What to Watch for Tonight: Thursday 9/01/2011

Thursday What to Watch:  Honestly, not much.  Unless your team is playing and then you want to get a look at them. 

UNLV v. Wisconsin.  It will be interesting to see how new quarterback Russell Wilson does in his new offense.  As a reminder, Wilson was forced to choose between baseball and football and NC State and he chose to leaveUNLV won just 2 games last year and had one of the worst defenses in the nation so it should give Wilson an opportunity to get adjusted to his new team in a game situation.

Wisconsin is favored by 34.5 points, perhaps in part because they were 5th in the nation in scoring last year.  But that had a lot to do with three ridiculous games (vs Austin-Peay, Indiana and Northwestern) in which they averaged 74 poitns a game.   Also, pay attention to how much running opportunity the Badgers have as well as how much time Wilson has to pass the ball because they are breaking in several new starting offensive linemen. 

Wake Forest v. Syracuse.  Syracuse made some big strides under head coach Doug Marrone last year and had their first winning record (8-5) since 2001.  This will be the third year in the system under Marrone and watch quarterback Ryan Nassib to see how his accuracy and consistency is.  The big concern is completion percentage, which he will need to improve to help this team.  Defense was the strength of this team, but just 5 starters return.  Wake Forest had just a 3-9 record last year with having to replace so many starters and use underclassmen.  This year they are in a much better situation.  It will be interesting to see how they adjust to their new 3-4 defensive scheme.

Syracuse is favored by 6.5 points.