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Hedge trimmers and border wars

November 12, 2009

This is a great weekend for SEC football fans. Auburn is on the road at Jordan-Hare East and the rest of the league is playing border war rivals. Some of our personal favorites, outside of the originators of deep south football of course are: THE FLORIDA at South Carolina, UT at Ole Miss, UK at Vandy and UAT at Mississippi State.

In the interest of time and to not disappoint my 10 facebook fans, I’m going to roll this week up into a two-for-one. Why Joe? Because I am in Atlanta this week and off to Athens Friday afternoon. Considering Athens is one of my favorite road trip party towns, I don’t want to subject my readers to a late Friday/early Saturday slobber-fest booze-soaked attempt at bloggery.

UAT vs. Mississippi State. If you’re reading this blog, you want the Bulldogs to somehow reclaim their mojo from the near miss against LSU, take apart the doghouse and use the lumber to lay it to ‘Bama. If you’re reading this blog, you know Joe thinks the chances of ‘Bama losing to anyone outside of Atlanta in early December is closer to zero than nil. UAT 35, Miss. State 21

THE FLORIDA vs. South Carolina. Similar to above, THE FLORIDA isn’t going to stumble this late in the season and the Gamecocks have hit their normal late season laziness on offense.  Gators 38, USC 17

Tennessee at Ole Miss. I’ll be the one blogger who says the arrest of three UT players this week hurts them against Ole Miss. I actually changed my predication on this one to now favor the Nutt after reading the news this afternoon. Ole Miss is playing for a little bit of pride and a lot of redemption against a program which found itself on the rise of late, outside of last night’s arrests. UT 28, Ole Miss 31

UK vs Vandy. Kentucky has a chance to put Vandy and Auburn in the same category: only conference victories of the year. That makes me wince just looking at it. Back on track, Kentucky builds on the Eastern Kentucky win last week to beat up on Vanderbilt at home. UK 28, Vandy 17

Troy vs. Arkansas. Troy may actually keep this one close through the half. Arkansas may actually wake up and realize they need the win to become bowl eligible. With games against Miss. State and LSU remaining, Arkansas desperately needs this win. Playing at home, at night against a traditionally weaker, but dangerous foe will help seal the deal. Troy 31, Arkansas 42

La Tech vs. LSU. If this were a conference foe, LSU would be in trouble. Fresh off the loss to ‘Bama last week, the Bengal nation is worked up into a lather over blown calls, conspiracy theories and injured players. I doubt the focus has been what it should have been in Baton Rouge this week at practice as a result. It won’t matter as the Bulldogs of La Tech provide the soothing calm of an easy victory. La Tech 13, LSU 28

And now….

Tidying up Sanford Stadium

Ima git mine!

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry fires up again Saturday evening on ESPN2 in Athens, Georgia. Auburn enters the game riding the high of a homecoming victory and Georgia makes a home-stand after dismantling Tennessee Tech. This chapter in the saga should be a high-scoring page turner. I don’t put it past Richt and Co., but I doubt Georgia tries another uniform test this weekend. What would be simply AUsome though is if Auburn comes out in a variation of their own uniform. Sort of a, “look we can do this too, and do it in your backyard!” statement. And, I give that as much of a chance of happening as I do the Wall Street Journal calling to offer me chief illustrator and sports writer for their new front page.
On defense, Auburn faces an established freshman running back, “Watch-me” Easley (with both eyes thank you), Joe Cox at QB and the lightning rod receiver threat, AJ Green. Sure, this is an offense which has disappointed and frustrated fans and team mates, but they are also capable of scoring big given time and space. Auburn doesn’t match well with Green unfortunately, but their success against LSU’s running game gives me hope of at least containing part of the UGA attack. The late season addition of a pass rush helps us against a glass-jawed Joe Cox.
I’d say Auburn has the slightest of advantages if they pressure Cox and contain Easley.
On offense, Auburn faces a Georgia defense which looked ridiculously bad against Tennessee, good against LSU (most of the game) and stingy against Arkansas. My guess is their linebackers, the strength of the D, will watch key on Ben Tate. Assuming Coach Malzahn adjusts for this and uses Tate to draw the linebackers, we could see some big runs around the end from receivers, Fannin and Smith. Downfield, Georgia is almost as spotty as Auburn, so Chris Todd will need to be looking for his new BFFs, Adams and T-Zach.
I like our offensive match-ups much better than I am letting on. However, given the magnitude of this rivalry game, I’m not going to go overboard with where and how often I think Auburn can attack the UGA D.
Special teams. What to say? How about a reference to a previous post. That’s right folks, move along, nothing to read here.
Overall, I feel good about Auburn going into Athens this year. It has been too long since we’ve left Georgia with a victory, especially given the records seem to favor the road team in this one. I do think it will be close, and I also believe the offenses light up the scoreboards. At the end of the evening, the Tigers limp into an off week with a previously unthunk 8th win of the season. War Eagle!

Auburn 37, Georgia 31

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