Sports 56 WHBlog Q

August 29, 2008

Football is here, Tra-la, Tra-la!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 1:00 pm

It’s finally football season, and everything got underway last night with a handful of games. NC State has the worst offense I’ve ever seen, the MAC looks absolutely horrendous, and Oregon State embarrassed themselves last night with a loss to Stanford. There are my thoughts on last night’s games in a nutshell.

This weekend, all of the real stuff gets going, and the biggest local game is Ole Miss vs. Memphis. For some reason, the edge seems to be off of this game this year. As of yet, the trash-talking is way off of the last couple of years’ pace, and I’m not really sure why. As for the game itself, I expect Ole Miss to want to make a statement. In my eyes, the Tigers only have one real advantage in this game, and it is their receivers against Ole Miss’s defensive backs. However, I don’t know if Arkelon Hall can get it to them, I don’t know if the Tigers can run the ball, and I don’t think the Tigers will be able to stop Ole Miss’s offense, which should be much, much better this year. Conventional thoughts from Ole Miss are that Jevan Snead will throw the ball a lot, because QB and WR are the Rebels’ biggest strengths. I expect, though, that Houston Nutt will run it a lot and try and test Memphis’s run defense, which was 103rd in the nation last year, giving up 202 yards per game. Ole Miss will be fired up, the game is being played in Oxford, and despite the fact that this game is always close, I think Ole Miss wins it pretty handily. Final Score: Ole Miss 34, Memphis 20

The biggest national game of the week is probably Alabama-Clemson, being played at the Georgia Dome. Alabama fans will probably make up the majority of the crowd. I like Nick Saban’s decision to start Julio Jones, because I think the best way to win and develop players is to put your best players on the field, regardless of how old they are. The Bama offense will be pretty good this year. Clemson’s offense is on a different level. They are loaded with NFL talent throughout the skill positions, with Cullen Harper at QB and CJ Spiller and James Davis at RB. I just don’t think Bama has the horses yet to run with Clemson, but I give a big coaching edge to Nick Saban. In my opinion the two best freshmen in the country, Julio and Da’Quan Bowers, a defensive end, are playing in this game. Final Score: Clemson 31, Bama 21

For some reason, Mississippi State is playing at Louisiana Tech this week. For some reason, Sylvester Croom is taking his team down the day of the game. The last couple of seasons, the Bullies have been horrible in week 1, losing by a combined 60-0 score to LSU and South Carolina. Louisiana Tech is actually decent, which begs the question again–why do you play this game at Ruston? It makes no sense. All of this being said, though, an SEC team should beat Louisiana Tech in any situation. I said the same thing last year when Bama lost to Louisiana-Monroe. Final Score: Miss. St. 24, LA Tech 20

Tennessee travels out across the country to play UCLA on Monday night. Normally, I wouldn’t know how to pick this game, because traditionally it is tough to travel out to the West coast, especially the first week (just ask Tennessee’s team last year). UCLA is down to their third string QB Kevin Craft, who last year was playing for Mt. San Antonio Community College. I think Tennessee has the potential to be a really surprising team this year…as long as Phil Fulmer lets Dave Clawson run the offense. This game could be interesting, but Tennessee just has too much in the end. Final Score: Tennessee 30, UCLA 17.

Enjoy the action this weekend, be safe, and I’ll see you at Calhoun’s for some football.


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