Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Heck, that's not about to stop the National Football League's most important Preseason weekend of the summer as the games roll on up and down the Eastern seaboard and all throughout the USA and we'll tackle a couple of Saturday's NFL Preseason Week 3 games shortly in this weekend edition of Jim Sez plus we'll get sneak peeks at the top Three (3) games next Saturday on College Football's Opening-Week menu in just a moment but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to bang out NFL Preseason Sides & Totals Winners these next couple of weekends and we'll win plenty too when the 2011 College Football Season kicks off Thursday night with a full week/weekend of action on tap all throughout the upcoming Labor Day Weekend (see September 1st thru September 5th).
Plus, make sure to get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too each and every day and this is all you have to do to get all the Winners: Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at www.jimhurley.com and make sure you're all aboard for NFL Preseason, NCAA Football and MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays; Anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday afternoon action; And than anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the Monday-thru-Friday weeknight action.
Don't forget that the 2011 NCAA Football Season swings into action this coming Thursday with a batch of on-the-board games including TV tilts between UNLV at Wisconsin (on ESPN) and Miss State at Memphis (Fox Sports Net) along with the ESPNU bash between Kentucky versus Western Kentucky. So, make sure you're all aboard for the College Gridiron Winners right through the BCS National Championship Game on January 9, 2012!
P.S., there's a full slate on College Football Games set for Labor Day Weekend (that's September 2nd-through-September 5th) including key out-of-conference games between Boise State-Georgia, Oregon-LSU and the Labor Day evening bout inside the ACC between Miami at Maryland..
NFL PRESEASON WEEK 3 – THE KEY SATURDAY TILTS
NEW YORK JETS (1-1) at NEW YORK GIANTS (1-1) – 2 p.m. ET
Okay, so Mother Nature pushed this game up from an original starting time of 7 p.m. ET to matinee action now in the newly-named Met Life Stadium but there's really one big story here – and that's former Giants WR Plaxico Burress who these days is catching passes for the rival Jets. Last week Burress snagged three aerials from QB Mark Sanchez – including an over-the-shoulder 26-yard scoring strike in a driving rain storm – but let's see how he fares here ‘cause Burress tweaked his back in an earlier-week practice and may see limited minutes for this exhibition game. (Late Bulletin: this game has now been moved to Monday Night because of the hurricane)
Spread Notes – The Jets and Giants each have split the spread verdicts thus far in this 2011 Preseason with NYJ copping a rain-filled 27-7 triumph over 6 ½-point underdog Cincinnati last Sunday night at the Meadowlands following the 20-16 loss at 3-point favorite Houston the week before. On the flip side, the Giants also rebounded from a Preseason Week 1 loss – a 20-10 setback at 2 ½-point fav Carolina back on August 13th – with last Monday's easy-as-pie 41-13 win against Chicago (note the Las Vegas line move in that one as the G-men went from being a 4-point fav early in the week to being a 6-point betting favorite by game time). Last year the 3-point 'road' underdog Giants bested the Jets 31-16 in a game better known as when Giants QB Eli Manning was bloodied badly following a series of hits on a single play.
NEW ENGLAND at DETROIT – 8 p.m. ET, CBS
The beat goes on for the N'England Patriots who have maintained a take-no-prisoners approach this summer while beating up a couple of foes by a combined 52 points – QB Tom Brady didn't even play in that first Preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and suddenly there's a real embarrassment of riches when it comes to the team's ground game as RB BenJarvus Green-Elllis has been solid while rookies Stevan Ridley (LSU) and Shane Vereen (Cal) both are expected to chip in carries/yards here and both could be not-so-secret weapons for the loaded Pats come the start of the regular season.
If you're looking to focus on one thing with the Lions – the 4-point wagering underdog at press time – here than consider the weapons Detroit QB Matthew Stafford has at his disposal now that WR Calvin Johnson (bruised shoulder) is back. Plus, do-it-all RB Jahvid Best should return after suffering a mild concussion although head coach Jim Schwartz could opt to hold him out and get a better look at RB Jerome Harrison who has inched ahead of his competitors for the team's No. 2 running back spot.
Spread Notes – The Patriots have romped through a pair of pointspread wins this summer with respective 47-12 and 31-14 victories against 3 ½-point underdog Jacksonville and 1 ½-point home favorite Tampa Bay while the Lions also own a sparkling 2-and-oh spread mark so far this summer thanks to a 34-3 victory against 3-point pup Cincinnati and a 30-28 come-from-behind triumph at 2 ½-point fav Cleveland.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
The college kids are getting back to school and the opening-week menu on the gridiron has some really tasty stuff. Here's how we would rate the Three (3) Best Games next Saturday, September 3rd:
#3 OREGON vs. #4 LSU (at Arlington) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The marquee matchup for the first week of College Football comes from – all places – Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas but the $64,000 question is whether or not LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson will play here following his alleged role in a recent bar fight. The police in/around Baton Rouge continue to investigate that occurred August 20th and no doubt this is putting a major crimp in the Bengals' game plan and now LSU had another blow struck to its collective gut when the NCAA ruled WR Russell Shepard (33 receptions last year to go along with 32 rushes) has been ruled ineligible for this prime-time tilt.
On the flip side, Oregon – last year's BCS National Championship Game loser to Auburn – will be all decked out in its 'Pro Combat' uniforms but will Heisman Trophy candidate RB LaMichael James (1,731 yards rushing with 21 ground TDs) have the room to scamper free against an LSU defense that allowed only 15 rushing scores all last year?
#5 BOISE STATE vs. #19 GEORGIA (at Georgia Dome) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's too bad that these big-hitter, intersectional games are being paired against one another in prime time but, hey, whoever said the folks that run College Football were geniuses … right?
The fact of the matter is Boise State's the 3-point betting choice at this very moment even though there figures to be some 50,000-or-so Georgia Dawg fans waving the red-and-black pom-poms here and so that means B-State slinger Kellen Moore (3,845 yards passing with 35 TDs and 6 INTs last year) must tune out the noise and make sure he can communicate with his RBs, OL and WRs here or else you can fully expect a slew of false start penalties. Look for Moore to steer clear of the shotgun early on with quick-hitter strikes to senior WR Tyler Shoemaker (32 catches last year and an 18.2 yards-per-carry average).
Georgia's soph QB Aaron Murray may indeed be the best passer that much of the country doesn't even know – he threw for 3,049 yards and 24 TDs last year for a Bulldogs team that finished 6-7 SU (straight-up) but all reports are that he's been looking sharp plus it appears Richard Samuel will get the nod at tailback after winning a fierce summer-time battle with in-state prep star Isaiah Crowell.
SOUTH FLORIDA at #16 NOTRE DAME – 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Now that second-year ND Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly has declared former incumbent QB Dayne Crist (2,033 yards passing with 15 TDs and 7 INTs last year) to be his starter, the second-guessers can have their field day … remember that than-freshman Tommy Rees went 4-0 after Crist went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Tulsa game last year.
Still, the Irish – a prohibitive 10 ½-point betting favorite here at press time – likely will either get to a January bowl game or not this season depending on a defense that last season surrendered 1,848 yards rushing (that's too much) and didn't always get physical with lesser foes as exhibited in hard-to-explain losses against Navy and Tulsa.
If ILB Manti Te'o can be full strength after making his way back from off-season arthroscopic knee surgery than Kelly's kids should be in good shape here against quarterback B.J. Daniels and the USF Bulls.
P.S., last year Te'o finished with 133 total tackles and that's the most by a Notre Dame defender since 1983.
NOTE: There's more NFL and College Football goodies in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez.