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Dawgs, Jackets get it done.. Tony B's picks..


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Dawgs, Jackets get it done

By Tony Barnhart | Friday, October 17, 2008, 07:37 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It’s a good thing I don’t have to back up my picks with cold, hard cash or this morning I would be speaking to you from my second job as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

I’m thankful Georgia (over Tennessee), Georgia Tech (over Gardner-Webb), and North Carolina (over North Carolina) stepped up or I would have gone 0-for-the weekend. In what turned out to be the second Shakeout Saturday of the season, I went 3-7 which dropped the overall record to 46-24.

I promise to hunker down and try to do better this week. We are bloodied, unbowed, but certainly humbled as we present another version of the Fearless Friday Forecast.

1. Vanderbilt (5-1) at Georgia (5-1): Vanderbilt rarely plays two bad games in a row under Bobby Johnson and last week the Commodores had 10 penalties in their 17-14 loss to Mississippi State. Vanderbilt’s defense is legit but the offense is struggling, which is why MacKenzi Adams will get the start at quarterback over Chris Nickson. If Georgia doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bulldogs will be fine and can start getting ready for next week’s trip to Baton Rouge. If the Dawgs are sloppy, this one could be a little scary. Georgia 28, Vanderbilt 13.

2. Georgia Tech (5-1) at Clemson (3-3): Tommy Bowden is out as head coach and Dabo Swinney, an Alabama man, is in as the interim. Psychologically, Clemson is a very fragile football team and has been known to shrink a little bit when it gets hit in the mouth. Willy Korn gets his first start at quarterback for Clemson against one of the best defensive fronts in the country. Tech needs to come out very aggressive in this one. Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 14.

3. Ole Miss (3-3) at Alabama (5-0): Alabama has had a week off since a sloppy 17 -14 win over Kentucky on Oct. 4. The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 2 and could go to No. 1 if Texas falls to Missouri. That should be motivation enough. Bama’s defense, which is No. 2 in the nation against the rush (50.2 ypg) will shut down the Ole Miss running game and turn up the heat on QB Jevan Snead, who already has nine interceptions. He’ll get at least two more at Bryant-Denny. Alabama 28, Ole Miss. 13.

4. LSU (4-1) at South Carolina (5-2): LSU’s defense was exposed a little last week when Florida used all of those road runners to roll up 265 yards rushing. The Gamecocks don’t have as many weapons as the Gators (nobody does), but they do have WR Kenny McKinley and QB Stephen Garcia is making his first start. South Carolina’s No. 3 defense will slow down LSU RB Charles Scott and force the Tiger quarterbacks to beat them. Ladies and gentlemen, here is this week’s Upset Special. South Carolina 13, LSU 10.

5. Miss. State (2-4) at Tennessee (2-4): This should be riveting. Mississippi State’s offense is ranked 103 (300.67 ypg) while Tennessee’s offense is ranked 104 (299.50 ypg). The Bulldogs are coming off a pretty good win over Vanderbilt while Tennessee and coach Phillip Fulmer need something, anything, to keep the wolves at bay for another week. The Vols survive and the anticipation begins to build for next week’s visit from No. 2 Alabama. Tennessee 14, Miss. State 10.

6. Arkansas (3-3) at Kentucky (4-2): Arkansas beat one team (Auburn) with a bad offense last week and will face another today in Kentucky, which has scored more than 20 points only once (Louisville, 27-2) against a Division I-A opponent this season. Kentucky got beat by special teams play last week against South Carolina. The Wildcats won’t make that mistake again. Kentucky 17, Arkansas 14.

7. Miami (3-3) at Duke (3-2): Miami just finished a bad three-game home stretch, losing to Florida State (41-39) and North Carolina (28-24) while having to fight UCF to survive 20-14. Duke has had a week off to recover from the 27-0 loss at Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils, for all their problems, have played Miami tough the past two seasons. They’ll do it again in Durham but this time coach David Cutcliffe gets his first high-profile win at Duke. Duke 21, Miami 17.

8. Wake Forest (4-1) at Maryland (4-2): For a 4-1 team, Wake Forest is having a difficult time running the football. The Deacons are 110th nationally (99.0 ypg) on the ground. But the Deacons have compensated with the short passing game of Riley Skinner, who played his best game of the season (186 pass, 74 run) against Clemson. Maryland has beaten Wake Forest in seven of their last nine meetings. Not this time. Wake Forest 17, Maryland 16.

9. North Carolina (5-1) at Virginia (3-3): North Carolina has not won in Charlottesville since 1981 and Saturday the Tar Heels will travel to Mr. Jefferson’s university without their best offensive weapon. Brandon Tate is college football’s all-time leader in combined kickoff and punt return yards. The senior tore up his knee against Notre Dame so his college career is over. Virginia has won two straight since a 1-3 start behind RB Cedric Peerman (173 yards rushing against East Carolina). The Tar Heels win a squeaker because of defense. North Carolina 20, Virginia 17.

10. Missouri (5-1) at Texas (6-0): The best time to play Texas is the week before or the week after Oklahoma. The Longhorns and QB Colt McCoy were great last week in beating Oklahoma (45-35) but now they will have to play just as well to beat Missouri and Chase Daniel, a Texas native who is looking forward to his homecoming. Daniel struggled last week with three interceptions in the second half in a loss to Oklahoma State. I don’t see him playing poorly two weeks in a row. Missouri 35, Texas 30.

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Wow, I'm suprised to see him pick USC over LSU. I hope it happens, I believe it can happen, but it will not happen at 13-10. If Carolina is to win this game it will be somewhere in the 27-24 range or something with more total points IMO. As stout as the Gamecock defense can be, they are not impenetrable (sp?). Add Carolina has fits defendig teams who run any serious misdirection plays. Vandy, and even Wofford we able to force the defense to read and react to several ball fakes which slows this D down. I believe that Miles will use that info. and really try to confuse the defense.

I'm still going to pick Carolina in an upset, but I really believe that both defenses have better than a 60% chance of scoring a touchdown themselves. I believe that LSU will have a lead at the half and Carolina will come back and win the game.

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