The Daily Sweat: Washington and UCLA headline a Friday feast of football

Washington and UCLA headline a hefty Friday slate to start Week 5 of the 2022 college football season.

The No. 15 Huskies visit the Bruins as 3-point favorites. While Washington is the only team ranked, both are undefeated ahead of what could be a pivotal Pac-12 matchup (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Washington already has as many wins in 2022 as it did a season ago. The 2021 season was a mess for the Huskies and new coach Kalen DeBoer brought in former Indiana QB Michael Penix to run the offense. Penix has been one of the best quarterbacks in college football so far this season as Washington has scored at least 39 points in all of its games.

Penix has thrown for 1,388 yards and is completing 64% of his passes while tossing 12 TDs to just one interception so far this season. RB Wayne Taulapapa is averaging over six yards a carry and Washington’s top three receivers are all averaging over 16 yards a catch. This is a far cry from the Washington offense we saw plod around the field last season.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is pictured during an NCAA football game against Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Seattle. Washington won 45-20. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is pictured during an NCAA football game against Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Seattle. Washington won 45-20. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

UCLA, meanwhile, is also putting up points. The Bruins have rushed for 882 yards over the first four games of the season and are averaging nearly six yards a carry as a team. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has thrown for nearly 500 fewer yards than Penix but is completing 75% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns.

The offensive success of each team so far is why the over/under is currently 64.5. Short road favorites are a dangerous play; UCLA had a scare against South Alabama in Week 3 but appears to be a solid team. Washington, meanwhile, could be one of the best teams in the Pac-12. We’d lean to betting the under in this game and don’t have a real read on the spread. It should be a phenomenal matchup if you can stay up for it.

Four other games

Tulane and Houston get the festivities started Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) and the Cougars are 2.5-point favorites. Houston is 3-1 after escaping with a win over Rice in Week 4 while Tulane followed its big win over Kansas State in Week 3 with a loss to Southern Miss in Week 4. Over 55 feels like the right play here. While Houston’s pass rush has its moments, the defense overall isn’t very good.

UTSA is a 4.5-point favorite at Middle Tennessee State (7:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN). UTSA is 2-2 with losses to Texas and Houston while MTSU is coming off a 14-point win at Miami. Both teams are averaging and giving up over 30 points per game, though UTSA has played a slightly tougher schedule. We’ll take UTSA to cover in this one.

Boise State is a 6.5-point favorite at home against San Diego State (8 p.m. ET, FS1) as Taylen Green is set to make the start at QB. Starting QB Hank Bachmeier is transferring away from the Broncos after getting benched and the team made a change at offensive coordinator after a 17-point loss to UTEP in Week 4.

Boise State’s offense has been awful so far this season. Bachmeier and Green have combined to throw for just 652 yards on 122 pass attempts and the team has rushed for fewer than 500 yards at just over 3.5 yards a carry. It says a lot about San Diego State that the Aztecs are TD underdogs to the Broncos and it’s pretty clear why the over/under for this game is just 39. We’ re leaning toward the over, however. Boise State has to get it figured out at some point on offense and a coordinator change may be the spark it needs.

The nightcap features New Mexico and a revitalized UNLV (11 p.m. ET, CBSSN). The Rebels are 3-1 and beat Utah State by 10 points and North Texas by 31. UNLV is a 14-point favorite over New Mexico after the Lobos lost 38-0 to LSU in Week 4 and also have lost by 17 to Boise State. Watch for UNLV QB Doug Brumfield in this one. He’s completing 70% of his passes and has 12 total touchdowns through the first four games of the season.

Rays and Mariners can clinch

The American League playoff field can officially be set on Friday night with wins by the Rays and Mariners. The Mariners are 5.5 games up on the Orioles with seven games to play and the Rays are five games up with six to play. If the Orioles lose to the Yankees on Friday night and the Mariners and Rays win, the latter two teams will secure the final two Wild Cards spots.

The Orioles are +155 to win at the Yankees while New York is -190.

The National League has a serious fight for the final Wild Card spot. The Phillies are now just a half game ahead of the Brewers with seven games to play while Milwaukee has six games left. Philadelphia starts a series against the last-place Washington Nationals on Friday and is -175 to beat the Nationals. The Brewers, meanwhile, are playing the Miami Marlins and are -175 to win.

Who cashed tickets on Thursday?

After watching Tua Tagovailoa get stretchered off the field in the second half it feels callous to congratulate those who won money on the Bengals’ victory over the Dolphins. Cincinnati won 27-15. The total was 49 and Cincinnati was a 4-point favorite.