Friday forecasts: Kevin Kane learned well under Dave Doeren
I went 0-3 vs. the spread last week, which means I either am due or you should go opposite of me based on theory that it’s never wise to bet against a streak.
1 - SMU +24 at Central Florida: Northern Illinois tied with Michigan for most tackles for loss per game (8.8) in the nation in 2017 under defensive coordinator Kevin Kane.
Sonny Dykes, who uses an up-tempo Air Raid attack, hired Kane to become his defensive coordinator at SMU and the Mustangs already have shown improvement defensively.
Yards per play is a good indicator of success both offensively and defensively. In that category, SMU’s defense ranked 119th nationally in 2017, giving up 6.59 yards per play. This season, the Mustangs’ first under Kane, the former Kansas linebacker, are surrendering 5.29 yards a play.
Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper was impressed with Kane’s game plan in SMU’s 31-30 overtime victory of two weeks ago.
“I always say: There are smart coaches out there (who) know what they are doing. SMU had a good scheme and out-executed us,” Jasper told the Annapolis Capital-Gazette. “We turned the ball over and I didn’t call plays that we could execute.”
Kane was David Beaty’s first linebackers coach, but left after one year to become defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois under Dave Doeren, North Carolina State’s fifth-year head coach. Kane also worked under Doeren at Wisconsin.
Doeren was Kane’s linebackers coach at Kansas (2002-05), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kane one day work again for Doeren somewhere. It was Doeren who recruited Kane to Kansas. As Mark Mangino’s recruiting coordinator, Doeren was lead recruiter for some of Mangino’s best players. He landed Aqib Talib, James McClinton, Darrell Stuckey, James Holt, Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen.
After Doeren’s fourth year at NC State, the school had an incredible seven players taken in the
NFL draft, including four defensive linemen. NC State puts its 4-0 record on the line at home against Boston College on Saturday.
After his name surfaced in Tennessee’s coaching search late last November, Doeren received a five-year contract that pays him $3 million annually, plus incentives. The first-year buyout should Doeren want to leave NC State is $4.5 million.
Kane learned a lot playing and coaching under Doeren and will need every ounce of knowledge he has to try to slow down Central Florida, which takes a 17-game winning streak into Saturday night’s home game. UCF opened as a 26-point favorite and as of Thursday night the line had dropped to 24.
Predicted score: Central Florida 44, SMU 24.
Pick vs. spread: SMU.
2 (Best bet) - North Texas -27 at UTEP: UNT was upset last week by Louisiana Tech and will take it out on UTEP. North Texas coach Seth Littrell inherited a program that had gone 1-11 in 2015 and has rattled off records of 5-8, 9-5 and 4-1. He is viewed by many as the logical replacement for Kliff Kingsbury if Texas Tech has a bad season, but the Red Raiders are off to a decent start. Littrell’s in no hurry to get the heck out of Denton and he can afford to be picky, so don’t read anything into him having worked as a graduate assistant at Kansas from 2002-04. he also was an assistant at Texas Tech, Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina.
Predicted score: North Texas 44, UTEP 10.
Pick vs. spread: North Texas.
3 - Old Dominion +13.5 at Florida Atlantic: Unless you have a compelling reason to do so, never bet against a streak continuing. Florida Atlantic is 0-5 vs. the spread. So you have a decision to make. Do you bet against the Owls' streak continuing or against mine continuing? The Owls' streak is longer, so take Old Dominion.
Predicted score: Florida Atlantic 35, Old Dominion 24
Pick vs. spread: Old Dominion