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Will Players Perform For Departing Coaches?
The unemployment line is getting a little larger this week as embattled Michigan State Coach John L. Smith will join North Carolina coach John Bunting as individuals who will be pack up their belongings at their respective schools. For our bettors who are constantly in search of a little edge when wagering, how will their teams perform this weekend?
Bunting's Tar Heels head to South Bend and a date with the overrated Irish of Notre Dame and are gigantic +28 point puppies at www.sportingbetusa.com. Meanwhile in East Lansing, the unreliable Spartans are -2 point picks against a Purdue team that suddenly cannot score points for Joe Tiller.
An interception in the end zone thwarted a North Carolina comeback last week, as the team fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and remained winless in league play. A lack of offense has surely led to UNC's dismal season. The team is averaging just 15.2 ypg and not having a great deal of success either running the ball (118.9 ypg) or throwing it (174.6 ypg).
Inconsistent play under center is in the primary culprit, with both red shirt freshman Cam Sexton (42.2 percent completion rate) and junior Joe Dailey (two TDs compared to seven interceptions) struggling. There is not a bona fide number one receiver on the roster, with Brooks Foster (28 receptions, for 326 yards and one TD), Jesse Holley (24 catches, for 358 yards and one TD) and Hakeem Nicks (22 catches, for 336 yards and one TD) representing the best of the bunch. The one constant on offense has been veteran tailback Ronnie McGill, who leads the team with 523 yards rushing and six TDs. However, his 65.4 yards per game doesn't really scare too many defenses.
North Carolina has struggled even more on the defensive side of the ball, allowing a disturbing 32.6 ppg. The team is yielding just 171.2 yards per game passing, but that is only because teams have found that running the Football is a much more effective mode of travel.
A week after pulling off the greatest comeback in the history of Division I-A football, the Spartans were stunned by Indiana on the road on Saturday, by a final of 46-21. The 46 points were the most allowed by Michigan State this season and dropped the program to just 1-4 in league play. As for the Boilermakers, they too felt the sting of defeat on Saturday when they were dumped by Penn State in a 12-0 decision in West Lafayette. Since winning four straight to open the 2006 campaign, Purdue has lost four of five and has scored only three points in the last two games combined. Michigan State currently leads the all-time series with the Boilermakers by a scant 28-27-3 mark, despite dropping three in a row and six of the last seven to Purdue. Last season the Spartans allowed one to get away from them in a 28-21 decision.
Notre Dame is looking for style points to impress the voters so they will try and score some more. As for the Spartans and Purdue, when in doubt grab the points!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.