Published September 21, 2012 - 12:30pm
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Trap games – they happen every season to good teams. An underrated team finds a way to stay in the game, with the more dominant team struggling to put the weaker team away. We saw this at its finest when Louisiana-Monroe beat Arkansas. The Hogs struggled to put them away in the second half, and ULM obtained the momentum late in the game and pulled out the win in overtime.
Florida and Georgia both host two teams that could potentially turn into trap games if they do not come out with the same mentality of a big SEC football game. Both are heavy favorites against lesser, one-win opponents in Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
Florida hosts Kentucky this weekend, and on paper this game should get ugly. Florida has put up an average of 49 points the last five seasons. The Gators are a team that has struggled to start fast each of the first three weeks. Florida is coming off a big emotional win at Tennessee, and LSU is looming ahead after the bye week on the first weekend in October. The Gators could have the tendency to look ahead to LSU in two weeks.
Kentucky might not have much going for them early through three weeks, but they do have a very good passing offense led by Max Smith. The Wildcats will have to have some help in the running game to keep Florida honest, and Smith will have to make big plays against a good Gator secondary to make a win possible. On the flip side, Kentucky’s porous defense will need to find a way to stop the Gators’ running game.
The Gators have beaten the Wildcats for 25 straight years. That’s the longest streak in college football for an annual series.
The Bulldogs are the heavy favorites over the Commodores this weekend, but don’t tell that to James Franklin and company. There was a minor scuffle last year after the game between Franklin and Todd Grantham. It’s been overly talked about in the media and will have no effect on the game.
Georgia, like Florida, has started somewhat slow, especially on defense. The Dawgs boast a balanced attack on offense and a physical and fast defense. Vanderbilt’s strong suit this season is on the defensive side of the ball. The Commodores are top five in total defense, and the secondary is the strongest aspect of this unit. If the Dores are going to pose any threat at all, they are going to have to force multiple turnovers and return an interception or a fumble for a touchdown. I just don’t see Vanderbilt scoring over two offensive touchdowns, much less making three or more 60 to 80-yard drives on the Bulldogs’ defense.
With Tennessee looming next week on the schedule, it would be easy for Georgia to be looking ahead against the Vols.
Vanderbilt is 4-43-1 against Georgia since 1963. This has been a very one-sided, ugly series for the Commodores.