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Post Opponent watch

Friday October 24, 2008

Georgia Southern (3-4)

Central Michigan (5-2): CMU found themselves in a bit of a shootout with Western Michigan before a late field goal gave them a 10-point win. The Chippewas are a solid 4-0 in their conference, but they begin a three-game road trip this week. THIS WEEK: @ Toledo

South Carolina (5-3): With or without the help of the referees, the Gamecocks have to feel as if they missed out on a great chance to make some noise last week. They had LSU down, but the Tigers dominated down the stretch. With three SEC losses and Florida still left to play, the missed opportunity against LSU means that prospects for a New Years’ bowl game are fading fast. THIS WEEK: BYE

Arizona State (2-4): ASU has had two weeks to think about things after a disappointing start, and the rest has helped Rudy Carpenter’s ankle. The bad news is that they’ll try to get back on track against a decent Oregon team also coming off a bye. THIS WEEK: Oregon

Alabama (7-0): Ole Miss was the second team to push Alabama in the second half, but the Tide have been so good at establishing large halftime leads that it hasn’t cost them yet. The injury to Cody is a serious issue; Ole Miss was able to move the ball once Cody went out. Alabama’s balanced attack should be able to move the ball on the Vols at least as well as Georgia did. THIS WEEK: @ Tennessee

Tennessee (3-4): The Vols got a much-needed SEC win against Mississippi State, and a pair of defensive touchdowns helped them open up a close game. More big plays from the secondary will be Tennessee’s best chance to pull the upset in what might well be Fulmer’s Last Stand. Cody might be out, but can the Tennessee offense and the running game in particular take advantage of Cody’s absence? THIS WEEK: Alabama

Vanderbilt (5-2): Can you feel the slightest bit of pressure starting to surround Vandy? On one hand, they’re a solid and legitimate 5-2 with five games left in which to become bowl-eligible. On the other hand, they’ve lost two in a row and still have some very respectable teams to play. A lot seem to hang on this week’s game against an improved Duke. Win, and the pressure is off. They can poach another win or two down the stretch and end up with a decent bowl. Lose to Duke and things become interesting. Remaining games with Kentucky and Tennessee would become pushes at best, and they’d likely be underdogs to Florida and Wake Forest. THIS WEEK: Duke

LSU (5-1): LSU bounced back and, like Georgia, had to come from behind at South Carolina. Once the Tiger defense figured things out, they looked pretty impressive. The Tigers should be pretty healthy on their stout defensive front for the first time in weeks, and that’s not good news for opponents. THIS WEEK: Georgia

Florida (5-1): The Gators have had two weeks to relish their best performance of the season in a dominant win over LSU. The challenge this week is getting back up after two weeks of rest for a 12:30 kickoff. Florida didn’t fare so well in their last early home game. Will they come out focused, or will they hit the snooze button for the early start as they dream about the big game next week? THIS WEEK: Kentucky

Kentucky (5-2): A comeback win over Arkansas stopped the bleeding after consecutive losses and kept alive hopes for a third-straight winning season. Injuries have taken their toll, though, and there’s not much in the tank as the team heads to Gainesville. Watch to see if Kentucky’s secondary full of playmakers can make things interesting for Tebow and his receivers. THIS WEEK: @ Florida

Auburn (4-4): If you caught either of Auburn’s games against Vanderbilt and West Virginia, you didn’t need to see the other. Up 13-0 in one and 17-3 in the other, the Tiger offense and ground game that looked unstoppable early on simply shut down and couldn’t muster an answer when the opponent came back. Auburn has led at halftime in every game this season, but they’ve been completely powerless to answer second half comebacks. When Tuberville – clad in his finest Longhorn orange – has to pull out the “deny them heat” tactic, you know there’s not much left that can be done. THIS WEEK: @ Ole Miss (Nov. 1)

Georgia Tech (6-1): Yes, that’s Georgia Tech as the ACC’s sole representative in the rankings. Close, ugly, very little passing, doesn’t matter. They’re winning. If the Florida schools can’t derail Tech, could this be a one-loss team coming to Athens in a month? THIS WEEK: Virginia

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