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College Football Week 5 Upset Picks: Ga. Tech vs Temple Sees Coach Collins Return to Philly

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Sep 25, 2019 · 12:02 PM PDT

Georgia Tech takes the field
Georgia Tech is listed as an 8.5-point underdog at Temple in Week 5. Photo by Hector Alejandro (flickr) [CC License].
  • Week 5 of college football begins on Thursday, September 26th
  • Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins makes his return to Philadelphia
  • There are two games with good upset potential

Week 5 of college football kicks off Thursday, September 26th, with a matchup between Navy and Memphis.

There are two games with good upset potential this week, include Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins returning to Philadelphia to face his former team.

Here are my two best upset picks for Week 5.

Georgia Tech vs Temple Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Georgia Tech +8.5 (-110) +265 O 49 (-115)
Temple -8.5 (-110) -330 U 49 (-110)

*All odds taken 09/25/19.

Temple is frustratingly inconsistent team. After an impressive win over Maryland in Week 3, the Owls showed they are susceptible to an upset with a 38-22 loss to Buffalo in Week 4. They committed four turnovers in the game and allowed 217 yards on the ground, losing by 16 as 13.5-point favorites. That’s a massive 29.5-point swing against the oddsmakers’ expectations.

Not to be outdone, Georgia Tech is also coming off a brutal 27-24 OT loss to Citadel in Week 3, at home. The Yellow Jackets were 27-point favorites entering the game.

Georgia Tech had a bye week to correct some of the mistakes and rest injured players. They’ve only played three games in their new system and are due for a big game soon.

Coach Collins Returns

While Temple is hoping to rebound in Week 5, Georgia Tech will be looking to make a big statement. Head coach Geoff Collins is making his return to Philadelphia after coaching the Owls the previous two seasons. Collins and his coaching staff have familiarity with the Owls players and how the team operates.

Collins has worked with almost every player on the current Owls roster and knows their strengths and weaknesses. Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, who also came to Georgia Tech with Collins from Temple, is familiar with the Owls defensive scheme and how it can be exploited.

Yellow Jackets Run Game

Georgia Tech can win this game by dominating the run game and putting pressure on Temple QB Anthony Russo. Buffalo beat Temple by running the ball 58 times for 217 yards. The run game is always a major strength for Georgia Tech, and they are averaging 173.7 rushing yards per game this season, even though they are no longer operating Paul Johnson’s triple option.

Temple has already committed eight turnovers this season and QB Russo has thrown five interceptions. Given the Tech staff’s familiarity with Russo, they should be able to use that to their advantage in Week 5. In addition to the three interceptions against Buffalo, Russo lost a fumble on a sack and only completed 25 of his 51 pass attempts.

If the Yellow Jackets can win the battle on the ground and keep putting the ball in Russo’s hands, they can keep the game close and pull off a victory with some big plays and forced turnovers. It’s certainly possible when you consider Buffalo held Temple to just 31 yards on the ground last week.

Look for the bye week plus Collins’ familiarity with his opponent to help Georgia Tech pull off an upset.

Pick: Georgia Tech (+265)

Arizona State vs California Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Arizona State +4.5 (-105) +170 O 40.5 (-105)
California -4.5 (-115) -210 U 40.5 (-115)

Arizona State was off to a solid 3-0 start before suffering a 34-31 upset loss to Colorado in Week 4. The Sun Devils were favored by 8.5 points in the game.

California is 4-0 on the season after beating Ole Miss 28-20 in Week 4. Linebacker Evan Weaver had 22 tackles in the game, while QB Chase Garbers went 23-of-35 for 357 yards and four touchdowns in what was, by a wide margin, the best game of his career.

Arizona State’s Dominant Defense

The Sun Devils have a strong defense that gave up just 21 points against their first three opponents before allowing  34 points to the Buffs in Week 4. They’ll be looking to get back on track against the only undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12.

California also has a great defense, but I give ASU the edge. Coach Herm Edwards has a history of winning tight defensive games and will put his experience to use in this one. The Sun Devils managed to beat Michigan State 10-7 in Week 3 despite being outgained in yards, 404-216.

Arizona State has a decent chance to follow a similar path to a W this week.

Jayden Daniels Settling In

True freshman QB Jayden Daniels threw for for 345 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 against Colorado. He connected nine times with senior Brandon Aiyuk, who ranks ninth in receiving yards among FBS teams with 424 yards on 22 receptions.

Daniels, a four-star recruit, chose ASU over California (and other schools) and will be looking to turn in a strong showing at Memorial Stadium. Arizona State’s offensive line also features two freshman and improved in Week 4. They allowed just one sack against Colorado after allowing 10 in the previous three games.

ASU Improvement Areas

I expect both the run game and aggressiveness for ASU to improve this week. Running back Eno Benjamin has gotten off to a slow start this season after rushing for 1,642 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. He’s due for a big game.

ASU didn’t have a single sack against Colorado and ranks No. 91 nationally in sacks and No. 96 in tackles for loss. Expect them to bring the heat on the sophomore QB Garbers. Linebacker Merlin Robertson, the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2018, has no sacks or tackles for loss this season. That should change in Week 5.

Arizona State can use its defense to keep this game low-scoring and rely on some clutch plays late to pull off another upset.

Pick: Arizona State (+170)

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