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NCAAF Dirty Dozen: No Escape for UMass

Charlotte Joins Weekly Dirty Dozen

While there has been some movement among the top 12 teams in the national polls, the same can’t be said for the bottom 12 teams.

Just two of the teams in last week’s Dirty Dozen picked up victories in Week 11. Boston College’s win over North Carolina State when listed by the Las Vegas odds as an 18-point underdog ended a seven-game losing streak when the Eagles were at least 15-point ‘dogs. The reward is to be removed from the Dirty Dozen. Arkansas State stayed in there even with a win since it came against UMass.

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: No Escape for UMass
Max Johnson #14 - Jack Gorman/Getty Images/AFP

This might not be the week to look for UMass to break into the win column as the Minutemen are 33½-point underdogs against Texas A&M. Colorado is also facing a college football point spread of more than 30.

Northwestern (+18), Akron (+16½), New Mexico (+14½), South Florida (+13) and Indiana (+10½) are facing double-digit spreads.

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. Arkansas State

Arkansas State snapped a four-game losing streak. However, a 35-33 win over lowly UMass isn’t enough to get the Red Wolves out of the Dirty Dozen.

After losing its two previous one-score games this season, Arkansas State saw UMass score with 18 seconds left to play to pull within two points. A potential game-tying two-point conversion pass was no good as the Red Wolves held on for a much-needed win.

Just two years ago, Arkansas State led the Sun Belt in total offense but it has gone from averaging 490 yards per game to 323.

11. 49ers

A defense that has allowed at least 56 points four times this season actually provided some resistance against Middle Tennessee State as the 49ers allowed only 303 yards.

Unfortunately, Charlotte allowed a touchdown on special teams and was held scoreless in the second half in a 24-14 loss.

Only Colorado has allowed more points per game than Charlotte. The 49ers will look to avoid a winless run at home when 3-7 Louisiana Tech comes to town in the 49ers’ season finale.

According to the sportsbook, Charlotte is an underdog at home for the fourth time this season as visiting Louisiana Tech is a three-point favorite.

10. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech had the ball for only 21 of the 60 minutes against Duke as the Hokies lost again.

After losing the previous three games by a combined total of eight points, it was a different story against Duke. Riley Leonard threw for two scores and ran for another as the Blue Devils scored the final 24 points in a 24-7 victory.

Virginia Tech steps out of ACC play to meet a Liberty team that was ranked until last weekend’s upset loss at UConn. That is followed by a season finale against Virginia, with the loser of the game finishing with the worst mark in ACC play.

The Hokies are last in the ACC in total offense, averaging 313 yards per game. They have just 12 offensive plays of 30 yards or longer.

9. Indiana

The good news is that Dexter Williams II came on in relief of Connor Bazelak and threw his first two career TD passes for the Hoosiers. The bad news is that the defense allowed five touchdown passes in a 56-14 loss to Ohio State, guaranteeing the Hoosiers will finish with a losing record.

Just two years ago, Indiana was fifth in the Big Ten in total defense and now the Hoosiers rank last with an average of 446.3 yards allowed per game. Seeing former starting quarterback Michael Penix leading the nation with 3,640 passing yards at Washington has to be a bit painful for a struggling Indiana team.

8. Northwestern

Northwestern had no answer for Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who ran for 178 yards and three scores in a 31-3 victory for the Golden Gophers.

A season that began with an upset of Nebraska and a near-victory against Duke has unraveled as the Wildcats have lost nine games in a row. The season ends with games against Purdue and Illinois, teams in the running for the Big Ten’s West Division title.

Northwestern has allowed the most rushing yards in the Big Ten. That might not come into play against a pass-happy Purdue team, but facing Chase Brown of Illinois, the national rushing leader, might not go well in the season finale.

7. South Florida

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: No Escape for UMass
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

For a half, it looked like the Bulls were ready to pull off an upset. However, Southern Methodist scored on its first four possessions of the second half to post a 41-23 road win.

South Florida allowed two SMU players to rush for more than 100 yards and allowed 553 yards to fall to 0-9 against FBS competition this season.

Brian Battie continued his strong play for USF with his third straight 100-yard rushing game for the Bulls, who play 3-7 Tulsa this weekend.

South Florida is allowed 42.2 points per game against FBS competition, the most in the country.

6. Colorado

Things went pretty much the way the college football predictions expected in the last two weeks. The Buffaloes were outscored 104-27 against nationally ranked Oregon and Southern California teams.

Things started well for Colorado on Friday as USC failed to score on its first three possessions before scoring on eight of the final nine drives in a 55-17 win.

Only Louisiana Tech allows more rushing yards per game than Colorado. It will be the pass defense that will be tested in the next game as Washington leads the country with an average of 374 passing yards.

Something to consider for those who bet online: Colorado is tied with Miami and Stanford with 2-8 records against the college football odds, the worst mark among FBS teams in 2022.

5. Hawaii

How did Hawaii lose on Saturday to Utah State? The Rainbows outgained the defending Mountain West champion 541-374. Not even rushing for a season-high 235 yards was enough for the Rainbows.

Utah State scored 10 points off four Hawaii turnovers to come away with the 41-34 win as the Rainbows lost their fourth game in a row. Hawaii is at home when 4-6 UNLV comes to town and that could be a chance to end the losing streak.

Only Stanford, Georgia Southern, Colorado and Louisiana Tech allow more rushing yards per game than Hawaii. The Rainbows have allowed 26 running plays of at least 20 yards, the second most in the country.

4. Nevada

Nevada allowed more than 250 yards passing and rushing in its most lopsided loss of the season. Six different Boise State players had offensive players longer than 30 yards in the 41-3 win over the Wolf Pack.

Nevada had lost the previous four games by a total of 41 points but allowed more than 500 yards for the third time this season.

Nevada has lost eight games in a row and is one of two teams yet to post a win this season in Mountain West play. Next up is a home game against 6-4 Fresno State.

3. New Mexico

After a pretty solid defensive effort against defending Mountain West champion Utah State, things didn’t go very well against Air Force. The Falcons, the top rushing team in the country, had 428 rushing yards, and that is the most given up by the Lobos since allowing 478 to Air Force in 2018.

New Mexico managed just a field goal in the third quarter in the 35-3 loss as the Lobos have been outscored 220-65 during a seven-game losing streak.

Coming up is a matchup with a San Diego State team that is only a game out of first place in the West Division of the Mountain West before wrapping up the 2022 season against Colorado State.

2. Akron

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: No Escape for UMass
Nic Antaya/Getty Images/AFP

Akron had a bye week to deal with a string of losses.

Akron is now -11 in turnover margin over the last six games. It is not all bad news as Cam Wiey had a career-high 144 rushing yards for Akron the last time out.

The Zips have lost nine games in a row since opening the season with a win over FCS Saint Francis (Pa).

Akron is eighth in total offense and 10th in total defense in the MAC, and perhaps a win is coming either this weekend or in the season finale against Northern Illinois.

1. UMass

UMass probably deserved a better fate than another loss as the Minutemen went on the road and outgained Arkansas State 475-275. One of the two interceptions thrown by UMass got returned for a touchdown in the 35-33 loss.

After throwing just one touchdown pass in the first eight games of the season, UMass had a pair of TD throws – and that is something that hasn’t happened in the last 18 games.

Now comes a trip to face Texas A&M. UMass is 0-9 against SEC teams since 2012. However, the Minutemen did cover against the college football predictions in the last eight.

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