Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday's Slate

Well, I know many of you Dawg fans think the world has stopped because of the A.J. news, but the regular season will roll along starting tonight....

Central Michigan at Temple (7:00 ESPNU) -- Yep, this game is happening.

#21 Auburn at Mississippi State (7:30 ESPN) -- Auburn heads into this game coming off a 52-26 win over Arkansas State last Saturday. They were led by a new QB, Florida castaway Cameron Newton, who acted like his own grandpa throwing for 186 yds and 3 TDs and rushing for 171 yards and 2 TDs. Freshman RB Michael Dyer ran for 95 yards on 14 carries and Ontario McCalebb added 76 yards. AU return 15 starters from last year, not counting Newton nor their kicker (Wes Byrum, who is entering his 11th season). Defensively, AU struggled at times against ASU. The Ark. State starting QB (Ryan Aplin) threw for 275 yards and was 28/42 passing. However, AU only allowed 42 yards rushing. Their strongest position group on defense is probably their LBs led by Craig Stevens and Josh Bynes.

Miss. St. is coming off an impressive 49-7 win over Memphis last Saturday. The backup QB, Tyler Russell had a huge day: 13/16 256 4 TDs. The starter was Chris Relf, who was 7/9 for 116 1 TD and 1 INT. It's still unclear whether they will split time this year but I'm guessing you will see both of them tonight. Their top three RBs appear to be JUCO transfer Vic Ballard, junior Robert Elliot, and freshman LaDarius Perkins, who combined for 156 yards rushing. They have a slew of receivers led by Chad Bumphis, who is their leading receiver from last year and had 4 rec. for 100 yds and 2 TDs last week. Defensively, the Bulldogs struggled last year but looked much better against Memphis, only allowing 237 yards of offense. They are led by linebacker KJ White, who is the team's leading returning tackler. Their top defensive back is probably safety Charles Mitchell.

My gut says MSU takes this game but given Cam Newton's solid performance last week...I think it might be a toss-up.

***Also don't forget the NFL starts tonight with the Saints vs. Vikings (8:30 NBC). So if you have any fantasy know...make sure your lineup is set.

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