Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Week One Recap

7-4 ATS. Teams taken are in bold.

Miami vs Florida State (Sept. 5) Miami -3

FSU got the win in a thrilling, but sometimes boring game on Monday night. FSU relied heavily on their running backs, their defense, and some untimely errors by Miami to get the win. DrewWeatherford looked lost at times and could not get in any type of rhythm against a good Miami defense. Miami’s Kyle Wright played very well at times showing flashes of brilliance to come, but also made some crucial mistakes. However, being sacked nine times was a killer for the ‘Canes. Miami was outplayed badly by FSU in the first quarter, but won the battle in the final three quarters. The Hurricanes drove from their own 4 yard line down the FSU two yard line late in the fourth quarter. Here, Wright made his biggest mistake by taking a sack back to the 10 yard line. This was FSU’s ninth sack of the game! The play call on third down and subsequent botched field goal sealed it for the Seminoles. FSU was outplayed but won the battle in the trenches and in special teams-two areas that had allowed Miami to win six straight in this series before Monday. These teams may well meet again in the inaguaral ACC Championship Game, but Miami has a tougher road to hoe with Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in their division.

#13 Georgia vs #18 Boise St Georgia – 7

This game did not turn out quite like expected. Boise’s vaunted offense literally wilted under the pressure in Sanford Stadium. Quarterback Jared Zabransky threw picks on his first two passes and D.J. Shockley turned in a great performance as the ‘Dawgs dominated this game. Boise was able to run the ball against the Georgia ‘D’, but that is not going to bring you back from the kind of deficit the Broncos faced. People may have underestimated UGA and over estimated the Broncos or Boise was just not ready to face an elite team like Georgia. I lean towards the latter considering Boise’s schedule and how strong Georgia has been the last three years. It will be an interesting race in the SEC East as all three teams look pretty even; May be another three way tie. Boise should still win the WAC, but this team may have gotten their ego’s hurt enough to where they lose another game or two during the season.

#16 Auburn vs Georgia Tech Auburn -7

Probably the biggest upset of the weekend was Georgia Tech going into Auburn and beat the Tigers in front of a raucous crowd of 87,000. Tech set the tone early with two scoring drives in the first quarter. The Jackets were able to run and pass leading to ten first quarter points on the nation’s best defense a year ago. Auburn closed to within three at halftime, but did not score in the second half. Reggie Ball managed the game very well for the Jackets and allowed the defense and a surprisingly good running game win the contest. Auburn’s Brandon Cox looked rattled form the get go as Tech brought pressure early and often. When given time, Cox was effective and led two quick scoring drives in the second quarter. The running game was non-existent for Auburn who relied almost solely on the pass in the second half. Cox began forcing throws as the game went on and threw four interceptions in the second half. Tech got excellent special teams play from its punter and kicker that really made a difference in the second half. It seemed Auburn started every drive inside their own 15 off a Yellow Jacket punt in the third and fourth quarter. Auburn has a lot of work to do if they look to be back in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, while Georgia Tech looks to have a team that could win their division if a few breaks come their way.

NC State vs #8 Virginia Tech Va Tech -4

A tale of two dominating defenses was the story of this game. The Hokies scraped by with a crucial road win in the improved ACC 20-16. Neither offense could take control of the game as the defenses were just too smothering. NC State looked good running the ball and has talent at the receiver position, but must receive better play from their quarterback to make it to a bowl game this season. Marcus Vick was allowed more freedom in the second half and showed some good running ability.

Clemson vs #17 Texas A&M Texas A&M -1.5

The best game of the weekend-bar none. It did not look good for the Tigers when Charlie Whitehurst left the game with a concussion in the third quarter, but true freshman James Davis stepped to the plate in Clemson’s 25-24 last second win. Kicker Jad Dean kicked five field goals, including the game winner in the final seconds to lift the Tigers to victory. Clemson’s defense was largely overmatched by Reggie McNeal and a speedy receiving corps, but came up big with a stop in the fourth quarter allowing the Tigers one last drive. I thought Texas A&M was a bit overrated this season and now they must regroup following a heartbreaker. Clemson has to travel to Maryland this week, which will be an important test to find out whether this team can make a run at FSU.

#10 Florida vs Wyoming Florida -23

Florida looked good, but not great in the game of the Urban Meyer regime. Chad Jackson went off for three scores in the Gators spread offense. The Gator’s struggled in the running game and was not able to dominate the Cowboys like Meyer had hoped for. Defensively, Florida looked improved and held up a 17-0 lead at halftime. This was a good tuneup for the Gators as they face Louisiana Tech before taking on Tennessee at home the week after.

#3 Tennessee vs UAB Tennessee -23.5

Tennessee will have to play better than they did against UAB to win the SEC East this season. UAB had several chances to tie this game at 17 as the Vols could not find consistency on offense. Of the two Volunteer quarterbacks, Rick Clausen played the best, but Ainge will definitely get another shot to win the job full-time. UT has a week off to rest and work on some things before their tilt in Gainesville with the Gators.

#25 Virginia vs Western Michigan Virginia – 34

Virginia was not able to stop Western Michigan’s short passing attack all game and did not look like a team ready to challenge Miami and Virginia Tech. The offense played well, but you have to consider the competition. Judging by Saturday’s performance, the Cavaliers will have to improve on every aspect to be a real force in the ACC this season

Duke vs East Carolina Duke -3

An extremely disappointing loss for Duke and the ACC against East Carolina. Duke could never really get going offensively and ruined any chance at a bowl game this season. Basketball practice starts in five weeks.

Maryland vs Navy Maryland -12.5

The Terps actually appeared overmatched by Navy’s offensive and defensive front’s as they had to come from behind the beat the Midshipmen. Maryland is still trying to find a quarterback and may be doing so all season. Big game for the Terrapins this week as Clemson comes calling in College Park. Maryland can beat Clemson, but must play much better and hope the Tigers are riding high after their upset of Texas A&M.

Louisville vs Kentucky Louisville -22

I thought Louisville did not play very well, especially in the second half and allowed an inferior team to hang around way to long. An underdog at home in a rivalry can sometimes be very dangerous as the Cardinals almost found out. Louisville should still win the Big East and possibly have an undefeated season.

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