Tuesday blog during the college football season will be devoted to injuries, suspensions and other news that might be of some help in breaking down the upcoming weekend’s slate. I’m definitely not going to get to all of the pertinent items but will try to include those that seem meaningful, particularly if it involves an under the radar school. In other words, you don’t need me to tell you David Ash is out for Texas. That news is everywhere. I’d rather focus on the notes that aren’t as easy to find.
Arkansas State is listing RB Michael Gordon and WR JD McKissic as questionable for Saturday’s game at Tennessee. These are key offensive components for the Red Wolves. Gordon is very explosive, while McKissic is their possession receiver. Sun Belt teams aren’t usually blessed with great depth, so check for updated status on these two players.
Ball State WR Jordan Williams hurt his ankle in the Colgate game and he’s now up in the air for the Iowa challenge on Saturday. The Cardinals were content to pound the ground against Colgate, but one would think they’ll get back to that high octane passing attack here, so Williams is clearly a very key component, particularly with still untested Ozzie Mann under center.
Central Michigan is hurting at receiver as they prepare for Purdue. Titus Davis injured his knee in the Chippewas opener, and is likely out for this game. That is an enormous loss for CMU, as Davis could well be the best skill position player in the entire MAC. Plus, Andrew Flory is still under suspension. Not good at all for the Chips.
Colorado State enjoyed a big rivalry win against Colorado, but the Rams got nicked up a bit in the win. They could be down a couple of TE’s, including Kivon Cartwright and left tackle Ty Sambrailo is also a question mark. Sambrailo is one of the best OL’s in the Mountain West, so checking for updated info on his status makes sense here.
No word yet on Florida Atlantic QB Jaquez Johnson, who hurt his shoulder in the Owls loss at Nebraska. If Charlie Partridge is smart he probably just sits Johnson here rather than risk him in a game at Alabama where the Owls have zero chance to win. FAU cannot afford to lose Johnson for what are far more important games coming up. This contest is strictly a paycheck for the university.
Iowa State figured to struggle this season, and things got much worse for them on Saturday. Quenton Bundrage blew out his knee on the first series of the loss to North Dakota State. The Cyclones are probably deeper at wideout than any other position, but that’s still a significant hit. One good news item is that C Tom Farniok should be able to play against Kansas State. The OL fell apart after he got dinged up last Saturday.
Kent State could get nothing going on the ground in the loss to Ohio U, and Trayion Durham is still questionable for this weekend’s test vs. South Alabama. No word during the Monday presser with head coach Paul Haynes about his status.
Cole Gautsche hurt his hamstring Saturday, which means New Mexico will likely have to go with Clayton Mitchem against Arizona State. WR Carlos Wiggins is questionable right now, and that’s also a big hit to the Lobos special teams if he’s unavailable. New Mexico might also be thin on the OL with a few players banged up.
Northern Illinois has a couple of critical components missing as they prep for Northwestern. RB Cameron Stingily and LB Jamaal Bass are each out indefinitely. These are arguably the two best players on the Huskies roster. NIU does appear to have ample depth in the offensive backfield, but I’m not so sure that’s the case on defense where there’s already not much experience.
Old Dominion is thin on the OL and could be without left tackle Connor Mewbourne on Saturday as the Monarchs visit North Carolina State.
San Jose State will be missing some starters as they travel to Auburn. The Spartans got nicked up in the opener with North Dakota and with no shot here and a bye week coming up, my guess is that some of the questionable guys end up sitting on Saturday.
South Florida might be missing WR Andre Davis on Saturday when they entertain Maryland, and one of their offensive linemen is also dinged up. The Bulls are going to want to try and work the ground game against the Terrapins, but the already very shaky passing game gets worse if the dangerous Davis can’t play.
Rashon Ceaser got hurt after catching just one pass as UL-Monroe kayoed Wake Forest. He’s questionable for the Idaho game. The good news is that several other Warhawks stepped up and had productive games in the win over the Demon Deacons.
DJ May hurt his toe as Wyoming topped Montana. The soph RB was having a big game along with running mate Shaun Wick. The Cowboys are now a run-oriented, ball control offense, so May is a key player in their attack. He’s currently questionable for the battle with Air Force.
If I got really lucky with Tulsa last week, I gave it back in the CFL yesterday with Hamilton. The early bettors won or pushed with the Ti-Cats but anything later lost. Hamilton won the game 13-12. But they blew two TD’s on a dropped pass and a fumble, and also took two intentional safeties as a result of poor field position. This should have been a very easy winner. Split for a small profit on the diamond with the Twins and the come from ahead (again) loser with the Pirates.
I have not yet gotten the six-week special offer pulled, so that’s available for the time being, but could disappear anytime today or tonight. So, get it while the gettin’ is good and save some money on an all-inclusive package that will carry all the way through the middle of October. If you’d like more information on how my plays are sent out, ratings, whatever, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily free plays have been going pretty well, but a rotten egg yesterday as the Indians were trampled by the Tigers. I’ll look for a quick recovery with tonight’s call.
09/02 05:05 PM MLB (965) MILWAUKEE BREWERS at (966) CHICAGO CUBS
Take: (966) CHICAGO CUBS -107
The Milwaukee Brewers have enjoyed what amounts to a season long run atop the NL Central. But as we enter today’s action, the Brewers are now looking up in the standings at the Cardinals. Milwaukee has hit the skids in a serious way and really need a win at Wrigley tonight against the rival Cubs.
That’s going to be easier said than done. The Cubs still have some clear liabilities. But energy sure isn’t one of them. I really like what the Cubs management has done here. They have been promoting their stars in the making for a couple months now, and they’re not just sitting around the dugout getting a feel for big league baseball, they’re playing everyday. This is going to serve the Cubs well in 2015 and beyond.
To be sure, the Cubs lineup we’ll likely see tonight has its flaws. The raw rookies are whiffing at a pretty ridiculous rate. But they’re also flexing some muscle and there isn’t any team in the game that will hustle any more than this outfit. The Cubs are obviously dead as far as this year’s playoff chase is concerned, but that definitely isn’t having a negative impact on the players. In fact, they appear to be relishing the spoiler role and the fact there’s no pressure is a plus.
The Brewers are getting their brains beat in right now. Carlos Gomez is hurt and his status is up in the air for tonight. Jonathan Lucroy, who was playing great baseball for this team throughout the first half, has perhaps gotten word down and his production has fallen off considerably. The bullpen has gone from very reliable to a huge question mark, which forced management to make a deal to bring veteran Jonathan Broxton over from Cincinnati.
Yovani Gallardo has done some solid work for the Brewers this season, but he’s now a pitch to contact type, so he actually isn’t the best profile to contain the free swinging Cubs. Jake Arrieta will throw for the Cubs, and he’s off a bad start. Arrieta had control problems in that effort, and also got hurt by some lousy luck almost every time anyone made contact. But the fact he still managed to K eight Reds in just four innings of work indicates it was probably just one of those days. I like his chances of rebounding tonight.
I expect the Cubs to draw the sharper action in this game, so tracking the line movement is imperative as my guess is playing early will yield the most value. My call is to go against the fading visitor and I’ll back Arrieta and the Cubs to earn another win tonight.