Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 2 Preview, Part I: Post-Apocalypse

The one bright spot that can be gleaned from last weekend's catastrophe is that anyone outside of NC State, Virginia and Duke has a chance at winning the conference this season if things fall into place. That makes the intra-conference games much more interesting, however all non-conference match-ups have become quite worrisome. We just gotta see how things play out....

Saturday, 9/6/08, noon ET - Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads 4-2; the Eagles won last year's meeting 24-10
Storyline: Paul Johnson's offense gets it's first major test in ACC play.
Brief Overview: The Jackets and the Eagles were one of the few ACC clubs last week that actually looked like they understood basic concepts of football, so of course they face off in week two, thereby knocking one of them from Top 25 consideration for awhile. The Jackets were able to gouge 1-AA Jacksonville State on the ground last week while the Eagles kept Kent State in check and off the scoreboard. It's too early to really get a good feel on this one as this is Johnson's second game at Tech and Jeff Jagodzinski is still breaking in new offensive personnel.
Prediction: Since I don't have much of a feel on this one, I'll go with the home team and the more proven defense. Boston College 20, Georgia Tech 16

Saturday, 9/6/08, 1:30pm ET - Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 4-0; the Hokies won the last meeting 20-6 in 1947
Storyline: Tyrod Taylor ditches his redshirt for a second straight season; will the Hokies make it worth his while?
Brief Overview: After Sean Glennon once again proved that he's more of a liability than asset at QB in last week's loss to East Carolina, the Hokie coaching staff corrected their massive error from two weeks ago and decided not to redshirt QB Tyrod Taylor after all. With a dearth of experience at the skill positions and a work-in-progress O-line, a playmaker and X-factor at quarterback is a must and Taylor fits the bill. I saw it and Hokie fans saw it prior to the ECU debacle....why didn't Frank Beamer or OC Bryan Stinespring?
Prediction: Taylor wins the starting QB job and the Hokies are rejuvenated at least for one weekend. Virginia Tech 34, Furman 7

OLE MISS (1-0) at WAKE FOREST (1-0)
Saturday, 9/6/08, 3:30pm ET - BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Series Record: Wake Forest leads 1-0; the Deacons won 27-3 in the only previous meeting in 2006
Storyline: Can the ACC's only remaining ranked team hold serve this weekend?
Brief Overview: Wake is coming off an easy dispatching of another BCS-conference bottom feeder in Baylor, and now they turn to the SEC's 2005-07 doormat in Ole Miss. The Rebels should certainly be improved this season under Houston Nutt and this Saturday's matchup at Wake will tell us how far along the Nutt Project really is. Wake was very efficient and crisp on offense last week at Baylor while the Rebels were gouged for 453 yards in their win over Memphis. But God help us all if the new ACC favorite is taken out at home by last year's worst SEC club.
Prediction: Jim Grobe is the brightest beacon of hope in this dismal ACC, and with great power comes great responsibility. He won't let us down. Wake Forest 35, Ole Miss 17

THE CITADEL (1-0) at CLEMSON (0-1)
Saturday, 9/6/08, 3:30pm ET - Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Series Record: Clemson leads 29-5-1; the Tigers won the last meeting 38-0 in 2000
Storyline: Clemson gets off the canvas after the Alabama KO; are they still wobbly?
Brief Overview: The destruction of the Tiger offensive and defensive lines against the Tide last Saturday was certainly the biggest X-and-O reason for the loss and the lines will be an issue as the season plays out. But the woeful mental preparation and subsequent shell-shock are entirely the fault of Tommy Bowden and staff and that is something that will only be cured by a coaching change. Clemson won't lose this game but it will be very interesting to see how the first half plays out.
Prediction: The Tigers will be flatter than a Huddle House pancake in the first half, but they'll come out roaring the third and fourth quarters. Clemson 41, The Citadel 14

RICHMOND (1-0) at VIRGINIA (0-1)
Saturday, 9/6/08, 3:45pm ET - Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Series Record: Virginia leads 24-2-2; the Cavaliers won the last meeting 17-16 in 2001
Storyline: The Cavaliers helped vault USC to #1 in the 1-A polls; could they possibly do the same for Richmond in the 1-AA rankings?
Brief Overview: The Cavaliers face off against former defensive coordinator Mike London who enters his second game as head coach for the Spiders - and he's looking to put his former boss in the firing line. And Richmond is a deadly serious opponent for the Hoos - they have a potent offense, they know who they are and what they can and cannot do. Virginia has no identity and they have no real idea of what they can and can't do well after their decimation by the Trojans. Still, the Spiders were penalized 10 times last week against Elon, so that indicates a lack of discipline and focus and that will probably be too big of an obstacle to overcome.
Prediction: The Cavaliers will win, but no one will be particularly happy about it. Virginia 27, Richmond 21

Week 2 Preview, Part II will be up tomorrow

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