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Post Opponent watch

Tuesday September 2, 2008

Georgia Southern (0-1): We’ll wish them well and stop following the ins and outs of the Southern Conference from here on out. Cool? Cool.

Central Michigan (1-0): Central Michigan had few problems beating Eastern Illinois 31-12. They put the game away in the second quarter and posted a touchdown in each of the final two periods to maintain a comfortable lead. Their infamous offense was solid but not spectacular, posting 389 yards of total offense. Dual-threat QB Dan LeFevour was 21-31 for 217 yards and 3 TD through the air, and he added 42 yards on 11 rushes. Ontario Sneed was an effective weapon out of the backfield with 88 rushing yards, 43 receiving yards, and a touchdown on a 23-yard run. The maligned CMU defense allowed just 83 rushing yards and didn’t give up a touchdown until the 4th quarter. THIS WEEK: @ Georgia

South Carolina (1-0): The Gamecocks survived a turnover-rich first half and pulled away late to beat N.C. State 34-0. The Gamecock defense was dominant, and Chris Smelley earned a look as this week’s starter with a 5-5 performance off the bench. THIS WEEK: @ Vanderbilt, Thursday night

Arizona State (1-0): Made quick work of Northern Arizona. The Sun Devils were up 27-0 at halftime and coasted to a 30-13 win. QB Rudy Carpenter stood out with a 22-of-28 day and 388 yards passing. They didn’t do much on the ground, but Dimitri Nance added two rushing touchdowns. Receiver Michael Jones led the way with 6 catches for 162 yards. The ASU defense did give up 308 yards, but the second half was mostly garbage time. THIS WEEK: Stanford

Alabama (1-0): What an impressive 34-10 win over Clemson. They dominated the line of scrimmage and couldn’t be stopped on offense. John Parker Wilson was an efficient 22-of-30 passing, and Mark Ingram established himself as a powerful counterpart to Glen Coffee. If they can keep it up, this team could change the landscape of the SEC West. As it is, they have our attention. THIS WEEK: Tulane

Tennessee (0-1): Upset 27-24 at UCLA. For the second straight season, the Vols have opened with a loss on the left coast. They overcame the L to win the SEC East in 2007, but they’ll have to find some identity on offense to contend in 2008. Is this a power running team behind a veteran offensive line, or is this team going to throw the ball 30+ times a game? THIS WEEK: BYE

Vanderbilt (1-0): Opened the season with an impressive 34-13 win at Miami (Ohio). The ground game was dominant for the Commodores with Chris Nickson putting up 166 yards, and they also found some success with the return game. That rushing attack will be put to the test this Thursday in their home opener. THIS WEEK: South Carolina, Thursday night

LSU (1-0): The Tigers ensured early on that Appy State would not upset this season’s first opponent. They led 31-0 at halftime and came away with an easy 41-13 win. Even with copious substitutions they allowed the ASU offense only 239 total yards. Charles Scott was the man on the ground with 160 yards and 2 TD for LSU. THIS WEEK: Troy

Florida (1-0): As expected, the Gators had few problems with Hawaii and won 56-10. It did take them a while to get going; the game was scoreless after one period, but Florida put up 28 points in each of the second and third quarters. They spread the ball around enough that speedster Jeffrey Demps was the leading rusher with just 2 carries and 76 yards. Tim Tebow hardly needed to pad his stats, and he finished with 9-of-14 passing and 137 yards through the air and 37 on the ground. THIS WEEK: Miami (Fla.)

Kentucky (1-0): After impressing us with their offense over the past two seasons, the Wildcats dominated on defense and beat rival Louisville 27-2 on Sunday. It was anyone’s game until UK put up 17 points in the 4th quarter to seal the win. The UK offense wasn’t much to speak of, but they made the most of 5 Louisville turnovers. THIS WEEK: Norfolk St.

Auburn (1-0): Avoided Alabama’s embarrassment of losing to UL-Monroe with an easy 34-0 win. The new Tiger offense didn’t do much through the air, but 321 rushing yards were more than enough to do the job. Auburn didn’t get their first offensive touchdown until the 3rd quarter. THIS WEEK: Southern Miss

Georgia Tech (1-0): The Paul Johnson option attack made its debut, and the result was an expected easy 41-14 win over Jacksonville State. The Jackets rolled up 349 yards of rushing and got two rushing TD each from Jonathan Dwyer and Josh Nesbitt. They’ll face a much stronger test in their ACC opener. THIS WEEK: @ Boston College

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