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Hey Brett, suck my icicles!
Brett Favre returns
The great people of Green Bay are a forgiving lot. Trust me, I know them very well. But, cross them with a move to a rival and watch the green and gold faithful turn on Favre quicker than you can say “can I have the red sauce with my brat?”. With Favre and the Vikings in Lambeau for the first time since #4 started wearing purple and gold, expect the, well, expect the unexpected.
Catch Lance Zierlein from 6 to 10 am daily, alongside John Granato. Listen to John Harris on the Sean and John show, with Sean Pendergast show 3 to 7 PM daily. www.1560thegame.com
NFL SECTION BY LANCE ZIERLEIN
Houston (4-3) vs. Buffalo (2-4)
November 1, 2009 - CBS 12 PM CST Vegas Line: HOU -3.5 / 41.5
t 2009 ATS Record 4-2-1 2009 Over/Under 2-4-0 Last 5 Games 10/25 W, San Fran. 24-21 10/18 W, @ Cincinnati 28-17 10/11 L, @ Arizona 21-28 10/4 W, Oakland 29-6 9/27 L, Jacksonville 24-31 79.1 ypg - 30th 285.6 ypg - 3rd 23.9 ppg - 13th 115.6 ypg - 21st 228.4 ypg - 18th 22.6 ppg - 20th +3 - 9th 2009 Ranking Run Offense Pass Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Scoring Defense TO Margin 111.9 ypg - 15th 161.6 ypg - 28th 16.1 ppg - 24th 172.4 ypg - 32nd 190.4 ypg - 10th 19.7 ppg - 13th +2 - 12th 2009 ATS Record 4-3-0 2009 Over/Under 3-4-0 Last 5 Games 10/25 W, @ Carolina 20-9 10/18 W, @ NY Jets 16-13 10/11 L, Cleveland 3-6 10/4 L, @ Miami 10-38 9/27 L, New Orleans 7-27
Last Meeting: Buffalo- 24 vs. Houston - 21 (11/19/2006)
When the Texans have the ball... The Texans had great success against the 49'ers when they went with their playaction game on first down as they connected on 4 of 5 passes for 130 yards and a TD. The problem against the Bills is that they are likely to see a much tougher pass defense that is geared towards taking away the big play. The Bills had a stretch of four straight games where they allowed 156 or less total passing yards. Then again, I probably should mention that during that same four game stretch, they allowed 222, 250, 171 and 318 yards rushing. If the Texans can't run it against the Bills who are giving up 171 yards per game and 5.3 ypc, then they simply aren't going to be able to run it this year. Look for more ground attack and a little less air attack this week.
When the Texans have the ball...The Bills offense has been one of the most disappointing sides of the ball for any team in the NFL. With Trent Edwards expected to show growth and with Terrell Owens added to Lee Evans and a crop of talented, young WRs, everyone thought the Bills would pound Marshawn Lynch and light it up over the top with Owens and Evans but that hasn't happened. The Bill passing game is an abomination and they are unlikely to get it going against the Texans. What the Texans will see is a Bills offense that plans on running the football, but that is much easier said than done these days with the Texans limiting the last three teams they've faced to less than 60 yards rushing. QB Edwards is back at practice (concussion) and might go against the Texans.
Fantasy Report Steve Slaton,Texans RB - Despite the fumble last week, the Texans had to be excited to see Slaton get in the endzone twice and this is a good matchup for him. Marshawn Lynch, Bills RB - The Texans have done a very good job against the run recently and Lynch can't be considered anything more than an average RB2 here.
Conclusion: This feels like a trap game so look out. The Bills passing game has been so bad that it is borderline unbelievable based on the talent that they have at the skill positions. If the Texans make the Bills dink and dump their way down the field, it is unlikely that the Bills will be able to sustain many drives but the Texans cannot let the Bills hit the big plays on them. Look for the Texans to win a close one and look for the running game to get better.
Texans - 23 vs. Bills - 20
Minnesota (6-1) vs. Green Bay (4-2)
November 1, 2009 - FOX 3:15 PM CST Vegas Line: GB -3 / 47
t 2009 ATS Record 4-3-0 2009 Over/Under 5-2-0 Last 5 Games 10/25 L, @ Pittsburgh 17-27 10/18 W, Baltimore 33-31 10/11 W, @ St. Louis 38-10 10/5 W, Green Bay 30-23 9/27 W, San Fran. 27-24 119.9 ypg - 12th 233.7 ypg - 13th 29.4 ppg - 3rd 95.4 ypg - 10th 234.6 ypg - 20th 21.1 ppg - 17th +7 - Tied 5th 2009 Ranking Run Offense Pass Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Scoring Defense TO Margin 118.0 ypg - 13th 258.3 ypg - 10th 26.8 ppg - 8th 97.5 ypg - 12th 174.0 ypg - 4th 16.0 ppg - 5th +10 - 2nd 2009 ATS Record 4-2-0 2009 Over/Under 3-3-0 Last 5 Games 10/25 W, @ Cleveland 31-3 10/18 W, Detroit 26-0 10/05 L, @ Minnesota 23-30 9/27 W, @ St. Louis 36-17 9/20 L, Cincinnati 24-31
Last Meeting: Minnesota - 30 vs. Green Bay - 23 (10/5/2009)
When the Vikings have the ball... In their last matchup, Brett Favre played about as well as I've seen him play all year and as well as I've seen him play in the last couple of years. The Vikings are still going to be a run first team but it isn't like they have completely dominated teams with their rushing attack. Instead, HC Childress has done a very nice job of getting rookie WR Harvin involved in the offense and getting him his fair share of touches while Favre has started to look the way of WR Rice more and more. Last time out the Packers stacked the line of scrimmage and dared Favre to beat them and he did. My guess is that they are going to do more of the same this time but with a brand new set of blitz packages and maybe a few that they saw from the Steelers last weekend. When the Packers have the ball... The offensive line hasn't been up to par for the Packers this year but they showed signs of turning it around last. Before anyone just writes off Ryan Grant and the running game this week since they are playing the Vikings, keep in mind that the Steelers averaged over 5 ypc and I think the Packers have a chance to run the ball with some success if they do it out of 3 and 4 WR sets that forces the Vikings into nickel situations. QB Rodgers will attack the Packers with much more confidence than he showed in week 1 and I'm guessing the Packers are better prepared to handle the onslaught of Jared Allen this time around. With Vikings CB Winfield out, Rodgers should be able to put significant pressure on the Vikings secondary.
Fantasy Report Percy Harvin, Vikings WR - Harvin hasn't been a huge fantasy steal, but he has been fairly steady and should be considered in a flex role this week. Greg Jennings, Packers WR - With CB Winfield out, Jennings should finally find an opportunity to cut it loose and produce the results that owners have been looking for.
Conclusion: The last meeting was all about the terrific play of Brett Favre and Jared Allen. I'm looking for a potential revenge game for the ages here. Favre back in Lambeau is going to cause a stir with the fans, but the Packer players have probably been chomping at the bit to to get back at the Vikings and play with more confidence on both sides of the ball than they showed in the first meeting.
Packers - 28 vs. Vikings - 21
ATLANTA (4-2) VS. NEW ORLEANS (6-0)
November 2, 2009 ESPN 7:30 PM CST
VEGAS SAYS: NO -10 / 54
I started to point this out last week when the Falcons Bell is running with a great deal of confidence and the played the Cowboys, but when you return of WR Lance Moore has added look at the body of work from the yet another weapon in the arsenal of Fantasy Report Falcons, it isn't nearly as impressive as QB Drew Brees who proved he could their record would indicated. not only come from behind, but win This is a division game and the despite having a below average game. Saints are not going to let off For example, Falcons opponents have the gas at all. I have to rushed for more yards and passed for Atlanta has got to get Michael Turner recommend emptying your more yards than the Falcons this year. churning up defenses once again. bench if you have Falcons or That is bad news when you consider Maybe the Falcons need to work Saints here because I'm who their opponent is this week. backwards and set up the run with expecting a pretty high scoring their passing game on first downs. affair that fantasy owners will The Saints looked like they were love. buried last week when the Dolphins Whatever the case, the Falcons have to had them down 24-3 but that offense find a way to control the tempo of this got going and their defense started to game with their own ground game or what they've been able to do for much they will find themselves trying to get of this year - make plays. While Pierre into the 30s just to stay in this one. Thomas doesn't look like he's all the way back yet, Mike
PREDICTION: NEW ORLEANS - 35 VS. ATLANTA - 24
DENVER (6-0) VS. BALTIMORE (3-3)
November 1, 2009 CBS 12 PM CST
Me picking against the Broncos is kind of becoming a joke since that is all I do and all they do is win and make me look like a fool.
VEGAS SAYS: BAL -3.5 / 41.5
a workload. While the Ravens don't have a true #1 WR, they are diverse Fantasy Report enough to move the ball without counting on any one player. Their Ray Rice will find the going a biggest issue right now is their defense little tougher against the The Broncos don't have an impressive and primarily their pass defense. To Broncos, but I still look for him QB and their running game is pretty tighten up the back end of their to finish with around 70 good but hardly exceptional. What is defense, the Ravens must get pressure yards on the ground and 25 to impressive about this team is that they on QB Orton. 30 through the air. Brandon have only one game where they have Marshall could go either way had more turnovers than their Both teams are coming off of bye weeks here. If the Ravens don't get opponents and the re-tooling of the so I'm not sure if preparation was any pressure on Kyle Orton, Broncos defense has been nothing Marshall could come up big, but different for this game for either side. I think the pressure will be short of miraculous. The Broncos have to continue to play there. smart football and great defense while The Ravens offense has scored 30 or the Ravens have to impose their will on more points in four of their six games the Broncos early on. Look for old this year and RB Rice has the potential to be the next school Ravens football in the first quarter to set the tone. Michael Turner if the Ravens will trust him with more of
PREDICTION: BALTIMORE - 20 VS. DENVER - 12
PREDICTIONS ON ALL NFL GAMES THIS WEEKEND
Denver at Baltimore - The Broncos are coming off of a bye week which is nice because I'm sure Josh McDaniels spent the entire time preparing for Baltimore's blitz packages. The Broncos defense has been terrific this year, but the Ravens will give them a test on Sunday. Broncos - 14 vs. Ravens - 23 Cleveland at Chicago - Chicago had a disastrous game against the Bengals while the Browns entire season has been a disaster. The Bears running game just can't get going, but they have more than enough offense here. The Browns don't have enough firepower to win this one. Browns - 17 vs. Bears - 28 San Francisco at Indianapolis - The Colts are playing as steady as anyone in football right now and they are doing it without a steady threat at RB. The Colts defense has shown much more consistency and the Niners are about to be humbled once again after losses to the Falcons and Texans in 2 of the last 3 weeks. Niners - 13 vs. Colts - 24 Miami at NY Jets - The Jets hammered the Raiders thanks to a monstrous rushing attack and that is the formula for them for the rest of the year. Play good defense and run the ball. Unfortunately, they have to face a Dolphins defense that is strong against he run and will give QB Sanchez trouble. This game figures to be a fist-fight with the most efficient QB making the difference. Dolphins - 17 vs. Jets - 16 Seattle at Dallas - Dallas has to be thrilled with the emergence of Miles Austin because it finally looks like QB Romo has a WR he can count on down the field. The Cowboys are one of the tops in the league when it comes to explosive passing plays and their defense might be coming around as well. Seattle has to have a big game from Hasselbeck and the secondary in this spot. Seahawks - 21 vs. Cowboys - 27 St.Louis at Detroit - The Rams running game has been steadily improving and that will help them in this one. The real question is how the Lions come out after a bye week. The Lions have shown signs of improvement and the Rams defense will have a tough time stopping the Lions deep passing game. Rams - 21 vs. Lions - 24 Oakland at San Diego - The Raiders opened eyes with their upset over the Eagles, but it was back to reality last week while the Chargers gained some confidence back with a lopsided win over the Chiefs. The Chargers defense is inconsistent but against the Raiders it doesn't matter. The Raiders rush defense was terrible last week vs. the Jets so let's see if the Chargers take advantage of it. Raiders - 13 vs. Chargers - 28 Jacksonville at Tennessee - The Jaguars are hanging in there this year thanks to improved play by the defense and QB Garrard. MJD is maybe the most consistent back in all of football but running it on the Titans won't be easy. The Titans are done, but they have pros on that team who will want to battle back after their embarrassment to the Patriots. Jags - 16 vs. Titans - 21 Carolina at Arizona - So what do we make of the Cardinals? At times they look very average but they slapped the Seahawks with QB Hasselbeck back and they took it to the Giants in the Meadowlands. The Panthers are such a mess at QB that I've given up on them. Panthers - 17 vs. Cardinals - 27
HANDICAPPING INFORMATION Against The Spread Trends (ATS)
Category Away Teams Home Teams Favorites Dogs Away Favorites Away Dogs Home Favorites Home Dogs Record 53-48-2 48-53-2 56-45-2 45-56-2 22-14-0 31-34-2 34-31-2 14-22-0 Percent 52.48% 47.52% 55.45% 44.55% 61.11% 47.69% 52.31% 38.89%
Over vs. Under Trends
Category Overtime Games Non-Overtime Games All Games DENVER is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in all games this season 4 of 5 games in VIKINGS/PACKERS have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons ST LOUIS is 11-24 ATS (-15.4 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons SAN DIEGO is 4-1 against the spread versus OAKLAND over the last 3 seasons ARIZONA is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 over the last 2 seasons PHILADELPHIA is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) off a division game over the last 3 seasons 4 of 5 games in EAGLES/GIANTS have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons NEW ORLEANS is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons BILLS are 1-7 (-6.7 Units) ATS in their last 8 home games JETS are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite Overs 3 50 53 % 50.00% 52.63% 52.48% Unders 3 45 48 % 50.00% 47.37% 47.52%
Top Ten Trends for Week 8
- The Arizona Cardinals have been right there with the Houston Texans in terms of ineffective rushing games, but keep an eye on Beanie Wells who had 14 carries for 67 yards and a TD last week. - Ricky Williams' performances this year simply can't be ignored by fantasy owners who are keeping him on the bench. Over the last 4 weeks, Williams has scored 5 TDs and his fantasy points have been 13, 15, 13 and 27 (+/- a point or two depending on your scoring). It's time to start Ricky if you're not. - For some odd reason there were questions galore about whether or not to start Laurence Maroney last week. Let me do everyone a favor just to save us both time. I don't care what any Patriots RB does in the prior week. I can never give a recommendation to a Pats RB because they are revolving door backs who are given carries seemingly randomly by Belichick and the Pats. Don't try to time the market on this one because it probably won't happen. - So is it Shonn Greene time on the waiver wire? Probably so. With Leon Washington out, the Jets are going to be leaning on both Thomas Jones and Greene to pound that rock and protect Mark Sanchez from having to air it out too often. Greene looked very impressive against the Raiders with 144 yards and 2 TDs and he's a legit goal line back if needed. - I remember doing some research this summer to see which RB might have the toughest schedule this year as it pertains to his fantasy value and wouldn't you know that the answer was clearly - Michael Turner. Sure enough, Turner is struggling. The good news is that Turner has scored a TD in every game but the first but the bad news is that he doesn't get any passes thrown to him and he's rushed for more than 65 yards just twice this year. - Don't just dismiss Jamaal Charles as a viable fantasy option with Chiefs RB Larry Johnson suspended. Charles has more explosion to the hole and he is a bigger potential factor in the short passing and screen game as well.
NFL NEWS AND NOTES
- Scouts were impressed with Oregon CB Jairus Byrd before this year's draft but most of them felt like his lack of top-end speed would necessitate a move to safety. Sure enough, the Bills drafted Byrd, moved him to safety and he's come up with 4 INTs over the last two weeks. I think we'll start seeing more CBs turned safeties and guards turned centers in the coming years. - I noticed in the Saints and Dolphins game that the Saints were able to slow down the Wildcat by blitzing CB Jabari Greer off the edge almost every time they saw that formation. With his speed, Greer was able to help contain the perimeter on his side and it was one of the first times I've seen a defense try and take it to the Dolphins' Wildcat rather than sit back and play it passively. - There is no reason for Jake Delhomme to be the starter this week but as I write this, Delhomme has been named the starter once again. Delhomme has thrown 13 INTs for a team who is 2-4 and he hasn't even been close on his INTs. He is single-handedly losing games and costing the Panthers a chance to win. I'm not saying that Matt Moore or AJ Feeley is the answer, but at what point do Panther players just quit on Delhomme? My guess is that it has already happened. - I'm not sure why so many RBs continue to think it will be beneficial for them to gain weight so that they can "take the pounding" better when time and time again we've seen this strategy backfire. Mike Bell, Ced Benson and Willis McGahee have all benefited from losing weight and adding quickness just as Ricky Williams benefited when he left New Orleans and came to Miami. For a RB in the NFL, quickness is much more important than bulk as it pertains to performance. - Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett isn't the hot prospect he was a couple of years ago, but his offense has quietly put together an impressive string of big plays this year. QB Romo isn't afraid to take shots down the field and his WRs are responding with quite a few big plays. Sam Hurd has a 53 yard catch, Roy Williams has a 66 yard TD catch, Patrick Crayton has an 80 yard TD catch and Miles Austin has TD catches of 42, 59, 59 and 60!
CFB SECTION BY JOHN HARRIS
Texas (7-0) vs. Oklahoma State (6-1)
October 31, 2009 - ABC 7:00 PM CST Vegas Says: Texas -9 / 52
164.0 ypg - 46th 274.1 ypg - 21st 438.1 ypg - 16th
Run Offense Pass Offense Total Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Total Defense Scoring Defense 185.6 ypg - 27th 232.0 ypg - 44th 417.6 ypg - 30th 37.0 ppg - 6th 99.0 ypg - 18th 253.1 ypg - 106th 352.1 ypg - 56th 20.0 ppg - 36th
2009 Schedule W, ULM 59-20 W, @ Wyoming 41-10 W, Texas Tech 34-24 W, UTEP 64-7 W, Colorado 38-14 W, Oklahoma (Dallas) 16-13 W, @ Missouri 41-7 10/31 @ OSU
41.9 ppg - 1st 41.2 ypg - 1st 194.3 ypg - 33rd 235.6 ypg - 2nd 13.6 ppg - 9th
2009 Schedule W, Georgia 24-10 L, Houston 45-35 W, Rice 41-24 W, Grambling State 56-6 W, @ Texas A&M 36-31 W, Missouri 33-17 W, @ Baylor 34-7 10/31 Texas
Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #12 Colt McCoy RB #28 Fozzy Whittaker WR #84 Marquise Goodwin WR #8 Jordan Shipley TE #83 Greg Smith T #64 Kyle Hix G #63 Michael Huey C #71 Chris Hall G #52 Charlie Tanner T #74 Adam Ulatoski Defense DE #2 Sergio Kindle DE #81 Sam Acho DT #33 Lamarr Houston DT #92 Ben Alexander LB #1 Keenan Robinson LB #38 Roddrick Muckelroy LB #18 Emmanuel Acho S #21 Blake Gideon S #12 Earl Thomas CB #4 Aaron Williams CB #3 Curtis Brown
Keys to the Game
The Real McCoy - In some sense this is the Colt McCoy
that we expected to see at the outset of the season. Against Missouri, McCoy was 26 of 31 for 269 with three touchdowns, hitting eight different receivers with a pass. Why was he not the ‘real’ McCoy the first portion of the season? Who really knows? Pressure to live up to the hype. Dealing with a new crop of receivers, outside of buddy, pal and roommate Jordan Shipley. Lack of a running game. Again. Any and all of the above could be reasons, but that looks to be behind him. What I like about what Texas OC Greg Davis has done is speed the game up for Colt. When the Longhorns have gone up tempo the past few weeks, McCoy has been brilliant. The speed of the game forces defenses into mistakes and he’s able to open up the whole playbook. Oklahoma State, though, was the most physical team with McCoy last year and the OL must protect #12 or all of this improvement is moot.
Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #11 Zac Robinson RB #5 Keith Toston FB #37 Bryant Ward TE #86 Wilson Youman WR #84 Hubert Anyiam WR #81 Justin Blackmon T #76 Russell Okung G #77 Noah Franklin C #54 Andrew Lewis G #68 Lane Taylor T #60 Brady Bond Defense DE #50 Jamie Blatnick DE #91 Ugo Chinasa DT #98 Derek Burton NT #90 Swanson Miller LB #20 Andre Sexton LB #44 Donald Booker LB #4 Patrick Levine S #31 Lucien Antoine S #10 Markelle Martin CB #16 Perrish Cox CB #23 Terrance Anderson
Finding Kindle - The most important matchup of the
night though is going to be Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung against the Longhorns Sergio Kindle. Or, will it? It’s not clear whether Kindle will be lining up on Okung or against Brady Bond on the other side. Texas DC Will Muschamp will move him around as he has with other great defensive ends in his stead. The difference is that Kindle is perhaps as difficult a matchup as Okung can have. The Cowboy tackle doesn’t handle speed rushers up field well, but he can handle every other Longhorn pass rusher. QB Zac Robinson is starting to get into his groove, but if he’s wearing Kindle, forget it.
Conclusion - The Cowboys physically beat up Texas last year, but turned the ball one key time early in the game and had to
chase the rest of the way. They didn’t get chase far enough as they lost 28-24 in Austin. Now, with a shot at revenge, it’d be easy (as with BYU last week against TCU) to say that OSU will get its revenge, but the Longhorns are nearly 100% and are a better team than the Cowboys. Now, with Dez Bryant? Different story. But, Oklahoma State doesn’t have him due to year-long suspension and that’ll be the difference. The Cowboys don’t have a go-to guy offensively to truly challenge Texas. UT does - he’s #12.
Texas - 24 vs. Oklahoma State - 21
Florida (7-0) vs. Georgia (4-3)
October 31, 2009 - CBS 2:30 PM CST Vegas Says: Florida -15 / 48
258.3 ypg - 6th 198.7 ypg - 80th 457.0 ypg - 8th
Run Offense Pass Offense Total Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Total Defense Scoring Defense 108.0 ypg - 103rd 226.7 ypg - 49th 334.7 ypg - 90th 27.0 ppg - 60th 127.3 ypg - 54th 238.3 ypg - 90th 365.6 ypg - 70th 27.7 ppg - 84th
2009 Schedule W, Charleston Southern 62-3 W, Troy 56-6 W, Tennessee 23-13 W, @ Kentucky 41-7 W, @ LSU 13-3 W, Arkansas 23-20 W, @ Mississippi State 29-19 10/31 Georgia (Jax)
35.3 ppg - 9th 94.6 ypg - 12th 135.0 ypg - 2nd 229.6 ypg - 1st 10.1 ppg - 2nd
2009 Schedule L, @ Ok. State 24-10 W, South Carolina 41-37 W, @ Arkansas 52-41 W, Arizona State 20-17 L, LSU 20-13 L, @ Tennessee 45-19 W, @ Vanderbilt 34-10 10/31 Florida (Jax)
Lombardi Award Semi-finalists were announced last week, I was a little bit shocked by the inclusion of Gators defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Now, from an athletically gifted standpoint and NFL potential standpoint, I’m in, hook, line and sinker. But, from a 2009 production standpoint, I hadn’t really seen him do a whole lot on the field. But, last week at Mississippi State, it was as if he had gotten the memo to turn it up a notch or three. He ended the game with three sacks of MSU quarterbacks and was, in general, a menace for the Bulldogs offensive line. What Georgia hasn’t done a great job of this year is making QB Joe Cox feel comfortable in the pocket and that’s made worse by having to face Dunlap this Saturday. With size to play in the 3-4, but with the athleticism Defense to play a 4-3 end, Dunlap is a major problem for the UGA OL. DE #8 Carlos Dunlap I would normally expect him to be doubled or chipped on a DT #92 Terron Sanders regular basis, but Jermaine Cunningham on the other side is DT #99 Omar Hunter DE #49 Jermaine Cunningham just as talented as Dunlap. The only real counter to Dunlap, et al is the quick passing game, so expect Cox to being throwing LB #51 Brandon Spikes quickly early in the game. LB #16 A.J. Jones LB #41 Ryan Stamper S 35 Ahmad Black Eyes on 35 - Georgia LB Rennie Curran has been a superstar S #21 Major Wright for the past two years, but his biggest test comes Saturday CB #5 Joe Haden with having to stop the Gators running game. The Gators are CB #1 Janoris Jenkins sixth in the nation in rushing, averaging nearly 260 yards per game, but if Curran and company have a solid run blitz package to disrupt the Gators OL schemes...UGA could surprisingly put a halt to the Gators offense.
Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #15 Tim Tebow RB #2 Jeff Demps WR #11 Riley Cooper WR #6 Deonte Thompson WR #25 Brandon James TE #81 Aaron Hernandez T #76 Marcus Gilbert G #55 Mike Pouncey C #56 Maurkice Pouncey G #66 James Wilson T #57 Carl Johnson
Keys to the Game
Eight Ball, Side Pocket - When the 12 Rotary
Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #14 Joe Cox RB #22 Richard Samuel FB #49 Shaun Chapas TE #81 Aron White WR #12 Tavarres King WR #8 A.J. Green T #71 Cordy Glenn G #63 Chris Davis C #61 Ben Jones G #60 Clint Boling T #78 Josh Davis Defense DE #42 Justin Houston DT #95 Jeff Owens DT #91 Kade Weston DE #58 Demarcus Dobbs LB #52 Darius Newberry LB #50 Darryl Gamble LB #35 Rennie Curran CB #2 Brandon Boykin CB #23 Prince Miller S #3 Bryan Evans S #9 Reshad Jones
Conclusion - There’s a part of me that wants outright chaos at this time of year. OSU to beat Texas. Oregon to beat USC.
Boise State and TCU keep winning. And, Georgia to beat Florida. But, then reality hits home - no chaos in this one. Florida gets back four defensive starters for this one - a game in which Georgia can’t truly find any balance offensively. Cox has started to turn into a liability for the Bulldogs and the defense is still swiss cheese, i.e. lots of holes. QB Tebow needs to throw the ball downfield and riddle the Dawgs average secondary. He will in his best passing performance of the year in a convincing, yet boring UF win.
Florida - 31 vs. Georgia - 20
USC (6-1) vs. Oregon (6-1)
October 31, 2009 - ABC 7:00 PM CST Vegas Says: USC -3 / 47
198.3 ypg - 19th 242.1 ypg - 40th 440.4 ypg - 13th
Run Offense Pass Offense Total Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Total Defense Scoring Defense 210.7 ypg - 14th 157.4 ypg - 108th 368.1 ypg - 66th 34.0 ppg - 16th 118.9 ypg - 41st 178.3 ypg - 23rd 297.1 ypg - 19th 16.7 ppg - 19th
2009 Schedule W, SJSU 56-3 W, @ Ohio State 18-15 L, @ Washington 13-16 W, Washington State 27-6 W, @ Cal 30-3 W, @ Notre Dame 34-27 W, Oregon State 42-36 10/31 @ Oregon Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #7 Matt Barkley RB #21 Allen Bradford FB #31 Stanley Havili WR #18 Damian Williams WR #8 Ronald Johnson TE #86 Anthony McCoy T #71 Charles Brown G #53 Jeff Byers C #61 Kris O’Dowd G #56 Alex Parsons T #70 Tyron Smith Defense DE #93 Everson Griffen DT #94 Armond Armstead DT #91 Jurrell Casey DE #96 Wes Horton LB #54 Chris Galippo LB #6 Malcolm Smith LB #17 Michael Morgan S #2 Taylor Mays S #26 Will Harris CB #36 Josh Pinkard CB #15 Kevin Thomas
31.4 ppg - 29th 79.9 ypg - 5th 211.9 ypg - 53rd 291.7 ypg - 16th 15.1 ppg - 16th
2009 Schedule L @ Boise State 8-19 W, Purdue 38-36 W, Utah 31-24 W, Cal 42-3 W, Washington State 52-6 W, @ UCLA 24-10 W, @ Washington 43-19 10/31 USC Projected Starting Lineups Offense QB #8 Jeremiah Masoli RB #21 LaMichael James WR #80 Lavasier Tuinei WR #23 Jeff Maehl WR #10 D.J. Davis TE #83 Ed Dickson T #69 Bo Thran G #77 Carson York C #54 Jordan Holmes G #79 Mark Asper T #68 C.E. Kaiser Defense DE #39 Will Tukuafu DT #88 Brandon Bair DT #90 Blake Ferras DE #58 Kenny Rowe LB #11 Eddie Pleasant LB #55 Casey Matthews LB #35 Spencer Paysinger S #2 T.J Ward S # 14 Javes Lewis CB #37 Talmadge Jackson III CB #18 Anthony Gildon
Keys to the Game
The New Guy in the Stable - Gluttony is one of the
seven deadly sins, or so we’re told. But, apparently Pete Carroll and running backs coach Todd McNair don’t believe in such sins. For the past few years, the Trojans have horded running backs, such that the 7th team back was a Parade AllAmerican who couldn’t get on the field. It’s to a point that the running backs at USC have taken to calling themselves the Stable. But, after Stafon Johnson was hurt lifting weights and Joe McKnight having nagging issues, the Trojans needed all of the depth in the Stable - finding power back Allen Bradford. The senior is being used more than at any point in his career. He had an impressive power run for a touchdown at Notre Dame and he was rewarded with 15 carries last week against Oregon State. He piled up 147 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-36 win over the Beavers. Oregon is quick and aggressive on defense, but having to tackle Bradford for 15 to 20 carries could make a huge difference in the fourth quarter. Plus, as Bradford goes, so goes the play action with QB Matt Barkley.
It’s a tight end’s world - I was once a tight end when I
played in high school, so without prejudice, I can say that I often watch that position closer than any other on the field. This week’s matchup of tight ends is the best one we’ve had since, well, the USC-ND game. Since Oregon remembered that Ed Dickson is one of the nation’s best pass catchers, the offense has been consistent through the air and on the ground. But, USC’s Anthony McCoy may be even better. Both will have the spotlight glaring white hot this Saturday in Eugene.
Conclusion - No team has bounced back from adversity with as much resolve as the Ducks. Since that night in Boise, the
Ducks have been undefeated. And, each week, they’ve gotten better and better. Jeremiah Masoli is as healthy as he’s been this year and S TJ Ward is back to wreck some skulls. But, USC’s offense is taking the same leap into that lofty, “unstoppable” atmosphere. I worry that the Ducks haven’t seen a Bradford type power back and that could mean the difference in the fourth quarter. The Duck defense has been stellar, but the USC offensive balance, now with Bradford toting the mail, is too much.
USC - 27 vs. Oregon - 23
PREDICTIONS ON ALL D1A GAMES - TV GAMES IN RED Thursday, October 29th
North Carolina at Virginia Tech 6:30 PM ESPN - Virginia Tech - 34 vs. UNC - 14
Friday, October 30th
West Virginia at South Florida 7 PM ESPN2 - West Virginia - 31 vs. USF - 24
Saturday, October 31st
Akron at Northern Illinois - NIU - 31 vs. Akron - 17 Michigan at Illinois 2:30 PM ESPN2/ABC - Michigan - 38 vs. Illinois - 21 Temple at Navy 2:30 PM CBS CSTV - Navy - 34 vs. Temple - 31 Air Force at Colorado State 3 PM The Mtn. - Air Force - 30 vs. CSU - 20 UNLV at TCU 3:00 PM Vs. - TCU - 38 vs. UNLV - 10 Penn State at Northwestern 3:30 PM ESPN - Penn State - 27 vs. Northwestern - 14 Louisiana Tech at Idaho 4 PM ESPN GP - Idaho - 31 vs. La. Tech - 30 Utah State at Fresno State - Fresno State - 35 vs. Utah State - 31 Western Kentucky at North Texas - North Texas - 49 vs. WKU - 45 Western Michigan at Kent State - Kent State - 28 vs. WMU - 24 Notre Dame vs. Washington State (San Antonio) 6:30 PM NBC - ND - 49 vs. WSU - 21 New Mexico at San Diego State 6:30 PM CBS CSTV - SDSU - 24 vs. New Mexico - 14 Michigan State at Minnesota 7 PM Big Ten Network - Michigan State - 28 vs. Minnesota - 14 Wyoming at Utah 7 PM The Mtn. - Utah - 31 vs. Wyoming - 17 Missouri at Colorado 12:30 PM FSN - Missouri - 28 vs. CU - 24 Nebraska at Baylor 11:30 am Vs. - Nebraska - 38 vs. Baylor - 14 New Mexico State at Ohio State 11 am Big Ten Network - Ohio State - 81 vs. NMSU - 2 North Carolina State at Florida State 11 am ESPN GP/Raycom - FSU - 34 vs. NC State - 31 UCLA at Oregon State 5:30 PM FSN West/FCS Pacific - Oregon State - 24 vs. UCLA - 14
PREDICTIONS ON ALL D1A GAMES - TV GAMES IN RED Saturday October 31st (CONT’D)
Arkansas State at Louisville - Arkansas State - 27 vs. Louisville - 24 California at Arizona State 2:30 PM ESPN GP/ABC - Cal - 31 vs. ASU - 28 Central Michigan at Boston College 2:30 PM ESPNU - BC - 24 vs. CMU - 23 Cincinnati at Syracuse 11 am ESPNU - Cincinnati - 35 vs. Syracuse - 14 Coastal Carolina at Clemson - Clemson - 54 vs. Coastal Carolina - 10 Duke at Virginia - UV - 27 vs. Duke - 24 a Eastern Michigan at Arkansas - Arkansas - 51 vs. EMU - 17 Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt 6:30 PM ESPN GP - Georgia Tech - 28 vs. V andy - 14 Hawaii at Nevada - Nevada - 49 vs. Hawaii - 21 Indiana at Iowa 11 am ESPN - Iowa - 34 vs. Indiana - 14 Iowa State at Texas A&M - Texas A&M - 45 vs. Iowa State - 28 Kansas at Texas Tech 2:30 PM ABC/ESPN GP - Texas Tech - 49 vs. Kansas - 42 Kansas State at Oklahoma 6 PM FSN - OU - 42 vs. Kansas State - 17 Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida International - ULL - 34 vs. FIU - 17 Louisiana-Monroe at Troy - Troy - 31 vs. ULM - 28 Miami at Wake Forest 2:30 PM ABC/ESPN2/ESPN GP - Miami - 34 vs. Wake Forest - 21 Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic - FAU - 27 vs. MTSU - 26 Mississippi State at Kentucky 6 PM ESPN GP - Kentucky - 21 vs. MSU - 17 Ohio at Ball State - Ohio - 28 vs. Ball State - 14 Ole Miss at Auburn 11:21 am ESPN GP/SEC Network - Auburn - 27 vs. Ole Miss - 23 Purdue at Wisconsin 11 am ESPN2 - Wisconsin - 28 vs. Purdue - 21 Rutgers at Connecticut - Connecticut - 27 vs. Rutgers - 21 San Jose State at Boise State 2 PM ESPN GP - Boise State - 51 vs. SJSU - 14 SMU at Tulsa - Tulsa - 31 vs. SMU - 17
PREDICTIONS ON ALL D1A GAMES - TV GAMES IN RED Saturday October 31st (CONT’D)
South Carolina at Tennessee 6:45 PM ESPN - Tennessee 21 vs. South Carolina - 13 Southern Miss at Houston 12 PM CSS - Houston - 34 vs. USM - 21 Toledo at Miami Ohio 2:30 PM ESPN GP - Toledo - 35 vs. Miami Ohio - 21 Tulane at LSU 7 PM ESPN GP - LSU - 54 vs. Tulane - 13 UAB at UTEP - UTEP - 42 vs. UAB - 29
Sunday November 1st
Marshall at Central Florida 7:15 PM ESPN - Marshall - 28 vs. UCF - 21
1560 The Game is a proud sponsor of both the Rotary Lombardi Award, given annually to the most outstanding interior lineman in the nation, and the Paul Bear Bryant Award given for the Coach of the Year. Here is my “unofficial leaderboard” for each award. For more info. on each award www.rotarylombardiaward.org and www.americanheart.org/bryantawards
The 12 semi-finalists are turning it up right about voting time, so it’s time to narrow the scope and follow these finalists this week. Here are some thoughts about key matchups to watch this weekend. 1. Carlos Dunlap, Florida DE, has the national stage at 2:30 on CBS to himself, well, and other semifinalist Brandon Spikes. However, Spikes has been hurt, but should be back for the Georgia game. Dunlap, though, played perhaps his most disruptive game of the season against Mississippi State in Starkville. He knocked down a pass and had three sacks to ready himself for the Bulldogs this weekend. 2. The spotlight will be white hot on Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung, the only offensive lineman amongst the semi-finalists. This will be his most difficult test, facing Sergio Kindle and the Texas defensive ends. Kindle is Okung’s Kryptonite - speed rushers who can redirect are the guys that give Okung the most problem. But, if he stones Kindle, the Cowboy offense could have a big day and earn a huge win.
On Monday, the Bear Bryant Award Voting Committee was proud to announce its 20 member Watch List for the 2009 season. That list was as follows: 1. Robb Akey, Idaho 2. Mack Brown, Texas 3. Pete Carroll, USC 4. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa 5. Al Golden, Temple 6. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State 7. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech 8. Brian Kelly, Cincinnati 9. Chip Kelly, Oregon 10. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU 11. Urban Meyer, Florida 12. Les Miles, LSU 13. Joe Paterno, Penn State 14. Gary Patterson, TCU 15. Chris Petersen, Boise State 16. Nick Saban, Alabama 17. Randy Shannon, Miami 18. Bill Stewart, West Virginia 19. Kevin Sumlin, Houston 20. Dave Wannstedt, Pitt
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