San Jose State Spartans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 18 Stanford Cardinal (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Friday, August 31, 2012. 10PM EST.
Where: Stanford Stadium
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: San Jose St. +25.5/Stanford -25.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
Stanford hammered San Jose State last year 57-3. In fact, you have to go back to 2006 which is the last time San Jose State beat the Cardinal, and that was by one point35-34. Yes, we all know most teams try to schedule a winner for opening the season but will Stanford have it that easy? Theyre out of LuckAndrew that is, but whos leading the guys down the field now? The QB situation will definitely impact this game but there are also some potential primetime players who will likely make a splash.
Stanfords QB mystery will likely come down to two guys: Josh Nunes and Brett Nottingham. These guys are two of seven listed QBs on the Cardinal roster but QB coach Pep Hamilton has indicated these two will battle for the starting spot. Both athletic but limited game experience will be an interesting approach on opening day. Either way one of these guys is expected to be the next captain of the ship who also is expected to cover the 25.5 point spread set by the boys in Vegas! The talent level here will be difficult for San Jose State to compete on the other side of the line.
So who are the primetime players in this game? Lets start with my favorite guy; Stepfan Taylor, the Cardinal running back. Taylor is wicked good. He has been overshadowed the past couple years by names like Luck and Gerhart but this will be his season to shine. Stanford coaches have blatantly stated that they are counting on Stepfan to move the chains consistently for the Cardinal. Perhaps the scariest component for opposing defenses is the chip Taylor has on his shoulder as nobody outside of the Cardinal Nation has given him any propsthis will change quickly, in my opinion Taylor may be the best back in the country. Hes definitely a game changer.
Defensive end Ben Gardner and nose guard Terrence Stephens return for the Cardinal to anchor a defense that was third in rushing defense, sixth in third-down conversion D and 11th in sacks at three per game. Again the talent level is deep even though they bring in some youth Stanford will be solid defensively throughout. Shane Skov and Jarek Lancaster will patrol the linebacker zone; both have a lot of experience and Skov is said to be healthy after missing most last season to injury.
Across the line, San Jose State will have to play their best football to compete with the Cardinal. The Spartans are looking to establish their starting QB in possibly David Fales who stepped up in the spring game and has worked hard in training. The coaches are excited to start a new season and hopefully improve each week. DeLeon Eskridge and David Freeman will lineup in the backfield as the Spartans running crew. Both are transfers from bigger programs, DeLeon from Minnesota and David from Washington, so the talent is definitely there. But will they be able to break Stanfords D-line? I dont think so folks!
Im not gonna lie this game is not too hard to handicap, but you never know what can happen in college football or any sports contest. However, I feel totally comfortable saying Stanford will bring everything they have in order to let the country know they are backLucklessand just as lethal. Key on Stepfan Taylor, he is my guy in this game.
Wilsons Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Stanford covers the opening line -25.5. Luck to ya.
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