Friday, September 30, 2005

Week 5 Predictions

Last Week: 9-3 Season: 28-20-1

#5 Florida -3.5 @ #15 Alabama
Florida covers

#3 Virginia Tech -10 @ West Virginia
WV covers, but VT wins

#4 LSU -14.5 @ Mississippi St
Mississippi State covers, but LSU wins

Syracuse @ #6 FSU -21
Syracuse covers, but FSU wins

South Florida @ #9 Miami -21
Miami covers

Ole Miss @ #10 Tennessee -21
Ole Miss covers, but Tennessee wins

#19 Virginia -3.5 @ Maryland
Virginia covers

Ball State @ #21 Boston College -38
BC covers

Clemson -6.5 @ Wake Forest
Wake covers, but Clemson wins

Utah @ UNC -3.5
Utah covers and wins

Navy -6 @ Duke
Navy covers

South Carolina @ Auburn -13.5
Auburn covers

Middle Tenn St @ Vandy -15.5
Middle Tenn covers, but Vandy wins

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Week 5 Preview


#5 Florida -3.5 @ #15 Alabama 3:30ET CBS

Alabama preview
... Florida and Alabama meet as unbeaten teams for the second time, even though this will be the 10th meeting where both are ranked. ...

Florida vs. Alabama, Oct. 1

Gators stay with running back by committee

Gators grin and Bear it

More articles in previous post

#3 Virginia Tech -10 @ West Virginia 12:00ET ESPN

Virginia Tech Football
Tech- West Virginia Game Picked Up By ESPN Kickoff still set for noon . Past Releases...
... vs. #15
Tech W, 51-7. Game Stats Photo Gallery ... Your Virginia Tech Sports Source!
... stadium expansion to Hite's stable of tailbacks to the West Virginia Mountaineers.

#4 LSU -14.5 @ Mississippi St 2:30ET

Mississippi State fights for survival in midst of top-10 gauntlet
Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom is trying to rebuild a football program. He's also fighting for survival. The Bulldogs host LSU on Saturday for the ...

Tigers try to rebound from potentially demoralizing loss, visit ...
... The Bulldogs started 1-4 in each of the past four seasons. LSU has won five straight and nine of the last 10 meetings with Mississippi State . ...

LSU doesn't have time to dwell on Tennessee loss
.. This week features a quick turnaround for LSU (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference), which is cramming for a game at Mississippi State on Saturday.

Tigers take it easy following second-half collapse
... Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom, a former offensive assistant in the NFL, has noticed a change in philosophy between LSU's defense this season and last ...

Syracuse @ #6 Florida State -21 3:30ET ABC

Inside 20, Seminoles Turn Up Their Intensity
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida State defense is most comfortable with its back against ... Offense vs . ... are expected to start Saturday when the Seminoles host Syracuse. ...

FSU defense makes a stand

Bowden sympathizes with QB
TALLAHASSEEFlorida State coach Bobby Bowden said he understands ... schemes employed by first-year Syracuse coach Greg ... the first half of Saturday's game vs.

Wednesday's Football Practice Report

South Florida @ #9 Miami -21 8:00ET ESPNU

Hurricanes Wary of Upstart Bulls

South Florida Up Next For Hurricanes :: Miami looking for third ...
(#9 AP/#10 Coaches) MIAMI HURRICANES (2-1) vs . SOUTH FLORIDA (3-1). When: 8:00
pm ET
Saturday, October 1, 2005. Where: Orange Bowl (natural grass; ...

Ole Miss @ #10 Tennessee -21 12:30ET JP

Crawley: Forecasting Tennessee Football And The SEC
... We'll all miss him.". Ole Miss at Tennessee ( 12:30 ET, Jefferson Pilot): Ole Miss has won 8 of its last 11 against Eastern Division opponents. ...

Vols need to get over big win, ready for Rebels

It's Ole Miss, not Father Time, that waits for Vols

Ole Miss Football Game Notes

Ole Miss coach confident in preparation
... 10 Tennessee before 100,000-plus at Neyland Stadium. ... Both opponents enjoyed comfortable leads, although Ole Miss battled back to make a game of it at Vanderbilt ...
Rebels Looking Forward To Visit To Rocky Top

Sound philosophy for Rebel practice

#19 Virginia -3.5 @ Maryland 12:00ET JP

Big Game Breakdown - Maryland vs. Virginia
Virginia offensive line vs. Maryland defensive line. All five starters return to
one of the ACC's ...
Maryland offensive line vs. Virginia defensive line ...

Ball State @ #21 Boston College -38 1:00ET

Clemson -6.5 @ Wake Forest 3:30

Wake Forest game a must-win for Tigers
Beat Wake!". That is natural; Clemson faces Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon in an ACC game. But the words take a deeper meaning ...

Wake a hard team to forget
THE PREDICTABLE QUESTIONS thrown at Clemson players came in waves, and each focused on ... and referenced last season's great escape against Wake Forest or the ...

Wake Forest football notebook: Grobe mulls other lineup changes

Navy -6 @ Duke 1:00ET

Duke entertains Navy this Saturday
... In 1943, Navy dealt Duke its only loss of the year when the fourth-ranked Mids defeated the fifth-ranked Blue Devils, 14-13, in Baltimore ...

Mids Set For Action After Three Weeks Off

Dascenzo: Navy's invasion could be trouble

Football: Mids might employ two-quarterback system

Utah @ UNC -3.5 1:35ET

UNC notebook: Heels paying special attention to special teams
... "We didn't play very well on special teams," UNC coach John ... to correct the mistakes that plagued them against the Wolfpack before they host Utah on Saturday. ...

WEAPON: UNC's Tate develops as return man Winston-Salem Journal

For Heels, beating Pack was nice ... but consistency would be ... Durham Herald Sun

If shootouts are needed, Y. offense has weapons
... NORTH CAROLINA 24, UTAH 21: This first big road trip for the Utes is a curious ... UNC is looking for payback and should get it in this rubber game in ACC territory

South Carolina @ Auburn -13.5 7:00ET

Auburn preview
-- STAT OF THE WEEK: Saturday's game will be only the second visit for South Carolina to Auburn . The Gamecocks and Tigers have clashed ...

Schedule allows players to stay fresh for later

Auburn notebook

Unselfish player impresses Spurrier
AUBURN — In a day and age of me first, South Carolina receiver Syvelle Newton seems anything but. In fact ...

South Carolina's Spurrier doubtful QB will play against Auburn

USC running with alternatives

Middle Tenn. St @ Vandy 7:00ET

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Q&A with Chuck Amato

Now 1-2 following last Saturday's 31-24 defeat to North Carolina, the NC State football team has an open date this weekend before it swings back into action with a nationally televised game (ESPN-7:30) at Georgia Tech next Thursday night. Following Wednesday's practice, Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato spent a few minutes with's Tony Haynes to answer some questions about the current state of the NC State football program.

SEC Weekly Release

UT-LSU Game ESPN2's Most Viewed College Football Telecast

ESPN2's coverage of Tennessee's 30-27 overtime victory at LSU Monday averaged a 3.1 rating and more than 2.76 million household impressions, making it the network's highest-rated and most-viewed college football game in its 12-year history.

More Florida vs Alabama Coverage

(On facing Alabama) "We were pleased with our teams play last week. This is going to be a tough stretch over the next couple of weeks. This will be our biggest challenge to date. We have had a good week of practice."

(On comparisons between Tennessee and Alabama) "I think very similar. The X factor is that we will be in their stadium instead of our own. That's a significant advantage for them, just like we had over Tennessee. We are looking forward to it. Alabama is one of the best teams in the SEC."

(On Chad Jackson) "He started way back in February. He still has a long way to go. He has to become more consistent and pay more attention to detail and he can be one of the best receivers in the country. That position he plays that is the focal point of the offense."

Other SEC Coaches Press Conference Notes
Some Recruiting News

ACC Blitz: Hokies Hot
JC ShurburttRecruiting Editor
Blacksburg, Va., quickly is becoming a hot destination for blue-chip recruits in the class of 2006.

Nobody’s All American

I think Tennesse may have finally chosen the right quarterback.

Article from ESPN’s Pat Forde about Rick Clausen’s journey through college football.

ACC Notes

ACC is 14-5 in out of conference play, 2-0 against ranked opponents.

7 of 12 conference games have been decided by seven points or less.

BC is second nationally in rushing defense (54.8 ypg).

Clemson has only committed one turnover this season and ranks fourth best in the nation in penalties per game (3.3)

FSU has been ranked in the last 59 AP polls.

Georgia Tech is allowing opponents to complete only 46.2 percent of its passes and has intercepted 10 balls.

QB Sam Hollenbach of Maryland leads the ACC in total offense (247.2 ypg)

Miami has 5 of the next 6 games at home.

UNC’s next five opponents are 13-4 on the season.

NC State is averaging 33.8 yards per kickoff return.

Virginia has been ranked in 21 straight AP Polls

Virginia Tech’s Marcus Vick leads the ACC in passing efficiency and passing touchdowns.

Road teams are 8-4 in league play this season.

Virginia Tech is 6-0 in road games since joining the ACC.

Since 1999, Miami has scored more touchdowns (54) on punt, kickoff, fumble, interception returns than any other team in the nation.

This information and more from the ACC Weekly Release.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


SEC Game of the Week: #5 Florida at #15 Alabama

Articles of note:

College football notes: Alabama continues to embrace legacy of ...The Ghost of the Bear might never go into hibernation in Alabama. So rather than ...

SEC Football: Why UF-Alabama Matters So You know it's a big game when your opponent so clearly looks ahead to playing you. That's where the Florida Gators find themselves ...

Florida game crucial to Croyle's legacy

Receiver knows about Tide

Bear's shadow endures

Tough road for Gators starts with trip to 'Bama

Putting it all on the line in Bama-Florida matchup

Gators Go By Air

Alabama did what it had to, that's all

No. 15 Tide looks to the 'big game'

Restoring the glory

Senior QBs give edge to their teams

Shula On Sunday

'Bama builds hype for big game vs. UF
Latest Sagarin Conference Ratings

How I see it:
1a. ACC
1b. SEC
3. Big Ten
4. Pac 10
5. Big 12
6. Big East
Vanderbilt Player Shot

Vanderbilt receiver George Smith was shot in the right arm Sunday morning around 2 a.m., according to The Tennessean.
Vanderbilt's vice chancellor of student affairs, David Williams insists that the shooting was not football related.
"Somebody said that they heard this was a rival football thing," said David Williams, Vanderbilt's vice chancellor of student affairs. "Our players didn't even know who these guys were. It wasn't that. Our guys asked them to leave, and then told them they had to leave."
The incident took place in an on-campus, residential dorm.
Despite his injury, Smith could play Saturday when the Commodores host in-state rival MTSU.
ACC Rankings through Week 4

1. Virginia Tech
51-7 victory over Georgia Tech leaves no doubt that the Hokies are favorites to win the ACC and a legitimate National Championship contender.

2. FSU
FSU still is in the driver’s seat for the Atlantic Division title.

3. Miami
The Hurricanes defense dominated Colorado 23-3.

4. Boston College
The Eagles rebounded with a gutsy, overtime victory at Clemson.

5. Virginia
Virginia continues to lay low, but has a tough game at Maryland this weekend.

6. Georgia Tech
Tech will try to lick its wounds and recover in time for a pivotal home game against NC State next Thursday

7. Clemson
The Tigers are reeling from two straight overtime losses after starting 2-0.

8. UNC
Tarheels enjoyed a road win over rival NC State 31-24 Saturday.

9. Maryland
The Terps get back on the winning track with a big road win over Wake Forest.

10. NC State
The Wolfpack fans are grumbling after a second straight loss to UNC.

11. Wake Forest
Wake can run the ball. Problem is they can’t stop anyone.

12. Duke
It is hard to win at Duke.

SEC Rankings through Week 4

Gators hung 49 on Kentucky in the first half and then began preparing for Alabama this Saturday.

Tough to put the Vols above Georgia, but they did just come from 21 points down at LSU. Maybe if they had played Clausen against Florida they could have won that too.

Two uninspiring wins over two overmatched opponents. Some dust will settle on October 8 in Knoxville.

The Tide defense faces a stiff test this week as they welcome the Gators to Tuscaloosa.

LSU needs to find a way to move the ball through the air. They have too many talented receivers to let them go to waste.

Flying under the radar right now and is still right in the thick of the SEC West.

They keep winning so you can’t put them any lower. Even though you want to.

8.South Carolina
Spurrier got to take out some frustration against Troy. Even a 40-year old walkon got a catch.

9.Mississippi St
Showed they have got some talent and heart by keeping the game against UGA respectable.

At least Alabama did not hang 70 on them.

11.Ole Miss
A home loss to a team from the WAC is never good.

Held the Gators scoreless in the second half, but gave up 35 in the second quarter to seal their fate.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Week 4 Recaps

UNC 31 NC State 24
Line: NC State -9.5
Prediction: NC State 24 UNC 21

BC 16 Clemson 13OT
Line: Clemson -3
Prediction: Clemson 24 BC 17

Colorado 3 Miami 23
Line: Miami -14
Prediction: Miami 34 Colorado 14

GT 7 VT 51
Line: VT -11
Prediction: VT 28 GT 21

Maryland 22 WF 12
Line: WF -3
Prediction: Wake Forest 35 Maryland 34

Duke 7 UVA 38
Line: UVA -25
Prediction: Virginia 41 Duke 13

Arkansas 13 Alabama 24
Line: Alabama -15.5
Prediction: Alabama 24 Arkansas 14

W.Kentucky 14 Auburn 37
Prediction: Georgia 27 Miss. St 13

Week 4:W-L:7-4 ATS: 8-3
Season: W-L:38-10 ATS:27-20-1
National Championship Contenders
Dominated in the second half against Oregon after falling behind 13-0. Big test at Arizona State this week.
Longhorns enjoyed a bye week. They go on the road at Missouri this week.
Virginia Tech
Hokies trounced Georgia Tech. Out of conference game at undefeated West Virginia this week.
Scored 35 points against Kentucky in the second quarter. Visit Alabama this Saturday.
The Tigers are trying to hold it together despite all the unforeseen occurrences in this early season. Schedule still sets up in their favor with Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn all visiting Baton Rouge.

In Their Rear View Mirror:
Lacking a stable quarterback to be considered a major threat right now, but is a favorite in the ACC.
The Bulldogs have not shown the killer instinct required for a run at the Rose Bowl, but are still very dangerous.
Ohio State
Look to still be the top team in the Big 10, but have a lot of teams nipping at their heels
Must defeat LSU to stay in the SEC East race.
Can still win their division and hope for a rematch against FSU in the ACC Championship.
Look to be solid on offense and defense, but Brodie Croyle must stay healthy to have any chance.
Michigan State
Offense looks to be one of the best in the country.
Undefeated after a win versus Michigan, but a tough road lies ahead.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Week 4

#10 Tennessee @ #3 LSU -6.5 7:45 Mon ESPN2
Game has been moved from Saturday night to Monday night due to Hurricane Rita. This is the third game this season affected by hurricanes for LSU.
Offense: LSU
LSU showed the ability to run and throw effectively against a top 25 team on the road versus Arizona State. Tennessee looks to have settled on Erik Ainge as their quarterback, but this position is still very shaky. Expect the Vols to ride RB Gerald Riggs for most of the game.
Defense: Tennessee
The Tigers displayed a porous defense against the pass versus Arizona State, but held their own against the run. Good thing Tennessee is a running team. The Vols defense played pretty good against the spread formation of the Gators last week and look up to snuff against a high powered offense.
Special Teams: LSU
LSU blocked two kicks for touchdowns in its first game. The Vols made some major mistakes that cost them the game against Florida. Big advantage here for LSU.
Coaching: Tennessee
Les Miles will be coaching in his first SEC game, first home game, and has had to manage much more than a football team so far this season.
Intangibles: LSU
LSU’s Death Valley is one of the toughest places to play in the country. The crowd will probably be a little toned down from a Saturday night crowd because the game is on Monday and a major hurricane will have just rolled through part of the state. Still, Tennessee had a tough game last week, will have to travel down on Monday, and will be on the road with an unproven quarterback.
Prediction: LSU 27 Tennessee 21

#15 Georgia Tech @ #4 Virginia Tech -11 3:30 ABC
A cloud of uncertainty surrounds this game as Yellow Jacket starting quarterback Reggie Ball’s status is questionable. If Ball cannot go, redshirt freshman Taylor Bennett will start in his place.
Offense: Even
Georgia Tech has more weapons on offense, but with Taylor Bennett likely to get most of the snaps the Yellow Jacket offense will not be as potent. Virginia Tech features a run based attack with Marcus Vick using play action in the passing game. Expect a lot of running in this game.
Defense: Virginia Tech (slight)
Both teams have fast defenses which fly to the ball. The Hokies have a slight advantage here mainly in the secondary where Georgia Tech has shown they can give up the big play to the outside. In last year’s game the Hokies took advantage of poor tackling in the secondary to come from 10 points down in the fourth quarter.
Special Teams: Virginia Tech
The Hokies usually excel in the kicking game. The Yellow Jackets had some trouble with snaps last week, but their usual long snapper will be back this week albeit still injured. Georgia Tech’s Travis Bell is one of the best place kickers in college, but the Jackets kickoff coverage has been bad so far.
Coaching: Even
Both coaches are seasoned veterans who will have a trick or two up their sleeve.
Intangibles: Georgia Tech (slight)
Georgia Tech knows they can beat the Hokies and knows they let a marquee win get away last season. If Reggie Ball can play and play well, it will energize the entire team. The stadium should be rocking as Lane Stadium is on the toughest in the nation.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 28 Georgia Tech 21

Boston College @ Clemson -3 12:00 ESPN
Both teams are coming off of heartbreaking losses at home, but need to rebound if they want to keep pace with Florida State in the Atlantic Division. Boston College starting quarterback Quinton Porter is questionable for this game and may see very limited action.
Offense: Clemson
The Tigers have displayed a balanced attack this season with freshman James Davis carrying the load on the ground and Charlie Whitehurst improving vastly on a dismal last season. The BC offense was rolling along against FSU in the second quarter; then Porter got injured
Defense: Boston College
Clemson has a good defense, but not great. Boston College’s is slightly better.
Special Teams: Clemson
Clemson has a dangerous punt returner in Chansi Stuckey, but BC counters with an equally dangerous Will Blackmon. The Tiger’s kicker Jad Dean has shown a strong, accurate leg so far this season especially in crunch time.
Coaching: Clemson (slight)
The Tigers have shown improvement on offense and defense last season as new coordinators were brought in both sides of the ball.
Intangibles: Even
The heat may affect Boston College, but Clemson may also be feeling the effects of a three overtime game last week. Charlie Whitehurst has to forget about the pass he threw at the end of regulation which could have won it. Clemson will have the home crowd behind them.
Prediction: Clemson 24 Boston College 17

#5 Florida -22 @ Kentucky
The Gators will be without WR Andre Caldwell and DT Ray McDonald and may be looking towards next week game against Alabama. . Look for the Gators to play conservative and rest some of their stars. Don’t be expecting an upset, just closer than the Gators thought
Prediction: Florida 35 Kentucky 21

#7 Georgia -14.5 @ Mississippi State 7:45 ESPN2
Battle of the Bulldogs is not a very even one at that. Mississippi State just does not have the talent to keep up with Georgia for four quarters. Look for the Georgia running backs to have a big day. Weather may play a part in this game too.
Prediction: Georgia 27Miss. St 13

Colorado @ #12 Miami -14 12:00 ABC
After escaping Clemson with a victory, the Hurricanes take on a rebuilding Colorado team. Kyle Wright has settled in at quarterback, but Tyrone Moss will carry the ‘Canes to victory.
Prediction: Miami 34 Colorado 14

Arkansas @ #20 Alabama -15.5 3:30 CBS
Alabama is riding high after their 3-0 start and a road thrashing of South Carolina. Arkansas may have hit rock bottom with a 70-17 embarrassment at the hands of USC last week. Arkansas still features a strong running attack as does Alabama. Normally, Arkansas would need a full week’s attention, but could ‘Bama be looking ahead to Florida next week?
Prediction: Alabama 24 Arkansas 14

Duke @ #23 Virginia -25
Virginia should not have quite the thriller it did last week this week versus Duke.
Prediction: Virginia 41 Duke 13

UNC @ NC State -9.5 12:00 JP
This game has turned into quite a rivalry over the last decade. NC State had a scrimmage against Eastern Kentucky to work out some kinks in its offense. The Tarheels showed an improved defense against Wisconsin, holding the Badgers to 14 points and forcing a safety. The home team has typically won the last few meetings in this series, but it usually very close.
Prediction: NC State 24 UNC 21

Maryland @ Wake Forest -3
A battle of potential ACC bottom feeders in Winston Salem. Wake has a good ground game, but the problem is they cannot stop anyone. Good news for Maryland because they can’t seem to run the ball against anyone. This one may be to close (or ugly) to call.
Prediction: Wake Forest 35 Maryland 34

Wyoming @ Ole Miss -2
Prediction: Ole Miss 21 Wyoming 20

Troy @ South Carolina -20
Prediction: South Carolina 35 Troy 20

Richmond @ Vanderbilt
Prediction: Vanderbilt 41 Richmond 17

W.Kentucky @ Auburn
Prediction: Auburn 38 W. Kentucky 10

Week 3 (10-4, 6-7-1 ATS) YTD(31-6, 19-17-1 ATS)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Team stats for the SEC

Team stats for the ACC
Great article about the best road trips in the SEC.
Week 3 Review

Florida 16 Tennessee 7
In a knock-down, drag’em out slugfest, the Gators prevailed 16-7. In a defensively dominated game, special teams play was dominated by Florida. The Gators blocked a field goal attempt, recovered a muffed punt, and successfully defended a fake punt. The victory proved costly as DT Ray McDonald sprained knee will be out for 4-6 weeks and WR Andre Caldwell was lost for the season. Caldwell scored the first touchdown of the game on an end around designed out of the spread option play Urban Meyer has become famous for. Tennessee looked to be grabbing the momentum when they drove to the Gator with first and goal with a little over five minutes to go in the second quarter tied at 7. Two penalties and three plays later, the Vols were forced to try a field goal, which was blocked and the Vols never regained momentum. ``We left a lot of plays on the field, whether it was a bad route, bad throw or dropped pass,'' Ainge said. ``I thought we played pretty good, but pretty good isn't enough against Florida.'' The Vols started Rick Clausen at quarterback, but Head Coach Phil Fulmer inserted Erik Ainge on the next drive and kept him in for most of the game. Florida QB Chris Leak was sacked five times and did not throw a touchdown, but the Gator ‘D’ held serve in The Swamp. ``That was two sledgehammers swinging at each other all night,'' Meyer said of a game controlled by the defenses. Florida travels to Kentucky next week and must avoid a letdown. Tennessee faces another stiff road challenge at LSU next week.

Miami 36 Clemson 30 3OT
This game may have shown the rest of the country that the ACC has arrived. The Hurricanes outlasted Clemson 36-30 in three overtimes. Down 20-10 with less than five minutes in the fourth quarter, Clemson made a furious comeback to tie the game at 20 with under a minute to go. The teams then traded punches in the first two overtimes. Miami got the ball in the first overtime and rode Tyrone Moss to a touchdown. Clemson came right back as QB Charlie Whitehurst hit Curtis Baham for a 5 yard strike to the game again. In the second overtime, the Tiger’s Jad Dean hit a 39 yard field goal to put Clemson up three. The Hurricanes drove down near the Clemson goaline, but were stuffed and forced to settle for a field goal. The Tigers hoped in overtime they could win their third straight come from behind victory, but it was not to be. Charlie Whitehurst was then intercepted on second and ten by freshman safety Kenny Phillips to win the game for Miami. "I told them I was disappointed that we lost, but I'm really honored to be the head coach of a team like the one we've got that won't quit," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden. "There's just no quit in them." Miami running back Tyrone Moss came into the game not sure how much he would be able to play; he racked 139 yards and three touchdowns including the game winner. Some people doubted whether or not Moss could carry the load and maintain the tradition of Miami running backs, despite a 102 yard performance in the first game of the season against FSU. "I know I can be the man," Moss said. "I can get the job done. There was no doubt in my mind." Miami avoided starting the season 0-2 with both losses being in conference and a sweep by the Bowdens. The last time Miami started 0-2 was 1978. The Hurricanes were lucky to be in overtime as a blown coverage on third and goal in regulation left Clemson WR Chansi Stuckey wide open in the end zone, but Charlie Whitehurst overthrew his receiver. Clemson settled for a 27-yard game tying field goal to send it to overtime. "We are bubbling with confidence in the fourth quarter. We fully expected to win. We made the plays we needed to to get this thing in to overtime but they one upped us. We had pocket kings. They had pocket aces, said Clemson WR Curtis Baham. "I told them I was disappointed that we lost, but I'm really honored to be the head coach of a team like the one we've got that won't quit," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden. "There's just no quit in them." Miami hosts Colorado next week while Clemson hosts Boston College-an elimination game for the Atlantic Division of the ACC.

FSU 28 Boston College 17
Florida State withstood a goal line challenge and went into Chestnut Hill and defeated Boston College 28-17. With just over 2 minutes to left to go in the fourth quarter, the Eagles had driven down the FSU goal line, but could not score a touchdown. The victory gives the Seminoles a leg up on their division in the race for the first ever ACC Championship Game. The game did not start out well for the Eagles as Quinton Porter’s first pass was intercepted and returned it for a touchdown by Seminole linebacker A.J. Nicholson. ``That was just stupid. It's more like bad luck,'' said Porter, who arrived at the post game press conference on crutches. ``The guy hit me just as I was throwing. I was trying to throw it away.'' Porter as injured and later in the game and did not return. FSU went up by two touchdowns before the Eagles roared back to take a 17-14 halftime lead. Drew Weatherford played better, but still struggled in his third start. ``It was a game of two halves. They outfought us in the first half,'' Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said. ``They were hanging on, then they lost their quarterback. I don't know what would have happened.'' Boston College must travel to Clemson next week. FSU is off next week.

Alabama 37 South Carolina 17
The Gamecock defense appeared helpless against Alabama on as Kenneth Darby rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Alabama ran through gaping holes and missed tackles for 338 yards of rushing offense in a 37-14 win over South Carolina on Saturday. The offensive total of 489 yards was the most ever under Mike Shula. The Tide won just their third road game in the Shula era, previously beating Kentucky and Mississippi State. South Carolina responded to an Alabama touchdown with a score of their own in the first quarter, but could never hold on to any momentum as the Tide rolled from there on out. Alabama hosts Arkansas this week while the Gamecocks host Troy.

Virginia Tech 45 Ohio 0
The Hokies shut out their opponent for the second week in a row as they blasted Ohio 45-0. Marcus Vick was 12-16 with two touchdown passes and another rushing. The Hokies defense also stepped up, stopping the Bobcats twice inside the Virginia Tech red zone. Virginia Tech gets a tough test this week as Georgia Tech comes to Blacksburg.

West Virginia 31 Maryland 19
West Virginia never trailed in this game as they beat Maryland for the second straight season 31-19. Backup quarterback Pat White helped lead the Moutaineers to the victory despite a late charge by Maryland. West Virginia led this game 21-6 in the fourth before two fourth quarter touchdown brought the Terps with two. Justin Gwaltney rushed 15 yards for a Moutaineer score to put the game away on the next drive. Maryland travels to Wake Forest this week.

Virginia 27 Syracuse 24
Virginia used a six minute drive, to kick a 19 yard field goal as time expired to beat Syracuse 27-24 in the Carrier Dome. The Cavaliers used 255 yards of total offense from QB Marques Hagans for the road victory. Hagans led Virginia with 110 yards rushing, but also threw three interceptions. Virginia hosts Duke this week.

Georgia Tech 28 UCONN 13
With starting quarterback Reggie Ball in the hospital, backup Taylor Bennett helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 28-13 victory. Backup running back Tashard Choice chipped in with 89 yards and two touchdowns. Bennett completed his first pass to Calvin Johsnon who then scampered 42 yards for a touchdown. The Georgia Tech defense kept the Huskies offense under wraps most of the afternoon and forced 3 turnovers. The special teams also recovered a fumble on the kickoff. However, Tech’s special teams were not especially sharp either with a botched punt snap and a missed field goal. Ball has been diagnosed with viral meningitis and may miss this week’s game at Virginia Tech. .

Vanderbilt 31 Ole Miss 23
Vanderbilt rung up its second straight conference win behind 314 yards passing from Jay Cutler against Ed Ogeron and the Ole Miss Rebels. The Commodores led for most of the game, but were challenged late in the fourth quarter until backup QB Robert Lane fumbled the ball and Vanderbilt recovered. Mike Espy provided a punt return for the Rebels to pull within 1 in the fourth quarter. Vanderbilt is 2-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1956. Vanderbilt plays Richmond this week while Ole Miss hosts Wyoming.

Georgia 44 La-Monroe 7
Georgia rolled over La-Monroe behind 109 yards rushing from Danny Ware in a 44-7 victory. DJ Shockley passed for 246 yards with a touchdown. Georgia rested some key players in hopes of their return this week at Mississippi State.

USC 70 Arkansas 17
Arkansas’ downward spiral continued against USC as the Trojans looked unstoppable Saturday night in Los Angeles. USC scored 28 points in the first quarter and never scored less than 14 in a quarter. Matt Leinart completed 18/24 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Reggie Bush rushed just eight times but had 125 yards, 75 came on the first touchdown of the game. Steve Smith led the Trojans with 129 yards of receiving. Arkansas travels to Alabama this week.

NC State 54 E.Kentucky 10

Wake Forest 44 East Carolina 34

Wisconsin 14 UNC 5

Duke 40 VMI 14

Auburn 63 Ball State 3

Mississippi State 21 Tulane 14

Indiana 38 Kentucky 14
ACC Rankings through Week 3
1.Virginia Tech
The Hokies have dominated their last two opponents and have a key road win at NC State. Big test this week versus Georgia Tech.

FSU avoided a potential landmine with a win at Boston College. They have the inside track to winning their division.

The Hurricanes rebounded with a big victory against Clemson. They have a somewhat easy schedule for the next few weeks.

4.Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets keep the momentum going with a win over UCONN. However, they may be without QB Reggie Ball at Virginia Tech this weekend.

Clemson could not pull a third straight fourth quarter comeback last week against Miami. This team has showed the will to win and will need it against BC this Saturday.

6.Boston College
BC feels it outplayed FSU last weekend, but ended up with the loss. Now the Eagles must guard against a let down in a crucial road contest against Clemson.

The Cavaliers have not been overly impressive in the first two games, and don’t appear to have the talent to make a run at the championship game.

8.NC State
The Wolfpack need a victory against UNC this Saturday if they want a good chance at a bowl game this season. Defense looks strong, offense needs work.

After a 14-5 loss against Wisconsin, the Tarheels schedule doesn’t get any easier as they play at NC State this week.

Maryland is really struggling on offense-uncharacteristic for a Ralph Friedgen team. It may be now or never if a bowl game is to be played this season.

11.Wake Forest
The Deacons finally got a win over East Carolina last week. Maryland comes to town this week.

Duke will be preseason number one in basketball this season without a doubt.

SEC Rankings through Week 3
LSU showed a lot of heart coming back from down 10 at Arizona State. Tennessee comes calling this week in Baton Rouge in what should be a great game.

The Gators pulled out the victory last week, but it proved to be costly. WR Andre Caldwell is out for the season and DT Ray McDonald may be out until November.

The Bulldogs continue to lay in the weeds as a sleeper in the SEC East. The running game is going and DJ Shockley has proved to be an adequate quarterback so far.

The Vols suffered a tough loss last week, but there is no time to rest as they travel to Baton Rouge this week. Tennessee looks to have decided on Erik Ainge as their quarterback.

Don’t look now, but Alabama better be on your radar as a team to watch out for in the SEC. The Tide dominated South Carolina in Columbia.

Auburn looks to have settled after a rough start to the season. The Tigers have another easy contest this week against Western Kentucky.

Vanderbilt is 3-0 and 2-0 in the conference. Can you say Vanderbilt and bowl eligible? Next two games are Middle Tennessee State and Richmond.

8.South Carolina
After a good showing against Georgia, the Gamecocks looked abysmal against Alabama. We should have known South Carolina was not as they showed against Georgia, but they are not as bad as they played against Alabama.

9.Ole Miss
The Rebels missed a great chance to improve their bowl chances against Vandy last week. They have an uphill climb to a bowl game now.

10.Mississippi State
Sylvester Croom’s team looks improved in his second year, but they have a long way go go.

The biggest disappointment in the SEC by far. The Razorbacks were embarrassed by USC last week 70-17. Of course, USC makes a lot of teams look foolish these days.

Basketball starts in less than a month.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005

ACC/SEC Week 3 Preview

# 5 Tennessee (1-0) @ #6 Florida (2-0) -6.5 8:00EST CBS
One week after Texas/Ohio State, we get another heavyweight matchup this week. But this time it is a conference matchup and one that may go a long ways to deciding who wins the SEC East. Tennessee enters this game with two quarterbacks seeing time early. Neither Sophomore Erik Ainge nor Senior Rick Clausen was able to grab the job in the first game of the year against UAB. ``Rick will start and we'll rotate probably,'' Vols coach Phillip Fulmer said last week. ``I want somebody to take the job and it be it.'' The Vols will more than likely rely on their ground game with Gerald Riggs, Jr leading the charge. Florida will be in its third game under Urban Meyer’s system, but will face their first serious test after two warm-ups. The Gators struggled in the running game against Wyoming, but rebounded against Louisiana Tech last week. ``DeShawn packs a little more power,'' Meyer said. ``We need that in this offense. We need a downhill runner.'' Historically, the winner of the rushing battle has won this game. This statistic would seem to favor the Vols, but in Meyer’s system QB Chris Leak will be expected to run as well as the running backs. The keys to the game will be whether or not Tennessee can find a quarterback they can count on, whether Florida can run the ball, and how Tennessee will defend the spread offense. Of course, turnovers and special teams will play a big part as well. Prediction: Florida 28 Tennessee 27

#8 Florida State (2-0) -1 @ #17 Boston College (2-0) 7:45EST ESPN
FSU Quarterback Drew Weatherford hopefully regained some confidence against The Citadel last week after a performance to regret against Miami. The Seminoles running game looks strong after two games and will be relied on to move the chains. Boston College comes into this game with something to prove; they have labeled as one point underdogs at home. This is BC’s first ACC game and it is an intra-division game as well against one of the favorites. ``Everyone's been talking about Florida State since last year,'' said Eagles running back Brian Toal. ``A couple of guys, including myself, were looking ahead a little bit.'' Defensive End Mathias Kiwanuka has yet to register a sack, but look for him to be in Drew Weatherford’s face most of the afternoon. This will be the most speed Boston College has seen on the field since they played Miami two years ago. ``I'm excited about this group, excited as I can be,'' said the 75-year-old Bowden, the all-time leader with 353 coaching victories. ``They got speed, they got talent.'' The keys to the game will be Drew Weatherford’s play, the Eagles offensive line giving QB Quinton Porter enough time to throw, and BC’s ability to stop the run.
Prediction: FSU 20 BC 17

#13 Miami (0-1) -7 @ #20 Clemson (2-0) 3:30EST ABC
Miami has had a week off to think about its loss to FSU and to prepare for the Tigers. Clemson is coming off another come from behind victory against Maryland. So far this season, the Tigers have leaned on their running game to win games. ``I think the team right now has the mentality that if we play hard for 60 minutes, something can happen to swing it our way,'' Bowden said. ``That's hard to instill in a team.'' The Hurricanes struggled with the run last season and against Florida State. QB Charlie Whitehurst is a better passer than Drew Weatherford and should be able to keep the ‘Canes defense from putting eight men in the box. Special Teams really hurt Miami against FSU and they will have to improve to win at Clemson. Meanwhile, the Tigers special teams have been a bright spot with great field goal kicking and return game so far. The keys to the game will be whether or not the Tigers can put pressure on Kyle Wright like FSU did, can the Tigers run the ball on Miami, and will Miami play better on special teams. Wright was sacked nine times in the FSU game, including a crucial second-and-goal play near the end of the game. Miami would start 0-2 and possibly drop out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1999 if it loses to Clemson. ``It's a game we need to win,'' Coker said. ``It's a very, very important game for us, but to say it's do-or-die, I wouldn't say that at this point.'' Prediction: Miami 24 Clemson 22

Alabama (2-0) -2 @ South Carolina (1-1) 3:30EST CBS
The Gamecocks face another tough SEC opponent this week as Alabama travels to Columbia for an early season tilt that may have major bowl implications later on. The Gamecocks had chances to upset Georgia last week, but the kicking game cost them. Quarterback Brodie Croyle relied on the passing game to lead Alabama from behind last week, but Alabama will look to run the ball a lot this week after seeing how UGA carved up South Carolina’s defense on the ground. The Gamecocks QB Blake Mitchell has played better than most everyone expected, but a running game will have to find life for South Carolina to make a move this year in the SEC. The keys to the game will Mitchell’s play against another good defense, Alabama’s ability to run the ball, and the South Carolina kicking game.
Prediction: South Carolina 18 Alabama 17

Arkansas (1-1) @ #1 USC (1-0) -30.5 10:15EST FSN
After losing a heartbreaker at home last week, things do not get any easier for the Razorbacks as they head west to face the Trojans. Arkansas looks to have a solid running game, but has not faced a defense remotely close to USC’s caliber. This may be a long night for Houston Nutt as the Trojans are loaded at every position. Arkansas will have to force turnovers, make some big special teams plays, and play mistake free for 60 minutes to come close to beating USC. Oh yea, USC had a week off to prepare in case they need it. This one could get ugly Razorback fans. Prediction: USC 49 Arkansas 10

Ole Miss (1-0) @ Vanderbilt (2-0) -2.5 12:30EST JP
Don’t look now, but Vandy could be going for 3-0, 2-0 in the SEC. Ole Miss had the week off after a thrilling 10-6 victory over Memphis, in which new coach Ed Ogeron displayed a vastly improved defense over a year ago. The Commodores have played some soft defenses in their first two games. Nevertheless, QB Jay Cutler is playing his way onto a possible All-SEC Team. The Rebel offense did not impress in their first game and will need to improve against Vandy, who is giving up 234 yards per game on the ground.
Prediction: Ole Miss 13 Vanderbilt 10

Wisconsin (2-0) -3 @ UNC (0-1) 7:00EST ESPN2
The Badgers Head Coach Barry Alvarez probably began preparing for the Tarheels at halftime last week of Wisconsin’s romp over Temple. UNC now has a game under their belt albeit a loss. UNC showed an ability to pass the ball, but once again the defense seems to be a thorn in their side. For the first three quarters, Georgia Tech was able to do whatever they wanted against the Tarheel’s ‘D’. Wisconsin’s Brian Calhoun looks to be another in the line of good running backs in Madison and is averaging 150 yards per game this season. The Badgers will need to rely on him, as the passing game is still anemic at times. This is a very important game for the Tarheels if they want to reach a bowl game again this season. The keys to the game will be whether or not UNC can slow the running game of Wisconsin and if UNC can run the ball themselves. Prediction: Wisconsin 38 UNC 31

West Virginia (2-0) @ Maryland (1-1) –3 12:00EST JP
Ralph Friedgen’s group looks to recover from a tough loss last week against the Mountaineers at home. Maryland TE Vernon Davis is coming off a 140-yard performance against Clemson and will look to have another big day. West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez employs a spread offense, but has new faces at many of the skill positions. The Mountaineers do lead the nation in total defense, but their previous competition may be the reason for this. The Terrapins sloppy play cost them last week’s victory and the have to cut down on mistakes to win this game. Prediction: Maryland 28 West Virginia 21

UCONN (2-0) @ #16 Georgia Tech (2-0) -15 6:45EST ESPNU
Connecticut brings a strong defense into Atlanta this week for a tangle with the undefeated Yellow Jackets. So far this season, UCONN has outscored opponents 97-0. Those opponents were lowly Division I-A Buffalo and even lower Division I-AA Liberty. The Huskies have racked up 511 yards per game of offense while only yielding 143 yards per game. UCONN’s big player is running back Cornell Brockington, who led the Big East in rushing last season. Too bad, the Huskies strength plays right into Tech’s defensive strength. Tech looks to have a more balanced attack on offense this season with Reggie Ball’s decision making improved so far and multiple receivers making catches. One weakness for Tech this season has been the cornerbacks. Kenny Scott and Dennis Davis are left on islands many times and have struggled somewhat in man-to-man coverage. The Huskies have a new starter this season at Quarterback and Tech effectively shut down 4th round pick Dan Orlovsky last season in a 30-7 Yellow Jacket win. Prediction: Georgia Tech 24 UCONN 10

UL-Monroe (0-2) @ #7 Georgia (2-0) –38
Georgia should beat UL-Monroe no problems. The Bulldogs have not had great success in game where they are favored heavily, but Georgia should roll easily as UL-Monroe is one of the worst teams in Division I-A. Prediction: Georgia 52 UL Monroe 7

#25 Virginia (1-0) -7.5 @ Syracuse (1-1) 12:00EST ESPN2
UVA looks to improve after a week off from a lackluster performance against Western Michigan against Syracuse. The Cavaliers will likely be with tailback Wali Lundy, so expect Alvin Pearman to start in his place. Virginia’s attack is centered around quarterback Marques Hagans’ ability to run and throw. The Orange offense did not impress anyone with their performance against West Virginia two weeks ago, only racking up 103 yards in total offense. Syracuse hopes to take advantage of the Carrier Dome, which can be a very tough place to play for opponents not used to playing in a Dome. Virginia should be able escape Syracuse with a victory though. Prediction: Virginia 21 Syracuse 17

Ball State (0-2) @ Auburn (1-1) –35 2:30EST
The Tigers should beat Ball State with ease at home. Don’t expect them to be looking ahead to Western Kentucky next week despite their #2 ranking in Division I-AA either. Prediction: Auburn 49 Ball State 3

East Carolina (1-0) @ Wake Forest (0-2) –13 6:30EST
Wake Forest has played bad in two games in a row, yet they are favored by almost two touchdowns at home versus a team that just defeated Duke. The Demon Deacons have shown a sound running game, but that is about it. Wake should have the advantage at home, but this one will be close. Prediction: Wake Forest 35 East Carolina 27

Ohio (1-1) @ #4 Virginia Tech (2-0) -33.5 3:30EST ESPNU
Virginia Tech will begin preparing for Georgia Tech about midway through the third quarter. Hokies win in a blowout. Prediction: VT 35 Ohio 3

Kentucky (1-1) @ Indiana (2-0) -2.5 6:45EST
A good better suited to be played in basketball as two rivals square off. Kentucky looked good against, but then had to come from behind against Idaho St. The Wildcats have won 9 of the last 10 in this series. Both teams are allowing over 400 yards per game so look for a shootout. Prediction: Kentucky 34 Indiana 31

Mississippi State (1-1) -2.5 @ Tulane (0-0) 8:00EST CSTV
Tulane will be playing its first game of the year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina forced them to Jackson, Mississippi and later to Dallas. The game will be played in Shreveport, but will be a home game for the Green Wave. The Bulldogs will try to bounce back from being shutout at Auburn. It is hard to imagine Tulane having their mind on football lately, but tragedies can bring teams together. It would hopefully bring some joy to New Orleans and Tulane University if their game can pull it together for 60 minutes.
Prediction: Tulane 28 Miss St 24

Eastern Kentucky (0-2) @ NC State (0-1) 6:00EST
The Wolfpack will be able to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Virginia Tech two weeks as they get a tune up with Eastern Kentucky this week.
Prediction: NC State 42 E. Kentucky 14

VMI (1-1) @ Duke (0-2) 1:00EST
VMI may have a chance in this game because Duke has looked that bad so far this season. The Blue Devils should be able to muster a victory in this uninspiring contest in Durham.
Prediction Duke 20 VMI 3