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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 9

Week 9

Georgia vs Florida – The World’s Greatest Outdoor Cocktail Party – Florida is having a typical roller-coaster season, starting off with a big splash, beating Utah, then a dose of reality losing to Kentucky. Georgia, however, has been stomping most teams into submission, all but Missouri, that is. Yes, you read that correctly, Mizzou played the Dawgs better than anyone else so far this season. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until there was 4:03 left in the fourth quarter that UGA got the lead for the first time, 26-22! Now that can be chalked up to the Dawgs not taking the Tigers seriously, they had a let down game, or any number of other excuses. Florida possesses one advantage where UGA is weak, and that is the mid-range defensive coverage. The Florida slot-receivers should be able to exploit the middle, as the Georgia linebackers in pass coverage represents their biggest weakness. The Gator slot-receivers who have speed should be able to create space and attack the center of the field. The entire UF offensive game play can’t be to just throw the ball across the middle, Georgia is too complete a team for one chink in their armor to prove fatal, but not much else is going to work. Still, the Gators have to at least try. UGA, however doesn’t have much weakness when it comes to offense, and Florida has a lot of weaknesses when it comes to defense. They are ranked 112th nationally in yards per play allowed, 90th in passing yards allowed, and they are in last place in the SEC in most of the other categories. The Florida defense likes to “say” they create different pressures by creating confusion with their coverage packages…they “say”….they don’t do it much, but, bless their reptilian hearts, they try. This is a rivalry game so anything is possible, but the truth is, it will take a miracle for the Gators to win. Miracles don’t occur frequently – but they do occur.


Kentucky vs Tennessee – Could it be possible that Kentucky has what it takes to slow down and stall the high-octane Tennessee offense? The answer is, yes, they do. The Wildcats have faced two high-powered offensives already, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and in both of those the Cats defense held their opponents to just over 200 yards in passing, which is good these days. UK beat the Bulldogs but came up just short against the Rebels. Tennessee does not do well on defense, they kinda have the Ole Miss philosophy, that if we score enough, fast enough, we’ll win, and we won’t have to tackle many people to do it. The Vols have the nation’s second-worst pass defense, they even let UT Martin throw for 316 yards. What UT does have is a fast-paced offense. They are quick to the line, quick to run their play, and quick to set up again. They put their opponent’s defense back on their heels where it’s tough to recover. However, if their foe’s defense is able to recover, and get the right package in, the Vols’ offense, although still fast, often stalls, they’re not giving their defensive personal enough time to catch their breath, and they’re sending these winded players right back onto the field. UK has the ability to grind it out, they can hold on to the ball for 20 minutes at a time, and it’s highly probable that’s what they are going to try to do. Everyone is expecting the Vols to be undefeated when they face undefeated Georgia next month, and that be great for the TV ratings, but first they must have to dispose of these pesky Kentucky Wildcats, and that could be a very difficult assignment. I expect this game to be a dog fight, with neither team willing to give up. The rapid fire UT offense is going to score, but they’re not going to get all that many chances because the UK offense will be out on the field most of the time. The powers that be, whoever they are, are picking Tennessee, and they’re probably right, the Vols are at home, and they’re tough at Neyland Stadium, but there’s a rumbling within the Force that says Kentucky is going to pull this rabbit out of the hat.

Notre Dame vs Syracuse – When was the last time that Notre Dame came into a game against Syracuse as the underdog? Not sure when that was, but pretty sure it’s been a very, very long time ago, like Ernie Davis or Jimmy Brown ago. Irish HC Marcus Freeman is not having the ideal debut season that he envisioned. He thought that he had turned the corner after that upset loss to Marshall, but then Stanford came to town and the Irish had to lick their wounds again. Meanwhile the Orange saw their undefeated season slip away against Clemson last week, and it really did slip away. They had the Tigers right where they wanted them but let up and allowed Clemson to score 17 points in the fourth quarter to eke out the win. (It could have had to do with Clemson changing Quarterbacks) This Orange team just might, might, want to prove that they are for real, and for them to do that, they have to beat ND Saturday. The Irish actually play better on the road, and for some unknown reason that keeps physics nerds awake at night, they pull out victories when they shouldn’t. Nobody can explain it, it doesn’t make any sense, and the only thing they say about it is, “It’s the luck of the Irish”. Syracuse QB Garret Shrader is having the season of his life, he has been incredible, with both his arm and his legs. This does not necessarily bode well for ND, as they can concentrate on stopping the run, which allows Shrader to pass, or they can force him out of the pocket, in which case he burns them running for ten yards at a pop. Not much has been working in the Irish favor, their luck appears to have limits, but it could return with fervor. Technically speaking, the Orange should walk all over the Irish, but that won’t happen. It may be close, but Syracuse is going to win. Maybe, unless, … you know, the Luck of the Irish.

Short Smokes:     

NC State will make the VA Tech season even more miserable. Why didn’t VaTech play Hooker when they had him?

Utah may have a tough time with Washington State, but the Utes still win

Ohio State will not have much problem with Penn State, despite what rabid Lion fans say.

TCU rolls over West Virginia. May be bumpy, but the Frogs roll anyway.

Arkansas gets their turn to slap Auburn

Oklahoma needs to right their ship and beating Iowa State will help

Florida State takes down Georgia Tech

Miami’s coach doesn’t take kindly to people saying that the Hurricanes were FAR overrated at the start of the season, yet Virginia is going to prove him wrong…again

Minnesota has got to get back to winning, they’ve dropped three in a row. Against Rutgers, enough is enough, Gophers win

Oregon, and Bo Nix, might be for real, well as real as a PAC-12 team and a retread QB can get anyway, and the Quackers are going to beat California

Kansas State and Oklahoma State is going to be a treat to watch. Come on Wildcats!

Wake Forest is quietly winning, and nobody is noticing. The Deacons are going to beat Louisville too.

Isn’t it hard to believe that Illinois has only lost one game? Nebraska isn’t going to trip them up

Cincinnati is back in the top 25 and they’ve got their work cut out for them if they want to beat UCF

Northwestern and Iowa..hmmm….Hawkeyes, but it could go either way, slowly, very slowly

South Carolina becomes bowl eligible when they beat Missouri

USC takes down Arizona…again

Michigan State vs Michigan was supposed to be a prime match up, but the Spartans haven’t lived up to the hype, and the Wolverines have. Just beware the Jabberwocky, and don’t sell Sparta short!

Texas A&M has lost six players for their game against Ole Miss, three were suspended, three are out for injuries. The Daughter will not be happy when the Rebels win….again

Baylor and Texas Tech, a good ole fashioned Texas Shootout! WHooHoo!!

Pitt will fall to North Carolina

UCLA got beat up by Oregon, but they can’t let the Ducks beat them twice as they take on Stanford

San Diego State vs Fresno State is the early late game, SDSU is going to win

Nevada vs San Jose State is the late game, look for the Western Spartans to achieve victory

And Wyoming vs Hawai’i is the late, late game for those who are at Halloween parties and need a game to watch

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