BY RAFAEL GARCIA
Tennessee @ Florida: You ever run into that kid that you never liked knowing he liked you even less? Welcome to UT vs. Florida. The Vols must come out swinging hard and often. They cannot afford a moment of lapse if they hope to win this game. They must establish the running game to help Erik Ainge (pictured) move the football and must put lots of pressure on Florida’s Tim Tebow and force him into mistakes. If Tennessee can’t execute, then the Gators will start in high gear and end it on cruise control. In the end, the Vols will win because Ainge is playing at a much higher level than last year and because Coach Fulmer, the team and an entire Vol nation will stand for nothing less than that. Welcome to SEC football y’all.
Western Carolina @ Georgia: The Bulldogs have had their wake up call or so they hope. After absorbing last week’s loss to South Carolina, they should have no problem this week. The Catamounts have lost 11 straight and are staring an even dozen in the eye. Still Georgia must look to make improvements on offense, particularly the passing game. Matthew Stafford must be more efficient and consistent throwing the football. The one player Georgia must watch is receiver/return man Mike Malone. He racked up 322 all-purpose yards against Eastern Kentucky with half coming on returns. It should still be an easy day for the Dawgs as the look to win this one going away.
South Carolina St. @ South Carolina: The Gamecocks are about to play their first game as ranked team since 2005, as they are starting to make believers across the country. These are the games they must win, not only because it’s an easy game, but to start building the momentum they will need to compete in the SEC. Blake Mitchell and the offense look to get on the same page to get some continuity. South Carolina St. will hang on as long as they can and give all they got. This game should be another stepping stone in what looks to be a big football year for the Gamecocks. After all, they can now be considered contenders. Right?
Louisville @ Kentucky: In this game the theme will be scoring. The fight for the commonwealth features two good offenses that can score at will – both quarterbacks will be playing on Sundays next season. Louisville’s Brian Brohm has the Cardinals leading the nation in scoring average and total yards, so expect a shootout here folks with the winner being the team to make the least mistakes.
Mississippi St. @ Vanderbilt: The Bulldogs have one of the worst offenses in the country. Their first order of business is to put up points any way they can. Meanwhile, the ‘Dores are all banged up, but quarterback Chris Nickson is recovering faster than expected. So long as Earl Bennett can go at near full speed, Vandy will be fine even if it is Mackenzi Adams under center. Vanderbilt cannot do as it has so often in the past and lose a game like this. If they do, they can probably call it a season.