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Preview to Week 3

Week 3 Preview
Week 2 was a bit of a snoozer, except for Central Michigan and Oklahoma State. Those fans had a memorial, to say the least, weekend. Va Tech and Tennessee was the big game in Bristol and the Hokies, bless their hearts, did everything they could to help the Vols win. Most other teams just went through the motions. Clemson struggled with Troy. Right, but not THAT Troy, this Troy was a team from eastern Alabama. Alabama didn’t demolish Western Kentucky like they did USC, but there was a moment on the sideline when St. Saban chewed out Lane Kiffin and that was the highlight of the game. This is week 3! We’re back to big games, make or break games, root hog or die games. Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, Auburn – their backs are against the wall, it’s win or go home time. How could you not be fired up? Stock up the chips, amass lots of salsa and guacamole, beer, if you’re so inclined, and join us in watching the Greatest Show on Planet Earth;- College Football!

 
212Florida State vs. Louisville- Louisville has gone into this game for the past two years with the feeling that they could win this dadgummed football game, only to get beaten down. What is that saying, “Third times the charm”? The Cardinals had an extra few days to get ready for FSU as they played Syracuse last Thursday night. Maybe they had more than an a couple of extra days, because what they did to the Orange bordered on slaughter. They plumb dismantled the ‘Cuse. Florida State is not going to be confused with a team from central New York, so the Million Dollar question is, “Can Louisville play like that again this Saturday?” NO! Haven’t you been listening? Florida State is not Syracuse. What the Cards need to do is play fast and run FSU out of breath. The Noles were flat against Ole Miss when the Rebels were hanging onto the ball. The faster Louisville plays, the more confusion they’ll cause the Seminoles. The key for the Cardinals will be their defense. They cannot allow long FSU drives that wear out the Louisville defenders, cannot, no way, please, dear Lord, don’t let that happen! Florida State had a highlight game against Ole Miss. They fell behind early but managed to come back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Granted, they had a lot of help from the Rebels, but it was still a good victory. Then the Noles played Charleston Southern and got in some good live scrimmage time. Like the first couple of games Ohio State, and Michigan, have played. So what do they need to do differently against Louisville? Nothing! The Maroon and Gold have a fantastic running back in Cook, and all they have to do is pound the ball into the middle of the line and wear Louisville’s defense out. Maybe throw the ball a couple of times, just to keep the prima donna receivers from complaining. But don’t be fooled, the Seminoles could have a game on their hands and they can’t take it easy, not even a little. Florida State could lose, this third time could be the charm. I wouldn’t want Bobby Petrino lining his crosshairs up on me.

 
017Alabama vs. Ole Miss- Say hello to my nemesis! Ole Miss is the only team in the St. Saban era to beat the Tide in two consecutive years. Last year the Rebels went down to Tuscaloosa and played like they weren’t intimidated. They capitalized on Bama turnovers, lots of them. Play like they’re not going to get any turnovers this year, cause should any Tide player drop the ball or throw an interception, they’re going to be taken behind the woodshed. Or get an ass-chewing on the sideline like Kiffen got last week. The Rebels unveiled their very fast-paced offense against Florida State, and it worked great, for a half. The Rebs looked unstoppable in the first half. Then the second half came about, a couple of season-ending injuries, and the Rebels couldn’t keep from tripping over their own feet. Ole Miss played against Wofford last week in what should have been a complete519 blow out, and it pretty much was, 38-13. Remember, everyone kind-of took last week off, except Michigan and Ohio State who crushed their cupcake opponents. So what’s up with this Mississippi team? Who are they? And what are they really capable of? The defense is very good, very fast, but they lack stamina. Against FSU they were gassed by the third period and couldn’t keep up. The offense looks good at times, but they lack consistency. They keep it up for an entire game. Speaking of establishing an identity, Alabama has yet to find one for themselves. Last year it took losing this game for the Tide to discover who they really were. Turned out they were National Champions, who knew after the home-field loss to Ole Miss? This is a different team and they’re searching for who they’re going to be. Both Bama and Ole Miss sent a lot of their stars to the NFL in the off season The Tide hasn’t established a dominant running game, even though they have a couple of pretty good runners. They have a Freshman quarterback starting who has played well, but can he pull the team together and lead them like Coker did last year? His back-up, or co-starter, is a redshirt freshman. Do either of these have the intestinal fortitude to be the hard-nosed leader needed when the chips are down and the game is on the line? The star of this team has been the defense so far. IS this the best defense in the Saban era? We have no idea, it’s only been two games, but they have proven to be extremely efficient. The scariest thing about this defense is that they only rush four and still get pressure on the QB. Oh, yeah, and they also stop the run. But that shouldn’t matter much Saturday cause Ole Miss doesn’t have a power running game. Why can’t the Rebs get a hard-core running back? One the many mysteries in life. Should the front four of Bama get to Kelly early and often, it should disrupt that fast-paced offense and cause it to stumble, bumble, fumble again. Then, Alabama must HANG ONTO THE BLANKYTEBLANK FOOTBALL! Alabama has to shake this monkey off their back, they need to win and they know it. Bama Rolls.

 

 

ArmyArmy vs. UTEP- Army has started off the season 2-0 for the first time since 1998. Go Army! They’ve been on a roll! Unfortunately, they experienced a tragedy this past week as one of their starting corner backs, Brandon Jackson, was killed in a car wreck. What a downer! We mourn the loss with the Black Knights. These things can result in two different outcomes. It can give the team focus which they can use it to play even better, or it can tear them apart where they can’t recover. The US Military Academy is a tough place. They put these young people through the wringer, and this won’t stop with a death in the Corps of Cadets. They know that life goes on, they have to pull themselves together and hunker down. Honor Jackson’s memory by a victory over UTEP.

 
IMG_7761Ohio State vs. Oklahoma- Northerners think this is the biggest game of the weekend. They’re wrong, it’s Alabama vs. Ole Miss, but this is Ohio State’s first contest. The Buckeyes are coming in ranked number 3 in the nation. That’s cause this is their third game and sportswriters like them (second to Notre Dame, of course). Here at CigarSmokinFootball.com we’re withholding our applause until they earn it, and they could do so this weekend. OSU travels to Norman, OK, and meets a Sooner team that has its backs against the wall. During the week, OSU’s Urban Myer has been talking to Coach Herman at Houston, one of Myers’ former assistants, trying to learn how the Cougars beat OU. It was simple, Houston had nothing to lose, so they threw everything they could at the Sooners, and it worked. Ohio State doesn’t have that luxury. They lose this game, and their strength of schedule does not allow them enough quality wins to pull themselves up. Their legions of sportswriters could pull a rabbit out of a hat, but the Buckeyes need to win. Is this a team that responds to pressure? Last year, when they faced Michigan State, the first of their two relevant games, they failed when the chips were down. It’ll be interesting to see how they play with the spotlight on them. The Bucks have talent, they just haven’t been tested lately. Oklahoma is in a predicament they didn’t think they would be in at the start of the season. The Sooners are against the wall;- one loss they may recover from, two losses and their chances of making it to the playoffs are over. They started the season as one of the favorites but fell to Houston. Saturday would be the perfect opportunity to avenge this setback. A couple of years ago Notre Dame came down to Norman and the Sooners had the chance to shine in the national spotlight, but they blew it, badly. It’s hard to get a feel for this game. Both teams are loaded with talent, they have premier coaching staffs, but neither team has done anything to distinguish themselves. OU lost to Houston, and Ohio State hasn’t played anyone with the breath of life. Ohio State or Oklahoma? Oklahoma or Ohio State? My gut tells me that Oklahoma is going to pull this one out, but the Buckeyes will probably win.

 
USC vs. Stanford- The Trojans got embarrassed against Alabama. They should have never printed up those, “Roll Tears Roll” shirts. Just saying.310 Now the Trojans open PAC-12 play and have a chance to become relevant again. USC has a lot of questions on defense that need to be answered. They were gashed in both the running game and against the pass. All they have to do this week is stop Christian McCaffrey, and they’ve got a chance. No one else has done much yet, but, hey, there’s always a first. USC needs this game if they hope to salvage their season. If they lose their second big game, their press corps isn’t big enough to work a miracle for them. Stanford had a good game against K-State, they were tested by a good defense and they won. McCaffrey had something to do with that. USC is not who they thought they were, and Stanford is who they think they are. The Cardinal wins.

 
Short Smokes

 
Baylor runs all over Rice

 
Arizona State continues to win against UTSA. Sun Devils beat the Roadrunners

 
Ohio might beat Tennessee, but probably won’t

 
Temple will not upset Penn State this year

 
Memphis upsets Kansas. This would have been great before Memphis was eliminated from consideration of joining the Big 12 that has only ten teams.

 
Vanderbilt will not fare well against Georgia Tech

 
Virginia needs a win, and they might get it against UConn. They might not, too

 
Washington State finally wins, against Idaho

 
Colorado is going to give Michigan a scare! Pulling for the Buffs but they might not make it

 
Oregon invades Nebraska. Oregon probably beats Nebraska, but maybe not.

 
Pitt continues to win against Oklahoma State

 
Boston College vs. Virginia Tech, depends if the Hokies can hold on to the ball

 
East Carolina beats South Carolina. Surprised? Don’t be. The Pirates are sometimes good, and the Gamecocks are always bad.

 
LSU runs all over Mississippi State. Seriously, they shouldn’t even attempt a pass

 
Texas A&M needs to jump out in front of Auburn and avoid a defensive battle

 
Michigan State takes down Notre Dame (Ed comment: Hmmmmm. At South Bend? With the Irish desperate? ‘Fraid not, but hope so)

 
Georgia improves against Missouri

 
UCLA vs BYU is going to be a great game

 
Texas continues its winning ways against California

 

 

The North Alabama Lions will be crushing (we hope) Valdosta State. Roar Lions!

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