rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 3 Preview

081Tennessee vs. Florida -Hurricane Irma’s recent near-miss of Gainesville meant that there was some question about whether the field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium would, in fact, be a swamp and an impossible site for a football game. However, with a lot of work by the grounds crew, and a clearing of the weather, latest reports are that all is okay with the turf and it is Game On! Tennessee-Florida is one of those good rival football games where the teams hate each other. Hate, on the gridiron, usually makes for a good game. Tennessee is following the same script as they did last year: Great expectations but not so much performance. So far UT has played two games, against Georgia Tech, a former SEC member, and Indiana State, famous for Larry Bird’s play in basketball an eon ago. The Volunteer defense had trouble with the pesky Yellow Jacket triple option attack for most of the game, but these same defenders tightened up in the late stages, forced the game into overtime, and then won it when they stopped Tech on a two-point conversion attempt. Congrats to Georgia Tech on going for the win. Last week the Vols met Indiana State and won, 42-7. At no time did ISU mount a threat, so it’s possible that the UT used this game to tighten everything up. Boerne, Texas, native Dormandy needs to be more consistent in completing mid-range passes against UF. Michigan moved the ball all game long on the Gators by doing just that. The running game will need to improve to take some of the pressure off their young signal-caller. Tennessee RB Kelly managed only 80 yards last week. The defense proved to be susceptible to the run, which might cause problems because Florida can only run the ball. The Gators passing attack isn’t very good, we’ll get to that later. If the Vols can stop the run they will have a great chance to win the game.

Florida– has only played one game so far, against Michigan, and the Gators stunk up the Texas landscape in that one. Something is very wrong in the Florida Swamp. Coach McElwain is known as an offensive coach. When098 he was at Alabama he implemented a great offense, before taking his talents to Colorado State, where he had a good offense again. However, since arriving at Florida, his squads have been, well, tepid, at best. It started off well, but he lost his best QB, Grier, when the playmaker was busted for using PEDs. Since then McElwain has not found a suitable quarterback. Franks started against Michigan, was ineffective, and was replaced with Zaire, who was dreadful, but at least he was consistent in fumbling the football, a trait that he’d perfected at Notre Dame. Why can’t Florida recruit a good QB? Del Rio might be a viable option this Saturday, he played pretty well in Knoxville last year, not great, maybe, but better than Franks and Zaire did against Michigan. The Gators are going to be reliant on their defense. The D has carried the Gators the last two years, and this year they were supposed to be deep with talent. They just had to reload, and, heck, how hard can that be? Alabama reloads all the time, but, uh, this is not Bama. It appears there is a lot of work to do in Gainesville. They made Michigan look like world beaters. In a game where hate is involved, things may be different, and everything just means more. It’s hard to pick the winner in this game, mainly because I don’t like Tennessee;- as a matter of fact, I hate Tennessee. I’m not fond of Florida, but I don’t hate them. Which makes it hard to say, but it looks like Tennessee might win this one. Great, now I’m going to have to listen to that damn Rocky Top song.

065LSU vs Mississippi State– LSU has had a pretty easy go this season, opening up against a weak BYU squad, then playing Chattanooga. The Bengals spanked them both with a combined score of 72-10. Chattanooga scored the 10, BYU didn’t contribute. After the second game, the Moccasins of UT-Chattanooga, Coach Orgeron was mostly concerned about the performance of his field goal kickers. Both have misfired at least once, and the Tigers are getting a lot of penalties.  Against UT-C, they were flagged 11 times for 74 yards, and in the BYU game, they got 12 yellow hankies for 86 yards. Coach O said, “It’s a mindset and it’s got to come from me and I’m not putting up with it anymore.” Seems strange that he would put up with penalties to begin with. My very first coach, Coach Peterson, would get very upset if we got penalized. The one thing that the Tigers, Louisiana variety, have been working on is throwing the deep ball. Here the coach is very pleased, Danny Etling has had five passes completed of 27 yards of more. The offense has gone to a more zone read passing attack, and, so far, that’s been working. The QB’s job is not to be pin-point accurate, his job is to throw the ball up in a space and allow the receiver to make a play. The running game has been rock solid with Derrius Guice carrying the load. The Bayou Bengal defense has not been tested, but even against a subdivision team like the Mocs, they had some inconsistent play and some mental errors. This actually gave the impression of Chattanooga hanging with the big boys. Under the previous LSU coach, the biggest problem was consistently the sup-par play of the quarterback. LSU was a one dimensional team, but Les Miles still refused to change quarterbacks. So, load up the box, stop the run and beat the Tigers. Just ask Alabama, they’ve been doing it for years. If QB Etling is able to complete some long passes against quality opponents it will make LSU a much more dangerous team. “IF”.

Mississippi State– has a history of front-loading their schedule with easy teams, and this year is no exception. They started off with Charleston Southern, who they beat to the tune of 49-0, and then had a forgettable time210 with Louisiana Tech. The best play of that game was the kicking the fumble down the field, which gave Tech a fourth and 94 yards to go. The Bulldogs, Mississippi State variety, won, 57-21. LaTech failed to convert on the 4th and 94 play. MSU’s offense is centered around Nick Fitzgerald, who is doing his best impression of Tim Tebow. Dan Mullen’s offense has to have a QB of this caliber to work and last year Fitzgerald came into his own. This year is his year, and the Tigers are the first stepping-stone to the Heisman. Did I say, “Heisman”? Stranger things have happened. The last two years this game has followed the same script, LSU jumps out to a big lead over Mississippi State, and then the Maroons (they officially aren’t called Maroons anymore) mount a comeback and almost win the game. Fitzgerald’s offense cannot follow this script. The Bulldogs need to mount a decisive attack from the beginning. They need to wear down the big LSU defense, it can happen, and has in the past.  The defense has to stop the run, they have to smother RB Guice, which is easier said than done. This will force LSU into their weakness, passing the ball. Should the MSU defense allow any Guice success in the running game, The Bulldogs will be out muscled and they’ll lose. This is a tough pick, both teams have followed similar scripts to get here, but Orgeron has a history of struggling against SEC teams. See his record against fellow SEC members as Head Coach at Ole Miss. CSF expects Mississippi State to win it. But, then, we’ve been wrong before.

Army vs Ohio State– The Cadets of West Point enter this game 2-0 with the best running attack in the nation. That’s a good thing, cause they don’t have a passing game at all. It may have worked against Fordham and Buffalo, but against Ohio State that rushing attack might get slowed down a bit. Army has a huge advantage in this game, that OSU just lost to Oklahoma in a spirit-breaking, devastating manner, at home, in Columbus, with that showy Mayfield quarterbacking the Sooners. Mayfield really is good, though, isn’t he? The Buckeyes expected to win the National Championship, and they still might. For Army to win on Saturday, Ohio State has to let OU beat them twice. If they can’t get this loss out of their heads, that’s exactly what will happen. So here’s to hoping that Oklahoma is living rent-free in every single Buckeye’s players’ mind the. Go ARMY!

265Clemson vs. Louisville– the defending National Champions (that they won on an illegal pick play. No, I will not get over it, so deal with it!) take on the defending Heisman trophy winner. This qualifies as a big time showdown. In the last three matchups between these two, the game has been decided by six points or less, going down the final play, and the Tigers have won them all. This should be no different. Clemson is coming off a tough win over Auburn, were they scored only 14 points, but held their feline opponent to two early field goals. In that game the defense sacked Auburn QB Jason Stidham eleven (11) times. Against Louisville they are going to need a repeat performance. If they can hit Lamar Jackson all night like they did Jason Stidham, it will totally stymie the Cardinals. The offense will not have Deshaun Watson to pull any heroics, illegal pick play, for instance, so the Tigers better be over any confusion they experienced against Auburn.

Louisville – has relied upon Lamar Jackson to pull them through, right up until their last couple of games in 2016. In those games the plan was to make Lamar Jackson throw the ball, keep him in the pocket and don’t let him run. It worked. This year the offense has more weapons, including wide receiver Jayler Smith, who has 17 catches for 300 yards. He is very good at getting yards after catch. But this team relies basically on running a single wing-type offense. The Cardinals’ defense has not been very good. They surrendered 35 points against North Carolina, and they gave up 28 points against Purdue. Giving up a few points against North Carolina is understandable, but 35 points is pushing it. Giving up 28 points to Purdue is, well, hard to understand. (Maybe I should be looking harder at new Purdue coach, Jeff Brohm.) Clemson struggled last week against a very good defense, ‘Ville has not been on the same level as an SEC defense. Now they need to be no, they must be. They might have a shot at this, it’s a long shot, but the Cards at least have a shot. This has potential of being an exciting game, but Clemson is just too strong and will pull away in the second half.

Short Smokes

South Florida improves to 3-0 over Illinois

Pittsburgh is going to have a terrible time matching up against Oklahoma State.

UCLA will have more trouble with Memphis then anyone expects, and the Tigers just might win, don’t be surprised if they do.

VA Tech will sink East Carolina’s ship

TCU will lasso SMU. Or SMU will step on TCU.

Washington State opens PAC-12 play against Oregon State and the Wazoos will win, just not in overtime

Colorado State gets to play before 100,000 spectators in Tuscaloosa and the Crimson Tide will win.

K-State and Vanderbilt will be a close game, but the Wildcats prevail, even against Vandy’s new gold helmets

Texas’s trip to USC will be a long traildrive for the Longhorns with an unhappy ending.

Stanford could very well lose to San Diego State, the Aztecs are good

The Ragin’ Cajuns will not be Ragin’ against A&M. The Daughter will smile

Duke will add to Baylor’s woes

Notre Dame vs Boston College – the battle of the Catholics, but, surprise, surprise, the North East Catholics end up with the win. Notre Dame is stumbling (if you believe this, I need to talk to you about some land just off the Florida coast)

Purdue is going to get their first win over an SEC team, Missouri .Just joking, Mizzou wins. The Tigers just fired their defensive coordinator. Can’t lose now.

Kentucky, at 2-0, takes on South Carolina, at 2-0. Gamecocks come away with victory, maybe.

Ole Miss travels to California to take on, well, California, and we’re not sure who’s going to win this one but we’re singing “Hotty Toddy” no matter what, Go Rebels!

North Alabama will be taking on Valdosta State in their second game of the season, and start their Gulf South Conference run. The Lions lost their first game of the season in a nail biter, they’re going to do better in this game. Roar Lions!





Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.