Thursday, October 02, 2008  
Thursday = Picks!
Days 'til Kentucky: 2

We'll start off today with USAToday's story about Dreamland's 50th anniversary. I had no idea that they started around the same time as Coach Bryant. Interesting, to say the least.

Anyway, on with what you're REALLY here for.

Badabing badaboom. I smell money, son. Picks time. This is my official "pick against bad teams" week. It's ridiculous how this works. Should be simple.

Wyoming at New Mexico (-12)
Saturday - 8:30pm The Mtn.
--- Yup. Wyoming is AWFUL. I don't believe they've covered a spread in any single game this year. Their coach, Joe Glenn, is actually on the hot seat because they're so bad. Playing at New Mexico, a team that beat Arizona earlier this season, they should get their teeth kicked in soundly. New Mexico has a lot of weapons, so I expect this to be a mauling. How it's only 12, I'll never know.

Maryland (-13.5) at Virginia
Saturday - 6:00 ESPNU
--- Ok, let me get this straight. Maryland just beat Clemson, at Clemson, to go to 4-1 on the season. Their only loss being at the hands of Middle Tennessee State before the Terps finally found how to win. That's two wins over California and Clemson in the past 3 weeks. Virginia, in the meantime, was beaten at home by USC 52-7, at UConn 45-10, and at Duke 31-3. Their only win was against Division 1-AA Richmond, and they only won that one 16-0. This team is really bad, and Maryland looks to be getting better. Should be an easy win for the Terps.

Penn St (-13.5) at Purdue
Saturday - 11:05pm ESPN
--- Penn State's defense is FAST. And Purdue showed their real colors last week against Notre Dame, losing 38-21, and were blasted in the process. Penn State is the real deal, and it doesn't matter that the game is being played at Purdue. Penn State should roll by 3 touchdowns in this game. Easy.

BYU (-28.5) at Utah St
Friday - 7:00pm No TV
--- Utah State are 2-7 against the spread in their last 9 home games, and they were 1-7 before they played the worst team in the country last week (Idaho). BYU hasn't allowed a point in the past two ballgames, winning by a combined score of 103-0. I don't look for it to get much better for Utah State, who lost to Utah 58-10, and Oregon 66-24. They've been SMOKED, and BYU is clicking on all cylinders. I'd expect a bigtime blowout here.

Florida (-25) at Arkansas
Saturday - 11:30am Raycom
--- Yikes. Florida is pissed off, and Arkansas sucks. How is this line not 50? I would expect Urban Meyer, who knows all about needing style points, etc, to run this score up as much as he wants to. Petrino's team is just awful, and Florida has more athletes than Texas and Alabama (at least you would assume). Speed, speed, speed, my friends, and Arkansas has NOTHING like what Florida has. If the Arkansas defense thought Glen Coffee was fast, just wait til they see Percy Harvin. Florida could score 70 in this game. It'll be UGLY.



Now, enough about that. Back to the game that matters. What have we learned about Kentucky? Let's go down the list.

  • Their turnover margin is awesome.
  • Their defensive line is one of the best in the conference.
  • Their quarterback is a good game manager (but not a good thrower).
  • Their special teams are scary good.
  • They have good team speed.

    Now, let's focus on Kentucky's weaknesses. Their qb, Mike Hartline, isn't setting the world on fire. 3 Touchdown passes in 4 games against Louisville, Norfolk St, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky isn't exactly impressive. However, he has managed the games well, and has only thrown one interception this year.

    From everything that I've gathered, their receivers, shy of Lyons, have been pathetic all season. Running the wrong routes, dropping passes, etc. I haven't seen much of them this season, but they haven't been very impressive. I guess there's a reason why Hartline's only averaging 5.15 yards per reception.

    Their run blocking has been abysmal, so that should be good for our defensive line. They've got some quick running backs, but they don't look like they'll be powering the ball down our throats.

    Just like us, while Kentucky is awesome at returning kicks (both punts and kickoffs), they are equally as bad on kick coverage. Javier should have a good day.

    As good as I've been making them look, they do have flaws that we can exploit. The key to any good gameplan is taking control of the other team's weaknesses. That's how you win football games. That's what happened against Georgia, against Clemson, and pretty much every other team we've played. If they're weak on the line of scrimmage, hit them in the mouth. It's smooth sailing from there.

    I look for Alabama to us Terry Grant a little more in this game. He's still our fastest tailback, but he's not a power runner. Kentucky's weakness isn't their defensive line (although I may be wrong about this), so I'd look for more screen passes and maybe more sweeps to get Grant, Scott, and Maze into space.


    On a sidenote, on the USAToday matchups page, I noticed that Josh Chapman is listed as Questionable for Saturday with an ankle injury. Of course, it has Kentucky listed with no injuries at all, so I don't know exactly how accurate this thing is.
     

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