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Gridiron Players Club CFB (9/2/23)

CFB (2 Picks)

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12:00pm est: TCU -20.5 (3 Units)


Colorado has experienced some massive changes. Deion Sanders came in as head coach and brought in 51 transfers with him. Last season Colorado was one of the worst teams in College Football so it's hard to blame him for cleaning house. Prime may be able to turn the program around but how quickly?


This rosters littered with inexperience and much of the experience they do have comes from smaller College Programs. There's no continuity on either side of the ball as Colorado installs a brand new offense and defense.


TCU on the other hand just played in the National Championship game a season ago and retains nearly half their starters. They did lose a ton of production on offense but they got after it in the portal. Their starting QB Chandler Morris was actually the QB1 heading into last season but an injury against this Colorado team sidelines him. Mad Duggan took it from there.


They have 3 Senior offensive lineman and return both starting Tackles. They acquired 3 Alabama transfers, WR Jojo Earle, RB Trey Sanders, and OL Tommy Brockermeyer. They do have a new OC in Kendal Briles but he called plays for Arkansas 7th ranked rushing attack last year. We expect him to lean on that today as TCU will dominate the Line of Scrimmage.


TCU should wear out this Colorado team. TCU's Line has an average of 50 pounds on their Colorado counterparts and to make matter worse, the Colorado front 7 isn't very deep either. Colorado's new OC Sean Lewis had the fastest tempo in College Football a season ago. That's only going to hurt their defense.


TCU returns 8 starters to it's defense form last year. While it wasn't a great defense, it was still pretty solid. They held Colorado to 13 last year, Oklahoma to 24, Texas to 10, and Iowa State to 14. They were more than capable of clamping it down. This is also Defensive Coordinator Joe Gillespie's third year. TCU has a very firm grasp on his system and he's now bringing up his guys through it. They bring back a loaded LB room.


Colorado's going to struggle to run the football and if they aren't moving the ball with their up tempo offense that means their defense is going to see a lot of playing time. With 95+ degree weather week 1, expect TCU to bust some big runs in the second half.


12:00pm est: Tennessee/Virginia Under 56 (3 Units)


Josh Heupel and Tennessee took the College Football world by storm with it's prolific offense in 2022. But they just lost their starting QB and top 2 WR's to the draft. The loss of WR Jalin Hyatt is a significant one. The Biletnikoff award winner (Best WR in CFB) was recorded running 24mph at Giants training camp, the fastest NFL time ever recorded. He completely changes how a team must defend.


This Tennessee offense is still going to be good with Joe Milton at QB but we don't expect them to be firing on all cylinders out of the gate. There's new key pieces to work in and this Virginia defense was very good in 2022. John Rudzinski came in as DC last year and led UVA to massive improvements. They went from 87th in passing defense in 2021 to 30th in 2022, 123rd rushing defense to 71st, and 121st in total defense to 44th. They allowed just 4.8 yards per play in 2022, which ranked in the top 25 last season.


He returns 8 starters on his defense and most importantly, all of his defensive line. The Cavaliers ranked 12th in College Football averaging 3 sacks per game last season. Tennessee just lost star Tackle Darnell Wright to the Bears via the 10th overall pick. They also lost multi year starter Jerome Carvin. Virginia's pass rush should be able to disrupt the Vols passing game. Rudzinki's defense should see even more improvements in year two with all the returning starters.


Virginia's offense on the other hand is quite underwhelming. They brought in Tony Muskett to play QB. He previously played for Monmouth, it's quite the leap to face an SEC roster. They did get a huge win via the transfer portal in RB Kobe Pace from Clemson. However up front they only bring 1 returning starter to their offensive line.


Virginia did start to run the football better towards the end of last year and despite returning just 1 starter, they do have 3 other guys returning that played meaningful snaps in 2022. Virginia will look to establish the run game to try and neutralize the Tennessee up tempo offense and keep their defense fresh. They have no chance winning a shootout. New QB Tony Muskett has a 74.4% Adjusted Completion Percentage in his career at the FCS level. He's an accurate QB that should help keep the chains moving through the short to intermediate passing game.


Tennessee's defense went from bad to average 2021-2022. They return some key starters and despite some high yardage totals they still ranked 31st in points allowed per game. With the Tempo their offense plays at it will be tough to limit opposing yardage but they should be even better in the Red Zone area this year.

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