Compass Bowl/FCS Champ/NFL Wildcard Forecasts!

FCS National Championship
Pizza Hut Park Frisco, TX
Saturday, January 7th @ 1:00 p.m.

#2 NORTH DAKOTA ST (13-1) VS #1 SAM HOUSTON ST (14-0)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
NORTH DAKOTA ST 139
130
23
1.7
SAM HOUSTON ST
151
190
22
1.7
This is how the playoffs are supposed to work, with all 4 Top seeds playing in the semi-finals and the #1 & #2 seed playing for the Championship. This is just the third meeting between these teams. The series is tied with the home team winning both by 3. NDSU 41-38 in 2007 despite being outgained 495-414 and giving up a TD with :26 left as they scored their own TD with :07 left for the win. SHSU won 48-45 in 2009 with a 620-419 yd edge winning with a 24yd FG with :26 left. This meeting will be much closer to home for the Bearkats who are playing under 200 miles from home while the Bison must migrate over 1000 miles from the cold North and the comforts of the Fargo Dome, where they hosted all 3 of their playoff wins. Both teams defeated an FBS team this year with NDSU beating Minnesota 37-24 and SHSU beating New Mexico 48-45. Both teams faced Western Illinois. SHSU won 20-6 in the season opener with a 313-216 yd edge but that includes allowing a 92 yd TD pass late 4Q with a 20-0 lead. NDSU won 37-21 with a 363-292 yd edge but did lead 37-7 in the 3Q. The Bison are off a 35-7 win over Georgia Southern with a 451-333 yd edge as the Eagles were forced to abandon their running game after falling behind 20-7 and NDSU score their final TD with just :39 left. The Bearkats faced a Montana team that looked to be peaking in the playoffs with big wins over Central Arkansas (41-14) and Northern Iowa (48-10). SHSU won 31-28 with a 496-380 yd edge. They led 31-14 in the 3Q, before allowing Montana to make the comeback but after a stop, SHSU ran out the final 6 min driving to the UM 15 before taking a knee. NDSU is led by QB Brock Jenson, who is avg 172 ypg (68%) with a 13-3 ratio while rushing for 166 yds (2.5, 8 TD). They feature two RB’s in Sam Ojuri (1078, 6.1, 11 TD) and DJ McNorton (981, 5.1, 13 TD). While top WR Warren Holloway leads with 988 (13.2, 8 TD). NDSU defense is allowing just 13.2 ppg and 324 ypg including 3.6 ypc on the ground. SHSU is led by QB Brian Bell, who is avg 150 ypg (61.8%) with a 20-5 ratio while rushing for 274 (3.5, 6 TD). They also feature 2 RB’s in Tim Flanders (1560, 5.6, 22 TD) and Richard Sincere (965, 8.0, 9 TD). Sincere leads the team in rec yds with 449 (18.0, 4 TD), with Flanders adding 404 (14.4, 2 TD). While top WR Torrance Williams leads with 30 rec (397, 13.2, 3 TD) but also had 269 rush (14.9, 3 TD). SHSU defense is allowing 14.8 ppg and just 283 ypg including just 2.6 ypc on the ground.Both teams have had 3 weeks off and how well the Bison will enjoy the break from the cold in what should be almost 60 degree weather is yet to be seen. The Computer calls for NDSU to pull out a 1 pt despite being outgained 70+ yds. We will go with SHSU to remain the only undefeated team in the FCS.

PHIL’S FORECAST: SAM HOUSTON ST 24 NORTH DAKOTA ST 23

 

COMPASS BOWL
Saturday, January 7th @ 1:00 p.m.
Click on the bowl logo for MORE info!!!!

SMU (7-5) VS PITTSBURGH (6-6)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
A.O.R
SMU 97
258
15
3.6
-
93.8
PITTSBURGH
134
168
24
1.3
••
100.4
SMU and Pitt have met 5 times (2-2-1), most recently back in the 1983 Cotton Bowl, a 7-3 Mustang win. Pitt also has familiarity with Legion Field as this is the 2nd str yr they are playing in the Compass (27-10 win over Kentucky LY). HC Jones is 5-3 in bowls and has guided SMU to their 3rd str postssn (1-1, 1st time S/’82-’84, pre-death penalty, matches schl’s best streak). Pitt struggled vs bowl tms TY going just 1-6 being outscored by 6 ppg and outgained by 33 ypg. SMU was 1-4 vs bowl tms being outscored 36-14 and outgained 466-333. Pitt went just 1-3 away from home TY while SMU also struggled going 2-4. Pitt has 10 Sr st’rs among 16 upperclassmen. SMU has 12 among their 18 upperclassmen. A better offense, better defense, better special teams and having played a tougher sked, would have made this an easy choice prior to Pitt HC Graham leaving for Arizona St. Now Pitt must deal with yet another interim HC but did play well in this very bowl gm LY under the same circumstances. SMU players have gone thru the gamut as well of hearing Jones’ name come up for numerous jobs (ironically one was ASt) and are they now wondering if they are playing for a lame duck HC as well? I will stick with my initial pick with the Panthers getting another Compass Bowl win.

PHIL’S FORECAST: PITTSBURGH 24 SMU 20

 

 

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

 

AFC WILDCARD
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7TH
4:30 PM ET NBC

CINCINNATI (9-7) VS HOUSTON (10-6)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
A.O.R
CINCINNATI 87
188
18
1.9
#10
97.6
HOUSTON
158
223
22
1.1
#11
97.2
The Texans defeated the Bengals 20-19 just 4 wks ago to win the AFC South. CIN had a 16-3 lead at the end of the 1H being held to 3 FG’s on 3 trips inside the HOU31. The Texans crushed them in the 2H with 16-6 FD and 202-81 yd edges with Yates leading an 80/13pl yd drive for the GW TD. HOU is 5-3 at home TY with a +103 yd margin (-2 TO’s) for a 22-6 avg score. CIN finished 5-3 on the road TY for a -16 yd difference (+2 TO’s) for a 24-21 avg score. The AFC North/South squared off TY with CIN going 5-4 vs common foes for a +14 ypg margin (+2 TO’s) with a 23-22 avg scoring deficit. HOU was +85 ypg on avg (+5 TO’s) for a 24-15 avg score going 6-3 in those. While this is HOU’s 1st playoff game ever CIN doesn’t have much of an edge as they haven’t won a playoff game since Jan 1991. Reliant Stadium will be incredibly loud here and Dalton’s only other dome game was vs STL. Despite resting key players LW (& Yates leaving early) HOU put in a good game vs TEN and got their confidence back. Yates is expected to start vs a team HOU beat on the road. CIN has promise for 2012 but the Texans are deeper on both sides of the ball with a big intangible edge and are my pick to win it.

PHIL’S FORECAST: HOUSTON 24 CINCINNATI 14

 

NFC WILDCARD
SATURDAY JANUARY 7TH
8:00 PM ET NBC

DETROIT (10-6) VS NEW ORLEANS (13-3)

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
A.O.R
DETROIT 57
370
23
1.3
#27
99.5
NEW ORLEANS
158
413
40
1.7
#6
97.5
NO beat the Lions 31-17 on SNF just 5 weeks ago as Brees hit for 342 yds (72%) with 3 TD’s and a 9.5 ypa vs a Lions defense short 3 starters (DT Suh, FS Delmas, CB Houston). The Saints went into the half with a 304-184 yd edge with a 24-7 lead and held DET to 0-6 on 3rd downs on in the 2H. Stafford had 408 yds passing (70%) with a 1-1 ratio but DET was still playing undisciplined ball and was hit with 11 penalties. Common foes are plentiful with the NFC North and South squaring off TY with NO being +106 ypg (-6 TO’s) with a 33-22 avg score for a 7-2 mark. DET went 5-4 vs the same foes with a +37 yd difference (-2 TO’s) for a 28-27 score deficit. This is DET’s 3rd road game in 4 wks and 1st playoff game since 1999 for a franchise that hasn’t won a postseason game since Jan 1992. DET went 5-3 on the road TY with a +34 yd mark (-2 TO’s) and a 29-28 avg score. Incl playoffs since 2008, NO has been lethal at home vs a non-div foe with a 19-3 mark winning 8 straight by a 37-17 avg score with a +169 yd differential. After the CAR game WR Colston noted “mentally and emotionally, we’re as prepared as a team can be.” DET has to be commended for making the playoffs but getting shredded by Matt Flynn LW has to be a big concern for a defense which now faces the record-setting Brees. NO has better depth, a huge crowd edge and much more experience in this situation. Who dat say gonna beat dem Saints? Not the Lions!

PHIL’S FORECAST: NEW ORLEANS 38 DETROIT 24

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  • Ray

    shows you what you know