Friday, October 20, 2006

ACC Showdown in Tiger Town

#13 Georgia Tech @ #12 Clemson (-7.5, 47) 7:45 ESPN
This matchup has been one of the closest rivalries in the nation over the last 10 years. The favorite in this series 0-11 ATS in the last 11 games. Clemson has the advantage on offense with the stellar running of James Davis and CJ Spiller and the solid play of QB Will Proctor. The Georgia Tech offense has come alive this year under a new system and the play of Reggie Ball. Ball, much maligned during his career has thrown 10 TD to 5 INT this season, which is a much better ratio than his first three seasons.

Defensively, Tech has the stronger defense because of DC Jon Tenuta's blitzing schemes. Leading the way is LBs KaMichael Hall and Philip Wheeler. Clemson lost two starting LB to injury before the season, but has played very well on defense outside of the Boston College game. Tech does much better against pocket passers, which Proctor is, but he also scrambles fairly well.

Both teams have had their share of struggles in the kicking game. ESPN Gameday will be at Clemson for the first time ever creating a buzz in Tiger Town like never before. Georgia Tech usually plays its best on the biggest stages.

Keys to the Game:
1. Play of Reggie Ball
I know its a cliche that the QB has to play well, but this is especially true for Georgia Tech. Ball is 25-17 in his career with 47TD and 46INT. In 25 wins, Ball has thrown 36TD, while in 17 losses he has thrown just 8 with 27INT. This season, the senior is playing well throwing 10TD to 5INT. Mark it down, if Ball throws more INT than TD, then Georgia Tech will not win this game.
2. Point of Attack
Clemson has an outstanding tandem at tailback and they along with the offensive line are the reason the Tigers lead the nation in scoring offense. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech uses speed and deception in its defense which is 7th in the nation against the run. Jon Tenuta will sell out on the blitz sometimes and if the holes are now plugged, it could lead to a big gain. If Georgia Tech can plug those holes effectively, they will slow the running game and get pressure on Will Proctor and win this game.
3. Special Teams
Not because these two teams are good special teams, but because they are not very good. The main bright spot has been the two punters, but the field goal kicking and kickoff coverage has been frightful for these teams. Whichever team can sure up their woes will have a decided advantage in this area of the game.

10/29/2005CLEM 9 - GATCH 10CLEM 2.5U 46
9/11/2004GATCH 28 - CLEM 24GATCH 7O 47
9/20/2003CLEM 39 - GATCH 3CLEM 5.5P 42
9/14/2002GATCH 19 - CLEM 24CLEM 1U 45.5
9/29/2001CLEM 47 - GATCH 44CLEM 13O 54
Clemson Last5:
10/12/2006TEMW 63-9W -44O 56
10/7/2006@ WFRSTW 27-17L -14U 44.5
9/30/2006LTECHW 51-0W -31.5U 54
9/23/2006NCARW 52-7W -16O 49
9/16/2006@ FSUW 27-20W 4O 46.5
Georgia Tech Last 5:
10/7/2006MDW 27-23L -14.5O 43
9/30/2006@ VATCHW 38-27W 8.5O 37
9/21/2006VIRGW 24-7W -16.5U 39.5
9/16/2006TROYW 35-20L -17.5O 38.5
9/9/2006SAFRDW 38-6- -- -

Prediction: Clemson 24 Georgia Tech 21 (GT Covers, Under)

#21 Boston College @ Florida St (-4, 41.5) 3:30 ABC
The big question in this game is the health of BC QB Matt Ryan. He was limping in the 4th quarter of the Eagles last game vs Va Tech and is questionable for Saturday. If he can't go, then BC is in trouble, but if he can and is effective then the Eagles have a good shot to be only the fourth ACC team to win at Doak Campbell Stadium. FSU will win this game with their defense and the energy of their home crowd however, they cannot afford numerous turnovers from a shaky Drew Weatherford.
Recent Meetings:
9/17/2005FSU 28 - BCOLL 17FSU -1O 38.5
FSU Last 5:
10/14/2006@ DUKEW 51-24W -23O 43
10/5/2006@ NCSTL 20-24L -9.5O 40
9/23/2006RICEW 55-7W -30.5O 46
9/16/2006CLEML 20-27L -4O 46.5
9/9/2006TROYW 24-17L -25.5U 44
BC Last 5:
10/12/2006VATCHW 22-3W 2.5U 42
9/30/2006MAINEW 22-0- -- -
9/23/2006@ NCSTL 15-17L -6.5U 42
9/16/2006BYUW 30-23W -6.5O 52.5
9/9/2006CLEMW 34-33W 1O 44.5

Prediction: FSU 24 BC 17 (FSU Covers, Under)

Miami @ Duke (+17.5, 41.5) 1:00
With the suspension of a 1/5 of the Miami team, the Hurricanes would be wise to use a ball-control offense in order to keep their guys fresh. It will be interesting to see if Larry Coker is able to circle the wagons from the incident last week or if the Hurricanes continue a spiral downward. I think Miami will rally together in this game similar to how they did last week scoring 21 unanswered in the second half after the brawl against Fla Intl.
Recent Meetings:
10/8/2005DUKE 7 - MIAMI 52MIAMI -36.5O 47
Miami Last 5:
10/14/2006FLINTW 35-0W -27U 40
10/7/2006NCARW 27-7P -20U 44
9/30/2006HOUW 14-13L -17U 48.5
9/16/2006@ LOUL 7-31L 5U 53.5
9/9/2006FLAMW 51-10- -- -
Duke Last 5:
10/14/2006FSUL 24-51L 23O 43
10/7/2006@ ALABL 14-30W 26.5O 41
9/30/2006VIRGL 0-37L 4P 37
9/16/2006@ VATCHL 0-36L 34U 43.5
9/9/2006@ WFRSTL 13-14W 20.5U 40.5

Prediction: Miami 28 Duke 7 (Miami Covers, Under)

Miss St @ Georgia (-18.5, 39.5) 1:00
Two teams trying to find themselves though they are in very different situations. Georgia is looking to rebound after a shocking loss to Vanderbilt and will insert freshman Matt Stafford at QB. The Bulldogs have struggled mightily on offense this season and a defense that once led the NCAA in scoring defense has surrendered 75 points in the last two games. Miss St is winless in the SEC, but will come into this game with some confidence after seeing what Vandy did. I don't think they have the talent to beat Georgia, but they could hang around for 3+ quarters.
Recent Meetings:
9/24/2005GEO 23 - MISST 10MISST 16U 42
10/4/1997MISST 0 - GEO 47GEO -10.5- -
10/5/1996GEO 38 - MISST 19GEO -3.5- -
9/23/1989MISST 6 - GEO 23GEO -8- -
9/17/1988GEO 42 - MISST 35MISST 14- -
Georgia Last 5:
10/14/2006VANL 22-24L -14.5O 39
10/7/2006TENNL 33-51L 2.5O 37.5
9/30/2006@ MISSW 14-9L -17.5U 37
9/23/2006COLW 14-13L -26.5U 36.5
9/16/2006UABW 34-0W -17.5U 40
Miss St Last 5:
10/14/2006JACSTW 35-3- -- -
10/7/2006WVIRGL 14-42L 20.5O 47
9/30/2006@ LSUL 17-48W 34O 41.5
9/23/2006@ UABW 16-10W 9.5U 37.5
9/16/2006TULNEL 29-32L -12.5O 37.5

Prediction: Georgia 20 Miss St 6 (Miss St Covers, Under)

South Carolina @ Vanderbilt (+3.5, 41) 3:00
South Carolina has been night and day since Syvelle Newton became the QB in week 3. The Gamecocks only loss since then was a 7 point defeat to Auburn where they had chances to tie the game late. Vanderbilt will need to keep its emotions in check after a such a big win for their program in Athens last week. I remember last year after a big Vandy win they lost to Middle Tenn St at home, so I have my doubts on whether the momentum from last week stops at game time on Saturday. But even if South Carolina doen't beat Vanderbilt on the field they feel they have the better looking girls.
Recent Meetings:
10/22/2005VAN 28 - SOCAR 35Push -7.0O 51
9/4/2004SOCAR 31 - VAN 6SOCAR -3.5U 46
10/25/2003VAN 24 - SOCAR 35VAN 15.5O 42
9/28/2002SOCAR 20 - VAN 14VAN 9.5U 48.5
10/20/2001VAN 14 - SOCAR 46SOCAR -17- -
South Carolina Last 5:
10/7/2006@ KENTYW 24-17W -3U 52
9/28/2006AUBL 17-24W 13O 37
9/23/2006FLATLW 45-6W -28.5O 42
9/16/2006WOFFW 27-20- -- -
9/9/2006GEOL 0-18L 2.5U 38.5
Vanderbilt Last 5:
10/14/2006@ GEOW 24-22W 14.5O 39
10/7/2006@ MISSL 10-17L -1.5U 41
9/30/2006TEMW 43-14L -32.5O 44
9/23/2006TENSTW 38-9- -- -
9/16/2006ARKL 19-21W 6U 41

Prediction: South Carolina 27 Vanderbilt 20 (S. Carolina Covers, Over)

Other Games:
UCLA @ Notre Dame (-13.5, 51)
Notre Dame Covers, Over

Rutgers @ Pitt (-6.5, 45)
Rutgers Covers, Under

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