Kaepernick, UNR won't let up against lightweight

One week after making a mockery of the UNLV defense, UNR quarterback Colin Kaepernick is taking on a more obvious lightweight in what should be even more of a one-sided fight.

The Wolf Pack is a 24-point favorite at Idaho on Saturday, and handicapper Kelso Sturgeon (kelsosportshandicapping.com) says to lay the points and wait for the massacre.

The Vandals (1-4) have beaten only Idaho State and were whipped in losses to Arizona (70-0), Western Michigan (51-28), Utah State (42-17) and San Diego State (45-17).

"The question is basic, and the decision is easy," Sturgeon said. "If Idaho got blown out by two of the worst teams in the nation, Utah State and San Diego State, what else do you need to know?

"(UNR) has one of the best coaches in college football in Chris Ault and a sophomore quarterback in Kaepernick who is so talented, smart and quick-footed, he's a nightmare for opposing defensive coaches."

Kaepernick rushed for 240 yards, passed for 176 and accounted for five touchdowns in last week's 49-27 victory over the Rebels.

The Wolf Pack is 18-8 as a favorite under Ault since 2004. Sturgeon said "you can take it to the bank" that Ault won't allow his team to let down after beating rival UNLV.

"It may surprise some to know that after four decades of handicapping football, I can say with certainty there are but three things required to win a bet: an understanding of what the betting line represents, the facts and a heavy dose of common sense," said Sturgeon, who analyzes four more plays for Saturday (home team in CAPS):

Penn State (-13) over PURDUE: My first inclination was to take the Boilermakers, but the figures say no. Purdue (2-2) does not appear to have a defense that can even slow down Penn State (5-0).

The Nittany Lions are fourth in the nation in scoring (49.8 points per game), ninth in total offense (515.2 yards) and are facing a Purdue defense that allowed 476 yards in a 38-21 loss at Notre Dame last week. Also, Penn State is allowing only 252 yards per game.

VANDERBILT (+4) over Auburn: Regardless of one's ratings of these two Southeastern Conference teams, this is a game of self-examination for bettors. Was Auburn (4-1) overhyped, and where is that supposed new explosive offense? Vanderbilt (4-0) has won at Miami (Ohio), against South Carolina, against Rice and at Mississippi, but can this traditional SEC doormat really be this good?

My figures say Vanderbilt, coming off a bye, should win straight up. Also, it helps the Commodores that Auburn is coming off three draining conference games, a 3-2 win at Mississippi State, a 26-21 loss to Louisiana State and a 14-12 victory over Tennessee.

Ball State (-7) over TOLEDO: Ball State (5-0) is the best team in Indiana and should dominate this Toledo (1-3) team of mystery. The Cardinals are an offensive machine, having beaten Navy (35-23), Akron (41-24), Indiana (42-20) and Kent State (41-20).

Rice-TULSA (over 80): This game is going to challenge bookmakers and might be posted with one of the highest totals ever offered. The facts: Rice and Tulsa are averaging a combined 96 points and 1,025 yards of offense per game and have a combined 34 touchdown passes. Defensively, the teams surrender a combined average of 847 yards and 58.4 points.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.