Nowitzki passes Reggie Miller on scoring list

Ellis Leads Mavs Rally Over Rockets


DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki climbed another spot increased on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during a spectacular efficiency Wednesday night.

Nowitzki passed Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller for the 15th spot when he hit a free throw with 2:eleven remaining in the first half of the Mavs’ 123-one hundred twenty win over the Houston Rockets. Miller finished his Hall of Fame career with 25,279 factors, 16 more than Nowitzki had getting into the night.

After a classic outing, Nowitzki has 25,298 career points. He poured in a season-high 35 points on thirteen-of-20 taking pictures, together with 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs rallied from 14 down to drag off the comeback victory.

“That is not dangerous,” Nowitzki deadpanned after the win, referring to passing Miller. “Obviously I did not think when I first received right here that 15, sixteen years later, I’d be within the top 15 of scoring all-time, so it’s great. It was an incredible evening, but I’m actually extra completely satisfied concerning the win, to be honest. Meaning extra to me right now than any of the data.”

Nowitzki bumped Jerry West down a spot on the all-time scoring listing throughout the Mavs’ Nov. 12 win over the Washington Wizards. Nowitzki would undertaking to complete the season tenth on the listing if he stays healthy and continues scoring at his current clip of 20.6 points per game.

“Dirk doesn’t care about milestones,” Mavs proprietor Mark Cuban stated before the sport. “He could care less. Figuring out Dirk, he’d stick on sixteen for the subsequent two years if we’d win video games. That is all he cares about is successful. He actually would not care about that stuff.”

Brooklyn Nets center/ahead Kevin Garnett ranks 14th on the all-time scoring listing with 25,340 profession factors. The following retired participant that Nowitzki would pass is Alex English, who scored 25,613 factors in his career.

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NFL Prediciton Week 12 Thursday Night Game Preview & Pick


Free pick and prediction week 12 Thursday nights game


New Orleans Saints (8-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-8) 11/21- 8:25PM EST


Line: NO -9.5

Over/Under: 53.0

Place your bets here, upto $1000 bonus

Thursday night’s NFL match-up will feature two football teams going in opposite directions… and last year the roles were reversed as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will battle in the NFC South as the Saints will try to sweep the season series and extend the Falcons’ losing streak to five games… their longest in five years.


New Orleans (8-2) will be vying for their third straight victory and keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks who are 1½ games ahead of them in the NFC for best record.


These are the (games) that just sharpen you, build confidence moving forward,” quarterback Drew Brees said.


Atlanta (2-8) tied for worst record in the conference and one year-removed from an NFC-best 13-3 record has problems everywhere… injuries, poor running game and a struggling defense has caused what many feel around the league to have quit on each other as they have dropped four straight.


Cleary, we’re 10 games into this thing and certainly far, far away from where we want to be,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “We’ve got six games to go. It’s about going out there and taking pride in what you do.”


These two teams were expected to compete with one another for the South Division title, instead it’s the Carolina Panthers who are challenging the Saints.


Drew Brees has led an offense that ranks second in the NFL with 419.1 yards and 28.8 points per game. Brees is completing 68.2 percent of his passes and is second to Peyton Manning with 3,369 yards passing and 26 touchdowns.


Defensively, the Saints are getting it done as well ranking fourth in the league with 305.4 yards and fifth with 18.3 points this season.


New Orleans enters Thursday’s contest having won 12 of 15 over the Falcons and this season with Atlanta having a down year, the oddsmakers have favored the Saints (minus) -9.5 on the road which may change as the game approaches, so check the latest odds here at Wonder Punter up until game time.


This is a test we’re going to have to try and overcome,” defensive Cameron Jordan said. “Honestly, why not have it? It’s a division opponent, it’s our rival. It’s going to talk a lot about the fortitude and what we have on this team.”


Atlanta is allowing 29.2 points per game—29th in the league and may have hit rock bottom last Sunday in their loss to the one-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Despite the backward season the Falcons are suffering through this year.. Atlanta owner Arthur Blank remains confident in Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.


I absolutely do. And, they’ve earned it over the past five years,” Blank said. “It’s a tough business. We’ve had a lot if injuries, and issues on top of the injuries. These guys are proven leaders and proven by success. … They’ll do the work that has been done with my full support.”


With a season virtually lost, can the Falcons finish the season strong and with pride?


PICK: New Orleans

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter









Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings- Week 3


With just about 3 full weeks of NBA action in the books after the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games… let’s take a look the latest Power Rankings as some teams continue to surprise and others continue to fall. Indiana, the last of the unbeatens suffered their first loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.


San Antonio and Indiana are playing like the two best teams in the league while early top 10 Philadelphia is falling fast.


Teams 1-30 with records and last weeks rankings in parentheses are as followed:


1 Indiana Pacers (9-1 LW 1)- They lost to Bulls on the second of a back-to-back. Danny Granger expected back soon.


2 San Antonio Spurs (9-1 LW 2)- The Spurs have won 7 straight while Tim Duncan is averaging career-lows of 12 points and 39.4 percent shooting.


3 Miami Heat (7-3 LW 5)- LeBron James is averaging 34 points per game during the Heat’s three game win streak.


4 Los Angeles Clippers (7-3 LW 7)- The Clippers have won four straight while Blake Griffin is averaging a double-double with 22.9 points and 10.9 boards.


5 Golden State Warriors (7-3 LW 8)- Warriors have won three straight while suffering through injuries.


6 Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4 LW 4)- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin have formed the league’s highest scoring-duo in the season’s opening month.


7 Portland Trailblazers (8-2 LW 13)- One of the league’s early surprises…. the Blazers have won six straight.


8 Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3 LW 3)- Thunder will be looking for revenge against the Clippers on Thursday night.


9 Houston Rockets (7-4 LW 10)- Back up center Omer Asik wants out of Houston and has been benched the last two games since his request.


10 Chicago Bulls (5-3 LW 12)- Derrick Rose hits six 3’s in their big win against Indiana on Saturday night.


11 Dallas Mavericks (6-4 LW 11)- Mavs look to get back on track when Dwight Howard and the Rockets visit Wednesday night.


12 Phoenix Suns (5-4 LW 6)- Suns have dropped three straight by an average 2 points.


13 Atlanta Hawks (6-4 LW 17) Another early surprise team is getting it done with Al Horford, Ronnie Millsap and the return of Lou Williams.


14 Memphis Grizzles (5-5 LW 9)- They continue to struggle and have the Clippers and Warriors on the road coming up.


15 Charlotte Bobcats (5-5 LW 16)- Continue to surprise with Al Jefferson still nursing a bad ankle. Have five of their next six games at home.


16 Philadelphia 76ers (5-6 LW 14)- Back to losing but still in first place in a bad Atlantic Division.


17 Denver Nuggets (4-5 LW 28)- Have won of four but have OKC, Chicago and back-to-back against Dallas coming up.


18 New Orleans Pelicans (4-6 LW 15)- Ryan Anderson lit it up with six 3’s against the Sixers… can he continue?


19 Los Angeles Lakers (5-7 LW 19)- Steve Nash is still out… but good news is Kobe Bryant has begun practicing.


20 Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7 LW 20) As Kyrie Irving goes, so do the Cavs. Averaging 27.5 in wins and 17.7 in losses.


21 Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 25)- Will Aaron Afflalo be traded? He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and playing well.


22 Toronto Raptors (4-7 LW 24)- Have lost three of four and still only getting scoring from Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.


23 Brooklyn Nets (3-6)- Too much talent to be struggling but dealing with various injuries.


24 New York Knicks (3-6 LW 23)- Disappointing start and Carmelo Anthony is unhappy.


25 Boston Celtics (4-7 LW 26)- Started 0-4, won four in a row now has lost three straight.


26 Washington Wizards (2-7 LW 22)- Turning into a major disappointment early on… not was expected.


27 Detroit Pistons (3-6 LW 18)- Josh Smith makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday night.


28 Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 LW 27)- No Brandon Knight, no Caron Butler… now have lost five straight.


29 Sacramento Kings (2-7 LW 29)- Only one win in November and three of next four is on the road.


30 Utah Jazz (1-10 LW 30)- Avoided tying their worst start in franchise history by beating the Pelicans.





By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter




NFL Prediction Week 11 Monday Night Preview/Pick- New England vs. Carolina


NFL Free Pick and Prediction for the New England vs Carolina game, Week 11


New England Patriots (7-2) @ Carolina Panthers (6-3) 11/18- 8:30PM EST


Line: CAR -2.5

Over/Under: 46.0

Place your bets here upto $1000 bonus

Monday night, the New England Patriots will go on the road to face a Carolina Panthers team that is riding a five-game win streak and now claims the NFC’s stingiest defense.


With new a new group of receivers under Tom Brady’s helm, the challenge of putting up the numbers of year’s past has been any but fun as his inexperienced targets have dropped 12.2 percent of catchable balls for the league’s worst mark.


Coming off their bye week after routing the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31, the Patriots (7-2) will now face a Panthers defense yielding only 12.8 points per game and last week beat the 49ers 10-9 on the road to move one-game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.


They’re one the best defenses in the league,” Brady said. “We have to play really well. I think our execution has to be the best.”


During their five-game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 140-57 as they go for six in a row… a feat that was accomplished back in 2005.


Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who earned conference defensive player of the week honors for an 11-tackle performance as part of a defense that sacked Colin Kaepernick six times will be facing Tom Brady for the first time on Monday night.


Tom Brady is a very cerebral guy, he’s been around a while, he knows where he’s going with the ball, he’s smart, he understands defenses,” Kuechly said. “So we’ve just got to do a good job of playing our job, doing our responsibilities and make sure we’re in the right spot.”


The Panthers defense also has 13 takeaways that tie for the league’s most and allows an average of only 82.0 yards on the ground for the NFL’s second-lowest mark.


On the Panther’s offensive side of the ball, third year quarterback Cam Newton is getting it done in all aspects.


He’s playing well efficiently. He does a good job,” said Panthers coach Bill Belichick about Newton. “He’s obviously a threat with the ball in his hands to run. He can make all the throws. He can put the ball on the sideline.”


With Carolina averaging 120.4 yards rushing per game, the running game is another aspect the Panthers will be looking to take advantage of against the Pats as they are third-worst in the NFL allowing 128.2 yards per contest.


Coach Bilichick believes his team will be well prepared for Newton having already faced Buffalo’s EJ Manuel and the Jets’ Geno Smith.


I think that a lot of the plays that Carolina runs we’ve seen from Buffalo and the Jets,” Belichick said. “The fact that we have seen some of those plays, we’ve worked on the basic blocking schemes and how to fit on them, where everybody needs to be.”


Yet, despite all the numbers pointing to the Panthers on the Monday night, the lines spread has them only (minus) -2.5 point favorites over the Patriots, but as always, be sure to check the odds here at Wonder Punter up until kickoff as they might change.


Defensively, the Patriots are getting it done with 29 sacks, which matches the Panthers. Chandler Jones for the Pats has 8 ½ sacks to lead the team.


Greg Hardy of the Panthers has six sacks to help the defense.


That’s our style of defense,” Hardy said. “We dominate. We take what we want. We do what we want.”


I expect a great game on Monday night, and give the Panthers the edge, however Tom Brady has an impressive 13-4 mark on Monday nights.


Monday Night Football is always pretty cool, especially when you play a really good team on Monday Night Football” he said. It’s a fun night.”


PICK: Carolina


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter 



NFL Prediction Week 11 Game Preview/Pick- 49ers vs. Saints


49ers vs Saints Prediction and Pick

San Francisco 49ers (6-3) @ New Orleans Saints (7-2) 11/17- 4:25PM EST


Line: NO -3.0

Over/Under: 47.5


Making their first trip to the Big Easy since this year’s Super Bowl loss, the San Francisco 49ers will have yet another challenge to face when they must find a way to slow down the New Orleans Saints… a team that thrives under the Superdome lights in an NFC showdown Sunday afternoon.


New Orleans (7-2) has been dominating this year at home, outscoring their opponents 176-75 while going undefeated at 5-0 and looking to stay ahead in the NFC South over the hot Carolina Panthers.


In what will be another measuring stick for both teams, the 49ers (6-3) will be trying to avoid back-to-back defeats after dropping a tough 10-9 home loss to the Panthers last Sunday at Candlestick.


We’ve got a tough game coming up, and we’re not going to wallow in (the loss to Carolina),” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “We’re going to move to New Orleans.”


New Orleans will be looking to win yet another home game after last weeks thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys on national television where they accumulated a regular season team-record 625 yards and recorded an NFL-record 40 first downs against the Dallas defense.


You don’t play many games like that, and every once in a while you find yourself on the good end and sometimes you find yourself once in a while on the bad end,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “You hope when your career is done you have more experiences on the good end.”


The Saints also found some balance against the Cowboys on the offensive side of the ball where Drew Bress passed for 392 yards and the running game came up big with 242 yards after going in averaging only 79.8 yards per contest.


It’s important for us to have that balance,” Payton said.


Bress is on fire at home where he has completed 74.4 percent of his passes and averaged 367.2 yards passing while tossing 18 touchdowns and only two interceptions… none in the last three home games.


If not that wasn’t enough, the Saints average 463.6 yards and 35.2 points per game at the Dome, but San Francisco’s defense ranks fourth in the league allowing only 17.2 points per game, so something as to give.


And, it’s that 49ers defense that the oddsmakers are banking on making the Saints only slight favorites with only a (minus) -3.0 in the latest line spread, but as always, Wonder Punter will provide the latest odds up until kickoff, so check back often.


With last weeks loss still fresh in their minds, San Francisco must focus their attention on the offensive side of the ball where the Saints defense is allowing only 18.1 points.


After averaging 34.8 points a game during their five-game win streak and 357.6 yards, the Niners could only put together 9 points on 151 yards total against the Panthers.
The way we look at it as a unit. Offensively, we didn’t play well enough to win the game,” Harbaugh said. “Across the board, we take accountability for that and have fingerprints on it. I’m not going to go through and dissect position by position, raking anybody over the coals. I don’t think that’s the best thing for us.”


Coach Harbaugh added… “I think their mindset will be what it’s always been, it’s a blue-collar mindset. That involves fixing things, building things, sutures in our hands and the weapons are in our hands, our fate is in our hands.”


With Mario Manningham making his season debut last week, he will provide an added boost to an offensive looking to get back on track.


Tight end Vernon Davis is questionable for Sunday after suffering a concussion against the Panthers and receiver Michael Crabtree is an outside shot for his season debut following his Achilles injury in May.


San Francisco has won two straight over the Saints, but come Sunday and the way the New Orleans plays at home, I would be hard-pressed not to go with the Saints as my favorite.


PICK: New Orleans


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


NBA Power Rankings 2013



Week 3 Power Rankings for the NBA


With Week 3 of the NBA starting on Tuesday night, let’s take a look at this week’s Power Rankings for all 30 teams.


1. Indiana Pacers (7-0)- Paul George is leading the Pacers to their best start in franchise history. The team to beat right now.


2. San Antonio Spurs (6-1)- With Philadelphia, Washington, Utah and Boston coming up, they can distance themselves from the pack.


3. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1)- With Russell Westbrook back in the fold, things are looking up.


4. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2)- Having a healthy Kevin Love does wonders for a team.


5. Miami Heat (4-3)- A sore back is slowing down LeBron as they work out their chemistry issues.


6. Phoenix Suns (5-2)- Eric Bledsoe is leading this week’s NBA’s surprise team as they have won all four of their home games.


7. Los Angeles Clippers (4-3)- Big road win at Houston as they are still trying to find their way under coach Doc Rivers.


8. Golden State Warriors (4-3)- Warriors have four different players averaging at least 15 points per game.


9. Memphis Grizzles (3-3)- Coming off a big home win against the Warriors may jump-start them.


10. Houston Rockets (4-3)- They hit the road after dropping their last three-games.


11. Dallas Mavericks (4-3)- Monte Ellis leads the team in scoring averaging 23 points a game.


12. Chicago Bulls (2-4)- Derrick Rose and the Bulls have a showdown with the Pacers this week as they look to get back to winning and avenge an earlier loss.


13. Portland Trailblazers (4-2)- Two of their four wins came against Sacramento with more winnable games coming up against the East.


14. Philadelphia 76ers (4-3)- Went 1-3 last week after starting 3-0… is the clock getting ready to strike midnight?


15. New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) Big win at home against the Lakers on Friday night, can they repeat that performance on Tuesday night in L.A.?


16. Charlotte Bobcats (3-3)- Another early surprise team in the NBA so far.


17. Atlanta Hawks (3-3)- Ronnie Millsap is off to a big year for the Hawks so far with 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.


18. Detroit Pistons (2-3)- Josh Smith is fitting in nicely with his new team leading them 18.8 points per game.


19. Los Angeles Lakers (3-5)- As Kobe Bryant is still working his way back, Steve Nash is suffering from back pain once again limiting his play.


20. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4)- Kyrie Irving is heating up having scored 25 or more in two of his last three games.


21. Brooklyn Nets (2-4)- Nets need more production from K.G who is only averaging six points per game and 6.7 rebounds a game.


22. Washington Wizards (2-4)- Still a better team them their record indicates but must finish games.


23. New York Knicks (2-4)- Can the return of J.R. Smith give them the shot in the arm they need?


24. Toronto Raptors (3-4)- Expect Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan to get their shooting touch back after struggling in the early season.


25. Orlando Magic (3-4)- Center Nikola Vucevic is averaging a double-double to begin the season with 15.7 points and 12.1 rebounds.


26. Boston Celtics (3-4)- The Celtics have won three straight including a win over the Miami Heat.


27. Milwaukee Bucks (2-3)- Their three losses have been by eight points or less.


28. Denver Nuggets (1-4)- Rough start under new head coach Brian Shaw as they are off to their worst start since 2004.


29. Sacramento Kings (1-5)- DeMarcus Cousins is a one-man show, but it will take more then that as they have dropped five in a row.


30. Utah Jazz (0-7)- Jazz are off to their worst start since going 0-11 in their first season in the league.




By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter



NFL Prediciton Week 10 Monday Night Football Game Preview/Pick- Miami vs. Tampa Bay


Miami Dolphins (4-4) @ Tampa Bay (0-8) 11/11- 8:30PM EST


Line: MIA -1.0

Over/Under: 41.0


With the Miami Dolphins going through a week of bad headlines surrounding alleged internal harassment between players and now a league investigation, can the Miami Dolphins stay focused on playing a full 60-minutes of football against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night? here is the prediction


Right now we’re focused on sticking together as a team, having each others backs as a team, and getting ready to play a football game,” Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “At the end of the day, we’re playing a Tampa Bay team on the road on Monday. So we have to deal with this, yes, but we also have to get ready to play a football game.”


At stake for the Dolphins (4-4) is to get back to winning football as they seek their second straight win and look to get back in the playoff hunt.


The Dolphins won their first three games to start the season, then dropped four straight before winning last week at home against the Bengals in OT.


You never want to lose four games in a row,” coach Joe Philbin said. “And we had an excellent football team coming in town. It was time for us to step up and we had to make a decision—what are we going to be? And I thought they answered the bell pretty well.”


Protection will be an issue for the Dolphins who will be without offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito sidelined. Martin left the team before last week’s game due to alleged bullying by Incognito, who was suspended indefinitely this week.


For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8), they are coming off one of their better games last week giving Seattle all they can handle before blowing a fourth-quarter lead for the fourth time this season and falling to the Seahawks 27-24.


Tough loss, but there’s a lot of good things on that tape. … Things we can build off of,” coach Greg Schiano said.


One thing to build on is the 24 points scored against a great Seahawks defense… which was a season-best for the Bucs. They rank second to last in points per game (15.5) and yards per game (304.4).


Rookie quarterback Mike Gleenon has shown great improvement over the last three games with five touchdowns and no interceptions.


Another bright spot has been rookie running back Mike James who ran for a career-high 158 yards on 28 carries filling in for the injured Doug Martin.


Those are things that are getting us excited and encouraged,” Schaino said. “Three games without an interception. That’s how we have to play the game. I’m mad at myself for not getting us there sooner.”


The oddsmakers are also encouraged by the Bucs recent play by giving the Dolphins a slight advantage with the spread with a (minus) -1.0 for the Dolphins. Be sure to visit Wonder Punter before game time to place your bet on Monday’s game.


Tampa Bay has also won the last two at home versus the Dolphins and three of four against them.


With the betting line as close as it is, I feel the Buccaneers are ready to upset the Dolphins and notch their first victory of the season.


PICK: Tampa Bay



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter










Thomas: Oregon should ‘put up 40′ vs. Stanford

De'Anthony Thomas has confidence in Oregon's ability to score against Stanford. (USATSI)
De’Anthony Thomas has confidence in Oregon’s potential to attain against Stanford. (USATSI)

Last season, Oregon’s offense was flying high heading into their November matchup with then-No. 14 ranked Stanford. The Ducks entered that recreation averaging 54.eight points per game, building a ten-0 report by outscoring opponents 348-90 in the first half.

At the finish of the primary half in Eugene, Stanford and Oregon had been tied 7-7.

So naturally one of many fundamental stories heading into Thursday night time’s rematch has been whether or not or not Stanford can once again slow the game down and limit Oregon’s opportunities to attain. In accordance with operating again De’Anthony Thomas, the 2013 Geese should have no trouble discovering the tip zone.

“I feel we are a better team, only a new generation of gamers,” Thomas instructed “We’ve got a whole lot of guys that can contribute to the offense and that is what makes this offense to dynamic.”

Thomas was then asked if he thought Stanford may maintain the Ducks offense to 14 points – Oregon’s total from the 2012 loss.

“I do not assume so,” Thomas replied. “I really feel like this team, we should always at least put up forty.”

Thomas’ comment was relayed to Stanford coach David Shaw on Monday. Shaw, who earlier within the day questioned if the 10-level spread was too low, didn’t have a problem with the comment.

Stanford’s protection does enter the sport banged up, which is never preferrred playing the Geese. Nevertheless, the Oregon game is expected to mark the return of defensive end Henry Anderson. The 6-6 senior has not played since struggling a knee damage in September, and his return could not come at a greater time after the lack of Ben Gardner to a season-ending pectoral harm.

While the matchup of Oregon’s offense and Stanford’s defense will be a serious focus leading up to the showdown, the Cardinal will not be able to tug the upset off without some sustained drives on offense. With the Ducks allowing simply 3.forty one yards per keep on the ground and permitting opponents to convert third downs at a 33.1 percent charge (each Prime 20 nationwide rankings), Stanford will want considered one of their best offensive performances of the season as well to pull the upset.

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NFL Prediction Thursday Preview & Free Pick – Bengals vs. Dolphins


NFL Prediction Thursday Night Preview & Pick – Bengals vs. Dolphins


Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) @ Miami Dolphins (3-4) 10/31- 8:25PM EST


Line: CIN -2.5

Over/Under- 42.5


On Thursday night, the Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) travel into Miami on the verge of running away with the AFC North to battle Miami Dolphins team looking to turn it around after losing four straight before the season slips away.


The Bengals have put some distance for themselves after winning their last four games with Andy Dalton leading the way with solid performances.


We’re very good,” safety Chris Crocker said. “We’re very, very good. But we have to play like it.”


Cincinnati has put 103 points on the board over their last three games thanks in part to Andy Dalton’s 11 touchdown passes and at least 325 yards passing in that span.


This is were I want to be,” said Dalton. “This is how I want to be playing.”


Receivers Marvin Jones and second-year star A.J. Green have benefited the most due to Dalton’s recent play.


He’s had the potential since he’s been here,” Dalton said of Green. “I think he’s just comfortable with everything that we are doing and everything that we’re asking him to do.”


The Cincinnati defense is also getting it done on their side of the ball with an NFL rank of fifth in allowing 18.0 points per game and eighth with 322.5 total yards given up.


Even with the teams late success, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is keeping his team focused on the task in front of them.


We’ve got to be the best team Thursday night, plain and simple,” he said. “It’s us and the Dolphins and, we’ve got the best team. There’s no other challenge. We knew the schedule. That’s the way it is. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You come, be ready to go.”


As for Miami (3-4), after winning their first three games to start the season, they are a team headed in the opposite direction.


Obviously we aren’t at an all-time high right now,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “But we’ve got to get back on track. That’s the only option we have with a short week.”


Much of the Dolphins problems has been their inability to finish games strong where in their last three games they have led or been tied in the fourth quarter of two.


We have to do a better job to close out games,” said receiver Mike Wallace. “We just have to step on their throat. We can’t let up, that’s all—the whole team, in all three phases.”


Tannehill has struggled at the quarterback position in the last four games, throwing seven interceptions with a passer rating of just 60.9 in the fourth-quarter.


He’s also been sacked a league-high 32 times and has lost five fumbles.


Miami coach Joe Philben still believes his team has the talent to turn the season around.


If you don’t have a strong locker room, of you don’t have good character individuals, I think it could be a concern,” he said. “I have a lot of faith in our guys. I believe in them. I think we’ll get this thing right and fixed. We have to do it quickly; this is a good team coming in here on Thursday night.”


Miami has won the last two meetings, but I like the direction the Bengals are going in right now and look for them to win Thursday night.


My prediction for the Bengals vs Dolphins game is, PICK: Cincinnati Bengals

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By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

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Durant: I’m no longer obsessed with winning

Kevin Durant admitted he was obsessed with main the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder to a championship final season – too obsessed.



So even though he had another magnificent season – scoring 28.1 points per game, and capturing 51 p.c from the sphere and forty one.6 % from 3-point vary – his infatuation with profitable a title affected him personally, and he even took it out on others.

“Final yr, I was obsessed with it,” Durant advised The Oklahoman of successful a title. “Like, I wasn’t going to sleep as a result of I wanted to win so bad. I used to be screaming at my teammates, at the refs, on the coaches. I got mad as a result of I assumed ‘if we’ve a bad sport here, we’re not going to win a championship.'”

These cracks showed up in his demeanor on the court as well, as he was known as for 12 technical fouls final season – far surpassing his complete from the previous 5 seasons combined.

All the while, Durant was feeling that he wanted to play perfectly each night time and held his crew to that very same normal.

“Like, for me, when I was coming in I was like ‘If I miss a shot, I will miss this shot in Recreation 6 of the Finals,'” he said within the report. “‘If we don’t play defense this sport, we’re not going to play protection within the Finals.’ Like, I was thinking like that. And I used to be going residence and I might get so mad over small stuff. That is not me. So I used to be dropping myself over what folks thought, what different people thought.”

That title chase in the end fell brief when the Thunder, minus injured Russell Westbrook, were eradicated within the second spherical of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies.

A year wiser, Durant is taking a unique approach as the new season nears.

“So I’m not going to let that overtake my mind,” Durant instructed The Oklahoman of his championship chase. “I mean, in fact I need to win it, but I’m not obsessive about it. I’ll put within the work to help my group, however I’m not going to be obsessed with it as a result of that is when I compromise myself, and most of the time it would not work out.”

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NFL Monday Night Game Preview/Pick- Seahawks vs. Rams

Julius Jones

Seattle Seahawks (6-1) @ St. Louis Rams (3-4) 10/28- 8:30PM EST


Line: SEA -11.5

Over/Under: 42.5


With the loss of Sam Bradford and the Rams so desperate for a quarterback, they phoned Brett Favre to seek his services… thankfully for all of us, he said No!


Bradford will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn left ACL he suffered in last week’s loss to Carolina and with the loss of Bradford may have put an end to any hopes of a successful Rams season.


Instead, St. Louis (3-4) will turn the reigns over to Kellen Clemons who will be making his 13th career NFL start against one the leagues top teams, the Seattle Seahawks (6-1) who look for their 15th win in the last 17 games against the Rams.


Thanks in part to Seattle’s dominant defense this year, they have already matched last season’s road win total of three and look to win their fourth road game since the 2006 season. The single-franchise record is five, set in 1984 and matched in 2005.


Seattle’s goes into the Monday night’s game ranked second in the NFL with total yards allowed (282.1 per game) and giving up an average of only 16.6 points a game.


On the offensive side of the ball, they rank fourth in scoring with 27.3 points per game. Quarterback Russell Wilson is ranked seventh in the league with a 97.2 passer rating. Marshawn Lynch provides a solid running game with a season total of 578 yards rushing so far.


Percy Harvin (hip surgery) is expected back on Monday night which will only bolster an already prolific Seahawks offense.


It’s all day-to-day,” Harvin said. “I want to play as soon as possible, but we all want to be smart in this thing. We put a plan together and we’re just going to take it day by day and see how it feels.”


Coach Pete Carroll feels his football team is still a work in progress.


It feels like we are still growing,” said Carroll. “We are still a very young team and it feels that way. We have enough firepower in a lot of areas to overcome the things that are going in the wrong direction but we are playing good, solid football.”


On the Rams side of the ball, the Rams in dire need of an answer for a new quarterback signed Brady Quinn and brought back Austin Davis, who was previously cut in the pre-season to back up Clemens.


Somebody’s got to play,” Clemens said. “So, I’ll go out there and do the best job I can and try to help this team win some games.”


He was playing very, very well, not only yesterday but was just improving weekly,” Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher said. “The challenge is obvious in this world when you have an impact player go down.”


Clemens must deal with a Seattle defense that is tied for fourth in the league with 23 sacks.


Since 2005, Seattle has dominated the series 14-2 and despite having lost the last two-of-three in St. Louis… I don’t expect a Rams upset on Monday night. Look for the Seahawks to win big.


Pick: Seattle Seahawks

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The weekly NFL spread picks; two of the toughest teams to figure out square off


Like so many teams in the NFL right now, we have mixed signals on the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas is 4-3 and an overwhelming favorite to win the NFC East. That’s mostly because the East is horrendous. And the Cowboys have taken advantage of that.

Dallas is 3-0 against the NFC East. But they’re just 1-3 against everyone else, and the one win came at home against a bad Rams team. The Cowboys can score (third in the NFL at 28.6 points per game) but give up a ton of yards (29th in the NFL at 393.9 yards per game).

Then again are the 4-3 Lions, Dallas’ opponent this week, easier to figure?

Football Outsiders has Detroit ranked 14th this week using its DVOA metric, which seems about right. Every time you’d like to bump the Lions up (because they sure do have some talented players), they lose to the Cardinals, or get blown out by the Packers, or figure out a way to drop a home game to the Bengals.

Still, at home this week against a Cowboys team without DeMarcus Ware (and maybe without DeMarco Murray too), the Lions should cover as 3-point favorites. But who knows what to expect from either team.

Here are the rest of this week’s picks (and I’m aware how awful the record is.. it’s pretty incredible, actually. But as we know, it’s just for recreational purposes. Thankfully):

Buccaneers (+6) over Panthers (picked yesterday): I apologize to the Panthers for jumping off the bandwagon. I’d like back on it, please.

Browns (+7.5) over Chiefs: Hey Chiefs fans, I don’t have the only ranking that moved your team down one spot this week. Football Outsiders’ metrics must be KC haters too.

Dolphins (+6.5) over Patriots: New England seems destined for a lot of close games this year.

Saints (-11) over Bills: I like what Thad Lewis has done, I just don’t know that he’s experienced anything like playing the Saints at the Superdome.

Eagles (-5.5) over Giants: If you saw the Giants perform on Monday night, you’d know they shouldn’t be the pick over any team not quarterbacked by Josh Freeman.

Jaguars (+16.5) over 49ers: At some point Jacksonville has to lose by less than double digits. For the Jaguars’ fans sake, I’ll avoid a London Jaguars joke. You’ve been through enough.

Jets (+6.5) over Bengals: Both of these teams love playing close games, so why not another on Sunday?

Steelers (-2.5) over Raiders: Neither team is that good, but one of them is going to have three wins in a wide-open AFC wild-card race.

Broncos (-12.5) over Redskins: Even on a normal week, the Redskins’ secondary would be a good candidate to give up 50 points to Peyton Manning and crew. With the Broncos coming off a loss, it seems almost certain.

Falcons (+2.5) over Cardinals: It was just the Buccaneers, but the Falcons showed some heart in their win last week.

Vikings (+9) over Packers: If Green Bay can cover this spread on the road with so many key starters injured, that might be more embarrassing to the Vikings than last Monday’s debacle.

Seahawks (-11) over Rams: Kellen Clemens vs. the Seahawks defense? My, my. And yet more horrible luck for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” matchup. This game looked OK a couple months ago.

Last week: 5-10

This season: 40-67-2

- – – – – – -


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NCAA prediction College Football Preview/Pick- #10 Texas Tech vs. #15 Oklahoma


NCAA prediction College Football Preview/Pick- #10 Texas Tech vs. #15 Oklahoma


#10 Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-0) @ #15 Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) 10/26- 3:30PM EST


Line: OKLA -7.0

Over/Under: 58.0


The 10th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders travel into Norman, OK on Saturday to face their most difficult challenge yet…. the No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners and its top-ranked pass defense in a Big 12 battle.


Texas Tech (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) is led by true freshman Davis Webb who has guided the Red Raiders to two victories since replacing injured walk-on freshman Baker Mayfield who suffered a knee injury against Kansas.


Former Red Raider quarterback and now coach Kliff Kingsbury has complete confidence in Webb who will be facing his biggest challenge in his young college career.


The more reps he gets, the better he gets and the more confidence he gets,” Kingsbury said. “It’s encouraging to have a young QB like that and have guys step up around him and make those plays.”


Texas Tech, who’s high-powered offense enters Saturday’s contest is second only to Baylor in scoring at 41.1 points per game, and it’s 548.1 total yards per game ranks sixth in the nation.


The Oklahoma passing defense however is tops in the nation by giving up an average of only 149.7 yards per game and overall defense that is ninth in all of college football.


Their defense schematically has changed a bunch from last year,” Kingsbury said.” They’re very athletic, fundamentally sound and will be a big challenge for a young quarterback.”


Kingsbury understands the difficult task facing the Red Raiders and believes the Red Raiders still have room for much improvement.


It’s a challenge any time you play in that stadium,” Kingsbury said. We’ll have to play our best game. The exciting part for me right now is I know we haven’t played close to our best game.”


For the Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12), coach Bob Stoops believes his football team must improve as well if they want to compete for a Big 12 title.


You have to play well as a team,” Stoops said. Offense is part of defense. When you play teams that have high-powered offenses, you’ve got to stay on the field too. You play together as a team. You have to complement one another, offensively and defensively. Hopefully we can do that.”


We need to be able to be more efficient in the pass game to open the run game up,” Sooners offensive lineman Gabe Ikard said. “We need to be able to stretch the field vertically. We’re not far off from being a great offense. We just need to put it all together.”


Both teams have split their last two games, each winning on the road.


Great offense of Texas Tech against the great defense of Oklahoma. Expect a great game… close game but like the Red Raiders to come away with a win.

My NCAA prediction for the weekends Game, Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Olklahoma Sooners

Pick: Texas Tech Red Raiders

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NFL Prediction Thursday Night Football Preview & Pick – Panthers vs. Buccaneers


NFL Prediction Thursday Night Football Preview & Pick – Panthers vs. Buccaneers


Carolina Panthers (3-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) 10/24- 8:25PM EST


Line: CAR -6.0

Over/Under: 40.0


Thursday night’s match-up will feature a first for the team that wins.. for the Panthers (3-3), they will be looking to be above .500 for the first time in five-long years and for the Buccaneers, their first win of the 2013 season.


Carolina after a slow start to begin the season, seems to have found their stride led by Cam Newton in search of their third straight win after outscoring Minnesota and St. Louis 65-25 over the last two games and now go into winless Tampa Bay to face a team off to it’s worst start since 2009.


Panther’s defensive back Captain Munnerlyn says, “It would be a great boost of confidence to have a winning record.”


Tampa Bay will try to avoid going 0-7 for the second time in five years.


“ You’ve got to go with the next task at hand,” Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano said.


I want to be clear on this because I don’t take lightly 0-6. I’ve never been 0-6. But we do our best. We’re trying our hardest. Our guys are working…. And I have found when you have good people and they work hard and they work smart it’ll turn. That’s what I believe.”


With the meat part of their schedule coming up, Carolina knows the importance of not looking ahead past the Bucs.


In this league anything is possible and we know what Tampa Bay is capable of,” linebacker Thomas Davis said. “If you look at their games this year they’ve pretty much been in all of those games. It just came down to executing in the fourth quarter and they could have a much different record. We know that.”


While the Buccaneers have played hard, despite their record, two big challenges going into Thursday night in search of their first win will be rookie quarterback Mike Glennon starting his fourth straight game and being without star running back Doug Martin (shoulder injury).


Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano isn’t optimistic of Martin playing on Thursday with what appears to be a torn labrum.


I’m not going to get into specifics of exactly what his issue is, he said. “If it was season-ending I’d let you know. But I don’t feel that it is right now… We’re just going to play it by ear and go from there.”


Tampa Bay is ranked 31st in both total yards (297.8 per game) and scoring (14.5 points per game) while the Panthers are fifth allowing 217.7 passing yards per game.


(The Panthers are) definitely really talented. They’re one of the top defensive teams in the league statistically with how they’re playing,” Glennon said.


Look for Glennon to continue to target veteran Vincent Jackson, who he’s targeted a whopping 36 times in the last two weeks.


Under Newton, the Panthers have split their last four games with Tampa Bay.


For Carolina, this is a ‘trap’ game and must not get caught looking ahead to the harder part of their schedule on the horizon, as Tampa Bay will be playing hard in a prime-time affair to notch their first victory of the year.

My NFL prediction for the Thursday night Game, Panthers vs Buccaneers:

PICK: Carolina Panthers

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UCF scores in final minute to stun Louisville

UCF Upsets No. 8 Louisville


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Blake Bortles and Central Florida had one final rally left, and it was sufficient to topple Teddy Bridgewater and No. 8 Louisville.

Bortles threw a 2-yard touchdown cross to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds remaining, and the Knights surprised the Cardinals with a 38-35 victory Friday night time, ending Louisville’s good start.

“I stated, ‘Let’s get some 2-minute calls ready,'” Bortles said. “We knew we had been going to should go 2-minute… Our offensive line did a fantastic job, and our receivers did an important job of getting yards after the catch.”

Down 28-7 midway via the third quarter, the Knights (5-1, 2-zero American Athletic Convention) responded with three touchdowns in a 7:22 span. Storm Johnson had a 1-yard TD run and a 20-yard reception for an additional rating, and William Stanback ran 12 yards for the tying TD.

UCF then went in front on Shawn Moffitt’s 34-yard area aim with 7:36 remaining.

Louisville (6-1, 2-1) reclaimed the lead on Dominique Brown’s 15-yard run with three minutes to go, but the Knights drove seventy five yards in 11 performs to take the lead for good on Bortles’ TD and then held off the Cardinals’ comeback try.

Bridgewater made one last desperate heave into the end zone as time expired, but the Heisman Trophy contender was unable to search out anyone. The Knights then rushed the sphere in jubilation as a small gathering of fans in one section chanted, “UCF, UCF!”

“What are you able to say? It was a heck of a game,” Knights coach George O’Leary said. “Both teams performed their hearts out. That was a fantastic drive, and it was an important win in a troublesome setting.

“Obviously, it is a big win. It is a big win due to the conference. We had great effort and nice execution… We could have hung our heads, but we got after it.”

Bortles finished 21-of-32 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 18 carries, main a spirited comeback during which the Knights outgained the Cardinals 269-210 in the second half to complete with a 446-445 edge.

It was Central Florida’s second win over a ranked workforce in 27 attempts. It came in the lone convention assembly between the schools; the Cardinals are headed to the Atlantic Coast Convention next season.

“It felt good seeing that clock hit zero,” Godfrey said in an elated Knights locker room. “It was an incredible feeling inside, a great win for this system and UCF Nation.”

Struggling towards a protection that entered the night time allowing a nation-greatest 7.3 points per game and ranked No. 2 in opposition to the run, UCF finally discovered room to run when Johnson started to chop and bounce his option to further yardage.

Bortles chipped in with crisp passing, particularly on the 20-yard move to Johnson following a fumble restoration on the Cardinals’ 15.

The mixture of Johnson and Bortles ruined Louisville’s homecoming and its 100th sport at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium before a crowd of fifty five,215.

“You may’t dwell in misery or live in a loss,” Bridgewater stated after the Cardinals’ first loss since final November to Connecticut. “We’re the type of crew that has mature guys, and I’m pretty certain our guys are switching their focus to South Florida. One loss would not determine the entire season.”

Bridgewater completed 29-of-38 passing for 341 yards and two touchdowns. He welcomed again prime receiver DeVante Parker from a shoulder harm, connecting for a 29-yard go on Louisville’s opening drive.

Bridgewater additionally went to former high school teammate Eli Rogers, who finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards, together with an 18-yard touchdown that gave Louisville a 7-zero lead.

Ryan Hubbell’s fumble that hit the pylon for a touchback and a punt on the subsequent drive prevented the Cardinals from expanding the lead, and UCF scored on its fifth possession.

Johnson’s 23-yard reception helped delay the seventy one-yard drive, however Stanback’s recovery of Rannell Corridor’s fumble at the 4 turned out to be the important thing play. Stanback scored on the subsequent play.

Louisville responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive ending with Bridgewater’s 10-yard TD cross to Parker in double protection simply before halftime. The Cardinals then emerged from the locker room to drive seventy five yards for a 21-7 lead on Brown’s 20-yard touchdown run up the center.

Louisville appeared to be in management after James Fast’s 30-yard return of punter Caleb Houston’s fumbled snap made it 28-7, but UCF wasn’t fazed.

“We tell our youngsters to never, by no means surrender,” O’Leary stated. “Our kids have been leaping to the music. I knew we had been going to be OK.

“We had a couple of good issues happen, and it lit a fireplace.”

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NCAA College Football Friday Game Recap- #8 Cardinals Get Upset


NCAA College Football Friday Game Recap- #8 Cardinals Get Upset

Any hopes of the No. 8 ranked Louisville Cardinals having a perfect season and running the tables in the American Athletic Conference were put to rest in their own stadium Friday night as unranked Central Florida (5-1, 2-0 AAC) came ready to play and stunned the Cardinals 38-35 with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left.


With Louisville up big 28-7 midway through the third quarter and the game seemingly well in hand, UCF went on a scoring spree scoring three touchdowns in a span of 7:22 to tie the game at 28-28.


The Knights then took their first lead of the game with a 34-yard field goal with 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter 31-28.


It was short-lived however as Louisville (6-1, 2-1 AAC) recaptured the lead on Dominique Brown’s 15-yard touchdown scamper with just three minutes left to give the Cardinals a 35-31 lead.


Not to be denied, the Knights had one more drive in them and drove 75 yards to pay-dirt on 11 plays to give UCF a 38-35 lead with only 23 seconds left.


However, Heisman Trophy contender Teddy Bridgewater (29/38, 341 yards, 2 TDs)made one last desperate attempt at the end zone as time expired, but to no avail. Game over.


What can you say? It was a heck of a game,” Knights coach George O’Leary said. “Both teams played their hearts out. That was a great drive and it was a great win in a tough environment.


Obviously, it’s a big win. It’s a big win because of the conference. We had great effort and great execution…. We could have hung our heads, but we got after it.”


A balanced UCF attack on the ground and air allowed them to come back on a Cardinals team who thought they had the game won.


Knights quarterback Blake Bortles went 21-of-32 for 250 yards in the air for two touchdowns, while Storm Johnson rushed 18 times for 109 yards and a score. However, it was Jeff Godfrey who had only one catch the whole night and it was the game winner.


I said, ‘Let’s get some 2-minute calls ready,” Bortles said. “We knew we were going to have to go 2-minute… Our offensive line did a great job and our receivers did a great job of getting yards after the catch.”


Louisville entered the game allowing a nation-best 7.3 points per game and No. 2 against the run.


When you know you’re up 21 points, you think the game should be in hand,” linebacker Preston Brown said. “The way we’ve been playing so far this year, that should be a victory.”


It was only Central Florida’s second win over a ranked team in 27 attempts.


It felt good seeing that clock hit zero,” Godfrey said in a elated Knights locker room. “It was a great feeling inside, a great win for the program and UCF Nation.”

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NCAA Picks College Football Preview & Prediction – #22 Florida Gators vs. #14 Missouri Tigers

NCAA Picks College Football Preview & Prediction – #22 Florida Gators vs. #14 Missouri Tigers


#22 Florida Gators (4-2) @ #14 Missouri Tigers (6-0) 10/19 12:21PM EST


Line: FLA -3.0

Over/Under: 44.0


The Missouri Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) are coming off their biggest win since joining the Southeastern Conference last week when they handled then #7 Georgia Bulldogs 41-26 on the road, are looking to keep the momentum going this Saturday when they square off against #22 Florida Gators (4-2,3-1 SEC) in Columbia.


However for the Tigers, the challenge this week may prove more difficult because of the loss of quarterback James Franklin (right shoulder) who suffered the fourth quarter injury against Georgia.


Franklin is expected to be out three to five weeks, which includes a three-game stretch that includes a match-up with No. South Carolina next weekend.


It’s a good thing it’s a team sport,” Franklin said. “It stinks that I went down but we still have a lot of talent. I know we can do it.”


Stepping in for Franklin will be freshman Maty Mauk, who will be making his first collegiate start.


Mauk will looking to extend Missouri’s unbeaten streak to seven straight, a feat they last accomplished back in 2010.


(I’ve told him) just trust your preparation, that you have good people around you and to just go play.” Coach Gary Pinkel said. “In high school, he was the guy that played at the really high level for a lot of people and lots of success.


This is a lot different. Quarterbacks have success for certain reasons. Some of the things that is important to them is to have poise under pressure. He is going to be nervous, but he will do fine.”


Mauk will have the task of leading his offense against a stingy Gators defense that held a then No. 10 LSU team at home to nearly 29 points below its season average.


Missouri is ranked eighth in the country with 45.7 points per game, and its 515.7-yard average ranks 12th.


Certainly, they’re playing very well. Last year they had a bunch of injuries on the offensive side of the ball,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said. “They’re a team that’s very explosive and it catches your attention when you turn on the tape on both sides of the ball.”


Florida also suffered a big blow when they lost second-leading rusher Matt Jones to a season-ending injury when he tore his meniscus in his left knee.


To have this setback is disheartening for all of us,” Muschamp said. “We’ll get the next guy up. We’ve recruited well at the position, so those guys will get their opportunity and they need to be ready to go in all situations.”


Last year, Florida beat the Tigers at home 14-7 with the aid of four Franklin interceptions.


If freshman Mauk can stay composed, I see the Tigers getting yet another quality SEC victory. Expect a closely played contest.


PICK: Missouri Tigers

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NCAA College Football Preview/Pick- #2 Oregon vs. #16 Washington


NCAA College Football Preview/Pick- #2 Oregon vs. #16 Washington

#2 Oregon Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac 12) @ #16 Washington Huskies (4-1, 1-1) 10/12 4:00PM EST


Line: ORE -13.5

Over/Under: 76.0


Just how good are the #2 Oregon Ducks? We will all find out on Saturday afternoon as they will face their toughest opponent yet, the #16 Washington Huskies in Seattle.


Will the Huskies be able to rebound at home after last weeks heartbreaking loss at #5 Stanford? We will find that out as well… and they better be ready because the high-flying Oregon Ducks with their mile-a-minute offense look to make a statement to the nation that they are deserving of a No. 2 ranking, as they have just humiliated every team in its path so far.


At stake for the Ducks will be to stay pace in the Pac 12 North with the #5 Stanford Cardinal, stay deserving of their ranking as the BCS standings are due to come out next week, extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games and look for it’s tenth straight win against the Huskies.


The last road loss for the Ducks was to their nemesis Stanford on Nov. 7th 2009, when they went down in defeat 51-42.


The Oregon Ducks’ offense machine is led by sophomore Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota who is 17-1 as a starter and has at least one touchdown pass in all of his 18 games.


I think as a unit, we’ve all gotten better with Marcus,” said Bralon Addison. “Marcus does some amazing things with his legs and has the arm to complement those legs. It’s almost like he’s playing a video game out there.”


Even more amazing for Mariota and the Ducks is that he has yet to play a full game this year and they are still averaging at least 55 points a game in their first five games… first time in school history. The Ducks rank second in the nation in points with an average of 59.2 and average 630.4 in total yards while blowing out opponents by an average of 47.4 points a game!


Yet, Washington believes they have the firepower to keep pace offensively with the Ducks and their hurry-up no huddle offense. The Oregon offense averages less then two-minutes with their scoring drives.


The Huskies rank fifth in college football in total offense with 557.0 yards per game. With the Ducks bringing a completely different style of offensive than they faced against Stanford, they may have to try to slow down the pace of the game by relying more on a balanced attack of rushing and passing.


On the Stanford loss and Oregon offense… Washington coach Steve Sarkisian says, “We have to learn from it, but we have to get ready for a completely different style in Oregon this week.”


Washington does have Bishop Sankey, who ranks fourth in the nation with 146.4 yards rushing a game.


The Ducks have plenty of speed on defense as well where they rank second in the nation with allowing only 11.8 points per game. The Huskies rank 11th with giving up only 14.8 points a contest.


With No. 16 Washington on the docket this Saturday, the Ducks still have showdowns with No.11 UCLA and fifth-ranked Stanford coming up.


I expect a good game from both teams, however just don’t see the Huskies having enough on both sides of the ball to win. Both teams will light it up on Saturday night in a must-watch entertaining game.


PICK: Oregon Ducks

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NCAA College Football Thursday Preview/Pick- Rutgers vs. #8 Louisville


NCAA College Football Thursday night preview Pick

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-1)@ #8 Louisville Cardinals (5-0) 10/10 7:30PM EST


Line: LOU -18.0

Over/Under- 55.5


After not being challenged to this point in the season, the #8 Louisville Cardinals (5-0, 1-0) are ready to be challenged as they face their strongest competition yet… the high scoring Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-1, 1-0) in an American Athletic Conference showdown.


The Cardinals must contend of having to slow down a high scoring Rutgers’ team that goes in averaging 40 points a game and are coming off a 55-52 triple-overtime win at Southern Methodist.


While Louisville is able to put some points on the board as well with Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater leading the offense, they may be without leading receiver DeVante Parker (shoulder) which could hinder the Cardinals keeping pace with the Rutger offense.


Parker has 21 receptions for 375 yards and six touchdowns.


Although, Rutgers goes into Louisville unranked, they have been a tough team to play the last six meetings for the Cardinals where all six games have been decided by three points or less. Last year’s meeting was won by Louisville 20-17.


It’s going to be a good test for us,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said Monday. “If our guys take the time and put in the time and understand just how important this game is, then we’ll be on track.”


Louisville is deep with receivers even if Parker is unable to suit up.


We have enough receivers, we just don’t have the big-play ability like (Parker), where you get in the red zone and the ball is thrown up,” the coach said. “But we have enough receivers where we can put guys in place and let ‘em go play…


Other guys have to step up, that’s what happens.”


It will be a battle of the high flying offense of Rutgers against the nation’s top scoring defense of Louisville (6.8 points per game).


The Cardinals at home are heavily favored at -18.0 but coach Strong feels differently about Rutgers’ chances.


Said Strong, “ this team matches up very well with us.”


I see the Cardinals’ top ranked scoring defense doing enough to slow down the Scarlet Knights and win going away.


Last year’s game in New Jersey featured Bridgewater coming off the bench in the second half with a sore ankle and broken wrist to lead the Cardinals to victory and capture the Big East Conference Championship and a BCS bowl bid.


PICK: Louisville Cardinals

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NCAA Thursday Night Football free Picks #12 UCLA Bruins vs Utah Utes


This Thursdays NCAA College football rankings Predictions, free picks

#12 UCLA Bruins (3-0) @ Utah Utes (3-1) 10/3 10:00PM EST

Line: UCLA -5.0
Over/Under- No Line

The up and coming #12 UCLA Bruins, take their high powered offense into Utah in Thursday night’s PAC-12 showdown as they battle the Utah Utes. This will be the Bruins PAC-12 opener coming off another bye week, as they begin their quest to win their second straight PAC-12 South title. The Bruins have one road victory under their belt, when they dominated the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a tough environment 41-21.

Aided with the return of running back Damien Thigpen, the Bruins look to get off to their best start since 2005. Thigpen’s return to the line-up will help bolster a running attack that already ranks 13th in the country with 284.3 yards a game. The Bruins are coming off their second bye of the season, where in their last game on September 21st, they racked up a school record 692 yards in a 59-13 thrashing of New Mexico State. The Bruins rank second in the nation with 614.3 yards a game and third in the nation in scoring with 52.7 points per game. Exciting and dynamic Bruins’ quarterback Brett Hundley will look to keep the high flying Bruin attack going against the Utes, who are also coming off a bye week.

The Utah Utes 0-1 in PAC-12 play look to avoid their second straight home loss, where they lost their home and conference opener to Oregon State 51-48 on September 14. Utah has some fire power of their own this year, they rank 16th in the nation with 504.8 yards a game and 19th in scoring with 42.0 points a game. However, the combination of Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, and receiver Dres Anderson will be put to the test as they face a Bruin defense ranked #19 in the nation in pass defense, allowing just 177.0 yards a game.

Last year’s game at the Rose Bowl saw the Bruins defeat the Utes 21-14, and this year I expect the Bruins with their high powered offense, and pass defense to slow down the Utes, and come out of Utah with a road victory.

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Pick: UCLA Bruins
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By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter