Friday, September 14, 2012

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 3

Weekend of September 14, 2012
Furman at Clemson
(NO-LINE on this game)

It will seem like UCS is in town this weekend as the northwest corner of the stadium breaks into FU chants, but like most UCS trips to the valley, there won’t be much to cheer about for the visiting faithful.  Clemson welcomes Sammy back and will look to get him into the game as soon as possible.  The Furman coaches know this and will do their best to blanket him.  If Boyd and Watkins can stay patient, Clemson can burn them with Ellington and Hopkins to put this game away early.  If Boyd forces some throws, then the Clemson offense may struggle to find a rhythm.
Look for Clemson to bait Furman into double-teaming Watkins, and for Morris and Boyd to exploit that advantage and score early and often.  Once the Furman defense backs off Watkins, look for him to get his.  The defense will also play better, which is not saying much, and every player with shoulder pads enters the game.

Clemson 56
Furman 10

It took a while for Clemson to finally convince the pigskin world they were for real last year before they pulled a Clemson and collapsed.  The same pattern appears to be unfolding in 2012.  Sammy Watkins returns this weekend and the Tigers will beat up on Furman before going to FSU next week.   

The truth is we just don’t know what to think about this year’s Tigers and that will play itself out over the next six weeks or so.  But for Saturday, look for them to cruise and convince themselves even more deeply that we have returned to 1982.   

Clemson 45
Furman 10
UAB at South Carolina
(South Carolina is favored to win by 33.5)

Man, how a week can change things.  Just take a look at where we stood last week – and where we stand now:

Last Week: UCS is done if Jaybo’s brother can’t play
This Week: Quarterback controversy

Last Week: Can we go to 8 lineman and just bench the receivers?
This Week: We need more balls to keep our stud receivers happy

Last Week: Good thing we caught Vandy early because they are Atlanta worthy
This Week: Glad we aren’t playing Northwestern – they look like Rose Bowl material

Last Week: Lattimore is back!  Back like crooked crack!
This Week: Wonder what Cory Boyd is up to these days?

Last Week: Can’t wait to see the Cocks!
This Week: Party Like a Rock Star!

Apparently, Vegas was so impressed with The TigerSwag’s pick, they have challenged us with an even bigger number against ECU’s conference mate – 33.5.  Can UCS replicate their success a second week?

No.  While UCS fans have to be giddy about their passing game, the running game looked terrible.  Expect UCS to pound it away this week with Lattimore and his minions.  And because of this, the clock runs, UCS wins, but they are unable to cover.  Also, UAB has a decent passing game and the secondary is the one week spot on UCS’ defense.   

UCS 44
UAB 16

Whether or not the Gamecocks cover the spread this weekend is really irrelevant to me as a USC fan.  I want to see continued improvement and most importantly I want to see us continue to just quietly fly under the radar as it happens.  The teams that talk the loudest in September are usually the quietest in November. 

I sense that Carolina is what I hoped they would be:  a very good team with a salty defense who wins games and goes about their business without a lot of flash.  Therefore, it’s hard for me to see them really focused on making sure they win by a certain amount against the Blazers with the schedule they have coming up.  Having said, I think we just may have that big of a talent gap to where it happens anyway.  

USC 42

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