Friday, September 8, 2006

Odds, Q&A, and Predictions for Week 2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting#12 Georgia @ Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSouth Carolina (+3, 39) 7:45ET ESPN

3 Questions for Georgia:

1. Who will be the QB for Georgia in the 4th quarter?

Joe Tereshinski will start the game, but on his first bad decision will the Georgia fans be calling for Matthew Stafford. I think Mark Richt will rotate his QB's as long as the Dawgs are ahead, but if they get behind I think Richt will be forced to go to Stafford.

2. Will Georgia have to double cover Sidney Rice?

If Blake Mitchell is given time, then Rice cannot be contained with single coverage all game. However, if Quentin Moses and the Georgia D-Line can put adequate pressure on Mitchell, then Rice's downfield ability will be limited. I think Georgia will come out with double coverage on Rice and play it as needed after the first couple of defensive series.

3. Will Georgia "out talent" and wear out South Carolina?

Georgia definitely has the advantage in regards to talent and depth, but in 4 of the past 5 years this game has been closer than it should have been. Spurrier will try every trick in the book to make up for the talent gap and will the new clock rules, a shorter game will favor South Carolina

3 Questions for South Carolina:

1. Can South Carolina's thin O-Line block Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson of Georgia?

Moses is one the best defensive ends in the nation and will demand double teams for part of this game. Spurrier's drop-back passing offenses requires the QB to have time to look downfield. I think the Gamecocks will have to keep a RB or TE in to keep Mitchell off the ground.

2. Will South Carolina have to put 8 in the box to slow Georgia's running game?
Despite injuries and suspensions along the UGA O-Line, the Bulldogs still have a talent advantage against South Carolina's D-Line. The Gamecocks did not prove a whole lot in shutting out Mississippi State's anemic offense. I think S. Carolina DC Tyrone Nix will have to put 8 in the box and make Tereshinksi beat them.
3. How will the Gamecocks slow Georgia's outstanding special teams?
In case you didn't see it last weekend, UGA punt returner Mikey Henderson returned 2 consecutive punts for TD (though only 1 counted because of a fumble). Brandon Couto is one of the best FG kickers in the nation as well. I expect Spurrier to not even let Henderson touch the ball outside the 20 yard line. As in any game as an underdog, South Carolina must be able to match Georgia's special teams play to win.
What does Georgia need to do to win?

1. Have solid QB play?

2. Run the ball and wear South Carolina out on defense

3. Not get behind by more than two scores

What does South Carolina need to do to win?

1. Give Blake Mitchell time

2. Get the ball to Sidney Rice

3. Pressure Georgia's QB

Prediction: South Carolina 17 Georgia 16 (South Carolina wins SU, Under)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting#18 Clemson @ Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBoston College (+2.5, 43) 3:30ET ABC

Last year, these teams played one of the most thrilling games in the ACC. Clemson must win this game if they want to challenge for the Atlantic Division.
Boston College Offense vs Clemson Defense: The Eagles use a very balanced attack relying on their mammoth offensive line to protect the QB and to open holes for the running backs. The Eagles will likely favor the run more so because of the talent they have tailback and the lack of depth in Clemson's LB corp due to injuries to Anthony Waters and Tramaine Billie. The secondary for Clemson is young and is relying on DE Gaines Adams to put pressure on Ryan. Advantage: Even

Clemson Offense vs Boston College Defense: The Tigers also would like to be very balanced of offense, but that is hard when you have two capable tailbacks and return five starters from the O-Line of last season. Will Proctor did an admirable job in only his second start vs FAU last week. The BC defense was hit hard by graduation, especially on the D-Line. I think if Clemson is not able to pound the ball, they can use their speed advantage on the outside. Advantage: Clemson

Special Teams: Clemson's return game looks to be special this season as witnessed by Jacoby Ford's fumble then return for a touchdown last week. The Tigers kicking game is also solid. BC is well coached and solid on special teams, but not spectacular. Advantage: Clemson

Coaching: Tom O'Brien has made a living in Chesnut Hill by doing more with less. The Eagles always have very average recruiting classes, but yet win 7+ games a year and go bowling. Clemson's Tommy Bowden has made his living at Clemson with late season winning streaks to keep alumni happy after a traditionally slow starts. Advantage: Boston College

Intangibles: Will Clemson find a way to lose a game early in the season against a comparable or weaker team like they have each of the last four years? The Tigers psyche may be bruised after losing their best defensive player last week to a season ending injury. Boston College will enjoy playing the role of underdog at home something they are not used outside of playing VT or Miami.

Advantage: Boston College

Prediction: Clemson 24 Boston College 21 (Clemson wins and covers, Over)

UCF @ Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting#7 Florida (-23, 50.5) 6:00ET

Urban Meyer would like to have his game with the school formerly known as Central Florida over by halftime, but it won't happen. George O'Leary led UCF to the Conference USA title game last season and a bowl only one year removed from an 0-11 season. O'Leary's team will be physical and not be intimidated by the mighty Gators. I think Florida will not struggle in this game, but UCF will be able to get enough garbage points at the end to cover as the Gators minds move to next week in Knoxville.

Prediction: Florida 35 Central Florida 13 (Florida wins, UCF covers, Under)

Troy @ Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting#9 Florida St (-30, 45) 6:00

The Troy Trojans shocked Missouri at Missouri a couple of years ago…..Florida State is a little bit better than Missouri though. FSU should have this game wrapped up by halftime, can rest their players off a short week and their attention to fourth quarter to Clemson next week.

Prediction: Florida State 35 Troy 7 (FSU wins, Troy covers, Under)

FAMU @ Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting#17 Miami (NL) 7:00

The Hurricanes may actually gain double digits in rushing this week! This game should allow new OC Rich Olsen to tinker with his offense and work out some the breakdowns without the dangers of playing FSU .Miami should roll over FAMU from a pure talent, speed, and depth perspective. I think Larry Coker takes no prisoners in this game and runs up the score to somewhat appease the angry fan base.

Prediction: Miami 45 FAMU 7

Samford @ Georgia Tech (NL) 3:30

Only one week removed from a disappointing loss to Notre Dame, Chan Gailey must find a way to get his team for Samford. I expect Tech to struggle out the gate, similar to their game vs UConn last year where they fell behind, but pick up the pace in the second quarter and cruise the rest of the way. If I am a Tech fan, I want Calvin Johnson on the sideline after halftime and spend the whole second half finding a second option at receiver.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 30 Samford 10

Last Week: 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS, 4-1 O/U

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