College GameDay Week 9 Picks

gamedaystaff

 

Oklahoma State at West Virginia

Des – Oklahoma State

Nicklaus – Oklahoma State

Corso – Oklahoma State

Kirk – Oklahoma State

Gaby – Oklahoma State

 

TCU at Iowa State

Des – TCU

Nicklaus – TCU

Corso – Iowa State

Kirk – TCU

Gaby – TCU

 

NC State at Notre Dame

Des – Notre Dame

Nicklaus – Notre Dame

Corso – Notre Dame

Kirk – Notre Dame

Gaby – Notre Dame

 

Georgia at Florida

Des – Georgia

Nicklaus – Georgia

Corso – Georgia

Kirk – Georgia

Gaby – Georgia

 

Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Des – Texas A&M

Nicklaus – Texas A&M

Corso – Texas A&M

Kirk – Texas A&M

Gaby – Texas A&M

 

Washington State at Arizona

Des – Arizona

Nicklaus – Washington State

Corso – Arizona

Kirk – Arizona

Gaby – Arizona

 

USC at Arizona State

Des – USC

Nikalus – Arizona State

Corso – Arizona State

Kirk – Arizona State

Gaby – USC

 

Michigan State at Northwestern

Des – Michigan State

Nicklaus – Michigan State

Corso – Michigan State

Kirk – Michigan State

Gaby – Michigan State

 

Penn State at Ohio State

Des – Ohio State

Nicklaus – Ohio State

Corso – Ohio State

Kirk – Ohio State

Gaby – Penn State

Heat Talk: Initial Thoughts

JRICHSo far so good (for the most part) for the Miami Heat just a week into the season. They are 2-1 and have seemed to get better as each minute of each game has gone by.

 

On opening night last Wednesday, the Heat lost to the Magic 116-109.

 

If you listened to our podcast on the website or over on iTunes, you heard how I felt about this loss. By no means did I panic, but against an inferior Magic team, you need to handle business. These are the losses that later in the year, in a tight race for the playoffs, can come back to bite you in the ass.

 

Giving up 116 points to the Magic obviously shows it wasn’t the best defensive game for the Heat, but hey, it was opening night.

 

On Saturday night, the Heat took on a young Pacers team and did what they needed to do. Hassan Whiteside did not play due to a bone bruise in his knee that he suffered in the 3rd quarter of the Magic game. The Heat started to really click and offense and give us a taste of how good they can be throughout this game. Dion scored 19 points and looked as healthy as he could possibly look. The ankle which I was worried about doesn’t seem to be a problem as of now.

 

Goran scored 23 points and threw in 5 rebounds with 3 assists. The Heat ended up winning the game 112-108. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated guys, the Pacers made a late run near the end of the game.

 

Just letting you guys know that James Johnson dunked so viciously on Victor Oladipo that he might end up retiring. I wanted to throw that in there.

 

Moving on, the Heat played the Hawks last night and won the game 104-93. Still no Whiteside, although I think he should be back soon. Josh Richardson had 21 points along with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

 

This guy is looking like he took the next step. Richardson is the most aggressive ive seen on offense and it is working. He’s always been athletic enough to get to the rim and finish but he’s never really put it together, until now. Josh is playing the best basketball of his career so far and he’s well on his way to becoming the best 2ndround pick the Heat have ever had.

 

He’s your guy at small forward the rest of the year. Mark my words.

 

The Heat’s defense has to improve a bit, but that is nothing to worry about in my opinion. You know this organization prides itself on defense, so they will find their way on that end of the court. On offense the team is looking just fine, in three games they haven’t scored less than 104 points. Against the Hawks they made 14 threes which is a good sign, the threes need to fall with this drive and kick offense lead by Goran and Dion.

 

From what I have seen so far, when Dion finds his way once again and Hassan comes back healthy, this team will compete with just about anyone. I like what I have seen. Wednesday night against the Spurs will be a good test to see where this team is at.

 

Review – Miami Dolphins 31 – NY Jets 28

OH HAPPY DAY!

I don’t know you, but I am riding a high today. It’s always a great weekend when the Dolphins beat the Jets, and especially the way we did it. My God, the Jets Twitter melt down was glorious. I want to bathe in the tears of Jets fans.

 

I had someone messaging me during the game, a Jets fan mind you, talking shit about how we’re terrible and how Josh McCown was going to lead them to the playoffs.

 

Fun Fact Time!

 

Before this season, Josh McCown has not won back-to-back games in 13 years. 13! The guy is a load of garbage and we absolutely exposed him. Sure, he made some plays in the first half, but we ate him alive. In fact, rumor has it that Cam Wake sacked him again when he was getting on the team plane. He’s seeing 91 in his sleep. It’s fucking beautiful and the Jets are atrocious. Our front seven man-handled the offense with 3 sacks and they held them to only 92 rushing yards. Josh McCown had nice numbers but couldn’t make plays when it counted because our defense is rock solid. Cordea Tankersly and Xavian Howard are play makers and Reshad Jones is trying to end your life every play. I’d be mortified.

 

Our offense scared me, but you know what? They sacked up. 17 points in the fourth quarter. My God, that was gorgeous. Just scrolling through my TL watching the meltdown unfold was beautiful. It was great. I didn’t gloat, I stayed humble because I’ma gentleman. But now it’s marinated, and this is my world. Jets are in the thunder dome. No lives spared.

 

That Jay Cutler guy you all were talking shit about? 12 for 16 with 138 yards and two TD’s. THREE of those incompletions were DROPS! Miami Jay is a different animal. They should rename Cutler Bay to Cutler Jay and I mean that with all my heart. He’s meant to don the aqua and orange. It absolutely shattered my heart when I heard he cracked his ribs. I stood for a moment of silence when he got hurt. And what did he do? He walked it off and got his team excited. He probably gave a very impassioned speech to Matt Moore, and he walked into the locker room. That’s my QB. I already ordered his jersey.

 

Matt Moore came in and did NOT look great right away. He threw a really ugly pick his second drive, but then he remembered the words that Biscayne Jay Cutler said to him and he was inspired once again. He fought hard and lead valiantly and made some great plays. That’s why he’s the highest paid back up in the league – to do just that. Is there now some sort of controversy? Find out in my piece tomorrow (insert shameless plug here followed by the winking emoji).

 

Our running game was not great, though Ajayi did have some good runs in his 55 yard day, but our receivers ATE. Juice had 7 receptions with 93 yards and a HUGE TD. Not only were his stats impressive, but he embarrassed the Jets secondary. Just toyed with them. It’s Jarvis’s world and were just living in it. I don’t care what the amount is, I hope we sign Landry to a Stantonesque deal. I want him forever. Did you hear that post game speech? Lock him up for life and give him some stake of ownership for when he retires.

 

Stills had a career day also with 6 catches for 85 yards and two TD’s and Julius Thomas did what I asked him to do in my preview of the game Sunday morning.

 

I know we have a tough leg of the schedule coming up and no BYE weeks, but we’re 4-2. We’re playing some good football, and if we can play every game like we’ve played the second half of the last two, we’re a force to be reckoned with.

 

In the meantime, prayers up to my man crush, Jay Cutler. See you soon, boo. Get better.

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets Preview and NFL Predictions

The sun is shining, the mimosas are flowing, and it’s Christmas Day in Miami – at least to Dolphins fans.

 

We play the Jets and Dolphins celebrate by showing up to Hard Rock Stadium at 9:00am with loaded coolers, portable grills, and an unrelenting ambition to win today. There will be plenty of that God-awful Green, those stupid Jet hats, and Jersey shore accents. There will be fights, there will be arrests, and there will definitely be some ambulance rides. That is football in Miami for you.

 

Dan Marino

 

The series offers plenty of memories, like Dan Marino’s fake spike. The Jets took Ken O’Brien over Marino. I just wanted to remind Jets fans about that.

 

On to the game.

 

As we mentioned in Episode 2 of our weekly podcast, The Jets have over performed this year. They kicked our ass earlier this year, and also beat the Jaguars and the Browns. This same team also played a very good first half against the Patriots last week until Tom Brady Brady’d all over the place. They looked very bad and much more Jets like in the second half.

 

The Jets have the 24th ranked defense in football, though they have plenty of talented young players like Jamal Adams, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams, amongst others. They also have the 21st ranked offense in the league, and are ranked in the bottom 12 in virtually ever offensive category. What we have seen that if Matt Forte and Bilal Powell can’t run the ball, their offense stalls.

 

Luckily for us, the Dolphins have the 4th ranked run defense in football right now, and our defense as a whole has been lights out. Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons together pair together like orange juice and champagne. I kind of get why Adam Gase was so quick to forgive. Timmons is a flat out monster.

 

As far as our defensive line goes, I think I would match them up against any teams in the league. We dominated a good Atlanta Falcons O-Line this week and I do anticipate them to bully a mediocre Jets line today.

 

As far as our offense goes, I don’t see why we can’t carry over from the second half of last game. It seems like Gase and the offensive staff have finally figured it out, and as we saw, when Ajayi gets going, were tough to beat. Jay Train had 135 yards last week, and I fully expect (demand) a similar type of performance today. Our offensive line held up well last week and we established the ground game, which made Jay Cutler’s job a lot better.

 

It’s going to be tough having DeVante Parker out, but I think we will manage. If Julius Thomas can be (at the very least) a barely functioning football player today, I think we can have a big day.

 

Prediction:

Dolphins: 27

Jets: 13

 

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Bills vs. Buccaneers – Bucs 21 Bills 17

Bears vs. Panthers – Panthers 28 Bears 13

Browns vs. Titans – Titans 17 Browns 10

Packers vs. Saints – Packers 38 Saints 34

Colts vs. Jags – Colts 24 Jags 21

Rams vs. Cardinals – Cardinals 28 Rams 27

Vikings vs. Ravens – Vikings 21 Ravens 10

49ers vs. Cowboys – Cowboys 35 49ers 17

Steelers vs. Bengals – Steelers 23 Bengals 13

Chargers vs. Broncos – Broncos 27 Chargers 14

Giants vs. Seahawks – Seahawks 31 Giants 17

Patriots vs. Falcons – Patriots 34 Falcons 28

Eagles vs. Redskins – Eagles 35 Redskins 20

 

 

Sold Out Crowd Top 25 — Week 9

saquon mcsorely(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

 

1) Alabama (8-0) – Nothing much to see here.

2) Penn State (7-0) – What a statement win for James Franklin and his team.

3) Georgia (7-0) – The Bulldogs were sitting back and relaxing this weekend and they get ready for the Florida Gators next weekend.

4) TCU (7-0) – Holding a team to 21 total yards is unbelievable, even if it is Kansas.

5) Wisconsin (7-0) – The high ranking did not get to the Badgers head. They took care of business against Maryland

6) Clemson (6-1) – Clemson had a bye this week. They play Georgia Tech in Atlanta in primetime.

7) Miami (6-0) – Another close win for the Hurricanes against a Syracuse team that just finished beating sixth ranked Clemson.

8) Ohio State (6-1) – The Buckeyes had all eyes on the Penn State smacking of Michigan. Ohio State hosts second ranked Penn State in the Horseshoe on Saturday night.

9) Notre Dame (7-1) – Notre Dame always gets special treatment when they are good. This is not special treatment — they have just been extremely impressive. A massive win over USC at home will give you the respect you deserve.

10) Oklahoma (6-1) – It took a very late touchdown to beat Kansas State in regulation. As I have mentioned, it is not easy to win in Manhattan. The Sooners found a way to get it done.

11) Oklahoma State (6-1) – It has been quite some time since we have seen the Cowboys offense struggle, but it seems like Texas tests every offense they face. This is a big win for Oklahoma State over a good team.

12) Virginia Tech (6-1) – Virginia Tech blew out a bad North Carolina team. They host their second straight team from North Carolina when Duke strolls into town Saturday night.

13) Washington (6-1) – Washington had a bye week to figure out what went wrong against Arizona State. They host UCLA next weekend for a chance to bounce back.

14) Washington State (7-1) – It is clear to me now that the Cougars overlooked Cal. They sharpened back up and shut out a well-coached Colorado team.

15) South Florida (7-0) – Just keep winning, Bulls. I want to see USF and UCF both play while undefeated.

16) NC State (6-1) – NC State had to be impressed with what they saw Notre Dame do to USC. A bye week should help get the Wolfpack ready to get another win as underdogs in South Bend.

17) UCF (6-0) – A big road win at Navy for the Knights. It is all set up perfectly for November 24 when USF comes into town.

18) Michigan State (6-1) – Not the prettiest win for the Spartans over Indiana, but a win is a win.

19) Stanford (5-2) – Those midweek games can be testy, but coming off a bye week should help the Cardinal be ready for whatever the Beavers throw at them on Thursday night.

20) USC (6-2) – The Trojans got exposed on Saturday. I do not believe that Notre Dame is more talented, but that they were more prepared as a unit that USC was. I thought this game would be the Trojans chance to solidify themselves as a national contender, but they are pretenders once again.

21) LSU (6-2) – What a turn around by this team. If not for Troy, LSU would be a top 15 team. To bounce back from a loss like that with wins against Florida, Auburn, and Ole Miss is impressive. They have two weeks to prepare for Alabama. Good luck, Tighas.

22) Auburn (6-2) – The Tigers bounced back against Arkansas by handing them a quality 32-point loss.

23) West Virginia (5-2) – Baylor has given scares to Oklahoma and West Virginia this year. Finding a way to win means a lot to the committee because winning is better than losing (duh). A matchup with Texas next weekend is going to be exciting for Big 12 fans.

24) Memphis (6-1) – A big Thursday night win against Houston leaves Memphis on this list by the skin of their teeth. But, say it with me guys, “A win is a….”

25) Iowa State (5-2) – Yeah, you heard me. Their only two losses came against very strong teams and they were both close games. They have won three straight games: Oklahoma, Kansas (shutout), and Texas Tech. This team has looked brand new since the Oklahoma win and they deserve to be ranked.

College GameDay Week 8 Picks

gamedaystaff

 

Louisville at Florida State

Des – Louisville

Carter – Louisville

Corso – Louisville

Kirk – Florida State

Gaby – Florida State

 

Oklahoma State at Texas

Des – Oklahoma State

Carter – Oklahoma State

Corso – Oklahoma State

Kirk – Oklahoma State

Gaby – Oklahoma State

 

Syracuse at Miami

Des – Syracuse

Carter – Miami

Corso – Miami

Kirk – Miami

Gaby – Miami

 

UCF at Navy 

Des – UCF

Carter – UCF

Corso – UCF

Kirk – UCF

Gaby – UCF

 

Georgia Southern at UMASS

Des – Georgia Southern

Carter – Georgia Southern

Corso – UMass

Kirk – UMass

Gaby – UMass

 

Iowa State at Texas Tech

Des – Texas Tech

Carter – Iowa State

Corso – Texas Tech

Kirk – Texas Tech

Gaby – Texas Tech

 

LSU at Ole Miss

Des – LSU

Carter – LSU

Corso – LSU

Kirk – Ole Miss

Gaby – LSU

 

USC at Notre Dame

Des – Notre Dame

Carter – Notre Dame

Corso – USC

Kirk – Notre Dame

Gaby – USC

Michigan at Penn State (Kirk Calling Game)

Des – Michigan

Carter – Penn State

Corso – Penn State

Gaby – Penn State

Syracuse at Miami Preview and Prediction

When I looked at the schedule, initially, I did not look much at this weekends game. Syracuse was just another game on the schedule and there were plenty of others to look at before the Orange. Then last weekend happened. Syracuse upset Clemson, which left me stunned. Syracuse knocked Clemson quarterback, Kelly Bryant, out of the game and left Clemson scrambling for offense. Dino Babers and company found a way to win at home against a team that beat them 54-0 in 2016. It was a massive win for the program and it also gives Syracuse a reason to walk into Miami with a chip on their shoulder. This team knows they can come into Miami and pull off back-to-back top ten upsets. Their offense has catalyzed that confidence due to the playmaking ability of a couple of solid upperclassmen.

Eric Dungey is the leader of the Syracuse offense. Not only is he the quarterback of the team, but he leads the team in rushing. Dungey will call his own number often, especially in red zone situations — it is almost a guarantee that Dungey is going to try and run it in himself from inside the 20 yard line. Dungey has eight rushing scores so far in 2017 which is why I believe limiting Dungey’s ground game will be a focal point of Manny Diaz’s scheme going into Saturday. Dontae Strickland is their primary back, but does not get the most touches. Strickland is averaging just 3.1 yards a rush and his longest run of the year is just 15 yards. Moe Neal is a guy that Syracuse could use in the passing game from the backfield.

Apart from the ground game, Eric Dungey has been an exceptional passer in 2017. He is completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 2080 yards for the 4-3 Syracuse Orange. One trend I noticed with the Syracuse offense is that they absolutely will take deep shots in the passing game. Senior wide receiver, Steve Ishmael, is third nationally in receiving yards with 802 and leads the nation in receptions with 62. It is a sure bet that Eric Dungey is going to be looking for Ishmael, who happens to be from Miami. Ishmael graduated from North Miami Beach High School in 2014 and has turned into one of the premier players in the country. I would imagine that a big homecoming for Ishmael is something he is greatly looking forward to.

On the other hand, wide receiver Ervin Phillips is third in the nation is receptions (56) and tied for 24th in receiving yards with 569 yards. Syracuse is going to pass the ball a lot. Against a very talented NC State team, Phillips had 17 receptions for 188 yards. Ishmael is not a one man show. This offense is very talented and they are going to test the Miami defensive backfield. They will not be scared to throw up and bet one of there guys will come down with it. Both of these senior receivers have seen and done just about everything in their four years of college football. Miami is going to have their hands full with these two. Ravian Pierce and Devin Butler are also guys that Miami is going to need to account for in the passing game.

Defensively, Syracuse looked good against Clemson. They are averaging 14 less points per game as a defense from a year ago, which is a massive step forward. They are 38th in rushing defense and are allowing opponents to rush for an average of 128.9 yards. They are allowing 223 yards per game passing, good for 67th nationally. This defense is improved, but it will not be the anywhere near the top defenses that the Hurricanes have played so far. Their pass rush is very suspect. That is not good news for Syracuse because Miami’s offensive line has been playing at a high level. The Orange have just ten sacks on the year. Syracuse is going to have to create pressure if they want to beat Miami. If the offensive line can toy with the Syracuse front, it is going to be a long day for the Orange. Miami has too many athletes of offense for them to make mistakes. Another factor to consider is the weather. In Syracuse, they play in a giant air- conditioned dome. In Miami, it is going to be hot and humid in a way they cannot possibly replicate of prepare for, unless they practice in a sauna.

For Miami, they need to find a way to start games faster. Miami keeps waiting until the second half of games to start playing real football offensively. The defense is solid, you guys keep doing what you are doing. I do not know if it is the plays that Mark Richt is calling, or just a lack of execution. Regardless, it needs to get figured out soon. Malik Rosier has been as good as we could have hoped for as Canes fans. He is completing 59.1% of his passes and has done a great job of not turning the ball over. Syracuse is susceptible to big plays, so this could be a big day for Ahmonn Richards. He tears up defensive backs who cannot match his athleticism and I believe we are going to see him catch a big one tomorrow afternoon.

It is clear that Miami has the intention of running the ball. On the year, Miami has passed the ball 175 times and ran it 160. Travis Homer is stepping up in a big way after the injury to Mark Walton allowed him to step into this new role. Homer has the burst and speed we were not seeing from Walton because of his ankle injury. In his first start last week against a solid Georgia Tech defense, Homer erupted for 170 yards on 20 attempts. He is averaging 8.5 yards per carry and Syracuse has not given me any reason to think that they will slow down Homer. I believe we are going to see Miami hit their stride as an offense in the first half of this game.

This game is going to be decided by our defense. That gives me a great sense of peace because this unit has been awesome. Maybe not as great as we would hope at times, but in the second half of games they have been incredible. Eric Dungey has been sacked 20 times this year. Our defensive line is going to be able to create penetration without having to blitz a lot of people and that will force Dungey to have to make decisions. If he wants to throw it up to Ishmael, I trust Malek Young to make a play. I know our defense is capable of handling this offense. The Hurricanes are ranked ninth nationally in passing defense, which is the strength of this Syracuse team. Miami knows they need to come out and make a statement on Saturday. I think Miami does that in a big way.

Prediction

Miami finds their groove early and creates a comfortable lead for our defense. I believe Miami will score at least three times in the first half, making way for the team to erupt and break the game open in the second half. Miami is best when the nation second guesses them. If it were up to ESPN, Miami would be 1-4 this year. The disrespect is being felt among the program and there is no better opportunity for the Hurricanes to make a statement than right now by beating a team who just beat Clemson. Travis Homer runs for 140 yards with two touchdowns. Malik Rosier throws for 275 and two touchdowns, one being a big play by Ahmonn Richards. I am going to hold off on the freshman scoring this week, which in turn would lead to the freshman actually scoring this week. The battle of Miami’s turnover chain vs the Syracuse golden gloves will be won by us. Miami will pick off Dungey twice in the game, even though he will play well. I really like Eric Dungey but Miami is going to be hot and humid and the athletes we have on the team tower the athletes at Syracuse. It is not as ideal of a matchup for Syracuse as people might think. But go ahead, ESPN, and everyone else. Pick Syracuse to win. Do it again next week so that you can continue to fuel the Cardiac Canes. Miami makes a statement.

Miami: 38 Syracuse: 23