Black Friday Player Props Primer

·4 min read

George Holani, Boise State | O/U 87.5 Rush Yards

Coming off an ACL injury sustained in 2020, Holani started the season exceedingly slowly by rushing for 166 yards through his first five contests with a single-game high of just 46 against Utah State. However once November came around, he has looked like a different player, rushing for over 100-yards in each of his last three games against @Fresno State, Wyoming and New Mexico.

While his recent positive output is a promising development, Holani now must face one of the top rushing defenses in the country in @San Diego State this Friday. The Aztecs have controlled the line of scrimmage against just about every team they have faced this year, as they have allowed a 34% rushing success rate (6th) in addition to ranking 17th in suppressing rushing explosiveness and 8th in stuff rate.

Despite their recent three game run of competence, Boise State ranks 87th in success rate and a ghastly 128th in rushing explosiveness. I think Holani and Boise State’s run game regress to the mean and Holani fails to hit the 87.5 mark. I’m taking the UNDER on his rushing yards.

Logan Smothers, Nebraska | O/U 201.5 Passing Yards

With Adrian Martinez undergoing shoulder surgery on Wednesday, Nebraska backup QB Logan Smothers will make his first start of his career against the vaunted Iowa defense. You can hardly ask for a worse matchup, as the Hawkeyes sport a 34% passing success rate (11th) in attrition to ranking 6th in marginal efficiency and 41st in suppressing explosiveness. Their pass D is even more stout now that star corner Riley Moss has returned from injury after missing time with a knee injury.

It’s a tall ask for the former four-star dual-threat QB Smothers to waltz into the starting role on the last game of the season and move the ball efficiently against Iowa’s defense that ranks tops in the Big Ten with a +12 turnover margin. If anything, I think we see Smothers will be more effective with his legs as opposed to his arm, which means I feel very good about his UNDER 201.5 passing yards.

Dylan Morris, Washington | O/U 197.5 Passing Yards

With former HC Jimmy Lake being unceremoniously ousted, interim Bob Gregory takes over and could very well want to see what he has with five-star QB Sam Huard. The speculation is rampant that Huard could draw the starting nod in the Apple Cup, and while it’s far from a sure thing, we’ve seen interim head coaches abandon ship on failing incumbent quarterbacks in favor of getting talented, young backup some live reps. Texas Tech and DonoVan Smith comes to mind in particular.

For his part, Morris has been objectively underwhelming, as the redshirt freshman leads the Pac-12 in interceptions with 12. Though he cleared the 197.5 mark last week against Colorado in a game where he threw 52 passes and two interceptions, Morris failed to hit 198 in his previous three games. Wazzu isn’t a pushover either, as the Cougars rank 6th in the nation in suppressing explosive pass plays, and 28th in adjusted net yards per pass attempt (6.1). I’m backing the UNDER 197.5 with the specter of a more talented freshman quarterback starting and at least stealing reps looming. Even if he starts, Morris will have a short leash.

Max Borghi, Washington State | 53.5 Rushing Yards

The Huskies are the best team in the nation when it comes to pass defense, allowing just 133 yards per game through the air, with Cincinnati second at 155. Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie are as good a cornerback duo as you’re going to find in the country. Accordingly, Wazzu is going to have to move the ball effectively on the ground if they intend to beat Washington, which I personally think they will since Wazzu has won five of their last seven while Washington has won just 2 of their last 7 and is spiralling downward.

For their part Washington’s run defense is bleeding all over the place, allowing an eye-popping 50% rushing success rate (119th) while ranking 111th in marginal rushing efficiency and 121st in stuff rate. There literally isn’t one aspect of their run defense that ranks in the top-50 nationally. If that isn’t enticing enough, Borghi has been on a nice run lately, rushing for at least 67 yards in four of his last 5 games with the lone Under coming against Oregon in a game where the Cougars had to throw to play catch up.

Game flow-wise, I find it hard to believe Washington is going to score points at a frenetic enough pace for the Cougars to abandon the run when it’s clearly the Huskies’ achilles heel. I’m on the OVER 53.5 rushing yards play for Borghi.

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