"The Challenge" Week 3

Each week, Sovereign Communications News/Sports Director Joe Dexter and JT pick a few U.P. High School, Collegiate, and NFL football games. The winner- gets bragging rights for a year- the loser- wears a t-shirt of the winners choice in Marquette for the day.

Last week: Joe 7-1   JT 6-2

Overall: Joe 11-2  JT 10-3  1GB

Picks Week 3

Westwood vs. Northern Elite (WI)

Joe: The Patriots shows how potent a power running game with solid clock management can do damage against the spread in a 36-0 victory against Houghton. This week, they travel to Niagara looking for their first road win against another full shotgun spread team. Look for the Patriot defense to set the tone early, and the Veer to attack a line heavy defense often. Patriots win big to move to 2-1 on the season.

JT: After dismantling an undersized Houghton team last week, things get tougher this week for the Westwood Patriots. Remember I said playing Stephenson in week 1 (a 36-18 loss) would pay dividends for the Pats? It does this week. Westwood over Northern Elite

Gladstone vs. Negaunee

Joe: Something has got to give here. Gladstone has looked really good so far this year against Gwinn and Bark River Harris. The Braves had a balance attack this Friday, and it will be interesting to see how the Miners D stands up against Jared Vuksan on the ground and Sam Pouliot behind center. Spread vs. Option could lead to a high scoring game. I believe that the big play ability of Tanner Uren to Brock Weaver could be the difference in this one. But I still thing Gladstone will surprise some people on Friday. Gladstone by six.

JT: A battle of 2-0 teams collide in the Miners backyard. However, these teams are on completely different levels. Gladstone runs a spread offense- Negaunee- the option. I hope the Braves enjoyed the first two weeks of his season- because things are about to get real Friday night against the Miners. Negaunee over Gladstone

Sault Ste. Marie vs. Marquette

Joe: The Redmen have dominated the Blue Devils since back to back 0-9 seasons in 08 and 09. Nothing will change here at home in week three. Chalk up a third straight win for Marquette, heading into the GNC schedule.

JT: Marquette returns home this week after a big time win (let me rephrase that- BIG TIME WIN) at Cheboygan against the Chiefs. Sault St. Marie is no slouch either- the Blue Devils offense put up 46 points on Alpena last week. But I think that Marquette’s BIG OFFENSIVE LINE controls the trenches and plays into the Redmen plan of running the ball and clock control. Marquette over Sault Ste. Marie

Calumet vs. Ishpeming

Joe: A second look at the Hematite schedule secures the fact that they will be favored in all of their remaining games, simply because almost every game from here on out is in their backyard. After opening up in Iron Mountain, Ishpeming will play Westwood on the road, Negaunee, and Gwinn. Perfect travel conditions for success. Not having to go more than 30 minutes Friday nights. This team has shown how talented they are in the first two games of the season, and nothing should change in week three. Ishpeming

JT: I tell you what, its only week 3, but Friday night is do or die for Calumet. The Copper Kings have lost two tough home games by a combined 8 points (30-28 loss to Northland Pines & 12-6 loss to Negaunee) and both of those losses came late in the 4th quarter. For Calumet, a loss means they would have to win out the rest of the way to make the playoffs- and Ishpeming is no easy foe. The Hematites won 20-10 last year in Calumet. Ishpeming is clicking on all cylinders in all phases of their game right now. Calumet is a really good team- but I see them falling to 0-3 this week. Give me Ishpeming over Calumet

Manistique vs. Gwinn

Joe: This could be the most competitive game of the week in High School football throughout Marquette County. Both teams are fighting for their first win under new head coaches. Who ever plays a cleaner game and runs the football better will win this one. Manistique was able to put up 14 on Ishpeming and that should mean something. They win a close one in Gwinn.

JT: For both the Emeralds and Modeltowners, this is a game that they can both win. I agree with Joe here- the key to the game is limiting mistakes and turnovers. Right now- Manistique looks like a more complete football team than Gwinn does. Manistique over Gwinn

UW-Lacrosse vs. Northern Michigan

Joe: Coach Ostrowsky should have some good tape after Thursday’s matchup with the Division III Eagles. This squad has some talent and could make it competitive, but NMU just has to many athletes for a Division III team to compete for all four quarters. NMU
rolls big, with Morley throwing for over 350 yards.

JT: Week 1 of the college football season didn’t go very well for the Wildcats with a 45-10 loss at Findlay to the Oilers. Meanwhile, UW-Lacrosse, a Division-III school, defeated #6 North Central College (Ill.) on the road 21-17 to open up their schedule. I am interested to see what kind of crowd shows up Thursday night at the Superior Dome to watch the Wildcats home opener. I am also interested in seeing the NMU offense and defense play in their own building. I think this game is close, but give me Northern Michigan over UW-Lacrosse

Air Force vs. Michigan

Joe: After a schillacking last week, Michigan will bounce back Saturday with a big win over Air Force. Watch out as Denard will take things over on the ground.

JT: I knew Alabama was good- but not that good- Michigan didn’t help themselves with turnovers either Saturday. But I have erased that game from my memory- as have the Wolverines players and coaches. The Air Force Academy comes to Ann Arbor Saturday- and expect Michigan to take out their frustrations from last week on the Falcons. Michigan over Air Force

Michigan State vs. Central Michigan

Joe: Sorry JT, your Chips are going to get lit up, even if they are fired up heading into this week’s matchup with Michigan State. We know history can repeat itself. Larry Caper and Le’Veon Bell will both have 100 yards rushing.

JT: Ah, my alma mater- the good ole’ CMU Chippewas are hosting Michigan State this week. I am taking Central Michigan over Michigan State…. oh wait this isn’t 2009? No Dan Lefevour? No Bryan Anderson? No Frank Zombo? No Antonio Brown? No Butch Jones? No 29-27 win in East Lansing? Oh ok. MSU running back La’veon Bell will run all over the CMU defense, who had trouble stopping running backs from Southeast Missouri State last week. SPARTY OVER MY CHIPS- IN A BLOWOUT

Rams vs. Lions

Joe: The Lions start the season off right with a big win, as the defense shuts out the edge rush and passing attack of St. Louis. Lions have a good week one and win comfortably.

JT: Ahhh, the NFL is finally back! The Detroit Lions are coming off an 10-6 season in which they finally made the playoffs for the first time in a long time. The Lions have a healthy running backs Kevin Smith and Mikel Leshoure will help out the offense- and last time I checked Matthew Stafford & Calvin Johnson also played for the Lions. St. Louis has a new head coach, Jeff Fischer- you used to coach the Tennessee Titans- where Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was the Titans defensive coordinator for a number of years under Fischer. Its teacher vs. student- and I am taking the student. Detroit over St. Louis

Packers vs. 49ers

Joe: Wow, a great battle to start the season. Can Rodgers pick apart one of the best defenses in the league? Will the running back corps of San Fran dominate the line of scrimmage? How will the new D-line in Green Bay stand up to the running game of the 49ers? I’ll like my secondary team – the 49ers pulling out a nailbiter in the 4th quarter.

JT: Of all the week 1 NFL matchups, San Francisco at Green Bay should be at the top of the list. Both teams are trying to erase bad memories from last years playoff runs, which were both ended by the New York Giants. The Packers are at home, but I think they still have questions on the defensive side of the football. But the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers. By a Mason Crosby field goal Green Bay over San Francisco