Sunday, October 15, 2006

A lot of "Fight" Still Left in Some Teams Tanks

Week 7 provided some thrillers and upsets in the ACC and SEC this week. Florida's dream of an undefeated season went down at Auburn, Wake kept their ACC title hopes alive, Vanderbilt defeated Georgia on homecoming in Athens, and Miami literally beat down Florida International, but more on that later.

If you just looked at the score in this game you would think Auburn handled Florida relatively easily, but the Tigers scored a TD on the last play of the game due to a fumble on a hook and ladder play (it cost me the Under in this game...aargh). Auburn won this game in the second half with the pressure created by their front seven. They continually pressured Chris Leak not allowing him to set up in the pocket and beat with his deadly accurate arm. Kudos to DC Will Muschamp for making an adjustment at halftime. A controversial call in the fourth quarter when Florida looked like it was setting up for a go ahead FG or TD may have been the deciding factor. Chris Leak was being pressured by Tray Blackmon and appeared to be throwing the ball when it came of his hand and was pickedup by Auburn. Leak's arm was going forward, but it was very hard to tell if the ball came out of his hand or if Blackmon knocked it out. I personally thought it was a pass and intentional grounding, which would have given Florida a FG try stil, but the call and review was that of a fumble. Video Replay In the first half, Florida looked to be rolling on offense as the Gators came out running the ball very effectively with the combination of DeShawn Wynn and Percy Harvin. Harvin looks like a star in the making in Gainesville if he can stay healthy. The Tigers were not very effective of offense for much of the game scoring nine points off a blocked punt from a bad snap and a holding call in the endzone resulting in a safety. Florida out played Auburn, but gave the Tigers opportunities and Tubberville's crew capatilized.

I think this was just round 1 of 2 as these two teams are likely to meet again in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. It will be interesting to see if Urban Meyer goes more with Tim Tebow against Georgia because Chris Leak was not able to get it done in the second half. I highly doubt it as it is fairly obvious that Tebow is mainly a running force right now and cannot run the full offense just yet. Auburn is right back in the SEC West race, but now must root for Tennessee and LSU to beat Arkansas as the Hogs must lose two and Auburn must win out in order for the Tigers to head to Atlanta. Florida is off next week and plays Georgia the week following while the Tigers step out of conference vs Tulane.
Auburn Covers, Over (on the last freakin play)

Maybe the Tennessee game was not an abberation? The Commodores waltzed into Athens with some confidence having lost three SEC game very close and walked out with a victory. Georgia's two quarterbacks could not get anything going on offense for much of the day only managing one offensive touchdown. It also appears the tailback by committee is not clicking on all cylinders either and the situation may not be helped with an injury to Thomas Brown. The Bulldogs D played well most of the afternoon intercepting a Chris Nickson pass in the 4th quarter to put Georgia up 22-21, but the balance Vanderbilt attack was able to move the ball for three TD drives and the game winning kick right down the field.

For Georgia, they must regroup quickly as Mississippi St comes into town next weekend and they may be licking their chops (if Miss St can do that) thinking they to have a chance to win. If I am Mark Richt, I go ahead and the ball over to Matthew Stafford or Joe Cox as it is obvious Joe Tereshinski is not going to win ball games for you. Vanderbilt is now a couple of victories away from being bowl eligible something they failed to do last year with a first round pick at QB. The tandem of Nickson and Earl Bennett is developing into one of the best in SEC and teams should take notice or else they may fall victim too.

Found: FSU Offense. If only the Seminoles could play the fine academic institutions of Rice and Duke every week. FSU got it started with a fumble recovery for a TD and added on with a blocked extra point returned for two points. The Blue Devils were able to muster 24 points on a good FSU defense.

FSU has a huge game with Boston College next week in Tallahassee. The Seminoles cannot afford another ACC loss if they want any shot at defending their conference championship. BC must also keep pace with NC State, Clemson, and Wake who all have one conference loss as well. For Duke, basketball practice has begun. They may have a shot against UNC at the end of the season.
FSU Covers, Over

It could be said that Miami won the game and the fight in the third quarter too. With 9:00 left in the 3rd quarter, the Canes had just kicked the extra point when all hell broke loose. It appears that after scoring a TD, Miami's James Bryant points at the FIU bench and takes a bow to the crowd. On the try, and FIU player begins pushing a Miami o-lineman after the play excessively. Meanwhile, FIU players are now going after the Miami placekicker and holder. All the while, the refs are just throwing their flags on the field and not bothering to stop the action before it really gets out of hand. Miami players clear their bench and come to the aid of their kicker and holder after an FIU player kicks a Miami player in the head. During the melee, video shows Anthony Reddick of Miami swing his helmet at an FIU player and Brandon Merriweather stomping on the leg of another FIU player. After several minutes the teams are separated and sent to their benches.

This not what Larry Coker needed and this will likely be the last draw for him unless the Canes win out, including the ACC Title. Even then, Miami may decide they need to go in another direction. It appears as if FIU started the brawl and Miami was just defending their turf. Many fans are ragging on Miami about how this was classless of them, but I wonder how many fans would be saying the same thing if THEIR team was involved in a brawl that they did not start? But above that, there is no place for swinging helmet and stomping on other players. Anthony Reddick and Brandon Merriweather will be lucky if they suit up again this year. I think Reddick deserves a suspension for the rest of the year for his helmet swinging.
Miami Covers, Under
Decide for yourself:

Pictures of this week's action from the AP and Reuters:

This Week: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS, 4-4 O/U
Season: 34-11 SU, 19-24 ATS, 29-14 O/U

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