Saturday, December 30, 2006

Miami, Nevada on the Smurf Turf


MPC Computers Bowl Boise ID 7:30 ESPN
Miami (6-6) vs Nevada (8-4)
Line: Miami -3, 42

7:30 PM ETW/LATSHAAFAAO/U
Nevada 8-4-010-2-05-13-330.9194-8-0
Miami 6-6-03-7-15-21-419.515.11-10-0
Quick Hits:
Miami is 2-4ATS, 1-5 O/U in last 6
Miami is 1-4-1ATS, 4-2SU, 0-6 O/U as Favorite in 2006
Miami is 2-2 ATS in +/- 3 points

Nevada is 5-1 ATS, 5-1 O/U in last 6
Nevada is 2-2ATS, 0-4SU, 2-2 O/U as Dog in 2006
Nevada is 1-1 ATS in +/- 3 points

Season Recap Miami
Big Wins: None
Bad Losses: @Lville 7-31, @Virg 7-17
Record vs Bowl Teams: 2-5

Season Recap Nevada
Big Wins: vSJSt 23-7
Bad Losses: @ArizSt 21-52, vBSt 7-38
Record vs Bowl Teams: 1-3

Miami Offense vs Nevada Defense
100th in Total Yards vs 68th in Total Yards
84th in Passing Yards vs 70th in Passing Yards
89th in Rushing Yards vs 74th in Rushing Yards
99th in Pts per game vs 34th in Pts per game

Miami will try to control the clock with its running game and use that to set up the play action pass. The Hurricanes have been hurt this season by turnovers from the QB positions. Kirby Freeman has stepped in as QB after an injury to Kyle Wright. Nevada has a bend but don't break defense. They are not overly great at stopping drives, but they have been very good in the redzone.

Nevada Offense vs Miami Defense
48th in Total Yards vs 10th in Total Yards
92th in Passing Yards vs 59th in Passing Yards
24th in Rushing Yards vs 8th in Rushing Yards
22nd in Pts per game vs 16th in Pts per game

The speed of Miami's defense is something Nevada has not seen all year. The Hurricanes are very good at stopping the run, which is the Wolfpacks strong suit. The Canes D has been a constant through their last two years of offensive struggles. Nevads uses the "Pistol" formation featuring a running back behind the QB in the shotgun.

Prediction:
Miami must fight off the disappointment of this season and bowl invitation. We have seen how uninspired teams have fared so far. Throw in the coldest weather Miami players have ever seen and the Canes have a lot to overcome it seems. The Canes will have outgoing coach Larry Coker on the sidelines and incoming coach Randy Shannon in the box. Coker is well liked by his players and Shannon, so I expect the Canes to want to send him out with a win. Also, the will not want to go out on a losing season (see FSU). Still, they are probably underestimating Nevada. Miami must win the turnover margin to win this game.

Miami Wins, Nevada Covers, Over

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