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Jerome Bettis

Position: RB Height: 5' 11" Weight: 255 lbs
Bettis ranks fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 13,294 yards. He is one of six players in the NFL with over 13,000 rushing yards.

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June 27, 2007

Here are the consensus bowl picks from the SportGamble.us staff.

Tue., Dec. 14
New Orleans Bowl
North Texas vs Southern Mississippi
SG�s Pick: North Texas
If the So. Miss defense can stop Jamario Thomas from adding to his gaudy stats they should be able to keep this one close.
7:30 pm

Tue., Dec. 21
Champs Sports Bowl
Georgia Tech vs Syracuse
SG�s Pick: Georgia Tech
7:45 pm

Wed., Dec. 22
Memphis vs Bowling Green
SG�s Pick: Bowling Green
I want to pick Memphis to win this battle, but the Falcon�s scoring offense, 4th in the nation, will simply outscore Memphis regardless of how well they play.
8:00 pm

Thur., Dec. 23
PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl
Cincinnati vs Marshall
SG�s Pick: Marshall
Marshall has shown up to play in big games this year. I consider a bowl game a �big� game, wouldn�t you?
6:30 pm

Las Vegas Bowl
Wyoming vs UCLA
SG�s Pick: UCLA
UCLA should burn Wyoming with it�s passing and running game. Although, Wyoming is playing in it�s first bowl game in 11 years�that�s certainly motivating.
9:45 pm

Fri., Dec. 24
Hawaii Bowl
UAB vs Hawaii
SG�s Pick: Hawaii
NCAA�s all time passing leader should have a hay-day against this no show UAB defense
7:00 pm

Mon., Dec. 27
MPC Computers Bowl
Fresno State vs 18 Virginia
SG�s Pick: Virginia
Fresno State failed to play with the big dogs this season and Virginia is on the horizon to become one.
2:00 pm

Motor City Bowl
Toledo vs Connecticut
SG�s Pick: Toledo
Connecticut has a football team? Well, that�s what we would have said last season but they have a QB that can rip the secondary bon ton roulette. You probably haven�t heard of him but the NFL scouts know him very well. Connecticut has a chance if they grasp the mindset they had when meeting Pittsburgh earlier in the year.
5:30 pm

Tue., Dec. 28
Independence Bowl
Iowa State vs Miami (Ohio)
SG�s Pick: Iowa State
Iowa State�s explosive offense will give Miami all they want�plus some.
6:30 pm

Insight Bowl
Oregon State vs Notre Dame
SG�s Pick: Notre Dame
Notre Dame is going to fight its heart out in defense of Tyrone Willingham. Oh, did we mention they�re a pretty good football team anyway?
9:45 pm

Wed., Dec. 29
Houston Bowl
Texas-El Paso vs Colorado
SG�s Pick: Texas-El Paso
Jordan Carson (name sound familiar?) will finally have his chance to showcase his talent on national television. Colorado is still wondering what happened in the Big 12 championship...
4:30 pm

Alamo Bowl
24 Ohio State vs Oklahoma State
SG�s Pick: Ohio State
Oklahoma State is no stranger to big games. Unfortunately, they haven�t learned how to win them.
8:00 pm

Thur., Dec. 30
Continental Tire Bowl
25 Boston College vs North Carolina
SG�s Pick: Boston College
North Carolina has a lack of �big game� experience while Boston College has the �secret to success� for winning bowl games, they�ve won 4 straight.
1:00 pm

Emerald Bowl
New Mexico vs Navy
SG�s Pick: Navy
Did we say Navy? That�s right! These guys finally learned how to play football.
4:30 pm

Holiday Bowl
4 California vs 23 Texas Tech
SG�s Pick: California
Cal will punish Texas Tech for being pushed out of the BCS picture.
8:00 pm

Silicon Valley Bowl
Troy vs Northern Illinois
SG�s Pick: Northern Illinois
Troy has never been to a bowl game and they�re not ready to win one either. N. Illinois has a ground attack that will out-muscle this Troy defense.
11:00 pm

Fri., Dec. 31
Music City Bowl
Alabama vs Minnesota
SG�s Pick: Alabama
This isn�t because we like the SEC. Minnesota isn�t playing at home...
12:00 pm

Sun Bowl
Purdue vs 21 Arizona State
SG�s Pick: Purdue
Arizona State is coming with their 2nd string QB that Purdue�s young, yet darn good, defense should contain. Expect Purdue to light up the score board in this one!
2:00 pm

Liberty Bowl
10 Boise State vs 7 Louisville
SG�s Pick: Louisville
This may be bowl game of the year. If you like fast attack offenses and aggressive scoring, this game is for you! Vegas will be exploding with �total points� bets on this one.
3:30 pm

14 Miami (FLA.) vs 20 Florida
Peach Bowl
SG�s Pick: Florida
If Chris Leak (Gators) isn�t the best QB in the land he will be. When the Gators are operating on all cylinders I would pick them to beat anyone in the country. Keep an eye on this one because it should be a money maker!
7:30 pm

Sat., Jan. 1
Cotton Bowl
15 Tennessee vs 22 Texas A&M;
SG�s Pick: Tennessee
The Vols simply ran out of time in the SEC championship. I suspect they will pick up where they left off. Neither team �should� be here so it will definitely be one of the better games to watch.
11:00 am

Outback Bowl
16 Wisconsin va 8 Georgia
SG�s Pick: Georgia
Wisconsin can play offense buy GA�s fast defense will stop the run and force Wisconsin to throw resulting in too many mistakes to overcome. Georgia wins.
11:00 am

Gator Bowl
17 Florida State va West Virginia
SG�s Pick: Florida State
Florida State has put the lost to Florida behind them. Bowden�s ability to dominate bowl games has a �W� written all over it.
12:30 pm

Capital One Bowl
11 Iowa vs 12 LSU
SG�s Pick: LSU (restrictions apply...)
LSU is young but managed to fight their way to a good bowl game this year. If LSU�s defense can keep the score close they can pull this one off.
1:00 pm

Rose Bowl
13 Michigan vs 6 Texas
SG�s Pick: Texas
If Mack can persuade his players they�re as good as he did the nations coaches Texas will overcome a solid Michigan team.
4:30 pm

Fiesta Bowl
5 Utah vs 19 Pittsburgh
SG�s Pick: Utah
Pittsburgh slipped through the back door to win the Big East but I�m afraid Utah will show Pitt what it�s like to play with the Big Boys.
8:30 pm

Mon., Jan. 3
Sugar Bowl
3 Auburn vs 9 Virginia Tech
SG�s Pick: Auburn
Auburn should be playing for the national title. Look for Auburn to win big for the slight possibility of sharing the title.
8:00 pm

Tue., Jan. 4
Orange Bowl
1 Southern California vs 2 Oklahoma
SG�s Pick: Oklahoma
This one should come down to the last quarter. Oklahoma should prevail with stamina.
8:00 pm

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June 26, 2007

Your passing game starts with the ability of your football wide receivers to get separation from their defenders. It doesn't matter if you have the greatest quarterback in the world if his receivers can't give him a window to throw to.

The first step is to teach your wide receivers how to get off the line. If the defenders are pressing and bumping at the line, the receiver must know how to beat the pressure. Begin by teaching fakes. The most basic is the "head bob". This is where the football wide receiver moves his head to one side while getting his body moving straight or to the other side. A good shoulder fake can spice this move up.

Since defensive backs will eventually pick up on a repeated fake, teach your receivers to mix things up with double-fakes (fake one way, then the other, then move beyond the defensive back) bon ton roulette.

Football wide receivers must also be taught how to use their hands to gain separation. Teach the "rip" and "swim" techniques. If cutting left, teach them to use the right arm to "rip" up through the cornerback's arms. For the "swim" technique, teach your wide receivers to bring the inside arm up and over the corner's arms to knock the arms downward.

Once off the line, good route running is obviously an important skill to develop. One way to help your football wide receivers get open is to have them run hard to a specific spot, get control (possibly use a fake here) and make the cut. Plant the foot away from the direction of the cut, make the cut and then accelerate into the cut. Teach your players the importance of getting the defensive back moving backwards and then cutting away from them.

Besides the straight line charge, you can also have your football receivers use an S-shape weave to get open. Have them run quickly at the defensive back to get close, then "curve" around him to gain separation.

Against man-to-man coverage, learning the art of good cuts and making those cuts at the right time will be extremely important to the success of your wide receivers. Against zone coverage, it's a bit different. Since the defenders are defending an area, the football receivers won't need to use their fakes quite as much since they just need to find the holes in the zone.

One often over-looked area where you can give your players an advantage is in your scouting of the opposition. Don't underestimate the importance of exploiting how your players match up to the other guys. Figure out how you can game-plan how to get your best or fastest receiver matched up against the opposition's weakest or slowest defensive back.

Teach your football wide receivers the correct fundamentals for getting open, game-plan your match ups effectively, then sit back and feel the satisfaction of watching a beautifully executed big play win the game for your players.

About the Author: Matt & Dave run http://www.football-plays-and-drills.com/get-open . For our free report, "5 Keys to Discovering the Successful Coach Inside You", plus an additional free report, send a blank email to mailto:[email protected] .