Originally created 10/27/01

Game of the Week



No. 15 Georgia (5-1, 4-1 SEC) vs. No. 6 Florida (5-1, 3-1)

Where: AllTel Stadium, Jacksonville

When: 3:30 p.m.

TV: CBS-Ch. 12

Why you should watch: New Georgia coach Mark Richt was 8-4-1 against Florida as an assistant at Florida State, so it will be interesting to see whether his success extends to his new job. Florida, a 19-point favorite, is chomping mad after its 23-20 upset at Auburn on Oct. 13.

What you should watch: Georgia's secondary. The key to stopping Florida's touchdown-a-minute offense is stuffing the run, but the Bulldogs won't be able to stuff anything if their cornerbacks can't cover the Gators' receivers. The Bulldogs need a big day from Tim Wansley and Bruce Thornton so their safeties and linebackers can help with run support.

Whom you should watch: Alex Brown. Florida's defensive end has owned Georgia the past two years, and he has to feel good about continuing his domination today. Georgia offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb isn't at full strength after suffering a groin injury, so the Bulldogs need to devise a way to neutralize Brown by committee.

At stake: This is essentially an elimination game in the race for the SEC East title. A Georgia victory, coupled with the Bulldogs' upset of Tennessee on Oct. 6, could vault Richt's crew closer to a division title that no one expected before the season.

He said it: "When you recruit, you're like, 'Can these guys help us beat Florida?' They're the standard, really." - Richt

We said it: Georgia's offense should be able to move the ball, but their chances will take a hit if tailback Musa Smith is sidelined with a hip injury. The Bulldogs' defense could be stretched too thin against the SEC's best quarterback (Rex Grossman), best receivers (Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell, Taylor Jacobs) and best offensive coordinator (Steve Spurrier).

-Larry Williams

AROUND THE ACC AND SEC

Clemson (4-2, 2-2 ACC) at Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3)

Where: Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, N.C.

When: Noon

TV: Fox Sports Net

Key players: Clemson-QB Woody Dantzler (Sr., 5-11, 205), WR Derrick Hamilton (RFr., 6-4, 190), DT Nick Eason (Sr., 6-4, 280). Wake Forest-TB Tarence Williams (Jr., 5-10, 178), QB James MacPherson (Jr., 6-2, 197), DE Nate Bolling (Sr., 6-4, 275).

What to look for: Clemson will try to recover from its 209-yard output in last week's 38-3 collapse against North Carolina, the worst offensive showing of the Tommy Bowden era. Dantzler and his receivers need to be much sharper after making poor throws and dropping passes against the Tar Heels.

At stake: Their conference title hopes all but squandered, the Tigers now shift their efforts toward securing bowl eligibility. With a loss today, Clemson could struggle to make the postseason. The Tigers' last four games are against Florida State, at Maryland, at South Carolina and Duke.

No. 12 South Carolina (6-1, 5-1 SEC) at No. 9 Tennessee (4-1, 3-1)

Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.

When: 6 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Key players: South Carolina-QB Phil Petty (RSr., 6-3, 210), TB Derek Watson (Jr., 6-1, 210), LB Kalimba Edwards (Sr., 6-6, 260). Tennessee-QB Casey Clausen (So., 6-4, 210), TB Travis Stephens (Sr., 5-9, 190), DT John Henderson (Sr., 6-7, 290).

What to look for: South Carolina will try to keep Tennessee's defense off-balance with lots of misdirection and play action, plays that burned the Volunteers' linebackers in their loss to Georgia. The Gamecocks need big plays from a receiving corps that lacks speed and athleticism.

At stake: Many are calling this an elimination game for the SEC East title, but winning the division is still possible for the Gamecocks even if they lose today. If Florida beats Georgia, South Carolina beats Florida and Florida beats Tennessee on Dec. 1, the Gamecocks are headed to Atlanta for the SEC title game.

Georgia Southern (7-0, 5-0 SoCon) at East Tennessee State (2-4, 1-3)

Where: Memorial Center, Johnson City, Tenn.

When: 7 p.m.

TV: CSS

Key players: Georgia Southern-QB Melvin Cox (So., 6-1, 186), FB Adrian Peterson (Sr., 5-10, 210), DE Corey Middlebrooks (Sr., 6-2, 230). East Tennessee State-QB Matt Wilhjelm (Sr., 5-11, 280), TB Corey Carter (So., 6-2, 210), SS Ocasio Cofield (Sr., 6-3, 220).

What to look for: The Eagles will try to revive an offense that has managed 41 points and 527 yards in the past two games combined. It might be tough because quarterback J.R. Revere isn't expected to play because of a knee injury.

At stake: A 12-game winning streak, the third-longest in school history. The Eagles have another noteworthy streak to protect: Their defense has not allowed a touchdown in the last 87:58.

Tonight's Georgia Southern-East Tennessee State game will be shown on a 35-foot screen outside the Comcast Building at 7 p.m.

The game will be carried on CSS, a channel that is exclusive to Comcast in the Augusta area.

Tailgating will begin at 5 p.m., and free hot dogs and soft drinks will be available. The Comcast Building is located at 105 River Shoals Parkway.

-Larry Williams

OTHER SEC GAMES

No. 17 Auburn (6-1) at Arkansas (3-3)

12:30 p.m.-South Carolina fell into the Hogs' trap. Auburn could, too.

Vanderbilt (1-5) at Duke (0-7)

1 p.m.-Throw the records out the window for this one. Please.

Mississippi (5-1) at Louisiana State (4-2)

9 p.m., ESPN2-the Rebels might be the SEC's biggest surprise.

OTHER ACC GAMES

Virginia (3-4) at N.C. State (3-3)

1:30 p.m.-Aiken's Mike Abrams is averaging 43.2 yards per punt for the Cavs.

No. 10 Maryland (7-0) at No. 19 Florida State (4-2)

3:30 p.m., ABC-The Seminoles have outscored the Terps 459-122 in the past nine games.

NATIONAL GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 2 Oklahoma (7-0) at No. 3 Nebraska (8-0)

Noon, ABC-Ch. 6-The Sooners have won 20 straight. The Huskers have won 19 straight at home. Something's got to give.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

1-Rushing touchdowns allowed by Tennessee

473-Average yardage given up by Georgia in its past three games

235.5-Rushing yards per game for Wake Forest

THE LAST WORD

"If our team comes out focused and ready to play, I think we're one of the better teams in the country. When we don't, I think we're one of the worst teams in the country." - Clemson guard Will Merritt