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Preview of Week 4


Week 4 Preview

Hello Week 4! We are completing our first month of football. Alabama is still Number One with the Ducks from Oregon quacking at their heels. Clemson is hanging in there at number 3 but the entire football world is wondering when are they going to “Clemson-ize” and lose a game they shouldn’t. Ohio State sits at 5 with Stanford outside the top five looking in. Here at it’s believed that Stanford should be in the top 5, maybe they’ll make it after this week. Now grab a good cigar, if you’re out of cigars make a fast run to your cigar shop and load up. It’s a cardinal sin not to have cigars on Saturday, Fresno State and Boise do play on Friday so gonna need at least one for that night. But then the rest of week is spent talking about past games and looking forward to this week’s game…come to think of it, just keep the humidor stocked and play it safe.

First up is Friday night’s game, the big boys in the Mountain West conference pair up. Usually Fresno Statethis is a great game mainly because these two schools don’t like each other and when a rival is involved it makes for a great game. First up Fresno State, the Bulldogs got an unexpected week off. Since the entire state of Colorado is suffering through the 100-year flood their game against the University of Colorado was cancelled. It appears the UC didn’t have enough life vests to pass out to everyone, and besides FS forgot to pack their waders. We joke, Boulder has been hit hard by the floods and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected. Not sure this week off will help, because they were all fired up to play. They started off the season taking on Rutgers in what turned out to be a barn-burner of a game, a 52-51 overtime win. Then they beat Cal Poly, not really known for playing football. Now if there is a mathematical equation that needs to be figured out, they’re your guys. Fresno State likes to score points, last year whenever they lost they were held under 30 points, get above 30 and they win.  This year they’ve decided to keep that up. How do they score all these points? Passing the ball, they’re ranked 14th in the nation in passing, averaging 322 yards per game. Do the Bulldogs know what a balanced attack is? NO! Rushing the ball, they only average 121.5 yards per game and they rank 94th in the nation. The boys at Fresno say, “Whatever! As long as we win.” QB Derek Carr is keeping the tradition of his older brother in leading them to wins. They need that high power offense because their defense doesn’t seem very interested in stopping anyone. Rutgers chalked up a ton of yards and 51 points. Even against the future engineers of America, Cal Poly, they gave up 25. In the view of this SEC fan a good defense is a must. The defense is going to need to step up and actually tackle the Boise players before they gain many yards. It’s going to be tough for them to do, Boise thinks they can beat FSU-(West)

Boise State did not start the year off well, not well at all. They traveled out to Seattle and played pretty well in the first half, only they forgot to they had to play the second half, too. They lost 38-6. They were mad! Boise State fans were mad, how do I know? The SmokinHotModel, Afton, had no problem letting me know all about the anger. The next week little University Tennessee-MartinBoiseState Skyhawks came up the blue field and got drummed, 63-14, the Broncos had now worked out their anger. All was well in Idaho. Next up was Air Force on Friday night. BSU beat the Falcons 42-20 but it was obvious there are problems. This team has switched from a pro style attack to a read-option and on top of all that they’re playing quite a few underclassmen. Because of their switch in offense they have a good balanced attack, it’s not a top 40 attack but it does have balance. They sit at 55th in passing, 243.7 per game and 45th in rushing at 206.7 per game. Not bad, not bad at all. As the season goes this ranking will get better, not sure it’s going to get that much better for this game, but they’ll improve. Defensively, Boise ranks 61st , which  is far better than Fresno. Neither of these teams believes in the SEC style of playing games (Bama- A&M excepted). This game is tough to call. Boise is having a rebuilding year that is taking its toll, Fresno is climbing up and looking to capture the conference crown. It’s a long season but this game will go a  long way in helping either team out. CSF wants to pick Fresno State, CSF thinks Fresno has more going for them, BUT the SmokinHotModel is from Boise State, and the fact is that I’m sending her my Alabama jersey to model, so I’m picking Boise State to win. I want my jersey back in good order.

Next up is Arizona State and Stanford. The Sun Devils had the luck of officials blowing the last ASUfew seconds in their win against Wisconsin, but this week they’re going to need more than luck to beat to the Cardinal.  Head Coach Graham is thrilled with the start of his team. As he stated “ We just beat the defending Big Ten (Great White North, he doesn’t know the real name of that conference) Conference, that’s the human element of the game, but at the end of the day, I’m proud of our guys how hard they played. They deserved to win and I truly believe that.” So far QB Taylor Kelly is performing great, last week he went 29-51 for 352 yards. Running back Grice ran 22 times for 84 yards and four touchdowns against the Badgers, and ASU racked up 468 total yards. Should the Sun Devil receivers actually catch the passes that hit their hands, ASU would be unstoppable. Defensively, they’re ranked 20th in the nation. They’ll need a better performance this weekend, Stanford is not Wisconsin. Actually the Cardinal beat Wisconsin pretty well in the Rose Bowl last year, so  the “D” needs to perform a lot better. Rushing the passer is going to be key. The more they can make Stanford one dimensional, the better. In the last 5 trips to the Farm, ASU is 1 for 4. If the Sun Devils are going to be the dark horse of the PAC-12, Saturday would be a great time to begin.

Stanford is coming into this game ranked 5th in the nation. Young Quarterback Hogan is 28-45 for 395 yards, with 5 TD’s and 1 INT. Not a bad start for the sophomore. The Cardinal is looking to start their season 3-0 for the fourth straight year. Last week they took on the Black Knights of Army and had their hands full with the triple option attack. They did win 34-20 but being theStanford number 5 team, they should have done better. Head Coach Shaw is pleased none-the-less, “As for as the overall offense, we’re more diverse than we’ve been in years.” This year Stanford is using more personnel groupings in different offensive packages. The key to beating ASU will be the offensive line. Will this line be able to exert its will against the highly talents Sun Devil D-line? If they do, they’ll move the ball up and down the field all day. If they have problems, those personnel groupings aren’t going to help much. Coach Shaw needs to be feeding this Hogs lots and lots of meat and have them pushing a ton of weight around, get those blockers big. Then threaten to take away those steak dinners if they don’t perform. That should do the trick. Defensively, the key will be the secondary, can they cover those fast ASU receivers? Not sure if the Cardinal has faced the amount of speed that ASU has. If the receivers of ASU have trouble holding the ball, great for Stanford, but, if not, it could turn out to be a long day. The boys from Palo Alto have proven they know how to play hard-hitting, aggressive defense. If they bring that defense, Stanford wins, but if they slip up and let the Sun Devils hang around, they’ll be playing a fired up Arizona State team. Of course, having an officiating crew that’s on the ball will help out a lot as well.

Next, LSU vs. Auburn. LSU comes into this game ranked 6th , the second highest SEC team ranked in the nation, five slots behind number #1 Alabama. LSU came out of the gate this season LSUtaking on TCU up in Dallas. With all the questions surrounding this team having lost so many defensive players, the Bayou Bengals looked great. They had a few problems keeping the Horn Frogs down, as TCU just wouldn’t stop coming at them, but LSU did win the battle of the Purple jersey  wearers. Then they took on the Blazers of UAB, beating them 56-17. Kent State came into town and lost, 45-13. During these games LSU was styling and profiling. Quarterback Zack Mettenberger looked fantastic. He has thrown nine touchdowns so far and spread them out among three receivers. The offense is balanced, which is something Head Coach Miles has been looking for the past few seasons. It appears new offensive coordinator Cameron has them firing on all cylinders. This is not the LSU team from last year. This is not the same QB from last year, either, this guy is playing like he has been expected too. Look out world,  LSU’s offense is for real.  Defensive coordinator John Chavis was faced with having only three returning starters this year and he is doing a fabulous job. LSU never lacks for talent and Chavis is using that talent to their best. They’re gaining experience and confidence that they’ll need in contesting for the title of SEC Western champions and, hopefully, SEC Champions Now they start their real schedule against Auburn. Auburn is not necessarily one of the powerhouses in the SEC West, but they are SEC West.

Auburn comes into Death Valley sitting at 3-0 also, but no one is going to mistake this team for LSU. They’ve played all three of their games at home, so this is the first road game for them. These other Tigers have already started their SEC West schedule in beating Mississippi State.Auburn They did need a last gasp pass to the end zone as time was running out to win, but a win is a win. Head Coach Malzahn will admit to where this team stands as he says, “We’re a work in progress, but it’s a good progress.” Auburn started off against Washington State, which was a close one also. Against Malzahn’s old school, Arkansas State, they won easily, 38-9. Now they take on LSU. If the Palinsmen want to make a statement now is the time to do it.  QB Marshall has so far completed 43 passes for 583 yards. His performances in the last three games have been spotty at best. His decision-making process needs to drastically improve.  The running game has done well, ranked 35th in the nation, but this week is going test them. If Auburn has to rely on the passing game to keep up with the Bayou Bengals, they’re going to lose big. Auburn’s offense needs to stay on the field and drive the ball, keep LSU’s offense off the field, make them stand on the sidelines for long periods of time. The Tiger defense, not to be confused with the OTHER Tiger defense, does not have the horses it needs to stop LSU on a consistent basis. They’ve just got too many holes and too much lack of talent. They might stop LSU a couple of times, but they won’t shut them down.  LSU is too powerful, and has way too much going for them. Auburn can earn respect by hanging tough and keeping it close, but they just don’t have what it takes to win.

Short Smokes:

Alabama takes on Colorado State. Bama can’t have a let down, and they probably won’t. Tide Rolls. (and I get to wear my new Alabama jersey on Saturday, WHooHoo!)

Florida State will play against Bethune-Cookman. Yawn. Seminoles win.        

Georgia will play North Texas, shouldn’t bee too much of a problem here. GeorgiaBulldogs

Texas A&M gets back into winning form against SMU

UCLA plays New Mexico St, easy win.

Michigan plays Connecticut, another win for the Wolverines.

Oh, wait, there are two other good games this Saturday. Michigan State takes on Notre Dame and CSF is betting the Spartans win. Yes, MSU doesn’t have a great offense but they’ve got a killer defenses and Notre Dame struggled against the other Michigan school.

FloridaThen there is Tennessee taking on Florida. UT got their clocks cleaned by Oregon and Florida is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Miami (FL). Florida appears to be the better team to recover from a loss.

Baylor play LA-Monroe, the team that surprised everyone last year. They’re not going to surprise anyone this game.

Some football commenters have said this is not a great weekend of college football, but CSF says all Saturdays that have college football are great! The alternative is no college football and those weekends are just terrible. So light up your cigars and enjoy the games.

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