Thursday, October 25, 2007

Week 9 Spotlight

Week 8 was a disaster for the Stomach Staples. They had very much the Notre Dame performance going 4-6 on pickem and losing 183-139. The loss knocked them out of the overall lead (1338-1304) and positions them in a dangerous position (Ed. Note: Really? Positions them in a dangerous position?) heading into Week 9...

Dennis Dixon has been stellar all season for the Ducks, throwing for 1700 yards and 16 TDs, and running for 400 yards and 7 TDs. In every tough game this season, he has risen to the occasion, and in front of the home crowd, he will rise to the occasion against the mighty Trojans and have a big day. Further south, Arizona State will face their first real opponent this season as they take on the Cal Bears. Rudy Carpenter has had a solid season (1700 yards/16 TDs) but he will get his first chance to show why they got rid of Sam Keller. (Well I think Keller might have shown that at Nebraska) It might help a bit that Cal's defense is pretty atrocious. Carpenter should be throwing the ball all over the field in a shootout.

Ray Rice showed against South Florida he enjoys being the workhorse. He has done just that for Rutgers this season (999 yards/ 13 TDs) and will need to do it again to keep the high powered West Virginia offense off the field. Look for him to get 30 plus carries again. Why do they want to keep West Virginia's offense off the field? Because of Steve Slaton. The back has put together another solid campaign running for 715 yards and 10 TDs and 215 yards receiving. West Virginia likes to get him his touches in big games because of his big play ability. I think he'll get in the end zone at least twice against the Scarlet Knights.

Wide Receivers
Ohio State's offense had to break in a new quarterback this season and he relied a lot on his big target Brian Robiskie. At 6'3" Robiskie is a big target and has had a great season (37/728/7 TDs). After how much Penn State's small corners struggled against Indiana's big target, look for Ohio State to try and take advantage in a similar way. With Cullen Harper's emergence as a solid passing quarterback, Clemson has become multi-dimensional on offense. This has also allowed Aaron Kelly to emerge as a big time receiving threat. With 46 catches for 637 yards and 6 TDs, Kelly has established himself as Harper's favorite target. With Maryland coming to town, look for Kelly to add to those numbers.

With Cal's dynamic offense and lathargic defense, opposing offenses usually have the ball a lot and score a lot. Look for Arizona State and Rudy Carpenter to have a big day throwing the ball on the Bears. It should be a shoot out, and Arizona State should have a big day offensively.

Ohio State's defense has been the best in the country this season. Granted when you play in the Central Ohio High School District, that will be the case. The defense is talented though, and Penn State seems to shift into the 1950 offense in big games. And of course, Anthony Morelli is good for one defensive touchdown per big game.

Picks (Home teams in BOLD)
#8 Virginia Tech
over #2 Boston College
#7 West Virginia over Rutgers
#12 USC over #5 Oregon
#10 South Florida over #23 Connecticut
#11 Florida over #18 Georgia
Clemson over Maryland
Texas A&M
over #9 Kansas
Tennessee over #16 South Carolina
#25 Penn State over #1 Ohio State
#21 California over #4 Arizona State

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