Tech wins a squeaker; Georgia survives in Starkville

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. N.C. State at Georgia Tech: The last time the Wolfpack was 3-0 (2002) they eventually got to 9-0 before the run was stopped by Georgia Tech in Raleigh. As a Tech fan you need to be concerned that N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is just now knocking off the rust after playing minor league baseball all summer–and he threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in his last outing against Cincinnati. Wilson has thrown 101 passes this season without an interception. That will change at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. Georgia Tech 21, N.C. State 20.

2. Georgia at Miss. State: Don’t worry about the cowbells, Bulldog fans. They are loud. It’s life on the road in the SEC. The thing to worry about is that the Mississippi State quarterbacks–Chris Relf and Tyler Russell–are due for a breakout game. And after giving up just less than four bills against Arkansas last week, the Georgia secondary is not going to put a lot of fear into anyone. My advice to Georgia? Just run the football and wear this team down. It’s time for the offensive line to man up and win a game for Georgia. Georgia 24, Miss. State 17.

3. Alabama at Arkansas: This summer I asked Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett about Saturday’s date with No. 1 Alabama and how excited the Hogs’ fans would be. He smiled: “I hear we’ve sold all the tickets and will probably draw a big crowd.” Yep. With both teams in the Top 10, it’s the second biggest game ever played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. In 1969 No. 1 Texas beat No. 2 Arkansas 15-14 in a game that decided the national championship. Arkansas will have the crowd but Alabama still has that massive offensive line and the best running back combo on the planet in Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. I could be wrong.  But I think Alabama starts to pull away in the fourth quarter. Alabama 34, Arkansas 21.

4. South Carolina at Auburn: First of all, I wonder how much Auburn has left in the tank after last week’s very physical overtime win against Clemson. South Carolina is going to come to Jordan-Hare Stadium for its first road of the season and try to beat Auburn by using the Georgia game plan: That’s a heavy dose of running back Marcus Lattimore and just enough passing to keep the defense honest. Look for Auburn to put an extra defender in the box and to force the Head Ball Coach to air it out with quarterback Stephen Garcia. Then what happens is anybody’s guess. I like the Gamecocks in this one because Ellis Johnson’s defense is going to cause some problems for Auburn’s quarterback, Cameron Newton. South Carolina 17, Auburn 14.

5. Kentucky at Florida: So how many times have we said this: Kentucky has the best offense in the SEC East? Right now the Wildcats are certainly better on offense than Florida. Kentucky needs to keep one streak going: The Wildcats have not given up a turnover in three games. If the Wildcats can do that, then they have a puncher’s chance to end their 23-game losing streak to the Gators. All I know is that the Florida defense already has 10 interceptions. UK quarterback Mike Hartline must take care of  the football. Florida 21, Kentucky 10.

6. Oregon State at Boise State: The Broncos are ranked No. 3 and the release of the first BCS standings don’t come until Oct. 17. In the meantime Boise must keep winning and do it with style points. I’ve got Oregon State as my darkhorse pick to win the Pac-10. The Beavers (1-1) lost to No. 4 TCU  (30-21) and almost lost to Louisville (35-28) last week. College Game Day is coming to Boise and the world will be watching. The Broncos need to put on a show. Boise State 42, Oregon State 27.

7. Stanford at Notre Dame: Stanford has won its first three games (Sacremento State, UCLA, Wake Forest) by a combined score of 155-41. Quarterback Andrew Luck has already thrown for 674 yards with no interceptions. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has got a little bit of an attitude about him and his fans like that. I know this sounds crazy but I have it on good authority that Stanford was really jacked up to play Wake Forest after losing to the Deacons last year in Winston-Salem. Could the Cardinal have a let down at Notre Dame (1-2), which needs a win after two straight losses at the buzzer? I’ll go with Stanford and the hot quarterback. Stanford 35, Notre Dame 27.

8. UAB at Tennessee: It’s obvious now that Tennessee is going to have to take baby steps (two steps forward, one step back) in this first season under Derek Dooley. The good news is that Tennessee played the full 60 minutes against Florida before losing 31-17. The week before the Volunteers basically packed it in after falling behind in the second half against Oregon. Here is why Saturday’s game with UAB is so important. A win gives the Volunteers a 2-2 record with games coming up at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama in Knoxville, and at South Carolina. You have to figure Tennessee will be 2-6 heading into November. They will still be able to get to 6-6 and Dooley can point to a tangible goal. Having a goal is important to a struggling team. Tennessee 27, UAB 10.

9. Virginia Tech at Boston College: After a tough three weeks to open the season, the Hokies (1-2) open ACC play on the road. My buddy Bill Roth, the radio voice of Virginia Tech, tells me that no Hokie has scored a rushing touchdown at Boston College since Lee Suggs did it in 2002. In fact, Boston College has beaten Virginia Tech in five of its last six meetings, including a 14-10 win at Virginia Tech in 2007 led by Matt Ryan. I think Boston College beats the Hokies again. Boston College 21, Virginia Tech 17.

10. West Virginia at LSU: It’s a non-conference game. It will also be the best party in all of college football this weekend. LSU (3-0) needs to keep winning because the Tigers want to be 5-0 when they go to Florida on Oct. 9. West Virginia (3-0) may be the class of the Big East now that Pittsburgh is 1-2. The Mountaineers have some playmakers in QB Geno Smith (800 yards passing, 7 TD) and Noel Devine (118 yards rushing per game). But I see LSU’s defense as too big and quick. Both sides win the party. LSU wins the game. LSU 24, West Virginia 14.

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Programming note: Today on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” we’ll welcome Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley to give us an update on the Florida Gators. Sports agent Pat Dye, Jr. will join us as well as Bob Behler, the radio voice of Boise State. We’ll also replay an interview I did with Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino as he talks about Saturday’s big game with Alabama. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone. www.790thezone.com.

520 comments Add your comment

tony's a homer

September 24th, 2010
7:14 am

Fearless. Geaux Tigers

JB

September 24th, 2010
7:14 am

Mr B, lets us hope that the OL, which to me is the problem, does show up and play like they did the back half of last year. If so, Dawgs by about 10. If not…

HBTD!!!

Carlton Powell

September 24th, 2010
7:14 am

What makes you believe the ‘Dogs will EVER be able to run the ball effectively. I mean, hasn’t this poor offensive line play been a problem since 2002? At this point, I just cannot see it happening. Hope I am wrong. But, you are correct; run the ball and win the game. Now, go prove me wrong guys.

Bama Fan #2

September 24th, 2010
7:16 am

If the dawgs lose to the starkvegas dogs then Richt will be in serious trouble!! ROLL TIDE
and Go WARCHICKENS!!

Charlie Bama

September 24th, 2010
7:16 am

FYI all, Bama 34, but Hogs will only score 17. Otherwise, Tony is da man!

David

September 24th, 2010
7:19 am

GT will put up a lot more than 21 points.

Dawg_Mike

September 24th, 2010
7:19 am

Conventional wisdom says the Dawgs should be able to run the ball effectively, especially with King back.
Not so fast my friend….MSU will stack it up and dare Murray to beat them in the air.

This game will be too close to call……

Charlie Bama

September 24th, 2010
7:21 am

The Spurriers will make it happen at Lee County Tech saturday night, and then things will return to normal. Auburn, enjoy Shreveport.

Steve Spurrier

September 24th, 2010
7:23 am

Is Gene Chizik still coaching?

SatchelBuzz

September 24th, 2010
7:24 am

Wilson can really throw it around effectively,..but that 3-0 record is due to some nice early season scheduling. We learned a painful but valuable lesson in Lawrence.CAG has the defense improving as we sort out our personnel. The Wolfpack is about to get it’s first dose of our option-based spread offense,…and Tony,..they ain’t making it to 9-0 this season. ‘Jackets cover and take the over.

THWG!!!

Tide Blowout

September 24th, 2010
7:25 am

USC beats auburn by 10, bama blows out arkansas, uf struggles with UK, Ga beats a terrible miss st. team. Book those bets and get the money the easy way.

cuttysark

September 24th, 2010
7:25 am

The North Carolina State score looks too close for comfort, but a win is a win. I think the Yellow Jackets will win by at least 10 points this week. If Boston college knocks off Virginia Tech, then it looks like Miami and Georgia Tech will be the teams to decide the Coastal Division later this season. The dawgs have a very tough game in Starkeville this week, and I hope they can win despite those cowbells. For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

DawgnGA

September 24th, 2010
7:30 am

Cowbells will win.. in a close one MSU 28 UGA 24

Loyalty is an issue for some....

September 24th, 2010
7:33 am

The only thing guaranteed this weekend is the 2 or 300 fans in attendance at the Tech game will be screaming “To Hell with Georgia”, despite the Dawgs being 2 states away. Expect NC State fans to look at you funny………

Justin Martyr

September 24th, 2010
7:37 am

TB you’re getting worse than Jessie Outler used to be, he would pick UGA to beat Red China in a thriller. All I know is Bulldogs win this one.

brokebackvol

September 24th, 2010
7:38 am

V-O-L-S GO VOLS GO! Ouch Tony, 2-6 going into November?!

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
7:39 am

Bugs….Fear the Wolf Pack….cowbells we don’t need no stinking cowbells..UGA 24 Miss St 14.Bama’s run game wins this one.if the Gators have 3 or less mishandled snaps they win going away any more and it could be close.

Mike

September 24th, 2010
7:41 am

Tony,
We all know the Vols are down but you dont see them being able to pull an upset against USC, UGA, or LSU? Other than Bama, everyone looks beatable in the SEC this year.

reebok

September 24th, 2010
7:42 am

Just out of curiousity, has Tony B picked against Georgia or Gerogia Tech yet this year?

Why can't you guys...

September 24th, 2010
7:44 am

…(and that includes you Charlie Bama) get it through your heads that NO SEC school will be playing in Shreveport this year? If you want to insult a team, fine, just don’t make yourself look like the doofus in the process…

James T. Kirk

September 24th, 2010
7:44 am

Loyalty is an issue for some…. well it won’t be more than 300 Bug fans yelling as there won’t be anymore than that at the Joke By Coke…actually 12,000 Bugs will have tickets and head that way but the North Ave Tickle Pile starts to form at 11am and the kickoff is noon so only nearly 300 Bugs will make it to the stadium.Of course if it was Dragon Con opening that number would shrink to 10-100.

TampaGator

September 24th, 2010
7:47 am

If the Gators offense comes out and plays like they did in the first three games, Kentucky will end a long losing streak against them. This is the Gators first real test this year and will show if they have any chance against the Tide next week or not. Kentucky is a very good team from what I have seen….and well coached.

Mississippi State is hungry….is at home….and needs to play a good game for Mullen….but Georgia needs to win more. Georgia by 14 I think. Close for 3 quarters though.

I hope Arkansas pushes Bama to the brink and is really physical with the Tide. But Bama pulls out a close one. Arkansas doesn’t have a good enough defense yet.

South Carolina is better than Auburn right now. Spurrier is on a roll and probably plays the Gators with an undefeated team this year.

Davey Boy Smith

September 24th, 2010
7:52 am

Jim Harbaugh should be Richt’s replacement, if he does not go to the NFL first.

Also, Tony, for goodness sakes, will you please STOP PICKING GEORGIA.

MURPHY

September 24th, 2010
7:54 am

My Dawgs(UGA) will lose in Starkville-I picked this loss before the season started.
S.Carolina beats Au on the plains
Bama destroys hogs
Tech loses to NC St

Gen Neyland

September 24th, 2010
7:55 am

Weird isn’t UGA at 0-2 in the SEC. Weird would be Garcia and Mallet in the Dome come DEC.

MURPHY

September 24th, 2010
7:55 am

Im picking Kentucky in the upset in Gainsville

Davey Boy Smith

September 24th, 2010
7:55 am

@Mike…Ufk beating UGA would not be an upset this year…do you realize that lowly Mississippi State is favored over the real Bulldogs? UGA is as poorly coached a team as we have seen in a long time.

GOP

September 24th, 2010
7:55 am

Mike

September 24th, 2010
7:41 am
Tony,
We all know the Vols are down but you dont see them being able to pull an upset against USC, UGA, or LSU? Other than Bama, everyone looks beatable in the SEC this year.

Mike, UGA is the most likely and it may even be a pick it by then if they
lose to Miss. State Sat night.

GOP

September 24th, 2010
7:58 am

get it through your heads that NO SEC school will be playing in Shreveport this year?

The only reason no team is playing is that Bowl has ceased to exist.

Beast from the East

September 24th, 2010
7:58 am

Agree with most of your picks with the exception of Tech and Stanford. I think NC State outscores Tech (no defense) and ND rights the ship and wins a close one over Stanford.
Is everyone pulling for Oregon State like I am?

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
7:58 am

GOP if Miss St wins Saturday night UT will be favored and rightfully so…but I don’t think that will happen..but I’ve been wrong before.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

September 24th, 2010
7:59 am

Keep picking Georgia Tony, they will win on of these weeks. Seriously I think that loss last week lingers and they are gonna be 0 and 3 in conference play come saturday evening.

Beast from the East

September 24th, 2010
8:00 am

The Dawgs should not lose to MSU. They have better talent at 90% of the positions on the field. If they lose, then the heat’s gonna get turned up on Richt….and rightfully so.

GOP

September 24th, 2010
8:01 am

fish

Your an honest man, but we shall see

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

September 24th, 2010
8:05 am

UGA needs this game more than MSU- a lot is riding on this game, coaches, remainder of season, and the motivation of the players. Look for an impressive showing from both Ealey & King. Defense will be pissed from last week’s game, especially the blown coverage.

ATL_AU_FAN

September 24th, 2010
8:08 am

Tony, I share your concern regarding what Auburn has left in the tank following the Clemson game but simply think the road and stadium environment, combined with the offensive potential of Auburn, equates to an AU win – maybe not a pretty win, but a win nonetheless — I see it 21-17 Auburn.
I also see UGA righting the ship and taking care of things in Starkvegas. Bama? Covers easily. I’m picking Florida over Kentucky but UF had best not take KY for granted.

Something that makes you go ummmmm!!!!

September 24th, 2010
8:10 am

Why is it that players are suspended from there teams and schools are striped championships and not allow to go to bowl games when a player takes money from agents, but a player is allowed to play if they have an agent and are making hundred of thousands and some millions of dollars with there summer time job playing baseball?

toga

September 24th, 2010
8:12 am

Georgia man up? Not under Richt. State wins easily.

Palladin

September 24th, 2010
8:13 am

When “potential” starts winning football games, then Auburn will defeat South Carolina.

It probably won’t happen this weekend.

Paul in RDU

September 24th, 2010
8:13 am

It might be GT in a squeaker but the total points isn’t going to be 41 – more like 61.
UGA over MSU.
I agree with most of the rest apart from taking AU over SC, VT over BC

JB

September 24th, 2010
8:13 am

Dawgs will win, but not by much and it will be sloppy. 160 yards rushing and 150 passing or so, and score 21-24 points and hold them to 17……….Hopefully…… At least I hope we can score that many points on them………..If not, mail it in now. Somebody help me. Who will be our starting receivers next year, and their back ups?

ladyluck

September 24th, 2010
8:16 am

Surprise, surprise, Tony, you picked UGA. Let me guess, you will pick them every week until Florida. I can’t understand why this game is bigger for UGA than MSU like many keep saying. They’re both 0-2 in the SEC. Wouldn’t the game be equally important for both programs?

King Gator

September 24th, 2010
8:16 am

I see the Dawgs going down in OT, Ark keeping it close, Auburn winning and BSU getting taken down in an upset. Go Gators!

Palladin

September 24th, 2010
8:17 am

Tech will win because they won in 2002?

That’s about the only reason one could come up with to pick GT in this game.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 24th, 2010
8:17 am

There are a lot of possible upsets this week…. Arkansas over Bama? Not likely – Bama by 14 as Arkansas fades midway through the 3rd quarter. Auburn over South Carolina? Good chance as I see Garcia throwing a couple of picks and Newton running the ball a lot on 3rd down… say Auburn 31 and South Carolina 27. Miss State over Georgia? Possible on the road with the (redshirt) freshman Murray – if the pass protection is as poor as it was last week….. but I expect UGA to win by 3. Kentucky over Florida? It’s in the swamp I think where the refs tend to be a bit lenient on the Gators… Gators by 10, winning ugly again in a low scoring game. LSU wins by a bunch.

Palladin

September 24th, 2010
8:18 am

ladyluck

September 24th, 2010
8:16 am
Surprise, surprise, Tony, you picked UGA. Let me guess, you will pick them every week until Florida. I can’t understand why this game is bigger for UGA than MSU like many keep saying. They’re both 0-2 in the SEC. Wouldn’t the game be equally important for both programs?

State fans are accustomed to losing — Georgia fans are still in denial.

GOP

September 24th, 2010
8:18 am

ummmmmmmmmm.

You can be a professional in baseball and still play NCAA football, pretty simple.

Eaassy

September 24th, 2010
8:21 am

MSU’s offense is way more one dimensional than the Dawgs. Caleb King breaks a big one and our Defense actually comes up with a timely turn over leading to another score. 14-6 Dawgs in another forgettable SEC game for Ga.

rduck

September 24th, 2010
8:22 am

Tony.. You really think that GT and NC St. are only going to put up 41 points combined? More like 34-31 if you ask me. Neither team is a defensive powerhouse…

sunny purdue

September 24th, 2010
8:23 am

Looks like Jawga wins this week because they Gotta – bwahahaha..what a putz