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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 5 Preview

Week 5 Preview

My, how time flies when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe that it’s week 5 already! Seems like everyone is just getting started, but it’s almost the end of September and that means conference play begins for most teams. Some teams have already proven their mettle against conference foes, hello, Mississippi State! For others, this weekend is the start of finding out just who they are, or want to be, or who they thought they might be. Something like that.
071Tennessee vs. Georgia- Last year the Vols cost the Bulldogs their entire season. They didn’t exactly beat Georgia, but one could say they did beat them up. UGA arrived in Knoxville riding high and looking to enhance their status as the top dog in the SEC East. After that game, the Dawgs literally limped, or were carried out, of eastern Tennessee. Just about every starter got to spend time on the training table after that game. Georgia won the game in overtime but it was a Pyrrhic victory, and for the rest of 2013 they simply didn’t have enough healthy players. They’re healthy this year, but there is more pressure on them. Since they dropped a game to South Carolina, they can’t afford to lose any more SEC games. Fortunately they bring a healthy RB Todd Gurley, who needs to redeem himself after that USC-South game. Last week against Troy, Georgia didn’t even attempt many passes. CigarSmokinFootball thinks Coach Richt was sending a signal to his offense. Run the ball or get out. He couldn’t have been happy with the way UGA moved the ball against the Gamecocks. Georgia wants to exert their will on the Vols and pound the ball all game long. The Bulldogs’ greatest weakness is the defensive secondary. They have allowed both Clemson and South Carolina to pile up passing yards. Otherwise, UGA’s defense has improved greatly from last year. They are WAY more disciplined. The season could depend on the defense so they’d better be improved from their performance two weeks ago.
Luckily for the Dawgs, Tennessee is going to be a bit behind the curve in the passing game. Not that they can’t pass, they’re actually better at it University of Tennesseethan expected, but because they are going to be without their two best receivers, Von Pearson and Josh Smith, as they’re nursing ankle injuries. This isn’t what this young team needs as they enter the long stretch of SEC play. Against Oklahoma, the Vols were exposed as young and little to no depth. There might be three players on this team that traveled to Athens, GA, two years ago. The offensive line was overwhelmed by OU’s rush, poor Justin Worley was scrambling for his life every time he dropped back to pass. The running game didn’t help relieve the pressure, either. Until they get the O-line settled and they gel, working together, it’ll be hard to move the ball at all. UT’s defense actually played fairly well against OU. (This coming from someone that does not have fond feelings for the Orange) They didn’t stop the Sooners but they did make them earn their yards. They’ll need to duplicate that effort Saturday. UGA is going to run at them, the Vols have got to contest every yard. If they give Georgia anything, this game could get out of control early.
CSF’s pick- Georgia, can’t pick UT, that orange is just not on my color wheel and I won’t wear it. I heard that somewhere.


Texas A&MArkansas vs. Texas A&M- The Aggies set the world on fire the very first week of the season. Everything they wanted to do against South Carolina, they did. The next week they did the same thing, but then, something went wrong. A&M recovered, they didn’t lose to Rice, but it was a closer affair than it should have been. Kenny Hill’s star was shining brightly, but Rice took some of the luster off. This weekend is the perfect opportunity for him to polish it back up. A&M comes in with a chip on its shoulder. They are ranked #6 in the nation, and 1st in the SEC West, but they don’t think the rest of the nation is respecting them enough. According to Hill, “Everybody’s talking about how we haven’t played anybody yet, so now we’re going to start playing some SEC teams and we’ll get to show how good we are.” CSF isn’t buying that, the Aggies proved they were a force to be contended with in week one. So, what’s with the attitude? Conspiracy Theory Time;- CSF thinks the whole disrespecting thing has been orchestrated by none other than Coach Sumlin. (Ddad, ddad, ddad, dumm) A&M got comfortable and started believing their own press clippings which is why, against Rice, they stumbled. More than likely they didn’t have a good week of practice, either, so Sumlin needed something to fire his team back up. What better way to get them grumbling than to say they were disrespected. The Aggies have all the tools they need for a victory in Dallas this weekend, unless they need a good running game. The defense is going to be facing a real test. Arkansas brings the #8 running attack in the nation to Jerry’s World. This has been their weakness in past years, but Head Coach Bret Bielema intends to change this culture. If the Aggies can stop the run and shut down the Hogs, they should be in great shape to claim the SEC West crown. Oh, yeah, there’s Alabama! Can’t forget about Alabama. And Auburn. Don’t forget Ole Miss. What about Miss State? LSU’s a sleeper. Gotta beat Arkansas for sure.
Arkansas did not have a good 2013 season. Hog fans have a peculiar type of amnesia where they can’t remember a football game being played inArkansas 2013, kind-of like Bama fans can’t remember the Sugar Bowl being played in 2014, it just didn’t happen. 2014, however, has been a great start for coach Bielema. The Hogs stumbled against Auburn, fell flat on their hogjowls in the second half, but they’ve played well since them, ripping off three victories, including an upset at Texas Tech. Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have been powerhouses. Collins is ranked second in the SEC with 490 yards and Williams is fourth with 391. The offensive line has been pushing defenses around and they like it, they like it a lot! The more the Hogs run the ball, the better they get. Passing has not been going very well, but as long as the running game is going great, passing is only to keep opposing teams honest. The defense has been iffy, but they showed up against Texas Tech. Somewhere, somehow, something clicked with the “D” and they got it. Since then they have been flying to the ball and tackling. The most important part, they look like they’re having fun. The entire team appears to be having fun, the pleasure of playing has returned and that means a lot. There is more riding on this game for the Hogs, they haven’t won an SEC game since beating Kentucky in 2012. Could they possibly end that streak Saturday? My A&M fan daughter, who cheered the cadet that saved Reveille last week, ( she understands how important that act was) would lose her mind should the Razorbacks win. CSF thinks she might have to chew on her nails for a little while but they’ll be victorious. A&M wins.
StanfordStanford vs. Washington- The Cardinal is traveling to the Northwest to take on the Huskies. In the past couple of years this game has produced interesting results. Two years ago Stanford got its season upended by Washington, the following year Stanford upended the Huskies. Now the Tree team already has a loss, thanks to Pat Hayden’s “Tommy Trojan” sideline antics. Has it been mentioned that he is still on the selection committee? How can his input be taken seriously? Just asking. Stanford has to run the table if they want to play for the PAC-12 Championship, because Oregon is going to be tough to stop. They cannot afford another conference blemish. This is not the Stanford of old, they’re still physical and they still bring the lumber but it’s not as intense as in past years. They will still rely on the running game but it’s just not that fierce. They have been able to move the ball at will against UC Davis and Army ( they are not forgiven for beating Army) but against USC they stalled, no thanks to some questionable calls. Should I talk about Tommy Trojan some more? He’s on the Selection Committee, you know. Still. Saturday Stanford will need that running game to fire on all cylinders. The Cardinal lost their defensive stars and the defensive coordinator, but they’re doing okay. They’re disciplined and rarely out of position. For the Washington offense to move the ball they’ll have to out-muscle Stanford and that is darn near impossible.
Washington comes in undefeated and with a new head coach, Chris Peterson, who has installed the Northwest version of “The Process”. The WashingtonHuskies 4-0. They have scored at least 44 points in three consecutive games. Now they face their first ranked team. Will they be able to keep it up against Stanford? It’ll be tough. U-Dub has to get Stanford back on their heels, find the gaps in that disciplined defense. Butting up against Stanford’s D is like pounding your head against a brick wall. It hurts, don’t ask how I know, I just do. The Artic Dogs defense is going to need to play far above what they’ve done before this season. There is nothing tricky about Stanford, they run the ball straight forward. Doubtful UW is going to match up man for man, but if they are able to shoot the gaps, plug up the middle of the line, it will push the Cardinal out of their game plan. Easier said than done.
CSF’s pick- Stanford, but look for Washington to play them tough.
Short Smokes:
Memphis travels to Ole Miss- historically the Tigers cause the Rebels trouble. Ole Miss should win
Florida State vs. North Carolina- The Wolfpack has beaten the Seminoles when they shouldn’t, it would be perfect timing for them to do it again.
Missouri was upset by Indiana last week, now they take on a red hot South Carolina team. Gamecocks win.
Undefeated Notre Dame goes up North to Syracuse. Calling for the upset! Orange Wins!
Illinois takes on Nebraska, no curse of the hat in this one, Darn It!
Oregon State vs. USC- No need for Tommy Trojan to show up, USC wins.
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State- Cincinnati is playing very well would not surprise CSF if they won, but we’re not picking them.
Iowa vs. Purdue- Hmmm…yeah, Iowa
Army vs. Yale- Yale is going down! Go ARMY!
Minnesota goes to the Big House of Michigan and leaves the victors. Coach Hoke might want to start mailing out his resume.
Duke vs. Miami- The Blue Devils did it once, they’re going to do it again.
North Carolina vs. Clemson- UNC is coming off a bad loss, so is Clemson. Tar Heels Win!

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