Monday, September 24, 2007

September 22 Recaps

Georgia 26 Alabama 23 OT
Georgia held their ground in the SEC East race with a big road win in atmosphere as crazy as you will find in college football. Georgia led this game until the end of the 4th quarter and needed just 1 play in overtime to give Nick Saban his first loss at Alabama.

What we learned about Georgia:
Mark Richt still has just 3 road losses in his tenure at Georgia as his team was in control for most of the night with good production from his dynamic backfield duo on the ground and in the air. Matt Stafford struggled a little bit, but for the most part was solid in just his 12th start (9 wins 3 losses). The Bulldog defense also did a fairly good job at containing Terry Grant and the Alabama rushing attack.

What we learned about Alabama:
The Tide was feeding off the emotion of the crowd for most of the game to make up for the deficit in talent on both sides of the ball. Terry Grant did not get in a good rhythm all game forcing Alabama to use the deep ball against a suspect UGA secondary. Keith Brown and DJ Hall had breakout games and should be a force in the SEC. Defensively, Alabama played pretty well, but had trouble with Georgia’s back getting extra yards after the first hit.

Virginia 28 Georgia Tech 23
Georgia Tech has now failed to defeat the Cavs every year in Charlottesville since 1990. Al Groh’s team turned two Georgia Tech turnovers into 14 points, including the go ahead TD.

What we learned about Virginia:
Cedric Pearman is a beast at running back breaking tackles from the usually sure handed Tech linebackers. Virginia still struggles at the QB position, but was able to use the TE in the short passing game to move the ball effectively. The offensive line did a good job protecting the QBs and opening holes for the running game against a good Ga Tech D-Line. Defensively, the Cavs got a lot of pressure on Taylor Bennett forcing the junior QB to hurry some passes. They did a pretty job on containing Jonathan Dwyer on the ground as well.

What we learned about Georgia Tech:
Georgia Tech is neither as good as we thought nor are they thought they were. The offense is struggling on the offensive line, not being able to protect Bennett consistently and also not able to open holes for the running attack. The Yellow Jackets still have trouble in the red zone scoring without a go to wide out and settled for field goals. Defensively, Virginia rolled the pocket and used short throws like Boston College did to negate blitzes. The d-line is not getting the same pressure it was and there are more holes for opponent to run in. My main guess is that the DT Joe Anoai is missed more than they originally thought. I think you will see more and more teams use the strategy of rolling the pocket and quick throws against Tech.

LSU 28 South Carolina 16
The Tigers used two QBs, a dominating defensive line, and a trick play to befuddle Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.

What we learned about LSU:
The Tigers are still as good as advertised on defense. After a TD drive early by South Carolina, the Tiger defense settled in and effectively shut down the Gamecock running attack. Les Miles used two QBs in different manners and both were very effective. LSU did miss the reliability of the injured Early Doucet and will need him back soon if they want to go undefeated.

What we learned about South Carolina:
The offensive line problems that came up against South Carolina State will appear again against good teams like LSU. The Gamecocks miss the big play ability of Sidney Rice against a good defense; they had to rely mostly on short passes and the WR making a play after the catch. The defense did a pretty good job allowing just 21 points (7 came on a fake FG for a TD). The Gamecocks sorely missed Jasper Brinkley in the middle during the first half. I think the proved they can hang with the big boys for four quarters though if they get some breaks.

Weekend Record: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U

Season Record: 9-5 SU, 9-4-1 ATS, 7-7 O/U

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