Thursday, October 4, 2007

Shakedown Saturday

Georgia @ Tennessee 3:30 CBS
Line: Pickem, 56.5

Game setup....
Tennessee is not as bad as their record seems because both of their losses are to Top 10 teams (Cal, Florida). Mark Richt has never lost in Knoxville and is 23-3 in road games. A little bit of a revenge game for Georgia as Tennessee put 51 on the board last year. Key to Georgia's success so far is something that has been lacking in last few years - a solid running game.

Things that stick out....
Line for this game opened with Tenn -2, but has moved to a Pick with some books having the Vols as a 1 pt dog now.
Erik Ainge has completed 66% of his passes and has thrown 10 TD to 2 INT.
Vol defense allowing 37.5 ppg, 439 yards, 255 pypg, 188 rypg.

Spread Notes...
UGA is 3-1 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Tenn is 2-2 ATS, 4-0 O/U in 2007
Tenn is 2-0 ATS at home

Key for Georgia...
Take advantage of a porous Tennessee defense especially with Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno on the ground.

Key for Tennessee...
The Vols will have to outscore Georgia and Erik Ainge needs a "legacy" game at home.

All Matt Stafford should have to do is hand the ball off and manage the game. He is not going to out play Ainge and just needs to play within himself. The Vols will have a home field advantage, but they need a much better performance from their defense to win this game.

Georgia Wins, Under

Georgia Tech @ Maryland 12:00 Lincoln Financial
Line: GT -3, 42

Game Setup...
Both teams coming off big wins last week in underdog roles. Under Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech typically plays well the week after a bounce back win. Tech has won 3 in a row against Maryland. The Fridge is trying to avoid his first 0-2 ACC start since taking over at his alma mater. The Maryland QB situation is up in the air with Jordan Steffy being knocked out last week. Chris Turner came on in relief and led the Terps to the upset.

Sore Thumbs...
Georgia Tech and Maryland rank 1 & 2 in rushing in the ACC so this game may be 2.5 hours long. Both teams have power running attacks utilizing two running backs.
Both teams have thrown more INT than TD. Maryland has thrown 2TD to 6 INT.
Georgia Tech is allowing just 64 ypg on the ground, but 230 ypg in the air.

Spread Notes....
GT is 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U in 2007
Maryland 1-3 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Georgia Tech is 0-2 ATS as a favorite this year.
Road team is 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings last year.

Key for Georgia Tech...
Start with same emotion that carried them in Clemson game.

Key for Maryland...
Make Taylor Bennett beat them.

GT as a 3 point favorite is a little surprising considering the Terps road win at Rutgers last week. I think Tech can slow Maryland's running game, but they will have trouble on the edge with Darius Heyward-Bey and the TEs. Taylor Bennett will have to make some throws and the WR will have to catch the ball to keep some crucial Jacket drives alive.

Georgia Tech Wins, Maryland Covers, Over

Florida @ LSU 8:00 CBS
Line: LSU -7.5, 47

Game Setup...
Florida found out last week how dependent they are on Tim Tebow to do everything. I think the Sophomore was not fully recovered from the beating he took at Ole Miss the prior week. Bubba Caldwell should be back to give the Gators another option in the passing game. LSU overtook USC in the AP Poll. Backup Ryan Perriloux will see significant action this week with a high ankle sprain still hampering Matt Flynn. Florida defensive leader Tony Joiner was arrested this week on a felony burglary charge for attempting to break his car out of a tow lot.

Stats of Note...
LSU's defense allowed just 32 points total this year
Teams allow just over 100 yards total on the ground combined
Both teams average over 200 yards per game on the ground offensively
Gators allow 247 pypg and have allowed at least 20 points to Div I-A teams.

Spread Notes:
Florida is 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
LSU is 3-2 ATS, 2-3 O/U in 2007
Florida is 3-7 ATS vs teams with winning record

Florida Key to the Game...
Spread the ball around and diffuse the crowd early

LSU Key to the Game...
Limit turnovers and control line of scrimmage

LSU could be coming into this game a little over confident with their number 1 ranking and the Florida loss. Tebow will have to have a Heisman like performance to give Florida a good shot at winning. Many people feel LSU lost last year because of turnovers. I like Florida to bounce back, but come up just short.

LSU Wins, Florida Covers, Under

Virginia Tech @ Clemson 6:00 ESPN
Line: Clem -5.5, 41

Game Setup...
The Tigers had their annual toe stubbing last week at Ga Tech as James Davis and CJ Spiller were held to under 100 yards total. This is bounce back and revenge game for Clemson as the VT loss last year started their year end slide. VT has not played anyone since the debacle at LSU and has not looked overly impressive in their wins. The biggest disappointment has been 2006 1st team All ACC back Branden Ore who has yet to gain 100 yards in a game this year.

Stats of Note...
VT averaging just 285 ypg on offense
Cullen Harper has thrown 12 TD to 1 INT

Spread Notes...
VT is 0-4 ATS, 1-3 O/U in 2007
Clemson 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Tigers are favorite despite being ranked 8 spots lower in AP Poll
VT is 10-3 ATS in last 13 road games

Clemson Key to the Game...
Offensive line must open holes and protect Harper (6 sacks last week)

Va Tech Key to the Game...
Allow their defense to get some turnovers and turn them into points

Va Tech is struggling on offense with a freshman QB and an under performing o-line. Clemson is very tough at home and the crowd will be rocking for an evening game. I think the crowd and offensive talent will be too much for the Hokies.

Clemson Wins, Covers, Over

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