The 2013 college football season got off to a great start, with great games Thursday and Friday! Saturday is here and there 3 marquee games going, that have the Swag to keep you locked in. Each game rate at least 8.5 on my Swag Meter. Let’s check them out!
Game of the Day – Georgia -1.5 at Clemson: SWAG METER 9.5 / 10
The Clemson Tigers come in to this SEC/ACC showdown with lots of confidence. The last time the Tigers took the field, quarterback Tajh Boyd and the rest of his team took out another SEC power in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. LSU. This time around the Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs in a renewal of one the south’s best rivalries. The two teams haven’t met since 2003.
For Georgia, the story over the years, has been the same as its been for Clemson. A tendency to not win the big game, and lose a game you’re not supposed to. That actually changed for both of these teams last season, when they both lost two games each. In all cases the losses were to top 10 teams. While, Georgia lost to Alabama, Clemson lost to Florida State. Both teams dropped games to South Carolina.
Analysis: It’s the way Georgia lost to Alabama, coming 5 yards and about 5 seconds short of winning the SEC title and a trip to the BCS title game. Georgia, didn’t seem to hang their heads, as they were fairly dominant in their bowl game. The key tonight is can their young defense handle Boyd and Clemson’s high octane offense? Georgia’s best bet will probably be, to have long sustained drives with Todd Gurley and one of the premier running games in the nation. Can can Clemson stop them? I don’t think so, but I don’t see Georgia stopping Tajh Boyd, and the Clemson offense either. There is a lot of youth playing on D for the Bulldogs, and lot a of them are playing their first games ever. Death Valley is very unforgiving to even the most veteran of players. Needless to say, this is a very even matchup.
Prediction: As tough a place to play, as Clemson can be, I think Georgia will lean on Todd Gurley and their running game and win this game. I think Aaron Murray has a nice game too, and if needed can win a shootout against Boyd. Clemson will score, but I think in the end Georgia’s balance of pass and pounding with the run will be too much for the Tigers, in a game that goes right down to the wire!
Georgia 37 Clemson 34
LSU -4.5 vs. TCU SWAG METER: 8.5 / 10
The Tigers and the Horned Frogs get together at Jerry’s World (Cowboys Stadium) in Dallas for the annual Cowboy’s Classic. The game is being played, basically in TCU’s backyard, but I don’t see that being a factor. The LSU fans will be there in mass, as they usually are. TCU comes into the Cowboy’s Classic off of a 7-6, 2012 campaign. The Frog’s will probably use two QB’s, but expect Casey Pachall to receive the majority of the snaps. Pachall’s, experience could be key, as they go up against LSU’s tenacious defense. The Tigers lost a lot to the NFL, but LSU is one those program’s that don’t rebuild. They reload. Now, they will certainly have some growing pains, but I fully expect LSU’s defense to be very stingy, when all is said and done.
Analysis: TCU head coach, Gary Patterson has built his program on tough defense and being strong on both sides of the line of scrimmage. This tactic gives TCU a good shot in this game. I just think LSU is simply more talented than TCU. Patterson, is a coach however, that get knows how to get the most out of his players. One player Patterson may not have at his disposal, is Devonte Fields. The sophomore, defensive end’s status won’t be known until game time, but it looks unlikely that he’ll play. That’s a pretty big loss, to say the least. It will be interesting to see, just what LSU coach Les Miles’ offensive game plan will be. Will he open it up a little more than we’re accustomed to seeing, or will he decide to pound the ball with the deep stable of running backs? That’s been the issue with LSU in past seasons. Not being sure just what they’re identity is.
Prediction: One reason for that has been inconsistency from LSU’s offense has been the quarterback position. Zach Mettenberger, is the starting his 2nd full season as QB, but it’s still questionable whether or not he has full confidence from the coaching staff. His decision making will also be key. To me, this game comes down to which offense is the most efficient, because both defenses get after you and will have success. I’ll give the edge to LSU, because of their running game. However, this game probably won’t be decided until well into the 4th quarter.
LSU 24 TCU 16
Boise St at Washington -3.5 SWAG METER: 8.5 / 10
Ironically, the Broncos and the Huskies met in each team’s last game if 2012. Boise St. won that game 28 – 26 in the MAACO Bowl, last December. The Broncos only return 9 starters, and will be going into a revitalized and loud Husky Stadium.
Analysis: Boise St. head coach, Chris Petersen has maybe his toughest coaching job ahead of him. On the opposite side of the field, Washington coach, Steve Sarkissian welcomes back 18 starters from last years team. Keith Price, returns as starting QB, and is easily one the most underrated quarterbacks in the country.
Prediction: Husky Stadium looks to be too daunting a task for the young Broncos tonight. However, you can never count out a Chris Petersen coached team. Look for this game to not be decided until deep in the 4th quarter, but the more experienced Huskies will prevail in their new and improved home.
Washington 26 Boise St. 20