Normally I'll do 10 non-ACC games and then five (or sometimes all) ACC games. Given that there really aren't a whole hell of a lot of games of interest to choose from this week, you only get 10 this week. For those new to series, I always omit the Virginia Tech game because it's assumed you are watching it. RIGHT?
No. 12 Florida at Miami, 12 p.m., ESPN
Miami hosts No. 12 Florida and HOLY CRAP MIAMI SOLD OUT A GAME. Given Tech's sellout streak likely ending today, that sounds kind of hypocritical, but not when you look at Miami's stadium for every other game of the year.
|Alligator Army keys in on Miami sensation Duke Johnson||Head over to State of the U to see nearly every one pick Miami over Florida, for some reason, except this guy:|
|Miami's Duke Johnson is an incredibly gifted running back, no argument here. The 'Canes rely on him to be the catalyst for their offense, and he runs behind an equally talented offensive line. Miami rolled FAU for over 300 yards rushing in week one, with Johnson going for 189 yards. If you haven't seen the guy run yet, check out last week's highlights, especially his TD run at the :18 mark.
Obviously, Miami will look to get Duke going early against the Gators. As with many run-first teams (including Florida), the Miami running game opens up cleaner looks for QB Stephen Morris. Miami's QB is in his second year as a starter, and will be asked to do more this season. However, having Duke Johnson at your back is not a luxury to be dismissed. The Gators will need to shut him down and put the onus on Morris to beat them through the air, a prospect the secondary would be fine with.
|Miami hasn't played well in a meaningful game in the last five plus years with a team at full stength (a la Oklahoma a few years ago without Bradford, Gresham and I believe Trent Williams) as well as not in turmoil with a controversy (Ohio State a few years ago with Fickell leading the helm). I see them coming out guns blazing and super pumped up on the defensive front 7 but overall talent wins out by UF as well as players who have experienced years worth of seasoning in the tough SEC.
Here's hoping I'm wrong.
No. 2 Oregon at Virginia, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
if this one isn't over by the end of the first quarter, then Mike London is a witch. He used to be a cop. And that would now make him a witch-cop. Don't mess with witch-cops, bro. They'll turn you into a newt and then book you for possession with intent to distribute.
|Addicted to Quack is either nice to UVA or I'm just a jerk||tikiUVA from Streaking the Lawn previews Oregon's offense|
|Virginia is probably not as bad as they looked on offense against BYU, but they looked bad. Factor in the weather and the weather delay it wasn't a good situation for an offense trying to find their way under a new coordinator with a quarter back making his first career start. Again, this early in the season, it's hard to say whether or not an offense performed poorly because of a solid defense of because the offense simply is not good. The Wahoos' starting running back, Kevin Parks managed only 65 yards on 20 carries for a 3.3 average and David Watford only threw for 114 yards with a single touchdown.||The Blur offense, as Oregon calls it, is called that for a reason. The whole thing moves very quickly. They snap the ball almost as soon as it is placed down. They'll run read-option, they'll run triple-option, and they'll use a variety of different play fakes. All of this is designed to keep the defense on their heels. They snap the ball so quickly, that it is very difficult for the defense to sub. They will use the pistol formation that we saw so much this week. They will also use some different spread sets. They don't use a ton of different formations, because that takes time.|
Old Dominion at Maryland, 4 p.m., ESPNEWS
Yes, really. Old Dominion vs. Maryland. I'm not going to post a preview for this one, just ODU's awesome helmets.
No. 6 South Carolina at No. 11 Georgia, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
This is the big daddy on the slate this weekend. Two elite SEC teams (this year at least) square off for a big early-season match up. If you're watching at home, do me a favor and count how many times you hear ESPN commentators say "Jadeveon Clowney". My guess is in the upper billions.
|Garnet and Black Attack offers this top key to beating UGA||Dawg Sports looks at Aaron Murray calling the shots|
|1. Contain Gurshall
I'm optimistic that we'll move the ball well against what looked last week like a pedestrian Georgia defense. However, unless we absolutely explode offensively, the key to this game is going to be keeping the game from turning into a shootout, a situation that favors Georgia's dynamic offense. I don't expect a repeat of last year's defensive showcase against UGA. They're going to score more than seven points, probably more than 20. The key is to keep them below 27 or so, because there's every reason to believe that we can score at least that much. How to do that? Keep Keith Marshall and especially Todd Gurley from taking over the game. Carolina did a great job of containing these two last year, and by forcing so many third-and-long situations, our pass rush was given ample opportunity to manhandle Aaron Murray. When Gurshall run free, though, Murray is a different QB, feasting off more manageable downs and killing you with the play-action pass. Again, I don't expect that we'll completely shut down the UGA running game, but if our defense is disciplined, sheds blocks, and tackles well, we can keep things from getting out of hand.
|Besides Coach Bobo, who knows the playbook and the play design any better than Aaron Murray? Mark Richt may know it, but it's Bobo and Murray that are reviewing film and discussing decision making. I think Murray knows what he needs to read by now regardless, and the play changing from the sideline is making things messy. Besides, what's wrong with just calling a play and running over someone? I can't be the only one that thinks we are over micromanaging the whole thing to a point of hurting the line. When we check off to a draw up the middle, then I don't know what the point of the audible was anyway.|
Richmond at North Carolina State, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Come on N.C. State! Don't let this be a #goacc game. Backing the Pack offers some insight on why it has the potential to be a #goacc game.
Another reason to fear Spiders is that 15 of their players have made 10 or more starts in their careers, and that does not include transfer receiver Shane Savage, who was an all-American at Cornell in 2011. Led by a preseason all-American receiver in Ben Edwards, this is an experienced group. Defensive tackles Evan Kelly and Kerry Wynn are preseason all-conference picks by Phil Steele and have 37 career starts between them. Safety Reggie Barnette, another preseason all-conference selection, leads an opportunistic secondary that picked off three passes in a shutout over VMI last week. The Spiders snagged 24 INTs a year ago en route to a +23 turnover margin. They took ridiculously good care of the ball, giving it up just nine times for the season. The veteran group is unlikely to beat themselves.
Syracuse at No. 19 Northwestern, 6 p.m., BIG TEN NETWORK
Seer-a-cues travels to Northwestern for a game that, as an ACC fan, you hope will end with the Orange victorious.
I'd bet Northwestern ends up taking this one, but maybe Syracuse will pull one out of the orange stand. GET IT?!
No. 15 Texas at BYU, 7 p.m., ESPN2
The Longhorns' offense gets a good test against a strong BYU team.
|Burnt Orange Nation looks at the BYU offense.||Vanquish The Foe examineswhether or not elevation could be a factor|
|Getting vertical in the passing game consistently seems unlikely for BYU since they've had smany issues in pass protection and star wide receiver Cody Hoffman probably won't be at full strength, but after starting the game with two running backs on the field, the Cougars switched it up on the second possession against Virginia to feature a tight end and an H-back||According to Jordan Hicks, a linebacker for the Longhorns, "we don't expect it to. We're playing two-deep at every position. I think that gives us an advantage."
Guess we'll find out how true Jordan's predictions are when they make that 4,000 foot climb to LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo this weekend.
West Virginia at No. 16 Oklahoma, 7 p.m., FOX
A year ago, this might have been a big match-up. This year, Oklahoma is poised to embarrass West Virginia, who edged William and Mary by seven...at home. Now, the Mountaineers go on the road and to play against a solid Oklahoma team.
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan, 8 p.m., ESPN
This is the other high-caliber game this weekend and also the last time Notre Dame visits the Big House. I'll miss Notre Dame and Michigan fans complaining about each other on twitter :(
|From part 4 of 4 from One Foot Down's blog||Maize n Brew previews the game|
|All of this is galling to Michigan, whose worldview is one conditioned on absolute superiority to the Big Ten schools that it has historically dictated to politically and defeated on the field. Unable to have a constructive, mature relationship with a school that sees itself as more than its equal, Michigan's relationship with Notre Dame has always been one of animus and pettiness, fueled at various points by historical prejudice against Catholics, envy of Notre Dame's unique place in the history of American collegiate sports, and Notre Dame's success against the odds-all of which was achieved outside the narrow confines of the conference walls that Michigan so obsessively built and maintained against the Irish.||The front three in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense are as big and strong as you'll find in college football. Louis Nix is the man in the middle, a senior nose guard that checks in somewhere between big human and small automobile size - 6'3 357. Lest you think he is simply a mound of humanity to run around, he had 2.0 sacks, 7.5 TFLs, and 50 tackles a year ago. He is a load, and will be the stiffest test Michigan's three new interior linemen will see until November. If you have any lingering concerns about Jack Miller's ability to block defensive linemen - and you probably should - this will be where you get your answer.|
Washington State at No. 25 USC, 10:30 p.m., FOX SPORTS 1
I basically put this one on here for two reasons: 1. It's a late game, 2. Mike Leach pirating for gold. USC struggled a bit to find rhythm against Hawaii, so perhaps that would continue.