UCLA at Texas A&M Week 1 College Football Odds

Posted by Jordan Walterss on Wednesday,June 29, 2016 2:54, EST in

There are just over two months left until the first full weekend of the 2016 college football season! And Week 1 offers an unusually great amount of interesting non-conference games. Top teams aren’t scheduling cupcakes any longer to start off the season as they want to impress the College Football Playoff selection committee with a strong schedule. And one of the best matchups features UCLA of the Pac-12 at Texas A&M of the SEC. Both should be ranked in the Top 25 of the first polls. The Aggies are 1-point favorites on college football odds.

 UCLA at Texas A&M Week 1 College Football Odds

 

 

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 3, from Kyle Field in College Station. It will be televised by CBS, with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce on the call. The game also kicks off the final season of SEC on CBS for Lundquist, as it was announced recently that he will hand the headset off to Brad Nessler following the 2016 season. This is the first of a home-and-home between the teams as A&M will visit UCLA in 2017.

The Bruins bring back one of the top young quarterbacks in the nation and maybe the potential first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in sophomore Josh Rosen, a former five-star recruit. Rosen became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for the Bruins, and he was very successful in his debut: He completed 28 of 35 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-16 win over Virginia. He built on that as the year unfolded, throwing for 3,668 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions to earn freshman All-America honors. He led the Bruins to eight wins and a spot in the Foster Farms Bowl, where they lost 37-29 to Nebraska. Rosen set the UCLA record for consecutive passing attempts without an interception (245) and set school freshman marks for yards in a game and season.

Texas A&M had two five-star quarterbacks on its roster to begin last season in Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. But both shockingly transferred at the end of the regular season and ahead of A&M’s bowl game. Uncertainty with the direction of Texas A&M’s offense, the future of the offensive coaching staff, trust issues between the quarterbacks and coaches and how the quarterbacks were utilized were among the concerns that led to both Murray’s and Allen’s transfers.

That led to head coach Kevin Sumlin to scramble to find a potential starter for 2016. And he has one in Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight. He transferred after losing Oklahoma’s starting job to Baker Mayfield last season. In 2014, Knight went 179 of 316 for 2,300 yards in 10 games for the Sooners, completing 56.6 percent of his passes and throwing for 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He rushed for 339 yards and five touchdowns that season.

Knight, a graduate transfer, gets one last chance to recapture the fleeting magic he displayed as the Sugar Bowl MVP at the end of the 2013 season with the Sooners. . Knight’s final action in an Oklahoma uniform was in relief of Mayfield during the Nov. 21 game against the TCU Horned Frogs last year. He completed five of 16 passes for 76 yards and an interception. Knight’s performance in Texas A&M’s spring game also was a big reason why Sumlin named him the starter. He threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns along with an interception.

UCLA and A&M have faced off four times in their history, splitting the series with two wins apiece. The most recent meeting was in the 1998 Cotton Bowl, a 29-23 win for UCLA.

 

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Expert Prediction

While I certainly favor UCLA’s QB situation, the Aggies are still strong elsewhere. They are the pick on betting lines — get that spread before it perhaps rises above 3 points.