Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 12

 Weekend of November 16, 2013


This week, the most difficult, impossible, toughest, nastiest, and dangerous SEC train hauls National Championship contender Florida into Columbia, SC.  Just like previous SEC trains carried powerhouses like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, & Mississippi State, this train carries another team capable of beating any team at any time.

Wait, Florida is not in the BCS Championship mix?  They've lost 4 games in a row, including last week at home to Vanderbilt?  You mean they've lost more than they've won?

Yeah, but this team is healthy and a healthy SEC team can cure cancer and dry little kid tears.  What, Florida is missing two dozen players due to injuries and their backup quaterback turned starter is a game-time decision?

But those things don't matter when two SEC teams square off because this game is even and both teams would be lucky to leave Williams Brice with a win.  Oh, Vegas has this as a two touchdown spread in favor of USC?  Didn't see that coming.

Right now Florida is bad, the team is hurt, the fans are apathetic, and the coach is trying to find the best realtor in Gainesville to sell his house.  When a team gets backed into a corner like this, they either come out swinging, or play dead.

In this case, unless South Carolina gives them reason to believe they can win, I expect Florida to play dead.  And Spurrier to kick them while they're down.

Garnet & Black Jorts 31
Jorts of Every Other Color 12


There is a chance that the Gainesville Crocodiles will be crawling into Columbia this weekend having given up on the season.  I hope so.  Some folks might scoff at that feeling but I don’t care.  Just win baby!    So many possibilities lie in front of the Gamecocks, IF we win this game.

Florida has absolutely nothing to play for, which either makes them a target for us to walk over OR the most dangerous team on the schedule.  They have a stout defense when it wants to be.  No one can argue that.  And as we showed in the Swamp last year, if you’re willing to make enough mistakes to hand over some free points they’ll take advantage and be tough to beat.  So hopefully, we’ll be fired up and not flat this weekend.  We have a lot to play for and we got pantsed down there last year.  Connor Shaw has to be tired of listening to folks talk about that 1st quarter disaster.     

Shaw has three home games left in his storied career in Columbia.  You know he wants to leave Richland County having never lost there.  When you add it all up, this “should” be a nice win for USC.   I just don’t see it playing out the other way.  Yes, yes, we felt this same way about the visit from Auburn a couple of years ago, but we don’t see the type of internal turmoil now that Hyman was causing with Garcia back then.  So I will call it like I see it.  Florida comes out with some early stops and hangs around for a while and then we cruise late to a comfortable win.  Oh, and WAR DAMN EAGLE at 3:30. 

South Carolina 27
Florida 13




For the first time since the '70s, these teams will play back to back games in the same venue.  Unfortunately, the last time Clemson put on a uniform in that venue, they were
throttled by Florida State in front of a national audience.  Thursday night, Clemson will once again take the field with a captive audience, though let's hope the outcome is slightly different this time.

What makes this game tough is how unique Georgia Tech's style of play is.  The good news is Clemson has had nearly 2 weeks to prepare.  The bad news is sometimes you can become so focused on following your assignment, you forget to just play and react.  Also, Clemson needs to realize they are going to give up a number of 3rd down conversions and chunks of yardage.  They must stay confident and aggressive and not allow those short-term failures to win.

But what helps Clemson is their D-line and linebackers have played much better this year than last, which must continue for Clemson to win.  Add in a few positive plays from special teams and Clemson can finish their second straight ACC season with only 1 loss.

Clemson 33
North Avenue Trade School 20


I have been pretty hard on the Klimpletons this year over their absolutely putrid schedule (well-deserved).  That makes it especially laughable that the experts are actually trying to spin the visit by the Atlanta Bees into Pickens on Thursday as watchable or a “challenge” to anyone not playing in the Ivy League.  I will concede that the buzzers have more bite than most in the Aunt Cindy Conference.  But wins over Duke, North Carolina and Virginia hardly make someone “good.”  So for Tech to be happy over being one of the best in the ACC is like a woman saying she is one of the prettiest girls in Omaha.  While it may be true….so what?  But I digress. 

So the stingers come into Thursday night, needing to add some credibility to Clemson’s season.  I will actually play along on this out of pure boredom.  IF Tech’s team can sustain some drives early and earn a lop-sided time of possession edge, and IF they can limit Sammy Potkins’ big plays with their weak defense, and IF the ACC officials are not in protection mode of the crazy one in the K-Mart sweatshirt, then yes, conceivably it could be a time of nervous buttocks in Death Valley. 

More likely scenario?  The ACC wants to hold on to a possible at-large BCS bid (insane), the overrated orangies get a nice lead early and force the bumblers into a passing contest and the Tigers put up a big number.  

Clemson 49
Tech 24




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