Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upon further review...

After taking a longer look through the games this week, the matchup of Missouri -4 @ Texas Tech really caught my eye.   Missouri was being talked about as a top team before they were soundly beaten by a very good Nebraska team.  The Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert is a top caliber passer who shouldn't have a problem beating up on the weak Texas Tech secondary. Texas Tech has given up over 1500 passing yards the last 4 games.  That is a season for some QBs.  It is Texas Tech's homecoming, which is something to take into consideration, but Missouri is just the better team all around.  Texas Tech does have a decent pass rush and comes into the game with 20 total sacks.  One reason they have that many sacks, however, is due to the fact that just about any QB looks like an All American playing them.  Their opponents are just naturally going to pass more to attack the Tech weakness.  

The Texas Tech offense can put up points to keep up with Missouri, but Mizzou's defense is better than Texas Techs.  They aren't world beaters by any means, but they can contain offenses much better than the Red Raiders can.   Last week, TT got boat raced by a mediocre Texas AM team.  The same AM team got beat 30-9 by Missouri a few weeks early.  I know that isn't a great way to judge teams, but winning by 20 and losing by 20 to the same team is worth noting.

Now, on the the NC State @ Clemson over 50.5.   Both teams have had their up and downs this season.  Clemson losing last week 16-10 to BC and NC State beating FSU in dramatic fashion 28-24 last week.  Both teams like to run the ball and neither team is particularly great at stopping the run.  Clemson's offense will be without their #1 RB, but they like to spread the ball around and it will not be as big of loss as it would be to a one-back team.  NC States offense is prone to a few turnovers but their defense also creates a few takeaways a game.  This could very easily lead to a couple cheap TDs to push up the point total.

NC State also has a very decent passing game. This will keep them in the game in the event Clemson were to jump out on them. Clemson plays from ahead very well in their home stadium, so NC State might have to get to the air early. Another good sign for a shootout and lots of points.

Up until last week, Clemson's offense had been rolling putting up 27, and 31 in their previous two games.  NC State has been rolling up the points avg 35 a game.    Last years game was a 43-23 victory for Clemson.  I don't envision a blowout like that this year due to NC States scoring ability.   I do however see a score total in the area of 55-60. 

These are my top 4 picks for the week over the last 2 posts.  The games I like the most mentioned first (OK -3) and the games mentioned last I like less (NC State @ Clemson).  Good luck and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good Start To Blog, Here's Round 2

Last week was my first attempt at a blog. Got some decent feedback and went 2-0 on my picks.  Auburn-Ole Miss over was not even a question and USC played with Oregon for 3 quarters, but the Ducks just kept coming at them for a decisive victory.

This week, I am going to start with the Big 12 matchup Oklahoma -3 @ Texas AM.  Oklahoma has a ton of talent on the offensive side of the ball in WR Ryan Broyles and RB DeMarco Murray.  QB Landry Jones has shown flashes of a good player but is still inconsistent at times.  Oklahoma also has a lot of team speed with several players that are able to take it the distance on any play.  As for the Texas AM defense, they are a reasonably talented group, but they tackle like it's flag football. Head Coach Mike Sherman, who most will remember his stint with the Packers, has had just putrid tackling teams since he has become HC.  As an NFL guy, you would think this wouldn't be the case, but by in large they are just hot garbage.

The Texas AM offense, however, is very capable of putting up big points.   QB Jerrod Johnson is spectacular at times and very average at others.  WR Jeff Fuller is the primary target for Johnson is and leads the team in TDs.  He is the #1 playmaker for the Aggies.  Although not a superstar, RB Christine Michael will be out with a foot injury. Michael is the leading rusher although a few other backs do have significant carries.  The Oklahoma defense is littered with 5 star talent but they just have not played up to their capabilities.  LB Travis Lewis is responsible for keeping the defense in line and they have gotten much better as the season has progressed.  Oklahoma is not great at creating turnovers, but Johnson is known to throw a pick or two.

Even though the game is at College Station, Oklahoma just has too much talent to not beat the Aggies by at least the 3 points. 

On to the second game of the week, Oregon St -5 @ UCLA.  Oregon State has an unbelievable player in RB Jacquizz Rodgers.  The guy is lighting fast and has a knack for the football so to speak.  Although the other Rodgers brother, James, who was the #1 receiver, willl not be playing (knee injury), QB Katz does a pretty good job at spreading his TDs around to several receivers (7).   As for the UCLA defense, pretty simple, they need to stop the run.  Not an easy task considering the are giving up over 200 a game.  That's absolutely terrible for any defense, let alone one that is facing the beast that is Jacquizz Rodgers.

The UCLA offense is very run heavy due to the lack of consistent QB play. They are rushing for almost 200 yards a game.  Oregon State is not overly stout against the run, but should be able to slow UCLA down by loading up the box and making an inexperienced back up QB beat them in the air. Oregon States defense is usually good for a turnover or two a game as well..   UCLA is not shy giving up the ball at least 2 times a game in Pac-10 play.  This could be the deciding factor in being competitive and an ass whipping.

The game is at UCLA which does count for something but not much.  Oregon State under Head Coach Mike Riley has generally turned it on the later part of the season.  Riley always gets his team on the right page heading into the end of the season and into the bowl game.  Overall, I think Oregon State should cover the 5 points no problem, perhaps even winning by 2 TD's or more.  But what do I know.

Please let me know what you think, and if I have time I will try to post about Ill @ Mich and NC State @ Clemson.

Picks: 2-0