Posted: 11:31 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
By Keith M. Scheessele
6-0! Disastrous Week 3 (2-10), razor thin margins Week 4(5-4), and now a 6-0 Week 5 that has me wondering if I should ask for a cut. More than likely you'll blow it on the upcoming American League and National League playoffs, so before you go banking on Nelson Cruz to be the Nelson Cruz of old, read this. Our momentum is David Fluellen running downhill, Jordan Lynch running it up on the Big Ten, Travis Greene making Akron look like Akron. The only thing better than money earned is money won. Let's make some more. Your Week 6 picks:
The Cardinals invade Charlottesville 4-1 and 2-0 in MAC play following a 31-24 victory over MAC West rival Toledo. The offense delivered what we have come to expect, huge numbers. Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning topped 300 yards for the fifth consecutive game. Wenning and Oregon State's Sean Mannion are the only FBS quarterbacks to accomplish this feat. The Cardinals also scored on their opening drive for the fifth straight game, the only FBS school to do so. Jahwan Edwards showed no sign of slowing down in his second game back from sitting out with concussion like symptoms. Edwards rushed for 89 yards and three scores. Cards will need to continue to click on offense against the Cavaliers stout, nationally recognized defense. This will be the best defense the Cardinals come across this year. How delicious would a win over an ACC school be? Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale on tap delicious. That's how delicious.
The Eagles were off last week after being blown out at home September 21st against Ball State. These last two weeks it could easily be argued the hottest head coaching seats in football belonged to USC's Lane Kiffin, Charley Molnar of UMass, Paul Pasqualoni of UConn and Eastern's Ron English. Kiffin's gone, after an uninspired effort against Arizona State, and Pasqualoni is looking for work after Buffalo ran it up on the Huskies, and covered, as home underdogs. Buffalo could send a second coach to the ranks of the unemployed as English already has a foot out of the door. Bronson Hill putting up big numbers against the Bulls 110th ranked defense will be critical. Expect to see those numbers, but the Eagles wrote the book on red zone inefficiency. Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata doesn't take a lot of chances down field, but is consistent enough to exploit the Eastern Michigan defense. Take the Bulls, lay the points.
In four losses this year Miami has been outscored 157-35. The defense yields 550 yards a game while offensively averages just 173 a contest. Central Michigan isn't overwhelming better, but has shown flashes of competency this season. Freshman Cooper Rush is settling in as the Chip's starting quarterback and Saylor Lavallii has shown he is capable to tallying big numbers against teams especially bad against the run. Lavallii went for 93 yards against New Hampshire and a staggering 144 yards against Toledo two weeks ago. That Central Michigan is getting so few points in this game leads me to believe Vegas know something I don't. Nah, nevermind. Take the Chips, lay the points.
Ohio is opening MAC play 3-1 two weeks after dispatching Austin Peay 38-0. Ohio covered a huge 30 point spread in that game, and Tyler Tettleton has shown himself to be an above average quarterback in a league full of talent. Tettleton will inflate his stats against the Zips. After playing Michigan down to the wire, Akron fell flat last week against Bowling Green. The Falcons moved the ball with ease against the Zips, utilizing a balanced attack in a 31-14 win. Travis Greene shredded the ball for 142 yards on the ground. Offensively Akron's 108 yards on the ground ranks just 108th nationally. The Zips are second to last in the MAC in red zone efficiency. Jump on this early, expect that spread to go. Take the Bobcats lay the points.
The Broncos are still looking for their first win of the season a week after being roughed up by Kent State. Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen completed just 11 of 23 passes for 159 yards and was picked off twice. WMU ranks last in the conference in turnover margin. Toledo is a different story. The Rockets dropped a tight one to Ball State a week ago, a tough loss for a team that figured to be in the conversation for a MAC West title this year. Running back David Fluellen is the class of the MAC this year. Fluellen rushes for nearly six yards a carry and averages 158 all purpose yards a game for Toledo. Quarterback Terrance Owens has been less reliable. The senior quarterback has thrown five interceptions versus three touchdowns this season. Toledo is on the war path after a loss to Ball State in a game they could've won. Take the Rockets, lay the points.
Minus an early season hiccup at Indiana, this Bowling Green offense has been prolific. The Falcons have averaged 38.5 points in four wins this season. Sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson has already thrown for over 1200 yards. Sophomore Travis Greene is second only David Fluellen at 110 rushing yards a game. UMass on the other hand is a team in turmoil. The highly publicized "improper treatment of current players" from head coach Charley Molnar has many wondering how long it will be before the Minutemen are seeking a new head coach. Either way, UMass doesn't have a lot cooking. Lack of talent on either side of the ball and an aggressive non conference schedule has the Minutemen at 0-4 and staring at the possibility of 0-5. An ugly 0-5. Take the Falcons, lay the points.
Newly minted #23 ranked Northern Illinois, a week after dismantling Purdue, opens MAC play Saturday at Kent State. The Huskies notched their second victory over a Big Ten opponent, ruining homecoming for the Boilers, in the 55-14 victory. The offensive machine that is Jordan Lynch and company is well documented. Lynch completes 65 percent of his passes and has a 5 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio. We knew this offense would be near the top in the MAC. The defense is not. NIU allows over 330 yards through the air. Kent State will push that porous secondary to the limit. Redshirt freshman Colin Reardon has proven to be more than capable under center for the Golden Flashes. This is a good opening test for the Huskies. Expect a shootout Saturday night in Kent. Take KSU and the points.