College Football: Week 7 Picks- The State of Oklahoma Sweep, Bulldogs Bite, Big Ten Legends Supremacy

15 10 2011

 

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns

 

Stat Pack: Since 2001, Oklahoma State are 1-9 against Texas, but, Brandon Weeden, as a starter, is 1-0 against the Longhorns.  

Mack Brown and his Longhorns could be looking at an Oklahoma sweep for the second straight season as the Oklahoma State Cowboys come to town to continue what the Sooners did last week.

Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys put on a show last season in Stillwater, Oklahoma in his debut game against Texas, throwing for 409 yards.  This Oklahoma State offense is just as dynamic this season as it was in 2010 as it ranks first in the nation in scoring offense (51 points per game) and second in total offense.  The Cowboys should have no problems against a worn out, battered Texas defense that ranks 55th nationally against the pass.

The Longhorns offense sputtered in their game against Oklahoma last week.  The quarterback tandem of Case McCoy and David Ash was a train wreck to say the least as the offense committed five turnovers (2 INT, 3 fumbles) and were sacked a total of eight times.  If the Longhorns thought the Sooners defense was smothering, wait until they get a look at the Cowboys.  Oklahoma State averages just under three sacks per game, so, the young Texas quarterbacks better have a fire escape plan ready, or they’re going to get burned.

 

Oklahoma State Cowboys 51 – Texas Longhorns 21

 

Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores

The Georgia Bulldogs have managed to really turn things around, winning four straight games after consecutive losses to Boise State and South Carolina to start the season.

Thanks to the stymie Bulldogs defense that has allowed an average of 8.75 points during Georgia’s four game winning streak, coach Mark Richt’s seat may have cooled substantially.  The critics are quiet, for now, but, as Georgia gets deeper into the season, expectations will again be at a high.

This week, the stifling Georgia defense faces a woeful Vanderbilt offense.  On offense, Vandy currently ranks 100th in rushing, 99th in scoring, 114th in passing and 117th in total offense in the nation.  Yikes.

Stat Pack: Georgia is 9-1 against Vanderbilt since 2001, and have limited the Commodores to an average of 8 points per game in their last three meetings.  

 

Georgia Bulldogs 44 – Vanderbilt Commodores 10

 

UPSET SPECIAL!

Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans

Will Denard Robinson and the Wolverines avenge their 34-17 whooping from last season against Sparty?

Will Robinson be able to run wild against the best defense in the country?

Tune in.  Same Denard time, same Denard channel.

Michigan State’s defense looks to smother and contain explosive dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson, as the Spartans try to win their fourth in a row against the Wolverines.

Mark Dantino stresses the play of defense, and it seems that his program is all ears.  Michigan State have allowed opponents only five trips to their end zone this season, and have allowed 10.2 points per game.  Not even Ohio State could crack this roadblock of a defense until the final seconds of their game two weeks ago.

64- the average rush yards per game Michigan State has given up this season.

120- the average rush yards per game for Denard Robinson.

Something has to give.

 

Michigan Wolverines 23 – Michigan State Spartans 21

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Boise State’s BCS Watch Vol. 2

14 10 2011

Boise State faces its greatest foe in week 7 of the 2011 season.  No, not the Colorado State Rams.  Are you kidding me?  No, the BCS system.

Everyone’s favorite controversial, crazy, comical, chaotic, cockamamie system returns to spoil Boise State’s quest at a National Championship.

It’s pathetic that one of the decade’s most winningest programs had never been given an opportunity to play for a national title.

Since 2000, Boise State are 133-18, and have four undefeated seasons (not including bowl games).

To put that into perspective, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes have both had one undefeated season, Oklahoma have had two, and LSU…well…the Tigers have had no perfect seasons, but, have played for the BCS National Championship twice (2003, 2007).

 

Boise State Broncos at Colorado State Rams

This is definitely unchartered waters for both programs, as the Rams get their first look at the Boise State machine.

The Broncos bring their Mountain West Conference leading offense that averages 40.6 points per game, and a defense that is stymie to say the least (14.8 points allowed per game) to Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado on Saturday.

Will Colorado State’s Nordly Capi, the nation’s top sack producer, get to Kellen Moore?

Highly unlikely.  Moore’s offensive line has been extremely protective of their prolific star quarterback, as this unit has only allowed one sack all season.

Kellen Moore will put down the cupcake, cream puff defenses he’s feasted on in the past and will get a look at the 12th-ranked pass defense in the nation.

There’s no doubt that Moore will have to put it all on the line this weekend as he and the Broncos offense must produce heavily to stay afloat in the BCS rankings.  Remember, style points are Boise State’s only option from here on out.

Is this the weekend that Kellen Moore surpasses Tommy Chang for fifth on the all-time career touchdown passes list?  Moore is sitting on 116 career touchdown passes, and needs just one more to pass Chang, and 16 more to become the NCAA’s all-time touchdown passing leader (Colt Brennan, Hawaii, 131 touchdowns).

Moore is also two wins away from surpassing Colt McCoy of Texas as the winningest quarterback in college football history.

If you’re a betting person, bet the farm, and your family that Moore will smash both records, with ease.

 

Stat Pack:  Colorado State Rams are 5-21 at home against a ranked opponent since 1993.  

 

It’s inconceivable that the Broncos will fall to the Rams, okay, if someone drives a Mack truck onto the field and runs Kellen Moore over, along with Doug Martin, and Tyler Shoemaker, then, yes, fine, however, there is no way Boise State drops their first Mountain West Conference game.

Boise State wins in a landslide.

 

Somewhere Out There

 

Looking around the league this week, things don’t look like they favor Boise State in the slightest.

Oklahoma State visit a Texas Longhorns team that were manhandled and destroyed 55-18 by the Oklahoma Sooners last week in the Red River Rivalry game.  This week the Longhorns will get a taste of the explosive Oklahoma State offense that hung 70 points on Kansas- 56 of which were accounted for in the first half.  Mack Brown may be thinking “upset”, but, the unfortunate reality for Brown, the Longhorns and the Boise State Broncos is that Brandon Weeden is for real, and so are the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.  Sadly for the Broncos, Oklahoma State will win this game, and by considerable numbers.

Wisconsin are home this week to Indiana.  Yes, THAT Big Ten program that allowed 83 points against the Badgers last season.  Could we be in store for an encore performance by Wisconsin at Camp Randall?  With Russell Wilson at quarterback, more thank likely.

He’s been deemed as RussellManiaXVI across the media, and for good reason.  Since transferring from NC State this past winter, Wilson has found himself as part of something big, and playing on the grandest stage of them all…in the Big Ten.  Wilson has completed almost 75 percent of his passes this season, 1391 yards passing, and has 13 touchdowns.  Is Wilson “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be” at Wisconsin?  Is he truly “the show-stopper”?  Time will tell.  This week against the Hoosiers, we can expect Wilson and the Badgers to put on quite the air raiding performance for all the Russell-maniacs across the nation.

Since 1999, the Badgers are 8-2 against Indiana, and have won their last six meetings against the Hoosiers.  Might as well chalk another win up for Wisconsin. It’s going to be a long day.

Kings of the AP 25 Poll, LSU Tigers, are in Knoxville to take on a beaten up, injury plagued Volunteers squad.  It’s never a good idea to let a tiger smell blood.  Or is that a shark?  Maybe both?  Let’s go with both.  Poor Boise State won’t catch a break here, or anywhere in the SEC this week.  If you think Alabama is going to lose to Ole Miss, think again.  The Crimson Tide have won seven in a row against the Rebels.

Lastly, there’s the Oklahoma Sooners.  Okay, moving on.

So, what exactly are we watching this week?

Well, to be honest, nothing.

 

Boise State’s Projected Movement

Down.

Stanford will more than likely take the six spot in the BCS Poll for week one after they annihilate the Washington State Cougars.  Yes, the clock has struck 12 for the Cougars Cinderella run as they come back to reality.  With that in mind, Boise State will cash in their style points for this week and take the seventh spot in the BCS Poll, as they will probably hover around that position until November.

7. Boise State Broncos

 





College Football: The Bleacher Beast Top 5 Poll

9 10 2011

 

5.  Boise State Broncos

After a lacklustre outing last week against Nevada, Boise State returned to true Boise State form against Fresno State, demolishing the Bulldogs 57-7 on Friday night.

Oh, hey there, Kellen Moore, thanks for coming out.  Last week the Broncos pivot was less than stellar against the Wolf Pack, but, he managed to turn things around with a sensational outing as he torched the Bulldogs for 254 yards passing, and three touchdowns.  Doug Martin had a decent game on the ground as he carried the ball 16 times for 94 yards, and one touchdown rush.

Welcome back, Geraldo Boldewijn.  Boldewijn caught two touchdown passes for the Broncos in his first game back since serving a four-game ban.  With this added weapon to Boise State ‘s arsenal, the Broncos offense may be an unstoppable juggernaut.

The most important aspect in Boise State’s win was the well balanced attack on both sides of the ball.  Sure, the offense was very Boise State-like, but, the defense did a magnificent job at suffocating the Bulldogs offense, reducing their offense’s output that averages just over 360 total yards per game, to a mere 270 yards.

 

4.  Oklahoma State Cowboys

Here’s the sleeper pick of the week.

Can Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon be stopped?

The Cowboys quarterback has been making a lot of noise around the league this season, and, could be a darkhorse pick for the Heisman Trophy.

Weeden lead the Cowboys to a 70-28 drubbing of the Kansas Jayhawks in Stillwater-the first time OSU has reached 70 points since their 70-7 victory over Southern Illinois in 1973.

Weeden may have only played one half of this game due to the 56-7lopsided lead at halftime, but, he had sensational numbers all the while (288 yards passing, five touchdown passes, 0 interceptions).

Remember when people said the Cowboys offense would struggle without Dana Holgorsen calling the shots?  Doesn’t look like they miss him that much, now does it?

 

3.  Alabama Crimson Tide

AJ McCarron seems to be finding his stride as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback as he posted his best statistical output of the season.  McCarron completed 23-of-30 passes for 237 yards, and four touchdown passes.  It seems like Nick Saban’s trust in McCarron to learn by getting his feet wet is really starting to pay off.

Can anyone stop Trent Richardson?

Alabama’s running game seems to be unstoppable, as Richardson, again, eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the fifth straight game.  This week, Richardson ran for 107 yards, with one touchdown, as Alabama rolled over Vanderbilt 34-0.  The Crimson Tide’s ground attack is running on all cylinders, and it doesn’t look like any defense is equipped, or ready to slow it down.

 

2.  LSU Tigers

Another week, another defensive show by the Tigers of LSU.

Last week, LSU were sitting pretty at the top of the AP 25 Poll, but, playing a banged up Florida Gators squad won’t help keep that spot.

Florida went into Death Valley without John Brantley or Jeff Driskel at quarterback, an ailing Jeff Demps, and a young, inexperienced defense.  Not only did the LSU Tigers manhandle the Gators, but, to rub it in, the Tigers drew up a play made famous by former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, yes, we’re talking about the “jump pass”.  This play burned LSU in the past, but, this time, it worked to their advantage as Jordan Jefferson completed the play to his tight end Mitch Joseph in the fourth quarter.

 

1.  Oklahoma Sooners

Sure, Alabama’s run game is unstoppable, LSU’s defense is just downright nasty, and both Boise State and Oklahoma State’s offense are truly something out of some kid’s XBox, but, the Sooners are a whole different monster.

Bob Stoops has created a Frankenstein using parts of all the aforementioned prolific programs.

The Sooners land in the top spot after they embarrassed Texas in a 55-17 victory at the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma’s defense smothered the Texas offense all afternoon, sacking the Longhorns quarterback tandem of David Ash and Case McCoy eight times.  If that wasn’t enough, Sooners defensive backs Tony Jefferson and Demontre Hurst each hauled in an interception.

Can Landry Jones do what Sam Bradford couldn’t and lead the Sooners to a BCS National Championship?

Jones had provided another stellar performance, as Oklahoma’s wonder-kid completed 31-of-50 passes for 367 yards, and three touchdown passes.





College Football: Week 6 Picks- Another Upset By Kansas State? SEC Opening Acts Could Steal Spotlight

8 10 2011

 

Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers

 

Considering the LSU-Florida game is billed as the top SEC game of the week, people shouldn’t write this Georgia-Tennessee game off so quickly as it has the makings to outdo the battle in Death Valley.

In a battle for SEC East Division supremacy, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Tyler Bray of Tennessee will meet in what could be a preview of future Sunday’s as these two pro prospects are expected to put on a fireworks show in Knoxville.

Tennessee have converted  a nations best 62 percent on third downs, en route to scoring 40 or more points in its three wins this season.  Not bad.  However, this offense will face a Bulldogs defense that has limited its opponent under 26 percent on third down conversions, which is ranked second nationally.

With the loss of Justin Hunter at wide receiver, Tennessee’s offense could be in a bit of trouble against Georgia.  The Bulldogs defense ranks 4th in the nation against the pass as this unit has exceptional coverage, and have only allowed five passing touchdowns this season.  If Bray can’t get this offense flying through the air, then Tennessee will get shut down quickly.

The Volunteers ground game is down right awful.  Ranked 97th in the nation, yes, 97th, Tennessee averages a measly three yards per carry.  Tennessee also ranks dead last in the SEC in rushing offense.  Georgia will find it easy to contain the ground game of Tennessee as the Bulldogs currently rank 56th nationally against the run.  Not bad.  They also limit running backs to a mere 4.51 yards per carry.

 

Georgia Bulldogs 41 – Tennessee Volunteers 27

 

Auburn Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks

 

Last season Ryan Mallett and Cam Newton took their teams to war in what may have been the SEC’s “Game of the Year”.

Newton and the Tigers dropped 65 points on Mallett’s Razorbacks in the win.  Tyler Wilson made an appearance in that game, relieving Mallett after the star quarterback suffered a concussion in the first half.

This season, Auburn are without Cam Newton, and Arkansas are sans Mallett.  Could we see a repeat of 2010’s bomb show?

More than likely.

Let’s all be honest here.  The point of Auburn’s defense is not to stop the opposing team’s offense, but, really, to give the Tigers’ offense a breather.  To put it in simple terms: Auburn’s defense is down right awful.  High school football programs play better defense than the Tigers.

Nationally, the Tigers rank 106th in total defense, 108th against the rush, 74th against the pass, and 74th in scoring defense.

Arkansas averages over 471 yards per game in total offense (16th overall) and is also 16th in the country in scoring.  The Razorbacks average over 39 points a game, and against Auburn, it looks like the offense will be running wild Saturday.

This will be the perfect defense for the prolific Tyler Wilson to take advantage of and destroy.  The Tigers secondary is obviously its weakest link, and will be exposed quickly and often as Wilson’s air show takes flight.  Expect the Razorbacks pivot to break the school record  for most passing yards in a game that he set last week against Texas A&M (510 yards).  Too early to say “Heisman Trophy darkhorse”?

Stat Pack: Arkansas are 20-for-20 with 15 touchdowns in the red zone this season.  

 

Arkansas Razorbacks 54 – Auburn Tigers 39

 

UPSET SPECIAL!

 

Missouri Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats

 

Okay, short and sweet.

Kansas State knocked off RG3 and the Baylor Bears last week in a thriller.

Coach Bill Snyder obviously has a great thing going at K-State.  He must be channelling it from those slick Nike shoes he sports.

Collin Klein ranks second in the FBS in quarterback rushing, averaging 105.8 yards per game.  Dual-threat quarterbacks seem to be all the rage these days.  If Kansas State can knock off Baylor, then, they can topple Missouri, too.

Kansas State Wildcats 31 – Missouri Tigers 28





Boise State’s BCS Watch: Vol. 1

7 10 2011

Last week, we all saw a very un-Boise State-like performance by the Broncos who put up their lowest scoring output of the season in their 30-10 victory over Nevada.

142 yards passing?  Two interceptions? Okay, did someone kidnap the REAL Kellen Moore, and replace him with some mediocre look-a-like?

Obviously Moore was due for a bad game, but, boy, did he pick the worst week to have it.

Boise State are currently battling LSU, who were victorious over Kentucky, Alabama, who defeated Florida, and Wisconsin, who, lead by Russell Wilson, whipped Nebraska in the Cornhuskers inaugural Big Ten conference game.

All of these programs seemed much more efficient, and dangerous than the Broncos, which ultimately pushed Boise State down from 4th to 5th in the AP 25 Poll, and have Stanford and Oklahoma State nipping at their heels.

This week, Boise State’s push to regain ground in the polls will start with their visit to Fresno State on Friday night.  Hopefully, Boise State remember how to put up their video game-esque numbers if they expect to get their ship back on course.

 

Boise State Broncos at Fresno State Bulldogs

It’s not a understatement in the very least  to say that the Broncos have owned the Bulldogs as of late.  Fresno State’s coach Pat Hill is a measly 1-9 against the Broncos.

Boise State have racked up 51 points or more in their last three games against Fresno State, with their last victory a 51-0 drubbing of the Bulldogs on the blue turf in 2010.

For Boise State, the emphasis should be on consistency.   In a league that is one part wins and losses, one part strength in schedule, and one part style, the Broncos really need to rely on the style aspect the most, and by style we mean go big or go home.

Stringing together wins is one thing, but, consistently stringing together large-margine victories, and limiting points against will help boost a program’s credibility even in the smallest of conferences.

Starting tonight, the Broncos high-octane offense can not take its foot off the gas for any reason.  Pump up the numbers, run the scoreboard up and prove that this program is worth something.  On the other side of the ball, Boise State should  really  buckle down on defense.  If this unit can hold the Bulldogs (52nd in the nation in points scored per game) to a low scoring output, then the voters may see Boise State as somewhat of a more legit program than what they are now.

Kellen Moore had one off game last week at Nevada.  Fine.  Every great quarterback has one.  The spotlight will shine heavily on Moore against Fresno State as people want to see how the standout pivot will bounce back.  With a bum knee, will Kellen Moore be as mobile as he was in the past?  Are the two interceptions thrown last week a sign of Moore coming down to Earth, proving he is but a mere mortal?

Boise State can not afford to go back-to-back weeks of mediocrity.  Chris Petersen must use Fresno State as a tool to not only rev the programs engines in the AP 25 Poll, but, to flex the Broncos muscles in their claim of being a legit contender for the BCS National Championship.  Remember, Boise State still haven’t gone against TCU, Air Force or San Diego State yet-the Mountain West Conference’s “dragons” in the Broncos quest of conquering the BCS system.

As mentioned earlier, the Broncos sit 5th in the AP 25 Poll with LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Wisconsin ahead of them, and, Oklahoma State and Stanford just below them.

In order for Boise State to make any sort of positive movement this week, the Broncos must first return to their old selves and really shine against Fresno State.  This means Kellen Moore must be on his A-game and have a spotless…well…interception-free night, along with big numbers in the air.  Running back Doug Martin has to mirror the production of last week.  A plethora of points is a must as well.  Also, let’s try and not miss any of those PAT’s this week.  As for the defense, again, a sound, suffocating unit has to show up.  The name of the game is “Goose Egg” and the rules are simple-don’t let Fresno State score.

If this comes together all that’s left is…

 

Boise State ideally need the Texas Longhorns to win the Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl, Florida to stun LSU at Death Valley, Vanderbilt over Alabama and Colorado to be the black cat to Stanford’s “Luck”.

Realistically, Alabama is going to let Trent Richardson run wild over the Commodores all afternoon, and Colorado will fall victim to the Cardinal offense that just doesn’t stop pouring on points.

As for the Gators stunning the Tigers of LSU…this is a longshot, but, a possibility.  Strange things happen in these big time SEC games.

Oklahoma has not won back-to-back games against the Longhorns since 2003 and 2004, but, the higher-ranked program is 9-2 since 2000.  As much as it would be nice to see a major upset this week, chances are, we may not get one.  Landry Jones and the Sooners offense are just too well oiled to fall to the young, inexperienced Longhorns…this year.  Sorry, Case McCoy.  Unfortunately, you will not have the same luck older brother Colt had in his first game out against the Sooners.  Better luck next year, bud.

The forecast doesn’t look good for Boise State this week.  If all goes accordingly, then, even with a win over Fresno State, the Broncos will actually lose ground in the polls again this week as Stanford will slip in ahead of them.  However, going back to style, if the Cardinal can’t stay consistent with their play over the past few weeks and struggle against Colorado, Boise State could remain in the fifth spot.

 

However…

 

Boise State’s Mathematic Equations:

 

Boise State win over Fresno State + LSU WIN over Florida + Alabama win over Vanderbilt + Oklahoma win over Texas + Stanford win over Colorado + idle Wisconsin= Boise State 6th (1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Wisconsin, 5. Stanford…6. Boise State)

Boise State win over Fresno State + LSU win over Florida + Alabama win over Vanderbilt + Oklahoma LOSS to Texas + Stanford win over Colorado + idle Wisconsin= Boise State 5th (1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Wisconsin, 4. Stanford, 5. Boise State)

Boise State win over Fresno State + LSU loss to Florida + Alabama win over Vanderbilt + Oklahoma win over Texas + Stanford win over Colorado + idle Wisconsin= Boise State 4th (1. Oklahoma, 2. Alabama, 3. Wisconsin, 4. Boise State, 5. Stanford)

Boise State win over Fresno State + LSU loss to Florida + Alabama win over Vanderbilt  + Oklahoma LOSS to Texas + Stanford win over Colorado + idle Wisconsin= Boise State 3rd (1. Alabama, 2. Wisconsin, 3. Boise State, 4. Stanford, 5. Oklahoma State)

Boise State win over Fresno State + LSU LOSS to Florida + Alabama LOSS to Vanderbilt + Oklahoma LOSS to Texas + Stanford LOSS to Colorado + idle Wisconsin= Boise State 2nd (1. Wisconsin, 2. Boise State, 3. Oklahoma State, 4. Clemson, 5. Oregon)

Boise State LOSS to Fresno State= No BCS National Championship.  

 

 

 





Update! What’s On Tap

3 10 2011

There will be no weekly previews again this week, but, they will return next Monday.  I’ve been working diligently on a slew of new spots for the upcoming week, and for the rest of the college football season.

We’re getting into the start of important conference play, the BCS polls, Heisman watches, and patrolling key upsets that will heavily influence the foundation and makeup of the BCS Bowls, and particularly the BCS National Championship game.

With that being said, here’s what’s on tap here:

 

  • HCS:  Heisman Championship System- Every Saturday, the top five Heisman hopefuls will be ranked based on his performance that week.  Watch out for our dark horse picks.  (Sunday Morning)
  • Boise State’s BCS Watch- A preview of Boise State’s weekly games, and a look at the outside help they may need that week by programs facing others ranked above the Broncos.  (Friday Night)
  • Bleacher Beast Top 5- Our picks of how the BCS Poll will look like on Sunday afternoon.  (Saturday Night/Sunday Morning)




College Football: Week 5 Picks- UCLA’s Un-Luck-y Day, Boise’s Revenge, The Persa Show

1 10 2011

UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal

Once upon a time the Bruins were a legit football program who were constantly chalking up victories over the Cardinal, but, in recent years, it seems like these two storied teams have swapped places and are currently moving in opposite directions.

Last season, the Bruins were on the receiving end of a 38-0 whipping at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Cardinal at the Rose Bowl, and this season, it looks like Stanford are going to continue where they left off.

Maybe to make things fair, the NCAA should spot UCLA a 10-point lead at kickoff, just to make things a little less embarrassing for the Bruins.

Stanford enters this game with the top-ranked run defense in the nation, a Heisman front runner in Andrew Luck, and an offense that ranks 9th in scoring, and 24th in total offense.  UCLA, on the other hand, ranks 98th in total defense, 91st in scoring defense, and 72nd against the pass.  Mismatch much?

Stanford comes into this game red hot as they have won 11 straight games, scoring no less than 37 points in all contests.

As mentioned earlier, these are two programs moving in opposite directions-Stanford are driving towards a BCS National Championship berth, while Rick Neuheisel is just trying to keep his job at UCLA.

 

Stanford Cardinal 48 – UCLA Bruins 13

 

Nevada Wolf Pack at Boise State Broncos

UPSET ALERT?

Arguably the worst defeat the Broncos have ever endured came last November at the hands of Nevada in a stunning 31-34 overtime loss.  Boise State were right in the thick of things in regards to busting the BCS system and making a statement to be included in the BCS National Championship talks, but, the upset at the hands of the Wolf Pack shattered the dreams of Boise State.  What many people remember from this game, especially Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman, was the two short field-goal misses that could have changed the game drastically.  Instead, the Broncos were the first top 10 program to lose to Nevada in Wolf Pack history.

That was last year, this is 2011.

Broncos coach, Chris Petersen, has the Broncos back in the top 10, and again, in the BCS title conversation.  Surely, Broncos quarterback, Kellen Moore remembers that loss last season very well, and will definitely be ready for Nevada this time around.

What can’t be overlooked here is the consistency of the Broncos at home on the smurf-turf.  Boise State are 63-0 as hosts since 2001, and have won their last five home games agains the Wolf Pack.

Kellen Moore will highlight his high-powered offense that ranks 8th in the nation in passing (354.0 yards per game) against a Nevada defense that ranks 78th.

Considering that the Broncos are very pass-happy, and like to air the ball out, this game could see quite a workout on the scoreboard.

Boise State’s Tyler Shoemaker has been a suitable replacement for the departed Austin Pettis.  Shoemaker has hauled in six touchdown passes this season, and seems to be the new “go-to” guy for Moore.

Interesting note, this season the Broncos have not attempted a single field-goal.  Are Boise State scared to get back on the bike after falling off last season to Nevada?  That scrape the Broncos got after their fall should have healed by now.  Don’t underestimate the power of the three-point play, Broncos.  But, then again, today Boise State may not need to resort to field-goals.  This is going to be a romp.

 

Boise State Broncos 54 (yeah, we’re going with two missed PAT’s today) – Nevada Wolf Pack 13

 

 

UPSET SPECIAL!

 

Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini

The Dan Persa Show returns for the first episode of the season.

Northwestern’s golden boy is set to start his first game of the season after recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered last season.

Are the billboards back up around the Chicago area, campaigning Persa’s Heisman push?  Hmm.

The prolific quarterback may not be Heisman material, but, he can, however, right the ship that is the Wildcats football season.  Northwestern are currently sitting on a 2-1 record and coming off of a bye week as they visit their first Big Ten foe, the 4-0 Illinois Fighting Illini.

Please note, the Illini have lost six of the last eight games against the Wildcats, and have also dropped their last three conference opening games since their 27-14 win over Indiana in 2007.

These both seem like ideal scenarios for Northwestern today.

What Illinois offense is going to show up today?  Will it be the offense that runs up the scoreboard like it did against FCS opponents?  Or, will the offense that struggled against Western Michigan and Arizona State be the one that takes the field today?

Illini running back Troy Pollard will be a major factor in this game.  Pollard averages 10 yards per carry and has a keen eye at finding holes in defenses that allow him to explode through them.

Northwestern struggled against Army’s run game a few weeks back, so, Pollard and the Illini could expose this lacklustre defense early, and put the Wildcats in a hole.  However, if the Wildcats unit holds and improves this week, Illinois could be in a lot of trouble.

It’s understandable that one person doesn’t win games on their own, but, today, Dan Persa is going to make all the difference in the world.  Can he return to his early 2010 form for Northwestern?  Will he work gingerly to avoid another injury?

Considering the magnitude of this game (albeit, it’s nowhere near Nebraska vs. Wisconsin), Dan Persa and the Wildcats are looking for that first big statement win of the season, and what better way to get it than by knocking off the 24th-ranked Illini on the road.

 

Northwestern Dan Persa…err…Wildcats 27 – Illinois Fighting Illini 23