Monday, October 2, 2006

LSU = Gator Bait?

#9 LSU @ #5 Florida (-2.5, 40) 3:30 CBS

LSU Offense vs Florida Defense
PF 38.0/YPG 412.0/PYPG 267.5/RYPG 144.6
PA 9.4/YPG 248.0/PYPG 197.8/RYPG 50.2

Florida Offense vs LSU Defense
PF 30.2/YPG 438.4/PYPG 271.1/RYPG 167.2
PA 7.4/YPG 193.3/PYPG 124.2/RYPG 69.2

Keys to the Game:
Florida's Ability to Run-
The Gators regular TB DeShawn Wynn is questionable for this game and the other Gator runners have not been consistent threats on the ground this season. Florida rushing ypg is somewhat inflated because of the running of their QBs. If Wynn cannot go, then Ketahn Moore will be the featured back, but I also expect to see Tim Tebow get a lot more snaps. The Tigers have been stingy allowing just over 69 yards on the ground per game.

Effectiveness of Chris Leak-
Leak is a very dangerous drop back passer, but his abilities are somewhat hidden in Urban Meyer's spread option offense. When Leak runs the option, everybody knows he will pitch it. If Leak can connect on the deep balls to stretch the LSU defense, then he will also be able to run some of that spread option because of the step back and throw threat.

Special Teams & Turnovers-
With two teams as evenly matched as they are in this game, one mistake could cost a team the game. Both teams have gamebreaking abilities in their returners and solid kickers. Neither team has been prone to turn the ball over either, so something has to give.

Prediction: Florida 14 LSU 13 (LSU Covers, Under)

#13 Tennessee @ #10 Georgia (+2.5, 38) 7:45 ESPN

Tennessee Offense vs Georgia Defense
PF 32.0 /YPG 429.2/PYPG 296.2/RYPG 133.0
PA 6.8/YPG 233.4/PYPG 133.6/RYPG 99.8

Georgia Offense vs Tennessee Defense
PF 25.6/YPG 297.0/PYPG 163.6/RYPG 133.3
PA 16.6/YPG 284.2/PYPG 157.4/RYPG 126.8

Keys to the Game:
Georgia's Revolving Door QBs-
Joe Tereshinski will start after being out since the South Carolina game with a high ankle sprain. If he struggles, how soon will the hook come and will that effect Tereshinski's play? I expect to see Matt Stafford enter the game at some point in the first half unless JTIII has thrown 4 TDs already. The QBs must be able to pass the ball downfield to prevent Tennessee from stacking eight in the box.

Vols Ability to Run-
Tennessee was essentially a one-dimensional team vs Florida as they could not get anything going on the ground. LaMarcus Coker has emerged as a reliable runner in the Vols backfield after the injury to Arian Foster. Georgia is coming to come after Erik Ainge with their stud defensive ends, so Tennessee will need to establish a run to prevent the Bulldogs from teeing off on the pass.

On the Road, Lesser Ranked, and Favored-
Tennessee enters this game in an unusual situation. They must be able to compose themselves and play with the chip on their shoulder developed from losing five out of the last six to Georgia. The crowd will be wild and fired up knowing this could make or break their season.

In the end, I think Georgia doesn't have enough on offense to be able to score more than 14, while the Vols offense has improved since the beginning of the year.

Prediction: Tennessee 17 Georgia 16 (Georgia Covers, Under)

#15 Clemson @ Wake Forest (+16.5, 47.5) 12:00 ESPN

Clemson Offense vs Wake Forest Defense
PF 43.4/YPG 445.2/PYPG 204.6/RYPG 240.6
PA 10.6/YPG 273.0/PYPG 194.8/RYPG 78.2

Wake Forest Offense vs Clemson Defense
PF 23.8/YPG 317.0/PYPG 149.6/RYPG 167.4
PA 13.4/YPG 239.6/PYPG 170.4/RYPG 69.2

Keys to the Game:
Can Wake Slow Down Clemson-
The Tigers are ranked 2nd in the nation in scoring offense with 43.4 ppg, though most of that has come against overmatched teams. Will Proctor is playing very well in his first year starting and the rushing attack has been unstoppable. Wake's defense is no slouch either allowing just over 10 ppg and just 273 yards of total offense. I highly doubt Wake can win a shootout with the Tigers, so they need to use ball control and keep the ball out of the hand of Clemson by having no turnovers.

Clemson's Enthusiasm-
Tommy Bowden's team is used to playing in front of 80,000+ in Death Valley every week. This week they will play in front of 30,000 against a school more known for golf than football. But Wake has won two of the last three in this series and those wins have sprung up "Fire Tommy Bowden" websites. The Tigers need to come out fast and impose their will on the Deacs and not let them build confidence as the game goes on.

In the end, Clemson has their most talented team in years and will be too much talent for Wake.
Prediction: Clemson 31 Wake Forest 17 (Wake Covers, Over)

Maryland @ #18 Georgia Tech (-13.5, 40) 3:30 ESPNU

Maryland Offense vs Georgia Tech Defense
PF 22.2/YPG 312.0/PYPG 165.2/RYPG 146.8
PA 14.8/YPG 275.4/PYPG 206.8/RYPG 68.6

Georgia Tech Offense vs Maryland Defense
PF 29.0/YPG 346.8/PYPG 172.8/RYPG 174.0
PA 19.8/YPG 331.0/PYPG 176.5/RYPG 154.5

Keys to the Game:
Coming Back Down to Earth-
Georgia Tech is sky high after thumping Virginia Tech on the road and with a bye week next week and Clemson the week after, you wonder if the Jackets are looking a little bit ahead. Winning the big one and losing the little one have been a habit in the Chan Gailey era, but many say this year is different. The players talk about how "together and focused" this team is. Georgia Tech knows they are better than Maryland, but they still have to got out and execute with their talent.

Calvin Johnson-
He is big for both teams. Maryland needs to know where he is at all times, but so do Reggie Ball and the Georgia Tech offense. Johnson has caught 4 TDs in his last two games amassing close to 300 yards as well. I expect Maryland to double team the All-American most of the game and force Georgia Tech to go elsewhere

Where's the Blitz?-
Jon Tenuta will begin blitzing Ralph Friedgen's club as soon as they land in Atlanta, but where will he blitz from? On most downs, Tenuta is bring at least give guys and will hit your QB all day. Sam Hollenbach's drop back passing style plays right in the hands of the speedy Tech defense who does not fare as well against scramblers. Watch to see if the Maryland running backs can pick up the blitz effectively. If they don't, it may be a long day for the Terps.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 28 Maryland 14 (Georgia Tech covers, Over)

Other Lines of Interest
West Virginia @ Miss St (+20.5, 49)
Prediction: West Virginia 34 Miss St 10 (WV Covers, Under)

Virginia @ East Carolina (-6.5, 43)
Prediction: Virginia 24 East Carolina 20 (Virginia Covers, Over)

Duke @ Alabama (-28.5, 38.5)
Prediction: Alabama 35 Duke 3 (Alabama Covers, Under)

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