Professional Handicapper Kelso Sturgeon

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 701 NETS
 702 RAPTORS
4/19/2014 12:30 PM(et)
+2½
-2½
196 
+2
-2
194 
+2
-2
 
+2½
-2½
194½ 
+2
-2
194 
+2
-2
194 
 703 GRIZZLIES
 704 THUNDER
4/19/2014 9:30 PM(et)
+7
-7
191 
+7
-7
192½ 
+7
-7
 
+7
-7
192½ 
+7
-7
192½ 
+7
-7
192½ 
 705 HAWKS
 706 PACERS
4/19/2014 7:00 PM(et)
+7½
-7½
187 
+7½
-7½
186 
+7½
-7½
 
+7½
-7½
186½ 
+7½
-7½
186 
+7½
-7½
186 
 707 WARRIORS
 708 CLIPPERS
4/19/2014 3:30 PM(et)
+6½
-6½
212 
+7
-7
211½ 
+7
-7
 
+7
-7
211½ 
+7
-7
211½ 
+7
-7
211½ 
 709 MAVERICKS
 710 SPURS
4/20/2014 1:00 PM(et)
+8½
-8½
205 
+9
-9
207 
+9
-9
 
+9
-9
206½ 
+9
-9
206½ 
+9
-9
207 
 711 BOBCATS
 712 HEAT
4/20/2014 3:30 PM(et)
+10½
-10½
189 
+9½
-9½
189½ 
+9½
-9½
 
+9½
-9½
189½ 
+9½
-9½
189½ 
+9½
-9½
189½ 
 713 WIZARDS
 714 BULLS
4/20/2014 7:00 PM(et)
+5
-5
182 
+5
-5
181½ 
+5
-5
 
+5
-5
182½ 
+5
-5
181½ 
+5
-5
181½ 
 715 BLAZERS
 716 ROCKETS
4/20/2014 9:30 PM(et)
+5½
-5½
216 
+5½
-5½
215½ 
+5½
-5½
 
+5½
-5½
214½ 
+5½
-5½
215 
+5½
-5½
215½ 
 901 REDS
 902 CUBS
4/18/2014 2:20 PM(et)
-110
+110
off 
 
 
 
 
 
 903 CARDINALS
 904 NATIONALS
4/18/2014 7:05 PM(et)
+105
-105
7p 
 
 
 
 
 
 905 BREWERS
 906 PIRATES
4/18/2014 7:05 PM(et)
+105
-105
7p 
 
 
 
 
 
 907 BRAVES
 908 METS
4/18/2014 7:10 PM(et)
-110
+110
7u 
 
 
 
 
 
 909 PHILLIES
 910 ROCKIES
4/18/2014 8:40 PM(et)
+145
-145
10½p 
 
 
 
 
 
 911 GIANTS
 912 PADRES
4/18/2014 10:10 PM(et)
-110
+110
6½p 
 
 
 
 
 
 913 DIAMONDBACKS
 914 DODGERS
4/18/2014 10:10 PM(et)
+190
-190
7p 
 
 
 
 
 
 915 ANGELS
 916 TIGERS
4/18/2014 7:08 PM(et)
+130
-130
8u 
 
 
 
 
 
 917 BLUEJAYS
 918 INDIANS
4/18/2014 7:05 PM(et)
+120
-120
8p 
 
 
 
 
 
 919 YANKEES
 920 RAYS
4/18/2014 7:10 PM(et)
-110
+110
7½u 
 
 
 
 
 
 921 ORIOLES
 922 REDSOX
4/18/2014 7:10 PM(et)
+130
-130
8p 
 
 
 
 
 
 923 WHITESOX
 924 RANGERS
4/18/2014 8:05 PM(et)
+155
-155
10p 
 
 
 
 
 
 925 TWINS
 926 ROYALS
4/18/2014 8:10 PM(et)
+150
-150
8½p 
 
 
 
 
 
 927 ASTROS
 928 ATHLETICS
4/18/2014 10:05 PM(et)
+200
-200
7p 
 
 
 
 
 
 929 MARINERS
 930 MARLINS
4/18/2014 7:10 PM(et)
+110
-110
7½u 
 
 
 
 
 

No National Football League games scheduled.

No College FootballI-A games scheduled.

No College Basketball games scheduled.

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Kelso Sturgeon has been a professional handicapper for 40 years and has a deep understanding of all facets of the game, be it football, basketball, baseball or horse racing. He's worked as a football scout in the SEC and studied under Hall of Fame coaches like Alabama's Bear Bryant, winner of five national titles and Hank Stram of the Kansas City Chiefs, who won the 1970 Super Bowl. He's been a Regional Sports Editor for the Associated Press, worked as a successful jockey agent and authored several books teaching people how to be a handicapper, including the bestseller, THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO SPORTS BETTING. Kelso also understands that to be a successful handicapper means knowing the business of gambling, and to that end he is personal friends with most of the big linesmakers in Las Vegas and gets the daily scoop on what is happening on the other side of the counter. There is no one better qualifed to be your personal handicapper than Kelso Sturgeon.

Contact us or call 1-800-755-2255 to get Kelso Sturgeon as your personal handicapper. Enter here to get today's free pick!

Around FCS: Heavyweight Showdowns

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When I was a youngster, I remember Muhammad Ali being unjustly stripped of his heavyweight boxing title.

One of the organizing groups that ran boxing at that time quickly came up with an idea to choose another champ. They set up an eight-man elimination tournament to crown a new heavyweight champion, leading to a series of entertaining bouts.

The good thing about FCS is that a champion is crowned on the field every December. But before we get to the 16-team playoffs, there are always a bunch of compelling games from the middle of the season on that ultimately determine those teams making the playoff field.

Some of those heavyweight encounters this weekend include No. 10 Youngstown State playing at No. 7 Southern Illinois in a key Gateway Conference game, while No. 11 Delaware goes to No. 15 New Hampshire in what should be another Colonial Athletic Association shootout.

FCS bragging rights in South Carolina, as well as first place in the Southern Conference, will be on the line when Wofford travels to The Citadel. Before the season, only the most serious of FCS fans would have viewed that game as a heavyweight battle.

Out west, Montana and Eastern Washington will square off in one of the key Big Sky Conference games of the season. The game lost a little luster when EWU was knocked off by Portland State last week, 28-21, but it still will go a long way to determining the league champion.

In Ohio Valley Conference country, Eastern Kentucky has been working its way into the limelight and will face Eastern Illinois in a game that could ultimately decide the league race.

There should be plenty of big punches and counter-punches as we turn the corner towards an exciting weekend of football.

GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT?

One of the basic premises in our judicial system is that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but folks at Jacksonville University kind of got things backwards in their pursuit of protecting the school's PR image in the past couple of weeks.

In an incident that reminded people of last year's Northern Colorado stabbing incident, when one player was convicted of attacking his rival for the punting job, Jacksonville running back Rudell Small was arrested on drug charges before authorities discovered that one of Small's teammates had allegedly attempted to frame him.

Small had made an immediate impression with the Dolphins when he rushed for five touchdowns in JU's 55-10 over UNC-Pembroke on Sept. 22 in his first collegiate start. Small earned Pioneer Football League offensive player of the week honors.

On Sept. 27, Small was pulled from a film session by the campus residence office to inform him that they were searching his dormitory room, telling him that they had received a tip from an anonymous female caller that Small had sold her marijuana and had handguns in his room.

Small returned to his room to find that campus police had discovered more than 20 grams of marijuana in a number of bags distributed around the dorm. No weapons were found, but he was arrested on drug possession charges and spent a night in jail.

Small was released on his own recognizance, but things got worse when he was not only suspended from the team, but also kicked out of school. First-year coach Kerwin Bell, who had coached Small at Trinity Catholic in Ocala, Fla., supported his player and refused to believe the drug allegations.

Bell also began his own investigation into the matter.

But school officials were not as understanding. Small missed last Saturday's PFL opener against Davidson - a 20-10 loss - and wasn't reinstated until Tuesday, when a teammate allegedly confessed to the plot.

Reserve running back Cecil Coltrane has been dismissed from the team, but the university has not acknowledged Coltrane's involvement in the incident.

"Any time there are allegations like this, we take them seriously," said Bell. "(Small is) a tremendous young man with great character and I'm glad we were able to clear his name. It's upsetting that we opened our conference schedule under these circumstances, but we're going to put this behind us and move together as a team."

The question that must be asked, however, is why the university reacted so quickly to not only remove Small from the team, but to suspend him from school?

It seems in this case that a little bit of digging into the matter could have avoided Jacksonville an embarrassing over-reaction and could have helped an upstanding young man deal with the erroneous charges.

Jacksonville officials ought to be ashamed of themselves for the way they handled this situation and the school needs to seriously reevaluate their policies in such matters.

Remember folks, it's innocent until proven guilty.

Small, meanwhile, is trying to put the situation behind him and is back doing what he does best, preparing for his team's game at Dayton this Saturday.

"I'm glad to be back out here," said Small. "It's a relief. It's great to be out here and have all of that stuff behind me."

THROWING A FLAG ON THE OFFICIALS

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced this week that it was suspending three officials for one game each for making inaccurate calls in a Sept. 22 game between Norfolk State and Bethune-Cookman.

The MEAC cited three blown blocking below the waist calls and two pass interference flags, one on offense and another on defense, that had been called against Bethune-Cookman during the Wildcats' 38-31 loss.

Bethune-Cookman President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed had asked the conference to look into the calls and B-CU coach Alvin Wyatt had submitted a tape with the plays on them to the MEAC office for evaluation.

"We regret that there were officiating errors during the game," said MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas. "Ultimately, officials have the responsibility to help protect the integrity of the game and let the teams and coaches decide the outcome on the field."

TOP-25 GAMES

Eastern Washington (3-1, 0-1) at No. 1 Montana (4-0, 1-0)

Was Eastern Washington looking past its game last week to Portland State for what it hoped would be a first-place showdown between undefeated and ranked teams? If it was, the Eagles were stung by a 28-21 loss. Now EWU is in an almost must-win situation at Washington-Grizzly Stadium to stay in the Big Sky race. The Eagles were hurt by their defense, which gave up 520 yards in the loss. Such a performance on Saturday will likely result in a lot more than the 28 points EWU allowed last week. QB Matt Nichols remains the key to the Eagle attack, which must score plenty of points against a good Grizzly defense to stay in this game. Montana has to hope that RB Lex Hilliard is back in good health. Hilliard was banged up last week and the offense suffered with his absence, scoring just one TD in a surprisingly close 18-10 victory over winless Weber State.

Montana 31, Eastern Washington 20

UC Davis (2-3, 0-0) at No. 3 North Dakota State (4-0, 0-0)

A year ago, UC Davis dominated North Dakota State for one half and then allowed the Bison to pull a win out at the end. The Aggies will find their task even more difficult at the Fargo Dome, where NDSU awaits a sellout crowd. UC Davis has been hard to figure this season. The Aggies have beaten Portland State and Northeastern, but have lost to D-II Western Washington. There have also been setbacks to a good Eastern Washington squad and to San Jose State, games where UCD didn't played that poorly. Joe Trombetta has 525 yards and five TDs rushing and 33 catches for 282 yards and two more scores. QB Tim Plough has already thrown for 1,310 yards and 10 TDs, but has given up seven interceptions. The Aggies will need to have everything clicking to beat the Bison. NDSU's defense has been opportunistic and the offense has shown good balance with Steve Walker passing the ball and Tyler Roehl running it.

North Dakota State 41, UC Davis 28

Gardner-Webb (2-2) at No. 5 Appalachian State (4-1)

Appalachian State showed it is still human in a two-game road trip, during which it lost to Wofford and was pushed to overcome another ranked team from Elon. Trey Elder, ranked fifth in NCAA passing, will start again while Armanti Edwards rests his sore left throwing shoulder. With another sellout crowd expected to pack Kidd Brewer Stadium, the Mountaineer offense will be hard to slow down, no matter who is behind center. ASU is looking for improvement on defense, however. LSU DT transfer Tim Washington began to have an impact last week, while Corey Lynch improved his Buchanan Award candidacy with a key blocked punt and a TD-saving interception. Gardner-Webb is known for its wide- open offense, but the Bulldogs' best player is a Buchanan Award candidate in his own right, DE Brian Johnston. GWU is under-manned in this game, but will hope for a big offensive performance from WR/return man DuVaughn Flagler (29 catches, 374 yards). The Bulldogs need to improve in the turnover department, having lost the ball eight times in four games. Playing an opponent as dangerous as ASU, turnovers can be lethal.

Appalachian State 28, Gardner-Webb 24

No. 6 McNeese State (4-0, 0-0) at Texas State (1-3, 0-0)

Southland Conference road trips are always fraught with danger and McNeese State needs to keep its eyes open playing at Texas State. The Cowboys should get enough plays from DE Bryan Smith and his teammates on defense and the QB Derrick Fourroux-led offense to win this one. But Texas State has already taken down a ranked opponent, Cal Poly, at home this season. The Bobcats had shown plenty of offense until last week's 38-3 loss to South Dakota State, with Karrington Bush and Stan Zwinggi combining for 478 yards rushing and Bradley George passing for 842. But defense has been another thing altogether, with TSU giving up 38 points per game.

McNeese State 35, Texas State 24

No. 8 Wofford (4-1, 2-0) at The Citadel (4-1, 1-0)

In 2003, Wofford and The Citadel met for the Southern Conference championship, with Wofford winning 42-16. This time, it is for first place and early control of the SoCon race. The Terriers have knocked off two league heavyweights in the past two weeks, Appalachian State and Furman. A win over The Citadel could propel Wofford to only its second league title, with the bulk of its schedule out of the way. Balance on offense, not usually a Terrier staple, has been one of the biggest keys to success in the past two weeks. Josh Collier (12-of-16 for 187 yards against Furman) has turned into a significant threat as a passer. Wofford's defense has played well enough to keep opponents at bay in the second half. The Citadel, ranked just outside The Sports Network poll, will pose a significant challenge defensively and should put up some points behind QB Duran Lawson (1,166 total yards, 11 TDs) and RB Tory Cooper (365 yards, eight TDs). This one will likely come down to turnovers and homefield advantage.

The Citadel 42, Wofford 34

No. 9 James Madison (4-1, 2-0) at Northeastern (1-3, 0-1)

James Madison has rolled past four opponents in a row since its season-opening loss at North Carolina, including CAA wins over New Hampshire and Villanova. But the trip to Boston will be the Dukes' first road game since the opener, and marks a stretch where JMU plays four of its last six games away from home. Outside of a 42-14 win over Northwestern State, the Huskies have struggled defensively and should have a hard time against the JMU attack, which can hurt teams running or throwing with QB Rodney Landers. But Northeastern usually plays better in the friendly confines of Parsons Field. The Huskies will need a big day from RB Maurice Murray to control the ball.

James Madison 38, Northeastern 17

No. 11 Delaware (5-0, 1-0) at No. 15 New Hampshire (2-2, 0-2)

The showdowns between New Hampshire QB Ricky Santos and Delaware have been legendary, and this could mark the final one of those encounters. Last year, Santos and company beat the Blue Hens 52-49 in a remarkable game that had to be seen to be believed. And of course, Santos' debut game in 2004 was when he came off the bench to beat the defending national champions 24-21 at Delaware. Delaware will try to keep Santos off the field behind Joe Flacco's arm and Omar Cuff's legs in what should be a high-scoring shootout. UNH has struggled defensively, particularly against the pass. New Hampshire is facing an almost must-win situation to stay in the playoff race. Last team that has the ball probably wins.

New Hampshire 49, Delaware 45

Maine (1-3, 0-2) at No. 12 Hofstra (4-0, 1-0)

Coming off an ugly win against Stony Brook, Hofstra didn't shed any doubts about how good it is. With a hungry Maine team coming to Long Island, the Pride will need to be more focused for this one. Maine had an open date after losing to Massachusetts two weeks ago and the rest couldn't have come at a better time for a team that needs to restore its confidence after losing three in a row. The Bears are trying to find some production at quarterback from redshirt freshman Adam Farkas, who replaced sophomore Michael Brusko as the starter in the last game. The Bears have just 285 yards passing, an average of only 71 per game. Maine is also trying to regain its swagger on defense. Hofstra has been rolling on offense behind RB Kareem Huggins (460 yards, five TDs), WR Charles Sullivan (30 catches for 409 yards and four TDs) and QB Bryan Savage (1,094 yards). The Pride turned in a pair of outstanding defensive efforts in their first two wins, but haven't been as sharp in the past two victories over Rhode Island and Stony Brook.

Hofstra 24, Maine 21

Southern Utah (0-4) at No. 13 Montana State (3-1)

Montana State survived a rocky first half to win last week against Idaho State, and seems to be making steady improvement under the guidance of new coach Rob Ash. Demetrius Crawford is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and Jack Rolovich has been consistent at QB. The Bobcat defense has also been solid. Southern Utah has another tough stop on the toughest schedule in FCS after losses to Montana, D-II North Dakota, Southern Illinois and McNeese State. At least the Thunderbirds had an extra week to prepare for this game. Wes Marshall is a pass-run threat at QB for SUU, but has just one TD pass to go with seven interceptions. The SUU defense has allowed almost 40 points per game.

Montana State 45, Southern Utah 21

No. 14 Richmond (3-1, 2-0) at Towson (2-3, 0-3)

The Tim Hightower show moves to the Baltimore suburbs this weekend. Hightower has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Richmond offense, rushing for 782 yards, a 10-yard per-carry average and 12 TDs. The rest of the offense, including QB Eric Ward, has complimented Hightower nicely. THe Spider defense has been up and down, but has the potential to get more consistent as the season progresses. Towson has seen its promising season dissolve into an injury-plagued three-game conference losing streak. QB Sean Schaefer has struggled with his health and has seen his efficiency rating sink to 112, with 11 interceptions - not what you would expect for a player who was among the top QBs in the country last season. The senior-oriented defense might actually be better than it was last season, but the Tigers are not scoring enough to take advantage of the improvement.

Richmond 42, Towson 28

Eastern Kentucky (3-2, 2-0) at No. 16 Eastern Illinois (3-2, 2-0)

EKU has rather quietly snuck up on the OVC this season. The Colonels are often talked about as a potential top-25 program and playoff-caliber team, but have fallen short of those goals in recent years. But a switch in quarterbacks from three-year starter Josh Greco to Allan Holland has made a huge difference in EKU's play. Holland has thrown just one interception and the Colonels have reclaimed their running attack with Bobby Washington and Mark Dunn combining for 760 yards and seven TDs. Turnovers have plagued EKU in recent years, but the Colonels have only five giveaways in five games. The Colonel defense has been good enough to keep the team in games. Eastern Illinois is getting good mileage out of its running game, with four players rushing for more than 100 yards and a pair of quarterbacks, Cole Stinson and Bodie Reeder having been successful throwing the ball. The defense for the Panthers has seemed to play to the level of the competition.

Eastern Kentucky 28, Eastern Illinois 24

Northwestern State (2-2, 1-0) at No. 17 Nicholls State (3-1, 0-0)

In recent years, there have been few places that Northwestern State would rather go than Thibodaux, La., the home of Nicholls State. That's where the Demons will be on Saturday to open Southland Conference play. Nicholls State hasn't earned its national ranking and 3-1 start in the most conventional of ways. Ladarius Webb has been a star both as a defensive back and a quarterback to help the Colonels to a pair of wins. Broderick Cole, the fullback in Nicholls' triple-option attack, is the leading rusher with 220 yards, but any of a number of runners can hurt you. The Colonels have been up and down on defense, as illustrated by holding Rice to 14 points in a win over the FBS opponent and also by the fact they allowed 28 points in one quarter to Azusa Pacific. Northwestern State started with two wins but was torched for 117 points in two losses to Northeastern and Texas Tech, so it is hard to know what to expect from the Purple Swarm defense. On offense, Byron Lawrence has 383 yards and four TDs.

Nicholls State 21, Northwestern State 17

Dartmouth (1-2, 1-0) at No. 18 Yale (3-0, 1-0)

Yale has lived up to its preseason press credentials with a dynamic running attack, led by junior Mike McLeod. McLeod had a school-record 256 yards rushing with five TDs in a 38-17 victory over a good Holy Cross team last week. McLeod already has 565 yards and 12 TDs in just three games. Dartmouth struggled defensively in its first two games before holding Penn to 13 points last week to win its first game. Tom Bennewitz has 549 yards passing and seven TDs, while Milan Williams has rushed for 235 yards and a 5.6 average.

Yale 38, Dartmouth 24

Central Arkansas (1-3, 0-1) at No. 19 Sam Houston State (2-2, 0-0)

It has become put up or shut up time for Sam Houston, a promising team that has had its shares of ups and downs this season. The Bearkats go into Southland Conference play as a team expected to compete for a playoff spot, but SHSU can't afford any slip ups against a conference newcomer. QB Rhett Bomar has 1,271 yards of total offense and has the best FCS tight end to throw to in Blake Martin (21 catches, 10 yards per reception), but the Bearkats are still searching for a running game. Defensively, SHSU has shut down poor teams, but struggled against good ones. Central Arkansas has won just once, but has been one of the more fun teams in the country to watch with some tight, entertaining games. Nathan Brown is a quality passer with 1,080 yards, but he has thrown six interceptions and the Bears have also had trouble running the ball. On defense, Central Arkansas has given up nearly 34 points per game.

Sam Houston State 38, Central Arkansas 34

No. 21 Hampton (3-1) at Princeton (2-1)

Coming off an emotional 24-17 MEAC loss to Delaware State, Hampton faces a different type of challenge as the Pirates venture into the Ivy League. The Pirates were held to 100 yards rushing against DSU, but Van Morgan has been a force the rest of the season, gaining 319 yards. Jeremy Gilchrist has developed into Hampton's top receiving threat since Jerome Mathis with 25 catches for 499 yards (19.6) and four TDs. QB T.J. Mitchell has a strong arm, but needs to complete more than 48% of his passes. Princeton finally got its offense untracked last week in a 42-32 win over Columbia, but still needs to get RB R.C. Lagamarsino (141 yards, three TDs) completely healthy. Brendan Circle is averaging 20.8 yards per reception, but QBs Bill Foran and Greg Mroz have more interceptions than TDs (5-4). You couldn't ask for a game with teams that are much more contrasting and this one should go down to the wire.

Princeton 21, Hampton 17

No. 22 Western Illinois (3-2, 0-0) at Indiana State (0-5, 0-1)

After enduring a 41-28 loss to North Dakota State, Western Illinois is probably looking forward an easier week and the Leathernecks get that with a trip to Indiana State. The Sycamores were trounced 72-10 last week, just days after coach Lou West was fired. Last year, Herb Donaldson had his coming out party with 328 yards and six touchdowns as WIU beat ISU 46-41. Look for Donaldson to have another big day on Saturday against a Sycamore defense that has struggled against the run.

Western Illinois 56, Indiana State 14

No. 23 Illinois State (2-3, 0-1) at Missouri State (3-2, 0-1)

The playoffs begin this Saturday for Illinois State. The Redbirds pretty much have to win their final six games to have any chance of returning to the playoffs. That task won't be easy against a young Missouri State squad that is improving rapidly. Gerald Davis has led a solid Bears rushing attack with 407 yards (5.9 average) and seven TDs. But four other backs also have 100 or more yards. Defense has been the biggest problem for MSU, which is allowing almost 42 points per game. Illinois State is hurting with injuries to some key defensive players, including Buchanan Award candidate Kye Stewart (hamstring). But offense has been a bigger problem. Geno Blow had 167 yards and one touchdown last week in his first start for the Redbirds. Senior QB Luke Drone was picked off three times in the 23-13 loss to Northern Iowa, giving him nine for the season.

Illinois State 24, Missouri State 21

Alabama A&M (4-1, 2-1) at No. 25 Southern (5-0, 3-0)

Southern seems to have reestablished its place at the top of the SWAC standings, but the Jaguars will face another important challenge on Saturday against the defending league champion. The Jaguars have allowed just 10 points in three SWAC wins, four of those on a pair of safeties. Buchanan Award candidate Jarmaul George leads an SU defense that has become a big-play unit. The offense has been a little inconsistent, but Bryant Lee has thrown for 1,112 yards and has a 10-3 TD pass to interception ratio. Darren Coates balances things on the ground with 408 yards rushing and four TDs. Other than a disappointing performance at Grambling (31-6 loss), Alabama A&M has been mowing down opponents with a strong offense. Speedster Ulysses Banks (491 yards, 7.4 average, four TDs) is dangerous anytime he touches the ball. Kelcey Luke already has 1,161 yards and 14 TDs passing. But the Bulldogs know that SU has one of the toughest road venues in the SWAC.

Southern 27, Alabama A&M 21

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE WEEK

Wagner (3-1, 1-0) at Robert Morris (3-2, 2-0)

It may be early in NEC play, but these two teams can get a quick jump on the rest of the competition with a win in this game. Wagner's only loss was to Iona in overtime. The Seahawks have been relying heavily on RB Jason Butler to lead the offense. Butler already has 117 rushing attempts for 530 yards (4.5 average). QB Matt Abbey has only completed 40% of his passes. By controlling the ball with the ground game, Wagner has gotten the most out of its tough defense. Robert Morris has played a challenging schedule for a mid-major team, with its losses coming to Dayton and VMI. Alvin Hill leads a strong group of receivers with 21 catches for a 16.7 average. QB Erik Cwalinski already has thrown for 1,028 yards. The Colonial defense has been erratic, holding Morehead State to eight points, but allowing 40 to VMI. But the tough non- conference slate should have prepared Robert Morris well for NEC play.

Robert Morris 21, Wagner 14

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 10 Youngstown State (4-1, 1-0) at No. 7 Southern Illinois (5-0, 1-0)

Two powerhouse offenses match up in a key Gateway battle. Youngstown State is continuing to find success by running the football and getting steady play from QB Tom Zetts, a four-year starter. Six players including Zetts have over 100 yards rushing, with Jabari Scott leading the way with 302 yards. The Penguin defense has been steadily improving and has allowed just 316 rushing yards in the past four games. Southern Illinois has gone from a running team to a passing team with QB Nick Hill throwing for 1,055 yards with 13 TDs, zero interceptions and a 190.5 passing efficiency rating, good for third nationally. The Salukis can still run the ball with John Randle gaining 361 yards and Deji Karim adding 299. They have combined for 11 rushing TDs. SIU has never been known for its defense, but has allowed just 23 points in its past three games.

Southern Illinois 35, Youngstown State 31

10/5/2007 10:44:29 AM