U of L's offense has been difficult to gauge to this point. At times it looked dominant against Miami. Especially on a long drive that saw their O-Line and Dominique Brown grind out a smash mouth 7:47, 14 play drive that ended in a door slamming 10 yard touchdown pass from Will Garner to Gerald Christian. But there were also plenty of mistakes in that game and the Cards' O-Line got blown up at the snap too many times for Bobby P's liking. Last week they blew out Murray State in a week two tune-up game.
Enter the Wahoos. Virginia is led by All-Acc and possibly All-American 6'1" 185 pound senior safety Anthony Harris. Harris teams with 5 star freshman Quin Blanding to make up one of the top safety duos in the ACC. Blanding a 6'4" 210 pound strong safety from Virginia Beach that looks like a Seahawks prototype. He has played well in his first two games. He racked up 9 tackles against UCLA in week one, justifying his five star recruit ranking, and totaled 7 tackles, an interception, and 2 pass deflection last week against the Richmond Spiders. Add 6'5" 240 pound sophomore passing rushing threat Max Valles (3.5 sacks in the first two games) and Will Garner has his work cut out for him today.
Quin Blanding's first career INT.
USC trap game:
After an emotionally and physically brutal win against PAC-12 rival Stanford, resurgent USC flies across the country to take on Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. BC gave FSU a scare last season around this time last season and they played a tough physical game against a very strong Pitt Panthers team last week. If Sarkisian can't get the Trojans offense going early this could be a disaster for the Final Four minded Trojans.
Patrick Towles and UK's Offense v. the Florida Gators.
This game will be a good barometer of where these two teams truly stand. Florida's first game was declared a no-contest due to a lighting storm and last week they smashed a weak E.Michigan team. On the other hand, the Cayuts have easily handled Tennessee Martin but last week their Offense spurted to the finish line after looking like they would blow Ohio out early in the game. That being said, the Cayuts were without big play threat Braylon Heard and top WR Javess Blue. The return of Blue is big because last week Towles and his freshman receivers (e.g., Dorian Baker and Blake Bone) looked to be on different pages at times. Against a defense like Florida, those types of mistakes will kill you. Towles has his toys back against what figures to be one of the SEC's best defenses this season. This is the big time Patrick, welcome to SEC football. God speed kid.
Texas v. UCLA
It's going down in Jerry World so this is a "neutral site" game in name only. Texas got molly whopped by BYU last week in a game the clairvoyant Charlie Strong said he knew his team would lose based on pre-game warm-ups. Today they face off against a UCLA team that has not performed up to expectations. The failure to meet expectations has actually relieved some of the hype and pressure as the team has slid in the rankings from 7th to 12th in the top 25. UCLA looked tight in their first two games. Playing under Jerry's jumbotron can't help alleviate the tension.
It will be interesting to see if a refocused Texas team emerges today after an embarrassing pummeling at home. On the flip side of that coin, do the Longhorns come out with the same nonchalant disinterested intensity level as last week? It's foolish to imply Charlie Strong will be on the hot seat if he gets blown out again so nothing to see there. What will be interesting is to see if Charlie can get his team up for this game and give the Bruins a tough game. The Bruins have somewhat of an identity issue on their hands as well. Do they come out loose after expectations have subsided a bit or do they tense up in the atmosphere of Jerry World. Lots of story lines in this one. Should be interesting to watch.
That's it y'all. Enjoy this Saturday holiday of American splendor. Peace.