Friday, October 11, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 7

Weekend of October 12, 2013


Since USC's struggles over Kentucky...and UCF...and Vanderbilt, all Gamecock fans are talking about is this upcoming three game road trip against Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri.  About how this three game stretch will define their season and dictate where they go bowling.  Never mind the three schools are a combined 1-4 in conference (thank God for Vandy!).

But one thing that hasn't been discussed is how USC seems to struggle in Fedville, which is surprising because many people consider it to be the Columbia's cute little sister (you know, the one that is prettier, more petit, and much safer...).  Since USC joined the SEC, they are just 2-8 at Arkansas with an average margin of defeat of nearly 17 points.

But those teams didn't have Steve Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney and Connor Shaw.  Actually they did have those guys in 2011, and they lost by 16.  And Clowney didn't show up in the box score...

And while history may not be on USC's side, Karma is - thanks to Mrs. Jen Bielema.  Since her ill-fated taunting of Wisconsin, Arkansas is winless.  In two of those losses, they've also failed to cover the spread. 

Unfortunately for Arkansas, the winless streak continues, and they add one more loss against the spread.  The USC offense will be good for 30 points, and the Arkansas offense won't reach 20.

In fact, now that Jadeveon Clowney is playing, this game could be a blowout of epic proportions.  Someone raise them old Cumberland boys from the dead because their 222 point record could be in jeopardy.

Clowney 223
Arkansas 0


What has been going on in the Carolina locker room has finally been revealed a bit this week, and how the team will react to it is a mystery wrapped in a puzzle stuffed inside an enigma.  I honestly believe that the Gamecocks will not stay as they have been.  They will either retreat back into an 8-4 type of season or we’ll see a much higher level of play from the defense because for the first time they’re on the same page. 

I wish I could be optimistic that the latter was the case, but I fear it is the former.  Not to mention that we never play well out in Pig-ville.  Now I will grant you that if we do win this game, and we look better on defense, then no question we are a tough out the rest of the way.  But I always pick what I actually think is going to happen and not what I want to happen. 

Add in that Connor Shaw is not exactly Joe Montana on the road and it all points to a loss.  We will score enough to keep things close and we will certainly have chances to win.  But I see the hoggies  controlling the second half on the line of scrimmage and wearing us down.    

Arkansas 28
South Carolina 23



For some reason, Clemson struggles with Boston College.  Not sure if it is the style of play, size of the lineman, or commitment to the run, but for whatever reason, Clemson never seems to get into a solid offensive or defensive rhythm. 

And it could very easily happen this weekend.  What we say against Syracuse will not translate to BC.  Their teams are different, their philosophies are different, and their secondary is different.  Which all adds up to a game that is closer than the odds makers think.  Will Clemson lose?  No, but the 24.5 is too many points to give up and feel comfortable covering.

For one, Boston College will end the 4-game streak of the defense holding opponents to 14 points or less.  Look for BC to approach the 20 point mark through the use of sustained drives with an occasional big play.

For Clemson, Tajh Boyd will still do his thing and the offense will approach the 40 point mark, but I just can't see them covering the 24.5 point spread.

Clemson 41
Boston College 20


In a game that only folks in Iva and Six Mile care about (and Kirk Herbstreit), Clemson will beat up another high school team from the Aunt Cindy Conference on Saturday. 

Tajh will get to talk about himself in the third person, Sammy will be able to play high and pad some stats, and Dabbles will continue to pretend the headset he wears is actually hooked up to someone in the press box.

Tiggers romp in a so-what special. 
Clemson 59
Boston College 27




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