Georgia nips Gamecocks on a late field goal

 We went 9-1 the first week because we thought Virginia Tech would take care of Boise, which the Hokies almost did. But now it starts to get interesting with perhaps the best slate of second-week games that I’ve ever seen. So let’s get on with the Fearless Friday Forecast. Feel free to disagree with any picks, but if you do disagree, tell me WHY I’m wrong:

1. Georgia at South Carolina: Both teams looked very impressive in their openers (against bad teams) last week and the winner of this one gets an early lead in what appears to be a wide open SEC East. Georgia will welcome the return of running back Washaun Ealey but not wide receiver A.J. Green, who has been suspended for four games. The key here will be Georgia’s ability to run the ball effectively and take a wild crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium out of the game. This is the first SEC road game for Georgia QB Aaron Murray. You don’t want to ask him to do too much. I think Georgia will run the ball effectively and get a late field goal from Blair Walsh to win. Georgia 17, South Carolina 14.

2. Georgia Tech at Kansas: Kansas, under first-year coach Turner Gill, really stumbled out of the gate last week losing to North Dakota State 6-3. For the Jayhawks that 2007 trip to the Orange Bowl must seem like a million years ago. Georgia Tech is only going to get better as the offensive line continues to jell and Al Groh’s defense grows more confident. On what is a big weekend for the ACC, the Jackets do their part with win a road game against the Big 12. Georgia Tech 35, Kansas 10.

3. Florida State at Oklahoma: For a team that is ranked in everybody’s Top 10, Oklahoma sure did struggle last week in barely getting by Utah State. The Sooners are better than that with quarterback Landry Jones and a 1,000-yard rusher in DeMarco Murray. Florida State was impressive in its opener against Samford, but I’m afraid new defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, doesn’t have the athletes to win a game like this on the road. Oklahoma 28, Florida State 17.

4. Miami at Ohio State: Brady Ackerman, my broadcast partner at CSS, tells me the Hurricanes have the right stuff to go up to the Horseshoe and win this game. Miami does have a bunch of good looking athletes and when quarterback Jacory Harris is playing well, the ‘Canes are tough to beat. But I just can’t see Miami going on the road and winning in such a tough atmosphere. So I’m going with the Buckeyes. But I’m not going to be shocked if Miami finds a way to win. Ohio State 17, Miami 14.

5. Penn State at Alabama: The Crimson Tide will be without two of its best players, running back Mark Ingram on offense and end Marcell Dareus on defense. Normally, that would mean trouble when you’re playing Penn State anywhere. But Penn State has a true freshman at quarterback, Robert Bolden, who looked pretty good last week in his debut at home against Youngstown State. But young Mr. Bolden will find out that playing in front of 101,000 of your fans is a lot different than playing in front of 101,000 of theirs. Alabama 24, Penn State 14.

6. South Florida at Florida: Florida beat Miami of Ohio last week but it sure didn’t feel like a win for the fans in The Swamp. That’s because the Gators had a grand total of 25 yards of total offense after three quarters. And did we mention that they bobbled the center-quarterback exchange 13 times? With a trip to Tennessee coming up next week there is a lot that needs to get fixed at Florida. Saturday begins that process. Florida 35, South Florida 10.

7. Oregon at Tennessee: The Ducks, who return 17 starters from a Rose Bowl team, were supposed to take something of a dip after losing quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. But even without their best offensive player, running back LaMichael James (suspension), Oregon was unstoppable against New Mexcio, winning 72-0. This is where Tennessee’s personnel gaps really begin to show. Tennessee fights hard at home but Oregon has too many athletes. Oregon 24, Tennessee 10.

8. Michigan at Notre Dame: Quarterback Denard Robinson gave Michigan fans reason to hope for a better season and coach Rich Rodriguez hope that he could keep his job when the Wolverines beat UConn last week. Notre Dame had a pedestrian win over Purdue in Brian Kelly’s debut as head coach. I just get the sense that Kelly saved a little something special for Michigan. This guy can coach. Notre Dame 24, Michigan 20.

9. LSU at Vanderbilt: Les Miles and the boys were very fortunate that they didn’t get beat by an undermanned North Carolina team at the Georgia Dome last Saturday. I saw a couple of things that really concerned me about LSU: No.1, they still can’t run the football effectively. No. 2, the defense of John Chavis is not as athletic as I thought it was going to be (aside from All-World cornerback Patrick Peterson). Still the Tigers go to 1-0 in the SEC. LSU 31, Vanderbilt 13.

10. Ole Miss at Tulane: It’s a little early in the season to have “must wins” but after losing to Division I-AA Jacksonville State last week, Ole Miss has to shake off the rust and blow Tulane out of the Superdome. Last week was a very strange one for Ole Miss, which began the week thinking quarterback Jeremiah Masoli would not be eligible and by Friday he was. The Rebels right the ship in New Orleans. Ole Miss 42, Tulane 14.

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Programming note: I’ll be in Birmingham for today’s “Barnhart and Durham Show” (10 a.m., 790 The Zone). Among our guests will be Paul Finebaum of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. Please join us.

536 comments Add your comment

tony's a homer

September 10th, 2010
7:09 am

Dawg_Mike

September 10th, 2010
7:20 am

Tony, I believe the OK QB is Landry Jones.

Bamafan

September 10th, 2010
7:23 am

The dawgs will win not sold on QB for the war chickens. Who cares about Tech!! The 2 games I
really want to see are the Noles and Sooners game and the U against the Buckeyes. Bama and
Jo Pa will be a ugly defensive game with the crimson tide winning by a field goal I hope!! RTR

Dawg_Mike

September 10th, 2010
7:26 am

I agree with all your picks except 1- Something keeps telling me FSU by 7.

MURPHY

September 10th, 2010
7:29 am

I disagree with 2 of your picks. FSU will beat OU.I thinks FSU has the upper hand in talent and brother Stoops D will shut down the anemic OU offense. FSU-27 OU-17. I also dont think Oregon will beat UT by 14. These kids from Oregon are gonna be shell shocked when they get a dose of Rocky Top in Knoxville. UT defense is pretty good. Alot closer than everyone expects-Maybe a UT win?

Loran, whatdayagot?

September 10th, 2010
7:34 am

`
A.J. Green sure did waste a lot of people’s time with his mess.

Lou Holtz

September 10th, 2010
7:41 am

Notre Dame over Michigan
SC over UGA
S FL over UF

All because I am the original homer.

Dawg_Mike

September 10th, 2010
7:42 am

Tony, you forget that soft Willie coaches the Oklahoma DB’s.
Ponder will light them up.

War Eagle

September 10th, 2010
7:47 am

Ole’ Joe Pa spanks $aban in his own back yard.

ATLNole

September 10th, 2010
7:47 am

Here’s hoping for a big win for the ‘Noles in Oklahoma! Look for all of us fans in GOLD :) GO NOLES!

17 of 20

September 10th, 2010
7:51 am

Georgia looses 65 to 14. Coach Spurrier will run up the score.
Florida wins 55 to 7

Git r done

September 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Tony…more sold on FSU than you and not sold on Miami or Oklahoma. FSU plays OU close and maybe wins. Miami gets pummeled in the ’shoe. Dawgs by 10 on the surface of the sun, Bama by 2TD’s over outmatched JoePas. Pretty much with you on everything else.

What dawg?

September 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Just a quick shout out to the bammer, FU! and UAT.

Old School

September 10th, 2010
7:55 am

Tony,

Upset special, Noles 33 – Sooners 30

Was that game last night even uglier than their 3-2 game? Geesh!

Five Minute Plan

September 10th, 2010
7:58 am

Do you have to be chubby to coach at Notre Dame ?

King Gator

September 10th, 2010
7:59 am

SC over the Dawgs, not that I’d bet my shirt..umm jersey.. on it! Go Gators!

Coach in Waiting

September 10th, 2010
8:01 am

FSU lost six games and Oklahoma lost five games last year.
Two sorry teams in decline.

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

September 10th, 2010
8:02 am

Agree with most Tony but also suspect the Noles might shock the Sooners 34-27.

If tech’s D gives up more than 3 points then we’ll all know they’re worse than North Dakota State.

Mike

September 10th, 2010
8:03 am

You’re right about ND’s Brian Kelly. He called a VERY vanilla game last week, not one misdirection play was run. He’s been looking forward to playing Michigan and Michigan State ever since they passed him over for those jobs. ND wins going away by at least 7-10 points.

John Heisman

September 10th, 2010
8:11 am

Georgia Tech will CRUSH Kansas.

Mybe So

September 10th, 2010
8:12 am

I agree with all but the following:
1. I think either FSU or Miami pulls out an upset, but not both. My be is it’s FSU.
2. I don’t think that Ole Miss game will be near the blowout that you predict. While I think they ill rebound and win, I think it will only be by 3 to 7 points.

Other than that, your picks look good.

Mybe So

September 10th, 2010
8:13 am

I also have to agree with Mr. Heisman. I think Tech beats KU by 50. Heck, I think SC State would beat KU by 30!

Elementary teacher

September 10th, 2010
8:18 am

No recess for you, 17 of 20, until you learn the difference between loose and lose. That is, unless you mean the Dogs are going to turn “loose” 65 quality athletes in a Dog beatdown of SOS.

Spike

September 10th, 2010
8:19 am

Hard to argue with any of those picks. What about the Gators and USF?

Chi Town

September 10th, 2010
8:22 am

Barners got lucky last night. State stinks.

Cant wait to the play those necks over in Tuscaloosa.

SCboy

September 10th, 2010
8:23 am

And where did Tony go to school?

BG

September 10th, 2010
8:29 am

Tech’s schedule looks like a high school schedule!!

chilidawg

September 10th, 2010
8:34 am

I think FSU gets it done. Also, as much as I have enjoyed watching Michigan struggle for the past few years, it looks like Rodriguez has his guy in Robinson. Any word yet on the NCAA and SC?

On a side note, why can’t more players conduct themselves like Auburn’s Darvin Adams? Make a play, find an official, hand him the ball. If he drops it, pick it up and hand it to him again. Classy.

SCJacket

September 10th, 2010
8:34 am

UGA can’t win at USC without a strong passing game. USC will stack line to stop the run, forcing UGAs young quarterback to beat them, and I don’t think that he’ll get it done. USC has experienced quarterback PLUS all their players. USC 24-UGA 17.

No reason for this, but I have a feeling FSU pulls it out.

Oregon should win by more than two touchdowns. Tennessee just doesn’t have the athletes to compete with Oregon.

Michigan gets it done against Notre Dame.

HugoStiglitz

September 10th, 2010
8:35 am

UGA will lose by 10. The off the field distractions, plus Aaron Murrays first real college game will be too much to overcome. UGA was impressive last week but pretty much anybody would look impressive against La Laf. They lost 55-0 against Nebraska last year and Nebraska had almost no offense. SC at least beat a reasonable Souther Miss team, and beat them soundly. I also have a feeling that Fla St is going to pull an upset. The rest of the picks I agree with though. I dont think Ohio St and Miami will be that close though.

Gen Neyland

September 10th, 2010
8:36 am

CDD will get a look at the team he really has this week and it may not be pretty. Personally, I don’t think UT is seasoned enough on both sides of the ball to take on Oregon but take them on they must. I see Oregon loading up the box and daring UT to fling it. Young OL, two KEY DL out, rebuilt secondary, WR injuries, Simms’ first real test, lack of game experience at RB, etc, and rumor I have from Atop Rocky regarding an injury to a Senior kicker I cannot confirm and won’t name…Albeit, I remain a faithful Vol and await a shocker :
Tennessee 20 Daffy’s 17

how2fish

September 10th, 2010
8:36 am

Well good luck to the Dogs in Columbia one of the most gracious fan bases I have ever been around are the SC fans..I hope for a well played injury free game and a Dog win. Hope the Tide can keep JoePa from notching another victory, the Gators should really roll this week to bounce back for a sub par effort last week…and good luck to the Bug Village in KS..and get ready for the Nesbitt for Heisman clamor after blowing up the Jaychickens.

MURPHY

September 10th, 2010
8:37 am

SCboy,

Why is everyone so concerned with Tony being a UGA Grad? Of course he is a homer(as others describe)! You are on a Georgia website and with an article that is written by a Uga Grad! What do you expect? You expect Tony to side with Carolina?

how2fish

September 10th, 2010
8:38 am

Gen Neyland good luck to CDD and your Vols this weekend..perhaps they can pull a rabbit out of their hats and shock the Ducks..

lanier

September 10th, 2010
8:39 am

agree except FSU will beat Ok in a blowout. they love to attack bend but dont break D

you work for the AJC so why in the hell are you going to Birmingham. the game we care about is in SC. nobody here cares about Al vs PSU

Palladin

September 10th, 2010
8:40 am

Watching last night’s game, I came away with the distinct impression that the quarterbacks on both teams played with the same style as did Tim Tebow at Florida. I wonder if this reflects the influence of Coach Mullins? These quarterback-centric offenses, in which every play features a QB run option, are capable of catching most defensive units off-guard and producing big plays. The problem with this offensive philosophy is the constant threat of injury to the quarterback. The other issue that appears to be a problem is the center/qb exchange. I think that has much to do with the variety of alignments used in this offensive scheme.

Has anyone heard anything about how serious Ziemba’s injury was?

Bud

September 10th, 2010
8:44 am

Georgia wins by 20.

Miami wins by 14 over Ohio St.

jumbeauxtiger

September 10th, 2010
8:44 am

Dawgs 27 USC 20
GT 44 Kansas 14
FSU 34 OU 31
Ohio St 24 The U 20
Bama 27 PSU 7
Gators 28 USF 13
Oregon 31 UT 13
Michigan 37 ND 34
LSU 27 Vandy 17
Ole Miss 41 Tulane 14

Dawg Trainer

September 10th, 2010
8:46 am

All the punditry about UT-UO would be correct IF the game was out West. It’s not. I sure hope the Ducks are reading all of this and expect to come to Knoxville to win comfortably. The Vols will have a little something for ‘em when all is said and done.

Not so fast my friend...

September 10th, 2010
8:47 am

you got them all correct with the exception of the Gold Domers, Michigan puts a beat down on ND

Palladin

September 10th, 2010
8:48 am

The only hope for the Vols is that Oregon overlooked them and shows up in Knoxville unprepared. I was impressed with the effort made by this rag-tag group of Volunteers in their opening game. I’d give them the motivational advantage, but their cupboard is bare regarding talent after the recent coaching fiasco.

On paper, it should be a blowout. There may be no moral victories in football, but keeping this one close would be an accomplishment for Tennessee.

RTD

September 10th, 2010
8:48 am

Finebaum sucks!!!!!!

Bud

September 10th, 2010
8:48 am

Believe you me, Spurrier wants NO MAS when it comes to facing a secondary coached by Scott Lakatos. The last time Spurrier faced Lakatos, Scott was at UCONN, the results was Garcia completing less than 40% of his passes, throwing for 0 touchdown’s. Spurrier will try to run to avoid getting his passes intercepted by Georgia’s corners. He’ll also try and hit seams to the safeties, and RB’s to try and avoid these 2 corners. Georgia will pick 2 passes, and win going away.

Palladin

September 10th, 2010
8:53 am

@Bud

It’s amazing how much improvement is gained by bringing in new defensive coaches. Apparently, Georgia has now transcended their defensive woes of last year. They did win their opener, didn’t they?

I wouldn’t give any particular defensive coach much credit for Steven Garcia having a lousy game. That’s his trademark.

Gen Neyland

September 10th, 2010
8:55 am

Thank you, how2fish.

Hankie Aron

September 10th, 2010
8:55 am

Tony,
Like most of your picks but I think Miami with its defense and a “Vince Young” like performance from Jacory Harris will nip the Buckeyes by 3.I also see Florida winning but by much less, South Florida has got a pretty decent mobile quarterback and they are not as bad as you might think on defense. You did watch the Florida game last week right? Miami of Ohio? Anyway, I always love reading your column. Thank You

SimpleDawg

September 10th, 2010
8:56 am

Your picks sound about right……except….

The Goldie Domers will struggle with Meechigan’s offense……Kelly can coach offense, but hasn’t shown much defensive acumen. Wolverines win a shootout 35 – 31.

I have a feeling that the Ducks will relish the opportunity to embarrass an out manned SEC team by running up the score…..Nike University hangs 55 points on the Vowels.

SC State could beat Kansas……GIT will mash the Jayhawks….say by 40 points.

UGA and USC almost always battle in low scoring thrillers decided more by mistakes than stellar play, but this year will be different. USC has it’s best team in 10 years, with talented skill players all over the field, but the Dawgs have a bunch of good players also. If UGA runs the ball well….200 yds rushing, and the Dawg defense pressures Garcia constantly, then they take a 33 – 20 victory. I see the Dawg offensive line and the Dawg front 7 making the winning difference in this game.

Alphare

September 10th, 2010
8:57 am

Is Auburn not as good as I thought, or Miss St is better than its old self?

Auburn is a little better than last year, but doesn’t seem to be a whole lot better.

Ron Mexico

September 10th, 2010
8:57 am

Wondering if Tony is trying to hide his real feeling in the FSU-OU game – after lionizing Christian Ponder earlier this year, it’s hard to understand the OU pick. I see OU struggling this year after losing so much talent to the NFL in the off-season.

Hankie Aron

September 10th, 2010
8:57 am

Bud, good point, I had forgot Lakatos came from Uconn which embarrassed USC last year in their bowl game.