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NCAA Prediction Rose Bowl Game Preview/Pick- #5 Stanford vs. #4 Michigan State

michiganvsstanford

NCAA Prediction and Free Pick Cardinals vs Spartans

#5 Stanford Cardinal (11-2) vs. #4 Michigan State Spartans (12-1) 01/01- 5:00PM EST

 

ROSE BOWL- Pasadena, CA

 

Line: STAN -6.5

OVER/UNDER- 42.5

 

For the first time in 26 years, the #4 Michigan State Spartans will playing in the historic Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day against the #5 Stanford Cardinal in what is expected to be a great game in the 100th edition of the Granddaddy of Them All.

 

The Spartans (12-) find themselves in the Rose Bowl versus the defending champions after beating then-No. 2 Ohio State 34-24 in the Big Ten championship game back on December 7, which was their first outright title since 1987. That was the last time they made a Rose Bowl appearance and went on to beat USC.

 

This will be the Spartans first BCS bowl appearance and coach Mark Dantonio knows it will be special.

 

It’s going to be a special moment when we walk out on that field,” Dantonio said.

 

Led by coach David Shaw, the Cardinal (11-2) have tasted a BCS bowl in each of his three seasons since taking over for Jim Harbaugh in 2011 and won their first Rose Bowl in 40 years when they beat Wisconsin 20-14 last season.

 

Shaw wants his players to treat Wednesday’s game as a new experience as if they’ve never been there before.

 

Our guys have fond memories of it, but they’ve already started to say it: Last year was last year, and we have to prepare this year completely different,’” Shaw said. “Michigan State has been on a phenomenal run, tough competition, and come to play every week. We know it’s going to be a great game.”

 

The No. 4 ranking of the Spartans has been their highest since the 1967 season, have won nine consecutive games since suffering their only loss to Notre Dame back on Sept. 21 and claim the nation’s best defense with 248.2 yards per game, including an FBS-low 80.8 on the ground.

 

Michigan State’s defense is led by senior first-team All-American Darqueze Dennard, who won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back and sophomore end Shilique Calhoun, who was honored as the Big Ten’s top defensive lineman. But, they will be without a key member of their great defense in the likes of two-time team captain Max Bullough, who was suspended last Wednesday for violating team rules.

 

It is extremely disappointing for all parties involved,” Dantonio said.

 

Dantonio has also been rumored for the Texas head coaching position, which he quickly dispelled.

 

I see Michigan State as the destination, not a stop,” he said. “It’s flattering, but that’s the way I see it.”

 

Shaw, due to his success at Stanford, has been rumored for the many potential NFL openings, but also says he is committed to staying at his alma mater.

 

No matter what I say, the rumors aren’t going to stop,” Shaw said. “It doesn’t bother me. Every good football program in the last 15 years, after two good years, the head coach is going to be rumored to go someplace else. I take it as a compliment.”

 

Stanford played their way into the Rose Bowl with a 38-14 win over then-No. 11 Arizona State in the Pac-12 title game back on Dec. 7, but may have been in the BCS title game also at the Rose Bowl if it weren’t for two let down games in which they lost to unranked opponents.

 

They lost at Utah 27-21 on Oct. 12 and at USC 20-17 on November 16, but bounced back to perform great the following week.

 

I look forward to a great battle on the line of scrimmage as the Cardinal game that is averaging 234.2 yards a game on the ground and led by Tyler Gaffney who is averaging 144.5 yards over his last eight games will go up against the Spartans great defense. Kevin Hogan will try to keep the Michigan State defense off balance with an air attack as well.

 

This team, they’re so wily as veterans,” Shaw said. “We’re going to be challenged by a team that finds a way to win, whether it’s run or throw. They’ll do whatever it takes to try to win a football game.”

 

Michigan State will counter with sophomore quarterback Conner Cook and junior running back Jeremy Langford, who is averaging 128.4 yards over his last eight games.

 

The Spartans are not as strong on offense as the Cardinal and with oddsmakers having confidence Stanford can move the ball, they have made them a (minus -6.5) point favorite, but get the latest spread on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I’m really looking forward to this game and don’t have a clear-cut favorite, but with Stanford being able to get it done on both sides of the ball, I will give them the slight edge and predict the Cardinal winning their second consecutive Rose Bowl game.

 

Prediction/Pick: Stanford

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Michigan vs. Kansas State

wolverines

Michigan Wolverines (7-5) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) 12/28- 10:15PM EST

 

BUFFALO WINGS BOWL- Tempe, AZ

 

Line: KSU -5.0

Over/Under: 55.5

 

The Kansas State Wildcats, winners of five of their final six games and feeling confident, head into Tempe on Saturday night in search of their first bowl game victory since 2002 as they take on a Michigan team that has struggled down the stretch and will be without their starting quarterback.

 

The Wildcats (7-5) have been a successful program under coach Bill Snyder, but haven’t tasted a bowl win in five postseason games since beating Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

 

It is obvious that one of my many failings is that I do not have to answer to that,” the 74-year old Bill Snyder said. “It could be a multitude of things, and perhaps it is, or maybe it’s something simple that I am overlooking. …. The bottom line is I really do not know.”

 

Kansas State was eluded victories in its last two major bowl games in the 2011 Cotton Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl, but like their chances this year in the Buffalo Wings Bowl with a Wolverines team without their star quarterback.

 

After a 2-4 start, the Wildcats went on a 5-1 run to put themselves in a great bowl game after Big 12 foes Baylor and Oklahoma wound up in BCS bowls this year. They were headed for the Holiday Bowl, but Saturday’s bowl game is a step up and they plan to take full advantage of it.

 

Nobody on our team has won a bowl game, with the exception of the coaches,” junior linebacker Jonathan Truman said. “We need it. We want it really bad.”

 

Michigan (7-5) started out 5-0, but lost four of five to finish the season with four of those losses by four points or fewer, with its last loss at the heals of their biggest rival Ohio State 42-41 back on November 30th.

 

It was that game that knocked Devin Gardner out of Saturday’s contest with a turf toe injury, a big blow after their star threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns. It was that impressive showing that gave the Wolverines the nod over Nebraska, who had two more wins in the Big 10 than Michigan a spot in Saturday’s game.

 

With Gardner out, the spotlight will be on freshman quarterback Shane Morris to lead the Wolverines as he makes his first career start.

 

Obviously, we recruited him at Michigan to be the quarterback at Michigan,” coach Brady Hoke said. “This is a great opportunity. We have a lot of faith in how he goes about his business getting ready to play.”

 

With a Michigan running game that ranks 112th in the nation with a paltry 3.2 yards per carry, it will be vital for the young Morris to find success through the air to have a chance, so look for Morris to target Jeremy Gallon, who had 80 catches for 1,284 yards with nine touchdowns.

 

Kansas State will counter with Tyler Lockett who had 71 receptions for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Wildcats, who use a two-quarterback approach… junior Jake Walters averages 9.43 yards per attempt and sophomore Daniel Sams, who ran for 784 yards with 11 touchdowns.

 

I’ve never been a fan of having two guys at that position that play equally,” Snyder said. “But both of them are very deserving of having the opportunity to play.”

 

With Gardner out, the oddsmakers have made the Wildcats a (minus -5.0) point favorite on Saturday night, but as always, get the latest spread on the game(s) up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

On defense, watch for Michigan cornerback Blake Countess tied for fourth in the nation with six interceptions and Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller who had 11 ½ sacks and a Big-12 leading 18 ½ tackles for loss.

 

It’s tough to go with a young quarterback without much game experience and without a solid running game for the Wolverines, I like and predict the Wildcats notching their first bowl win in over a decade.

 

Prediction/Pick: Kansas State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

QB Gardner won’t start for Michigan in bowl game

Devin Gardner will yield to Shane Morris in Michigan's bowl game
Devin Gardner will yield to Shane Morris in Michigan’s bowl recreation. (USATSI)

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner’s season is over attributable to a broken left foot, CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman has learned. Gardner broke the foot on Michigan’s second drive in the third quarter in opposition to arch-rival Ohio State, based on a source.

Brady Hoke announced throughout his press conference on Thursday that Shane Morris will start for the Wolverines.

A true freshman, Morris has appeared in only components of two games for Michigan this season. He’s completed 5 of his nine move makes an attempt for sixty five yards and an interception in opposition to Central Michigan and Michigan State.

As for Gardner’s foot damage, the fact he suffered the injury throughout Michigan’s second drive of the third quarter means that Gardner led the Wolverines on three landing drives within the fourth quarter with a damaged foot. In different words, Devin Gardner is tougher than you and I.

Devin Gardner had 3,443 whole yards and 32 complete touchdowns for the Wolverines this season.

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NCAA Prediction College Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

ncaa picks

Tulane Green Wave (7-5) @ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) 12/21- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: TUL -2.5

Over/Under: 49.5

 

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL- New Orleans, LA

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette will be in search of their third win in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, but will have to do it this time against an opponent that calls New Orleans home, their in-state foe– the Tulane Green Wave.

 

While the Ragin’ Cajuns have enjoyed success in the postseason in three consecutive years, the Green Wave will be making their first trip to a bowl game since 2002, but both team will be battling injuries at the quarterback position.

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) rattled off eight straight regular-season victories in between a pair of two-game losing streaks to start and end the season and their last loss, a 30-8 defeat to South Alabama on December 7 cost them their first outright Sun Belt title and had to settle for sharing the title with Arkansas State.

 

I am not going to let this ruin the entire season,” coach Mark Hudspeth said. “We are the Sun Belt Conference champions. Even though we finished tied, we beat the team head-to-head that we finished tied with and we won eight games in a row. We won a conference title in just our third year together and negative people can get off the train and the positive ones can join me in New Orleans because we’re going back to a bowl.”

 

But, to get it done on Saturday, the Ragin’ Cajuns may be without junior quarterback Terrance Broadway who missed the final game of the season when he suffered a broken right arm back on November 30th. Broadway is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest.

 

Tulane is also dealing with quarterback issues with starter Nick Montana, who has been slowed by a shoulder injury, but coach Curtis Johnson is anticipating his quarterback playing as well as Broadway for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

 

We want to be basic as we can, but we are going to prepare for Broadway,” Johnson said. “Broadway makes the whole thing go. We think Nick will be ready, but if he isn’t, then we’ll move on to Devin (Powell).”

 

Montana is out of California and is the son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and separated his shoulder back in October and re-aggravated it in the last game of the season back on November 30th.

 

The Green Waves go into Saturday’s bowl game having lost three of its last four and is struggling offensively to put points on the board.

 

Out team was not healthy offensively,” Johnson said. “We took a beating the last couple of weeks. Our quarterback wasn’t very healthy since early on in the season.”

 

Tulane went 5-5 this season with the junior Montana calling the signals, completing 53.1 percent of his passes for 1,654 with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns were averaging 41.7 points in the three games before Broadway got injured and last year with Broadway calling the signals, beat Tulane 41-13.

 

I think if you look at what happened last year against them, they really took us to the woodshed,” Johnson said. “They played sensational.”

 

But despite last years loss, the oddsmakers are making the Green Waves a slim (minus -2.5) point favorite at their home Dome stadium, but get the latest odds up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

But coach Hudspeth knows his team must get a handle on their turnovers where they have turned the ball over seven times in the last two games with no takeaways, whereas the Green Wave had a plus-12 turnover in their last two games with only one giveaway.

 

I predict the Ragin’ Cajuns taking care of the ball on Saturday and if Broadway is able to go, see them capturing the New Orleans Bowl championship.

 

Prediction/Pick: Louisiana-Lafayette

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction College Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Buffalo vs. San Diego State

buffalo ncaa picks

NCAA Prediction and Free Pick Bulls vs. Aztecs

Buffalo Bulls (8-4) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) 12/21- 5:30PM EST

 

Line: EVEN

Over/Under: 53.0

 

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL- Boise, ID

 

The San Diego State Aztecs will make their school-record fourth consecutive bow appearance when they meet the Buffalo Bulls in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday evening.

 

The Aztecs (7-5) overcame a brutal 0-3 to put themselves in a position to continue building its football program under the guidance of third-year coach Rocky Long, who has maintained the programs success following predecessor Brady Hoke.

 

I think the team is happy and excited about going to a bowl game,” Long said.

 

With its fourth straight bowl game, the Aztecs have matched their total bowl appearances over the last 41 years combined and are the first team since 2010 to make it to a bowl game following an 0-3 start.

 

San Diego State will look to junior running back Adam Muema to carry the load as he has gained over a 1,000 yards for the second straight season, but has struggled in his last two games with only 57 yards on 36 carries.

 

(The lack of success) has nothing to do with Adam Muema,” Long insisted. “It has to do with our offensive line not blocking very well for the run in the last two games. But all good running backs that have a good game have to have someone open a hole for them up front.”

 

Senior safety Nat Berhe, a first-team all-Mountain West selection anchors the San Diego State defense that finished second to Fresno State in the conference. Berhe recorded team-highs of 59 solo tackles and 94 overall and added six passes defended with two fumble recoveries.

 

Buffalo (8-4) will be making its second straight bowl appearance in school history and like the Aztecs had to overcome a rough start of the season with losses to BCS-bound Ohio State and Baylor by a combined 110-33 margin.

 

The Bulls then turned it on with a seven-game win streak that ended when they lost their regular-season finale 24-7 to Mid-American champion Bowling Green on November 29th.

 

It’s been four years in the making,” coach Jeff Quinn said about his team’s bowl berth.

 

Expect Buffalo to use a ground attack as well, behind senior star running back Brandon Oliver, a two-time 1,000 yard rusher who has accumulated 1,421 yards with 15 touchdowns this season.

 

The oddsmakers have the game EVEN with Ohio State having been the common opponent for both teams. The Aztecs lost to the Buckeyes 42-7 at Ohio State, while the Bulls loss to Ohio State was much closer according to Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler… “I remember Buffalo played Ohio State pretty tough, a lot tougher then we did, so they have some good players on that team and especially on defense,” said Kaehler.

 

With a pick-em game, expect the line to maybe move, so be up to date with the latest spread right here at Wonder Punter up until game time.

 

This will Buffalo’s second bowl appearance since a loss to Connecticut in the 2009 international Bowl.

 

I too have it as an evenly matched game, but I expect both teams to play hard and with pride, but in the end will predict the Aztecs winning to take home the trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick- San Diego State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview & Pick Cougars vs. Rams

Washington State v USC

NCAA Free Pick and Prediction Bowl Game

 

Washington State Cougars (6-6) vs. Colorado State Rams (7-6) 12/21- 2:00PM EST

 

Line: WASH ST: -4.5

Over/Under: 65

 

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL- Albuquerque, NM

 

The Washington State Cougars and Colorado State Rams will kickoff the bowl season on Saturday with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and both teams are excited about getting into a bowl game and turning their football programs around.

 

Colorado State coach Jim McElwain and Washington State coach Mike Leach, both in their second-year agree that the bowl matchup is a sign of things changing for both struggling programs, where the Rams (7-6) haven’t been to a bowl game since 2008 and for the Cougars (6-6), it’s been a decade since they tasted the postseason.

 

One of the accomplishments you want early is to get in a bowl game and be part of that club,” McElwain told reporters. “There’s a certain aura that comes with being a bowl team.”

 

McElwain was the offensive coordinator with Alabama during the Crimson Tide’s BCS national championships in 2009 and 2011, and knows the importance of a bowl appearance for a program when it comes to recruiting.

 

Coach Leach says his players are made up of largely of freshman and sophomores, but knows his seniors have been through “rough dry times” and haven’t had the opportunity to play in a bowl game. “They’ve never been in a bowl and (had) hoped they would,” Leach said. “Talking about it and actually doing it are two different things.”

 

Players to watch for the Rams will be running back Kapri Bibbs, who leads all of college football with 28 rushing touchdowns with 1,572 yards on the ground and quarterback Garrett Grayson, who ranks among the nation’s top 20 in passing yards (3,3270). The Rams set a school record with four games scoring 50 or more points and is the only school to have a 3,000 yard passer and 1,500 yard runner in a single season this year.

 

For the Cougars, they are led by junior quarterback Conner Halliday who operates the spread offense and is ranked fourth nationally in passing yards (4,187) and with 28 touchdowns, is tied for 13th.

 

Let’s not forget, this is this same Washington State Cougars that played the Auburn Tigers in their first game of the season in which they lost in a heartbreaker 31-24.

 

We should have won that game,” Leach said.

 

The Cougars like their chances going in on Saturday and feel they were battle tested all year having played four opponents that appear in the top 16 of the BCS standings and so do the oddsmakers who have made them the early (minus -4.5) point favorite. Get the latest spread on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Expect both teams to showcase their high-powered offense come Saturday and McElwain says his defense will have to be ready.

 

I know they throw the heck out of it,” McElwain said. “I know (Leach) isn’t afraid to throw it and he’ll probably throw it coming off the bus.”

 

I too, like the battle tested Cougars and predict a high scoring affair with the Cougars taking home the trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick: Washington State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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Florida State wins!!

Florida State Wins ACC Title

 

CHARLOTTE, N. C. — Jameis Winston and No. 1 Sarasota State made it look easy once again.

The Seminoles are headed to the VIZIO BCS National Championship after one of the most major regular seasons in college soccer history.

"This whole week has been very high feelings, " Winston said. "We wished to win this championship so poor. We were looking forward to having an undefeated season. "

Two days after prosecutors decided not to push charges against him in a lovemaking assault case, the 19-year-old redshirt freshman threw three touchdown goes by and ran for a score, plus Florida State stormed into the name game with a 45-7 victory more than No . 20 Duke on Sunday night in the ACC championship sport.

The Seminoles (13-0) are expected to face No . several Auburn in Pasadena, Calif., upon Jan. 6 after No . two Ohio State lost to The state of michigan State.

The particular Heisman Trophy favorite was nineteen of 32 for 330 back yards and set FBS freshman records intended for TD passes (38) and back yards passing (3, 820) in a period.

Winston put two touchdown passes to 6-foot-5, 234-pound receiver Kelvin Benjamin plus ran for a 17-yard score in order to overcome two interceptions.

"The football field is usually our sanctuary, " Winston stated. "Every time I stepped for the field, every time we stepped upon that field, everything that happened beyond our family, it was just zoned out there. "

Because Queen's "We Are the Champions" had been playing as a backdrop on the special event, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher mentioned: "We're not champs yet. inch

Florida California's defense was dominant, holding Fight it out (10-3) to 239 yards plus forcing three turnovers to help the particular Seminoles win their second directly ACC title. The Blue Demons had eight possessions in the very first half and failed to pick up an initial down on seven of them.

Jameis Winston

Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports activities

Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston hoists the ACC championship trophy into the air right after accounting for four TDs within the Seminoles' rout of Duke upon Saturday night.

"Offensively we were from sync early, " Fisher mentioned. "Our defense was the key this evening and they were absolutely outstanding. inch

It was California State's 12th win by a minimum of 27 points. The Seminoles moved into as 29-point favorites after outscoring its opponents by an average of 43 points.

California State outgained Duke 569-239.

Winston struggled earlier with overthrowing receivers and the Seminoles failed to score in the first one fourth for the first time this season.

Florida State's first scoring chance ended when Devonta Freeman coughed up the ball at the Duke a few following a 22-yard run.

But it wouldn't matter.

Florida State gradually took charge in the second one fourth and built a 17-0 halftime lead behind a stifling protection.

Winston obtained the Seminoles on the board earlier in the second quarter when he or she found Benjamin for a 14-yard landing pass in the left corner from the end zone. Karlos Williams bowled over two defenders on a 12-yard touchdown inside run to make it 14-0 after Lamarcus Joyner intercepted Fight it out quarterback Anthony Boone's pass.

The Blue Demons simply couldn't move the golf ball in the first half and had been held to 94 total back yards.

Given sufficient chances, Winston finally made all of them pay.

"I don't know if we were demoralized, inch Duke coach David Cutcliffe mentioned. "It's no fun, but we taken part with them. We were on the field a tad too much. You know going in that a huge, strong quarterback that moves close to well will extend plays, which means you have to maintain your discipline in insurance – and we did for the most part. However defense does a good job of having the other offense off the field, plus unfortunately that worked well on their behalf tonight. "

The onslaught continued in the 2nd half with Winston hooking up on the 54-yard touchdown reception with Benjamin, who showed he's not only large but can move too right after blowing by defenders. He completed with 119 yards receiving.

Freeman ran regarding 91 yards and a touchdown plus Williams had 59 yards on a lawn.

Winston, the redshirt freshman and the game's MVP, was far from perfect.

He threw two interceptions and also made a bad decision on the shovel pass as he falling towards the ground. The ball hit linebacker Kelby Brown in the hands, yet he couldn't corral the a terrible idea pass.

There was clearly a heated moment midway with the fourth quarter when Winstonexemption to what he felt was a past due hit on the Blue Devils right after he released a pass.

Duke's only factors came with 1: 01 left whenever Josh Snead scored on a 5-yard run.

Boone struggled all night for the Blue Demons and finished 20 of forty passing for 138 yards along with two interceptions and one fumble resulting in 14 Florida State points.

Despite the rough evening, his spirit wasn't broken.

"This has been one particular heck of a year and we're going definitely be back here next year, I actually promise you that, " Boone said. "And we've still obtained a bowl game to earn. That's still one of our huge goals for the year. We visited a bowl game last year, obtained a taste of it, but this season we want to leave with a victory plus finish this year 11-3. "

Said Duke protective end Kenny Anunike: "This does not define our season. "

Game notes

Jamison Crowder

set a Duke single-season report in yards receiving in the very first quarter… Florida State kicker Robert Aguayo set a new ACC report with 142 points on the period when he converted a 45-yard field goal late in the 2nd quarter… Duke sophomore safety

Dwayne Norman

has been flagged for targeting a recipient with his helmet and ejected within the fourth quarter. He will not be permitted play in the first half of Duke's bowl game.

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NCAA Prediction Week 14 College Football Game Preview/Pick- Arkansas vs. #17 LSU

lsu prediction

NCAA Pick and Prediction Arkansas vs LSU

 

Arkansas Razorbacks (3-8) @ #17 LSU Tigers (8-3) 11/29- 2:30PM EST

 

Line: LSU -24.5

Over/Under- 54.5

 

No. 17 LSU Tigers are expected to come out Friday afternoon and play with as much passion as they did last Saturday in their dominant win over Texas A&M…. thanks to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Just ask Tigers running back Terrence Magee….

 

Coach Cam said. ‘When you come out and you play that well, the next week you have to back it up or people are going to say it’s a fluke,” Magee said as his teammates prepare for their regular-season finale against the Razorbacks.

 

Last week, LSU completely shut down Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel and the potent Texas A&M offense 34-10. The lowest Aggie output since Manziel’s arrival in College Station.

 

For us, it was no accident,” Magee continued. “We prepared hard, and, you know, you want to peak at the end of the season and I feel like we’re just starting to peak.”

 

The Tigers will also be trying to stay perfect at home this season, as they are 6-0 going into Fridays matchup.

 

For the Razorbacks (3-8, 0-7 SEC), their challenge is to end the tailspin of a eight-game losing streak…. in “Death Valley.”

 

Despite Arkansas’ season ending struggles and LSU not having an impact in any SEC title contention… both teams feel they still have a lot to play for in their annual rivalry known as “the battle for the Golden Boot.”

 

Another reason of importance… Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will be coaching in Tiger Stadium for the first time in his career and this will be his first involvement in the traditional game.

 

The Arkansas and LSU rivalry dates back to 1901, and Bielema hopes his players play with the pride they should in playing a game of importance… no matter the records.

 

I’m going to try to give them a little bit more on what it means, and hopefully have a bigger impact on the game,” Bielema said. He added the importance of the game for the senior class that will be playing their last game for the school.

 

Bielema’s message to his senior class.. “Have fun with it, try to make the most of a very difficult situation and be something that you can remember for a lifetime.”

 

With a Razorbacks offense that is only able to generate 356.9 yards per game…. A dismal 101st in the country, scoring points against a better then average defense and keeping an LSU offense that ranks 27th in the nation with 465.5 yards per contest while averaging 37.5 ( 22nd) is asking a lot.

 

The Razorbacks are led by sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen who has thrown for 1,1374 yards for the season with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Their best running back is freshman Alex Collins who has 179 carries for 998 yards with four touchdowns.

 

Arkansas is also winless on the road in 2013 at 0-4, so going into Baton Rouge to pull off an upset will take a perfectly played game by the Razorbacks and some fortunate bounces to go their way.

 

LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) also has some incentive to do well on Friday, and that would be for their head coach Les Miles, as they try to put him in the record books for LSU by having him become the first coach to go four straight seasons with 10-wins or more.

 

Tigers’ receiver Jarvis Landry has his take on the streak… “It’s one of those streaks that we’ve got going, one of those positive things. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take away the losses, but to get to double-digit wins speaks a lot about the players, coaches and the program.”

 

To reach a 10 win season, LSU must win Friday over Arkansas and their bowl game.

 

As for their possible bowl game invites, officials from the Outback, Gator, Capital One and Cotton bowl have scouted the Tigers…. and a long shot possibility for the Sugar Bowl is still in play.

 

But, Les Miles is not concerned with bowl talks right now… just the task at hand and that is to line up Friday and play a football game and send his seniors out winners as they embark in their final game at the “famed” Death Valley.

 

Miles said.. “I know this—that with victories open opportunities, and it’s just that simple. We’re going to pursue that victory as hard as we can.”

 

Everybody is confident with Tigers putting on a show Friday, including the oddsmakers who have made LSU (minus) -24.5 point favorites. But regardless of the spread.. Magee says they still have to play hard because the Razorbacks will be ready.

 

It’s their Super Bowl. This is their bowl game,” Magee said. “They’re going to come in and give us everything they got.”

 

I don’t expect a let down by the Tigers on Friday and look for Zach Mettenberger (178 of 274, 2926 yards and 22 touchdowns) to have a big day along with the rest of the LSU Tigers with their balanced attack such as sophomore running back Jeremy Hill, who has 155 carries for 1040 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Tigers also possess two potent receiving weapons… junior Odell Beckham (56 catches for 1101 yards with 8 touchdowns) and Jarvis Landry (67 receptions for 1059 yards with 10 touchdowns).

 

This ‘should’ be an easy game to predict as it seems the Razorbacks have the odds stacked against them… but then again, that why the play the game. Too much talent on the LSU side to lose this one at home.

 

PICK: LSU

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter 

 

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Manziel will decide on draft before bowl game

 

Manziel (USATSI) Will Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel enter the 2014 draft? (USATSI)

 

The 2014 NFL Draft is setting up for some main intrigue. There might be plenty of teams on the prime who want quarterbacks and probably loads of quarterbacks out there. No quarterback will likely be more watched than Johnny Manziel.. if he comes out. And we must always know soon.

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin (will he depart too?) stated on ESPN’s “SVP & Russillo” Friday that Manziel will make a decision about going pro in between the Aggies remaining recreation towards Missouri and their bowl game.

“We have not had that conversation,” Sumlin said. “My job is to get him all of the information that we will get him. We’ll have that dialogue after the Missouri game, definitely during the bowl preparation. I’m positive the announcement will be made at that time.”

The Aggies play at Mizzou on November 30 so it’s not too far around the nook from when we may learn of Manziel’s lengthy-term prospects.

Many of us thought – primarily as a result of Manziel appeared so sad in College Station this offseason – that John F. Soccer leaving for the NFL seemed like a accomplished deal. It still seems like a very good guess that he bounces for the professionals, if only to keep away from one other offseason of (faculty) scrutiny.

NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler and Rob Rang both had JFF going within the first round of their most up-to-date 2014 NFL Mock Drafts and Brugler put Manziel third to the Vikings.

“Minnesota is stuck in quarterback mediocrity with Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and newly acquired Josh Freeman,” Brugler writes. “Regardless if the pinnacle coach and/or common manager is again, quarterback needs to be No. 1 on the offseason precedence checklist and Manziel presents a risky, yet proficient choice.”

Rang didn’t have Manziel going that top, however he did slot Mr. Football to the Titans at No. 14.

Lots can nonetheless happen, and Manziel might nonetheless roll back to college. But given how impressive he is been on the sector and the way his stock’s risen in the final yr, it wouldn’t be stunning to see him bolt faculty. And we might discover out about it pretty soon if Sumlin’s proper.

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