Friday, September 9, 2005

Week 2 Preview

South Carolina @ Georgia -18 47o/u 5:30 ESPN
Georgia comes into this game riding off their clobbering of Boise State last week. Quarterback D.J. Shockley performed very well in his debut as the starter for the Bulldogs and the defense kept a very high powered offense under wraps. The Dawgs will be facing an old nemesis with a new team this week in Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. The Gamecocks got out to a fast start against Central Florida last Thursday, but did struggle in the second half against an 0-11 team a year ago. My guess is that we saw about 20% of South Carolina’s offensive and defensive package in that game and Spurrier will have something up his sleeve. The question is does he have the talent to go along with his great offensive mind to beat Georgia. The Gamecocks have kept it close with Georgia over the years and with a few breaks could have this one going down to the fourth quarter. If I am betting man, I stay from this game because too many unknowns exist. What kind of tricks does Spurrier have? Is Georgia that good or Boise overrated? Does South Carolina have more talent than it is portraying? How will South Carolina QB Blake Mitchell do in his first game in a hostile environment? Georgia has not played well as a big favorite in years past, but nothing seems the usual when Steve Spurrier is involved. Georgia 35 South Carolina 13

LSU @ Arizona St –1.5 53 9:15 ESPN
This game was originally to be played in Baton Rouge, but due to the immense Hurricane Katrina efforts the game was moved to Tempe. It is hard to imagine LSU players and coaches having their full attention on football this week and last week. LSU has more talent and would have won comfortably in Baton Rouge, but the moving of game and Hurricane has moved this line from 6 down to a 1.5 favorite for ASU. LSU has one of the best WR corps in the nation and talented set of tailbacks at Quarterback Jamarcus Russell’s disposal. The tigers defense should be stout again even with the loss of Head Coach Nick Saban to the NFL. Arizona State destroyed Temple in its first game and features a very good passing attack. Many people feel the Sun Devils are a team that will challenge USC in the Pac-10 this season. Again, this game has a lot of uncertainty surrounding it. LSU has way more talent, but may not have its full attention on the game (and rightly so) and will be playing its first game under new coach, Les Miles. I still like LSU as I believe they will pull together and give the state of Louisiana some desperately needed good news.
LSU 28 Arizona St 24

Clemson @ Maryland -2 42 12:00 ESPN
A good early season match up in the Atlantic Division of the ACC as the Terps and Tigers square off in College Park. Clemson will bring a more balanced attack than expected to the game as freshman James Davis supplied the legs to lead the Tigers on a game-winning field goal drive. QB Charlie Whitehurst left last weeks game with a concussion, but should be ready to go against a Maryland squad that had to come from behind against Navy last week. Maryland looks to be struggling on both sides of the ball early this season as it searches for a quarterback to run Ralph Friedgen’s offense. Clemson has more talent, but may be on an emotional high after beating Texas A&M in the waning seconds last week. Maryland surely had a tough week of practice after an unimpressive showing last Saturday. As long as Clemson limits their turnovers they should be able come out with a W.
Clemson 21 Maryland 17

Wake Forest @ Nebraska -6.5 44.5 7:00 TBS
Wake Forest looks to rebound against a revamped Nebraska team in Lincoln. The Demon Deacons displayed an impressive rushing attack even without the services of Chris Barclay in a loss to Vanderbilt. Nebraska handled Division I-AA Maine with ease, but still appears to be adjusting to Bill Callahan’s West Coast Offense. Wake typically plays better as an underdog, the role they play this weekend. The Cornhuskers probably did not show off a lot their game plan in the win over Maine. Nebraska has a definite size advantage and the “Red Sea” of Lincoln behind. Expect Nebraska to win, but it will be close.
Nebraska 24 Wake Forest 22

North Carolina @ Georgia Tech -12 46 3:30 ABC
The Tarheels travel to Atlanta for their first game of the year to take on the upstart Yellow Jackets. As was the case last season, Tech is coming a big road win before facing UNC as Tech surprised Auburn last weekend on the Plains 23-14. The Jackets keep harping on the fact they have learned their lesson from seasons past and will not let it happen again. UNC has the advantage of seeing Tech play, but also will have to get rid of some first-game jitters early. Gone is the Tarheel’s QB of a season ago, Darien Durant, who led a potent offensive attack. The defense also improved last season under the watchful eye of Head Coach John Bunting. Still, Tech looked very impressive last weekend and will be eager to continue their momentum into the ACC portion of their schedule. The keys to the game will be if Reggie Ball can manage the game well like he did last week and can Tech run the ball effectively. If the second happens, the first will most likely follow. When the Jackets have an efficient ground it takes a lot of pressure of Ball to make the big play. UNC’s defense is not as good as Auburn, so expect Tech to be able to move the ball. UNC will have to rely on turnovers to even the talent level on the field. Tech does not typically play well as a favorite, but this may be different than years past.
Georgia Tech 34 UNC 17

Southern Miss @ Alabama -12 41 7:45 ESPN2
Southern Miss is another team that has been hurt badly by Hurricane Katrina. The Golden Eagles look to have an escape from the bad news this week. Alabama looked a bit off against Middle Tennessee St last Saturday until late in the game. In 2000 Southern Miss came into Tuscaloosa and stunned the Tide 21-0. The last few years Southern Miss has slipped a little bit from its perch in Conference USA while Alabama has begun a resurgence of sorts after coming off probation last season. If the Tide can keep Brodie Croyle from getting injured they should roll over the Eagles.
Alabama 27 Southern Miss 10

Miss. St @ Auburn -15 45.5 12:30 JP
The Bulldogs will look put Auburn in a 0-2 hole this Saturday, but don’t expect it. Auburn QB Brandon Cox has a full game under his belt and good receivers to throw to. Mississippi State’s main weapon is the running game as evidenced by 249 yards rushing last week. Auburn must try to run the ball more in this game as not become one-dimensional. The Bulldogs will have to rely on turnovers to keep it close.
Auburn 31 Miss State 17

La. Tech @ Florida -29.5 55.5 6:00 ESPN2
Florida gets another tune up before the big showdown with Tennessee next week. Expect to show off very little of their game plan this week against Louisiana Tech. Florida may not blow out the Bulldogs if their minds have drifted to the Volunteers already. However, Urban Meyer may want to send Tennessee a little message before their trip to Gainesville.
Florida 42 La Tech 10

Virginia Tech -20 @ Duke 46.5 12:00 JP
After barely escaping Raleigh with a win, the Hokies will travel again to the Triangle area to tangle with Duke. Duke disappointed with their loss to East Carolina last week. Virginia Tech outmans Duke in every area and will win easily.
Virginia Tech 35 Duke 7

Army @ Boston College –27.5 50.5 12:30 ESPN Classic
BC has more talent, they are home, a lot more guessed it-BC big.
Boston College 45 Army 3

Vanderbilt @ Arkansas -10.5 51 7:00
Vanderbilt looks to be stronger in years past as evidenced by a road win at Wake in the first week of action. Arkansas is always a tough win, no matter who the team is. Arkansas rushed for over 400 yards last week against Southwest Missouri State. Vandy allowed 274 yards to Wake Forest.
Arkansas 35 Vanderbilt 17

National Game of the Week: #2 Texas @ #6 Ohio St -1 46.5 8:00 ABC
Two teams that will contend for their respective conference titles and the winner will be a legitimate national championship threat. Both teams have good running attacks and great defenses. Can Mack Brown finally win the big one? This may be his best team and best chance since he arrived in Austin to win the Big 12 and make it to the National Championship Game. Quarterback Vince Young really ‘came into his own’ in last year’s Rose Bowl and is protected by one of the best lines in America. Ohio State has two quarterbacks that will play in Troy Smith and Justin Zwick. Smith is very similar to Vince Young, in terms of running ability, while Zwick is more of a pocket passer. Jim Tressel is 6-1 versus Top 10 teams since coming to Ohio State. Both teams have efficient offenses, strong defenses, and experienced coaches, but if you want to look for one advantage it may Ohio State’s special team. Just ask Miami how important special teams are in big games. Ted Ginn Jr. is one of the most electrifying players in college, playing WR and KR. The Texas field goal also missed some make-able field goals against La-Lafayette. But, gut feeling has told me Texas all summer. The Buckeyes will still be deciding on a quarterback halfway through the second quarter. This should be one of the best games of year. Texas staves off a late charge by Ohio St to win a squeaker.
Texas 21 Ohio St 20

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