Friday, September 7, 2007

Week 2 Preview, Part III: Kyrie Eleison

NEBRASKA at WAKE FOREST
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, 12pm – Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC
Series Record:
Nebraska leads 2-0; the Huskers won the last meeting 31-3 in 2005
Stat Watch: 1-11...Wake's all-time record vs. Big 12 programs
Quick Overview: If Jim Grobe can pull this one off, just mail him the ACC Coach of the Year trophy again (yes, even though this is a non-conference matchup). He's got another young backup QB in Brett Hodges starting in place of injured former young backup QB Riley Skinner. His defense is still coming together and losing DE Matt Robinson to injury is most unhelpful. Meanwhile, Nebraska looked like the Huskers of old in churning out 400+ rushing yards last week against Nevada, while still displaying a healthy passing game with QB Sam Keller. The one mystery ingredient here is that Nebraska travels to USC next week, so perhaps there's a chance to catch Big Red looking ahead.
Prediction: Grobe will find a way to keep it competitive, but unless the Deacons can force mass quantities of turnovers (unlikely), the Blackshirts will own the day. Nebraska 28, Wake Forest 17

MIAMI at OKLAHOMA
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, 12pm – Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK

Series Record: Miami leads 3-2; the Canes won the last meeting 20-14 in the 1988 Orange Bowl
Stat Watch: 3...the number of games Oklahoma lost from 1985-1987; all were to Miami
Quick Overview: The all-out devastation the Sooners wrought upon North Texas last week was impressive not because of the scale of the destruction (a 79-10 score, 668 yards of total offense), but because of the architects...two freshmen in QB Sam Bradford and RB DeMarco Murray. Alright, so UNT's new coach was plucked straight from the high school coaching ranks last year, and the Mean Green may turn out to be Duke-ish bad. Nonetheless, such near perfection by two frosh in their debut spells horror for Sooner opponents in the coming years. All that said, the Canes can quickly make Bradford look like a normal "OMG-WTF-is-happening??" frosh by blitzing the hell out of the Oklahoma offense early and often and by snagging a few quick picks. That's about the only way The U's got a chance, because if the game is left solely in Kirby Freeman's hands, I dare not watch.
Prediction: The Cane defense does exactly as I prescribe, but ultimately runs out of gas...and Kirby goofs up a few times. Oklahoma 27, Miami 14

VIRGINIA TECH at LSU
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, 9:15pm – Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Series Record:
Virginia Tech leads 1-0; the Hokies won the only previous meeting 26-8 in 2002
Stat Watch: +7...LSU's turnover margin after week one, easily tops in the nation
Quick Overview: A 9:15pm kickoff? Shoot, Tiger Stadium may only be 2/3 full due to the unusually long pregame massive-boozing-into-unconscious-stupor opportunities. And I'm only half-kidding. I've been to Red Stick a few times. I know how they roll. As far as the game goes, unless the LSU defense partakes in the pregame festivities as well, I see little reason to think the Hokies can muster anything resembling a competent offense. 33 yards rushing against East Carolina? And Sean Glennon? On the other hand, the Virginia Tech defense is certainly good enough to make Matt Flynn look like Glennon and the Tiger rushing attack doesn't quite roar just yet.
Prediction: The Hokie defense will keep this one within shouting distance, but Tech just isn't quite right enough on the other side of the ball to pull the upset. LSU 20, Virginia Tech 10

The Week 2 Preview has now reached it's final destination

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