Tom Herman has not had the greatest honeymoon in Texas.
The newly-appointed former Houston HC arrived in Austin saying that the team isn’t looking good, and may not be fully prepared for the season – a move that was blasted by pundits as a good way not to inspire confidence in student-athletes. Sure enough, the Longhorns dropped their season-opener against Maryland in ugly fashion, 51-41.
But UT is still UT. The Big 12 institution is hosting San Jose State on Saturday, and enjoys a (-26.5) line on the point spread – a number that has been rising as bettors rush to pick the ‘Horns.
However, the Spartans have begun their year looking every bit like a competitive team.
Who: San Jose State Spartans at Texas Longhorns
When: Saturday, September 9th, 3:30 PM EST
Where: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
Lines: San Jose State (+26.5) at Texas (-26.5) / O/U Total: (63)
Sometimes, a spread will be inflated due to the traditional and everlasting (or momentary) hype surrounding a program. Texas has not have a banner season in quite some time, but the Longhorn flag still flies proudly over much of the CFB landscape. The media attention and wishes of fans may have something to do with the squad’s line against SJS.
After all, the Spartans are playing pretty well, having blown out Cal Poly last weekend. But it was the first Saturday of the season in which they actually impressed more, scoring the first 16 points on powerful South Florida before wearing down and losing 42-22. In game 2, Montel Allen got his turn at QB and appeared to give the team an upgrade, throwing for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in a 34-13 win.
Will the Texas front-7 simply bully the Spartans? Maybe not. Against Maryland the Longhorns gave up an astounding 263 yards rushing, and DB Holton Hill was 2nd on the roster in tackles.
Texas will probably win this one SU without too much drama. But time has taught is that when a program is in transition, experiencing growth pains, things usually get worse before they get better.
Herman may drive the Longhorns back to prominence. But it won’t happen right away. Meanwhile, his team is badly over-favored at almost 4 touchdowns against a scrappy San Jose squad which has already proven it can play with big, fast and talented FBS teams.
Take SJS and 26 1/2 points for a sneaky ATS winner.