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College Football Picks: Miami vs UAB Predictions: The 2020 College Football season kicks off with the Miami Hurricanes hosting the University of Alabama Blazers at 8 PM ET. The Hurricanes are coming off a disappointing 6-7 season but have been instilled as -14.5 point favorites over the Blazers. UAB is coming off a 10-2 season and debuted September 3rd in a lackluster 45-35 win over Central Arkansas as -21.5 favorites. The well-coached Blazers always come up short in big games but can they catch a transitioning Miami team off guard? ESPN2 NEWS gives away our Week 1 College Football Picks Thursday night play.

Miami Offense: Senior transfer D’Eriq King has drawn comparisons to Kyler Murray for his electric playmaking ability and 4.42 40-speed. In 2018 King combined for 50 TD’s (36 passing 14 rushing) in one of the best statistical seasons in NCAA Football history. Despite being a shade under 5’10” King is an accurate thrower with good field vision. King’s primary target will be potential NFL 1st round tight end Brevin Jordan 6’3” 250 Lbs. 4.57. The receiving corps is relatively unproven but has upside with starters Mike Harley and Dee Wiggins. The offensive line was atrocious at times last season but is expected to be better with more experience and a new coaching regime. A backfield with some high-level recruits is led by 5’9” 210 Lb. Cam’Ron Harris who has lightning 4.35 speed. The kicking game was disastrous last year but has been upgraded. Miami’s returners are potential game-breakers with burners Donald Chaney (4.39) and Jaylan Knighton (4.41).

Miami Defense: The Canes defense is head coach Manny Diaz’s baby and features a pair of dominant edge rushers. 6’7″ 265 Lb. defensive end Gregory Rousseau is a potential 1st round selection that will be joined by 6’4″ 235 Lb. blue-chip transfer Quincy Roche (26.0 sacks last three years). The linebacking corps is unproven but has a sure tackler in 6’2″ 236 Lb. senior NFL prospect Zach McCloud (6-7 round). The secondary doesn’t have a standout in the group but is a solid unit with four junior starters. The punting unit is average.

UAB Offense: The Blazers offense hinges on how well junior QB Tyler Johnston III performs (40 TD – 25 INT career). Johnston is a middle of the road level of talent but he has a dangerous option in 6’3″ 210 junior Austin Watkins (4.40). Opposite of the projected 6-7 round pick Watkins is a quality target in 6′ 180 Lb. senior Myron Mitchell (4.40). Johnston works behind an experienced offensive line. The Blazers expect a bounce-back year from the program’s all-time leading rusher senior Spencer Brown. Brown battled a foot injury last year and gained a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. The kicking game is inexperienced but returner Myron Mitchell is shifty and break one.

UAB Defense: A defense that is usually stout sprung some leaks in their September 3rd opener against Central Arkansas surrendering 35 points. The defense led by Conference USA 1st team senior linebacker Kristopher Moll. The 6’1″ 225 Lb. Miami native Moll (4.67) is a sure tackler and NFL prospect (2-3 Round). The Blazers have another NFL talent in 6’7″ 256 Lb. edge rusher Jordan Smith (17.5 tackles for loss). Off the edge is an impact defensive end in 6’7″ 260 Lb. Alex Wright. The secondary looked suspect in the opener and must improve to contain Miami’s speedy playmakers. The punting game is average.

College Football Picks Week 1: Miami -14.5

TV: ACC Network

Opening Line: Miami -14

Current Line: Miami -14.5

Action: 70% Miami

Opening Over/Under: 47.5

Current Over/Under: 54.5

Action: Over 90%


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