Clemson-Louisville Is Top Headliner on Weekend’s College Card
COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S MARQUEE MATCHUPS –
ACC BATTLE ROYAL IS THE WEEKEND’S BIGGEST BASH
AS #3 CLEMSON INVADES #14 LOUISVILLE ON
SATURDAY NIGHT …
PLUS OUR NFL WEEK 2 UPDATE:
TEXANS TRIM PUNCHLESS BENGALS 13-9
Believe it or not, there are only two College Football games this mid-September weekend pitting Top 25 teams against one another … and, while #23 Tennessee at #24 Florida is always a hoot, the biggie blockbuster game on the menu is #3 Clemson at #14 Louisville.
Hey, if it’s anything like last year’s game – see Clemson 42, Louisville 36 – than we’re going to be treated to some fun-fun-fun football and, yes, the Jim Hurley Network plans on being in the winner’s circle when this Tigers-Cardinals tilt ends sometime ‘round 11:45 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, no time to waste here and so let’s get the weekend goodies started with a Friday Night “lights” battle involving a Top 25:
Tonight, it’s …
ILLINOIS (2-0) at #22 USF (2-0) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
The USF Bulls were one of several state-of-Florida teams to have a game postponed last week in the wake of nasty Hurricane Irma but the show goes on here with this prime-timer against a Power 5 crew … and it’s South Florida in the heavy-duty (as in 17.5 points) favorite’s role while shooting for an eighth consecutive win dating back to last year.
If QB Quinton Flowers (a somewhat underwhelming 398 passing yards with four TDs against San Jose State/Stony Brook) can expose the Illini’s lack of defensive speed in the secondary, this one could get ugly. Oh, and welcome home Lovie Smith (second-year Illinois head coach and former Tampa Bay Bucs boss-man).
Spread Note – The USF Bulls are a solid 8-3-1 ATS (against the spread) at home since the start of the 2015 season.
The Jim Hurley Network is just starting to heat up and we’ll have a slew of College Football and NFL Week 2 Winners all weekend long … don’t miss out on tonight’s college tilts (three games on the menu altogether) plus get all of the Saturday/Sunday/Monday action too right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 on game days. And there’s Major-League Baseball winners right through this year’s World Series, so make sure you’re cashin’ in!
On Saturday, it’s …
#23 TENNESSEE (2-0) at #24 FLORIDA (0-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
We get it, Florida Gators: You haven’t won a game yet this season and you’re chomping at the bit to get back into action following last week’s Irma-related postponement versus Northern Colorado.
But the reality is the Gators are a 4.5-point betting favorite here and their offense was downright putrid in the season-opening 33-17 loss to Michigan back on Labor Day weekend (see 11 yards rushing and 154 total offensive yards in all).
If QB Feleipe Franks can’t jump-start this attack against a Vols defense that’s registered just one sack so far in non-cover wins against Georgia Tech and Indiana State, then he’ll get a seat in favor of lefty/former Notre Damer Malik Zaire.
Hey, could the Gators really lose two in a row to “Rocky Top” after Florida has reeled off 11 consecutive SU (straight-up) wins against their rivals from 2005-through-2015?
Spread Stat – Tennessee is just 3-5-2 against the odds in its last 10 head-to-head showdowns with archrival Florida.
#3 CLEMSON (2-0) at #14 LOUISVILLE (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Up above in this Jim Sez column we touched on last year’s magnificent game between the Tigers and Cardinals:
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson accounted for a grand total of four TDs and 457 yards in that shoot-‘em-up affair but it wasn’t quite enough (although the game really propelled Jackson towards what could be the first of back-to-back Heisman Trophies) and now the defending national champs are hoping to do a much better “contain” job on the U of L star but don’t forget that the Cards offer up mucho weapons and WR Jaylen Smith (17 receptions for 300 yards this year) could be a game-buster here for the home team.
On the flip side, Clemson’s new QB Kelly Bryant (417 yards passing and 136 yards rushing thus far) could be headed to stardom himself for Dabo Swinney’s squad … could he steal the limelight away from Mr. Jackson here?
Spread Stat – For all the success this Clemson program has achieved in recent years, note the Tigers are just 15-18-1 against the odds in all ACC games since the start of 2013.
NFL WEEK 2 UPDATE
Okay, so last night’s 13-9 win by the 5.5-point underdog Houston Texans was indeed a major snore-fest – folks, there were 16 total punts in the game and just one touchdown but that was a zippity-do-da 49-yard scoring dash by Texans’ rookie QB Deshaun Watson and that was one TD more than the anemic Bengals could score as veteran QB Andy Dalton (224 yards passing but lost of overthrows/underthrows) was lost in space once again … is it time to bench ‘em for AJ McCarron?
No doubt the Bengals’ offense is sorely missing some key parts from last year’s offensive line but, let’s be fair, rookie RB Joe Mixon (9 carries for 36 yards and just one reception for 5 yards) was a total non-factor save for one okey-doke move against J.J. Watt – wasn’t Mixon supposed to be this year’s eyebrow-raising rookie? Don’t see it yet!
NOTE: Plenty of NFL Week 2 Previews ahead in the next edition of Jim Sez plus we’ll touch on the prime-time duel between Texas at #4 USC.
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