week NationalChamps.net will be picking several
games to breakdown while predicting against the
point spread. NationalChamps.net does not support
sports betting and is in no way affiliated with
online sports bet organizations including advertising
clients. This is strictly for enjoyment purposes
BREAKDOWN - Liner Notes
October 12, 2002
NationalChamps.net owner Todd Helmick
will be on several weekly radio shows this fall.
Check out our Liner Notes for this week's broadcasts.
- KSOM out of Iowa every Thursday at 10:30
am ET (9:30am CST)..
- WKLC out of West Virginia on Friday (tape delay)
- Classy 99 out of Spokane: every Sunday 12:00
pm ET (9:00 am PDT)
Iowa at Michigan
Nebraska at Texas A&M
Iowa State at Texas
Notre Dame at Florida State
AGAINST THE SPREAD
INSIDE99: (18-20-2 overall)
Louisville -14.5 over East Carolina
Iowa +3.5 over Michigan
Rutgers +16 over Syracuse
Miami FL -18.5 over West Virginia
Notre Dame +10 over Florida State
Ricky Sixx: (17-19 overall)
Miami FL -18.5 over West Virginia
Vanderbilt -8 over Connecticut
Colorado -6 over Texas Tech
Oregon +1 over Southern Cal
Boise State -16.5 over San Jose State
Texas A&M -5 over Nebraska
Virginia Tech -28.5 over Temple
Maryland -13 over Duke
Wisconsin -4 over Michigan State
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Oklahoma junior free safety
OF THE WEEK:
OKLAHOMA'S EVERAGE NAMED
NAGURSKI PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DALLAS (FWAA) Oklahoma junior
free safety Brandon Everage (Granger,
Texas) is this week's recipient of the Bronko
Nagurski National Defensive Player of the
Week Award for his performance in the Sooners'
romp over Iowa State this past Saturday
Everage had two interceptions, four passes
broken up, one sack (9 yards), three tackles
and one quarterback hurry in Oklahoma's
49-3 win. ISU quarterback Seneca Wallace
came into the game averaging 257.3 yards
with a completion percentage of 64.6. Everage
keyed the effort that limited Wallace to
a 4-of-22 outing with three interceptions.
Wallace's completions amounted to just 43
yards. Wallace also rushed six times for
minus-28 yards. Iowa State logged only 60
total yards, some 372.4 yards below its
average. The Cyclones had only five first
downs for the game and were 0-of-12 on third
three-person panel from the Football Writers
Association of America (FWAA) selects the
winner of the weekly award.
FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club pick
a National Defensive Player of the Week
each Monday. Everage will be added to the
Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy
which will be presented on Dec. 9 in Charlotte,
N.C., by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown
Bronko Nagurski Players of the Week
Sept. 9: Maurice Sikes, Miami
Sept. 16: Shane Walton, Notre Dame
Sept. 23: Willie Pile, Virginia Tech
Sept. 30: R.J. Jones, Missouri
Oct. 7: Matt Grier, Mississippi
Oct. 14: Corey Webster, LSU
Oct. 21: Brandon Everage, Oklahoma
NOTES USED ON THE AIR
case you have not been able to catch NationalChamps.net
on the radio, here are some of the topics discussed.
While these Liner Notes are not meant to be
an in-depth breakdown of each game, they do
offer some insight and tidbits for the short
amount of air time allotted on the radio. If
you are interested in having NationalChamps.net
be a part of your sports talk show, please email:
COACH: Kirk Ferentz
Visits Ann Arbor Seeking Inside Track To First
Big Ten Crown In 13 Years
When was the last time Iowa beat Michigan? The
answer: a 24-23 win at Ann Arbor on Oct. 20, 1990,
the last time Iowa won the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes are averaging a conference-best 38.2
points per game behind running back Fred Russell
and quarterback Brad Banks. Russell is third in
the conference with 128.1 yards per game, and
Banks has completed 58.7 percent of his passes
for 1,575 yards with 15 touchdowns against four
OLB Grant Steen -- Steen was all over the field
and set a school record with three interceptions.
Steen continually blunted Indiana drives and kept
the Hoosiers from climbing back into the game.
All three picks took place in the red zone.
The Hawkeyes continue to do what they are supposed
to do. While it was not their most impressive
game of the year, Iowa calmly took care of business
against an Indiana team that appears to be significantly
better than it was earlier in the year. Iowa did
it in its usual style. The Hawkeyes broke out
to a 17-0 lead and were never seriously threatened
in a 24-8 victory on the road. Fred Russell scored
on a two short TD runs in the first quarter and
PK Nate Kaeding added a field goal to give the
Hawkeyes the sizable early cushion.
those that do not know, if Ohio State and Iowa
win out the rest of their games and finish tied
as Big Ten co-champions, Ohio State gets the BCS
bid due to having a better OOC record. Michigan
on the other hand holds their own destiny key
by playing both Ohio State and Iowa. Win out and
the Wolverines are smelling roses.
COACH: Lloyd Carr
offense has been playing better each week, but
head coach Lloyd Carr would still like to see
this unit perform with more precision. The Wolverines
are often unable to finish drives and their shoddy
PK situation won't allow them any margin for error.
he did not have a stellar statistical game against
Purdue last week, Navarre hit big plays throughout
the game, and his ability to spot the soft spots
in the defense kept Michigan in control in this
tough Big Ten game. Navarre takes an unfair beating
from the UM fans.
beat the Boilermaker trap. In head coach Lloyd
Carr's coaching tenure, he had twice come out
on the short end in trips to West Lafayette. But
that came to an end, thanks to Michigan's ability
to strike quickly.
in a nutshell: Great defensive front with superior
pass rushing skills especially on the outside
with guys like Shante Orr and Dan Rumishek, an
overrated secondary that has never proven anything,
a QB who is solid but yet unspectacular as he
can do more than just not lose the game, a RB
situation with no depth where Perry fumbles at
least once a game, I love this Braylon Edwards
kid at receiver - an NFL to be talent - what was
a major concern at WR to start the year has become
a strength. The kicking game is as horrible as
there has ever been.
AT TEXAS A&M
COACH: Frank Solich
5-3 and the Huskers haven't even hit the difficult
part of the schedule yet. Stating that Frank Solich
needs to refocus his team may be easier said then
CB DeJuan Groce -- Leading the nation in punt
returns hasn't taken away from Groce's status
of being Nebraska's best defensive back.
Thunder Collins leaving the team didn't hurt anything
that wasn't already hurting. He wasn't producing
last year's Big 12 rushing
champion Dahrran Diedrick had 26 yards against
The Huskers gave up 182 yards to Oklahoma State's
Tatum Bell. Let's face it; the most disappointing
aspect about Nebraska is that they are getting
beat with their usual meat and potatoes
front, not running, not defending the run.
The knock against Nebraska QB Jammal Lord coming
into the season was that he was a below-average
passer. He is a below average passer. Lord leads
the Huskers in rushing (95.2 yards per game).
In Nebraska's offense, which features the run,
the goal is for the quarterback to complete at
least 55 percent of his passes. Lord has surpassed
that mark just once in eight games, when he hit
12 of 18 passes for 151 yards against I-AA McNeese
TEXAS A&M (5-2)
COACH: R.C. Slocum
Nebraska must try to end a string of six straight
losses away from home in what might be the toughest
venue in the Big 12. Adding to Nebraska's headaches
is a Texas A&M offense on a hot streak.
QB Dustin Long -- There's no doubt that the sophomore
has had a dramatic impact on the offense, as the
Aggies have moved up to second in passing offense
in the Big 12. Long threw for a school-record
399 yards against Kansas, and he threw a conference-record
seven touchdowns in a duel with Texas Tech's Kliff
Big injury impact - Two defensive stars -- Ty
Warren and "Candyman" Sammy Davis (a
NationalChamps.net AA) -- are questionable for
the Nebraska game. Warren sprained his ankle against
Kansas, while Davis suffered a thigh bruise in
the first quarter and did not play the rest of
In the four games since Kevin Sumlin took over
as Texas A&M's offensive coordinator, the
Aggies have gone from having the nation's 106th-ranked
offense to No. 38. If the first three games were
banished from the record, Texas A&M would
rank sixth nationally since head coach R.C. Slocum
tabbed Sumlin to replace Dino Babers as the guy
who calls the plays.
STATE AT TEXAS
COACH: Dan McCarney
as a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy,
Wallace completed only four of 22 passes for 43
yards and was intercepted three times in a 49-3
loss at No. 2 Oklahoma last Saturday. Much of
the talk afterward centered on how much damage
that game did to his Heisman hopes.
Cyclones' defense was on the field for just more
than 42 of the 60 minutes against Oklahoma, which
ran a whopping 90 plays.
said Oklahoma pressured Wallace with some blitz
packages it had not shown before and the defensive
backs kept the receivers covered. Iowa State couldn't
run the ball, either. The Cyclones netted only
17 yards in 23 attempts.
The Cyclones head to Austin needing a clutch effort
to wipe the bitter taste of a 49-3 loss to Oklahoma
from their mouths. Both teams need a win to remain
in their respective division races, although Iowa
State actually could afford a loss more than Texas.
Iowa State needs more punch from the running game,
especially in bigger games in order to take more
pressure of the passing game. RBs Michael Wagner
and Hiawatha Rutland have looked descent against
some of the lower ranked opponents they have beaten,
but that won't float the rest of the way out.
COACH: Mack Brown
The Longhorns are 3-0 in the series, with the
last meeting, in 1999, going down to the final
The Longhorns are working to try to add some punch
back into the running game. Oklahoma and Kansas
State, two of the better teams in the country
when it comes to stopping the run, had success
in slowing Texas tailback Cedric Benson.
NationalChamps.net Preseason AA DE Cory Redding
has played some outstanding football for the Longhorns,
but Texas coach Mack Brown said Redding might
have been at his best against Kansas State. Keep
an eye on Redding this Saturday as he attempts
to contain Wallace.
Texas received some preparation last week for
ISU. The Longhorns kept Kansas State's Ell Roberson
under control in last week's 17-14 win in Manhattan.
Roberson rushed 26 times and netted just 23 yards.
He threw 18 passes and completed seven for 102
DAME AT FLORIDA STATE
The four previous meetings between these teams
have all been decided by a touchdown or less,
with FSU winning three of them while none have
been in Tallahassee.
COACH: Bobby Bowden
Chris Rix -- He's thrown for less than 200 yards
combined in his last two starts, yet graded out
the highest of the season according to coaches.
That's because FSU has switched over to a running
game philosophy with big TB Greg Jones.
TB Greg Jones -- If not for Florida State's two
losses, he might be more of a Heisman Trophy candidate.
The junior is on pace to shatter every one of
the school's single-season rushing records.
The Seminoles don't expect Notre Dame to play
with the same defensive philosophy as Miami, which
dared the Seminoles to run. They are counting
on seeing blitzes and more crowding along the
line of scrimmage, and that puts more of the game
in QB Chris Rix's hands. The Seminoles have pedestrian
passing numbers and have lacked big plays all
season. Still, the Seminoles are one of just eight
Division I-A teams to be averaging over 200 yards
in rushing (230.7) and passing (205.7).
the intensity and effort was better, Florida State
still yielded more than 400 yards against Miami
and that should have the Irish excited. Notre
Dame doesn't have the deep threat-passing game,
but has a physical offensive line and capable
talent at skill positions. The Seminoles' pass
defense, which is now 110 out of 117 Division
I-A teams, figures to get quickly tested.
COACH: Tyrone Willingham
Notre Dame WR Arnaz Battle -- Battle is coming
off two huge games and is making it clear his
move from quarterback to receiver was a good one.
After a career-high 10 catches for 101 yards against
Pittsburgh, Battle had eight catches for 112 yards
against Air Force. He was the only Irish player
to catch a pass.
The Irish offense -- in particular the offensive
line -- had a big day against the smaller Falcons.
It's going to be harder this Saturday to open
holes for Ryan Grant, but Notre Dame has met all
challenges so far. Considering how poorly FSU's
secondary has played at times this season, this
might be the game that Carlyle Holiday has to
win with his arm.
The Irish better be ready for a strong offensive
line that run blocks much better than recent FSU
lines. On the flip side, FSU quarterback Chris
Rix better be careful against a secondary that
thrives on making the big play. Notre Dame ranks
in the top 10 nationally in four categories, including
third in scoring defense at 12 points per game.
BOTTOM LINE: If the game were in South
Bend, I would take Notre Dame, if the game were
in Tallahassee I would take Florida State. But
I don't see how the point spread for this one
has swelled into double-digits (10). This game
always boils down to a less than 7-point difference.
Whenever you play great defense you always have
a chance to win, and the Irish do that. Strategically,
the individual match ups favor FSU. Four big keys
to this game:
The FSU powerful OL and how well they handle a
superb Irish defense.
2) Can the Irish score more offensive points than
what they have been? 10-14 offensive points won't
win this football game.
3) Which FSU team shows up for the home crowd?
We already know the Irish are consistent.
4) The Irish will not let Greg Jones beat them
like Miami did, how well ND covers the big and
tall receivers for FSU (where they have had trouble
in the early season) will be crucial.