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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 12:47 AM

Kelso Sturgeon’s 100-unit “Kickoff Blowout Game of the Year” was Mississippi State (-31) over Memphis 59-14. If you watched the game, you know it was a slaughter in which the Bulldogs could have named the score.

Kelso told his clients he expected Mississippi State to win by 45-50 points. Right on the money!

From the game breakdown Kelso provided to his online clients:

“Mississippi State has prime-time blue-chip game-breaking players at most skill positions, Memphis has none—zero, zip. Mississippi State returns 15 starters, eight on offense and seven on defense. Memphis returns 3 starters on an offense that averaged 14.4 points and but 285.0 yards per game.

As for the coaching matchup, Mississippi State has Dan Mullen who has worked miracles in Starkville in just two seasons and is considered one of the best young coaches in the game. Memphis counters with second year coach Larry Porter who proved to be so inept last season he became the first and only coach to ever earn a 0 (zero) rating in my college power ratings. If ever a game had blowout written all over it, it is this one.”

Look at the numbers that a well-coached team of talented players put up against a poorly coached disaster…


  • Total Yardage: Miss. State 645, Memphis 337
  • Rushing Yardage: Miss. State 309, Memphis 163
  • Passing Stats: Miss. State 19-31-0-336, Memphis 26-40-1-174
  • Third Downs: Miss. State 33%, Memphis 36%
  • Turnovers: Miss. State 1, Memphis 3
  • Vegas Line: Mississippi State by 31, total of 51

Almost 650 total yards, with such balance that the Bulldogs topped 300 yards on the ground and in the air. Big win in the turnover department too, with the only giveaway coming from special teams rather than the offense. In fact, a muffed punt that set up a cheap Memphis TD kept it from being 59-7!

Kudos are also in order for Jim Hurley’s Network, who hit their Kickoff Special release on Mississippi State. Don’t forget their annual Back-to-School Parlay goes Saturday.

We promised to run the numbers each night from high profile TV games. Here, briefly, are the key stats from the ESPN game Thursday Night…


  • Total Yardage: UNLV 292, Wisconsin 499
  • Rushing Yardage: UNLV 146, Wisconsin 241
  • Passing Stats: UNLV 18-27-0-146, Wisconsin 11-15-0-258
  • Third Downs: UNLV 17%, Wisconsin 40%
  • Turnovers: UNLV 0, Wisconsin 0
  • Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 35, total of 56

Wisconsin dominated the game, though UNLV managed to sneak in for the cover in the fourth quarter. The Badgers led 37-3 at the half, with 374 total yards in just two quarters. The Badgers lost some focus once the game was out of reach. Though, you have to give them credit for avoiding turnovers all night, and only facing five third down plays all evening! Not much beyond the obvious to report. Wisconsin’s defense may have some work to do. They didn’t force any turnovers at home against a new starting quarterback. And, they let UNLV rush for over 100 yards in the first half. They’ll need to be better defensively at the point of attack when the schedule toughens up.

In games that may not have been on your radar…well, check out the afternoon preview from Tony Salinas on the “Picks and Services” page here at VSM:

The are six bettable games going on the college card tonight and I see two of them that have a live dog ready to sink its teeth into an overrated favorite! In one case, an outright upset is likely and you can even bet the moneyline with confidence. In the other case, we've got a big dog who's still going to cover the number by 10+ points. Plus a bonus--come on for my College Shocker Parlay, and I'll give you my NFL Preseason Total of the Year as a free bonus!

Likely Outright Upset: Bowling Green (+6) over Idaho…WINS 32-15

Big Dog: Western Kentucky (+18) vs. Kentucky….COVERS in a 14-3 loss

NFL PS Total of Year: Dallas/Miami Under 36.5…WINS 17-3


Western Kentucky didn't quite reach the double digit threshold for a cover. But, they only trailed 7-3 with five minutes left in the game. Bowling Green won outright as promised and covered by more than three touchdowns! The NFL Preseason Total of the Year covered by more than two touchdowns.

Tony also won in the NFL with Detroit (-2) over Buffalo 16-6.

Wayne Root was 2-1 in the NFL, hitting his Pinnacle play on San Francisco (+3) over San Diego 20-17, and his Billionaire play on Minnesota (-3.5) over Houston 28-0.

Thanks to all of you who participated on the Thursday card with VSM handicappers. We greatly appreciate your business!

Thursday in the baseball pennant races

*In the AL East, the New York Yankees beat Boston 4-2 to move back within a half a game of first place. This was a critical series for the Yankees to win. They took two of three, creating a true toss-up in the sport’s marquee division.

*In the AL Central, both Detroit and Cleveland lost afternoon games. The Chicago White Sox were off. That leaves the Indians and Chisox tied for second place, 5.5 games behind the first place Tigers.

*In the AL West…Texas beat Tampa Bay 7-2 while the LA Angels game in Seattle finished after publication deadlines. Texas leads the West by four games pending that late finish.

*In the NL West, both Arizona and San Francisco were off before beginning their HUGE three-game head-to-head series Friday Night by the bay. Arizona enjoys a whopping six-game lead thanks to a recent  nine-game winning streak. They’ll go for a knockout blow this weekend.

Back with you Friday for more coverage. The Network Notebook will be here around breakfast time for a look at TCU/Baylor. Check in throughout the day for more news and notes!

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