Week 5 Upsets Preview Article


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College Football Week 5 Upset Alert: Ole Miss Offense to Bounce Back

Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Saturday, September 30, 2023 at noon ET at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky

Florida's Defense

The basis for my wager on the Gators is the following adage: "defense travels."

Florida's defense ranks 13th nationally, allowing 289 yards per game.

In terms of scoring defense, the Gators rank 23rd nationally, as they allow 15.7 points per game.

They have earned these statistical merits against ranked competition.

Against Utah, their offense was awful. Seven of Utah's 24 points came on a very short field following a Gator interception.

More recently, the Gators upset Tennessee, holding the Volunteers to 16 points.

Unique Test

Kentucky is favored in this game, yet one can't expect its offense to score enough points against this Florida defense.

While the Wildcats have been scoring points, they've faced Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Akron, and Vanderbilt.

Of those teams, only awful Vanderbilt is even in the Power Five.

The battle-tested Gators will pose a significantly stronger test for Kentucky's offense than it has encountered thus far.

Kentucky's Offensive Problems

Despite facing soft competition, the Wildcats have shown weaknesses on offense.

Their offensive line, notoriously bad last year, still appear as a work-in-progress.

This unit continues to battle important injuries and otherwise consists in a mixture of desperate transfers and leftovers from year's catastrophic group.

While the pass protection unit has benefited from facing an FCS team and two low-profile teams that
rank outside the top 100 in sack percentage, the run-blocking has struggled to produce consistent results.

Kentucky's rushing numbers are easy to praise, but, as most apparent in their game against Akron, their rushing output has been inflated by a few big runs.

Outside of two long runs, they ran for 38 yards on 20 carries against lowly Akron.

They likewise struggled to run the ball consistently against Vanderbilt.

Facing Florida, which ranks 20th nationally in run defense, the Wildcats are going to be one-dimensional, which means that mistake-prone and inefficient quarterback Devin Leary will have a lot of responsibility.

Florida Offense's Outlook

Last year, Gators running backs Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne combined for 108 rushing yards against Kentucky.

This output is impressive because they combined for only 16 carries.

Aided by Florida's defense, the Gators offense will get to run the ball more.

Johnson Jr. and Etienne form a high-caliber duo that can damage a Wildcat front seven hurt by key departures at inside linebacker.

With better game management than the inefficient Anthony Richardson could give the Gators, Graham Mertz, who is completing 77.8 percent of his passes, will help keep Kentucky's defense honest.

Best Bet: Florida +2.5 at -110 with BetOnline & Florida ML at +113 with BetOnline

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Boston College Eagles
Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Virginia's Resume So Far

While the fact that the Cavaliers are 0-4 might make them look scary to back, a look at their games played so far offers optimism.

They took six-point favorite James Madison down to the wire, losing by one in the waning seconds.

Most recently, they almost upset 8.5-point favorite NC State, which benefited from avoidable Virginia penalties to win by three.

Boston College's Resume

While Virginia hasn't won a game, Boston College has yet to beat anybody with a pulse.

Given its resume, Boston College does not deserve to be favored.

The Eagles have beaten Holy Cross, an FCS school, and no other team. That win also came by three points.

Otherwise, they lost at home to Northern Illinois and were most recently pummeled by Louisville.

Virginia Will Score A Lot

Among other things, Boston College's run defense has been awful.

The Eagles rank 87th nationally at limiting opposing rush yardage.

Holy Cross, for example, amassed 264 rushing yards in 6.8 YPC.

This Eagles group is one that will not take advantage of Virginia's previously apparent run-blocking issues.

While its rush attack will finally be helpful, the main source of UVA's scoring will come via its pass attack.

As evident in Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer's 388-yard passing performance against Boston College, the Eagles' defense is vulnerable to playmaking quarterbacks.

For Virginia, Anthony Colandrea makes a lot happen with his legs.

He can run for yards and use his mobility to extend plays.

Especially in extended plays, Virginia's wide receiving group is going to get open.

For example, Malik Washington, who enters today's game with three straight 100-yard performances, is tough to cover for long.

Boston College's Offense Can't Keep Pace

Relying heavily on both the legs and the arm of quarterback Thomas Castellanos, Boston College won't keep pace with Virginia's scoring.

Quarterbacks have struggled to be as efficient against Virginia's defense as they have been against other teams.

The Hoos are led in the secondary by free safety Jonas Sanker, who ranks among ACC leaders in pass breakups.

Their defensive improvement is spearheaded by their secondary play overall.

Best Bet: Virginia +3 at +100 with BetOnline & Virginia ML at +132 with BetOnline

LSU Tigers vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 6 p.m. ET at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in in Oxford, Mississippi

LSU's Defense

Given its problems on defense, LSU does not deserve to be favored, especially on the road against a dangerous Ole Miss team.

The Tigers have faced two offenses that feature versatile play-making quarterbacks.

In both of those games, against Florida State and Arkansas, LSU did not come close to covering the spread: Florida State won 45-24 and Arkansas, a 17.5-point underdog, lost on a last-second Tigers field goal.

Both quarterbacks, Jordan Travis for Florida State and KJ Jefferson for Arkansas, used their legs in one way or another to produce a lot of yards and, for their respective offenses, a lot of points.

Jaxson Dart

Enter Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss's quarterback, who gets a radically softer test this week after dealing with Alabama last week in Tuscaloosa.

While Dart is comfortable slinging it from the pocket, he is also dangerous with his legs.

He'll fake a handoff and become a very dangerous runner who finds open lanes and breaks tackles -- he is averaging 50 rushing yards per game so far.

Furthermore, he'll use his mobility to extend plays and to throw to receivers from favorable angles.

Ole Miss's Rush Attack

As an added bonus, the Rebels ground game will start to live up to its preseason hype.

The Rebels did run for 299 rushing yards against Georgia Tech, so it's not like they haven't shown anything.

In addition to Dart, they do have an All-American in running back Quinshon Judkins, who has a favorable outlook against an unreliable LSU run defense that most recently allowed Arkansas running back Rashod Dubinion to have his best performance of the season.

Ole Miss has not been far from breaking more runs, and Saturday's game against an LSU defense that will already be overwhelmed by Dart will provide a great opportunity for the Rebels' ground game to approach their output against Georgia Tech.

Good Enough Defense

The Rebels' defense won't have to do much to secure the lead that their offense will provide.

They have a new defensive coordinator and a new scheme to which they have adjusted.

So this is a different unit altogether from the one that faded toward the end of last season.

Their ability to limit Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe's scrambling ability justifies the hope that they hamper the scrambling prowess of LSU's quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Ashanti Cistrunk, for Ole Miss, is one of the SEC's best returning linebackers.

He adds stoutness to the immediate impact that top former recruit and fellow linebacker Suntarine Perkins has exercised especially on the pass rush.

With this linebacker group and under a more effective defensive coordinator, Ole Miss will keep Daniels in check.

The Rebels' improved run defense will also help their rush attack be superior to LSU's.

Best Bet: Ole Miss +3 at -120 with BetOnline & Ole Miss ML at +130 with BetOnline
Think I’m with you on gators, my only real problem w that One is gators being ranked and not loving the idea of playing ranked dog to unranked, I don’t even know if it matters anymore but I’ve always kinda avoided them. Far as matchup I def like gators.

I’m to much a lsu fan I guess cause I don’t think ol miss does the things that will cause them problems. I don’t respect dart fsr as being a legit throwing qb and I don’t think they will beat lsu d running the ball. I feel like Daniels can hang a big number and don’t think ol miss can match it.
I haven’t looked at the Gators closely but thought they should be favored.

Wish I knew how the ranked dogs vs unranked have did last few years? Used to be something I almost never bet against. I just don’t know if that has held up in previous years. Really my only sticking point on gators.
Gators are a likely play this week.

On the other side, with LSU

No opinion on the 3rd game.

I think I’ll end up on lsu or props also. I thought last week ppl were far to worried bout bama issues and not taking notice that ol miss really isn’t close to the offense we accustomed to seeing Kiffen squad run!! Their oline must have real problems cause they have not been able to get Judkins off at all, dart being the leading rusher isn’t a good thing for them imo. As I’ve mentioned I don’t buy Dart as a kid that gonna be able to sit back in known passing downs and take a secondary apart. I would be very surprised if Rebs were able to get the run game right vs lsu front 7.

On offense lsu wr’s are starting to remind me of their previous great crops! Osu might be known as Wr U but lsu doesn’t take a back seat to anyone in this regard! Nabers is on fire and I freaking love the jump Brian Thomas has made this year, at 6’4 and can fly he a nightmare matchup for most teams. I think we can reasonably expect Daniels and co to hang 30+ amd I’m just not confident Rebs can match that kinda production.

Even tho ive heard Joel Klatt make some solid cases against lsu and I think he might be correct im a tad high on them but I don’t think it the offense, Daniels and co are lethal! I do agree with him that the defensive scheme leaves something to be desired, and they are def vulnerable in the secondary, im just not sure Rebs offense has the ability to exploit those things.
@VirginiaCavs , you think Travis and/or Jefferson great comps for dart?

I don’t think Travis Is at all, Travis Is much more a pocket qb with good athleticism not a runner who can throw a bit which more how I would describe dart. Plus fsu offense is much more complex far as passing game routes and they have arguably much better wrs than Rebs.

I’m not as sure On Jefferson as he can be a very good runner, I still think he a better thrower than dart as his offense doesn’t really give him the kind of layups dart gets with the screens/short passes/rpo game Rebs run, just strictly putting them in shotgun with the main objective being to throw I think Jefferson is more advanced than Dart.

Im just not sold Dart can beat teams as a passer if Rebs run game is limited which I think the strongest part the lsu d. Certainly not saying lsu can’t lose here but I think them being favs is more than justified cause I strongly believe Rebs been overvalued. The case can certainly be made lsu overvalued as well, I thought the 17.5 last week was somewhat crazy but this spread nothing like that, I assume if lsu wins they cover this number well over 80% the time, despite Brian Kelly shortcomings as a human imo he is a very good coach and his teams rarely lose games they supposed to win. Sometimes they closer than they should be but that not very relevant here. Sec west really needs lsu to keep winning, I dunno if that means anything but I suppose it can’t hurt! Lol
Wish I knew how the ranked dogs vs unranked have did last few years? Used to be something I almost never bet against. I just don’t know if that has held up in previous years. Really my only sticking point on gators.
Ranked dogs are 42-44-1 ATS vs. unranked favorites 2017-2023.
Wish I knew how the ranked dogs vs unranked have did last few years? Used to be something I almost never bet against. I just don’t know if that has held up in previous years. Really my only sticking point on gators.
its like 52% but there is an angle within this, but the angle is rare
the non-ranked favorite has to be a dog in their next game and the ranked dog has to a favorite next game.

KTKY will be a dog against GEO next.

Florida will be favored over Vandy next

that puts FLA in advantageous situation this week.

30 covers 15 fails 66%
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