Chad Kelly looked disastrous; except somehow it all worked out for the Rebels.

That fortuitous play increased Mississippi's expected win probability by 21 percent and made the Rebels 85 percent likely to win. In addition to making their own luck, Ole Miss scored 24 points off of Alabama turnovers. This is the first time that the Rebels have won two straight against the Tide.

What does the loss mean for Alabama? The Tide just got knocked out of the playoff conversation (at least for this week).

Next Up: Vanderbilt

Ole Miss is 4-10 against-the-spread in its last 14 games against Vanderbilt.
The total has gone under in seven of Vandy's last nine games against Ole Miss.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2015 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 2-1

Notre Dame's defense stifled the Georgia Tech triple-option in a 30-22 victory. Entering the game the Yellow Jackets led the nation in rushing yards (915), yards per attempt (8.5) and rushing touchdowns (15). Against a stout defense, Georgia Tech was held to 216 yards (4.6 yards per attempt) and one touchdown on the ground.

C.J. Prosise, a former defensive back turned playmaker, rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns including a 91-yard touchdown that set a school record. Quarterback DeShone Kizer, filling in for injured starter Malik Zaire, looked like a freshman making his first start but showed enough to keep the Irish in the playoff hunt.

Brian Kelly is now 4-0 all-time at Notre Dame when starting a freshmen quarterback and improves to 6-2 with the Irish in home games against ranked opponents.

Unluck of the Irish? In what has become a weekly tradition, Notre Dame lost another starter to injury. Safety Drue Tranquill hurt his knee celebrating a pass breakup.

Next Up: UMass

Notre Dame is 3-6 against-the-spread in its last nine games.
The total has gone over in seven of UMass' last eight road games.

UCLA Bruins
2015 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 1-1-1

BYU's Tanner Mangum had the Cougars in position to win late, once again. BYU was driving into UCLA territory when Myles Jack intercepted Mangum's pass on fourth down with 58 seconds to play. The pick sealed UCLA's comeback, who had a 16 percent chance trailing 23-17 late in the fourth.

The Bruins did not take their first lead until 3:21 left in the game. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen threw three first half interceptions but UCLA leaned on its rushing game totaling 296 yards on the ground to overcome Rosen's struggles.

UCLA is now 14-0 under Jim Mora in regular-season non-conference games. More importantly, the Bruins are well positioned for a run to the postseason with USC, Oregon and Stanford all dropping early season games.

Next Up: Arizona

The total has gone under in 10 of UCLA's last 14 road games.
Arizona is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last five games when playing UCLA.

Three Down

Texas Longhorns
2015 Record: Straight-Up 1-2, Against-the-Spread 1-2

The Longhorns rallied from a 21 point second half deficit to make it a one-point game with 1:11 left to play. Then kicker Nate Rose missed the extra point.


Of course, if you followed our advice, you had Texas plus the points. Cashing tickets always puts a smile on my face.

Next Up: Oklahoma State

Texas is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last five games when playing Oklahoma State.
The total has gone under in four of Texas' last five games at home vs. the Cowboys.

Auburn Tigers
2015 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 0-3

An uninspiring victory over Louisville in the season opener, a too-close-for-comfort win against FCS opponent Jacksonville State - the cracks had been showing for weeks – then LSU and Leonard Fournette smashed Auburn.

LSU thumped Auburn 45-21 as one time Heisman hopeful Jeremy Johnson continues to struggle. The quarterback has thrown six interceptions in three games. Even a forward pass eludes him.

Auburn is a hot mess.

Next Up: Mississippi State

Auburn has not covered in five straight games.
Mississippi State is 1-6 against-the-spread in its last seven games on the road against Auburn.

USC Trojans
2015 Record: Straight-Up 1-2, Against-the-Spread 2-1

Against Sun Belt opponents, USC looked like a world-beater. In its first true test of the season, the Trojans failed. Stanford, double-digit underdogs (more on that in a minute), upended USC 41-31 in the Coliseum.

USC looked to be in control leading 21-10 in the second quarter but Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan led two scoring drives in the final minutes of the first half to give the Cardinal a 24-21 edge heading into the locker room. USC's expected win probability decreased from 95 percent to 35 percent.

Stanford scored six points in the season opener against Northwestern but Hogan (279 yards passing, two touchdowns) guided the Cardinal to another big win over USC. Stanford has won its last four games as double-digit underdogs (per ESPN Stats & Info).

Next Up: Arizona State

USC is 6-13 against-the-spread in its last 19 road games.
The total has gone over in seven of Arizona State's last nine home games vs. USC.