Dave’s Free Play, Sunday 9/28/14

  • September 28, 2014

Quick takes on some of Saturday’s college games:

Iowa got off to a slow start at Purdue, but the Hawkeyes tied it at halftime and owned the second half. Iowa ended up holding the Boilermakers to only 157 yards of total offense.

Penn State’s problems on offense continued as the Nittany Lions got bounced at home by Northwestern. They weren’t able to run the ball at all, and Penn State won’t many having to throw all the time.

Georgia hung on to outlast Tennessee 35-32 in a very exciting game. Todd Gurley ran wild again for the Bulldogs. Tennessee is definitely improving and could well be on the right side of an upset or two moving forward in SEC play.

Florida State is still perfect on the season, but the Seminoles are pretty obviously not the same team they were a season ago. The defense was again unimpressive in a 56-41 shootout win over NC State.

Texas A&M showed quick strike ability when they had to have it, but if not for a missed Arkansas FG late in regulation, there’s no OT and no win for the Aggies. Kenny Hill is the genuine article for A&M.

Stanford dominated Washington but once again the Cardinal had trouble finishing drives and also gave up a score off a turnover. Chris Peterson is still riverboat gambling with his new team, but the results weren’t positive for the Huskies in this game.

Vanderbilt was overwhelmed by Kentucky on the stat sheet, although the Commodores did manage to stay within the spread. Misleading final score as the Wildcats were dominant at the point of attack all day.

Nice road win for Colorado State as the Rams rallied in the final quarter to get the mild upset at Boston College.

Maryland caught some nice breaks to win last week, but they Terrapins were legit in a wire to wire win at Indiana. The Terrapins could make some Big 10 noise if they can avoid the injuries that have plagued them the last two seasons.

Pittsburgh fans weren’t happy with Paul Chryst last week when the Panthers got knocked off by Iowa. It’ll be worse here with a bad loss to MAC visitor Akron. The stunner here is that it wasn’t fluky, as the Zips were simply the better football team on this day.

Bowling Green hung on the beat UMass in a game where both teams went well over 600 yards in total offense. The final Minutemen TD created a potential middle for players who got the optimum numbers on each side that were available during the week.

Louisville punished Wake Forest on the stats, but the Cardinals could only win by 10 as their backup QB was unable to finish off drives.

Brady Hoke’s hot seat is now scalding. The beleaguered Michigan coach can’t have many answers at this point as the Wolverines were humiliated at home by Minnesota.

UAB was a staggering -6 in turnovers against Florida International, and that’s how the Golden Panthers garnered the big upset on the road. FOU had only nine first downs, but they scored 14 off turnovers en route to the shocker.

Temple was terrible in the first half at UConn but still managed to lead 7-3 at the break. The Owls blew it up in the second half and ended up routing the very limited Huskies.

California came out unfocused against Colorado and fell behind 28-14. The Bears then took the game over and appeared to be about ready to blow it open. But once again that Cal defense turned into a sieve. California got the win in 2OT, but the inability to get any late stops is becoming a a real concern for this team.

Texas pitched the shutout at Kansas, but there was nothing really impressive about what the Longhorns did here. This was closer than the final score indicates.

Florida Atlantic trailed virtually the entire game against UT-San Antonio. But the Owns got the last town scores, including a TD pass inside the final minute, to garner the exciting 41-37 win. FAU is a much different team with talented Jaquez Johnson back in the lineup after missing the first two games.

Ohio State bludgeoned Cincinnati. The Bearcats got a couple of late first half scores to make this interesting for a bit. But the Buckeyes were way too much, and ended up with some frighteningly lopsided stat advantages.

North Carolina has no defense at all. The Tar Heels can do some good things when they have the ball but are hopeless when it comes to stopping anything. Nice bounce back for Clemson off the demoralizing loss to Florida State.

Huge rally by Missouri to nip South Carolina. The Gamecocks appeared to be taking the game over she they went up 20-7 but the Tigers tot a couple of big plays on successive drives and engineered the mild upset.

UL Monroe jumped out to nice early lead against struggling Troy. The Trojans came back to actually take the lead, but the home team got a late field goal to escape with the win. Neither team could run the ball a lick in this game.

Duke flopped in a big spot at Miami. The Blue Devils were gaining lots of believers with their early play, but they got pretty well owned in this one by the ‘Canes. The game was still there for the taking in the fourth quarter with the margin only six, but I never got the sense at any point that Duke would get the win.

Ole Miss needed four quarters to get rid of pesky Memphis in spite of the fact this was a lopsided contest. The Rebels weren’t sharp with Alabama on deck, but still managed to pull away late for the three-TD win.

UNLV was incredibly shorthanded due to injuries, but actually might have had a chance to shock San Diego State if not for a couple of critical turnovers.

Spectacular comeback by Washington State. This was 21-0 Utah and looked like a laugher. But it then became the Connor Halliday show and the Cougars completely took over the game. Bad loss for Utah, huge win for Washington State.

Texas State coughed up a 17-3 lead and ended up in OT at Tulsa when they could not get late stops. The Bobcats passed on a chance to try and win in the first OT and looked gassed on defense. But they got the key stop in the third OT and earned a well deserved road win.

Nebraska might be putting it together. The Cornhuskers demolished Illinois out the stat sheet and the scoreboard. No look ahead to Michigan State by the ‘Huskers, and that now becomes a true marquee event next Saturday.

Fortunate win for Nevada at San Jose State. The Wolf Pack were thoroughly outplayed and only covered thanks to fourth quarter pick six. San Jose could have won this, but did themselves in with the -3 turnovers.

All USC as they rebounded from the BC upset with a trouncing of Oregon State. The Trojans played great third down defense and eventually turned it into a rout.


A very good Saturday here with a 7-3 college ledger plus the very unexpected winner on my A’s Under 88.5 future. Absolute shocker that a ticket with no shot to get cashed gets cashed. As for the colleges, business as usual. Missed with Syracuse and Cal, ended up with a push and a loss on San Diego State (played early at -17 and then again at -17.5 later). Everything else won and I’ve had all winning weeks in college so far.

My NFL card will be thin, with just two games as it currently stands. One of those will be posted here as the daily free play.

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Wrong side with Syracuse as the Saturday free play, which was unfortunate as it was such a good day for me overall. Let’s see about a better result with today’s NFL comp.

09/28 10:00 AM   NFL   (261) DETROIT LIONS  at  (262) NEW YORK JETS

Take: (262) NEW YORK JETS +1.5

I never really know how to bill a team like the Jets. One can argue that the fact they’re 1-2 when they could easily be 3-0 indicates they’re  a bad team. Or maybe they’re just underachievers. Either way, there is zero question in my mind that this team should be sporting a winning record right now. That’s kind of the rub here, as I’m asking a team that is entirely capable of screwing this up to play to its potential.

The Jets obliterated the Raiders every way except with the final score in Week One. They had Green Bay on the canvas in Week Two, with a huge lead, and they managed to lose that game. This past Monday, the Jets were clearly superior to Chicago, but botched it when it mattered most and ended up with the loss.

I’m hoping the Jets learned their lesson on Monday. This team is going to be solid if they play power football and don’t ask Geno Smith to do what he’s currently not capable of doing. The defense is strong, and there’s no reason I can see other than the coaching that this team can’t be a +.500 entry.

As for the Lions, I’m not convinced of anything. Good work in Week One, but that was against Giants team that is not nearly as dangerous as the one we’ve started to see the last couple of weeks. Detroit picked up its other win last week and they looked pretty good against the Packers. But it’s also true that Green Bay looked pretty bad in that game as well. The one Lions road test to date was a fairly substantial loss at Carolina.

There’s no mystery for me here. I have the Jets as the better team, and if they can for once not be their own worst enemy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t win this. I don’t agree with the line on the game, and feel it’s a public perception number off the Monday night loss and the Jets now being 1-2. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got an open mind on the Lions and I might change my view of this team if they win here. But the setup seems right to me for the hosts, and for what it’s worth, the Jets will be the sharp side in this contest. I see the Jets as absolutely playable as long as they’re the dog.