Week 3 - College Football Games To Watch

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst ISeptember 16, 2009

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: Lane Kiffin, head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers talks in the press conference after a game against the UCLA Bruins on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Game 1: Georgia Tech @ Miami

Line: Miami -6

This is a chance for both teams to prove that they are for real. Georgia Tech had high

expectations this pre-season, but is coming off a win at home vs. Clemson where they blew

a big first half lead. Georgia Tech did win the game 30-27, but needs to pay attention and fix

what they did wrong in the second half.

Miami comes off a bye week after an impressive win at Florida State in week one.
Many, including myself think the Canes are for real this year and should challenge
Virginia Tech for the ACC championship. Quarterback Jacory Harris looked impressive
in week one on the road. Lets see if being at home will help him continue that success.

I say take Miami to cover the -6. The Canes are for real.


Game 2: Nebraska @ Virginia Tech

Line: Virginia Tech -5

These two teams played last year at Nebraska and Virginia Tech was able to win then

by a final score of 35-30. This years game moves across the country to Blacksburg, Virginia.

Nebraska is a team that in week three still does not know how good or bad they really are as

they have faced two weak opponents. They have been able to hold their opponents to a total

of 12 points combined, so the blackshirts defense looks to be back, but again, they have not

really been challenged as of yet.

Virginia Tech has played two much more high caliber opponents and come into this game with

a 34-24 loss at #4 Alabama, and a 52-10 win over Marshall. Virginia Tech has shown that its

offense can score points, even against one of the top defenses in the country (Alabama).

The Hokies will be playing their second big time game of the year while The Cornhuskers

are playing just their first viable opponent.

Given that this game is at Virginia Tech and that The Hokies know much more about themselves

than the Cornhuskers, I expect Virginia Tech to win and cover the spread of -5. Nebraska is on

its way back, but is just not quite there yet.

Game 3: Tennessee @ Florida

Line: Florida -30

There is not much to preview here as its pretty obvious that The Gators are much better than

The Vols. However, Lane Kiffin has brought lots of attention back to Tennessee by continuously

having something to say, mostly targeting Florida, makeing it interesting to see just how many

points Florida looks to put on the board. Urban Meyer has been known to run up the score

and given some of Kiffin’s pre-season comments, we can expect Meyer to do just that.

One thing to note, although Tennessee seems to have no chance to even cover the spread

in this game, let alone win, their defense has actually done better, statistically, against both

the pass and the run while playing much more formidable opponents than The Gators in the

first two weeks of the season. Of course this could be attributed to the fact that The Gators

played weak teams and basically sleep-walked through the second half of each game.

Although I would love to see The Volunteers keep this close, I do not see that happening.

Look for The Gators to make every effort to score as many points as they can.

Vol’s fans, I think Lane Kiffin has a bright future. His recruiting ability will be able to challenge

Urban Meyer in the coming years. Having Ed Orgeron on his staff, a guy who recruited all the

talent on the current Ole Miss roster that ranks 5th in the AP Poll (read the book Meat Market

for more on Ed Orgeron) will also be a key to this programs return. These two will go out and

recruit a ton of talent in the next couple years and I expect Tennessee to be back soon.

See below for a great report from ESPN Outside The Lines to give you an inside look at

Tennessee. Here you can see the comments Kiffin has made over the course of the spring,

most targeted at Florida. It also shows how Kiffin is in the locker room and how his players

enjoy playing for him, and coaches enjoy working under him.

Kiffins main problem may be that his way of going about his job brings more attention to himself

resulting in being more of a target for accusations and investigations. Kiffin will have to tone it

down in the future, but continue his hard work ethic.

Bonus Picks:

Florida State @ BYU

The line: BYU -7

Is BYU for real? Their tough out of conference schedule continues and this game will show

that the win over Oklahoma was not a fluke.

BYU wins and covers the -7 spread.

Texas Tech @ Texas

The line: Texas -17.5

Last years match-up was a classic that Tech won in the final seconds. Unfortunately for The

Red Raiders, the stars on offense from the 2008 team have moved on and this years game

moves to Austin. This will be the first test for both teams and I expect a high scoring duel

that will end with a Texas victory.

Texas wins, but take The Red Raiders to cover the 17.5 spread.


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