Friday, September 7, 2012

Looking Ahead to the Weekend

Not an overly impressive slate of games to pick from this week.  We had some really interesting matchups last week for the opener, but this seems to be Cupcake Central across the country, even moreso than what we see in a typical opening weekend.  Last night's game between Pitt and Cincy was a snoozer, as Pitt fully lived down to everyone's expectations.  But here's the games I'm looking forward to tomorrow:

East Carolina vs USC(e):  If I were a South Carolina fan, this game would worry me to death.  The Pirates essentially run the Mike Leach offense, and have the ability to move the ball up and down the field.  And based on what we saw from Dylan Thompson (SC's backup QB) against Vandy, if Connor Shaw can't play, the better offense is likely to be on the ECU side of the field.  Ultimately I think the 'Cocks win this one, but it'll be a lot closer than they'd like.

Auburn vs Miss St:  For me, this is the game that will determine what I think of Auburn going forward.  They showed flashes of improvement against Clemson, but Van Gorder still has a long way to go towards getting that defense up to snuff, giving up over 300 yards rushing.  It will be interesting to see how they handle MSU's running game, and will also be interesting to see if MSU has expanded their playbook beyond the roughly 3 or 4 plays it seemed they ran all year last year.  I'm taking Auburn in this one.

Florida vs A&M:  Florida didn't look impressive in their opener, but the fact that they had an opener is a big advantage in my eyes.  A&M is going to be taking the field under totally different schemes with the new coaching staff without having had a chance to work out any of the kinks.  I'd love to pick the Aggies to win this one, but I think the Gators find a way to win an ugly game that comes down to the last seconds.

Kent State vs Kentucky: Ha, just kidding.

UGA vs Mizzou:  LC pretty much stole my thunder, I agree with everything he put in his prediction.  I fully expect them to come out and jump on us early, and expect us to be facing a 10-14 point deficit sometime early in the game.  I know we've been preparing for their offense all summer, but there's a big difference between practicing against your scout team trying to simulate an offense like Missouri's vs actually playing against Mizzou's first stringers who have mastered the tempo and precision of the offense.  I think it will take a few series for our guys to settle down and adjust to what Missouri is doing.  So then it becomes, how do we react and adjust?  I believe the veterans on the team will keep everyone's head in the game, and we'll be able to rally back and win in the end.  I'd love nothing more than to see us go out there and just flatten them like 'Bama did to Michigan last week, I just don't see that happening.  But in the end, I think we find a way to win this one.  But I'll be a lot more confident in that prediction if 'Tree and Rambo play.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and GO DAWGS!


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