jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
12/31/2013 10:48 PM

Capital One Bowl
(19) Wisconsin vs. (8) South Carolina
The 19th ranked Badgers (9-3) failed to make the Rose Bowl for the first time in 4 years, however Gary Andersen's squad still finished up respectable. A controversial loss to Arizona State early in the year and inexplicable defeat at the hands of Penn State at home in the season finale relegated UW to the Capital One Bowl. The #8 Gamecocks also had higher expectations but a critical loss to 5-7 Tennessee cost the Gamecocks a trip to the SEC Championship game. Nonetheless, the matchup is one of the more intriguing and challenging in all of the 2013 Bowl season.

Joel Stave (199/323 2414 20 TD 12 INT) put together some impressive performances until the finale against the Nittanies where he was tested by a tough defense. He threw for 339 yards and 3 TD's but also was picked 3 times. Top target Jared Abbrederis (73-1051 7 TD) caught 12 passes for 135 yards but was kept out of the end zone. James White (209-1337 6.4 13 TD) not only is one of the more complete RB's in the country but can also make plays as a slot receiver (37-292 2 TD). Melvin Gordon (181-1466 8.1 12 TD) did most of his damage in the first half of the season and during a 6 game winning streak, however provides a dual threat in the backfield for the Badger rushing game.

The Cocks are led by Connor Shaw (158/259 2135 21 TD 1 INT) who holds by far the nation's best TD to INT ratio while also rushing for 511 yards and 5 TD's. Shaw's top targets include Bruce Ellington (43-635 6 TD) and Damiere Byrd (33-575 4 TD) who the last few weekends of the regular season used their ground game as their primary arsenal. He’ll be joined in the backfield by sophomore RB Mike Davis, the SEC’s 4th-leading rusher and the nation’s 30th-ranked rusher (194-1134 5.8 11 TD). On the defensive side, S. Carolina brings the nation’s 13th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 20.0 points per contest and junior DE Jadeveon Clowney, who had a subpar season with 36 tackles and 3 sacks, is this unit’s top next-level talent and likely NFL first round draft pick.

Wisconsin also excels at stopping the run, ranking second in the Big Ten behind conference champion Michigan State in rushing defense with an average of 101.3 yards allowed. Chris Borland‚ who has racked up 102 tackles‚ 8.5 TFL‚ 4.0 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Sojour Shelton paces the secondary with four interceptions and 11 passes defended‚ while Michael Caputo (62 tackles) and Brendan Kelly (7.0 TFL‚ 4.5 sacks‚ three FF) are also defensive standouts. Wisconsin's defense will be the difference-maker in this one against a Gamecocks' offense that lacks explosion.

The pick: Wisconsin -2.5 (2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 51

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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
12/31/2013 11:18 PM

Rose Bowl
(5) Michigan St vs. (4) Stanford:
The grand daddy of them all features a hum-dinger with Big 10 Champion and #5 Michigan St (12-1) facing off against Pac 12 Champion and 4th ranked Stanford (11-2) from Pasadena. This will be the Cardinal's fourth straight appearance in a BCS bowl, and their 15th in the Rose Bowl, more than any other school besides USC or Michigan. For Michigan St, the Spartans announced the stunning news that Max Bullough (76 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss) would be suspended for his final collegiate game for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Led by Kevin Hogan (170/277 2487 20 TD 9 INT) made a name for himself with a strong, accurate arm and a fearless and effective running style. He was the Pac-12 championship game MVP last season, and stepped into the shoes of some guy named Andrew Luck, filling them well enough to lead the Cardinal to something his predecessor never could: a Rose Bowl title. Most of his success can be attributed to Ty Montgomery (58-937 10 TD) who is Hogan's top target in the receiving core. Montgomery enjoyed his best effort of the season, catching 5 passes for 160 yards and 4 TD's in a 63-13 rout of California. Stanford however excels best in the ground game led by Tyler Gaffney (306-1618 5.3 20 TD) who ran for 133 yards on 22 carries (6.0) and 3 scores in a 38-14 win over Arizona St in the Pac-12 Championship game.

For Sparty Connor Cook (201/344 2423 20 TD 5 INT) threw for 304 yards and 3 scores to help Michigan St beat Ohio St 34-24 for the Big 10 Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Cook has plenty of balance in the receiving core led by Bennie Fowler (34-525 6 TD), Tony Lippett (39-519 1 TD) and Macgarrett Kings Jr (39-461 3 TD). Jeremy Langford (269-1338 5.0 17 TD) eclipsed at least 100 yards rushing in his final 8 contests, including a 128 yard effort on 24 carries (5.3) and a score in the win over the Buckeyes.

Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. He has the speed and moxie to take away the momentum in Montgomery. Michigan State is only one of four FBS defenses (along with Florida State, Alabama and Louisville) to allow less than 20 seasonal touchdowns to the opposition. Something has to give in this one as Stanford's offense which averages 34 points per game will be tested by MSU's defense giving up only 12.7. MSU seems to have destiny on its side along with a defense that has a better-than-50/50 chance of finding the end zone. Too many points to lay for a team that could just as easily be vulnerable for Sparty to potentially pull the outright upset.

The pick: Michigan St +7 (bought half, 2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 42.5


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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
12/31/2013 11:32 PM

Gator Bowl
Nebraska vs. (23) Georgia:
If this year's Gator Bowl matchup has a familiar feel to it, it's because both of these teams met last season on New Year's Day but in the Capital One Bowl. Nebraska (8-4) looks to get revenge on 23rd ranked Georgia (8-4) from last season when the Bulldogs outscored the Cornhuskers 45-31 behind 5 TD and 427 passing yards from Aaron Murray.

Murray (225/347 3075 26 TD 9 INT) however tore his ACL on Nov 23rd against Kentucky, which means Hutson Mason (46/71 648 4 TD 2 INT) will take his place. Mason threw for 300 yards with 2 TD an an INT in a 41-34 win over Georgia Tech during the regular season finale. The Bulldogs have plenty of balance in the receiving core led by Chris Conley (42-605 4 TD) who had by far his best game of the season against GT catching 7 passes for 129 yards. Michael Bennett (39-483 4 TD) will also be targeted with some opportunities against Nebraska's secondary, which would probably face more of a test had Murray been healthy and starting. Todd Gurley (144-903 6.3 10 TD) suffered an ankle injury in October that kept his overall productivity down, but could receive more touches in the ground game and also as a slot receiver (30-344 5 TD) where he endured success in the flat and in the red zone.

The Huskers, meanwhile, are all but certain to be without Taylor Martinez in their 50th bowl appearance. The senior was limited to four games this season due to a rash of injuries, throwing for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns while picked off only twice. The Huskers don't know where they're going to yet at QB, but most believe it will be Tommy Armstrong Jr. (62/117 803 7 TD 7 INT), Ron Kellogg III (80/132 919 6 TD 3 INT) has shared time with Armstrong during the course of the regular season. However Kellogg struggled in a loss to Iowa in the season finale in which he went 19/38 for 199 yards including a TD and 2 picks. Quincy Enuwa (47-624 10 TD) has had a strong senior season as the leading receiver for the Huskers. Kenny Bell (51-566 4 TD) is quick in the open field, so Georgia's secondary should be on the alert even with Martinez out. Nebraska may take the same approach using a far superior ground game led by Ameer Abdullah (254-1568 6.2 8 TD) who gained over 100 yards in 10 of 12 starts this season.

The main reason Georgia shouldn't be too worried as that Nebraska's rushing defense is not that good. They don't have to play to Nebraska's defensive strength and throw the ball. They have a balanced offense and they can attack where they want, and it just so happens that their interests line up against the Cornhuskers. Nebraska hasn't defeated a really good team this year, with narrow wins over Michigan and Penn State. Those are also traditional powers having down years. But Georgia isn't that far down, and though it should be close, the Bulldogs should have their way for a second straight season.

The pick: Georgia -8.5 (one gyro)
Totals lean: over 60 (2 gyros)

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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/01/2014 12:38 PM

Fiesta Bowl
(15) Central Florida vs. (6) Baylor:
In what figures to be one of the better QB matchups in all of the bowl games, 15th ranked Central Florida (11-1) out of Conference USA faces 6th ranked Baylor (11-1) from the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This is unfamiliar territory for UCF, which wrapped up a BCS bid with Louisville's win over Cincinnati on Dec. 5th and added the inaugural American Athletic Conference title by holding off SMU 17-13 in an ice storm two days later. The Bears' hopes for a national championship were dashed with a lopsided loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 23, but they rebounded to win their next two games. A 30-10 victory over Texas in the regular-season finale gave Baylor 11 wins for the first time.

Bryce Petty (220/356 3844 30 TD 2 INT) didn't have one of his better efforts against the Longhorns, but led the offense to the second ranked efficiency ranking in the passing game. Antwan Goodley (67-1319 13 TD) capped off one of his better performances in the Big 12 Championship against Texas catching 8 passes for 114 yards and a score in sub-freezing temperatures. Levi Norwood (43-670 7 TD) found the end zone the final 5 weeks of the season and provides depth in the Baylor receiving core. The Bears will also have Tevin Reese (33-824 8 TD) back from a dislocated wrist injury suffered against Oklahoma. Because the Bears like to run so many plays in so little time, they also excel in the running game featuring the combo of Lache Seastrunk (141-1060 7.5 11 TD) and Shock Linwood (125-862 6.9 8 TD). Their up tempo pace doesn't give opposing defenses time to discuss strategies to stop Baylor's upstart attack.

Blake Bortles (239/351 3280 22 TD 7 INT) earned American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors and was selected First Team All-Conference, both coming over Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Bortles could get even more recognition if he outplays Petty on a national stage. Rannell Hall (53-773 3 TD) leads a balanced receiving core that also features JJ Worton (42-665 7 TD) and Breshad Perriman (36-763 3 TD). Baylor will not be protected indoors from the storm brewing in Storm Johnson (093-1015 5.3 11 TD) who like Seastrunk has bounce out speed in the backfield with the ability to amass great gains behind an offensive line that plays with a chip on their shoulder.

The Bears have posted stellar numbers in every statistical category, leading the nation in total yards per game (624.5), ranking 6th in passing yards (359.3), 12th in rushing yards (265.2), and topping the country in points per (53.3). Defensively, the Bears rank 20th nationally, allowing 21.2 points per and this unit is also stacked with next level talents senior S Ahmad Dixon (70 Tkls, 1 INT), senior LB Eddie Lackey (97 Tkls, 4.5 Sacks) and junior LB Bryce Hager (71 Tkls) among its standouts. UCF's defense is no slouch either yielding just 19 points per contest to rank 12th in the nation, with partial credit due to a weaker schedule earlier in the campaign. Central Florida struggled a bit down the stretch, coming nowhere close to covering the spread against teams like Temple, South Florida and SMU. The Knights beat a couple of good teams earlier this season, and hung tough with South Carolina, but they haven't run into anybody like Baylor.


The pick: Baylor -16 (4 gyros)
Totals lean: over 73



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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/02/2014 01:35 PM

No excuses, no lies folks. This has been one of the roughest seasons in quite sometime for me during bowl season.

Overall 26-32 .448 -15.20 gyros
Sides 14-15 .489 -5.10 gyros
Totals 12-17 .414 -10.10 gyros


However there are several bowl games remaining and hopefully we can end the campaign on a winning note.

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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/02/2014 05:18 PM

Sugar Bowl
(3) Alabama vs. (11) Oklahoma
All it took was one fluky play that turned out to be one of the biggest finishes in CFB history to change the landscape of the BCS title game. The Crimson Tide, who were ranked No. 1 in the nation until that defeat at Auburn, would like to show the college football world that they truly are the best team in the land. 3rd ranked Alabama (11-1) nonetheless still made it to the BCS series taking on #11 Oklahoma (10-2) who still maintains one of the steadiest and more consistent programs in the nation.

AJ McCarron (207/306 2676 26 TD 5 INT) will no doubt go down as one of the most successful QB's not just to play at Alabama but in the history of the game. Sporting one of the more balanced and deep receiving cores, the Crimson Tide are led by Amari Cooper (36-615 4 TD) who had by far his best game in the loss to Auburn catching 6 passes for 178 yards and a score. Kevin Norwood (36-538 7 TD) caught at least one receiving TD in his 5 final regular season games. Chrsition Jones (36-349 2 TD) brings in a solid 3rd option for McCarron, but did most of his damage in the first half of the season. Alabama is most dangerous with their running game that provides plenty of protection for McCarron. TJ Yeldon (190-1163 6.1 13 TD) had 6 games gaining well over 100 yards including his final 3 where he racked up 434 with 3 scores. Keynan Drake (92-694 7.5 8 TD) made the most of his opportunities as a second option in the backfield that McCarron utilizes when Yeldon is on the sidelines. Oklahoma defense struggled against the run due in part to some key injuries on the front seven for much of the 2013 season. The Sooners allowed at least 200 rushing yards in four games this season and barring a complete turnaround will likely allow Alabama to take advantage of the ground game at the line.

The identity of the Sooners' quarterback has been something of a question mark all season, and will unfortunately be the same scenario this evening with Blake Bell (140/233 1648 12 TD 5 INT) and Trevor Knight (47/90 471 5 TD 4 INT) receiving the bulk of the snaps. Jalen Saunders (56-654 6 TD) not only led the Sooners in receiving but is a dangerous return man averaging nearly 17 yards per punt and can be a big play threat. Sterling Shepard (44-540 6 TD) can also make plays in the open field as evident of his 7 catch 112 yard effort against Oklahoma St. Brennan Clay (158-913 5.8 6 TD) will likely get most of the touches in the ground game since Damien Williams was kicked off the team charged with his second violation of team rules. With Williams gone, expect senior Roy Finch (58-347 5.9) to take on a larger role in OU’s offense.

Bell and Knight will try to score on the second-best defense in the nation, which allows 11.3 points per game. Only twice did Alabama surrender more than 17 points in 2013. The Sooners offense struggled in their two losses, scoring 20 and 12 points, respectively, against Texas and Baylor. Don't expect Nick Saban and his team to suffer from a letdown, as the Crimson Tide was ranked No.1 in the country for the entire season, and didn’t see their national title hopes get dashed until their final game.

The pick: Alabama -16.5 (bought half, 3 gyros)
Totals lean: over 52


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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/03/2014 03:55 PM

Cotton Bowl
(13) Oklahoma St vs. (9) Missouri
If this game has a Big 12 conference feel to it, you are probably right since this is only the second year in the SEC for 9th ranked Missouri. After a horrible inaugural season in the SEC the Tigers (11-2) had a chance to improve their bowl standing with an appearance in the BCS. However Mizzou lost to Auburn 59-42 in the conference championship. That gave the Auburn Tigers the right to play #1 Florida St on January 6th for the BCS Championship. Missouri will face 13th ranked Oklahoma St (10-2) in the Cotton Bowl this evening from AT&T Stadium. Okie St saw their BCS hopes come to an end with a loss to their interstate rival Oklahoma Sooners 33-24 last month.

The high flying Oklahoma State offense finished year ranked 16th in scoring averaging nearly 40 points per contest. Just as impressive has been the Oklahoma State defense that also ranks 14th in points allowed per game at just 20. JW Walsh (113/190 1333 9 TD 5 INT) took over the quarterback duties on the third offensive series of the Cowboys’ opener against Mississippi State and then started the next five games. However the Cowboy offense often sputtered with Walsh behind center, particularly in a 30-21 loss at West Virginia and in a 33-29 comeback win against Kansas State. Walsh struggled with accuracy and in consistently getting the ball to the outside and downfield. He was pulled in the second quarter against TCU on Oct. 19 after throwing two interceptions, including one in the end zone. OSU’s offense has found much more rhythm since the quarterback switch to Clint Chelf (131/234 1792 15 TD 6 INT) scoring at least 38 points during its seven-game winning streak that put it back in Big 12 title contention. Tracy Moore (44-638 6 TD) will look to have similar success in their upset win over Baylor when he caught 5 passes for 126 yards and a score. Josh Stewart (52-623 2 TD) will also look to make an impact as he ponders his future to return for his senior season or enter the NFL draft. Desmond Rowland (160-745 4.7 12 TD) had one of his better games of the season in a losing effort to Oklahoma running for 144 yards on 21 carries (6.9) and 2 scores. If the Cowboys can control the battle especially through the air, look for Rowland to gain some more touches with hopes of grinding it out converting first downs and keeping the clock ticking.

Unlike other teams in the SEC East, Missouri was able to overcome injuries at quarterback in part because of the top receiving corps in the confererence. Dorial Green-Beckham (55-830 12 TD) L’Damian Washington (47-853 10 TD) and Marcus Lucas (55-646 2 TD) are all big bodies who combined to catch 24 of Missouri’s 30 touchdown catches this season.The Tigers go with a dual QB attack featuring James Franklin (183/279 2255 19 TD 5 INT) and Maty Mauk (66/129 1039 10 TD 2 INT) who both sport high efficiency marks given Mizzou's ability to take care of the ball. Missouri ranks 15th in the country with an average of 6.4 yards per offensive snap. Henry Josey (162-1074 6.6 13 TD), who ran for 123 yards on just 9 carries (13.7) in the loss to Auburn is also faced with the decision of returning for his senior season or moving on to the NFL draft. It will be a challenge for Ok St to stop Missouri's balanced ground game that is 16th in the country with 237 yards per contest. However, the Cowboys are tough against the run, tied for 22nd nationally at 132.9 yards allowed per game, and have a lockdown cornerback in All-American Justin Gilbert.

This game has the potential to be a dandy, matching two high-powered offenses and former conference rivals, at what should be a raucous environment in Arlington. The final outcome looks to be relatively high scoring and could come down to which team has the ball last. In a high scoring matchup, going with the Cowboys who would love nothing more than taking down former foes of the Big 12 while at the same time continue their recent success going forward given the history of this series.

The pick: Oklahoma St -2.5 (one gyro)
Totals lean: over 61.5 (2 gyros)




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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/03/2014 04:41 PM

Orange Bowl
(12) Clemson vs. (7) Ohio St
Now that #7 Ohio St (12-1) has had over a month to get over their Big 10 Championship loss to Michigan St, their focus has shifted to what could have been a run the table BCS Championship to a date in the Orange BOwl with #12 Clemson (10-2) from the ACC. In what is shaping up to be one of the season's more entertaining bowls, two of the nation's most prolific offenses will be on display this evening from Sunlife Stadium in Miami.

Led by duel-threat quarterback Braxton Miller (146/231 1860 22 TD 5 INT), the Buckeyes went virtually unchallenged through the regular season. Featured with Carlos Hyde (183-1408 7.7 14 TD). Miller (153-1033 6.8 10 TD) sports one of the most dangerous ground games ranked 3rd in the country. Hyde behind a stout offensive line displays blazing speed in the open field but was held out of the end zone against MSU's run defense despite gaining 118 yards on 18 carries (6.6). Miller's athleticism makes him difficult to bring down when calling his own number, and Clemson's run defense could bring in an additional defender up front. Still Miller also has excellent presence of mind to throw the deep ball when hurried or cornered out of the pocket, and he's got a dual threat behind Corey Brown (55-655 10 TD) and Devin Smith (42-655 8 TD). Both will look to take advantage of the Tigers disadvantage down the field and especially in underneath zones which could help mix it up for the Buckeyes when it comes to their ability to quick strike during successful drives.

Clemson also had national title aspirations after opening the season with six consecutive wins. The Tigers were ranked No. 3 heading into a home matchup with Florida State on Oct. 19, but were whipped 51-14 and knocked out of the BCS conversation.This will be the final game in Tajh Boyd's storied career at Clemson. Boyd (252/372 3473 29 TD 9 INT) leads the Tigers passing game into chartered territory where Ohio State is extremely susceptible through the air on defense. The 12th rated passing game in the country had plenty of help thanks to Sammy Watkins (85-1237 10 TD), one of the nation's best receivers who like Boyd is also headed to the 2014 NFL draft. Boyd's 102 career touchdown passes are tied for 15th in major-college history. Martavis Bryant had 800 yards and five scores on 39 receptions for an average of 20.5 yards per catch good one of the nation's highest marks. Ohio State allowed its last four opponents to complete 63.7 percent of its passes for an average of 340.8 yards and 11 total TDs. Roderick McDowell (177-956 5.4 5 TD) combined for 219 yards in his final 2 games, but may be seldom used considering the Buckeyes defense limits opponents to just 103 yards per contest, good for 6th in the country.

Clemson has been one of those teams that have been extremely difficult to measure. It’s hard to tell if they are a legitimate contender than could beat anyone in the nation or just a team that made it through an easy conference schedule to play for a BCS bowl. Ohio State has the edge offensively in this game, as I expect Miller to perform well both with his arm and his legs. Give Urban Meyer a month to prepare as no one is better getting a team ready in that span. The OSU ground attack will be the difference.

The pick: Ohio St -2.5 (2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 70.5 (2 gyros)

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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/04/2014 03:21 AM

Compass Bowl
Vanderbilt vs. Houston:
A couple of 8-4 teams do battle on Saturday afternoon as the Vanderbilt Commodores of the SEC take on the Houston Cougars from the AAC at 1pm EST in Birmingham, Alabama. Vandy ended their regular season on a 4 game winning streak after splitting their first 8 games while Houston after a 7-1 start went on to lose 3 of their final 4.

Led by John O Korn (239/399 2889 26 TD 8 INT), the Houston Cougars do not nearly sport the same offense several years back when Case Keenum set all kinds of passing records. However O'Korn is a QB who got hot midway through the season but cooled off down the stretch. O'Korn had three 300-yard passing games in a four-game stretch through late September and October, but he has been unable to sustain that effort as of late. He'll look to regain his successful form for a final time this season featuring Deontay Greenberry (76-1106 10 TD) who despite an ankle injury is listed as probable for today's bowl game. Motivated and ready to return for his junior season, Greenberry was inspired by looking forward to playing with O' Korn next season who was named the AAC rookie of the year in 2013. Daniel Spencer (50-764 6 TD) had one of his better gains against SMU catching 7 passes for 100 yards and a score he;ping to blank the Mustangs 34-0. The Cougars have some balance as well in the running game led by Ryan Jackson (137-655 4.8 6 TD) and Kenneth Farrow (95-486 5.1 5 TD) who both made the most of their touches especially when Houston found themselves out to big leads. Aside from being not nearly as up tempo several years ago, they look to grind out the time of possession edge with spacious leads that inevitably wear down their opponents.

It's going to be tough for Vanderbilt to consistently operate the offense without their starting QB Austyn Carta Samuels (193/281 2268 11 TD 9 INT) who underwent season ending knee surgery in a win over Georgia back on October 19th. That means Patton Robinette (40/69 488 2 TD 3 INT) who started the two games Carta-Samuels missed and came away with a 1-1 record will be under center. But he’ll face a tough task trying to keep pace with a Houston offense that plays a fast-paced styles and averages 33.9 points per game. Jordan Matthews (107-1334 5 TD) racked up 400 yards in receiving over his final 3 games on 36 catches, so look for Robinette to throw to the future NFL star early and often in his final game. Jerron Seymour (144-627 4.4 13 TD) had just one game this season over 100 yards, so even sharing duty with Wesley Tate (87-353 4.1 4 TD) may not jump start the Vandy offense. Vanderbilt will look to attack a Houston defense that ranked ninth in the AAC in stopping the run, allowing 143.8 rushing yards per game.

The Commodores rank second in the SEC with 16 interceptions and had a total of 11 in their last four games. That means that defensive coordinator Bob Shoop will do all he can to confuse O Korn. However, the Cougars lead the nation in both takeaways (40) and turnover margin (2.08), a huge reason why they increased their win total from 5 a season ago. Houston's young but talented passing attack averaged 284.1 yards per game, good enough to rank fourth in the ACC. But the Commodores were fifth in the SEC in passing defense, allowing only 204.1 yards per game.This battle could come down to which receiver performs better throughout the course of the contest. Given O Korn's success in his first year, Houston may just have enough offense to outlast Robinette, Matthews and the thin offensive scheme Vandy brings to the table.

The pick: Houston +2 (2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 53

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jimmythegreek Posts:10720 Followers:376
01/05/2014 12:58 AM

Godaddy.com Bowl
Arkansas St. Vs. Ball St.
In what is shaping up to be a simple appetizer before the main course takes place Monday night for all the marbles, the Arkansas St Red Wolves (7-5) out of the Sun Belt take on Ball St Cardinals (10-2) out of the MAC in Sunday night's Godaddy.com Bowl from Mobile, Alabama.

Ball St puts up one of the nation's more potent attacks in the passing game led by Keith Wenning (296/454 3933 34 TD 6 INT) averaging 333 yards per contest along with 40.1 points per game good for 12th in the country. With Wenning headed to the NFL draft, Willie Snead (97-1429 14 TD) has made quite a name for himself putting up some tremendous numbers capped off by his 11 catch 133 yard one score tally in the 55-14 season finale mauling of Miami Ohio. Snead stands second in Ball State history with 214 receptions, 2,904 receiving yards and 25 touchdown catches. He already holds the school record for 100-yard receiving games with 13. Jordan Williams (68-1016 10 TD) is clearly Wenning's second target but could get more opportunities as evident of his 163 yard 5 catch 2 score performance against the Redhawks. Jamil Smith (63-855 8 TD) had his best game of the season coming off a 7 catch 127 yard 3 score game. In the ground game, Jahwan Edwards (184-964 5.2 13 TD) scored 10 TD's on the ground in the first 4 games and will be a force to reckon with in 2014 as the Cardinals revamp their offense around their future QB. The Red Wolves' shaky defense, which ranks 96th in the country should have its hands full trying to contain Wenning, Snead and Edwards especially if the Cardinals can get out to a fast start.

Arkansas State's biggest strength is their running game, which ranked 26th in the country averaging 207 yards per game. In fact they run the ball nearly 60% of the time and are led by Michael Gordon (106-717 6.8 10 TD) who found the end zone 7 times in his final 4 games. Adam Kennedy (214/309 2327 11 TD 6 INT) is tough to bring down using his mobility (147-5143.5 4 TD) to usher nifty gains calling his own number. The Red Wolves also have a nice mix in the receiving core led by J.D. McKissic.who was named first-team All-Sun Belt twice both as a wide receiver and as an all-purpose special teams performer. McKissic (72-598 4 TD) is as diverse as you can find. s a returner, he brought back 21 kickoffs and averaged 30 yards per return including a 98 yarder to the house. Kennedy's 69% completion percentage is the best in the Sun Belt and fourth among all FBS quarterbacks. The Cardinals are 92nd in FBS in rushing defense, as they have given up 194.8 rushing yards per game.

The Cardinals just have too much firepower for the Red Wolves to contend with. The Red Wolves are 80th in the nation in yards allowed (417.3 ypg), including 234.4 yards passing per game. While the value likely here will most likely be in the total, Arkansas St doesn't have the weapons Ball St features in both the passing and running game behind Wenning and Edwards. Ball St should pull away in the second half to a convincing victory.

The pick: Ball St -6.5 (bought half, 3 gyros)
Totals play: over 64 (2 gyros)


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