"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NFL WEEK THREE PICKS

I suffered one of my worst prediction weeks ever, but I probably wasn't alone. There were some stunners and frankly, I'm still  just under .500. This week's games begin with a good one from the NFC East.

Last Week: 5 - 11
Overall: 15 - 17

Washington (1 - 1) 24 @ New York Giants (0 - 2) 20: (From a previous post) The NFC East is suddenly more interesting, given the injuries to the Cowboys' top two offensive players and the slow start by the Eagles. The other two teams in the division do battle tonight in the Meadowlands. The Redskins lost in week one to a decent Miami team on a punt return for a touchdown, then surprised many with a strong performance against the Rams, who were coming off a big victory over Seattle. The Giants could easily be 2 - 0, blowing two big fourth quarter leads to Dallas and Atlanta. That being said, Eli Manning isn't getting the ball down the field and I think Washington's defense is pretty good. If Kirk Cousins can create some big plays, the 'Skins could make it tough for New York to score enough points to pull out a win. This is a fierce rivalry, as most of them are in this division. Wide receivers DeSean Jackson of Washington and Victor Cruz for the Giants are both out of this game due to injury. Those are a couple of big weapons that will be on the sidelines, which will put more pressure on the quarterbacks to make some plays. I think the difference will be the ability of the Redskins' defense to stifle the Giants, who are three point favorites because they're playing at home.




Cincinnati (2 – 0) 20 @ Baltimore (0 – 2) 23 : The Ravens laid an egg in Oakland last week and while the Bengals haven’t lost, they haven’t been particularly impressive. I like the Ravens to get in the win column at home today.

Oakland (1 – 1) 24 @ Cleveland (1 – 1) 27: The Raiders finally hit the road and head to Cleveland, where Johnnie Manziel will return to back up duty after leading the Browns to a win last week.

New Orleans (0 – 2) 21 @ Carolina (2 – 0) 27: Is it possible for the Saints to be 0 – 3, continuing the demise of the Drew Brees era? Pretty much.

Atlanta (2 – 0) 23 @ Dallas (2 – 0) 27: The Cowboys are without their top two offensive players and host a rejuvenated Falcons team. Dallas is just trying to stay afloat until QB Tony Roma and WR Dez Bryant return from injury.  Brandon Wheeden replaces Romo and needs to be much more effective than he was last year.

Tampa Bay (1 – 1) 20 @ Houston (0 – 2) 24: Jameis Winston got his first win as a pro last week at New Orleans. Now he heads a little farther west to see if he can make it two in a row. I think Houston will get on the board this week.

Indianapolis (0 – 2) 27 @ Tennessee (1 – 1) 23:  You have to think that the Colts will get this figured out eventually, don’t you? Maybe they can do it against a rookie QB.

Jacksonville (1 – 1) 17 @ New England (2 – 0) 30: Brady has the Pats on a roll and I don’t expect them to stub their toe at home.

San Diego (1 – 1) 24 @ Minnesota (1 – 1) 28: The Chargers are flying a little under the radar, but the Vikes seem to have gotten back in offensive synch.

Philadelphia (0 – 2) 17 @ New York Jets (2 – 0) 20: It’s hard to believe that the Eagles would start out 0 – 3, but it’s also tough to think that the Jets could be 3 – 0. Decisions, decisions!

Pittsburgh (1 – 1)27 @ St. Louis (1 – 1) 24: The Steelers can put up some points and I think they’ll be able to score enough to get out of St. Louis with an important win.

San Francisco (1 – 1) 17 @ Arizona (2 – 0) 27: When Carson Palmer is healthy, which he is, the Cardinals are among the best teams in the league. The 49ers were exposed against the Steelers and I doubt  the home team will be defeated.

Buffalo (1 – 1) 24 @ Miami (1 – 1) 20: This is the Bills’ first road game under Rex Ryan. The Dolphins were surprised by the Jags last week and both of these teams need to win if they hope to contend in the AFC East.

Chicago (0 – 2) 16 @ Seattle (0 – 2) 27: The Seahawks faced a brutal schedule in their first two games. They return home, and with safety Kam Chancellor.

Denver (2 – 0) 31 @ Detroit (0 – 2) 27: Can the Broncos continue to win despite a diminished Peyton Manning? I guess we’ll find out.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 4 PICKS



Last Week: 21 – 5
Overall: 66 - 13


(21) Stanford (2 – 1) 27 @ Oregon State (2 – 1) 23: Which Stanford is real? The one that scorched USC for 41 points last week, or the one that laid an egg at Northwestern to start the season? And how about the Beavers? An embarrassing opening loss to FCS Portland State, then a cross country win over Rutgers.  I’ll take Stanford, but wouldn’t be shocked by an upset by the home team.

(8) LSU (2 – 0) 31 @ Syracuse (3 – 0) 21: The Orange have  been below the radar for so long they might as well be called the Yellow Submarines. Once a perennial contender in the Big East, Syracuse hasn’t challenged for any titles in close to a decade. A fast start against a mediocre slate, however, has them looking for an upset in the Carrier Dome. LSU has been impressive in wins over SEC West foes Mississippi  State and Auburn. Is this a trap game for the Tigers?

(20) Ga. Tech (2 – 1) 30 @ Duke (2 – 1 24): Both of these teams were roughed up last week and need to regroup in a big ACC Coastal match-up. With Virginia Tech looking good after a road win at Purdue, the loser of this game will probably need to upend the Hokies to stay in the race. Unfortunately the Blue Devils don’t gain much of an advantage in their poor excuse for a Division I venue  at dilapidated Wallace Wade Stadium. I like Ga. Tech to bounce back.

Southern (2 – 1) 27 @ (7) Georgia (3 – 0) 51: The Bulldogs need to pay attention to this game. Southern put up 50 on the same team that took Auburn to overtime a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think they’ll lose, but peaking ahead to next week’s game against Alabama could be dangerous.

(22) BYU (2 -1) 27 @ Michigan (2 -1) 24:  I have to applaud BYU on a great non-conference schedule. They’ve taken on Nebraska in Lincoln, Boise State and then traveled to UCLA. Now they head to Ann Arbor and the Big House to face Jim Harbaugh’s squad. This is probably going to be a great game, and more importantly a gauge of where Michigan’s program is. I’ve watched all of BYU’s games and I think they ‘ll pull this one out.

Central Michigan (1 – 2) 20 @ (2) Michigan State (3 – 0) 30: The MAC  already has a couple of high profile performances this season. Despite a 1 – 2 record, the Chippewas’ losses are to undefeated Oklahoma State and Syracuse for Big Five conferences. I expect this game to be closer than some might think, but the Spartans’ defense should make it difficult on CMU.

Rice (2 – 1) 31 @ (5) Baylor (2 – 0) 51: The Owls couldn’t stay with Texas, so it’s probably impossible that they have a shot against the Bears.

(24) Oklahoma State (3 – 0) 27 @ Texas (1 – 2) 30: Now that Oklahoma State is through beating up on a lousy non-conference schedule, we’ll get to see if they’re worthy of their ranking. I don’t think so and Texas has been tested much more this season than the Cowboys. I’m going against the grain here and picking the Longhorns to expose Oklahoma State and restore some confidence in coach Charlie Strong.

Western Michigan (1 – 2) 17 @ (1) Ohio State (3 – 0) 37: Ohio State should win this one behind Cardale Jones at QB. The Broncos gave Michigan State a good game in week one, but won’t be able to keep up with the Buckeyes.

Massachusetts (0 – 2) 14 @ (6) Notre Dame (3 – 0) 34: Notre Dame gets a rare breather this week. They deserve it after starting 3 – 0 despite a rash of injuries.

La. Monroe (1 – 1) 13 @ (12) Alabama (2 – 1) 31: The Tide need a week to regroup after a wild loss to Ole Miss. This one shouldn’t pose much of a problem for Nick Saban’s team.

(3) TCU (3 – 0) 34 @ Texas Tech (3 – 0) 27: The Red Raiders stunned Arkansas last week and we’ll get a chance to see just how much they’ve improved from last year’s 4 – 8 team. Kliff Kinsgsbury’s guys might be a year away though.

Vanderbilt (1 – 2) 13 @ (3) Ole Miss (3 – 0) 37: Ole Miss has a little easier test than last week before continuing the SEC West gauntlet.

(14) Texas A&M (3 – 0) 27 vs. Arkansas (1 – 2) 28 (Arlington, TX): The Razorbacks were embarrassed the last couple of weeks and need to change their defensive scheme to stay with the Aggies. For some reason, I think they will.

(25) Missouri (3 – 0) 17 @ Kentucky (2 – 1) 27: I think Missouri is a total pretender and Kentucky is on the rise. I think the Tigers are in for a tough day in Lexington.

(9) UCLA (3 – 0) 34 @ (16) Arizona (3 – 0) 31: This is one of the more intriguing games of the week. UCLA will have to rely on freshman QB Josh Rosen to be able to produce enough points to beat a prolific Wildcat offense. However, Arizona is largely untested.  I’m tempted to go with the home team, but I’m looking for the Bruins to win a close one.

Hawaii (2 – 1) 20 @ (22) Wisconsin (2 – 1) 28: Wisconsin should prevail, but the Rainbows under Norm Chow are an improved team.

Ball State (2 – 1) 10 @ (17) Northwestern (3 – 0) 27: Can Northwestern stay focused and beat a team they’re supposed to defeat easily? Their defense is among the best in the nation so far.

(18) Utah (3 – 0) 30 @ (13) Oregon (2 – 1) 37:  One of the best games of the week. I haven’t been impressed with the Ducks’ defense so far this season, but they can still put up a ton of points.

(19) USC (2 – 1) 31 @ Arizona State (2 – 1) 27: Both teams have had a little bit of a disappointing start, especially USC after losing to Stanford last week. The Trojans were my pick to represent the Pac-12 in the playoffs, so I’ll stay with them for another week.

Virginia Tech (2 – 1) 34 @ East Carolina (1 – 2) 20: This has turned into a big rivalry game and last year the Pirates upset the Hokies after they had shocked Ohio State. But ECU isn’t nearly as good this year and Tech has a chance for a special year, particularly with Georgia Tech and Duke looking vulnerable in the ACC Coastal.


Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.




Thursday, September 24, 2015

NFL THURSDAY NIGHT PICK

I suffered one of my worst prediction weeks ever, but I probably wasn't alone. There were some stunners and frankly, I'm still  just under .500. This week's games begin with a good one from the NFC East.

Last Week: 5 - 11
Overall: 15 - 17

Washington (1 - 1) 24 @ New York Giants (0 - 2) 20: The NFC East is suddenly more interesting, given the injuries to the Cowboys' top two offensive players and the slow start by the Eagles. The other two teams in the division do battle tonight in the Meadowlands. The Redskins lost in week one to a decent Miami team on a punt return for a touchdown, then surprised many with a strong performance against the Rams, who were coming off a big victory over Seattle. The Giants could easily be 2 - 0, blowing two big fourth quarter leads to Dallas and Atlanta. That being said, Eli Manning isn't getting the ball down the field and I think Washington's defense is pretty good. If Kirk Cousins can create some big plays, the 'Skins could make it tough for New York to score enough points to pull out a win. This is a fierce rivalry, as most of them are in this division. Wide receivers DeSean Jackson of Washington and Victor Cruz for the Giants are both out of this game due to injury. Those are a couple of big weapons that will be on the sidelines, which will put more pressure on the quarterbacks to make some plays. I think the difference will be the ability of the Redskins' defense to stifle the Giants, who are three point favorites because they're playing at home.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.




Sunday, September 20, 2015

NFL WEEK TWO PICKS

Last Week: 10 - 6
Overall: 10 - 6

There are some surprising 0 - 1 teams that are trying to avoid going down to defeat in their opening pair of games. Starting the season 0 - 2 is difficult to rebound from, especially if one of those losses is to an undefeated division foe. Dallas could take a big step in burying the Eagles with a win in Philadelphia today. There are some other interesting divisional match-ups, but they don't have the same feeling of urgency as what faces Philadelphia today. In other contests, you would have to think the Seahawks need to win at Green Bay, no small feat. The Giants have their backs to a wall after blowing a sure thing against the Cowboys. Let's look at the games.

Thursday Night (from a previous post):

Denver (1 - 0) 23 @ Kansas City (1 - 0) 24 : These teams are probably going to battle it out for AFC West supremacy this season. Both sport ferocious pass rushes, but the similarity ends there. Peyton Manning of the Broncos is one of the all time great quarterbacks on the tail end of his magnificent career. Alex Smith, the Chiefs signal caller, while not spectacular, manages the game well and for the most part avoids turnovers. Manning longest completion in week one against a tough Raven defense was eighteen yards. I'm not sure that will get the job done tonight in a very raucous stadium in Kansas City. The home team figures to win these match-ups, so I'll go with the Chiefs in a tight game.

Sunday:

Houston (0 - 1) 24 @ Carolina (1 - 0) 20: Ryan Mallett replaced Brian Hoyer at QB for the Texans after three quarters in week one's loss to Kansas City. The Panthers beat a dismal Jacksonville team but will be facing a tougher defense this week. I like the Texans to bounce back on the road.

San Francisco (1 - 0) 24 @ Pittsburgh (0 - 1) 27: The 'Niners pretty much surprised everyone with their intensity on defense Monday night against the Vikings. The Steelers squandered a lot of chances in their opening loss in New England. Pittsburgh has had ten days to prepare at home.

Tampa Bay  (0 - 1) 17 @ New Orleans (0 - 1) 28: Jameis Winston had a rough start and it won't get much better this week, playing in the Superdome against a Saints team that is looking to get back to playoff form.

Detroit (0 - 1)  23 @ Minnesota (0 - 1) 28: I think the Vikes are better than they showed in San Jose last week. I look for them to get more production from Adrian Peterson.

Arizona (1 - 0) 27 @ Chicago (0 - 1) 24: Chicago made it a game late against the Packers, but they'll be playing an equally dangerous team today. When Carson Palmer is on his game, the Cardinals look like a Super Bowl contender.

New England (1 - 0) 20 @ Buffalo (1 - 0) 23: This is on of the big games of the week. Rex Ryan's Buffalo defense made the Colts' Andrew Luck look average and the Patriots escaped with a win over the Steelers. I'm going with the surprising Bills to continue their hot start.

San Diego (1 - 0) 27 @ Cincinnati (1 - 0) 28: The Bengals got a win in Oakland, but didn't look particularly good in the process. The Chargers outscored the Lions, but winning a close one on the road is a tougher task.

Tennessee (1 - 0) 24 @ Cleveland (0 - 1) 20: In another battle of Heisman winners, Marcus Mariotta leads the Titans into Cleveland to take on Johnnie Manziel and the Browns. I just don't think the second year QB is cut out for NFL success, unlike the rookie.

Atlanta (1 - 0) 27 @ New York Giants (0 - 1) 28: The Falcons held on to beat the Eagles, but I'm not yet sold that they're back to the level they were three years ago. Eli Manning will be looking to make up for his clock management gaffe last week.

St. Louis (1 - 0) 24 @ Washington (0 - 1) 21: I think the Rams are for real and the Redskins, well, they're not, even though it took a punt return for a TD for the Dolphins to pull out a victory in week one.

Miami (1 - 0) 20 @ Jacksonville (0 - 1) 13: The Dolphins are looking at contending for the division crown and a playoff bid. They can't squander games they're supposed to win if they want to hang with New England in a tough division.

Baltimore (0 - 1) 23 @ Oakland (0 - 1) 17: The Ravens lost a tough defensive struggle at Denver and now have to head back out west to take on the Raiders, a team many thought were on the road to improvement before the Bengals whacked them. I don't believe Oakland can score enough to win against a tough Baltimore defense.

Dallas (1 - 0) 27 @ Philadelphia (0 - 1) 30: The Cowboys were a little lucky to pull out a win in a game where they clearly outplayed the Giants. The Eagles need to win to keep from digging a big hole in the NFC East race. I like Chip Kelly to bounce back against Dallas.

Seattle (0 - 1) 19 @ Green Bay (1 - 0) 24: The Seahawks head to the midwest for the second week in a row, but still without safety Kam Chancellor. He is sorely needed against Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers.

Monday Night:

New York Jets (1 - 0) 24 @ Indianapolis (0 - 1) 28: After losing to Rex Ryan's current team, the Colts welcome his former one, another tough defensive foe. I find it hard to believe that QB Andrew Luck will have another poor performance, especially with an extra day to prepare.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.




Saturday, September 19, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK THREE PICKS

Thursday night:

(8) Clemson (2 - 0) 30 @ Louisville (0 - 2) 20 (from a previous post): Clemson hasn't been challenged in two games against what borders on no competition while Louisville opened with pair of losses to pretty good offensive football teams. My pick to win the ACC is in a virtual must win situation to try to salvage coach Bobby Petrino's season. The Cardinals have been unimpressive in losses to Auburn and Houston, a surprising setback. I can't stick with Louisville, even at home, particularly after the way Auburn played and almost lost to FCS Jacksonville State last week.

Friday night:

(9) Florida State (2 - 0) 34 @ Boston College (2 - 0) 21: The Eagles opened their season against not one, but two FCS teams, a disgraceful bit of scheduling by the Athletic Director, who should be ashamed at such a soft slate. I'm not generally a Florida State fan, but I hope they kick the tar out of Boston College for playing a couple of cupcakes while their peers are playing teams from the SEC and Big Ten. I like FSU anyway, as they've shaken off a couple of sluggish starts to win going away. Transfer QB Everett Golson is starting to get a handle on the offense and I look for continued improvement against the Eagles.

Saturday:

Connecticut (2 - 0) 20 @ (22) Missouri (2 - 0) 31: Another soft schedule by a major conference contender is the one being played by Missouri. In addition to dodging Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M from the SEC West, they've played SE Missouri State and Arkansas State. Meanwhile UConn has victories over FCS Villanova and woeful Army after going 2 - 10 last season. Really, Missouri? They'll win but I don't like their chances in the SEC this year.

Nevada (1 - 1) 24 @ (17) Texas A&M (2 - 0) 47: Nevada got smacked around a little by Arizona last week and the Aggies continued their momentum from an opening win by downing Ball State. I look for more of the same this week.

Tulsa (2 - 0) 17 @ (16) Oklahoma (2 - 0) 34: Tulsa has put some points on the board in their first two games, but they take a big step up in class this week. But the Sooners can't take the Golden Hurricane lightly in this intrastate clash.

Air Force (2 - 0) 27 @ (4) Michigan State (2 - 0) 37: This is a classic trap game for the Spartans. A decent Air Force team coming into East Lansing a week after the Spartans pulled off a big win over Oregon to vault into the playoff picture. But this isn't a good matchup for the Falcons, with their offense geared to run the ball, and Michigan State pretty much designed to defend the ground game. I wouldn't count out Air Force, but I like Michigan State to contend in the Big Ten so I'll give them the nod in a closer game than you might think.

(23) Northwestern (2 - 0) 20 @ Duke (2 - 0) 24: In their opener, Northwestern prevailed in the SAT Bowl, now they take on Duke in the ACT Classic, traveling to Durham as the twenty-third ranked team in the country. On a day that looks more like the ACC - Big Ten challenge, it's amazing that this game actually has national relevance. Duke is a little under the radar after a couple of impressive seasons, but coach David Cutliffe is having to replace a lot of starters, particularly on offense, and this will be big test of whether the Blue Devils can reload from year to year. If they can, a favorable league schedule could help them compete for a division title.

Georgia State (1 - 1) 17 @ (12) Oregon (1 - 1) 58: This should be a good bounce back game for the Ducks after a tough loss at Michigan State. The Panthers are giving up almost 500 yards a game to opponents who don't come close to the potency of the Oregon offense. This one won't be a contest for long.

(18) Auburn (2 - 0) 27 @ (13) LSU (1 - 0) 30: LSU escaped Starkville with a win over Mississippi State last week and now they get to host a disappointing Auburn team. The visitors are undefeated, but it really doesn't feel like it. A close win over now 0 - 2 Louisville lacks luster and an overtime win over a team they should have beaten by thirty has people doubting coach Gus Malzahn's troops. I was impressed with LSU's defense last week and I'll take them to keep rolling.

Northern Illinois (2 - 0) 17 @ (1) Ohio State (2 - 0) 45: NIU is a quality mid-major program, but I just don't see how they stay with Ohio State, no matter how confusing the Buckeyes' QB situation is. The Huskies might be able to stay in this game for a quarter, or maybe even the first half, but it will probably get away from them in the second half. Their defense just isn't good enough to make enough stops in this one.

Troy (1 - 1) 14 @ (24) Wisconsin (1 - 1) 45:Troy got drilled by NC State, a middle of the pack ACC team in their opener, so the Badgers should be able to get past the Trojans. Wisconsin's rushing stats are deceiving because they opened against Alabama, but with Troy's porous run defense, I expect the Badgers to roll up a lot of yardage on the ground.

UTSA (0 - 2) 17 @ (25) Oklahoma State (2 - 0) 51: UTSA, with games against Arizona, Kansas State and Oklahoma State, have one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the nation. After giving the Arizona  a good fight in week one, they were less successful against their second Wildcat opponent last week. The Cowboys, on the other hand, end a pathetic non-conference slate with what should be a rout.

(14) Georgia Tech (2 - 0) 34 @ (8) Notre Dame (2 - 0) 27: The Irish may have had a very promising season derailed by injuries. Starting QB Malik Zaire is out, as well as running back Terean Folston and tight end Durham Smythe. They could really use those weapons against a Georgia Tech team that's tough to stop if you're not used to seeing the innovative offense of head coach Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets have rolled over easy competition by averaging almost 460 yards on the ground. Tough luck for the Irish.

South Carolina (1 - 1) 17 @ (7) Georgia (2 - 0) 23: Can the old ball coach rally his Gamecocks to rebound from a disappointing home loss to Kentucky? Can Georgia finally live up to the expectations and take the heat off Mark Richt? Yes and yes, but Georgia is just a better team than South Carolina, and even though Spurrier has had Richt's number since their days battling it out in Florida, I look for the Bulldogs to win a close one.

SMU (1 - 1) 13 @ (3) TCU (2 - 0) 47: Baylor drilled the Mustangs 56 - 21, and I expect more of the same from TCU.

Stanford (1 - 1) 24 @ (6) USC (2 - 0) 30: Stanford stubbed their toe at Northwestern to start the season, taking a bit of shine off this clash. USC is one of my picks for the playoffs, and I haven't seen anything from either of these teams that would lead me to change my view. The Trojans appear to be all the way back after several years of sanctions and Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan doesn't look like a Heisman candidate at this point.

(15) Ole Miss (2 - 0) 31 @ (2) Alabama (2 - 0) 30: This is being called a revenge game for Alabama, losers to Ole Miss last year. Tide coach Nick Saban rarely loses to the same team in consecutive years. The Rebels have put up big numbers against a couple of cream puffs, so it's hard to know what they can do against Alabama's defense. I'm still not sold on the Tide offense, even if they put up 35 against Wisconsin in the opener. I'm going with a stunner.

 (19) BYU (2 - 0) 21 @ (10) UCLA (2 - 0) 30: Two games, two successful Hail Mary's for BYU. But they'll need to keep the game close enough to have a chance at the end. I think the clock is about to hit midnight on the Cinderella season. Freshman Josh Rosen has thrown for almost 300 yards a game for the Bruins. But the real difference will be the defense of UCLA.

(21) Utah (2 - 0) 37 @ Fresno State (1 - 1) 13: The Utes will feast on the Bulldogs' porous defense to go to 3 - 0 before beginning league play in the Pac-12.

 Northern Arizona (2 - 0) 27 @ (20) Arizona (2 - 0) 44: Arizona's defensive issues will likely get exposed in a big way once they begin their Pac-12 schedule, but they should have enough to outscore NAU.

Illinois (2 - 0) 24 @ North Carolina (1 - 1) 27: Another ACC - Big Ten clash, and Illinois travels to North Carolina to try to continue a great start. The only problem is that those first two wins came against Kent State and Western Illinois, not exactly a couple of powerhouses. Kent State one two games in 2014 and Western Illinois is a sub-.500 FCS team. 

Nebraska (1 - 1) 27 @ Miami, FL (2 - 0) 24: Game three of the battle of the conferences. This is a tough one to predict because Miami hasn't played anyone. The 'Huskers were the victims of BYU's Hail Mary I and were in control of that game. The question is whether Miami can shed the Mediocrity label and overcome losing their last four games in 2014, while returning only a handful of starters.

Virginia Tech (1 - 1) 34 @ Purdue (1 - 1) 20: The Hokies lost their starting QB in the opening loss to Ohio State, but backup Brenden Motley looked comfortable in an easy win over FCS Furman last week on a very short week. Purdue lost a tough game at Marshall in week one, then also came back with a win over an FCS team. I have to go with the Hokies, especially if Motley can continue to make plays.

Pittsburgh (2 - 0) 24 @ Iowa (2 - 0) 30: Pittsburgh has been unimpressive against soft competition while Iowa at least has a win over rival Iowa State on the road.

Texas Tech (2 - 0) 27 @ Arkansas (1 - 1) 37: The Razorbacks did everything they could to hand Toledo a victory in Little Rock last week. I look for a lot more running plays and a more motivated offensive line against an improved Red Raider team. This one could be a high scoring affair.

California (2 - 0) 34 @ Texas (1 - 1) 30: Texas got a win last week against Rice, but still gave up 28 points. Cal can score but will definitely stepping up in class after easy wins over San Diego State and Grambling. Texas is still a mess and I don't see them competing with the big boys. Cal has 15 starters back from a deceptively good 5 - 7 team from last season, one that lost at Arizona by four, UCLA by two and USC by eight. The Bears definitely have something to prove.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.







Thursday, September 17, 2015

THURSDAY NIGHT COLLEGE AND NFL PICKS

College:

(8) Clemson (2 - 0) 30 @ Louisville (0 - 2) 20: Clemson hasn't been challenged in two games against what borders on no competition while Louisville opened with pair of losses to pretty good offensive football teams. My pick to win the ACC is in a virtual must win situation to try to salvage coach Bobby Petrino's season. The Cardinals have been unimpressive in losses to Auburn and Houston, a surprising setback. I can't stick with Louisville, even at home, particularly after the way Auburn played and almost lost to FCS Jacksonville State last week.

NFL:

Denver (1 - 0) 23 @ Kansas City (1 - 0) 24 : These teams are probably going to battle it out for AFC West supremacy this season. Both sport ferocious pass rushes, but the similarity ends there. Peyton Manning of the Broncos is one of the all time great quarterbacks on the tail end of his magnificent career. Alex Smith, the Chiefs signal caller, while not spectacular, manages the game well and for the most part avoids turnovers. Manning longest completion in week one against a tough Raven defense was eighteen yards. I'm not sure that will get the job done tonight in a very raucous stadium in Kansas City. The home team figures to win these match-ups, so I'll go with the Chiefs in a tight game.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.