Friday, November 18, 2005

Week 12 Previews and Predictions

Keys to the GameKeys to the Game

High Tide

Iron Defense
Last week, LSU got pressure on Brodie Croyle almost every passing down and it really messed up any timing he had with his receivers. Auburn’s front four is good enough to get pressure by themselves against Alabama. If Croyle is given time, he has the ability to pick you apart.Alabama made a living off its defense in their first nine wins with turnovers and good field position creating points of offense. With the offense struggling mightily, the Tide will need their defense to step up and make some big plays.
Two Square MealsHold that Tiger
Auburn has found their running game in Kenny Irons. Irons has carried the ball 152 times in the last 5 games. Brandon Cox has come on strong too at QB. Auburn must be careful not to forget about the passing game against Alabama. The Tide is very good against the run, so don’t expect Irons to go for 150+ this weekend.Alabama has a solid running game, but opponents have been putting 8 guys in the box and blitzing to force Croyle into throws before he wants. The Tide O-Line needs to hold the fort against Auburn and give Croyle some time to throw the ball deep to WR DJ Hall. If Alabama can complete some deep passes their defense should be good enough to win this game.

Prediction: Auburn 20 Alabama 14 (Alabama covers)

Keys to the GameKeys to the Game
Tiger JamGreen Space
Clemson utilizes short routes with the receivers to get the ball into their hands quickly and allow them to make a play. South Carolina needs to jump these routes to prevent 5-yard pass plays turning 7 points. Also, Charlie Whitehurst has been battling a shoulder problem the second half of the season and his limited in his throws downfield. Watch for the yards after catch for ClemsonThe Tigers have the advantage in speed, especially at the skill positions on offense. Clemson needs to make South Carolina cover the entire field. Watch how well South Carolina is able to stop the run.
This South Carolina Senior Class had a lot of firsts this season. First win over Tennessee, first win over Florida, and possible a first win over Clemson. These Gamecocks are a different breed than those of past teams. Spurrier should have no trouble motivating his team for this game after being dominated the last 2 years. Watch for the attitude of the Gamecocks if they fall behind in this game.The Clemson secondary will have its hands full with Freshmen WR Sidney Rice. Rice is already QB Blake Mitchell’s favorite target. The Tigers were successful this season against a more talented receiver in Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson, mostly by double-teaming Johnson. Forcing South Carolina to move the ball on the ground would be ideal for Bowden & Co. Watch for Spurrier to find ways to get the ball in his best playmaker’s hands.

Prediction South Carolina 24 Clemson 23 (South Carolina covers)

Keys to the GameKeys to the Game
Pressure on the BallUp and Running
Basketball coaches talk about this, but it applies in this game as well. Georgia Tech likes to throw the ball downfield to Calvin Johnson. Ball has shown in the past to make bad decisions when under pressure. However, this season he has matured and made better decisions. Still, constant pressure will make him think about getting rid of the ball faster than he would like. Watch for the number of times Ball is chased out of the pocket.Georgia Tech is at its best on offense when the are gaining 5+ yards on first down. Most of the time this is accomplished by the running of P.J. Daniels. Daniels is questionable for this game, but there is not a big drop off between him and his backup, Tashard Choice. Watch for the number of 2nd and 7+ yard situations Tech is in.
Loosen the DefenseMiami Heat
Last week, Virginia began the game by getting the short passing game going. This kept the blitzing GT linebackers off of the QB and made them drop back into coverage. This is how you beat GT. The Yellow Jackets bully opponent by trying to get to the QB every play and closing up the running lanes in the process. However, the linebackers are much better at blitzing than in coverage. Watch for where Tech’s linebackers are as the play develops.Miami QB Kyle Wright is in the mold of his predecessors at The “U”; tall, strong arm, pocket passer. It will interesting to see if the Tech blitz can get to him and take him out of his game. FSU was able to do this very effectively in the first game of the season, but Miami has gelled more since September. If Wright is given time to stand in the pocket, it will be a long night for the Yellow Jackets. Watch for the number of hurries on Kyle Wright and his completion percentage.

Prediction: Miami 35 Georgia Tech 14 (Miami Covers)

Keys to the Game
Wali World”Deopportunistic”
Running back Wali Lundy returned two weeks ago from injury and has racked up 6 TD’s in the last two games. Against Miami two weeks ago, Virginia Tech struggled against the run versus a second string running back. The Cavaliers need to be successful on the ground with Lundy carrying the load. Watch for the amount of yards Lundy is able to get on first down.The Hokies have been great all year at capitalizing on their opponents errors. Since Frank Beamer arrived, Virginia Tech has scored 100 non-offensive TD’s. Va Tech needs to get back in this habit after a lackluster performance against Miami. Watch what the field positions is if Virginia turns the ball over.
Margin of ErrorEarly Success
Virginia comes into this game as the underdog with less talent and ability. The margin for error is very small when you play a defense like Virginia Tech. Any opportunities the Cavaliers get from the Hokies must be taken advantage. Watch the points off turnovers number for both teams.Marcus Vick had an awful outing against Miami; worst of the season by far. It will be important to get him in a rhythm early and forget about the last game. Watch for his completion rate in the first quarter.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 28 Virginia 20 (Va Tech covers)

Keys to the Game
Every goal the Georgia Bulldogs had at the beginning of the season except one is still obtainable. Mark Richt and Co. better get over the Auburn loss last week real quick if they want to start making plans for Atlanta. It should not be a problem with Saturday being Senior Day. Watch for amount of enthusiasm Georgia displays early on.Kentucky must get on top early and make Georgia play from behind to have a shot in this game.
Contain LittleCapitalize
Georgia showed a “soft belly” against the run last week versus Auburn. Kentucky’s Rafael Little leads the SEC in all-purpose yards. The Bulldogs need to focus on Little as he is the Cats main option on offense.The Wildcats come into this game as big underdogs and must be able to capitalize on Georgia mistakes in order to have a chance in this game.

Prediction: Georgia 42 Kentucky 17 (UK covers)

1 comment:

  1. War Eagle...

    Hoping your prediction is correct! (smiling)


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