Saturday Football

Saturday Football

College football Top 25 betting cheat sheet

Northwestern at Illinois (-13½)

Why Wildcats cover: Northwestern has won four straight games against Illinois and has covered the spread in six of its last seven meetings with the Illini.

Why Fighting Illini cover: Illinois beat Ohio State, the No. 1 team in the nation, last week. Quarterback Juice Williams threw for 140 passing yards, four touchdowns and 70 rushing yards against the highly rated Buckeyes’ defense.

Total (56½): The under is 4-0 in the Wildcats’ last four games overall, and 7-1 in their last eight in November.

Ohio State at Michigan (4½)

Why Buckeyes cover: Ohio State has won three straight against the Wolverines, covering in two of the three. Michigan could be without quarterback Chad Henne and running back Mike Hart. Both injured players are game-time decisions.

Why Wolverines cover: Michigan has covered in four of its last five games. Its offense is producing 219.4 yards per game in the air this season and an average of 28.2 points per contest.

Total (49): Six of the last seven games between Ohio State and Michigan have gone over.

Florida Atlantic at Florida (-34)

Why Owls cover: Florida Atlantic’s offense is ranked second in the Sun Belt, averaging 276.8 yards and 27.6 points per game. Quarterback Rusty Smith has thrown for a conference-high 20 touchdowns this season, with 2,441 passing yards.

Why Gators cover: Florida is 4-1 ATS in its last five games. QB Tim Tebow could become the first sophomore to win a Heisman Trophy. He was responsible for seven touchdowns – five rushing – in last week’s 51-31 win over South Carolina.

Total (67½): The over is 5-0 in Florida’s last five games, and 4-1 in the Owls’ last five.

Kentucky at Georgia (-8½)

Why Wildcats cover: Kentucky stunned Georgia with a 24-20 win in Lexington last year, a victory that snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. The Wildcats have won, and covered, against two Top 25 teams already this season.

Why Bulldogs cover: Georgia is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with Kentucky. The Wildcats have dropped two of their last three games and have failed to cover the spread in their last three home games.

Total (61): The over is 8-1 in the Bulldogs’ last nine home games against a team with a winning road record.

Missouri at Kansas State (+7)

Why Tigers cover: Quarterback Chase Daniel has led Missouri to a 9-1 start (7-2 ATS). He has thrown for 3,306 yards and 26 TDs as the leader of the nation’s eight-ranked offense. The Tigers have outscored opponents 178-74 in their last four games.

Why Wildcats cover: Kansas State has won eight straight home games against the Tigers, covering in four of the last five. In fact, the Wildcats’ only home loss this season came against Kansas, one of the two remaining unbeaten teams.

Total (68½): The last three meetings between Missouri and Kansas State have been over the total.

Idaho at Boise State (-33½)

Why Vandals cover: The Vandals have rushed for 152.2 yard per game this season behind running back Deonte Jackson. He has 1,016 yards and six TDs and will face a Broncos’ rush defense that is giving up 116.4 yards per game on the ground.

Why Broncos cover: Boise State has averaged more than 49 points per game during its current eight-game winning streak against Idaho. In fact, the Broncos have broken the 65-point mark on three occasions against the Vandals, and are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 against them.

Total (65): The over is 7-2 in the Broncos’ last nine games against a team with a losing record.

Wisconsin at Minnesota (+13½)

Why Badgers cover: Wisconsin has won 10 of the previous 12 meetings between these teams, covering the spread in the last five. Last week, the Badgers upset Michigan 37-21, gaining over 477 yards of total offense.

Why Golden Gophers cover: Minnesota put in one of its best defensive efforts last week, holding Iowa to just 296 yards in a 21-16 loss. Freshman quarterback Adam Weber passed for 190 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 70 yards in that game.

Total (57): The over is 7-0 in the last seven games between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-11½)

Why Commodores cover: The last time Vanderbilt traveled to Neyland Stadium, it recorded a 28-24 victory that snapped a 22-game losing streak there. The Volunteers are second-worst in the conference in defense (400.1 yards per game) and third-worst in points allowed (27 per contest).

Why Volunteers cover: Tennessee has won, and covered, in three straight games. Vols running back Adrian Foster ran for 586 yards and nine TDs in his last six games, with Tennessee covering in five of those games.

Total (52): The under is 9-1 in Vanderbilt’s last 10 games overall.

Iowa State at Kansas (-26)

Why Cyclones cover: Iowa State has covered the spread in six of the last eight meetings with Kansas that have had odds. The Cyclones recorded their best win of the season last weekend, rallying from a 21-point halftime deficit to beat Colorado 31-28.

Why Jayhawks cover: Kansas is one of only two unbeaten teams in the nation this season, and is the only program perfect against the spread. The Jayhawks have the country’s second-best scoring offense (45.9 points per game) and second-best scoring defense (14.9 points per contest).

Total (58): The over is 8-0 in the Jayhawks’ last eight games in November.

Louisiana State at Mississippi (19½)

Why Tigers cover: The No. 1 team in the nation has won three straight since a shock loss to Kentucky, covering in two of those. It can thank its 15th-ranked rush offense for that, with star running back Jacob Hester clocking 706 yards and nine TDs for the season.

Why Rebels cover: Mississippi is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games against LSU. Despite not winning a game in conference play this season, the Rebels played both Florida and Alabama close at Oxford.

Total (54): The under is 6-2 in Mississippi’s last eight conference games.

Penn State at Michigan State (+2)

Why Nittany Lions cover: Penn State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings with Michigan State. The Nittany Lions are producing more than 189 yards per game on the ground, with running back Rodney Kinlaw stacking up 1,061 yards and eight TDs.

Why Spartans cover: The Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with a winning record. Junior QB Brian Hoyer played one of the best games of his career in the win over Purdue last week, completing 22-of-31 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

Total (50½): The over is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings between these teams.

Miami at Virginia Tech (-16½)

Why Hurricanes cover: Miami has the 24th-ranked defense in the nation and is holding opponents to just 333.1 yards and 24 points per game. It has finished within a touchdown of the Hokies in three straight meetings.

Why Hokies cover: Virginia Tech has won seven of eight games, covering in four of the last five. The Hokies have two starting quarterbacks sharing time. Sean Glennon has 1,031 yards and six TDs for the season, while Taylor Tyrod has thrown for 844 yards and five TDs.

Total (42): The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams.

West Virginia at Cincinnati (+6½)

Why Mountaineers cover: West Virginia quarterback Pat White has rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and thrown for 198 yards and two scores, in two career games against the Bearcats. The Mountaineers have covered in two of their last three visits to Cincinnati.

Why Bearcats cover: Cincinnati is 7-2 ATS this season, and has lost only once at home. The Bearcats’ defense is allowing just 16.4 points per game and leads the nation in both takeaways (35) and interceptions (22).

Total (55½): Cincinnati is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games.

Boston College at Clemson (-7½)

Why Eagles cover: Boston College has covered in its last two games against Clemson. Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan tops the conference with 3,269 passing yards and is second in TD passes (24).

Why Tigers cover: Clemson has won four straight, covering the spread in all of them. It faces a BC team that blew its chances of a national title game, by getting upset in its last two outings.

Total (52½): The under is 5-1 in BC’s last six road games.

Oklahoma at Texas Tech (+8½)

Why Sooners cover: Oklahoma has covered in five of its last six games against the Raiders. Last week, the Sooners recorded a blowout 52-21 win over Baylor, with freshman RB DeMarco Murray running for three TDs and a 91-yard kickoff return.

Why Red Raiders cover: Texas Tech has the best quarterback and the second-best offense in the nation. Graham Harrell, who has 4,878 yards and 43 TDS, leads a Raiders offense that is averaging 541.9 yards per game.

Total (66): The under is 7-1 in the Sooners’ last eight road contests.

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(7) Ohio State (10-1, 6-4 ATS) at (23) Michigan (8-3, 6-4 ATS)

The latest chapter in college football’s most storied rivalry will be written in The Big House today, as Michigan and Ohio State square off, with the winner once again claiming the Big Ten championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

Last week, both teams blew chances to come into this game with perfect Big Ten records. Ohio State, playing as the No. 1 team in the nation for the fourth straight week, had its unbeaten season and national championship hopes dashed in a stunning 28-21 home loss to Illinois as 15-point chalk. It was the first time all season that the Buckeyes gave up more than 17 points.

Meanwhile, Michigan had its eight-game winning streak snapped in a 37-21 loss at Wisconsin as a 2½-point road favorite. The Wolverines trailed 23-21 midway through the fourth quarter before the Badgers scored two TDs in a one-minute span late in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Michigan, which played without injured RB Mike Hart, gave up 477 total yards while producing 320.

These rivals were both 11-0 when they met in Columbus, Ohio, last year with the winner guaranteed a slot in the BCS Championship game. And although Michigan struck first, Ohio State took a 28-14 lead into halftime and held on for a 42-39 victory, failing to cover as a 6½-point home favorite.

Since coach Jim Tressel took over at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have won five of the last six meetings (4-2 ATS), including the last three in a row. The straight-up winner had covered six straight in this rivalry prior to last year.

Michigan is 6-3 ATS in its last nine (4-1 ATS at home). The Wolverines are also 7-1 ATS in their last eight as an underdog.

Going back to 2005, the Buckeyes are on ATS runs of 22-8 overall and 10-2 on the road. This year, Ohio State is 3-1 ATS on the highway, with its lone non-cover coming by one point, as the Buckeyes beat Minnesota 30-7 as a 24-point favorite.

The Wolverines average 28.2 points and 399 total yards per game (180 rushing ypg), while Ohio State puts up 33.6 points and 409 total yards per outing (200 rushing ypg). Defensively, Michigan yields 20.8 points and 335 yards (143.6 rushing ypg), while Ohio State allows a scant 11.4 points and 240 yards (85.3 rushing ypg).

The last four series meetings have jumped over the total, and the over is 6-2 in the last eight clashes. The over is also on overall runs of 3-0 for Ohio State and 4-2 for Michigan.


(5) West Virginia (8-1, 6-2 ATS) at Cincinnati (8-2, 7-2 ATS)

The Mountaineers look to keep their BCS title game hopes alive when they hit the road for a dangerous Big East game against Cincinnati.

West Virginia survived a serious scare last Thursday against Louisville, blowing a 31-14 lead and needing a touchdown with less than two minutes to play to pull out a 38-31 victory, its fourth win in a row. The Mountaineers failed to cover as a 17-point home chalk and have now alternated ATS wins and losses in their last five games.

Cincinnati dealt UConn its first loss of the season last Saturday, rolling to a 27-3 victory as a 6½-point home favorite. The Bearcats, who have followed up a two-game losing skid with back-to-back wins and covers, outgained the Huskies 420-204, including 144-22 on the ground.

West Virginia rolled up 411 yards in last year’s 42-24 home victory over Cincinnati, with the Bearcats scoring two fourth-quarter TDs to push as an 18-point underdog. These teams have met four times since 2002, with the Mountaineers going 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS.

With last week’s rout of UConn, the Bearcats are now on a 14-4-1 ATS roll overall, including 8-2 ATS in their last 10 at home (3-1 this year). They’re also 3-0 ATS as an underdog in 2007.

West Virginia is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 road games, including 4-1 ATS on the highway this year.

The straight-up winner is 9-0 ATS in Cincinnati’s nine lined games this year.

The under is 5-2 in West Virginia’s last seven overall (3-1 on the road) and 7-3 in Cincinnati’s last 10 at home.


(3) Oklahoma (9-1, 5-5 ATS) at Texas Tech (7-4, 5-5 ATS)

The Sooners gun for their sixth consecutive victory and the Big 12 South title when they take on Texas Tech, which is coming off its most lopsided loss of the season.

Oklahoma spotted Baylor a quick 7-0 lead last week, then rolled to a 52-21 win, failing to cover as a 38-point home chalk. Despite facing the worst team in the Big 12, the Sooners had just a 533-450 yard edge in total offense, but benefited from four Baylor turnovers. Bob Stoops’ team, which can put the wraps on the Big 12 South title with a win here, is just 1-5 ATS in its last six games after opening the season with four easy spread-covers.

Texas Tech surrendered 551 yards and 31 second-half points in last week’s 59-43 loss at Texas as a 6½-point road underdog. Even in defeat, QB Graham Harrell had another stellar game, going 36-for-48 for 466 yards with 5 TDs and 1 INT, running his season totals to 4,878 passing yards, 43 TDs and 12 INTs.

The Red Raiders are just 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four games, all against conference foes.

The straight-up winner is 8-0 in Texas Tech’s last eight contests.

The Sooners have owned Texas Tech in recent years, going 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings. That includes last year’s 34-24 win as a 7½-point home chalk, the eighth straight time in this series that the game was decided by double digits.

Oklahoma is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 road games, but 0-3 ATS in the last three as a visitor, all against league competition.

The Red Raiders are on a 17-4 ATS roll in home finales. However, including last week’s loss to Texas, they’re just 1-6 ATS in their last seven against ranked teams.

The under is 7-1 in Oklahoma’s last eight road games and 3-0 in Texas Tech’s last three at home.


(1) LSU (9-1, 4-5-1 ATS) at Ole Miss (3-7, 4-5 ATS)

Having reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in every poll, LSU will attempt to prove it is worth of the top spot when it heads to Oxford, Miss., for an SEC clash with the Rebels.

The Tigers stepped out of conference last week and crushed Louisiana Tech 58-10, cashing as a 36-point home chalk. LSU has won three in a row since a 43-37 overtime loss at Kentucky, but Les Miles’ squad is just 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games.

Ole Miss snapped a three-game winning streak last week, but did so against Division I-AA Northwestern State, prevailing just 38-31 in a non-lined game. The Rebels are 0-6 against SEC foes (3-3 ATS), including 0-3 at home (2-1 ATS).

LSU needed a miracle to avoid a stunning loss to Mississippi last year, scoring a game-tying touchdown with 14 seconds left, then wining 23-20 in overtime, but never coming close to covering as a 28½-point favorite. The Tigers have won the last five meetings, but Ole Miss is 8-2 ATS in the last 10, including 7-2 ATS as an underdog.

The visitor has cashed in seven of the last eight series battles.

Going back to last year, the Rebels are on a 6-2-1 ATS roll at home. They’re also 19-7 ATS in their last 26 as a double-digit underdog.

LSU has topped the total in five straight games. However, for Ole Miss, the under is on runs of 14-5 overall and 6-2 in SEC contests.


(22) Kentucky (7-3, 6-3 ATS) at (8) Georgia (8-2, 5-4 ATS)

Fresh off a dominating performance against Auburn that kept its SEC title game hopes alive, Georgia now hosts Kentucky in a battle between the hedges.

Trailing Auburn 20-17 midway through the third quarter, Georgia kicked it into another gear, scoring the game’s final 28 points en route to a 45-20 victory as a 1½-point home favorite. Georgia, which had a 417-216 yard edge against the Tigers, has won four in a row and seven of its last eight, but is just 2-3 ATS in its last five.

Kentucky came out of its bye week and snapped a two-game slide with a 27-20 win at Vanderbilt as a four-point road favorite. The Wildcats escaped despite getting outgained 430-351, including 238-129 on the ground.

The Wildcats upset Georgia 24-20 as a 6½-point home underdog last year, snapping a nine-game SU and a four-game ATS losing skid to the Dawgs.

Despite last week’s win, the Bulldogs are still just 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 when laying points (2-4 this year) and 6-11-1 ATS in their last 18 at home.

Kentucky is on ATS runs of 11-4 overall, 6-2 as an underdog, 6-2 on the road, 9-4 on grass and 8-2 against winning teams.

The over is 7-3 in Georgia’ last 10 at home.


(6) Missouri (9-1, 7-2 ATS) at Kansas State (5-5, 6-3 ATS)

Missouri will try to avoid looking ahead to next week’s Big 12 North showdown against Kansas when it hits the road for a game against a Kansas State team looking to rebound from last week’s ugly loss at Nebraska.

The Tigers ran their winning streak to four with last week’s 40-26 win over Texas A&M, piling up 555 total yards while allowing 380. However, Mizzou failed to cover as a 19½-point home chalk, dropping to 1-2 ATS in its last three after going 8-0 ATS in its previous eight lined games.

Kansas State traveled to Lincoln, Neb., a week ago, jumped out to a 7-0 lead, then completely fell apart, giving up a whopping 702 yards of total offense in losing 73-31 as a 7½-point road chalk. It was the most points the Wildcats allowed since a 75-28 loss to Oklahoma in 1971. K-State is just 2-4 in its last six games (3-3 ATS), all against Big 12 opponents.

Missouri halted a 13-game losing streak to Kansas State last year, winning 41-21 as a 14½-point home favorite. QB Chase Daniel went 24-for-31 for 262 yards with four TDs and no picks in the victory, as the home team improved to 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in this rivalry.

The Wildcats are on a 13-4 ATS roll at home (3-1 this year). They’re also 3-0 ATS as an underdog in 2007 and 6-2 ATS in their last eight as a home pup.

The Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last five road/neutral-site games, including 3-0 ATS as a road chalk.

The over is 9-2 in Missouri’s last 11 overall, 20-7 in Kansas State’s last 27 in November and 7-1 in K-State’s last eight as an underdog.


Miami, Fla. (5-5, 3-7 ATS) at (10) Virginia Tech (8-2, 4-4 ATS)

Miami (Fla.) will try to bounce back from one of the worst losses in the program’s history when it visits Blacksburg for an ACC tussle with surging Virginia Tech.

With dozens of former players on hand for the school’s final game in the Orange Bowl, the Hurricanes got blown away, losing 48-0 to Virginia as a 3½-point home chalk, closing their 70-year history at the stadium with the biggest shutout defeat in Orange Bowl history. Miami had just 189 total yards and five turnovers, while the defense allowed Virginia to run up and down the field for 418 yards.

The ‘Canes have dropped four of five, and they’re 1-5 ATS in their last six.

Virginia Tech posted its second straight convincing victory last week, pounding Florida State 40-21 as a seven-point favorite. The Hokies trailed 21-20 with 10 minutes to play before scoring the final 20 points. The Hokies are 7-1 SU in their last eight and 4-1 ATS in their last five.

The road team has prevailed in each of the last three matchups in this rivalry, with Virginia Tech scoring a 17-10 win as a one-point road favorite last year. The Hokies are 5-1 ATS in the last six, with the underdog also going 5-1 ATS during this stretch.

Miami is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 away from South Beach (1-2 SU and ATS this year). On the bright side, the ‘Canes are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 as an underdog.

Virginia Tech is on a 20-6 ATS roll against ACC rivals, but just 2-5 ATS in its last seven when laying points.

The last four series meetings have stayed under the total. Also, the under is on runs of 12-4 for Miami in conference games, 7-1 for Va-Tech at home and 8-3 for Va-Tech in conference. Meanwhile, the total has alternated in each of Miami’s 10 games this season, with all three road contests going over the posted price.


(18) Boston College (8-2, 5-4 ATS) at (15) Clemson (8-2, 6-3 ATS)

Two teams headed in opposite directions clash in Death Valley, as slumping Boston College travels to face red-hot Clemson with the winner earning the ACC Atlantic Division title.

Two weeks ago, Boston College was 8-0 and ranked No. 2 spot the rankings. However, since then, the Eagles have suffered consecutive upset losses, falling to Florida State 27-17 as a 6½-point home favorite on Nov. 3 and at Maryland 42-35 as a 6½-point road chalk last week.

While B.C. is scuffling, the Tigers come into this game on a 4-0 SU and ATS run following last week’s 44-10 rout of Wake Forest as a nine-point home chalk. During its winning streak, Clemson is outscoring foes by an average of 35 points per game (48-13).

Clemson is 5-2 SU and ATS in conference, one-half game ahead of Boston College (4-2 SU and ATS) in the Atlantic Division. Because these the only teams in the division with just two losses, the winner of this contest will qualify for next month’s ACC Championship game in Jacksonville.

These teams have been involved in a couple of overtime thrillers the last two years, with Boston College prevailing in both contests, winning 16-13 as a three-point road underdog in 2005 and 34-33 as a one-point home pup last season. B.C. has cashed in four straight meetings.

The Eagles are on a 13-3 ATS roll as a road underdog (2-0 SU and ATS this year). They’re also on a 9-3 ATS run against winning teams.

Clemson is 7-2 ATS in its last nine home finales and 10-4 in its last 14 November contests.

The over is 7-3 for Boston College going back to its bowl game last year and 4-1 in Clemson’s last five.


N.C. State (5-5, 5-4 ATS) at Wake Forest (6-4, 5-4-1 ATS)

The Wolfpack shoot for their fifth straight victory when they head south to Tallahassee for an ACC showdown with Wake Forest, which is coming off back-to-back conference losses that knocked the Demon Deacons out of the Atlantic Division race.

N.C. State jumped out to a 24-10 halftime lead against archrival North Carolina last week, then had to hang on for a 31-27 victory, barely covering as a 3½-point home chalk. The Wolfpack have rallied from a 1-5 start to post four straight wins, the last three coming by five points or less. N.C. State is also on a 5-0 ATS roll.

The Demon Deacons have followed up a six-game winning streak with consecutive losses. After a last-minute 17-16 setback at Virginia on Nov. 3, Wake Forest went to Clemson last week and got walloped 44-10 as a nine-point underdog.

Wake Forest has cashed in each of the last four meetings against N.C. State, but all as an underdog. That includes back-to-back victories the last two years – a 27-19 home win in 2005 and a 25-23 road triumph last year, both as a three-point ‘dog.

The host is 6-2 versus the number in the last eight series battles.

Since a 20-17 loss to Nebraska in Week 2, the Demon Deacons have won four straight home games. They’re also 4-1 ATS on their turf this year.

N.C. State suffered double-digit losses at Boston College and Florida State in its first two road games, but since then the Pack have pulled off consecutive upsets on the highway, winning at East Carolina (34-20) and at Miami, Fla. (19-16 in overtime).

The over is 5-2 in Wake’s last seven games overall, but the under is 8-2 in its last 10 at home. Also, for N.C. State, the under is on runs of 16-5 in November games and 17-7-2 when playing on grass.


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Re: Saturday Football

Where to find the edge in Saturday's games

A number of Saturday’s games feature specific mismatches that can give bettors a major edge. The most significant are listed below:

Tulane running back Matt Forte vs. Rice’s rush defense

Star running back Matt Forte leads the Green Wave against an Owls team that is allowing more than 190 rushing yards per outing this season.

The sophomore running back leads the country with more than 180 rushing yards per contest and he racked up more than 170 rushing yards with two touchdowns in Tulane’s 34-19 win over UTEP last Saturday. Forte has rushed for over 200 yards in four outings, pushing his season total over 1,200 yards.

Rice conceded more than 300 rushing yards with two touchdowns in a 43-42 win over SMU last Saturday. Mustangs backup running back DeMyron Martin was able to amass more than 160 rushing yards against the Owls – 130 yards more than his season average.

New Mexico State quarterback Chase Holbrook vs. Utah State’s pass defense

Aggies pivot Chase Holbrook ranks among the best quarterbacks in country.

It’s not difficult to figure out why.

Holbrook ranks eighth in the country with more than 3,100 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. He is also averaging more than 315 passing yards per outing. Holbrook amassed more than 300 passing yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday’s loss to San Jose State. He also passed for more than 400 yards four times and has compiled more than 200 passing yards in every outing this season.

Utah State has registered just 10 sacks and 10 interceptions. It is also allowing more than 245 passing yards per game. The Aggies allowed more than 290 passing yards and two aerial touchdowns in a 52-0 setback to Boise State last Saturday.

Washington State receiver Brandon Gibson vs. Oregon State pass defense

Cougars wide receiver Brandon Gibson has all the tools to be one of the most dangerous receivers in college football.

Gibson has more than 900 receiving yards and is averaging more than 100 receiving yards per contest. He caught seven passes for 157 yards in a 33-17 victory over Stanford last Saturday, giving him five 100-yard receiving games this season. Gibson leads the team with seven touchdowns including three in his last five outings.

Gibson will work against a Beavers program that is conceding 240 passing yards per contest. Oregon State has also allowed 16 receiving touchdowns and a mere 12 interceptions this season. The Beavers have also allowed Washington to compile more than 250 passing yards with two touchdowns in their 29-23 setback last Saturday.

Cornerback Brandon Hughes leads Oregon State with just two interceptions.

Florida’s third-down offense vs. Florida Atlantic’s third-down defense

Gators sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow has the exceptional ability to pass and run for first downs.

That’s bad news for the Owls.

The Gators have converted more than 55 percent of their third-down conversion attempts this campaign. They were 12-for-17 (75 percent) on third-down in their 51-31 win over the Gamecocks last Saturday. Freshman quarterback Tebow had more than 300 receiving yards with two touchdowns last Saturday. He also rushed for an additional 100 yards with five touchdowns against South Carolina.

Florida Atlantic is allowing its opponents to convert 47 percent of its third-down conversion attempts. The Owls allowed the Wildcats to convert 69 percent of their third-down conversion attempts in a 45-17 setback in September.

Wisconsin’s time of possession vs. Minnesota’s time of possession

Not only are the Badgers winning again, they aren’t even allowing the opposition to touch the ball.

A stifling defense and a strong ground assault have helped the Badgers hold the ball for more than 34 minutes per contest this season. Sophomore running back P.J. Hill has rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season and is averaging more than 100 rushing yards per contest. Hill also leads the team with 15 touchdowns. Wisconsin averages more than 190 rushing yards per contest.

The Badgers are also limiting their opponents to less than 140 rushing yards and 340 total yards per contest.

Minnesota is averaging less than 29 minutes of possession thanks to a mediocre offense. The Gophers are averaging less than 165 yards on the ground. They are also allowing more than 220 rushing yards and an astounding 520 total yards per game.

Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree vs. Oklahoma’s secondary

Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree is playing like a man among boys in his first collegiate campaign.

Crabtree leads all receivers with more than 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is also averaging more than 150 receiving yards per outing – 20 yards more than second-ranked senior wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Crabtree has also set and broken numerous Big 12 and NCAA records in what is arguably the most productive freshman season by a wide receiver in NCAA history.

The Sooners have given up 12 passing touchdowns and are allowing more than 220 passing yards per game. They also allowed Baylor reserve receiver Thomas White to accumulate more than 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday’s win against the Bears.

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Re: Saturday Football

College Football - Week 12 Predictions

Below is a compilation of The Sports Network's predictions for the top games in Week 12 of the college football season.

Syracuse (2-8) at (25) Connecticut (8-2), Saturday, 12 pm

UConn has made the most of a down year in the Big East and its extremely soft non-conference schedule, and it should feel pretty lucky to still be ranked in the Top 25 following a pathetic showing to then-unranked Cincinnati last weekend. The Huskies are clearly the better team in this game and they should be able to come out on top to set up a big showdown with West Virginia in their regular season finale next weekend.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 35, Syracuse 10

Northwestern (6-5) at (20) Illinois (8-3), Saturday, 12 pm

Illinois is coming off an enormous win, but it will need to put that behind it in order to avoid a letdown this weekend. The Illini though, has shown it can't be stopped on the ground and behind another big time rushing performance, expect Illinois to come out victorious in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois 31, Northwestern 24

Florida Atlantic (5-4) at (14) Florida (7-3), Saturday, 12 pm

Tim Tebow figures to add a few more touchdowns to his already gaudy total this weekend, as FAU is no match for Florida. Don't be surprised if the stud quarterback spends the second half on the sidelines.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 49, Florida Atlantic 9

(7) Ohio State (10-1) at (23) Michigan (8-3), Saturday, 12 pm

This college football season has been one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. Ohio State may be a slightly better team than Michigan, but the Wolverines have a chance to represent the Big Ten in a BCS bowl despite the terrible start. Expect the home team to get it done on Saturday.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 27, Ohio State 24

(22) Kentucky (7-3) at (8) Georgia (8-2), Saturday, 12:30 pm

Expect this game to be close, but give the edge to the home team. Expect the Bulldogs to pound Knowshon Moreno and Thomas Brown at Kentucky, eventually wearing down the Wildcat defenders.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 31, Kentucky 20

(6) Missouri (9-1) at Kansas State (5-5), Saturday, 12:30 pm

Although K-State has the advantage of playing at home, Missouri is clearly the better team in this matchup. Daniel and company will score at will, cruising to victory over the Wildcats.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri 49, Kansas State 17

Idaho (1-9) at (17) Boise State (9-1), Saturday, 2 pm

As long as the Broncos don't lose their focus, they could again move up a couple of spots in the national rankings after taking care of the Vandals as only they can.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 45, Idaho 10

Vanderbilt (5-5) at (19) Tennessee (7-3), Saturday, 2 pm

Give the edge to Tennessee, as it easily handled Vandy last season and has the advantage of playing at home this weekend. Expect a balanced offensive attack from the Vols.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee 34, Vanderbilt 13

(1) L-S-U (9-1) at Ole Miss (3-7), Saturday, 3:30 pm

LSU is clearly the better team in this matchup and will cruise to victory. If the Tigers can run the table in the regular season and can win the SEC title game, a trip to the national championship contest is a certainty.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: LSU 41, Ole Miss 13

Iowa State (3-8) at (4) Kansas (10-0), Saturday, 3:30 pm

Sure, Iowa State has recorded back-to-back victories, but there is no reason to believe that the Cyclones will be able to emerge from Lawrence victorious. The Jayhawks will not look past this contest, as there is simply too much on the line.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas 41, Iowa State 17

(24) Wisconsin (8-3) at Minnesota (1-10), Saturday, 3:30 pm

Wisconsin is clearly the pick here, as Minnesota hasn't shown it can stop any one on defense on a consistent basis. Behind their balanced attack, expect the Badgers to score early and often en route to the victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 40, Minnesota 27

Miami-Florida (5-5) at (10) Virginia Tech (8-2), Saturday, 3:30 pm

The Hokies are inching closer and closer to a showdown with rival Virginia for the Coastal Division title and spot in the ACC Title Game. The only obstacle left is a Miami team that lacks the offensive firepower to pose much of a threat in Blacksburg this weekend.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 33, Miami-Florida 10

(5) West Virginia (8-1) at (21) Cincinnati (8-2), Saturday, 7:45 pm

This is as good as it gets, as two of the top teams in the Big East collide with a lot on the line. WVU has been unstoppable in recent weeks, but Cincinnati has shown it can compete with anyone. The game should go down to the wire, and if the Bearcats can find a way to limit the Mountaineers' ground attack, don't be surprised to see them pull off the upset.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 31, West Virginia 28

(18) Boston College (8-2) at (15) Clemson (8-2), Saturday, 7:45 pm

The Eagles have hit a wall the last two weeks, and that wall won't disappear this weekend in Death Valley. The Tigers are performing at a very high level right now, and have their sights set on their first conference title since 1991. They will move a huge step closer to that goal with a win in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Clemson 31, Boston College 21

(3) Oklahoma (9-1) at Texas Tech (7-4), Saturday, 8 pm

In what figures to be a close game from start to finish, give a narrow edge to Oklahoma. The Sooners are a much more balanced team than the Red Raiders and possess a better defense. Still, the combo of quarterback Graham Harrell and wideout Michael Crabtree will be fun to watch.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 31, Texas Tech 28

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Re: Saturday Football

Boston College at Clemson

A slot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is at stake in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend when 18th-ranked Boston College travels to 15th-ranked Clemson. These two teams are battling atop the ACC Atlantic Division standings, with the Eagles dropping to 4-2 in conference play while the Tigers are 5-2.

Caesars Palace installed Clemson as an 8 ½-point home ‘chalk’ over Boston College, with the total set at 52 ½. The total has remained constant throughout the week, while the line opened with the Tigers as a touchdown favorite. ESPN2 will provide coverage of this critical ACC Atlantic Division matchup.

Boston College (8-2 straight up, 5-4 against the spread) takes the field at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium hoping to snap a two-game SU and ATS losing streak. The Eagles were ranked as high as second in the nation before falling to Florida State and last weekend’s setback to Maryland as a 6 ½-point road ‘chalk,’ 42-35. The combined 77 points soared past the 46 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the second consecutive contest.

Quarterback Matt Ryan completed 33-of-56 passes for 421 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Wideout Rich Gunnell enjoyed a solid effort with four catches for 97 yards, while the ground game managed an anemic 46 yards on 26 carries.

Boston College finished the contest with advantages in first downs (27-20), passing yards (421-337) and time of possession (30:14-29:46). The Eagles made a late charge with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but ultimately fell short.

Clemson (8-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) is riding a four-game SU and ATS winning streak after throttling Wake Forest last weekend as a nine-point home ‘chalk,’ 44-10. The combined 54 points eclipsed the 51-point closing total.

Signal caller Cullen Harper was 27-of-35 passing for 266 yards with three touchdowns, while James Davis had 21 carries for 62 yards. Wideout Tyler Grisham enjoyed a solid effort by catching nine passes for 100 yards and a score.

The Tigers never looked back after entering halftime with a 27-7 advantage. Clemson finished the contest with advantages in first downs (25-21), rushing yards (145-83), passing yards (266-204) and turnovers forced (1-0).

Boston College is 2-0 SU and ATS the previous two meetings with Clemson, and both games were eventually decided in overtime. The Eagles prevailed in 2005 as a three-point road underdog, 16-13, and last year as a two-point home ‘dog, 34-33.

Boston College linebackers Jo-Lonn Dunbar (ankle) and Tyronne Pruitt (ankle) are ‘probable’ versus the Tigers, while cornerback DeJuan Tribble (knee) and strong safety Marcellus Bowman (shoulder) are ‘out.’

Clemson offensive guard Chris McDuffie (elbow), offensive guard Bobby Hutchinson (ankle), defensive end Ricky Sapp (hamstring) and wide receiver Tyler Grisham (ankle) are ‘probable’ against the Eagles, while defensive end Kwam Williams (suspension) and quarterback Willy Korn (shoulder) are ‘out.’

Boston College wraps up its regular season with a November 24 home contest with Miami. Clemson concludes its regular season Nov. 24 with its annual rivalry game against South Carolina.

Saturday’s forecast for Columbia, South Carolina calls for mostly sunny skies, with a high of 67 degrees and a low of 41.

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Re: Saturday Football

Kentucky at Georgia
By Brian Edwards

The 2007 college football campaign has been comprised of upsets galore and one surprising storyline after another. Kentucky and Georgia have experienced their fair share of both, and they’ll collide Saturday between the hedges in Athens.

Most sports books are listing the Dawgs as 7 ½-point favorites with a total of 61. Bettors can back UK to win outright for a plus 250 return (risk $100 to win $250).

Kentucky (7-3 straight up, 6-3 against the spread) was the feel-good story of September, picking up outright wins as an underdog over Louisville and Arkansas. In the process, senior QB Andre Woodson was busy breaking the NCAA record for most passes without an interception, in addition to stating a case for Heisman consideration.

Then on Oct. 13, the Wildcats captured the school’s biggest win in decades by beating top-ranked LSU in triple overtime, 43-37. However, the upset bug came back to bite the ‘Cats a few weeks later when they lost a 31-14 decision to Mississippi St. as 13-point home favorites.

In fairness to Woodson and Co., UK was without a pair of senior starters in RB Rafael Little and WR Keenan Burton in the loss to the Bulldogs. Nevertheless, the defeat ended Woodson’s Heisman campaign and eliminated UK from SEC East contention.

Georgia (8-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) has won four straight games to put itself on the fringe of the national-championship conversation. Give credit to UGA head coach Mark Richt, who turned from Mr. Vanilla to Mr. Creative Motivator in the blink of an eye.

When the Dawgs went to Jacksonville to take their annual beating from the hated Gators, a funny thing happened along the way. A fight broke out. Georgia started it and thanks to redshirt freshman running back Knowshon Moreno, the Dawgs finished the fight with a victory.

Moreno stole the show, but Richt’s quasi-desperation ploy was the catalyst. During the week, Richt instructed his team to purposely get a 15-yard penalty after scoring its first touchdown. Therefore, when UGA drew first blood on the first of three TD runs by Moreno, the entire squad rushed the field and celebrated in the end zone.

After the game, Richt claimed that he had no idea the entire team would rush the field, but admitted to demanding the celebration. Look, when you’ve lost 15 of the last 17 games to your nemesis, you are in desperation mode. If instigating a (potential) fight with the enemy ups the stakes and serves as motivation -- well then -- job well done.

The Dawgs were flagged 30 yards and the Gators scored on the ensuing possession. Nevertheless, behind the daring decision by Richt that could’ve turned into a nightmare (imagine if Moreno’s TD that was reviewed had been reversed and UGA had then been flagged 30 yards?), Georgia had the upper hand emotionally for the rest of the day.

And Moreno did the rest, rushing 33 times for 188 yards to lead the Dawgs to a 42-30 win as eight-point underdogs.

After disposing of an underrated Troy squad by a 44-34 count, UGA turned its attention to Auburn, which had enjoyed considerable success in Athens over the last decade.

Sensing his team might be in need of extra motivation, Richt reached into his bag of tricks again. He requested the fans wear all black in the stands, but subsequently shot down all rumors that Georgia would sport black jerseys for the first time in school history.

For warm-ups, Georgia was dressed in its usual red uniforms. However, when the team went back into the locker room, Richt had a surprise for his squad. Yep, black jerseys. Put ‘em on and let’s go.

And that’s what the Dawgs did, putting a thumping to Auburn in the form of a 45-20 triumph as one-point home favorites. Moreno went nuts – again – with 101 yards and a pair of TDs.

For the year, Moreno has now run for 1,104 yards and 11 TDs. He averages 5.5 yards per carry. Also, UGA got RB Thomas Brown back in the mix last week. After missing a month with a broken collarbone, Brown produced 81 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. He’s also averaging 5.5 YPC and has found paydirt seven times this year.

As a true sophomore, Georgia QB Matthew Stafford continues to make strides. He has completed 56.2 percent of his throws for 2,035 yards. Stafford has a 17/7 touchdown-interception ratio compared to last season’s mediocre 7/13 ratio.

Meanwhile, Woodson has connected on 63.6 of his pass attempts for 2,653 yards, with a 29/7 TD-INT ratio. WR Steve Johnson has been Woodson’s go-to guy, catching the game-winning TD passes against both Louisville and LSU. Johnson has 40 receptions for 754 yards and nine TDs.

Senior WR Keenan Burton, who was an All-SEC selection in 2006, has been plagued by injuries. He has 48 catches for 539 yards and six TDs. WR Dickie Lyons Jr. and TE Jacob Tamme are outstanding No. 3 and 4 options in the passing game. Lyons has 45 receptions for 523 yards and six TDs, while Tamme has 38 catches for 400 yards and four TDs.

Senior RB Rafael Little has been sensational this season when he’s been able to get on the field. Unfortunately for UK, Little missed three games before returning in last week’s 27-20 win at Vandy.

Just as Little was getting back into a groove with 19 touches (15 carries, 4 catches) for 119 yards against the Commodores, he left the game with a back injury. That has kept him out of practice most of the week, and Little is listed as “questionable." For the year, Little has run for 752 yards and three TDs, averaging 6.2 YPC.

Kentucky owns a 3-2 record both SU and ATS as an underdog this season. The ‘Cats are 9-10 ATS as road ‘dogs during Rich Brooks’ five-year tenure.

Gamblers in the South can watch this game on Lincoln Financial Sports, while others will have to have the Game Plan package. Kick-off is slated for 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--In order for Georgia to win the SEC East, it needs to beat UK and then hope for one Tennessee loss, either Saturday vs. Vandy or next week at Kentucky. For the Dawgs to possibly enter the national-title conversation, they need Michigan to beat Ohio St., Kansas to beat Missouri, Oklahoma State to beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma to beat Kansas in the Big 12 title game. Losses from Arizona St. and West Virginia might also need to go down.

--Florida WR Percy Harvin (sinus infection, migraines) missed his fifth straight practice Wednesday. He is not expected to play Saturday against FAU, and there is growing concern about his status for next week’s game against arch-rival FSU.

--Arkansas RB Felix Jones is “doubtful” for the Mississippi St. game. Sylvester Croom has been responsible for firings at Florida (Ron Zook) and Alabama (Mike Shula) by leading his team to upset victories. Could he pull a similar trick Saturday? Make no mistake, Houston Nutt is a goner if the Hogs lose today, and he could be on the way out regardless. Croom’s team could remove all doubt.

--Wake Forest is 2-1 ATS as a home favorite this season. However, the Demon Deacons are an abysmal 5-15-1 ATS as home ‘chalk’ during Jim Grobe’s seven-year tenure. Wake plays host to N.C. St. this week as a six-point favorite.

--Kudos to ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough for calling out Nevada head coach Chris Ault for his inept coaching in the final minute of Friday's 28-26 loss to Hawaii. How atrocious was Ault's thinking? Put it this way: It was worse than the incompetent clock-management decisions made by Urban Meyer in Florida's loss at LSU. With Nevada clinging to a one-point lead with 50 seconds left, the Wolf Pack forced a fourth down and thus a potential Hawaii game-winning field goal. Nevada had all three of its timeouts and would only need to get into field-goal range if Hawaii made its field goal. Obviously, Ault should've used his first timeout at the 50-second mark. In that event, the Wolf Pack would've had two timeouts and more than 40 seconds to get into field-goal range. Instead, Hawaii makes the go-ahead field goal and Nevada gets the ball back with time for just one Hail Mary. Just abysmal coaching by Ault, no two ways about it. Nevertheless, Nevada did cover for me as an underdog.

--Coach of the Year candidates:

1-Mark Mangino (Kansas)
2-Mark Richt (Georgia)
3-Rich Brooks (Kentucky)
4-Dennis Erickson (Arizona St.)
5-Sylvester Croom (Mississippi St.)

--Oregon QB Dennis Dixon is out for the season with a torn ACL, effectively ending his Heisman candidacy. With that in mind, here's my updated list of Heisman candidates going into Week 12.

1-Tim Tebow (Florida)
2-Todd Reesing (Kansas)
3-Chase Daniel (Missouri)
4-Darren McFadden (Arkansas)
5-Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)

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Re: Saturday Football

UConn needs win to play for Big East title
November 16, 2007

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -It's all still out there for Connecticut.

Despite being dominated last week in a 27-3 loss at Cincinnati, the No. 25 Huskies (8-2, 4-1 Big East) have the inside track to the Big East championship. A win Saturday at home against Syracuse would set up a Nov. 24 matchup at No. 5 West Virginia for the right to represent the conference in a BCS bowl game.

Saturday's game against the Orange (2-8, 1-4) also will be the final home game for 10 Connecticut seniors, adding some emotional fuel to the fire. The Huskies are 6-0 this season at Rentschler Field.

``You shouldn't have to have someone fire you up for this one,'' said senior defensive tackle Dan Davis, one of six Husky captains. ``If you know what's riding on this game, everybody will be ready to go.''

The game wasn't supposed to mean anything. Connecticut and Syracuse were picked in preseason polls to finish at the bottom of the Big East.

While Connecticut has been a surprise, the Orange are struggling to avoid their second 10-loss season in three years. Syracuse has the league's worst offense and has lost five of six, including a 41-10 blowout to South Florida last week.

So while Connecticut is motivated by keeping its storybook season going, what is motivating Syracuse?

``I want to win. That's the motivation,'' coach Greg Robinson said. ``I want our kids to enjoy winning. I think they deserve that.''

Syracuse could get a boost from the return of quarterback Andrew Robinson, who is expected to start after missing the South Florida game with a cracked rib. Receiver Mike Williams will try to extend his school record by catching a touchdown in eight consecutive games.

``I'm trying to put (the record) out of reach, but if I don't score and we get a win, I'd be happy,'' he said. We've got to win these last two games to show everybody we're an improving team.''

Connecticut wants to show it is better than the team that gave up 420 yards to the Bearcats last week while rushing for just 22 yards.

``Cincinnati came and they really hit us in the mouth,'' said UConn quarterback Tyler Lorenzen. ``How we respond is going to be huge. I definitely think we're going to respond. We're a mature team and if we've got our minds in the right spot, we'll be fine.''

Tailbacks Andre Dixon and Donald Brown have combined for 1,282 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, and will be going against a defense that gives up almost 220 yards per game on the ground.

Connecticut coach Randy Edsall has been alternating his backs early in games, then going with whichever one seems to have the hot hand. That has led to an average of 159 yards rushing per game.

``We'll have a plan ... who's going to start and who is going to come in and as things go, we'll take it that way,'' Edsall said.

The Huskies are 1-2 against Syracuse and the home team has won all three games. The Orange beat UConn 20-14 last year at the Carrier Dome, a win that snapped a 12-game conference losing streak.

Edsall played at Syracuse, but said he's not interested in the struggles of their football program.

``The only team that I'm concerned about is the University of Connecticut,'' he said. ``If I was a fan, maybe I'd be concerned about other teams, but I'm not a fan, I'm a coach.''

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Re: Saturday Football

Vols playing for SEC bid, Vandy wants bowl
November 16, 2007

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Tennessee's annual matchup with Vanderbilt once meant a chance for the Volunteers to play some backups or try for a shutout.

Not anymore.

``The way they are now versus the way they used to be, you can't compare those numbers. They're a very good football team now,'' Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge said.

The Commodores aren't the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division punching bag anymore, even if they finish in the cellar again. During coach Bobby Johnson's five-year tenure, Vandy has beaten each division rival at least once with the exception of Florida, coming up short in two overtimes against the Gators in 2005.

That's the same year the Commodores last traveled to Knoxville and left with 28-24 win, snapping a 22-year losing streak to the Vols. That loss ensured a losing season for Tennessee and ended a chance at a bowl game for the 17th straight season.

``It was a lot of fun,'' said Vanderbilt defensive tackle Theo Horrocks, who is from Fayetteville, Tenn. ``Being from Tennessee, it meant a lot to me to go up there and beat them.''

Last season, Tennessee entered the Vanderbilt game already bowl eligible. The Vols wanted some revenge and beat the Commodores 39-10.

This year, the stakes are higher for both teams.

No. 19 Tennessee (7-3, 4-2) needs a victory over the Commodores coupled with a win at Kentucky next week to take SEC East and reach the league championship game.

``That's the only thing I'm worried about,'' Ainge said. ``At the end of the day, when the clock's over, do we have more points than they do?''

Vanderbilt (5-5, 2-5) needs one more win to be bowl eligible for the first time since 1982 with the regular season finale against Wake Forest also remaining.

``The stakes of this game is beyond anything I can say,'' Vandy defensive tackle Gabe Hall said. ``We have got to win this game because six wins might not get it done. We need to get seven. Make no mistake, this is a must-win game.''

Tennessee's offense is averaging 398 yards. Vanderbilt's has been one of the best in the SEC, holding opponents to 325.7 yards a game.

Ainge's passing stats have dipped the past few games. His 48 percent completion rate against Arkansas last week was a season-worst, and top receiver Lucas Taylor has been struggling with turf toe.

But the Vols' running game has come on strong, with senior Arian Foster leading the way with help from Montario Hardesty. Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe also thinks Ainge has been at his finest managing the offense in the past few games.

``He's had a really good year,'' Cutcliffe said. ``He's done what it takes to win. That's the sign of a good quarterback. He's really managed the game well, knew what we had to do.''

His offensive line also has protected him very well, and Tennessee leads the nation in fewest sacks allowed with only three.

Sacking quarterbacks is a Commodore strength. They are second in the SEC to LSU with 27, and a season-high seven sacks helped them to a 17-6 win over then-No. 6 South Carolina in October.

Vanderbilt's offensive star is Earl Bennett, the receiver with more receptions than any other in conference history who averages 73.9 yards receiving per game this season.

The Commodores are well-balanced, spreading carries among three tailbacks and quarterbacks Mackenzi Adams and Chris Nickson, who have split time under center this season.

The Tennessee defense has struggled most of the season, especially against big-time receivers, but had its best performance last week in stopping Arkansas and slowing star running back Darren McFadden.

This is the season where anything is possible, and parity has ruled the SEC. But Johnson still isn't sure his Commodores are on par with their cross-state rival.

``It didn't look like it last year. They whomped us pretty good,'' he said. ``You just can't tell. I do know in the SEC you have to be ready for whoever you play. I think we've proven that we can beat good teams.''

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Re: Saturday Football

College football weather watch

Ann Arbor

Fans attending the annual Ohio State-Michigan tilt should prepare for a cold and damp afternoon at the Big House.

There is a 50 percent chance of rain or snow in Ann Arbor with winds gusting from the east at eight mph. The conditions could favor the Wolverines, who could be without starting quarterback Chad Henne. Banged up running back Mike Hart may have to shoulder the offensive load for Michigan. Hart is amassing more than 140 rushing yards per outing and is leading the Wolverines with 12 touchdowns.

The total for this game has dropped from 49½ to 48½ points since Thursday.


Steady rain could impact the outcome of the California-Washington showdown. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation in Seattle (what else is new?) with winds gusting from the south at 10 mph, which supports the Bears' tough ground assault.

The Bears are totaling more than 170 rushing yards per game with 20 touchdowns. Their rushing defense is also holding opponents to less than 140 yards on the ground. Bettors have taken notice of the wet conditions, causing the total to plunge from 58 to 56½ points since Friday.

South Bend

Rain, snow and strong winds gusting from the east at 10 mph could manipulate the score of the Duke-Notre Dame matchup. There is a 40 percent chance of rain in South Bend that, combined with a 28-degree low temperature, could change to snow. The wet conditions could help the Irish avoid their first 10-loss season by forcing Duke to the ground. The Blue Devils are averaging a meager 53 rushing yards per outing this season.

The forecast has caused the line to move from the Irish -5½ to -6½ since Thursday. The total has also dropped from 48 to 47 points.


There is a 70 percent chance of rain with wind gusting from the south at 10 mph in Pullman that could benefit the underdog Beavers who could be without starting quarterback Sean Canfield. Oregon State concedes fewer than 65 rushing yards per outing and averages more than 150 yards on the ground. Soggy conditions have caused the total to drop from 50 to 49 points since Thursday.


Oklahoma State at Baylor

Winds are expected to gust to 12 mph in Waco this afternoon, which could hamper both teams’ potent aerial attacks. The line has moved from Baylor +16 to +14 and the total has moved from 64 to 65 ½ points since Friday.

Miami at Virginia Tech

Winds are also expected to gust to 12 mph with the temperature falling to a cool 34 degrees in Blacksburg. That favors the Hurricanes’ stout running game, which averages more than 160 yards per game. The forecast has caused the line to move from Hokies -17 to -16. The total is unchanged at 42 points.

Boston College at Clemson

The Eagles’ sixth-ranked aerial attack could be under assault against the Tigers due to 12 mph winds gusting from the southwest in Clemson. The Tigers also have the third-ranked pass defense in the country, which allows less than 165 yards per game. The line has moved from Tigers -6 ½ to -8 ½ since Thursday.

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Re: Saturday Football

mvbski wrote:

College football weather watch


Steady rain could impact the outcome of the California-Washington showdown. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation in Seattle (what else is new?) with winds gusting from the south at 10 mph, which supports the Bears' tough ground assault.

The Bears are totaling more than 170 rushing yards per game with 20 touchdowns. Their rushing defense is also holding opponents to less than 140 yards on the ground. Bettors have taken notice of the wet conditions, causing the total to plunge from 58 to 56½ points since Friday.


There is a 70 percent chance of rain with wind gusting from the south at 10 mph in Pullman that could benefit the underdog Beavers who could be without starting quarterback Sean Canfield. Oregon State concedes fewer than 65 rushing yards per outing and averages more than 150 yards on the ground. Soggy conditions have caused the total to drop from 50 to 49 points since Thursday.

It is downright nasty here in the Pacific Northwest today.  :-","xx

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Re: Saturday Football

Where the action is: College football line moves

Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines – total falls another half-point overnight

Last year’s edition of The Rivalry attracted more action in Vegas than any other regular season college game. That means sportsbooks would do their best to make the line for this year’s game airtight and unshakable. Despite common opinion, however, the books don’t control the weather.

The possibility of rain (and a slim chance of snow) for the noon ET kickoff in Ann Arbor has caused the total to drop from 49 ½ to 48 points over the past two days at most offshore books.

Syracuse Orange at Connecticut Huskies – UConn finally commands respect

Huskies football grew up overnight, joining the elite group of schools that command 20-point spreads against conference opponents. Connecticut opened -18 but is currently -19 ½ or -20 nearly across the board.

UConn has attracted money despite last week’s 24-point loss because of its opponent. Syracuse has faced three Big East opponents who currently own a winning record and lost to each of them by at least 24 points.

Kickoff at Rentschler Field is also at noon ET.

Kent State Golden Flashes at Temple Owls – slight underdog becomes slight favorite

The Owls have posted some decent conference results and bettors have noticed. The Owls opened +2 ½-point at home against Kent State but the line moved all week to the point that Temple became a 1-point favorite overnight at some books.

This MAC East clash kicks off at noon ET.

Bowling Green Falcons at Buffalo Bulls – ditto

Buffalo has been an even bigger MAC surprise than Temple this season. The Bulls are 4-2 straight-up and 5-1 against the spread in conference play. Hence the support for Buffalo throughout the week. The Bulls opened +1 ½ but some offshore books moved them to -1 this morning.

They kick off against the Falcons at 1 p.m. ET today from UB Stadium.

San Diego State Aztecs at Air Force Falcons – total skies past 50

Is it the thinner air in Colorado Springs? Bettors have driven the total in this Mountain West battle from 49 to 51 over the last two days. Kickoff from Falcon Stadium is at 2 p.m. ET.

The Aztecs and Falcons have met seven times this decade and combined for at least 66 points in five of those games.

Northern Illinois Huskies at Navy Midshipmen – 2-point variance in total

Speaking of service academies and the total, sportsbooks can’t seem to agree on a number for the Huskies’ trip to Annapolis. The total currently sits anywhere from 71 ½ to 73 points with half-point moves all over the place overnight.

It’s a 3:30 p.m. kickoff from the season’s final game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Both regular starting quarterbacks are listed as doubtful for the game.

Boston College Eagles at Clemson Tigers – Clemson has momentum and money behind it

The Eagles were No. 2 not long ago but have lost two straight games. The Tigers piled up some lopsided wins on the same days that BC was falling from its perch. Apparently a lot of folks were watching the divergent results.

Clemson opened as a 7-point home favorite but the spread increased as the week progressed. As of Saturday morning, the Tigers sat at -8 ½ (at even money) and -9 with the standard juice at some books.

It’s a 7:45 p.m. kickoff from Memorial Stadium tonight, so there’s time for further movement.

Louisville Cardinals at South Florida Bulls – Cards’ shorthanded ‘D’ puts money towards Bulls

The questions about Louisville’s defense started when Middle Tennessee State scored 42 points against the Cards on national TV. Steve Kragthorpe’s boys have done little since to answer those questions.

A bad situation became worse this week when starting DE Peanut Whitehead was diagnosed with a spinal condition that marks the end of his football career. Shutdown CB Rod Council will also miss tonight’s game due to a team-imposed suspension.

As such, the Bulls are favored by as many as nine points as of Saturday morning after opening the week -6 ½.

Kickoff from Tampa takes place at 9 p.m. ET.

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