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NCAAF Dirty Dozen: Change at No. 1

Four Mountain West Teams Crash into Rankings

The last of the winless teams at the Football Bowl Subdivision level found their way into the win column when Colorado topped California in overtime.

Teams checking in at Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 6 in last week’s Dirty Dozen won over the weekend, and that made for plenty of changes as BetUS takes a look at the teams at the bottom of the FBS pecking order.

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: Change at No. 1
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP

It could be back to reality for Colorado as the Buffaloes are listed by the sportsbook as 24-point underdogs when they travel to Oregon State.

Army is actually a seven-point favorite against a Louisiana-Monroe team that could easily have made it into this week’s Dirty Dozen.

Keep on reading to check out the teams trying to play their way out of the rankings that no team wants to be a part of.

Let’s check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAF expert picks for you to consider.

12. Wildcats

Northwestern had a bye week to recover from a 42-7 loss to Wisconsin.

The Wildcats have lost five games in a row, the longest active losing streak among teams from the Power-5 conferences.

The game against Wisconsin was the first one when the Wildcats weren’t competitive, as the other contests this season have been decided by 10 points or less.

Northwestern (1-5, 1-2 Big Ten) will be a double-digit underdog according to the college football betting lines for the sixth time in seven games in 2022 when the Wildcats make the trip to Maryland.

11. Buffaloes

Nothing has been easy for Colorado in 2022, not even the Buffaloes’ first win of 2022.

Colorado (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) needed one defensive stop to win against visiting California. However, the Bears drove to the Colorado 7-yard line before a third-down sack by Josh Chandler-Semedo forced Cal to settle for the game-tying field goal.

J.T. Shrout had a 22-yard touchdown pass to Montana Lemonious-Craig in overtime before the Colorado defense held on the next drive to give the Buffaloes the 20-13 win.

Five of the final six regular-season games come against teams with winning records so there is still some work to do for the Buffaloes under interim head coach Mike Sanford.

After allowing more than 400 yards in each game this season, the Buffaloes held Cal to 297 yards on Saturday. Chandler-Semedo led the way with nine tackles, including 3½ tackles for loss.

10. Colorado State

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: Change at No. 1
Nic Antaya/Getty Images/AFP

Colorado State’s quest to win back-to-back games ended when freshman quarterback Giles Pooler threw an interception on the final offensive play as visiting Utah State escaped with a 17-13 win in a match featuring 20 accepted penalties.

Colorado State has been limited to no more than one offensive touchdown in five of the six games this season.

The Rams have managed to top the 100-yard rushing mark just once this season as they finished with 99 yards on 34 carries against Utah State.

Colorado State (1-5, 1-1 Mountain West) is favored by 5½ points against fellow Dirty Dozen member Hawaii. It is just the second time this season that the Rams have been favored.

9. New Mexico State

It took matchups against struggling rivals New Mexico and Hawaii for the Aggies to win two of the last three games. That can be attributed to playing two of the worst teams in the country.

It is hard for the Aggies to get the taste of the loss to Florida International out of their mouths in between the wins against Hawaii and New Mexico.

The offense continues to struggle as the Aggies are 128th out of 131 FBS teams with an average of 260 yards per game.

New Mexico State (2-5) was -10 in turnover margin during the first five games but are +1 in the last two contests so there has been some progress.

8. Rainbows

Hawaii (2-5, 1-1 Mountain West) is coming off its first win over an FBS team as Dedrick Parson ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns in a victory against Nevada.

Hawaii is allowing nearly six yards per rushing attempt. The pass defense has shown signs of growth while holding opponents to a completion percentage of 57.6 over the last four games.

Hawaii did schedule games against undefeated Michigan out of the Big Ten and Vanderbilt of the SEC, and the Rainbows deserve some credit for that.

7. Nevada

It has been a tough couple of weeks as Nevada allowed Colorado State to win its first game of the 2022 season. Last time out, the Wolf Pack fell 31-16 to a Hawaii program that has been a mainstay in the Dirty Dozen.

Nevada (2-5, 0-3 Mountain West) has lost six games since a season-opening win over New Mexico State in a row.

The Wolf Pack allowed Hawaii to run for a season-high 223 yards as the Rainbows scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives.

Nevada had five drives in the second half. One went for 86 yards and resulted in a field goal while the other four managed a total of 16 yards.

Coming off a bye week, the Rainbows appeared to be on the verge of victory when Dedrick Parson’s 22-yard run with 1:19 left in the game gave them a one-point lead on the road against San Diego State.

The only incomplete pass on the ensuing drive resulted in a pass-interference penalty as San Diego State drove 56 yards to get up the game-winning field goal with nine seconds left to play.

6. New Mexico

New Mexico (2-5. 0-3 Mountain West) has lost six games in a row since rolling to a 41-0 win over FCS Maine in the season opener.

The low point was last week’s 21-9 loss to New Mexico, the first loss for the Lobos against their in-state rivals since 2017.

New Mexico outgained New Mexico State 21-9 in the game. The difference is that New Mexico State ended its three scoring drives with touchdowns while New Mexico was limited to three field goals.

That is not a new issue as the Lobos have scored touchdowns on just 11 of 17 drives to the red zone against FBS competition in 2022.

5. 49ers

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: Change at No. 1
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images/AFP

The 49ers are allowing more points per game (44.6) than any other major college team.

Opponents are completing 72% of their passes against Charlotte and averaging more than 15 yards per completion.

Charlotte (1-6, 0-3 Conference USA) has thrown 18 touchdown passes so if the defense can offer any resistance, more wins could be coming for the 49ers which did win a thriller against Georgia State last month.

The good news is that Charlotte or FIU will need to win this weekend with the teams squaring off at Jerry Richardson Stadium.

4. Golden Panthers

FIU (2-4, 0-2 Conference USA) has played five FBS teams and lost by at least 14 points in each of them.

Visiting UTSA had back-to-back touchdown-scoring drives of 70 and 75 yards in the second quarter and led by as many as 27 points before a late score by the Golden Panthers made it s 30-10 final.

Florida International was 2 of 16 on third-down plays and failed on three of four fourth-down attempts. That ended any hope of the Golden Panthers hanging around in this game.

FIU has lost to New Mexico and UConn teams that spent time on the Dirty Dozen. This week will be crucial with the Golden Panthers meeting Charlotte (1-6).

3. Army

Army did pick up its second win of the 2022 season. However, a 42-17 win against Colgate isn’t going to impress that many people considering that the Red Raiders are a Football Championship Subdivision program with one win.

Injuries to key players led to some new faces taking on larger roles.

Quarterback Jemel Jones ran for two touchdowns in his first start of the season as the Black Knights ran for 467 yards in the 25-point victory.

Army (2-4) did not complete a pass in the win. Both wins this season came against FCS teams and the Black Knights did have a completed pass in either of them.

Time will tell if the confidence gained from Saturday’s win carries over when Army plays host to a 2-5 Louisiana-Monroe team this week.

2. Zips

The Zips (1-6, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) found a new way to lose a game as Akron had the ball in a tie game with less than two minutes to play. but a fumble was returned 63 yards for a touchdown as visiting Central Michigan came away with a 28-21 victory.

Akron’s defense, especially the pass defense, deserved a better fate after holding Central Michigan to 138 passing yards.

The Zips managed just 20 yards on 28 rushing attempts and that played a role in the inability to sustain drives.

Akron is last among FBS teams with 67.3 rushing yards per game. Only Boston College averages fewer yards per carry than the 2.26 mark by the Zips.

Each of the next two games comes against teams with losing records so that is something for those who bet online to keep an eye on.

1. UMass

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: Change at No. 1
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP

It was yet another tough day at the office for the Minutemen, who allowed touchdown drives on three straight possessions in the second quarter as visiting Buffalo rolled to a 34-7 win.

UMass (1-6) was held under 300 yards for the seventh time in as many games this season. The Minutemen are last among 131 FBS programs with 533 passing yards and one touchdown pass. Against FBS teams, the Minutemen have yet to throw a touchdown pass in 2022.

UMass ranks in the middle of the pack in total defense so if the offense can show even the slightest improvement, perhaps a victory or two will be in the future for the Minutemen. Seven sophomores and one freshman are among the 14 players with at least 10 tackles so better times could be coming.

The next two games are against 2-5 New Mexico State and 3-5 UConn so there is an opportunity to move up in the Dirty Dozen.

UMass’s only win so far is against Stony Brook, a Football Championship Subdivision team. Against FBS competition, the Minutemen have been outscored 221-64.

“The odds and predictions in the article are based on time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”

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