On to this week's action.
UNLV Alumni Party.
Notre Dame -3.5. 1 unit So if you haven't noticed already, the Irish walked into Boston College last Saturday evening and after 3.5 hours of offensive ineptitude, left the scoreboard as if they hadn't even been there, while BC manages to squeeze out a 17 point win. Consequently, offensive Coordinator Mike Haywood has a family emergency, Lou Holtz doubles his spittle output, and Jesus smites 17 Aboriginal Lepers. In other words, the HenryJames has hit the fan in South Bend. Add last week's debacle to last year's monumental upset, and you have the makings of a beautiful spot for the Irish.
Matchup wise, the Irish should be able to move the ball at will on an awful Navy secondary. The Midshipmen give up passing yards in bunches and have done so vs. the likes of Towson State, Temple, Air Force, Duke, PITT and Ball State. Notre Dame will be the 2nd or 3rd best passing attack Navy has faced all year.
A douchebag only Touchdown Jesus could love.
Defensively, the Irish will give up points in this game, but their bend but don't break style is well suited for defending Navy's option attack. Look for the Irish D to bide their time hoping to take advantage of miscues and field goals to stop Navy. I'm betting on the Irish scoring in bunches and slowing Navy's attack down just enough. Notre Dame 38 Navy 31.
Texas -13 @ Kansas. 2 units This will be the first bet I've made on Texas all year. It's a strong situational play where you've got a team coming off a hangover game who happens to be going on the road to face an inferior opponent. Texas has heard all week about how lethargic they looked vs. Baylor. They've heard all week how past Texas teams in similar situations late in the year have let dreams and goals slip away by choking against inferior competition. Hell, it's happened twice to the seniors, juniors, and redshirt sophamores on this squad. But this is a new team, with new team leaders, and new coaching. They all know they need a statement game to get where they want to go, which is a BCS game and perhaps a conference or even national championship game. Play lethargic this Saturday and everything the Horns have worked for likely goes to waste for the third year in a row.
Matchup wise, you couldn't ask for a better opponent than the Kansas Jayhawks. After facing 4 teams with NFL offensive line talent in consecutive weeks, this Texas defensive line has the opportunity to get well against an absolute abortion of a KU offensive line. Kindle, Miller, Orakpo, Melton, and company have to be licking their chops. The young Longhorn secondary should show tremendous improvement considering Todd Reesing will be running for his life and throwing under pressure.
Offensively, the Horns run a 4 wide base offense and that has proved to be Kansas' Achilles heel. Spread teams have enjoyed tremendous success by making Kansas go nickel and dime at the expense of pulling one or more talented Jayhawk LB's off the field. Add a dose of a healthy Fozzy Whitaker and a the up and coming big play threat of Malcolm Williams, and you could have the makings of an offensive coming out party in Lawrence. I like Texas to really make a statement to the fans, voters, and themselves in this game. Texas 49 to 21. And for an in depth scouting report, check out Scip's Kansas Preview.
Big Play Potential.
Dallas Cowboys -1.5 @ Washington--NFL Special. 2 units You talk about a situation of all situations. Here we have a Dallas team, coming off a bye, getting healthy, and hearing about how they've been an abject disappointment this year by everyone in the media for two weeks. But the good news is that the season isn't over. The Cowboys still are one of the 3 or 4 most talented teams in the League. They've got a healthy Tony Romo, a now acclimated superstar number two receiver in Roy Williams, and a bad case of red ass.
On the flip side, Clinton Portis should be a non-factor with a sprained MCL, which limits what Jason Campbell does best...playaction. If Campbell has to drop back 30 or more times this game, it could get ugly. I'm betting the Cowboys limit running room for the skins, allowing the Dline to pin their ears back and get after the Redskin signal caller.
Offensively, the Cowboys are just too talented, especially with Williams opposite T.O., not to score points in this game. The Redskins won't be able to bracket T.O., as most teams have successfully done, while Roy Williams and Jason Witten are on the field. Versus overly pass attentive safeties, Marion Barber should be able to find running room to take pressure off the Cowboy's offensive line. I look for a comfortable double digit win in a revenge spot and season saving spot for the 'Boys. Cowboys 28 Redskins 17.
Here are some more college games with mini-writeups.
NC State +4 vs. Wake. 1 unit Linebacker super-stud Nate Irving is now healthy and back to single-handedly getting opposing offenses off the field with big plays. NC State is a much better coached football team with O'Brien and they have improved each week. Wake is going the other direction and they're not the same team without Josh Adams running the football. I like the 'Pack to win outright. 20 to 17.
UNM -1 @ Colorado State. 1 unit UNM moved it against UNLV and they should move it against CSU. If the Lobos can avoid a block punt, and outyardage the Rams like they did vs. the Rebels last week, they should cover this number.
Oklahoma State -17 @ Colorado. 1 unit After Texas trounced Mizzou, they went out and got well against CU. Okie State will do the same. The Cowboys big, 45 to 10.
Good luck on your action and be sure to check out ded @ Tortilla Retort.