College Football Week 3 Recap: The One(s) that got Away

The One(s) that got Away

The ups and downs that come with betting are a real and present danger each week. You can study, review tendencies and head-to-head histories but sometimes other things intervene. There is no such thing as perfection in betting, if there were, there certainly wouldn’t be multi-million dollar, music-playing water falls in front of a giant casino in Vegas. Each week, I am going to chronicle a couple examples of games that were earmarked for a money winner only to slip away due to any number of circumstances. Let the griping begin.

Case #1: Purdue @ Syracuse Point Spread: Syracuse -1.5

Ahh, the joys of college football. Midway through the 3rd quarter, if you have Purdue on your betting ledger, you are feeling pretty good. The Boilermakers defense looks sturdy and Syracuse can’t seem to get out of their own way with Purdue ahead 9-3. You saw the number beforehand and felt great about getting points with a team that was voted just out of the Top-25 in many preseason polls. By the time the 3rd quarter ends, it is 10-9 Syracuse and things are still looking solid getting 1.5 points with the way this defensive game is playing out.

A funny thing happened on the way to a defensive slobberknocker-finish; an offensive explosion happened. The two teams combined for 42 points in the 4th quarter as they each exchanged offensive haymakers. Still, you had to feel good having a savvy veteran 6th-year QB Aiden O’Connell leading Purdue. Then, things started to go a bit haywire. Up 15-10, Syracuse converts a wild fourth and one, scrambling for a 46-yard touchdown pass. Purdue now trailing 18-15, then coughed the ball up when O’Connell’s arm was hit and it fell right into a Syracuse lineman’s hands for a pick six. Down 10, now you’re pacing and wondering what in the heck happened to the defensive struggle you were watching. Never fear, O’Connell drives the Boilermakers down for a touchdown to close the gap to 25-22, still with plenty of time left.

Syracuse’s offense obliges and Purdue gets the ball back. O’Connell miraculously drives Purdue down the field and finds his tight end for a score with 51 seconds to go, giving the Boilermakers a 29-25 lead. You are rejoicing and wondering if Aiden is a good name for either a boy or a girl as you silently commit to naming your first-born after the veteran Purdue quarterback. Less than a minute left, what could possibly go wrong?! Did someone say wrong? How about a holding call and a pass interference call on two different third-and-ten plays to keep the Orange’ hopes alive? And then, the final dagger, a perfectly thrown corner route ball from Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader to Oronde Gadsen II for a 25-yard touchdown with seven seconds left?! The same Schrader that was just 4-for-10 passing in the first half followed by an only slightly better 9-for-19 in the second half. Touchdown, lead gone, cover gone and you vow to never befriend anyone named Garrett for the rest of your life!

Final Score: Syracuse 32 Purdue 29

Case #1: Miami @ Texas A&M Point Spread: Miami +6.5

Miami came out of the gates this season looking like a different team from years past. Former Oregon coach and Miami alum Mario Cristobal has taken over as head coach, there is a new AD and the University is spending serious money to fund the once-proud program. A 2-0 start, a ranking in the top 15 and 6.5 points to an Aggies team that was switching quarterbacks after a stunning home loss to Appalachian State was too much to pass up. What could go wrong?

After scoring over 100 points in their first two games, the Hurricanes went belly-up without star WR Xavier Restrepo. Ladies and gentlemen, check your scorecards for such occurrences and wager at your own risk. Still, the Hurricane defense has been outstanding through two weeks and I’m getting nearly a touchdown. I liked my chances! Surely, Restrepo isn’t the only Miami weapon that quarterback Tyler Van Dyke can lean on. Surely? Well, apparently he is one of the only major weapons he can lean on because the Hurricanes spent the night in and around the red zone without a touchdown. However, the Hurricanes' defense came as advertised and held the Aggies to just 17 points.

Miami also has a reliable kicker and…wait, wait, do not use the word reliable with kicker for anyone not named Adam Viniatiri or Justin Tucker. Certainly not in college football. Miami’s kicker Andres Borregales had five field goal attempts on the night with nary a one outside of 50 yards. He missed one from 49 yards. Ok, we can live with that. We just need one more, it’ll cover the spread and we can all rest easy. Then he lines up for a chip shot 36 yard field goal…blocked!! Fast forward to the second half, down 8 with three minutes left. The Hurricanes drive goes the way of the yellow flag as two holding calls stalled the drive. A Hurricane punt that turned into a fumble at the A&M 12 yard line. Wait a second! This is…the Aggies recover and the game is all but over.

Final Score: A&M 17 Miami 8

So what did we learn? We learned that the only thing certain about betting is that nothing is certain. There are turnovers, injuries, penalties and bleepin’ kickers that we have absolutely no control over. All we can do is pour over the numbers, trends and matchups and give our best-educated guess each week. Well that and never trust a kicker or anyone named Garrett! Check in next week for another sampling of ‘The One(s) that got Away’. Also, be sure to check out my premium bets and packages here for all the inside knowledge in baseball, NFL and college football.

*College football lines courtesy of

Author Profile
Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.