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SEC Football: 5 Games to Watch In Week 1

#5 Georgia vs. #8 Clemson

 

Where: Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)

When: Aug. 31, 8 PM

TV: ABC

Preview

This game will be a huge primetime matchup between two potent offenses.  Clemson is led by veteran, dual-threat quarterback Tajh Boyd and electric wide reciever Sammy Watkins.  Georgia is led by 5th-year senior QB Aaron Murray, the rushing duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, and a deep receiving corps.  Clemson's defense is largely mediocre at best, and Georgia loses eight starters on the defensive side of the ball.  This highly anticipated game in Death Valley has the makings of a shootout and will be a factor in the BCS race.

Players to Watch

Georgia-QB Aaron Murray, RB Todd Gurley, LB Jordan Jenkins

 

LB Jordan Jenkins

Clemson-QB Tajh Boyd, WR Sammy Watkins, RB Rod McDowell

 

QB Tajh Boyd

Prediction

These teams can put up points, but Georgia's young D gets a key stop.  Georgia 45-Clemson 35


#13 LSU vs. #20 TCU

 

Where: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)

When: Aug. 31, 9 PM

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Preview

Les Miles reinstated Jeremy Hill.  TCU head coach Gary Patterson isn't happy.  Either way, this should be a good game.  TCU's big question is the starting QB.  Will it be Trevone Boykin who started the last 9 games in 2012 and passed for 2,054 yards and 15 touchdowns? Or Casey Pachall who threw for 2,921 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011? Pachall was suspended indefinitely in October of 2012 for DWI.  He didn't play another snap in 2012.  Both are capable quarterbacks.  LSU is led is by veteran quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a physical RB core, and receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.  Both teams have stingy defenses, and this could prove to be a physical game.  

Players to Watch

LSU-QB Zach Mettenberger, RB Jeremy Hill, WR Odell Beckham Jr.

 

RB Jeremy Hill

TCU-QB Trevon Boykin, QB Casey Pachall, WR Brandon Carter

 

QB Casey Pachall

Prediction

The Cowboys Classic in Arlington, TX, will be a very physical and close game.  LSU 24- TCU 17. 

#1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech

 

Where: Georgia Dome (Atlanta)

When: Aug. 31, 5:30 PM 

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Preview

Nick Saban is coaching a modern day dynasty.  That doesn't mean the Tide can't be beaten.  But not by Virginia Tech.  If the Hokies want to have a competitive chance, QB Logan Thomas better have an exceptional performance.  Thomas has shown promise throughout his career, but he had a dissapointing 2012.  The Tide are loaded on both sides of the ball.  QB AJ McCarron, RB T.J. Yeldon, and WR Amari Cooper lead Alabama's offense while the defense returns talent including LB C.J. Mosley.  This game could prove to be a very long one for Virginia Tech.  

Players to Watch

Alabama-QB A.J. McCarron, RB T.J. Yeldon, LB C.J. Mosley

 

LB C.J. Mosley

Prediction

The Crimson prove why they are back-to-back BCS Champions and roll over Virginia Tech, 45-14.  


North Carolina vs. #7 South Carolina

 

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC)

When: Aug. 29, 6 PM

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Preview

Jadeveon Clowney is a stud.  The Ole Ball Coach (a.k.a. Head Coach Steve Spurrier) has done a remarkle job at South Carolina and sure recruited a gem in Clowney.  The dominating defensive end leads South Carolina and is a Heisman candidate.  He has NFL written all over him.  On offense the Gamecocks lose RB Marcus Lattimore but return the quarterback duo of Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson, TB Mike Davis, and WR Bruce Ellington.  North Carolina is led by QB Bryn Renner who passed for 3,356 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2012.  The Tar Heels will severley miss stud RB Giovani Bernard.  Columbia is a tough place to play, and Clowney is almost unstoppable.  

Players to Watch

North Carolina-QB Bryn Renner, WR Quinshad Davis, WR Eric Ebron

 

QB Bryn Renner

South Carolina-DE Jadeveon Clowney, QB Connor Shaw, WR Bruce Ellington

 

WR Bruce Ellington

Prediction

Proves to be a closer game than some think.  Despite a valiant effort, the Tar Heels fall short.  South Carolina 32-North Carolina 20.


Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt

Where: Vanderbilt Stadium (Nashville, TN)

When: Aug. 29, 9:15 PM 

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Preview

Coach James Franklin of Vanderbilt and Coach Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss have both done outstanding jobs at their respective schools.  Both are also great recruiters.  Franklin has taken perennial SEC cellar-dwelling Vandy to two back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.  Freeze has likewise seen success at Ole Miss.  He tranformed the 2-10 squad of 2011 to a 6-6 season, a bowl win, and a #7 recruiting class in the nation in 2013.  Both of these coaches strive to take that next step torward SEC contention.  Vandy loses QB Jordan Rogers and RB Zach Stacy but returns dual-threat QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, WR Jordan Matthews, and an underrated defense.  Ole Miss returns talent including QB Bo Wallace, RB Jeff Scott, WR Donte Moncrief, and LB Denzel Nkemdiche.  

Players to Watch

Ole Miss-QB Bo Wallace, WR Donte Moncrief, LB Denzel Nkemdiche

 

WR Donte Moncrief

Vanderbilt-QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, WR Jordan Matthews, LB Darreon Herring

 

WR Jordan Matthews

Prediction

Ole Miss and Vandy proves to be a tight game, but the Rebs win, 24-20.  

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