Sunday, November 12, 2006

Week 11 Thoughts

A topsy-turvy weekend for both conferences where a one-loss Auburn team eliminated themselves from the BCS, Wake Forest thumped Florida St in Tallahassee, and Florida's special teams saved them versus Spurrier.

GEORGIA 37 AUBURN 15
The Bulldogs raced out to a 30-0 lead and never looked back in their thumping of previously #5 Auburn.
Let’s take a look at the keys to game coming in.
Georgia's Running Game
The Dawgs rushed for 227 yards on 46 carries. Kregg Lumpkin had 105 on 21 carries.
Two Struggling Units
Auburn’s offense continued to struggle, especially Brandon Cox, while Georgia’s defense regained some confidence.
Other Thoughts:
The thing that struck from the Bulldog's first drive was how their receivers were catching all the balls they had dropped in previous weeks, including AJ Bryant's catch setting up the first TD.
What the UGA offense couldn't do, Brandon Cox set them up in good position with four picks.
Ø Kregg Lumpkin scored two TDs and had some key runs
Ø After getting down 30-0, Auburn responded with a quick drive where it appeared the Tigers just went right down the field, but this was the exception, not the rule.
Ø This convincing victory gives Georgia some confidence and redemption for the way they have played most of this season
Ø Matthew Stafford had a breakout game of sorts considering he did not throw any picks and made much better decisions; his running ability was also put on display, but you have to still be worried about his two fumbles
Ø Auburn is literally limping into next week vs Alabama. It is very apparent that Brandon Cox and Kenny Irons are not as potent as last year and some of it has to do with lingering injuries

WAKE FOREST 30 FLORIDA STATE 0
Wake Forest went into Doak Campbell Stadium and played like a championship team giving Bobby Bowden his first home shutout.
Let’s take a look at the keys to game coming in.
Don't Play Like You Are Wake Forest
The Deacs certainly did not by seizing control early in the 2nd quarter and never relinquishing it. Wake played like Seminole teams of the past.
Stats Are Meaningless
The main stat in this game was the four interceptions thrown by the Seminoles. Wake had 308 total yards to just 139 for the Seminoles.
Other Thoughts:
Ø Bobby Bowden went 31 seasons in Tallahassee without being shutout, and it was the first shutout home or away since 1988
Ø Wake Forest is 9-1 for the first time in their history. The Deacs last won in Tallahassee in 1959, right after Florida St became a co-ed school
Ø It seems FSU does not a even a semi-reliable QB as Xavier Lee threw two picks setting up 10 points, but Drew Weatherford threw two more interceptions in his replacement
Ø Florida State should become bowl eligible with a victory over Western Michigan, but if they lose at Florida they will be 6-6 and likely headed to the San Francisco or Boise for a bowl

FLORIDA 17 SOUTH CAROLINA 16
Jarvis Moss blocked a 48 yard field goal with eight seconds to preserve the Gators one point victory.
Let’s take a look at the keys to game coming in.
Playing South Carolina, Not Spurrier
You could tell from the crowd how important this game, even if the Gators were not in the national title race. Still, Spurrier appeared to out coach Meyer, with the Gators needing a blocked extra point and blocked field goal to pull out the victory as double-digit favorites.
Getting After the QB
The Gator D failed to sack Blake Mitchell, while managed two sacks of Gator QBs
Turnovers
South Carolina did their part by playing the entire game without a turnover. Florida’s Chris Leak did throw one interception.
Other Thoughts:
Ø The blocked extra point was the second of the game for Moss who also blocked an extra point on South Carolina’s final TD. The extra point was the difference between overtime and game over.
Ø Meyer had met with the team this past Monday explaining the Gators’ position in the BCS. Meyer met with the team again after Louisville’s loss on Friday.
Ø Florida appears to control its own destiny now as long, but they still may have to win convincing to overtake the Michigan/Ohio St loser.
Ø Leak stepped up big on the final drive running for three first down before giving away to Tim Tebow on the winning TD
Ø South Carolina can become bowl eligible with a victory over Middle Tenn St next

GEORGIA TECH 7 NORTH CAROLINA 0
The Yellow Jackets clinched the Coastal Division with their first road shutout since 1985.
Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
Getting the Ball to Your Playmakers
Calvin Johnson caught just 3 balls for 13 yards and fumbled once. He was not aided by the inaccuracy of his QB and the fact that the Jackets were able to rush the ball successfully.
Early Scores
The Tar Heels had two trips into the red zone turned away by interceptions, but also lacked any offensive or defensive punch early in the game.
Reggie Ball's TD v INT
Ball threw 1 INT and 0 TD
Other Thoughts:
Ø The victory and clinching of the Coastal Division was not celebrated event by the Tech players who were disappointed in their performance
Ø You never got the sense the Yellow Jackets would lose this game with their defense on the field, but you had to worry about giving up a turnover for a TD.
Ø John Bunting played a very conservative game plan not going for some 4th and short in the fourth quarter; interesting to do when you are a lame duck coach
Ø Joe Dailey looked very lost at times at QB, but the pressure he was getting did not help
Ø Tech did not play well, but they played better than North Carolina
Ø The Heels could be watching an ACC Championship between two teams they played within seven points
Ø The Jackets can turn their attention to the ACC Championship Game as even if they win out they will not get a BCS bid with a championship game loss, but you know they would love to beat Georgia in their final regular season game

CLEMSON 20 NC STATE 14
The Tigers jumped out to a two TD lead and then held on in the “Textile Bowl”.
Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
Just Run Baby
Davis and Spiller combined for 31 carries for 188 yards, their best performance since the Georgia Tech game. State ran 40 times with Toney Baker getting the bulk of the load with 34 carries for 174 yards.
Drops
Evans was just 10 for 24 as the Pack went with a run-oriented attack this game (imagine that with 2 Parade All-Americans in the backfield).
Other Thoughts:
Ø NC State has now lost five games in a row and will not be going bowling for the second time in three years
Ø Despite the disappointing season, it is unlikely Amato will be replaced at the end of the season
Ø Clemson has a week off before playing South Carolina. The Tigers had played 10 weeks in a row and will be hoping to get healthy before playing their arch rival
Ø The Tigers best bets for a bowl game are the Gator or Peach as they played in the Champs Sports Bowl last year

Pictures from the AP:



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