This Friday evening in the college football season is set to feature two epic clashes between some near top 25 teams. In Houston, the Cougars are preparing for a contest with the 3-1 Tulane Green Wave. Later that evening, the 4-0 and No. 15th ranked Washington Huskies traveled to the Rose Bowl for a Pac-12 battle with undefeated UCLA on the road. For all four teams, conference points are on the line as the NCAA football season gets closer to October.
For this article, SBS will go over what to look for from each squad, who will win in each contest, and also some more thoughts and notes about NCAA football wagering.
|NCAA Football Week Five Games||The Pick|
|Tulane at Houston||Houston -1.5||-115||-115||-115|
|Washington at UCLA||Washington -2.5||-120||-120||-120|
Team Spotlight: Tulane
The Green Wave is coming off a disappointing loss to Southern Miss, 27-24 at home. Before that though, the squad from Tulane was cooking to the tune of three wins in a row, including a 17-10 win over Power Five opponent Kansas State on the road. For this season, the Green Wave has relied heavily on their offense which has been averaging 33.8 points per game. Quarterback Michael Pratt has done a sensational job of limiting mistakes (seven touchdowns to three interceptions) and has been able to get yards in bunches with nearly 1,000 passing yards on the season with 905 thus far. Running back Tyjae Spears has been great at finding the end zone for the Green Wave with six scores so far on the year.
Team Spotlight: Houston
Houston will be making its conference debut this season and the Cougars have had nominal thus far in 2022. While quarterback Clayton Tune has nearly identical stats to his Tulane counterpart at 993 passing yards and seven scores, the Cougars have had an interesting start to their season. Following back-to-back nail-biting contests against UTSA (a three-overtime 37-35 win on the road) and Texas Tech (a double-overtime loss 33-30), the Cougars have already gotten some gray hairs. Nonetheless, Houston is coming off a solid 34-27 win against a frisky Rice team at home last week and has the luxury of staying home again. While the Cougars went 11-2 last season, they might have regressed a bit in 2022.
Prediction: This should be a solid contest between American Conference foes, but look for Houston (who beat Tulane 40-22 on the road last season) to outlast the Green Wave at home.
Team Spotlight: Washington
Washington has been one of the hottest teams to start 2022 and their offense is the key reason why. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been sensational thus far with 1,388 passing yards, 12 touchdowns to only one interception. The Huskies have also been able to outlast all comers including a resounding 39-28 win over then No. 11 ranked Michigan State in mid-September. In addition to their victory over the Spartans, Washington is coming off a smooth 18-point win over Stanford just last week. With a strong passing offense (nearly 369 yards per game), the Huskies have been able to overwhelm most foes and should have a strong chance of doing the same in Pasadena.
Team Spotlight: UCLA
Opposing the Huskies will be a familiar Pac-12 foe in UCLA who are also the owners of a 4-0 and undefeated record. Coming off a 45-17 thrashing of Colorado on the road, the Bruins return home to the Rose Bowl where they won earlier this month in a thrilling two-point win over South Alabama. While that contest was much closer than anticipated for UCLA, the Bruins were able to rebound in a big way this past weekend in Boulder. In a balanced offense, UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet will be one to watch in this one as the Bruins have been averaging 220.5 yards on the ground per contest. The senior from Camarillo, Calif. has amassed 293 rushing yards on the season and is coming off a thousand-yard and double-digit score campaign in 2021 (1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns).
Prediction: This will be a close contest and maybe the Pac-12 game of the weekend, but Washington has looked more impressive overall than the Bruins so take them to win in Pasadena.
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