Florida – Tennessee Preview

September 16, 2006

Everyone I’ve talked to on campus just about thinks that Florida is going to win. No one wants to predict a blowout or anything, or even say 100% that the Gators will win so they don’t jinx the game, but everyone is confident that Florida will will.

Everyone also cites Tim Tebow and especially Percy Harvin as reasons why too. I’m amazed that Chris Leak is not the number one reason, but everyone always focuses on what’s new. That’s fine, but Tebow will not play much this game. Harvin probably will not be featured as much either, since it’s his first big road game and it’s seldom smart to bank on freshmen on the road.

The offense will revolve around Leak and the the three big receivers – Baker, Caldwell, and Cornelius. I also think that Coach Meyer is comfortable enough with DeShawn Wynn that Meyer will use Wynn to pound the ball and wear out UT’s defense some. Tennessee DT Justin Harrell says he’s going to play despite rupturing his biceps, but  how effective can he be with that injury? That should help out Wynn, and the absence of Inky Johnson will help the receivers.

Defensively, UF is going to need the pass rush as much as ever. Though it looked pretty good in the first two games, Florida’s secondary really is not that good. Erik Ainge will probably get almost whatever he wants as long as he’s upright, and that does worry me. Reggie Nelson will be the most important Gator on the field on either side of the ball. Still, the line will be good enough to stop Tennessee’s rushing game, and with UT forced to pass all game Florida will have more chances at interceptions.

This will still come down to Florida’s offense though. It is a chance to put to rest a lot of the concerns that The Urban Meyer Offense™ will work in the SEC. Watching the LSU – Auburn game reminds me of just how fast SEC defenses are. The game has no score in the second quarter, and it’s not bad offense like the FSU – Miami game, but great defense. The difference is easy to tell, and it’s evident today.

On paper, this is a high-scoring shootout with both teams scoring in the 30s. In reality it will probably end up in the teens or 20s because it’s Florida-Tennessee. UF has enough veterans who have played in Knoxville that they won’t be intimidated. They have practiced the silent count for two straight weeks now, so that should not be an issue either. They must avoid the slow starts that have plagued the Gators in recent road games, and the careless turnovers from the past two weeks. I think that they can, obviously, but wouldn’t be surprised if they continue.

On paper, this game is a 41-38 shootout. I’ll go with a 24-21 Florida win.

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Iowa State – Iowa / BYU – BC

September 16, 2006

I’ll just be updating this one post for the game rather than a bunch more individual posts.

12:03 – Terrible picture, and questionable announcers for this one. Who is the guy calling the game? He doesn’t sound human. ESPN/ABC is really overextended today.

12:07 – Iowa doesn’t look like they came prepared to play today. It’s like the Gators at the beginning of the USM game. It will be seen if they can snap out of it like Florida did.

12:09 – Touchdown, Iowa State. Well, Drew Tate doesn’t play special teams or defense.

12:15 – That’s the first points a visitor has scored in the first quarter against Iowa in 12 games. Also, Iowa State’s coach looks like a maniac. Pam Ward and Mike Gottfried are calling the game, for the record. Thanks, Fox Sports.

12:19 – Punt for Iowa. Disappointing. They needed to answer that to keep the intensity up. Nice punt though. On the Deuce, I’ve got BYU-BC, and the Cougars have score already. In fact, Cincinnati-Ohio State is the only game without a score right now. Somewhat surprising.

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More Nebraska-USC

September 16, 2006

12:01 – Aww, poor John David Booty. He had to wait his turn and couldn’t find any Southern people in Los Angeles. Give me a break. If you ask LSU and Florida Marlins fans about his brother Josh, they’ll probably still swear profusely.

Does anyone really take those dumb Under Armor “Click Clack” commercials seriously? They don’t even rate on the unintentional comedy scale because they’re just so dumb. Speaking of commercials though, I really like the Hummer H3 “It’s Not Magic” spots. I’d never buy a Hummer, but I think they’re really funny.

Lee Corso has now officially called Percy Harvin “Florida’s version of Reggie Bush.” It’s starting to get out of hand. We haven’t even seen him against a good defense yet. I’m as excited about him as anyone, but we need to see him against good teams first before we compare him to anyone.

Both guys pick Miami over Louisville. I like UL. I the Bowden Bowl, I like Clemson. It’s one of those charity games that FSU loses for the benefit of other teams in the conference. Clemson and NC State in particular get them fairly often. I agree with them on Iowa winning if Drew Tate plays. If not, Cyclones by a lot.

I think Notre Dame will win like them, but I’m not totally sold yet. Michigan will be a good test, especially with how great Mike Hart is looking. As for Nebraska-USC, the Trojans will pull away late, but this is a huge respect game for Nebraksa. How big is Nebraska’s fan base? I saw a guy wearing a “Californians for Nebraska” shirt. If the Huskers somehow pull this off, they’ll be insufferable. Again.


Nebraska-USC

September 16, 2006

11:14 – Bill Callahan has a complicated offense, and it sounds complicated the way he talks unless you know what he’s talking about. Like everything else on earth.

Now we’ve got the ABC crew out, headlined by Brent “Bowdens Are Dreamy” Musburger. They collectively say nothing. Now what do you say, Mark May? He can’t imagine USC ever losing to anyone in the history of time. As always.

The guys are back for some picks. Both like Southern Miss over NC State and Chuck “It’s Hard Out There for a Coach” Amato. Other than that, no real surprises here.

Oregon has crazy uniforms. News at 11.
Also, someone from USC wants you to know that Charlie Weis is the love child of Jabba the Hut [sic] and Rosie O’Donnell. Weak, Pac-10, weak. That’s got nothing on a GT fan’s “Calvin: Beating Catholics since 1509” from Week 1 and some Bama fan’s “LSU Bleauxs” from last year. As if you needed any more proof.


More SEC Coverage

September 16, 2006

10:58 – Who is Matthew Stafford? The first bullet point is that he wears #7. Insightful.

A interesting piece on John Vaughn, the Auburn kicker who missed five field goals against LSU. About the only piece of hard information from it is that he changed his mechanics after the game and has been very good ever since. Herbstreit likes Auburn since the home team has won the past six games in the series. Corso likes LSU because one of their defenders has his birthday on the same day. Or something. It’s Corso.

I’m not sure what it is with SC fans and their Borat posters. I just don’t know if that movie is going to be any good. I’m also surprised that anything so politically incorrect would be popular in California.

The Nebraska fan actually makes the field goal, making it about the third fan field goal I’ve ever seen made. Of course, it was also from 18 yards away.


The Big Three on Florida

September 16, 2006

10:45 – Some nice footage of Charlie Strong. But wait! Tennessee’s offense isn’t historically bad this year! How come Desmond? In short, it’s because David Cutcliffe knows how to evaluate quarterback talent and the rest of the coaching staff doesn’t. He didn’t say that per se, but that’s really what it all meant.

UT needs to regain it’s home field advantage. Herbstreit doesn’t know if they can as Corso laughs. The Gator D is playing better and with confidence, but with Robert Meachem showing up this year they’ll challenge the secondary. Herbie picks Tennessee.

Corso plugs Harvin and Tebow. Nine of Urban Meyer’s 11 losses have been on the road. Corso picks Florida after mentioning UF practicing the silent count in Gainesville last week. “Not so fast! Gators!” he cries, as he does the Gator chomp. Two points for me. Thank you, thank you very much.


It’s Game Day

September 16, 2006

10:30 – And there ain’t nuthin’ better. Right now I’m starting it off right with College GameDay. Maybe it’s getting a little bloated with the two-hour time slot and with Desmond Howard adding almost nothing to the show whenever he shows up (not his fault – it’s the show’s writers’ fault).

Chris Fowler wrote an article for ESPN.com that is free right now (but who knows for how long) about why they are at Nebraska-USC as opposed to one of the SEC games. He says it’s not specifically because ABC is doing the game and CBS has the SEC games (as Dan Patrick speculated on the radio yesterday) but because of the traditions the programs have and that it’s a way to spread it around geographically. The only huge games left on the West Coast are Notre Dame-USC (and they’ve already been to a ND game) and Oregon-USC now that Cal doesn’t look as good as once thought. Fowler says that there’s plenty more big games in the SEC, and that the SEC crowds are far and away the best they get. Amen.

I think Corso is going to pick Florida for Leak and the defense and Herbstreit Tennessee for Erik Ainge’s renaissance this year.