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NCAAF Dirty Dozen: UMass Holds Pole Position

Four Mountain West Teams Tumble into Rankings

UMass made things somewhat interesting during the trip to face Texas A&M. However, the Minutemen headline the Dirty Dozen once again.

Charlotte, Virginia Tech and Indiana played their way out of the Dirty Dozen with victories in Week 12.

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: UMass Holds Pole Position
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When looking at the college football odds, UMass is a 20-point underdog against an Army team that spent some time in the Dirty Dozen.

Akron returns to action after two weeks off and is a double-digit underdog as well.

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.

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12. Arizona State

Arizona State’s win over Washington had kept the Sun Devils out of the Dirty Dozen – until now.

The Sun Devils have lost by 14, 10 and 24 points in the last three weeks. Arizona State allowed more than 200 yards both rushing and passing in a 31-7 loss at home to Oregon State.

Arizona State has been outscored 272-200 in eight conference games heading into this week’s matchup with Arizona.

Arizona State’s Xazavian Halladay went over 1,000 rushing yards in the Oregon State game.

11. Nebraska

A coaching change during the season did little to change the fortunes of what was once one of the top programs in the country.

Nebraska has lost five games in a row and none were as painful as the one on Saturday. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz scored on a 1-yard run with 35 seconds left to play to lift the Badgers to the 15-14 win.

Nebraska’s final three drives accounted for 12, three and 12 yards as the Huskers squandered an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

10. UNLV

Another Mountain West team finds its way into the Dirty Dozen with its third straight loss by seven points or less.

Hawaii scored on the last possession of the third quarter and first drive of the fourth quarter to rally for the 31-25 win and send UNLV to its sixth loss in a row.

UNLV is pretty solid on offense, averaging 359 yards per game. However, the defense has had some issues.

The Rebels seek to end the losing streak when they welcome Nevada to town on Saturday.

9. Arkansas State

Arkansas State had a chance to post back-to-back wins and move out of the Dirty Dozen.

The Red Wolves appeared to force overtime when Dominic Zvada made a field goal with 31 seconds left. However, Texas State quarterback Layne Hatcher completed two passes before a roughing-the-passer penalty set up the game-winning kick with 2 seconds left in the 16-13 win by Texas State.

Arkansas State is 1-3 in one-score games this season.

Just two years ago, Arkansas State led the Sun Belt in total offense, but it has gone from averaging 490 yards per game to 320.

8. Hawaii

After losing to Utah State despite outgaining the defending Mountain West champion, Hawaii turned the tide by edging UNLV, even though the Rebels had the ball for nearly 10 more minutes.

Brayden Schrader threw touchdown passes to three different players. After having seven TDs and six interceptions in the previous five games, he had no interceptions in the 31-25 win.

Hawaii has struggled to stop the run but outgained UNLV on the ground in the game.

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: UMass Holds Pole Position
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7. Northwestern

Northwestern had a chance to pull off a huge upset and end Purdue’s hopes of reaching the Big Ten Championship Game.

Evan Hull’s short touchdown run with 12:49 left to play pulled the Wildcats within five points. The two-point conversion was no good, meaning Northwestern would need a touchdown to take the lead.

Purdue used up more than 5½ minutes on a drive that ended with a field goal and Northwestern couldn’t score again as Purdue survived with the 17-9 win.

Northwestern has allowed 4.6 yards per carry, the most in the Big Ten. Now comes a matchup against Illinois back Chase Brown, the leading rusher in the nation.

6. South Florida

The defense was pretty offensive yet again when South Florida made the trip to Tulsa for the final road game of the season.

Tulsa had 271 rushing yards and 302 passing yards as South Florida squandered a strong offensive effort highlighted by Brian Battle’s 169 rushing yards in the 48-42 loss.

The Bulls return home to face rival UCF. The high-powered Knights need to win to clinch a spot in the American Athletic Conference title game.

South Florida is allowed 42.80 points per game against FBS competition. Only Colorado, which gives up 42.82, is allowing more.

5. Colorado

It didn’t take long to figure out that there would be no upset happening when Colorado played at nationally ranked Washington.

The Huskies had four touchdowns, a field goal and a missed field goal on their first six possessions to go up 33-0.

The Buffaloes allowed 575 yards to Washington and nearly allowed both 300 yards both on the ground and in the air.

Colorado was just 7 of 22 passing even though the Buffaloes needed to try to throw the ball after falling behind early.

It doesn’t get much easier with the regular-season finale coming against nationally ranked Utah on Saturday.

Colorado is listed by the college football odds as a 29½-point underdog. The Buffaloes are 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread this season when listed as a 20-point underdog.

4. Nevada

Nevada put up 389 yards offense, the most since a Sept. 10 game against Incarnate Word.

However, the Wolf Pack allowed more than 500 yards for the second game in a row. Fresno State turned three Nevada turnovers into 21 points to end any hopes of an upset by the host Wolfpack.

Nevada has lost nine games in a row and is one of two teams yet to post a win this season in Mountain West play.

Nevada ends the season by traveling to meet UNLV. The Wolf Pack are 1-9 against the college football betting lines in their last 10 games.

NCAAF Dirty Dozen: UMass Holds Pole Position
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3. New Mexico

New Mexico was feeling pretty good when CJ Montes’ touchdown run tied last week’s game against San Diego State.

However, San Diego State pulled away for the 34-10 victory.

New Mexico managed just a field goal the rest of the way as the Lobos have been outscored 251-75 during an eight-game losing streak.

New Mexico wraps up the regular season by traveling to meet 2-9 Colorado State in a game featuring two of the teams who have been regulars in the Dirty Dozen.

2. Akron

Akron hasn’t played since Nov. 8 when the Zips suffered a tough 34-28 loss to Eastern Michigan. After a bye week, last week’s scheduled game against Buffalo was postponed because the Buffalo region was hammered by a major snowstorm.

Akron is now -11 in turnover margin over the last six games. That has played a role in the Zips losing nine games in a row since opening the season with a win over FCS Saint Francis (Pa).

Next up is a game at three-win Northern Illinois.

1. UMass

UMass held its own against a Texas A&M team out of the Southeastern Conference.

The game was tied at 3-3 midway through the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Minutemen, Texas A&M only had to drive 47, 46 and 36 yards to pull away for the 20-3 victory.

The UMass offense managed just 55 passing yards and 168 yards in total offense. UMass plays host to Army on Saturday and it is the last chance to avoid going winless against FBS competition this season.

UMass is completing just 49% of its passes for 114 yards per game this season.

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