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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 10

Week 10

Kansas State vs Texas – KSU HC Chris Klieman has beaten each team in the Big 12 league except Texas, and this weekend will most likely be his last opportunity to defeat them, as the Longhorns make the jump to the SEC next season. The Longhorns will once again be relying on freshman Maalik Murphy at QB, as starter Quinn Ewers is still out with his injury. Last week against BYU, Murphy went 16-25 for 170 yards with two touchdowns, but he did turn the ball over twice, one being an interception and the other a fumble. Against BYU Murphy was playing against the nation’s 65th ranked defense, however the Cats D is a bit tougher as they are ranked 17th in the nation. Now to make matters worse for young Murphy, K-State boasts one of the best defenses in stopping the run, which means the success or failure of the UT offense is squarely riding on his shoulders. Will he be able to handle all the pressure? Very hard to say, he did have moments against BYU where he looked very good, but he wasn’t consistent and there were plenty of times he showed he was confused by the Cougar defense. K-State is an entirely different animal, and they can and will confuse just about anyone. On the flip side K-State deploys the nations 4th best rushing attack as they average 225 yards per game, which is three times the amount that BYU averages. When Oklahoma beat Texas a few weeks ago, the Sooners gashed the Horns for 201 rushing yards so the Wildcats are itchy to show they can do the same. The best part of KSU offense is that no one player has to carry the team. QB Will Howard, who has a 63.7 passing completion rate, knows that he doesn’t have to carry all the weight, he just has to be a game manager, make good decisions and take what the defense gives him when he throws the ball. The rushing attack relies on two different backs who share the backfield. RB DJ Giddens and Treshaun Ward, and either one of them is fully capable of breaking a big run at any time. The knock against K-State is that they have not performed well on the road against high quality opponents, they fell to Missouri and Oklahoma State. This game is in Austin and it will be a hostile crowd. K-State needs to get the lead early, they have yet to prove that they can mount a major comeback in the 2nd half. Should they get the lead early it will quiet down the crowd and place more pressure on UT’s young QB Murphy. Most of the odds makers are picking Texas, as if they win it would strengthen their chances of making the playoffs as this would be their third victory over a ranked team. CigarSmokingFootball is going against the odds makers and making the call for the Cats, they have all the momentum, and the Horns offense is going to be too limited.

LSU vs Alabama – IT’S ON! There have been some sports writers that say Alabama is not into the whole revenge thing, that this program is above that sort of thing, and all I have to say is, “that’s all a Baloney Sandwich!” All of Alabama wants revenge for last year’s loss, the players, the coaches, the fans, the band members, even the field maintenance crew wants revenge. There are, however, some very big questions for both teams. Can LSU actually play defense? Nobody is entirely sure. The defense tackles like they’re trying to grab a slick pig, they give up just about as many points as their offense scores. They don’t take the ball away, and they put very little pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Tigers have already lost twice, so their chances of making the playoff are very, very slim, almost non-existent. Having said that, they would love to play spoiler to Alabama’s chances. The one thing LSU has going for them is that their offense is one of the best in the nation. They have only been held under 30 points once this season and that was against Florida State in game one. Since that game they have pretty much scored at will. In their second loss at Ole Miss, it was a wild, rootin’-shootin’ game where neither team played defense and both offenses ran all over the field. Alabama has yet to put together a full 60 minutes of football. Why? Nobody knows. This has been the most un-Alabama, Saban coached team ever! In the first half against Tennessee and Ole Miss, they couldn’t do anything right, but then came out and completely took over the game in the second half, winning both games. On top of that, its not just one aspect of the team that is lacking; no, it’s the defense and the offense at the same time! When they are down, it’s the entire team, but when they are up, it’s also the entire team. This has to be the most mind-numbing, team in the nation to figure out. The Crimson Tide actually does play defense and when they do, they can be very good, not like their shut-down defenses in the past, but they can turn it on. LSU got completely shut down when Florida State’s defense turned it on. They have yet to play a defense of that caliber since. When Alabama is on offense, they should, SHOULD, be able to effectively run the ball, which should, SHOULD, help out QB Milrose and take some of the pressure off his shoulders. Another thing that Alabama can do, is make the long passes work. LSU’s defense has been terrible against long passes, so when the Alabama offense turns it on in this game, the long passes should, SHOULD, work in favor of the Tide. This is going to be a tough game for both fan bases, and for both teams. LSU is going to try its best to make this a shoot-out, Alabama needs to hold on to the ball and grind the Tiger defense into the ground and keep the LSU offense off the field. Don’t let the LSU offense get into any sort of rhythm, make them stand on the sidelines for so long that their feet start to hurt from standing in one place. Alabama is the pick, because I want revenge! And that the Crimson Tide’s defense will at some point in the game actually play…defense.

Washington vs USC – How’s the old saying go? Offenses sell tickets, defenses win championships, so then this game will be a complete sell out. Both offenses are powerhouses, they have two of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Washington is undefeated and, while the Trojans have dropped two, they are still in the running for the PAC-12 championship game, so there’s still plenty to play for. Washington’s offense has been compared to the Miami Dolphins, they both have a left-handed QB who throws the ball very quickly and accurately, they both move fast and both teams have receivers that not only catch the ball, but seem to be able to run at another completely different speed. “U-Dub’s” QB Michael Penix Jr. this year is having all his childhood daydreams come true, as he is living large with his offense as they have run rough shod over just about everyone. They had two close calls, one at Arizona and the other against Oregon, but they came out on top in both. Against Arizona State, nobody is sure what happened there, but they won so it doesn’t matter. The Huskies Defense needs some work as they have yet to shut anyone down. They didn’t even shut down Michigan State and my daughter’s powder puff football team could shut down the MSU offense this year. However, when they’ve been desperate, the defense has been able to play well enough to allow their offense to put up so many points that the other team’s spirit breaks. USC is on the verge of some serious trouble. They were playing great against lesser opponents but then they got embarrassed against Notre Dame, and when they had a chance to redeem themselves the following week against Utah, they lost again! But it doesn’t stop there, then they played California and if it wasn’t for an ill-timed fumble by the Bears in 4th quarter, the Trojans would have lost three in a row. Now their backs are against the wall and they have to win. QB Caleb Williams, even though he is horribly arrogant with a terrible attitude, is a very good quarterback and if the Trojans have any hopes of winning this game he is going to have to play the best he’s ever done. The USC offense rises and falls with him, if he can’t deliver, they have nothing to fall back on. Most of this year the offense has been aces but they can’t afford any hiccups, not even small ones, because for some reason HC Lincoln Riley does not believe in having a defense that can stop, well, anything. His philosophy is just to score so many points that the other team can’t keep up, which will be a problem against Washington. The Huskies like that type of challenge. USC has been exposed, and even though their backs are against the wall they’re not going to stop the Huskies. Look for Washington to open up this game late in the second half.

Short Smokes:

Ohio State keeps their new number one ranking against Rutgers

Texas A&M, according to Ole Miss HC Kiffin is loaded with incredible talent, but they still have Jimbo Fisher as their coach, so they’ll lose to the Rebels.

Clemson seriously needs to turn their season around and beating Notre Dame would be a good sign. However, that’s not going to happen

Arkansas just might be the best losing team in the nation. For some reason they keep coming up short and they’re going to come up short against Florida, too.

Wisconsin is going to open it up big against Indiana

Nebraska will become bowl eligible after beating Michigan State

Would it surprise anyone if Jacksonville State beat South Carolina? More than likely not, USC-South should win

Arizona State is going to play Utah tough, but come up short

Army is primed to spoil Air Force’s season

Some people think Missouri is going to give Georgia a tough game. They are wrong.

Florida State better be careful against Pitt, the Panthers can pull an upset

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State – the last of Bedlam look for the Cowboys to trip the Sooners up.

Penn State will beat Maryland because the Nittany Lions are only scared of Ohio State

Louisville is going to run all over VA Tech

Illinois has high hopes of taking down Minnesota, but they won’t.

Iowa will do their level best to keep the score against Northwestern low and they still win

Baylor should, SHOULD, beat Houston

Auburn better not lose to Vanderbilt because the insults they will endure will be horrific

Oregon, unlike USC, will have no problems with California

Kansas vs Iowa State is going to be a very close game, Cyclones win

West “By Golly” Virginia is going to fall to BYU

Michigan is going to beat Purdue because they already know the sideline signals

Kentucky adds to Mississippi State’s woes

Miami is the favorite to beat NC State, so look for an upset

In the late game, Oregon State is not going to do Colorado Coach Prime Time any favors

In the late, late, game UCLA is going to have their hands full with Arizona to the point the Bruins could very well lose. Something’s going on in Arizona and few people are noticing.

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