Jim Sez College Notebook
NFL WEEK 4 IS OFF AND ROLLIN' AS RAVENS STORM BACK TO BEAT STEELERS IN O.T.
THE JIM SEZ COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: CHECKIN' OUT SOME KEY LINE MOVES
By Jim Hurley:
Quoth the Ravens ... we ain't done yet, boys and girls!
It's funny how CBS/NFL Network flashed that graphic listing Baltimore Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh as someone who had gone 115 consecutive games without ever suffering a four-game losing skid and wouldn't you know it that despite a botched fake field goal (didn't like the move, didn't like the call) and a fourth-down sack in which QB Joe Flacco should have thrown the ball somewhere downfield, the Ravens (now 1-3) still managed to crawl back from a 20-7 deficit and beat archrival Pittsburgh 23-20 in overtime last night .. and plenty of "goat horns" to go around for the likes of Steelers' PK Josh Scobee and head coach Mike Tomlin.
Still, here's something that you might not have paid enough attention to in last night's Ravens' win: Their Terrell Suggs-less defense made every single stand it needed to make in the fourth quarter and overtime and exposed Steelers' QB Michael Vick as a guy who no longer has the get-away-from-trouble legs that he used to possess 10 or 11 years ago plus - and forgive us for patting ourselves on the head here - but in our Jim Sez Preview of this game we hinted that the Ravens had to get RB Justin Forsett 23-to-25 touches and he wound up with 27 rushes for 150 yards and merely saved the Ravens' season with some key late-game runs to daylight.
The Ravens' distress call was answered and - go ahead and check out this upcoming sked - you could make the case Harbaugh's guys will be 4-4 SU (straight-up) by the time it gets to the Week 9 bye (at home to Cleveland in Week 5, at San Francisco, at Arizona and home to San Diego).
The Steelers (2-2)? Well, without QB Ben Roethlisberger for the next several weeks this AFC North crew will be hard-pressed to beat back the likes of San Diego and Kansas City in their respective backyards and home tilts versus Cincinnati and Oakland won't be easy. The crystal ball may suggest the Steelers will also be 4-4 SU after eight games - so it may come down to whether or not 3-and-oh Cincy runs away from the pack or hangs around and "makes this a race". Do stay tuned.
Jim Hurley's Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL and NCAA Football winners this weekend and that includes the Side & Totals winners on tonight's College Football sked as Memphis is at USF (on espn2 at 7 p.m. ET), Temple is at Charlotte and UConn is at BYU (on ESPN at 10:15 p.m. ET) plus there's a boat-load of great games on the Saturday card along with all the NFL Week 4 Sunday/Monday winners too including that bright-and-early Sunday morning game in London (9:30 a.m. ET kickoff) between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins! Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Plus get all our MLB Playoff Winners all month long with a reminder that there's lots of day-time action straight ahead this ncoming week.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Hey, let's chime in regarding a batch of Las Vegas line moves for tomorrow's busy College Football sked:
PURDUE (1-3) at MICHIGAN STATE (4-0) - 12 p.m. ET, espn2
Interesting to note that the public's betting against the #2 Michigan State Spartans here in this Homecoming Game against Purdue as this price tag opened at State minus 24.5 points and it's down to 21.5 at last glance. Okay, so handicappers all 'round the land by now know Sparty is a brutal 0-4 ATS (against the spread) this season but keep in mind the Boilermakers are starting redshirt freshman QB David Blough (29-of-39 for 340 yards passing with 2 TDs and I INT last week in a wild 35-28 loss at Bowling Green) who is making only his second career start. Injuries to some key M-State defenders (see LB Ed Davis and CB Vayante Copeland) for the year play into the mix but it's still a tad unusual for folks to be wagering against the second-ranked team in the land.
OREGON (2-2) at COLORADO (3-1) - 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
First off, isn't it strange not to see a ranking # next to Oregon's name? Next, what about the tumbling price here as we mentioned earlier this week in a prior edition of Jim Sez: The Ducks opened as an 11.5-point road choice and it's dropped all the way to minus just 7.5 points - a good friend of ours here at The Jim Hurley Network asked what would be this pointspread had Oregon beaten Michigan State and Utah instead of suffering 3- and 42-point setbacks and our answer was "3 touchdowns". The Ducks are without WR Byron Marshall (leg) who's a real home-run hitter but we wonder: Have they squeezed all the value out of this Pac-12 game in case you happened to like Colorado?
#6 NOTRE DAME (4-0) at #12 CLEMSON (3-0) - 8 p.m. ET, ABC
And what's exactly happening wagering-wise here with college football's biggest showdown on Saturday? If you've been tracking the line moves than you know Clemson opened as a 1.5-point favorite, it quickly went to Pick 'Em and eventually wound its way back up to Clemson favored by 2.5 points ... everyone knows that ND has six starters out with injuries but that's "old news" and so may we suggest that it's part Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly's "history" here - the Irish are 2-5 SU (straight-up) on the road against ranked teams under Kelly plus maybe there's a faction of Clemson backers that believe Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer might be in "over his head" playing a night game at Death Valley against the country's ninth-ranked defense. P.S., Notre Dame is a decent 12-8 versus the vig as underdogs in the Kelly Era that started back in 2010.
In other NCAA Football News & Notes ...
Lots of folks weighing in on the "ESPN family of networks" this week regarding the topic of most disappointing team so far with Auburn and Oregon and it's duly noted that those two name teams are a combined 1-7 versus the vig but check out these 0-4 ATS squads:
Arizona State - Loved the quote by clueless head coach Todd Graham who said following last weekend's ugly 42-14 home setback versus USC that, "I think this is the best team we've had overall. We're just not playing that way." Duh!
Missouri - Maybe there's been some internal issues here all along as veteran head coach Gary Pinkel spent the earlier part of this week announcing the suspensions of QB Maty Mauk and OL Malik Cuellar and both are out till further notice and yet Mizzou's still a 2.5-point home favorite against now run-first South Carolina.
San Diego State - Hey, there were some folks talking up SDSU as a potential Top 25 team this year but instead Rocky Long's crew is 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS with pointspread "L's" against Power-5 clubs California and Penn State. Note the Aztecs are an 8.5-point home fav against lowly Fresno State but be aware that San Diego State goes into tomorrow's game ranked 109th in passing offense and 87th in passing defense.
UCF - Maybe 12th-year head coach George O'Leary should have ridden into the sunset already with that Athletic Director's job ... his club has been an offensive embarrassment thus far while scoring 14, 7, 15 and 14 points in consecutive SU/ATS losses and the Knights have experienced more quarterback issues than you can shake a proverbial stick at!
Note: There's NFL Week 4 Previews/Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez - don't forget we'll preview the Sunday Night game between the Dallas Cowboys at the New Orleans Saints.
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