Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#151 UTSA 43.5 vs.
#152 ODU -3.5
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 2:00pm EST
Foreman Field, Norfolk
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#151 University of Texas at San Antonio
#152 Old Dominion University
3-5
1-8
4-4
4-5
4-3-1
2-7
18
14
33
28

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The UTSA Roadrunners will head on the road to S.B. Ballard Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a Conference USA tilt versus the Old Dominion Monarchs.

The Monarchs enter the week in desperation mode and hungry for a victory after enduring an eight-game losing streak. Meanwhile, UTSA has bounced back to win two of their last three conference games to come in with a 2-2 record in C-USA play. Can the Roadrunners keep their momentum going on the road against a struggling Old Dominion team on Saturday?

Narcisse hurts thumb, but expected to play vs. ODU

The bye week didn’t seem to do UTSA any good last week, as they were wallopped 45-14 on the road against Texas A&M last week. Lowell Narcisse completed 7-of-14 passes for 90 yards and led the team in rushing with 54 yards and score before getting injured in the third quarter. Jordan Weeks took over and threw for 48 yards and an interception, as the Roadrunners were outgained 505 to 231 in terms of total offense on the day. UTSA had no answer for freshman running back Isaiah Spiller, who rumbled his way to 217 yards and three scores on only 20 carries against the Roadrunners’ defense. While the game wasn’t close, the Aggies were 38.5-point favorites. After the game, head coach Frank Wilson said that he believes Narcisse will be able to return next week against Old Dominion.

A 6-foot-3 sophomore, Narcisse has earned sole possession of the starting quarterback job for the Roadrunners, thanks to his ability to move the chains with his feet. In his last C-USA game, Narcisse threw for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, and he’s been flashing better decision-making ability as the unquestioned starter. If Narcisse is able to go versus Old Dominion, it will be interesting to see if he will be hampered by the thumb injury that he suffered last week. Sincere McCormick leads the team in rushing with 610 yards and six touchdowns on 5.6 yards per carry.

On defense, UTSA has surrendered 33.4 points and 407.5 yards of total offense per game. However, they had been flashing improvements on that side of the ball prior to last week’s loss. In their previous three games, the defense allowed just 25.3 points per contest.

Monarchs turn to true freshman quarterback

Old Dominion lost their eighth straight game last week, falling on the road to Florida International 24-17. True freshman quarterback Hayden Wolff made his first career collegiate start versus FIU and played well, throwing for 169 yards and an interception in the loss. Lala Davis ran for 58 yards and a score on six carries while Robert Washington also added a touchdown on the ground for Old Dominion, which mustered just 233 yards of total offense and committed two turnovers on the day. Tasked with marching from his own 9-yard line on the game-tying touchdown drive, Wolff was picked off deep in Monarchs’ territory to seal their fate.

Junior college transfers Stone Smart and Messiah deWeaver started at quarterback in Old Dominion’s first eight games, but neither was particularly effective. With the team mired in a long losing streak, head coach Bobby Wilder opted to give Wolff a chance in the first of ODU’s final four games. Since he will only appear in the final four games of the season, the true freshman quarterback will be able to redshirt and retain an extra year of college eligibility.

A 3-star prospect from Venice, Florida, Wolff turned down some high-profile schools, including Kentucky, to come to Old Dominion. He leads an offense that has averaged only 14.8 points (126th in FBS) and 237.2 yards of total offense per contest, which ranks dead-last in the nation.

On defense, the Monarchs have surrendered 28.7 points and 359.6 yards of total offense per contest. Old Dominion has started 46 different players this season, which is tied for the most in the nation.

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Narcisse is expected to play this weekend, which should give UTSA’s offense a boost. The sophomore signal-caller didn’t look overwhelmed in last week’s Power Five matchup with Texas A&M and posted respectable numbers in just over one-half of action. The Roadrunners enter the week having won two of their last three C-USA matchups while the Monarchs are still searching for their first FBS win of the season. ODU is likely to stick with their true freshman quarterback, but the offense still comes in ranked near the bottom of the country in nearly every meaningful category. Take UTSA to cover the spread on the road in this matchup on Saturday.

Prediction: UTSA Roadrunners +4.5

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Neither of these offenses has been playing particularly well right now. UTSA is averaging only 18.8 points per game and 311.1 yards of total offense for the season. Meanwhile, the Monarchs enter the week averaging a dismal 14.4 points per game and they rank dead-last in the nation in total offense. They will be up against a UTSA defense that has flashed signs of improvement in recent weeks, which has me believing that this will be a low-scoring affair. Take this C-USA battle to stay under the projected total on Saturday.

Prediction: Under 43
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.