What did we learn from week 4 of the College Football Season?

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The Big 10 (+1) knows how to schedule pre-league games.

Whether it is #2 Ohio State vs. Directional (Eastern) Michigan or #18 Iowa vs. Ball Corporation State, with just a few exceptions the Big 10 has played mostly easy opponents. Even so, a few teams had problems with the sisters of the poor. Northwestern struggled to defeat another Directional Michigan (Central) 30-25. Worse yet Purdue lost badly to Toledo of the MAC.

A few good games

#1 Alabama went to #10 Arkansas and came from behind in the 4th quarter to win 24-20. The game may have hurt QB Mallett’s pro prospects because he suffered 3 picks only one of which was not his fault.

#3 Boise St. beat #24 Oregon State 37-24. Except for a game against the current #25 Nevada, this was Boise’s last chance on a national stage to impress the voters and the computer of their case for inclusion in a National Championship game. Their win over Virginia Tech looked good until VTk lost to James Madison. The computers are killing Boise due to the “strength of schedule” factor to the point that I don’t think Boise can get into the Big Game.

#5 Oregon looked good beating a good Arizona State team 42-31. But Oregon is going to have to play better D if it wants to win the PAC 10.

Perhaps the best game was #12 South Carolina at #17 Auburn with the home team winning on a 14 point 4th quarter comeback 35-27. They battled all game and both lost a large number of players some of which will likely not be ready for games this week.

Another game between top 25 teams pitted #22 West Virginia at #15 LSU. LSU held off WV and won 20-14 in another very physical game.

#14 Arizona has a great D but very little O. It struggled to beat Cal 10-9.

#19 Miami played well against one time ranked Pitt and won 31-3.

Interesting games this week and what to look for:

#7 Florida at #1 Alabama – Last year this game was all about Gator QB Tebow. This year watch Bama Senior QB McElroy. He is not highly ranked in the NFL draft but has some pro potential. Look for Bama to win in a hard fought game.

#9 Stanford @ #4 Oregon – The Cardinal won a tough game against Notre Dame last week and Oregon had a tight game against Arizona State. This game is critical in the PAC 10 since USC is not eligible for the league championship. The O of Oregon will be too much for Stanford and the Ducks win.

#11 Wisconsin at #24 Michigan State – Both teams are coming off big wins against inferior competition. Wisconsin is over rated and do not play as well away as at home. Both Ds are solid but Wisconsin have only had 1 tough game at Arizona State. They need to get RB Clay working early to win. The Spartans should win.

#21 Penn State @ #17 Iowa – Penn St looked terrible against Temple last week. The passing game is non-existent and the running game is too easily challenged by stacking the D line. Iowa has the front 7 to bottle up PS and should win.

Virginia Tech @ #23 N. Carolina St. – This is a chance for Tech to win back some credibility. They were badly over rated in the preseason and exposed by their 2 losses. NC State is under rated and a better team than most expect. NCS wins.

The Red River challenge is next week.

Both Texas (#7 last week) and #8 Oklahoma were looking ahead and it showed.

The Sooners displayed a lot of flaws in their 31-29 win at Cincinnati. The Bearcats are not close to the team that won the Big East last year. On both sides of the ball, the Sooners look vulnerable.

Texas was drilled at home by a UCLA team that was crushed 35-0 by then #25 Stanford in week 2. UCLA beat Texas in every aspect of the game and cruised to a 34-12 win. Texas fell from 7 to 21 after the loss.

Both Oklahoma and Texas have major problems and their game this week will be interesting. Even with the problems Oklahoma has, they should win.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Niblets for September 2010

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nib

Best comment of the month:

Frederic Bernotas on What did we learn from week 2 in College Football?

After all this it is possible that the Wolverines will get into the Big 10 season with 4 wins, although subsequently, exactly what after that? Conference competition breaks along with The Hoosier’s formidable offense. Subsequently Michigan visits Michigan State, Iowa and visits to State College Pa. to face the Nittany Lions. Multiple issues in between these days and the finish of the season, so you’ll forgive me if I’m a little more cautious about making proclamations about this team and this year.

Frederic, your caution is wise. The Blue were 4-0 last year going into the Big 10 season and won only 1 more game the rest of the way.

Updates on previous columns:

Pro Football Niblets and Fantasy tips

I would like to thank my readers for not skewering me on my Pro Best bets. We will try to do a little better from now on. At least the Fantasy pickups were good. The Eagles have named Vick as their starter from now on, Ram WR Clayton remains hot and Packer RB Jackson has a nice upside.

In Dallas, things are continuing to heat up. After the interstate rivalry against the Texans this week, the team has a bye. If the Boys don’t win this week, it will almost certainly be bye-bye to HC Phillips.

What did we learn from week 2 in College Football?

Texas, Penn State, Wisconsin and Florida continue to struggle. What we saw last week was not a fluke.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

Announcement: Starting in October, the Digital Sport Network will debut on Cleveland.com.

This will be the best sports programing on the Internet and the list of personalities includes Chuck Booms who had the top show on Fox Sports Radio, Bud Shaw from the Plain Dealer, and Harry Petsanis from SportsTalk radio. I will be appearing on the broadcast talking about the Browns and the NFL 2011 draft. I will let you know when I will be on.

The NFL QB carrousel continues to spin.

Beside Vick, 7 QBs that rode the bench in Game 1 will start for their teams. The most notable is the Panthers deciding to bench QB Moore in favor of rookie Jimmy Clausen. Not that it makes any difference but Buffalo has benched QB Edwards in favor of Fitzpatrick. In another insignificant move, the Raiders will start Gradkowski over Campbell for whom they traded.

Best Bets in the Pros:

3 Colts -3 vs Broncos – The Colt O is too much for the Broncos.

2 Falcons +5.5 vs. Saints The Saints are on a short week and traveling again.

1 Pats -12.5 vs Bills – Fitzpatrick will be begging the coach to put Edwards back in at half time.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What did we learn from week 2 in College Football?

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FOOTball

Virginia Tech was WAY over-rated.

The win by Boise State looked pretty good last week. But then VTk lost to James Madison with James out of the lineup with an injury. The only significant game the Boise will play is VTk and now that win has lost its luster. Based just on the JM game against VTk, Boise does not deserve a shot at the Championship game.

Ohio State is the real deal.

The Buckeyes not only crushed Marshall but then soundly defeated #12 Miami. What made the OSU win over Marshall even more impressive was its game this week against West Virginia. They should have won the game but were robbed by a referee wearing a mask and carrying a gun. More on that in the editorial below.

While the OSU Miami game was supposed to be a shootout between two Heisman QB prospects, it exposed the over hyped Miami QB Harris. Harris had a passer rating of just 59.6 last year because of 17 picks to go with 24 TDs. Everyone in the media seemed to believe that in his Jr. year he would finally get it. 2 of the 4 picks Harris had were not totally his fault. He had too much heat on one and it skipped off the hands of the receiver and fell into the hands of a Buckeye. Another was stolen by the Buckeye DB.

Based on week 2 performance, there are a bunch of over rated teams.

#5 Texas struggled through early against a vastly out-manned Wyoming team. In the end, the heat and lack of depth got to the Cowboys and Texas won 34-7.

#8 Florida also struggled early against South Florida. The Tebow era is over and now the O looks sluggish. That is something to watch.

#11 Wisconsin had to hold on to beat a San Jose St. team that was crushed and beaten up last week by #1 Alabama 48-3. The Badgers allowed 2 late TDs to cut the final score to 27-14.

#17 Florida State looked bad against #10 Oklahoma in a 47-17 loss. On both sides of the ball, the team was over-matched. QB Ponder is over rated but never had time to find a secondary receiver.

#18 Penn State got crushed by #1 Alabama. The O scored just 3 points and were lucky to get that. They need more O if they are going to be competitive in the Big 10 let alone the nation.

#21 Auburn looked good against Arkansas State but when they played a real team like Mississippi State, they looked like they don’t deserve to be in the top 25. They had to hold on to win the game 17-14.

Editorial: I apologize to the Big 10 officials. You are not the worst in college football. That dishonor belongs to the Big East zebras.

Again the BE refs get plopped into the Fryingpan. Missing the fact that the WR for Marshall dropped the ball BEFORE he crossed the goal line could happen to anybody. BUT, how in the world do you miss 2 O linemen in the endzone holding a single DL of Marshall on the long pass that set up the winning TD? The holds happened right in front of the head Ref.

In 2008, WV was poised to win a spot in the Championship game. In a game against #25 Louisville the BE zebras did everything they could to prevent a WV loss. The Cards won despite everything that the zebras could do.

If you would like to see this kind of analysis on the NFL games check out News, Notes and Rumors on NFLDraftDog.com.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,week 2,Virginia Tech,Boise St,Ohio State,Texas,Florida,Wisconsin,Florida State,Penn State,Alabama,Auburn,Big East,Big 10,Heisman trophy,Mississippii State

Niblets for April 2010

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Best comment of the month: 96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

Crime Scene Cleanup Tucson said “I completely agree with you..More teams is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Gotta be the money…”

CSC you hit it on the nose. The plan that came out after my editorial was that the NCAA planned to bid out every game between the 5 networks to increase the take. Check out the update below.

Updates on FPS Stories:

96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

The NCAA announced this week that they had scrapped the 96 team plan. They will add 3 play-in games for the spots to play the top seeds in each region. That is a much better solution. Let’s hope that the NCAA Executive committee stays away from the funny mushrooms.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

The Ex-Steeler now Jet Santanio Holmes had another run in with authorities. According to the airline personnel he refused to turn off his iPod when the plane was landing. He claimed and the police report confirms that he turned it off but did not remove the headphones.  He was not charged but can expect another call from the Commish. He might get his suspension extended but maybe not.

Super Values in the NFL Draft 2

Several players from my list were taken. That list included O’Brien Schofield OLB Wisconsin (4th round Cardinals), Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech (6th Cowboys), and Doug Worthington DT Ohio State (7th Steelers).

Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

The Browns ended up taking Larry Asante SS Nebraska in the 5th round and WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida in the 6th. As I told radio audiences in 4 states, the draft parties for Browns fans prior to Holmgren taking over this draft were more suicide prevention support group meetings than celebrations of the Browns picks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

General thoughts about the Draft

QB was the position that fell the farthest. As I predicted Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame fell to the 2nd round 48th pick (Panthers). That pushed the other QBs down as well. Colt Coy QB Texas was taken in the 3rd round pick 85 (Browns). John Skelton QB Fordham was taken in the 5th round pick 155 (Cards); Tony Pike QB Cincinnati (Panthers 6-204), and Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan (Bears 6-181). There is a lot less risk in taking a QB after the 2nd round.

The Bryant interview the the Dolphins

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will not punish general manager Jeff Ireland for asking WR prospect Dez Bryant about his mother’s profession. There is some difference of opinion about exactly what was asked. Ireland issued a statement of the conversation that Bryant disputed.

SS Lawyer Milloy signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Who stood out at the East West Shrine game?

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For this article I ignored the potential draft position of the players and rated their performance on the field on game day. Let me say up front that I do not agree with the “experts” that watch the practices and leave on game day. In my years of coaching, I have seen a lot of guys that looked like Tarzan in practice but when the pressure was on in a game they played like Jane.

Blair White WR Michigan State 14 points (4th round)

Blair gets open, has very good hands, and can adjust to bad balls (because he has had so much experience with bad QBs). He was a 4th or 5th projection before the EW game but with a very solid game he has moved into the 4th. The one question about him is speed. He is projected to run a 4.52. At 6-1 200 lbs, that is just OK. If he gets under 4.5 he could get into the 3rd.

Rahim Alem DE Louisiana State 13 pts (3rd)

Alem is 6-3 and 262. That is too light for a starting DE in the pros. He doesn’t really look like he can put on another 30 pounds and keep his speed. He is expected to run a 4.7 40 and depends on that speed to be effective. He could be a pass rush specialist at the next level. He had 2 hurries and caused an interception in the game. He needs work to develop something other than a one move outside rush.

Freddie Barnes WR Bowling Green State 13 pts (5th)

Barnes is one of my favorite value picks. He is only 6′ and 206 and runs a slow 4.58. But he is the prototype slot receiver. Ask Tom Brady how valuable WR Welker is to his offense! Barnes is a high motor guy that will block for the run, get open on short routes, catch the ball in a crowd and will be a pain to any D trying to cover him. He was one of the few weapons at BG and still drove Ds nuts.

James Ruffin DE Northern Iowa 13 pts (5th)

Ruffin is another too light DE. But at 6-4 he has the ability to add bulk and be a starting DE. He played really well and got a hurry and a sack. He also caused a penalty and got a couple of other pass rushes. He is not good at anchoring against the run but more bulk will help. He could be a value pick in the 5th and could go higher if he puts on some good weight and still runs a 4.75-4.8 40.

O’Brien Schofield OB Wisconsin 10 pts (3rd prior to injury)

Schofield reportedly tore his ACL which is a real shame. He had never played LB until the EW game but picked up the position very quickly. He got an interception, had the speed to get wide to stretch out the run, and covered receivers well. Given the injury, he will fall to the 7th round or may not be drafted. He will be an outstanding value for someone but not until 2011.

Andrew Quarless TE Penn State 9pts (6th)

This is a very deep TE draft. As a result, Quarless may drop to the 6th. He is a decent blocker but a good receiver. He gets open, and had 3 nice catches in the game including a TD. He is 6-5 248 and should be able to run a 4.7 40. He will be a nice 2nd TE and does well on special teams.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State 9pts (7th)

Worthington was a mainstay of the Buckeye D. He had a solid EW game as well. He was doubled a number of times, got half a sack in my grading, and was solid in rushing the passer. He is decent against the run but at 275 could add some weight to get better.

Lindsey Witten DE Connecticut 8pts (4th)

Witten was one of the higher rated players at the EW game. But he is another of the underweight DEs in college. At 264 he needs weight to be a potential starter. But he uses his speed (4.7) to get to the QB. He may not be able to add the weight and keep the speed. At 6-4 he could be a LB conversion as well.

Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech 8pts (5th)

Wall will give you a great play then screw up badly. He scored 14 points with 3 excellent pass breakups but lost points with bad coverage and a penalty. At 5-10 with 4.5 speed, he is going to have to improve his coverage skills to make a team. He will contribute on special teams but will be a risk to draft even in the 5th round.

Reggie Carter IB UCLA 8pts (5th/6th)

Carter is a high motor guy with good instincts and the ability to stop the run. At 243 he will likely end up outside and should be OK there if he runs the 4.7 that he is expected to do at the Combine. He covers receivers fairly well and can contribute on special teams.

Alric Arnett WR West Virginia 8pts (6th)

Drafting a WR from a running team is always a little risky. But Arnett may be the exception. He has decent speed (4.49) good hands and can catch the bad pass. The question is can he get open regularly? He looked good in the game.

Greg Hardy DE Mississippi 8pts (1st or 2nd)

Hardy led the SEC in sacks and came into the game with a low 1st early 2nd round evaluation. I was not that impressed in this game. He played a lot better against Florida and Georgia. He got a sack, and had 2 other nice plays but allowed himself to get caught up in the wash too often against the run. He is an outstanding athlete but didn’t make enough plays in the game. He is going to have to add some weight to be a regular. But that could hurt his speed. At an expected 4.58 in the 40, he need his speed. He too may be a LB conversion prospect but taking a conversion that high is a huge risk.

Stevenson Sylvester OB Utah 8pts (FA)

Sylvester really popped early then disappeared. He attacks the run with great instincts, but he is too small and too slow but showed a great motor early. I have not yet decided how I feel about him but I will let you know when I get deeper into player evaluation.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl draft,projected draft choices,East West Shrine Game,All star game,College Football,Michigan State,Louisiana State,Bowling Green,Northern Iowa,Wisconsin,Penn State,Ohio State,UConn,Texas Tech,UCLA,West Virginia,Mississippi,Utah
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  • Published: Dec 31st, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to look for in New Years Day bowl games.

What to look for in New Years Day bowl games.

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football

OUTBACK BOWL Northwestern 8-4 Auburn 7-5

This game pits the Big 10 vs. SEC. NW wins over two ranked teams (Iowa and Wisconsin) in the last two games gave them hope they can break a 6 bowl losing streak. This is the first New Year’s day bowl since 97. QB Kafka has thrown for 2898 yards but only 12 TDs and 7 picks. He has to produce the majority of the O because the running game has struggled. RB Fields has averaged just 3.0 per attempt this year. The NW D is solid and is led by DE Wootton who should be a top 15 pick in the NFL Draft. The NW D will have to find a way to contain the Auburn running game or it will be a long day.

Auburn had its usual fast start 5-0 only to lose 5 of their final 7 games. QB Todd had a nice season with 2377 yards 21 TDs and just 6 picks. He was able to take advantage of opponent defenses focused on stopping the 13th best running game in Division 1. RB Tate is the key. He ran for 1254 yards at a 5.8 per attempt and scored 8 TDs. He should be a 3rd round pick in the draft.

The Tiger D is led by LB Coleman and DT Ricks both of whom are good draft prospects.

Auburn is the better team that played a better schedule and will win.

GATOR BOWL Florida St. 6-6 #16 West Virginia 9-3

This is the last game on the sideline for legendary coach Bowden. He is second in all time Div. 1 wins. Bowden’s problems in the last few years have been on D. He has not gotten the super athletes on D to be competitive at the highest level. This year’s D has 3 draftable players. CB Robinson is a 1st round prospect. OB Watson is a 3rd round prospect. I really like SS Rolle and he would be a steal in the 5th round. QB Ponder is hurt but had a good year. His replacement Manuel has thrown more picks (6) than TDs (2). The running game is capable with RB Thomas averaging 5.2 per attempt.

WV has won 4 straight bowl games. They took advantage of a below average Big East to get to 9-3. QB Brown is supposed to be 4th round prospect but don’t expect that. He has struggled this year an the team has averaged 211 per game passing which ranks a dismal 84th. On O also watch OT Capers who may be a 2nd round pick.

On D the team has been good but has no senior super stars. The FSU team will play their hearts out for Bowden and despite being the underdog, I expect a close game and maybe an FSU win.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL #12 LSU 9-3 #13 Penn St. 10-2

LSU should have at least on player taken in each of the 7 rounds of the draft. Potential 1st round pick WR LaFell is 6-3 and is the prime target in the endzone for LSU. Look for OT Black and RB Scott to be picked in 2nd and 4th round respectively. Scott is a slasher who averaged 4.7 per attempt but injuries held him to just 116 carries. He is questionable for the game. The Tiger O ranks 108th which is not good looking at a solid Penn State D. The LSU D is led by SS Coleman (3rd or 4th round) and DE Alem (4th or 5th). While the D started out well, it has struggled to get off the field in the last 4 games giving up over 380 yards a game.

PS QB Clark was the leading passer in the Big 10 but tended to throw picks at the worst times against the toughest competition. His 2009 performance has dropped him from a possible 4th round pick to undrafted Free Agent status. Junior RB Royster has yet to decide if he will enter the draft. He averaged 5.9 per attempt and would be a 2nd round pick most likely.

The strength of PS is the D which is led by DT Odrick (1st round), ILBs Lee (2nd) and Hull (5th) .

The line is PS by 3 and that looks about right. If Scott doesn’t play it could be a lot worst than that.

ROSE BOWL #7 Oregon 10-2 #8 Ohio State 10-2

OSU Coach Tressel has suspended 3 players for the game including WR Small. That won’t help an O that has struggled this year. They have only 1 draftable Senior on O—C Cordle. The O line has been bad and QB Pryor has run for his life rather than running for first downs. The Bucks have the 106th ranked passing O. Pryor has not improved in his 2nd year as starter. In fact, he has become less accurate with worse mechanics than last year. The running game ranks 19th with a gagle of backs contributing including Pryor.

The OSU D ranks 5th in rushing D. That D will be tested often by the Ducks who rank 6th in rushing. S Coleman and DT Worthington are both prospects in the last half of the 2010 Draft.

Oregon’s RB James hides in the back pocket of the Duck O line then bursts out to rip off big gains. USC never could find him let alone tackling him close to the line. James replaced RB Blount who was suspended for hitting a player after the Boise State game. QB Masoli has a passer rating of 130 and has a great target in TE Dickson (2nd or 3rd round). The Ducks are 7th in scoring and will give the Buckeye D all they want.

Big 10 teams usually lose the Rose Bowl but that has been against USC most often. But the line is Oregon by 5. It shouldn’t be that close. However the best bet here is the under at 51.

SUGAR BOWL #3 Cincinnati 12-0 #5 Florida 12-1

The big question in this game is which Bearcat team will show up? Their coach is on his way to South Bend. This is big game not only for Cincy but for the Big East. This is their chance to show the football world that they are just as good as the big boys. Cincy is ranked 6th in total O and scoring but that was not against the kind of D speed that Florida has. They will depend on QB Pike (2nd or 3rd) to WR Gilyard (top 20). The Cincy O ranked 7th in passing despite the loss of Pike for a good deal of the season. RB Pead has average 6.6 per attempt. They won’t have that success against the Gators.

On D, Cincy has been solid led by DE Daniels and SS Webster both late round prospects. The team has been good against the run but a little soft vs the pass.

Florida has coaching questions of its own. Coach Meyer announced he was leaving the sideline but a day later that it was only a leave of absence. QB Tebow has been the bell cow of the team and is the spiritual leader. No other player in the draft has as many different views of his pro potential than Tebow. Experts rank his anywhere from top 3 to the middle of the 4th round. I will have a detailed scouting report later. He has 2413 yards passing with 18 TDs and 5 picks. He added another 859 yards rushing with 13 TDs. WR Cooper (3rd or 4th) is solid. The O line has been a little shaky but has blocked enough to allow RB Demps to average 7.7 per carry.

The Florida D is led by LB Spikes (1st) DE Cunningham (3rd) and OB Stamper and Doe. Look for them to keep the pressure on Pike all day.

Florida is a 13 point favorite and it shouldn’t be that close. But Cincy has fooled teams before.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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