Friday, September 02, 2011
Let's hear it people. College Football has officially kicked off. If you don't get the chills about this time of the season then you need to leave right now. This is not a game. This is life. College football bitches!!!
For my ND peeps...
For my Georgia peeps...
For the Bama peeps...
For the Buckeye peeps...
For the Boomer Sooners peeps...
For the Michigan peeps...
Bring it on...
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 8:34 AM
Boise returns Kellen Moore who came in 4th in Heisman voting last year. The lefty is good, there's no doubt about it. In his career, he has 10,867 yards, 99 touchdowns, and only 19 interceptions. I'm not going to go into the cupcake schedule and inflated stats due to only facing 6 AQ teams in his three years at the helm, but I will mention he is a lofty 0 - 4 versus the SEC and though he may end up college football's winningest QB after this year, he will also be 0 - 5 against the SEC after Saturday. Losing his top two targets in Austin Pettis and Titus Young are not going to help his chances against a Dawgs D that is big and FAST.
Despite Moore's Heisman credentials, let's not discount Aaron Murray who set a few SEC freshman records last year and if you look at the stats of the QBs against AQ teams, Murray actually outproduces Moore in yards per attempt (8.4 for Moore to 9.8 for Murray) and QB rating (159.4 for Moore to 162.67 for Murray). Add in that Murray has tons more experience facing AQ teams and you can easily conclude that Murray's number can be seen as consistent. You may talk about Murray losing A.J. Green, but when Murray didn't target Green, he still had a yards per attempt average of 8.4. For those of you not familiar with these stats, Murray would still be a top 20 QB.
Doug Martin, Boise's starting RB is a beast. With 201 carries for 1,260 yards, and 12 TDs in 2010, Martin will be the most proven back on the field, but no one can say he is the most talented. That title will belong to Freshman Isaiah Crowell, the ESPN #1 running back from the 2011 class. According to team mates, he is every bit as advertised and personally, I can't wait to watch him run behind the #1 rated center in the country, Ben Jones, and the #1 rated guard in the country, Cordy Glenn.
There is not a deeper, more experienced, more talented tandem of Tight Ends ANYWHERE in the country than at the University of Georgia. With preseason All-American Orson Charles leading the way, Aaron White, Arthur Lynch, and the 2011 #1 TE Jay Rome, former starter Bruce Figgins is going to be opening holes as a FB. UGA has a legitimate opportunity to go to a 4 deep Tight End set and flex out Charles with Figgins coming out of the back field. Imagine the hell that creates for a D trying to match up assignments. Boise has a good TE themselves, but there is no way he can carry the cleats of the UGA Tight End tandem.
While Boise has a hell of a tackle in Nate Potter, he's going to have a fun time blocking Kwame Geathers, John Jenkins, Deangelo Tyson, Abry Jones and Derrick Lott. Not to mention year 2 in the 3-4. Anyone know what happened at Alabama in year 2 when the D understand base assignments and were allowed to unleash the rush from all angles?!?! You guessed in, National Championship. PS, I'm not predicting a NC for UGA in 2011 just yet, but it isn't out of the question.
The defensive secondary at UGA has been having an outstanding preseason and will be ready to hit the Boise receivers early and often. To be honest, I simply don't think the Boise secondary is ready for the size, speed, and athleticism of UGA's young receivers. Neither team has much of a proven playmaker at receiver so I'm anxious to see how both corps shake out on the field.
The biggest advantage UGA has is the special teams. Let's face it, special doesn't describe Drew Butler and Blair Walsh. Since their freshman seasons, they have been looked at for every specialist award possible. Not to mention the dangerous duo of returners in Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith. Does Boise even have a kicker?!?!
In conclusion, I'm a homer, I know it, and so do you, but Boise is outmatched this time and they are no longer Cinderella. The nation is tired of the woe is me attitude of the Blue Turf Smurfs and UGA is going to put some of that attitude to rest Saturday in the Dome. Get ready to roll Dawg Fans! Make the Dome rock on Saturday!!!
"The thing about Georgia... is that it never leaves you. No matter where you go in life. Athens...the Arch...the history of Georgia...it's just part of the fiber that is me" Fran Tarkenton
Posted by McPeters at 8:17 AM
South Florida (0-0) at Notre Dame (0-0) September 3rd, 3:30 NBC
This will be the first ever meeting between the South Florida Bulls and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. South Florida comes in with a head coach who is all too familiar with Notre Dame in alum Skip Holtz. ND head coach Brian Kelly has a history with the South Florida program too as he went 3-0 while the head man at Cincinnati with an average win of 12 points per game. Notre Dame has been traditionally stout in home openers going 12-3 since 1996 including 3 straight wins since the 2007 Georgia Tech debacle. If the Fighting Irish have BCS dreams they need to come out with swagger, focus, and intensity as soon as they hit the Play Like A Champion Today sign and run out of that tunnel. The Bulls of South Florida are preseason Big East favorites by some pundits.
South Florida Offense: The Bulls have one of the best duel threat QB's in the nation in B. J. Daniels. Daniels will be looking to escape the pocket against a swarming Irish defense. In the backfield with Daniels is Colorado transfer Darrell Scott who was a 5 star prospect (#1 tailback in 2007) coming out of the prep ranks who never lived up to his billing in the Rockies. Also in the backfield is Demetris Murray who is a little smaller than Scott and they will be looking to break off some 10+ yard runs against a good Irish run defense. They will be running behind an inexperienced offensive line and Daniels will be looking to throw the ball downfield to A.J. Love and Sterling Griffin. As talented as Daniels is he is known to make mistakes and had more interceptions than touchdowns last year. The Bulls will be looking to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. With the bodies ND has up front I expect the Irish to have an advantage.
South Florida Defense: The Bulls have major issues on the defensive line with only one returning starter. Like their offensive line Notre Dame should be able to control the line of scrimmage against an undersized Bulls unit. Their best defensive player is weak side linebacker DeDe Lattimore who as a freshman last season was the second leading tackler on the team. He will be one of the better defensive players Notre Dame goes against all season. Their secondary returns 3 of 4 starters along with 7 of the top 8 players and they will be looking to shut down the Irish passing game behind a somewhat inconsistent Dayne Crist. South Florida will look to run stunts and confuse the Fighting Irish into making mistakes. If the defense can cause 2 or more turnovers the Bulls could pull the upset.
Notre Dame Offense: QB Dayne Crist is looking to prove all the naysayers including myself wrong this season. Last year Crist was inconsistent and often looked like a deer in headlights with a 4-5 record before going down with another knee injury. This season I expect Crist to step up his game behind a stellar offensive line. In the backfield with Crist is junior Cierre Wood. Wood is a fast and elusive back who can take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. Look for Wood to run all over an inexperienced USF front four. When not handing it off to Wood Crist will be looking for All-American WR Michael Floyd. Nobody in the college game can cover Floyd and being the nightmare he is to gameplan against expect Crist to be locking into him early on. Receivers Theo Riddick and TJ Jones are good complementary receivers and should get touches along with TE Tyler Eifert. I expect the Irish to control the line led by left tackle Zack Martin and Kelly's spread offense to blossom in it's second year in South Bend.
Notre Dame Defense: The biggest reason for optimism this year under the Golden Dome is the defense. Last season the defense improved tremendously in the last 4 games and this should be their best defense in a decade. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has a tremendous front 7 led by an experienced front 3 with plenty of depth. Look for Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ethan Johnson to be causing havoc to a virgin Bulls line all day. Freshmen Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt will also get reps in the second series and will keep the Irish legs fresh. The linebacking crew is led by All-American Manti Te'o. Te'o is on a mission to destroy any ball carrier on his field..yes, his field. He will be teamed up with senior Darius Fleming who will look to contain Daniels if he does escape the pocket. The secondary is led by senior captain Harrison Smith. Smith had 7 INTs last year and along with CB's Gary Gray and Robert Blanton they should have one of the best secondaries in the nation. They along with safeties Jamoris Slaughter and Zeke Motta will be looking for timely turnovers from the somewhat erratic Daniels.
What I Expect To Happen: This is the biggest game potentially in the Bulls young history. Expect Holtz to have them fired up and ready. I think it will take a couple of series for the Notre Dame offense to shake off some of the cobwebs and I think the ND defense should control the game. I don't think it will be high scoring because of this. Daniels will have some big plays but I also expect the Irish to cause some crucial red zone turnovers. I think Murray will be effective at the tailback position and Scott will be neutralized. The spread is 10 points in favor of the home team but I think it will be closer than that. In what should be a tight and entertaining game and probably a little too close for some ND fans including myself's comfort the Irish pull it out behind some huge catches from senior WR Floyd.
Prediction: Notre Dame 21 South Florida 13
Posted by Matt Fairchild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 6:59 AM