This week, the best and the worst Independent teams are both taking a break. Notre Dame will head into its bye week sitting pretty at 5-1, as they await their matchup with USC next week. UMass will sit down for its second straight bye week, as their game against USF is cancelled (which is something I’m sure the Minutemen will welcome).
Last week, I was 3-0 with my picks.
So, there’s only two games for FBS Independents this week. Both are playing tomorrow at noon. Let’s take a look at them.
BYU (1-5) V. Mississippi State (3-2)
There’s only 90 or so guys on the planet who have lost confidence in BYU in every single game more than me, and it’s the Cougars players themselves. Their offense didn’t show up again last week against Boise State, as they fell 24-7. It’s a complete mess. BYU might as well not have an offensive line, Tanner Mangum seems to have this weird love affair with turning the ball over, they’ve got nothing in their receiving corps, and their group of running backs are all equally ineffective.
Though they give up 26 points per game, their defense isn’t even that bad, which is the sad part. They only give up about 368 yards per game, and generally speaking would keep their team in a few of these games if they could score double digit points.
Mississippi State started off as hot as hot can be to start the season off, but they’ve quieted down as they’ve gone along. But this is a cupcake for them. They’re at home, they put up 31 points per game while only allowing their opponents 300-ish total yards per game.
You can watch this game on the SEC Network, though I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a BYU fan. Tickets for the game, which will be in Starksville, start at $5. Give me the Bulldogs by 17.
Eastern Michigan (2-3) v. Army (4-2)
Army seems to have gotten their identity back, and they’re starting to pick up momentum. They ran all over Rice last weekend; they won 49-12 in a complete team effort. The Black Knights racked up over 400 yards rushing with 6 touchdowns, and they forced 6 turnovers. Their only completed pass was by their backup quarterback (Kelvin Hopkins Jr., pictured in the cover photo). Basically, this was as much of an ‘Army win’ as one can possibly get.
In comes Eastern Michigan, who are led by Brogan Roback. He’s about as average as average can be, throwing for nearly 1,200 yards with 5 TDs and 6 picks. He’s going to have to pick up the slack, because the Eagles do not run the ball well at all. Their group of backs averages less than 75 yards per game. I’m not too convinced in his ability to best the Army secondary, especially when you consider their momentum over the last few weeks.
You can check this game out on CBS Sports Network, which I do recommend if you’re an Army fan. Tickets start at $25 for this tilt, which is at West Point. I like the Black Knights by 14.
Cover photo from Army Athletics.