Oregon has earned national respect for its explosive offense, but Louisiana Tech and quarterback Colby Cameron are nearly as impressive while not getting similar recognition.
The 19th-ranked Bulldogs are 9-1, with their loss coming in a 59-57 thriller against Texas A&M, and have won six of their games by margins of 14 points or more.
Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes has built a powerful attack that leads the nation in total offense at 576.5 yards per game. The Bulldogs are second in scoring offense at 53.4 points per game, behind only the Ducks.
Alabama's AJ McCarron tossed his first two interceptions of the season last week, so Cameron is the nation's only full-time starting quarterback who has not been intercepted. He has 27 touchdown passes.
Cameron is working with plenty of weapons. Kenneth Dixon has rushed for 1,052 yards and an NCAA-best 24 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Also, Ray Holley has 631 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
Cameron's favorite target is senior wide receiver Quinton Patton, who has 83 receptions for 1,086 yards and 11 touchdown grabs. Patton is a burner with an NFL future.
Despite those big numbers, the Bulldogs are 3-point home underdogs to Utah State today. Why are the Aggies favored? They are 9-0-1 against the spread, and Louisiana Tech's defense is garbage.
But Utah State should not be favored. The Aggies have lost 29 consecutive games against ranked teams, and they never have beaten a ranked opponent on the road. Louisiana Tech has won six of the past seven series meetings while compiling a 5-2 spread record.
I made the Bulldogs 3½-point home favorites, so I like them as underdogs and also recommend a money-line wager in the plus-135 range.
Three more plays for today (home team in CAPS):
■ Northwestern (+7) over MICHIGAN STATE - The Wildcats own a 12-4 spread record as road underdogs since 2008. They also took the cash in last week's overtime loss at Michigan to improve to 9-1 ATS for the season.
In each of Northwestern's three outright defeats, it allowed a fourth-quarter lead to get away. The Spartans are 0-6 ATS with four outright losses at home this season. I like the underdog and will call for the outright upset.
■ Rutgers (+6½) over CINCINNATI - The Scarlet Knights have a dynamite defense ranked fifth in the nation, surrendering 13.4 points per game, and they have won all four of their road games. Rutgers is a live underdog in what I consider to be a toss-up game.
■ Arkansas State (-3) over TROY - Red Wolves coach Gus Malzahn's team steadily has improved, winning five in a row and cashing tickets at a 4-1 ATS clip. In its three Sun Belt road games, Arkansas State won by scores of 37-19 at North Texas, 50-27 at Louisiana and 34-20 at Florida International.
Malzahn is getting outstanding quarterback play from senior Ryan Aplin, who has 16 touchdown passes and three interceptions. The Red Wolves have an elite running back in David Oku, who has 829 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.
Last week: 3-1 against the spread
Brian Edwards of VegasInsider.com and BrianEdwardsSports.com is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.