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)

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