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Saturday Tailgate: Kentucky

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Pretty much our best chance at a conference win this year

Kentucky v Vanderbilt
We’re gonna need you Ralph.
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

We have lulled Kentucky into a false sense of security. Our mediocre play has convinced them we’re not a threat. Convinced of our civilian status, Kentucky sits confidently like Sollozzo in Louis’ restaurant. At their right hand, their faithful ally, Capt. McCluskey the SEC refs. Will we capitalize on this arrogance and get our first SEC win of the season?

Anchor of Gold Week in Review

I was on travel, and I didn’t see the game, nor have I watched the recording. I’m not even sure I’m going to watch it, but one thing has been made clear - we should have won. Vanderbilt once again squandered many opportunities and if we had capitalized on those, or just a solid offense, we’d have won. You can blame it on the (bad) decision to punt late in the game, but in the end we should have already been up by then. Once again we had an anemic offense and it’s just hard to be excited about this team.

It’s a familiar theme. We keep in the game, and we just can’t do enough on offense to win. The defense showed up and held UF to half the offense they had against Tennessee. How we’re doing so well against familiar conference foes, who in theory know us, and so poorly against OOCs, is beyond me. Florida could very well challenge Tennessee to win the East, they’re not a nothing offense. How we hold them, and let CUSA teams play so well? I don’t know.

CDA raises a good point though - why is it that Coach Mason doesn’t seem to trust our offense? We just make some baffling calls when the game is on the line. Tom even has some interesting statistics to back it up further. Even DotP, in all his optimism, can’t understand the decision to punt late in the game like that.

The good news is we’re playing Kentucky this week, one of the few SEC teams that is just as bad as we. Can we please at least win this game to avoid being the worst?

Oh, finally, Vanderbilt admins didn’t manage to get through the week without looking like they don’t care about the program. Reports earlier this week were that VU decided to sideline OUR OWN BAND AT HOMECOMING. You know, because that’s totally sending a good message to some of our best fans. It’s allegedly been resolved and VU has backed off. Nonetheless, the tone deafness of the original plan speaks a lot to how VU cares about how we look to others.

Around the League

There were some great games last weekend, some of which were gold standards of what makes CFB great.

  • #5 Clemson 42 - #3 Louisville 36. The game of the weekend, which is saying something given the way the UGA-UT game turned out. In the first half, Clemson fans were justifiably worried. Despite being up 28-10, despite four touchdowns in the second quarter, Clemson’s offense left a lot of points out there and should have already had the game put away. Louisville wasn’t going away, and Clemson’s offense went to sleep. Louisville scored 26 unanswered points, and went into the final 8 minutes of the game up 36-28. Unfortunately, Clemson’s special teams responded with a 77 yard kickoff return and scored within two plays. The intercepted 2pc that followed was not enough to ignite the Louisville offense, which gave the ball right back with a three and out. Clemson scored with entirely too much time. Louisville, down 6, had the ball with over three minutes left. They marched down the field with a sense of inevitability before they fall just 3 yards short of a touchdown. At the start of the season, if you told me that Clemson fans would be storming the field after beating Louisville, I’d have laughed.
  • #11 Tennessee 34 - #25 Georgia 31. I give up. Tennessee plays only the second half, and like FSU the year they won it all, has not played like they deserved to win a single game yet this season. They have though, and they’ve got the TEAM OF DESTINY (TM) vibe going. This whole game came down to 3:35 (or eight seconds if you’re a Vol). Up 24-21, UGA started a drive from it’s own 5 yard line. On second down, Tennessee got to QB Jacob Eason, forcing a fumble in the endzone. Georgia followed this with an impressive kickoff return to midfield, only to commit a slew of penalties forcing them to punt the ball. After a UT three and out, UGA got the ball back with only a minute to go, which culminated in a gorgeous 47 yard pass to Riley Ridley. With 10 seconds left, the crowd in Athens was going nuts as Vols stood literally gaping in shock. Their dreams of a NCG crushed like so many boxes of Franzia. Or was it... with a play that we will see for the rest of our lives, Josh Dobbs hurled a hail mary brought down by the 6’3” Jauan Jennings. Three lead changes in the final four three minutes and change, two of which in the final minute. That’s college football.
  • #4 Michigan 14 - #8 Wisconsin 7. Honestly, I’ve seen none of this game, but I’m including it for one reason. Sincerely on of the greatest interceptions I’ve ever seen. Wisconsin was completely stalling on a drive that started with 2:45 left in the game. Needing a score, a 4th and 10 pass was hurled by Alex Hornibrook. Michigan DB Jourdan Lewis, staying close with the intended Badger receiver, leaped, made an over-the-shoulder, one-handed grab on the tip of the football. Think of the O’Dell Beckham catch, but if Beckham had his back to the QB.
  • North Carolina 37 - #12 Florida State 35. I really don’t have anything against FSU, but this is just a “what the hell” score. I had Noles’ friends speaking doom going into this game, and I dismissed it as the usual FSU negativity. Yikes, was I wrong. Don’t get me wrong here, UNC isn’t a pushover this year. FSU needed to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth to even be up with 2 minutes left. UNC would not be denied, and FSU was happy to accommodate them as a combination of good offense and a hilariously stupid DPI call, UNC notched a FG for the win.

Non-Score News

A few games are getting moved because of Hurricane Matthew.

  • Tulane @ UCF is postponed until November 5th
  • LSU @ Florida is “postponed”, likely won’t be made up. Spencer at EDSBS had the best synopsis
  • South Carolina @ Georgia is moved to Sunday according to Muschamp
  • FSU @ Miami is somehow still being played, as of the time I write this.

LSU already had quite a week. After a record setting offensive performance against Missouri under DACOACHO, spirits are very high. I’ve seen a number of interviews with Orgeron, particularly on Paul Finebaum, and I’m impressed him. He seems like he’s really learned from his failures at Mississippi, and he owns those failures. Seriously, listen to the Coach O interview on Finebaum. More than that though, he really seems to genuinely love the players and the opportunity he’s got. I didn’t think I’d hear myself say it, but LSU may already have their new coach. I’m starting to get a twinge of guilt for all the time I’ve spent disseminating college football anthem, “Colonel Reb is Cryin’“. No one is beyond redemption.

There's Other Footbaw

Don’t believe the hype around the Ohio State - Indiana game. Ohio State is throwing up video game numbers, and while Indiana might deter that; however, they will not stop the Buckeyes. Here’s my “full day” of games for those of you who can manage it.

  • Texas vs #20 Oklahoma, FS1, 12:00 (11:00 CT) - The typical pick here is the Red River Rivalry Showdown Shootout. With Texas’ abysmal start, you’d think that this year would be an exception, and the oddsmakers giving Oklahoma ten points would certainly back that sentiment up. Hell, even other coaches are saying “he needs to relearn to be a HC”. This rivalry is too wacky though to count Texas out. They’re playing for their season, they’re playing for Charlie Strong’s future. Oh, they also really hate each other.
  • SCHADENFREUDE BONUS GAME! THE VILE TRAITOR WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED will be playing his former team, Maryland, at the same time. Feel free to flip over there, because that’s gonna be a close one.
  • #9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M, CBS, 15:30 (14:30 CT) - The game of the week. Two teams that have surprised us all, albeit in different ways. Aggie looks to spoil Tennessee’s fun (see: TEAM OF DESTINY CHARM). The only reason why to give the edge to Aggie is because of the way they beat Arky, but as I said, THEY have the TEAM OF DESTINY aura right now. Get ready to flip to this while our game is on to avoid falling asleep.
  • #1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas, ESPN, 19:00 (18:00 CT) - Honestly, the Tennessee game stands to be the better game, but CBS gets the pick here. Bielema has given Bama a game since he took over Arkansas, but with the way Arkansas is playing this year, it’s just going to a new level. Bama will likely win, but don’t expect it to be boring.
  • #5 Washington @ Oregon, FOX, 19:30 (18:30 CT) - I almost didn’t give a Pac-12 degenerate game of the week this time. This is the only Pac-12 game worth watching this week... and even then only to watch Washington to finally beat the Ducks. That’s kind of funny since Oregon OL coach Steve Greatwood insisted the 12-game winning streak over Washington will not end. Watch the Bama game instead, you dorks.

Oh, and I asked the AoG staff for their “games of the week” again, but only Tom submitted his homework assignment. Mr. D’Andrea, I’m afraid it’s detention for you, and you’ll have to miss the big game against Prescott High.

Tom Stephenson

If you don't get your fill of punts in the Vanderbilt game, flip over to Syracuse-Wake Forest afterwards. We know like 90 percent of AoG readers were already planning to do this...

Get Ready for Something Resembling Football

We’ve got Kentucky this weekend! Yes, one of the few teams we don’t have a losing record to all time. We’ve got two coaches playing for their careers. Really any prediction is a good one so long as you’re predicting a close, bad, game. Kentucky fans are moderately optimistic, and I can’t say I blame ‘em. The real fun of this game will be betting the O/U of 12 punts.

If for some reason you think we SBN “bloggers” are experts, we’ve done our usual trading of Q&A sessions. You can read how they answered our questions here and we answered some of theirs!

Finally, Shurmur’s eye injury from previous game will have him wearing a helmet shield today. Of course, thanks to our high quality of journalism, UK radio reported that he’ll be wearing an eye patch. Another victory for Milos!

Gametime

Its gametime yo. We might get a conference win. Either way, drink early, drink often.

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GAMETIME: 16:00 ET (15:00 CT)

LOCATION: COMMONWEALTH STADIUM, LEXINGTON, KY

TV: SEC NETWORK+

RADIO: 1510 AM, 95.9 FM, 98.3 FM

GAMETRACKER: Click this link

AUDIO FEED (FREE): Click this link (VUCommodores, FREE!)

VIDEO FEED: ESPN3.com (cable agreement required)

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ANCHOR DOWN Y'ALL!