Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:
1. Will Tim Tebow break Herschel Walker’s touchdown record against Georgia? Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, scored 49 rushing touchdowns in his three seasons at Georgia. Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, has 48 rushing touchdowns in about 3 ½ seasons at Florida. You have to figure that Tebow will break Walker’s record in Saturday’s game in Jacksonville. That’s a tremendous accomplishment for a quarterback, but it is worth noting that Walker scored five touchdowns in three Sugar Bowl appearances (1980-82). Those touchdowns are not included in Walker’s records because only recently did the NCAA start counting post-season statistics in career totals.
2. What will Lane Kiffin do if he gets a bad call against South Carolina? The Tennessee coach was reprimanded for the second time this year by the SEC after complaining about the officiating in the Alabama-Tennessee game. He complained that his team was called for eight penalties while Alabama was only flagged once, which is correct. He complained that Alabama should have been flagged for a penalty when Terrence Cody ripped off his helmet after blocking a Volunteer field goal. That’s debatable. After what happened in the Georgia-LSU game, there is no way that call was going to be made. He complained that Tennessee should have gotten one more chance at the field goal to win the game. On that one he was wrong. The rule is clear. Even if a penalty had been called, Alabama would have retained possession.
But what happens if Kiffin gets a bad call in Saturday’s game with South Carolina? A piece of advice to the young Tennessee coach: Complain privately, not publicly. You have two strikes. If the SEC office has to deliver a third reprimand it will not be pretty.
3. How many times will Dexter McCluster touch the ball against Auburn? It looks like Ole Miss has found the answer to its struggling offense: Get the ball to No. 22, Dexter McCluster. Against Arkansas McCluster had 22 rushes for 123 yards and caught seven passes for 137 yards. If you’re keeping score at home he touched the ball 29 times for 260 yards. I’m not real good at math but I can tell you that’s almost nine yards for every time he touched the ball. Look for a bunch of McCluster in Saturday’s game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
4. What’s the over/under on Georgia Tech’s time of possession against Vanderbilt? Georgia Tech leads the nation in time of possession, averaging 34:50 per game. Vanderbilt, conversely, is 117th (out of 120) nationally with only 26:42 per game. “That puts more pressure on us to score,” Vanderbilt running back Warren Norman told The Tennessean newspaper. “We just have to score on every single drive to keep up with them, basically.” But that’s another problem for Vanderbilt, which is 110th nationally in scoring offense, averaging only 16.63 points per game.
5. Do you think Duke would like to have that game with Richmond back? The Blue Devils are 4-3 after wins over N.C. State (49-28) and Maryland (17-13). Duke has to find two wins in its final five games with Virginia (Saturday in Charlottesville), North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Wake Forest in order to qualify for its first bowl game since 1994. The Blue Devils would need only one more win to become bowl-eligible had they taken care of business in the opener with Division I-AA Richmond (a 24-16 loss).
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