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Big Games

 

Welcome to our big game page. Each week we will post previews of some of the bigger games for the NFL and CFB. Usually, there will be longer previews of two games and a shorter preview of a few others.

 

 

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-2 SU, 0-2-1 PS, 1-2-0 O/U) vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1 SU, 2-0-0 PS, 1-1-0 O/U)

When: 12:20 PM EDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Lines: Georgia Tech -7.5

Total: 60

Today on the NFL gridiron, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will look for revenge from a 37-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers on the road last year when they host them here at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Pittsburgh comes in off a 59-21 home loss to Oklahoma State, while Georgia Tech had an unexpected bye week due to Hurricane Irma. These teams met last year and the Panthers won a thrilling game by a score of 37-34.  

Panthers Can’t Stop Oklahoma State’s Offense

The Pittsburgh Panthers took on the Oklahoma State Cowboys this past week and money continually came in on Pittsburgh as many felt they could keep the game close. Well, their defense didn’t get the Memo as they were shredded for 715 yards in the 59-21 loss to the Cowboys. They really had no answer for Mason Rudolph, who hit 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards and five TDs against them. Good thing that they are facing a ground attack in this one, but that may also not be good as the Yellow Jackets ran for 241 yards on them last year and 376 yards against them the year before. In fact, we note that the Yellow Jackets have averaged 339.5 ypg on the ground in their last four games in this series. The Pittsburgh defense really has its work cut out for it in this one. The offense didn’t have a good game against the Cowboys either as they put up just 391 yards of total offense, including 103 yards on the ground. They were 28th in the nation in rushing last year and the loss of James Connor will really hurt their ground attack this year. The onus of the team falls on the arms of Max Browne and Ben Dinucci, but both have not looked good in the early going.   

The Panthers have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 97th in the nation in total offense (360.3 ypg), 83rd in passing (205.0 ypg), 84th in rushing (155.3 ypg) and 109th in scoring at 21.0 ppg. On defense, they have been very poor so far as they come in ranked 117th in total yards allowed (481.7 ypg), 127th against the pass (349.0 ypg) and 57th vs the run (132.7 ypg), while allowing 37.7 ppg, which is 119th in the nation.

Jackets Bounce Back From Tough Loss To the Vols

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Tennessee Volunteers played a classic game in their opener, which the Vols won 42-41 in OT. Georgia Tech had a 28-14 lead with just 1:51 left in the game, but the Vols got two late TDs to tie the game and then eventually won it in OT. That was a very tough loss for the Yellow Jackets to take, but they did bounce back in their next game as they took down Jacksonville State by a score of 37-10. It was against an FCS foe, but after the first game against the Vols, they needed a win to get some confidence back. The Jackets have been led by their ground attack the last few years and they have run over Pittsburgh the last four years, but they had just 210 yards on the ground in their win over Jacksonville State and this is after they ran for 535 yards on Tennessee in their opener. I would look for them to get their ground attack going in this one. Against the Vols they allowed just 369 yards and followed that up by giving up just 189 yards to JVS, so this defense is playing pretty well in the early going and will look to keep it going against A Pittsburgh offense that has struggled the last two weeks. The Yellow Jacks had an unexpected bye last week thanks to Hurricane Irma, so they are well rested for this game.

Georgia Tech comes into this contest ranked 31st in the nation in total offense (488.5 ypg), 123rd in passing (116.0 ypg), 1st in rushing (372.5 ypg) and 33rd in scoring at 39.0 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 23rd in total yards allowed (279.0 ypg), 18th against the pass (147.0 ypg) and 55th vs the run (132.0 ypg), while allowing 26.0 ppg, which is 75th in the land.

 


 

USC Trojans (3-0 SU, 1-2-0 PS, 2-1-0 O/U) vs California Golden Bears (3-0 SU, 2-1-0 PS, 1-2-0 O/U)

When: 3:30 PM EDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

Lines: USC -17

Total: 64.5

Saturday afternoon on the college gridiron and a pair of Pac-12 foes will square off as the USC Trojans will rumble with the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. The Trojans come in off a thrilling 27-24 double-OT win over Texas, while the Golden Bears beat Ole Miss at home by a score of 27-16. Last year at L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Trojans won by a score of 45-24.

Trojans Win A Thriller Against Texas

Back in the 20o6 Rose Bowl, the Trojans and Longhorns hooked up in what many feel is one of the greatest games ever, which the Longhorns won by a score of 41-38. Well, the game this past Saturday wasn’t as high-scoring, but it was still wrought with a ton of drama in a 27-41 win over the Trojans in double-OT. The game was tight through and Texas had taken a 17-14 lead with just 45 seconds left in regulation, but the Men of Troy marched down for a tying FG to send the game to OT. The teams then traded TDs, before Texas fumbled and USC went on to win it on an FG. The defense for the Trojans really played well for much of the game as they held a powerful Texas offense to just 366 yards of total offense, including just 68 yards on the ground.  They did allow 298 through the air and will have to clean that in this one as they face a very good passing attack of the Bears. The offense had its issues vs the Longhorns, but still, they put up 468 yards of total offense, including 397 yards through the air. Sam Darnold had a decent game as he hit 28 of 49 passes for 397 yards with three TDs and two INTs. He could have a good game against a weak pass defense of the Bears.   

On offense, the Trojans have been very strong so far as they come in ranked 13th in the nation in total offense (537.3 ypg), 15th in passing (334.0 ypg), 40th in rushing (203.3 ypg) and 31st in scoring at 39.3 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 57th in total yards allowed (355.0 ypg), 43rd against the pass (188.0 ypg) and 90th vs the run (167.0 ypg), while allowing 26.3 ppg, which is 77th in the nation.

Defense Steps Up Against The Rebels

The California Golden Bears had loads of troubles on the defensive side of the ball last year and those issues followed them through the first two games of the season. The Mississippi Rebels then came to town with their top-ranked passing attack in the nation and while they did allow 363 yards passing in the game, they also held Ole Miss to just 16 points and picked off three passes. The Bears also held them to just 53 yards on the ground and five of 17 (29%) on 3rd-down. A very good defensive effort against a very good offense. They will now have to figure out how to defense another very good offense, especially since the Trojans put up 629 yards of total offense on them last year, including 398 on the ground. The Bears really have their work cut out for them in this game. The Trojans have had some issues on defense this year and that has to give a decent Cal offense hope that they can finally get their offense cranked up. They put up just 400 yards of total offense last week, including just 233 yards through the air and they will need more from their passing games, especially since they threw for 333 yards in last year’s game and still lost by 21 points. Ross Bowers has thrown for 799 yards and five TDs this year so far, but he also has four picks and needs to take better care of the ball if he wants to pull the upset here.      

The Golden Bears have been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 47th in the nation in total offense (450.0 ypg), 34th in passing (281.5 ypg), 66th in rushing (168.5 ypg) and 55th in scoring at 34.0 ppg. On defense, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 121st in total yards allowed (538.0 ypg), 120th against the pass (326.0 ypg) and 96th vs the run (187.0 ypg), while allowing just 25.0 ppg, which is 68th in the land.

 


 

Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0 SU, 1-2-0 PS, 1-2-0 O/U) vs Vanderbilt Commodores (3-0 SU, 2-1-0 PS, 0-3-0 O/U)

When: 3:30 PM EDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee

Lines: Alabama -18.5

Total: 43

A little Southeastern Conference college football action on Saturday afternoon and the Alabama Crimson Tide will duke it out with the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Crimson Tide are off a 41-23 home win over Colorado State, while the Commodores check in off a 14-7 upset win at home over Kansas State. These teams last met in 2011 and it was in Tuscaloosa. The Tide won that game 34-0.

Alabama Holds Off Late Charge By Colorado State

The Alabama Crimson Tide are again ranked atop the college football world, but they have really looked very average so far. They haven’t allowed many points, but they have allowed more yards than they have been used to giving up. Last week, they took on Colorado state at home and had a 41-10 lead in the game at one point, but the Rams made a nice run at the Tide and the final score was 41-23. The defense and offense just stopped playing for the Tide and they have to be a bit concerned about that. The Rams were able to put up 397 yards of total offense, including 144 yards on the ground and that has to be a shock as they were first in the nation in run defense last year, allowing just 63.9 ypg on the ground. The good news for them in this one is that they are not facing a very good offensive team, so their defense could look its normal self. The bad news is that their offense hasn’t looked great so far and the Vanderbilt defense has looked great. They did put up 487 yards, including 239 on the ground against the Rams, but the defense they will face in this one will be much tougher. The Tide really need to get it together on both sides of the ball. Maybe not for this game, but as the season goes on or someone will beat them. Luckily for them, they have Nick Saban at the helm, so they will be just fine in the long run.    

On offense, the Crimson Tide have been average so far as they come in ranked 64th in the nation in total offense (417.7 ypg), 107th in passing (178.7 ypg), 25th in rushing (239.0 ypg) and 44th in scoring at 35.3 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 38th in total yards allowed (309.3 ypg), 64th against the pass (224.3 ypg) and 10th vs the run (85.0 ypg), while allowing 13.3 ppg, which is 16th in the nation.

Vandy’s Defense Gives Them A Chance

The Vanderbilt Commodores will not win many games with their offense, although it is improved over last year. Still, it is their defense that gives them a great chance of going to a bowl game and it will be their defense that gives them a chance of keeping this game close. Last week, they took on a high-scoring Kansas State squad and held them to just seven points on just 277 yards of total offense. They won the game 14-7. In their opener, they took out MTSU, who had one of the best offenses in the nation last year by a score of 28-6 and allowed them just 240 yards of total offense. This defense is for real and will have another test slowing down an Alabama offense that can explode at any time. The Commodores have needed all that defense as their offense has not been great. Kyle Shurmur has hit 71% of his passes for 703 yards with eight TDs and no INTs. Those are solid numbers and the passing game has looked better than last year’s edition, but the ground game has been awful and they will need much more balance if they hope to take down the Tide. Still, it will be their defense that gives them the best chance to win.   

Vanderbilt enters this contest ranked 104th in the nation in total offense (347.7 ypg), 58th in passing (242.7 ypg), 112th in rushing (105.0 ypg) and 81st in scoring at 28.0 ppg. On defense, they have been very strong so far as they come in ranked 4th in total yards allowed (206.7 ypg), 1st against the pass (95.3 ypg) and 32nd vs the run (111.3 ypg), while allowing just 4.3 ppg, which is 1st in the land.

 


 

TCU Horned Frogs (3-0 SU, 1-2-0 PS, 1-2-0 O/U) vs Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0 SU, 3-0-0 PS, 2-1-0 O/U)

When: 3:30 PM EDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Lines: Oklahoma State -12

Total: 71

A huge matchup within the Big 12 Conference this afternoon as the TCU Horned Frogs rumble with the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. TCU comes in off a 56-36 win over SMU at home, while the Cowboys are off a 59-21 rout of the Pitt Panthers on the road. Last year, Oklahoma State went into to TCU and handled them very easily as they won the game 31-6.

Horned Frogs Struggle One Defense Against SMU

The TCU Horned Frogs are looking like they will be a tough out in the Big 12 this year, but they have some questions on defense and that is not good news as they are about to face one of the best offenses in the nation. Last week that defense really struggled against the SMU Mustangs as they allowed 36 points one on 463 yards of total offense, including 363 through the air. They will have to be far better than that in this one if they hope to hogtie the high-powered Oklahoma State offense. They have seven players back on that side of the ball and have the top rated LB corps and top-rated secondary in the league, but it didn’t look that way last week. The offense has back 10 starters this year and they have looked very good so far. They rolled up 619 yards against the Mustangs and they will need their offense to have a really good game in this one as the Cowboys figure to get their points. Kenny Hill is the QB and he threw for 365 yards with four TDs and no INTs against the Mustangs and will look for another big game in this one. They have plenty of weapons as 10 players caught at least one pass that went at least 10 yards in the win over the Mustangs.   

The Horned Frogs have been very strong on offense so far as they come in ranked 19th in the nation in total offense (507.3 ypg), 40th in passing (277.0 ypg), 29th in rushing (230.3 ypg) and 7th in scoring at 49.0 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 15th in total yards allowed (265.0 ypg), 34th against the pass (172.7 ypg) and 19th vs the run (92.3 ypg), while allowing 14.3 ppg, which is 22nd in the nation.

Mason Rudolph Is Off To A Great Start

All the talk in the Big 12 is about how good the Sooners are and with good reason, especially after crushing Ohio State on the road a couple of weeks ago. Well, don’t discount the Oklahoma State Cowboys as they are a very good team, with perhaps the best offense in the nation. That Offense has been on full display so far and has been led by Mason Rudolph, who is off to a great start. Last week, he faced the Pitt Panthers and he had a great game as he threw for 497 yards with five TDs and just one INT. For the year now he has hit 72.3% of 1135 yards with 11 TDs and just one INT. THe defenses will get a bit better once he enters league play, but still, I just don’t see him being stopped this year. The Cowboys rung up 715 yards overall, including 572 through the air and will now take on a TCU defense that nearly allowed 400 yards passing to SMU last week. The defense has also played well for the Cowboys this year and they did hold Pittsburgh to just 103 yards on the ground and 391 yards overall. They will be tested a bit more in this one against a very good TCU offense. This will be a fun one to watch.

Oklahoma State enters this contest ranked 2nd in the nation in total offense (620.0 ypg), 7th in passing (407.3 ypg), 35th in rushing (212.7 ypg) and 4th in scoring at 54.0 ppg. On defense, they have been decent so far as they come in ranked 45th in total yards allowed (332.7 ypg), 53rd against the pass (203.3 ypg) and 50th vs the run (129.3 ypg), while allowing just 17.3 ppg, which is 34th in the land.

 


 

Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0 SU, 2-0-1 PS, 1-2-0 O/U) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0 SU, 1-2-0 PS, 1-2-0 O/U)

When: 7:30 PM EDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa

Lines: Penn State -12.5

Total: 52.5

Tonight on the CFB gridiron, a pair of Big 10 rivals will hookup as the Penn State Nittany Lions travel to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa to rumble with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Penn State enters this game off a 56-0 rout of Georgia State, while the Hawkeyes are off a 31-14 win over North Texas. The Hawkeyes have some revenge on their minds for this game after falling 41-14 at Happy Valley last year.

Penn State Cruises Past Georgia State

The Nittany Lions were a surprise team last year as they won the Big 10 Title and this year they have a chance to be even better. They have a solid offense that has nine starters back from last year and a defense that rates as one of the best in the Big 10. Last week they showed off both their offense and defense in a 56-0 romp over Georgia State. That defense has now thrown two shutouts in their first three weeks. In the win over Georgia State, they allowed the Panthers 320 yards of offense and allowed them to convert on 11 of 21 3rd down attempts, but they also forced two fumbles and picked off three passes. The Lions lost the time of possession battle 38:47 to 21:13, but still won the game by 56. Incredible. The offense is off to a good start and the offense had a good game against the Panthers as they rolled up 526 yards of total offense, including 360 yards through the air. Trace McSorley had a big game as he threw for 309 yards and four TDs in the win. RB Saquon Barkley had just 47 yards rushing in the game, but he also caught four passes for 142 yards and a TD. The Lions have yet to face a good defense until this game, so it will be interesting to see how they will fare against a much tougher Big 10 defense.

The Nittany Lions have been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 41st in the nation in total offense (469.0 ypg), 37th in passing (282.0 ypg), 52nd in rushing (187.0 ypg) and 12th in scoring at 47.0 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 22nd in total yards allowed (273.7 ypg), 19th against the pass (147.7 ypg) and 48th vs the run (126.0 ypg), while allowing just 4.7 ppg, which is 2nd in the nation.

Defense Rebounds In Win Over North Texas

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had a solid start to their year as they are 3-0 so far. Their defense has played very well in their opener as they held the Josh Allen-led Wyoming Cowboys to just three points in a 24-3 with. The next week they beat an in-state rival, Iowa State, but it wasn’t due to their defense as they won the game 44-41 in OT. Iowa State had a 10 point lead in the game, but Iowa never gave up and fought to tie the game with just 1:09 left in regulation. Iowa State then got an FG in OT while Iowa came back with a TD to win it. They allowed 478 yards of total offense in the game, including 347 through the air. Last week, that defense got back on track as they allowed North Texas just 305 total yards in the game. They did allow 6.6 yards per carry on 17 rushes and 117 yards on the ground in the game, but still, it was a very good effort from their defense overall and they will need another big effort in this one against a very good Penn State offense. The offense for the Hawkeyes looked very average in their wins over Wyoming and North Texas and it will have to be far better in this one against the best defense in the Big 12. They did run the ball well against North Texas as they ran for 238 yards and they will need to do the same in this one or it could be a long night.     

Iowa enters this contest ranked 78th in the nation in total offense (398.3 ypg), 75th in passing (218.3 ypg), 60th in rushing (180.0 ypg) and 54th in scoring at 33.0 ppg. On defense, they have been decent so far as they come in ranked 47th in total yards allowed (338.7 ypg), 75th against the pass (238.0 ypg) and 26th vs the run (100.7 ypg), while allowing just 19.3 ppg, which is 40th in the land.

EAST COAST SPORTS ANALYSIS REPORT

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