Quick Picks (Thursday Edition)  

Posted by Walter

@ Rutgers +5 over Louisville

Any loyal 323 reader knows that I believe in this Rutgers team. I was on the Brian Leonard bandwagon in the preseason (see my underrated players AND preseason All Americans columns), and I have hopped aboard the Ray Rice and Greg Schiano caravans. The Scarlet Knights are a very good team, playing at home, on national television, and, most importantly, will not be afraid of an extremely talented Louisville offense. That said, Louisville will win this game……but not by much. Last week Bobby Petrino proved that he is just a magnificent football coach. His game plan against West Virginia was genius. While everyone thought he would look to control the ball and keep Pat White and Steve Slaton off the field, Petrino attacked the porous Mountaineer defense vertically. Petrino unleashed Brian Brohm (who, by the way, is making a strong case to be drafted ahead of Brady Quinn) and his talented wide receivers, especially on first down. They attacked the middle of the field with posts and seam routes. Petrino knew that he had the best offensive player in the game (Brohm) and he allowed him to do what he does best…….score points. On defense he knew his team couldn’t stop the spread rushing attack, so what does he do? He has his defense play physical. The Cardinals let West Virginia get their yards, but when they made tackles they made Slaton and White pay. The strategy worked. The two headed Mountaineer offensive monster played as if they hadn’t been hit all season. Louisville forced turnovers and ran them out of the stadium. Pure genius by Petrino. This week, look for more of the same on offense. Rutgers has an excellent running game with Leonard and Rice, but quarterback Mike Teel is still unproven. Look for Petrino to call more of a west coast offense type game, moving Brohm out of the pocket and getting the ball out of his hand quicker with timing routes. This will neutralize the Rutgers pass rush which has been outstanding this season. This game will not be the track meet of last Thursday night, but it will be just as entertaining. In the end, Rutgers will prove that it belongs on the same field as some of the upper echelon teams in America, but Brian Brohm will make the plays he needs to make to lead Louisville to victory. One final note. This is going to be a close game, on the road for Louisville. Exactly the type of game when having an all American caliber kicker like Art Carmody matters most. He could be the difference in this one. Call it Louisville 23-20.


Fuck. Not sure what to do here. I am notoriously bad at picking these Thursday games. I am simply useless in them, and yet this one looks like a gimme to me. What I know is that Louisville is very, very, very good, and that Petrino is a genius and that Brohm is possibly the best quarterback in college football. I also know that Rutgers does not enjoy a big home field advantage. Frankly, it looks like they play in a high school stadium in Texas or another football-crazy state. I also know that they looked less than impressive in a national game against a UConn team that WVU simply laid the wood to. I also know that I am far less impressed with Rutgers victories than my esteemed co-blogger. I think Wanny is a bum, and I think the South Florida victory doesn't carry a ton of cache. I think that as good as Rice is, he isn't as good as either Pat White or Steve Slaton, and won't have the same success that those players did. I think that Louisville won't have a huge letdown because they know how important this game is, and they know that style points matter. I also think that normally I'd expect Louisville to win this one, by a comfortable margin. However, I know that this is a Thursday game, and so I have no option but to Costanza this thing. Rutgers wins, and I have no idea how, 34-30.



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