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College Football Thursday: Baylor Visits #13 West Virginia

A five-game slate for College Football Thursday? Count me in!

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Baylor
Matt Ruhle and Dana Halgorsen will square off again tonight when Baylor visits West Virginia.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to this edition of College Football Thursday, ladies and gents! The TV networks have treated us to five games this evening. It’s not a bad way to ring in the weekend if you ask me.

Kicking off at 4:00 pm PT is Baylor at the #13 West Virginia Mountaineers. The 5-1 Mountaineers will look to get back to their winning ways after losing a tough contest at Iowa State on October 13th. They’ve had plenty of time to lick their wounds and prepare for the visiting Baylor Bears. For WVU, the recipe is simple, let stud QB Will Grier air it out. The starting QB has amassed 1919 yards to go along with 22 TDs and only 7 INTs this season. With the Mountaineers averaging 36.8 points and 464.3, Grier has had a lot to do with their success offensively.

As for the visiting 4-3 Bears, they too can put up points with ease. For the season, they’re averaging 33.1 points and 475 total yards per game. To average more yards per game than West Virginia is no easy thing to do. Sophomore QB Charlie Brewer will be under center for Baylor and he’s tossed 1798 yards to go along with 10 TDs and 3 INTs. Brewer will be complimented by junior RB JaMycal Hasty who has struggled this season, only rushing for 301 yards and 3 scores. After rushing for 102 yards in their first game of the season, he’s failed to top the century mark since.

The over/under on this game is 67.5, so this game has shootout written all over it.

At 4:30 pm PT on ESPNU, the surprising 5-1 #25 Appalachian St. Mountaineers travel South to face the 6-1 Georgia Southern Eagles.

In fact, this game might be the game of the night. After suffering a heartbreaking 45-38 overtime loss at Penn State in their first game of the season, Appalachian State has not lost again. Winners of five straight, the Mountaineers come into this one with a very balanced offensive attack. They average 211 passing yards and 265 rushing yards per contest. The Mountaineers also light up the scoreboard to the tune of 44.8 points per game. They even put up 72 points in a drubbing against Gardner Webb. Their defense is tough as well, only allowing a total of 294.8 yards and 15.7 points per game.

As for Georgia Southern, they are winners of four straight games and continue to prove that they too can get it done on both ends of the field. The Eagles’ main focus offensively is through the ground, highlighted by their 275.6 rushing yards per game compared to only 75.9 passing yards. They’ll have a tough test against an Appalachian State run defense that’s only allowing 112.3 yards on the ground this season. Oddly enough, the Eagles’ leading rusher is their QB Shai Werts who has already ran for 542 yards and 9 touchdowns this season. Although their offense isn’t as potent as the Mountaineers, their ground attack is enough to keep themselves competitive in games.

Also getting underway at 4:30 pm PT on ESPN, the 3-4 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets travel to Blacksburg, VA to face off against the 4-2 Virginia Tech Hokies. This is yet another game that has the makings to become a shootout right out of the gates.

For Virginia Tech, they’ve found a lot of success offensively through the air and on the ground. The Hokies are averaging 272 passing yards and 183.7 rushing yards per game. QB Ryan Willis (who took over for the injured Josh Jackson) will be under center for Va Tech where he’s tossed for 1057 yards with 8 TDs and 3 INTs this season. RB Steven Peoples will do the heavy lifting in the back field, where he’s ran for 407 yards and 5 TDs this year. It should be noted that Georgia Tech’s defense is slightly better against the run than the pass.

We all know what Georgia Tech’s bread and butter is, the triple option. You know it’s coming, but still cannot stop it. The Yellow Jackets average a video game like 352.4 rushing yards, compared to only 101 passing yards per game. They only pass when they absolutely need too. At 3-4, Georgia Tech’s leading rusher is their QB, TaQuon Marshall. He’s ran for 598 yards and 9 TDs this year (!!!) while only throwing the ball a total of 76 times. Marshall has thrown more INTs (4), than passing TDs this season (3).

With both teams averaging 30+ points per game, this game will feature a ton of highlights and defensive breakdowns.

Here is the complete slate for Thursday’s games.

College Football Thursday, October 25, 2018

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Baylor at #13 West Virginia 4:00 PM FS1
Ball State at Ohio 4:00 PM CBSSN
Toledo at Western Michigan 4:00 PM ESPN2
#25 Appalachian State at Georgia Southern 4:30 PM ESPNU
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech 4:30 PM ESPN

This is your College Football Thursday night open thread.

Go Bruins!!