Friday, October 21, 2005

October 22 SEC and ACC Games

#16 Tennessee @ #5 Alabama 3:30ET CBS
Alabama -3.5
Alabama will be looking to defeat Tennessee for the first time in three years and just the second time in the last six. The Volunteers are still battling issues at the quarterback position after a poor outing by Rick Clausen against Georgia two weeks ago. Last week, the Crimson Tide needed a field goal in the last seconds to beat Ole Miss. Meanwhile, the Vols had the week off after a performance to forget in a loss to Georgia 27-14. Alabama will be without their talented playmaker at wideout, Tyrone Prothro, who broke his leg against Florida.

So far this season, Alabama has used a balanced attack on offense. Running back Kenneth Darby of Alabama is one of the leading rushers in the SEC, displaying a bruising style with speed to burn. Quarterback Brodie Croyle has performed very well for ‘Bama, but the loss of Prothro means the Tide will rely more on the run. Tennessee was thought to have one of the best running games in the preseason, but Gerald Riggs has yet to equal his late last season performances. The Vols rank 101st in the nation on the ground through six games in the season. Combine this with controversy and inconsistency at quarterback and you have a struggling offense for Philip Fulmer and the Vols.

Defensively, Alabama boasts a strong unit allowing only 256 yards per game. This is good for first in the SEC and fifth in the country. The Vols have quite a defense themselves and rank 16th in the nation. To give you an idea of how strong the SEC is in defense, this ranks only 6th in the SEC.

Alabama will be looking for its first home victory over Tennessee since a 24-19 victory at Legion Field in 1991. The Vols will be facing their third top 10 team on the road this season. Tennessee is the best road team in the SEC since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 1992.
Alabama 21 Tennessee 18

More stats are located below the rest of the game previews.
http://www.linesheet.com/frame10injuries2.htm

#17 Auburn @ #6 LSU 7:45ET ESPN
LSU -6.5

Battle of the Tigers in Death Valley on Saturday night as Auburn visits LSU in a rematch of one of the best game in the SEC last season. LSU is coming of an emotional, hard-fought victory over Florida a week ago, while Auburn is cruising and on a five game winning streak.

Auburn ranks first in the SEC in scoring offense averaging just over 37 points per game. LSU is not too far behind with just under 31 a game. After struggling in a loss to Georgia Tech in the first game of the season, Auburn’s offense has improved dramatically and features a balanced attack. LSU is a better running team than passing, but JaMarcus Russell has the ability to sling the ball downfield to receivers Skyler Green and Early Doucet if the opportunity arises.

Defensively, both these teams were expected to be two of the best in the nation and have lived up to their billing for the most part. Auburn ranks third in scoring defense and sixth in total defense nationally. LSU is very stingy against the run allowing only 70 yards per game on the ground—good for third in the nation. Against the pass, LSU is feeling the loss of Nick Saban to the Miami Dolphins. Saban worked very closely with the secondary in his time in Baton Rouge and LSU has slipped to 58th in the nation against the pass. LSU also had five turnovers last week against Florida.

Despite winning five in a row and having one of the nation’s best offenses and defenses statistically, this will be Auburn’s first real test since their first game of the season. They should be able to pass the ball on a often confused LSU secondary, but running will be another thing. LSU rarely loses home night games and they gained a lot of confidence in their win over Florida last week.
LSU 21 Auburn 16

More stats are located below the rest of the game previews.

Arkansas @ #4 Georgia 12:30ET JP Sports
Georgia -19.5

The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat and are heading towards Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. Everyone else in the SEC East has at least two conference losses. Arkansas has struggled this season and is looking to spring an upset. The Hogs are winless in the SEC this season.

Two of the best running backs in the SEC will be on display in Athens as Thomas Brown(UGA) and De Arrius Howard(Arkansas) go head to head. The Razorbacks rank sixth in the nation on the ground, but are 110th through the air with a paltry 136 yards per game.

As has been the last 4 years, Georgia possesses one of the best defenses in the nation. The Bulldogs are allowing just under 13 points per game and only 91 yards per game on the ground. The situation is quite different at Arkansas where the Hogs are giving up over 31 points per game to their opponents. Georgia is fifth in the nation in turnover margin (+1.5)

Georgia holds the advantage most everywhere in this game, but has historically been a bad home favorite. Arkansas has the worst record of Western Divison teams against the Eastern Division at 15-25, but they have been a tough out under Houston Nutt.
Georgia 31 Arkansas 14

#23 Virginia @ UNC 12:00ET JP Sports
UNC -1

Despite a big win of previously undefeated FSU last week, Virginia comes into this game as an underdog against the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels and Cavaliers are meeting for the 110th time, the most played series in the ACC. Virginia has won three in a row and 15 of the last 20 in the series.

Both teams have averaged 879.8 yards of total offense over the last four games. Virginia has posted back-to-back games of 500+ yards of total offense, while registering three straight 200+ rushing games. The Tar Heels are looking for consecutive home victories for just the fourth time in the last four years. Last year, Virginia downed UNC 56-24.
Virginia 28 UNC 24

NC State @ Wake Forest 3:30ET
NC State -3

Wake Forest welcomes NC State to Groves Stadium in the 99th meeting between both teams - the third most played series in the ACC. NC State has won four of the last five games, while the Deacs have tallied wins in three of the last four at home in the series. Wake Forest has rushed for 200+ yards in four of the last six games against NC State including back-to-back games of 202 yards.

The Wolfpack are looking for consecutive road wins for the first time since 2002 when NC State opened the year with four straight road wins. Since taking over at QB, Cory Randolph has posted the highest completion percentage (70.7) in the league. NC State leads the ACC in kickoff return yardage (35.4) and kickoff coverage allowing just 7.7 yards a return.
NC State 24 Wake Forest 22

#11 FSU @ Duke 3:30ET ESPNU
FSU -29.5

The Seminoles travel to Duke looking to rebound from a stunning loss to Virginia last week. The Blue Devils remain winless in the ACC and against Division I-A teams—their only win came against VMI. Florida State has scored 44 or more points in 12 of the 13 games played versus Duke. The Seminoles have outscored Duke 207-54 in four games played at Duke. The Blue Devils rank third in the league in time of possession (32:02), while FSU ranks 12th (27:26). Duke sits fourth in the ACC in pass defense averaging 182.3 yards per game.

FSU has recorded three straight games of 300+ yards passing, while the Seminole defense has held the opposition to under 100 yards rushing in four of their six games this season. Last year, FSU’s Gary Cismesia tied a school record with five FGs, as the Seminoles posted a 29-7 win over Duke.
FSU 45 Duke 9

Temple @ Clemson 12:40ET Comcast
Clemson -36

Temple continues its college football road tour by visiting Clemson this week for the Tigers Homecoming. Clemson scored a big intra-division victory last week by pounding NC State 31-10. The two teams meet for only the second time overall and for the first
time since the 1991 season. Under Tommy Bowden at home vs. non-conference opponents, Clemson has posted a record of 13-2-0 including five straight wins.

The Tigers recorded season-highs in rushing yards (243) and total offense (489) last week at NC State. Five of the six games played by Clemson in 2005 have been decided by six points or less (2-3). Temple faces an ACC opponent for the third consecutive week scoring just 10 points in the first two games (vs. MD & UM).
Clemson 42 Temple 7

Vanderbilt @ South Carolina 3:30ET
South Carolina -8

Vanderbilt has come back to Earth after a 4-0 start and is quickly heading towards a .500 record with three straight losses. The Gamecocks beat Kentucky last week as QB Blake Mitchell returned to action to lead Steve Spurrier’s aerial attack.

The Gamecocks lead the all-time series, 12-2. The teams first met in 1961 and have played every year since 1992. USC won each of the first seven tilts before Vandy broke through with back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999. The Gamecocks have won the last five meetings, including a 31-6 rout in the 2004 season opener in Nashville. The Gamecocks have won five of the six previous meetings in Columbia and have won seven of eight contests in Nashville. USC was a 35-24 winner the last time the two teams hooked up in Columbia, Oct. 25, 2003.
South Carolina 31 Vanderbilt 20

Kentucky @ Ole Miss 2:00ET
Ole Miss -10.5

This will be the 38th meeting all-time between the Rebels and Wildcats and first since the 2001 season. Ole Miss holds a 25-12-1 edge in the series and has won five of the last six encounters. After seven years without a game, the teams matched up in 2000 and 2001 with the Rebels prevailing in each game, including a 42-31 count in Lexington in the last meeting.

Both Ole Miss and Kentucky will be looking for their first SEC victory of the year. Ole Miss has won eight of its last 12 games against SEC Eastern Division foes. Junior LB Patrick Willis leads the SEC in tackles at 12.6 per game. Redshirt freshman RB Mico McSwain needs 86 yards to reach the Rebel freshman rushing record. Offensively, the Cats are averaging 24.6 points per game and 291.0 yards of total offense. Sophomore QB Andre' Woodson has completed 64-of-109 passes for 792 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions.
Ole Miss 27 Kentucky 17

Houston @ Miss. St.
Miss. St -1.5

Mississippi State can match its win total from 2004 with a win over Houston. That
would also match the Bulldogs’ highest win total since the 2000 season when State
was 8-4. While this will be the second time in the last three years that these two teams have squared off, it marks the first time since 1972 that UH has ventured into Mississippi. The Cougars own the most recent success in the all-time series after taking a 42-35 win over the Bulldogs in 2003. That MSU win is the only thing preventing an even longer streak for the Cougars who enter this weekend as winners of five of their last six games against the Bulldogs.
Miss St 14 Houston 13

Georgia Tech @ #7 Miami Postponed until Nov. 19

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