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Jacob Eason, Washington could use Colorado as punching bag

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a major hip injury last weekend.

So NFL teams that will consider quarterbacks at the top of the draft will look even closer at players such as Washington’s Jacob Eason.

Eason will have a chance to boost his numbers and generate more positive video Saturday at Colorado, which is 119th in opponent passer rating allowed and has four defensive backs who have suffered major injuries.

Washington (6-4) is a perennial contender in the Pac-12, and with four losses, some are questioning its motivation on the road at altitude with the Apple Cup next week. I think it will use the game as an opportunity to let out some frustrations.

The Buffaloes failed to score 17 points in four of their past five games, including against hapless defenses in Washington State and UCLA.

Take Washington -14.

Four more plays (home team in CAPS):

Central Florida (-6) over TULANE: The Knights are 1-4 against the spread and off a straight-up loss to Tulsa, a team that the Green Wave flooded. Central Florida’s offense has not been as consistent this season because it is more explosive than efficient. That will do against Tulane. The Green Wave are 84th in plays of 20 or more yards allowed and 109th in plays of 30 or more yards allowed. Central Florida is No. 2 and No. 1 in those categories. The Knights defense is ninth in havoc rate and should be able to generate negative plays. I trust Central Florida to regroup off a bye and dole out some punishment the final two weeks.

Miami (-20½) over FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: The nine FBS programs the Panthers have faced featured an average SP+ defensive ranking of 93.9. Against the two best defenses it played, SP+ No. 40 Western Kentucky and SP+ No. 59 Florida Atlantic, it lost 42-14 and 37-7. Miami’s defense ranks No. 14 in SP+ and is unlike anything Florida International has faced. This number is under three touchdowns because Miami won this matchup 31-17 last season and because the Hurricanes average 29.3 points. But Miami scored 35 against Virginia Tech and 52 against Louisville, teams with tougher defenses than the Panthers.

Temple (+10) over CINCINNATI: South Florida missed four field goals and allowed Cincinnati to come from behind to win 20-17 last week. Three weeks ago, Cincinnati allowed East Carolina to score 43 in another three-point win. The Bearcats are not playing their best football and might be looking ahead to a game at Memphis. Temple ranks No. 28 in defensive SP+, and line metrics say the Owls defense should be able to beat Cincinnati at the point of attack. I expect this to be a close, low-scoring game.

San Diego State (+2½) over HAWAII: This game showcases a clash in styles. Under bets are 9-1 in San Diego State games despite three games with totals in the 30s. Over bets are 5-1 in Hawaii’s last six, and Hawaii games have featured five totals in the 70s. The Rainbow Warriors have bounced between the islands and the contiguous United States five times since mid-September and were home for back-to-back weeks once in that span. The travel and a quick-strike offense don’t help a weary defense that is 110th in yards per play. Normally docile, the Aztecs’ offense should succeed at passing. Hawaii will not be able to run the ball on San Diego State, which features smaller, faster defenders that match up well with the run-and-shoot. Hawaii, one play away from 1-5 straight up in its last six games, is favored against an 8-2 team that has lost by six and four points.

Last Week: 3-2

Season: 35-22-3

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Christopher Smith of AL.com, NOLA.com and MyBookie is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Follow @cfblocksmith on Twitter.

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