What I Will be watching this Thursday Night
Rutgers hosts Louisville 7:30
The Big East Showdown, it’s as if whoever scheduled the season saw the future in advance. Rutgers wins they have sole possession of the division championship, if Louisville wins? Well then things get interesting. After an upsetting loss to a Pitt Panther squad that has underachieved all year but is always tough to beat at Heinz field, RU gets a chance to redeem them selves at home against an all to familiar foe. Going all the way back to 1976 in their first meeting, Rutgers leads the all-times series 7-4 and are 4-1 against the Cardinals in Piscataway, so a cake walk should be the furthest of expectations tonight as both teams know what it at stake because the pressure is on! As a New Jersey native it’s no secret who I am rooting for tonight but if Rutgers were to lose and Cincinnati takes down UConn, there will be a four-way tie (Rutgers, Syracuse, Louisville and Cincinnati) for the Big East title giving Louisville the edge for the BCS game due to the tie breakers…with that being said it’s just not going down like that tonight…..RU!......RU!……..RU!…
Keys to the game: Turnovers- Rutgers must win the turnover battle, I expect it to be a close game so therefore one or two turnovers either way could decide the game. Which means it’s crucial that Nova takes care of the ball.
Ball/Clock Possession- Pound the ball Jawan Jamison a back who I believe is one of the best in the country ,eat up of chunks of yards and free up that play action passing game with those big RU receivers.
Special Teams- This category should never be forgotten, a punt return, punt block or constantly pinning Louisville deep in their own territory will allow Rutgers to dial up some blitz packages and cause some potential turnovers and keep their offense stagnant.
And finally WHO WANTS IT MORE!?? lets enjoy what we have left of the Big East as a BCS birth is on the line!
Saints at Falcons 8:30
The 5-6 Saints have been playing playoff football for weeks now after their poor start to the season and a loss tonight against a division rival could just about put the nail in the coffin. The Falcons are a -3 ½ favorite tonight given the fact that they are undefeated at home this season. We must not forget though that single blemish on their record came against this same Saints squad who has seemed to have their number. For some facts, Saints are 4-0 in ATL in the last four meetings so tonight the Falcons will be tested once again. It feels like ATL has been in a game that has come down to the wire in the passed few weeks now, maybe that brings the question of their legitimacy but you can’t deny the fact that they are winning games. With a win tonight ATL would all but sure up a NFC South title. Will the Saints keep their hopes alive tonight? I wouldn’t bet against them, but I’m not a gambling man.
Keys to the Game : Ground Game- Which team will be able to establish some form of a run game. The Falcons piled up less then 50 yards rushing in the first meeting against the Saints, on the flip side you never know what your going to get out of the Saints backfield, that’s not to say they don’t have the talent at the position. For personal (Fantasy Football) reasons I hope Jacquizz Rodgers has a big game tonight…I’m just saying though..
Red Zone Efficiency: What team will put up touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone? As Explosive as the Falcons offense has been, this is an area where they tend to struggle at times giving opposing squads a chance to stay in the game, and against an offense like the Saints it’s not a healthy diet to give them too many of those chances off of missed opportunities.
Turnovers/ Special Teams: As I stated before when speaking about the Rutgers Louisville game this is where most games are won and lost, key take a-ways, field possession, someone on one of these units tonight is going to step up and make a game changing play.
One things for sure, the Georgia Dome will be rockin!
Two Great games on Thursday Night Football….Enjoy!...I definitely will..