Friday, September 28, 2012

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 5

Score after week 4. 

Weekend of September 28, 2012

Clemson at Boston College
(Clemson favored by 9.5) 


As everyone who doesn’t drown in orange catnip recognized about Clemson going into the fall, their line of scrimmage is weak and ripe to be exposed.  But, when you only play 2 or 3 teams who are worthy of playing Division 1 football on your whole schedule, it’s easy to pretend you’re actually flawless.  The good news for the Upstate Overall Brigade is that the Tigers don’t have anyone like that left on the schedule outside of South Carolina.  Oh, I realize that we will see Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and N. C. State propped up in the next month or two to make it not seem that way but please…

Which leads me to Saturday’s ACC “masterpiece of the week” in Chestnut Hills.  Speed Racer Dabo knows he has to make Boston College feel like a bunch of Pickens Policemen to make folks forget Tallahassee.  So expect a romp of epic proportions.  To be fair, BC does have a win over Maine which probably makes them one of the top tier ACC teams.  But forget it Eagles, you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Clemson is angry and embarrassed and dying to get last week in rear view mirror.  I bet even all of their receivers “avoid the munchies” this week to make sure they are fully sharp and ready to go.  Tiggers will roll and get most of the kool-aid spigots gushing again! 
Clemson 52, BC 13  - Clemson wins and easily covers the spread.


Clemson follows up their heartbreak against FSU with a trip to a place they haven’t fared well over the years.  In their last six trips to Bahstan, Clemson has just one win.

But most of those games were against good, if not great BC teams.  Teams averaging 8-9 wins per season with great offensive lines, solid quarterbacks, and active linebackers.  On this BC team, only the linebackers are recognizable (don’t give me the Rettig is a great qb line).  In its place is a team leading the ACC in passing, but mostly because they can’t run the ball.

So how does Clemson match up against this type of BC team?  It couldn’t be worse, so it has to be better.  For the first time this year, Clemson can play the pass first.  That will allow them to pursue the quarterback, disguise coverages, and bring pressure from multiple locations.  And it means Clemson’s defense will have its best Saturday in a while.

And defensive success means more opportunities for Clemson’s offense.  While I don’t expect it to keep the same pace, or even have the same success, as they did against FSU, they will score.  Look for Clemson to have a similar gameplan as they did for Auburn.  They should have success running the ball and finding receivers in the flats.  Look for multiple plays and long drives.  And in the end, the BC defense wears down.

Clemson 31, BC 16 - Clemson wins and easily covers the spread.


South Carolina at Kentucky
(South Carolina is favored by 21)


As a long time Gamecock fan, this game is just the type of game that I used to circle as an upset and I will admit I still don’t like games like this on the road for us when our opponent has supposedly been left for dead.  Old Joker-P may be coaching for his job the rest of the way and if you’re being rational, you have to admit that we could be peeking a bit ahead to Jawja next week.
Are we the better team?  Of course.  Should we win comfortably?  Absolutely.  Does any of that mean we will cruise for sure.  Not a chance. Give me a win herewith no major injuries and I honestly don’t care how it looks, what the score is or any of that. 
The goal here is to have the clock run out and us be ahead and on the plane coming home at 5-0.  I think we will after some “tightening of the hineys” for a chunk of the contest.  
South  Carolina 37, Kentucky 13 - USC wins and covers the 21 points.


The UCS athletic department keeps setting them up and the UCS football keeps knocking them down.  One after another top-level opponents stand before UCS and one after another they get sent home.  This week is no different as UCS travels to perennial SEC power Kentucky.

Don't let Kentucky’s less than pristine record fool you.  Don't be swindled by their blow-out loss to Florida or crushing home defeat to Western Kentucky.  Don’t focus on how they won five games last year (seriously – how did they win five games last year) or how you beat them like a drum.  Don’t get sucked into feeling sorry for Joker Phillips.

UCS should have no trouble establishing a rhythm on offense to establish an early lead.  Once they get that lead, Kentucky will be forced to abandon their terrible run game in search of points in the passing game.  The UCS defensive line will then take over and strangle Kentucky, forcing them into mistakes and turnovers.  A two touchdown game turns into a second half romp for the fightin’ Spurriors as they give the starters most of the second half to rest for UGA.

All that said, UCS needs to remember one thing: Don’t get caught peeking at Mrs. Judd, at least not in the first half.  If you do, this game could go the way of your last trip to Lexington.  Good thing for you this Kentucky team is more like the Mrs. Judd from Dolphin Tale rather than the Mrs. Judd from Double Jeopardy.  And the second half will give you all the time you need to locate Mrs. Judd and try to coax a smile.

UCS 38, Kentucky 12 - USC wins and covers the 21 points.

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