Sunday, September 21, 2008

Southern Football Week 4 Wrap up

Last Week: 3-3 ATS, 4-2 SU
Season: 11-4-1 ATS, 11-5 SU

What a weekend around the South! We had some big time matchups live up to their billing (LSU-Auburn, UNC-VT) and some that did not (Florida-Tennessee, UGA-Arizona State). Before we put week 4 to bed, lets take a look at what went right and what went wrong in week 4.

LSU QB Jarrett Lee was the difference in the second half for the Tigers. I thought at half time there was no way this guy could lead LSU from behind, but he did. Lee looked like a totally different QB in the 2nd half and capped the night off with a perfectly placed pass to Brandon LaFell to score the go ahead TD for LSU. You didn't really think Les Miles was going to play for the field goal did you? LSU also outrushed Auburn 178-70 to win the rushing battle.

Florida dominated Tennessee in all phases of the game in a 30-6 blowout. Maybe Emmanuel Moody heard my criticism?...not likely though. Moody did have 55 yards on 9 carries. Still Tebow had 12 rushes for a sometimes unimpressive Gator offense. I said Florida dominated Tennessee so that tells you how bad UT's offense was. The Vols actually out gained Florida, but turnovers in the red zone and special teams did them in.

Georgia was in control from the opening whistle in Tempe shutting down the Sun Devils run game. ASU QB Rudy Carpenter was sacked 4 times on the night while the Sun Devils D managed just 1 sack of their own. Knowshon Moreno rushed for 149 yards on 23 carries...I would say he bounced back alright. The Bulldogs won this game by making ASU one-dimensional on offense all night.

Wake Forest used 7 FSU turnovers to win 12-3 on the road. I thought the two QB system would help the Noles, but both Ponder and Richardson played so bad, I think FSU might have been better just running the wing T formation. The Seminoles did manage 102 yards rushing, but needed 28 carries to do it. Not exactly a stellar performance. Just when I thought FSU was turning it around this season, they proved me wrong. If you want to know what has been the biggest downfall of the Noles the last 5 years, it is by far the QB play. Where have you gone Chris Weinke?

I thought VT's passing game would be key in their game with UNC. The Hokies got 141 yards passing, more than 40 yards over their average! What did the Heels was when they lost starting QB TJ Yates. Backup Mike Paulus, brother of Duke PG Greg Paulus, was awful in relief and could not move the ball against the stingy Va Tech defense. The Hokies offense may not be pretty, but their defense is strong once again..and has them 2-0 in the ACC.

So Georgia Tech kind of surprised me with their play on Saturday. They dominated Mississippi State by running the ball for over 430 yards on the ground and no turnovers. That should not happen against an SEC team! The Yellow Jackets now have a bye week followed by home games with Duke and Gardner Webb before they travel to Clemson. Ga Tech is not out of this ACC race yet. The Bulldogs could be in for a long year. Their vaunted defense was shredded on Saturday and they cannot get consistent play from their QB or offensive line.

Elsewhere in the SEC...
Alabama crushed Arkansas in their first SEC game. This Tide re-validated themselves before heading into Georgia next week. And Vandy is 4-0 beating Ole Miss on the road with a late fumble recovery in their own end zone. That bowl streak could be coming to an end.

Elsewhere in the ACC
Miami went on the road and dominated Big 12 opponent Texas A&M. Good out of conference win for the 'Canes and the ACC. But the big win was NC State over previously unbeaten East Carolina. The Wolfpack's Andre Brown scored the winning TD in OT to propel the Pack to a huge win for Tom O'Brien. Maryland and Clemson took care of business out of conference as did Boston College.

Big Games for next week:
Alabama @ Georgia, North Carolina @ Miami, Tennessee @ Auburn

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