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ATLANTA -- The team from right down Interstate 75 is eager to take on the big boys. http:///...egro-749771-009.html .In some ways, this will feel almost like a home game for Mercer.The Bears are making the 87-mile trip from Macon to Atlanta on Saturday to take on Georgia Tech, their first game against a top-level school since bringing back the private universitys long-dormant football program three years ago as part of the Football Championship Subdivision.Mercer has some 40 players from Atlantas sprawling suburbs.Its very exciting, said offensive lineman Bret Niederreither, a Pennsylvania native and one of the few Mercer players from outside the state. A lot of guys on our team are from Georgia and the Atlanta area, so theyre ready to go.While the schools are less than a two-hour drive apart, this will be their first meeting since 1938.Mercer dropped its program during World War II and didnt return to the gridiron until 2013, eventually joining the Southern Conference.Now, the Bears (0-1) are taking a big step up in competition.Coach Bobby Lamb is hoping for plenty of support at 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium, the largest venue his fledgling program has played in.Obviously weve had a lot of firsts here at Mercer, Lamb said. This will be our first FBS game, and what better way to start that then in our home state and in Atlanta, where we have over 30,000 alumni.Georgia Tech (1-0) opened its season with a game much farther from home, traveling to Dublin, Ireland to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Boston College.The Yellow Jackets rallied for a lackluster 17-14 victory , scoring the winning touchdown in the final minute but doing little to impress coach Paul Johnson. He promised plenty of lineup changes if his team, coming off a dismal 3-9 showing a year ago, doesnt show signs of improvement.Johnson is also urging his team not to take Mercer lightly, even though the Yellow Jackets have a clear edge is speed, size and talent.Two year ago, Georgia Tech barely escaped with a 42-38 victory over Georgia Southern, which was in its transition stage moving up to FBS from the Southern Conference.Mercer, Johnson fretted, could pose a similar challenge if the Yellow Jackets are caught looking ahead.Im sure theyre fired up and excited to play, he said. We need to be, too.---Some things to watch for in Saturdays game:LINEUP CHANGES: Johnson mentioned punter, A-back and the offensive line as positions that could have new starters this week. He was especially disenchanted with fifth-year senior Ryan Rodwell, virtually guaranteeing that someone else will be handling the punting duties against Mercer. Also, freshman B-back Dedrick Mills, who scored the winning touchdown against Boston College, was suspended for the game for violating team rules. Marcus Marshall will likely get the start.GOTTA GET RUNNING: Georgia Techs triple-option offense bogged down in Week 1, managing only 119 yards rushing and an average of 2.7 yards per carry, one of the worst showings in Johnsons nine seasons at the helm. The coach will be looking to get more production out of the A-backs, who combined for only 3 yards on the ground.JUST FOR KICKS: Both teams have reliable kickers. Georgia Techs Harrison Butker booted a clutch 40-yarder against Boston College that began the fourth-quarter comeback, and all four of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Mercers Cole Fisher went 3-for-3 last week in a 24-23 loss to Citadel, including a career-best 47-yarder.CLUTCH THOMAS: Mercer will have its hands full trying to defend Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas , who came through with a stirring performance in the closing minutes against Boston College. On the winning drive, he escaped a sure sack on one play, completed a 22-yard pass on fourth-and-19, and then connected on a 26-yarder when facing third-and-10.FLAG ON THE BEARS: Mercer was flagged for 10 penalties totaling 103 yards in its opener, a far cry from the team that was one of the least penalized in the nation a year ago. The Bears wont be able to afford that sort of sloppiness against Georgia Tech.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .---AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org http:///...uro-grises-mint.html ., for the next three years with the signings on Monday of Daryl Townsend and Michael Carter. http:///...rmesi849560-405.html .J. -- Marty Brodeur beat the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. http:///...azul-zapatillas.html . It was hard for Luck to pull off another comeback, or even get into the end zone, while standing on the sideline. Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the Chargers a 19-9 victory against the Colts on Monday night.Normally the Playoff Hockey Challenge is but a small percentage of the great marathon that is the NHL season. Not so in this lockout-shortened campaign. This season, the Playoff Hockey Challenge will come with almost equal bragging rights to your regular fantasy hockey pool. In fact, if a team captures the cup while playing in four seven-game series, those games would represent more than half of what the NHL regular season was. If you havent participated in the Playoff Hockey Challenge before, this is your season to get into it. We had almost four months of hockey taken away from us earlier this season, and this game is a chance for the fantasy sports fans to reclaim part of that lost time. Dont settle for your fantasy hockey season ending later this month. Extend it through the postseason with the Playoff Hockey Challenge. The Basics This should be easy for those who enjoy playing the Hockey Challenge during the regular season. The rules are very similar to the Hockey Challenge and are consistent with most of your basic salary-cap games. You pick a team of six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders under a fantasy budget of $100 million. That team scores you goals, assists, wins and shutout bonuses to carry you to glory. Goals are worth a point, assists are worth a point, wins are worth two points, and goaltenders and defensemen get a bonus point for a shutout. Selecting a team of stars should be relatively easy as the game begins with most forwards drawing a salary just under $9 million, the top defensemen just under $8 million and the goaltenders peaking at $11 million. Do the math and you will notice you are just shy of being able to ice a roster of all the top players in the league. While that may be true, its not always the top players in the league who excel in the playoffs. You get to swap out your team after the first round of the playoffs and again after the conference semifinals, but you dont get to trade out the team after the conference finals. In other words, there is no harm in selecting players from teams that get eliminated in the first or second rounds. But when the playoffs are pared down to the four teams vying for a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, that is your final roster lock. There are no limits to the swapping as long as you stay under $100 million. In theory, you could have 36 different players on your roster during the entirety of the Playoff Hockey Challenge. Remember that all NHL players will be available to all other owners you are competing against, whether in a public, private or fan-based group. Your picks need to be shrewd, calculated and, most of all, pretty lucky. The Details Go for the goaltenders first in this game. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown led the NHL in playoff scoring last season with 20 points. That means they led all skaters with 20 points in the Playoff Hockey Challenge. Henrik Lundqvist, whose team was eliminated in the conference finals, compiled 23 points in the Playoff Hockey Challenge.Jonathan Quick? He had 35 points in the Playoff Hockey Challenge. Evgeni Malkin had to be the seventh-highest scoring forward in NHL playoff history in 2009 to just get 36 points. Goaltenders are where the money is in this game. Pick two good ones and you have a guaranteed 48 points through the first three rounds. Pick two goaltenders who both make the Stanley Cup finals and battle in a seven-game series there? Thats 62 points, not counting shutouts. Brown, Kopitar and Ilya Kovalchuk, who was third in playoff scoring last season, didnt equal that number combined. http:///...escentes-verdes.html. Longer playoff series provide and advantage, but not for goaltenders. Goaltenders cannot win more than four games in a series and get zero points if their team loses. Goalies are somewhat capped for points during this game, but there is no limit on what a skater can do for point production. A skater can score in a loss as much as he pleases. Seven-game series are where the real money is at in this fantasy game. A lot of star players not only score points when their team wins games but also when their team loses. A player competing in seven games, even if three of them are losses, has a much better chance of getting more points than a player in four games that are all wins. Defensemen are still important in this game and there will usually be one or two who stand out during the postseason, but the majority of defensemen will all be bunched between six and 10 points. That isnt enough of a difference to break your bank and not be able to afford a key forward who can get into the mid-20s for points. Besides, would you have predicted Drew Doughty and Bryce Salvador would lead the pack last season? Pick the good defensemen at the start of the game and switch out for the hot ones when you get to repick your team. The ones you picked at the start of the game probably wont be the ones leading the way. Picking the seven-game series ahead of time can be a fools errand, but there are slightly smarter places to place your bets. Of the 25 seven-game series in the first round during the past 12 postseasons, only five were between the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds. The most series that went the distance -- eight of them -- involved the No. 3 seed versus the No. 6 seed. No. 4 versus No. 5 accounted for six Game 7s, and No. 2 against No. 7 made up the other six. Thats a fairly even split, but if you are picking between two players where everything else is even in your mind, lean toward the tighter seeding between the teams. One final point: Treat the bonuses as a bonus. Last season was the first time in several years that shutouts in the regular season were an indicator of shutouts to come in the postseason, with Quick, Lundqvist and Mike Smith all notching three playoff shutouts for bonus points. Only three goaltenders during the 2007 through 2011 NHL playoffs posted more than one playoff shutout after finishing top three in shutouts during the regular season: Tim Thomas in 2011, Antti Niemi in 2010 and Dominik Hasek in 2007. Does that mean Pekka Rinne, Cory Schneiderand Smith are bound for great postseasons? Based on last year, yes. Based on the previous five years, no. That leans toward the conclusion that the bonus points are somewhat unpredictable. That said, Lundqvist and Smith sure do seem to pick up a lot of shutouts. If you like the New York Rangers orPhoenix Coyotes chances (if they make the playoffs), those two particular goaltenders do show personal trends for shutouts. But remember some of these facts: In the 2010 playoffs, Michael Leighton led the way with three shutouts after posting one during the regular season. In the 2009 playoffs, Chris Osgood, Cam Ward, Jonas Hiller and Semyon Varlamov led all goaltenders with two shutouts each. During the preceding regular season, they recorded a combined 12 shutouts. TSN Playoff Hockey Challenge is brought to you by Kia. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '