2 against the Yellow Jackets.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter
2 against the Yellow Jackets.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitterin Gästebuch 31.01.2018 00:36
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Predicting the SEC East has been a complete guessing game in recent years.Consider that Missouri won the East in 2013 and 2014 when it was picked by the media to finish sixth and fourth, respectively, those years. Last year, Florida won the East after being picked to finish fifth in the preseason by the media.So, naturally, we enter the final three weeks of the 2016 regular season with the division turned upside down again. How crazy is it right now? Tennessee currently has the best chance to win the East, according to ESPNs FPI, but is currently 2-3 and in fifth place in the division.The Vols were unanimous preseason favorites in the division, and lived up to the billing by beating Florida and Georgia. The Vols, however, lost control of the division lead with three straight losses - the killer being an upset defeat at South Carolina. That put Florida squarely in the drivers seat before the Gators were upset at Arkansas last week.Meanwhile, Kentucky was just 15 minutes away from moving into a first-place tie with the Gators on Saturday night, but couldnt hold a 21-16 fourth quarter lead in a 27-24 loss to Georgia.So where does that leave us as we enter the final three weekends of the season? Theres four teams with a realistic shot to make the SEC Championship in Atlanta.South Carolina is one of them. Coach Will Muschamp may have had the best line regarding the division race after his teams win over Missouri on Saturday.Asked if he was going to address his players about still being mathematically alive in the SEC East race, Muschamp quipped, No, Im not very good at math, so I dont get into all that.We will. So lets take a look at how each team thats still alive to win the SEC East can clinch the division.Florida Preseason East pick: 2nd Remaining SEC schedule: vs. South Carolina, at LSU Path to Atlanta: The Gators are the only team that controls its own destiny. If Florida beats South Carolina at The Swamp on Saturday and LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19, the Gators are going to Atlanta.Tennessee Preseason East pick: 1st Remaining SEC schedule: vs. Kentucky, vs. Missouri, at Vanderbilt Path to Atlanta: The Vols need to win their final three games and Florida to lose once.Kentucky Preseason East pick: 4th Remaining SEC schedule: at Tennessee Path to Atlanta: The Wildcats need to beat Tennessee on Saturday and Florida to lose its final two SEC games.South Carolina Preseason East pick: 7th Remaining SEC schedule: at Florida Path to Atlanta: The Gamecocks must beat Florida, Tennessee must beat Kentucky and Georgia must lose to Auburn this Saturday. Then, Tennessee would need to lose one of its final two games against Missouri or Vanderbilt.Where does Ole Miss turn to at quarterback? Ole Miss already disappointing season took an unfortunate turn on Saturday when quarterback Chad Kellys college career came to end when he tore his ACL and lateral meniscus against Georgia Southern.The loss of Kelly leaves Ole Miss in an unusual predicament. Does Rebels coach Hugh Freeze pull the redshirt off talented five-star freshman Shea Patterson with three games left? The plan was for Patterson to redshirt during Kellys senior season and hopefully take the reins next year. Now, Freeze must revisit that idea. Freeze said on Monday that nothing is off the table when it comes to Patterson.The upside would be that Patterson would gain valuable experience that will help him if he starts next season, while also helping the Rebels win two of its last three to become bowl eligible. The downside is it would cost him a year of eligibility. The Rebels only other options are redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin, who replaced Kelly on Saturday, and walk-on Drew Davis.McElwain must make quarterback change Speaking of redshirting quarterbacks, Florida coach Jim McElwain has a similar quandary. McElwain revealed on Monday that starter Luke Del Rio has an injured shoulder, and will miss Saturdays game with South Carolina and perhaps the rest of the season. Florida will have an open competition this week in practice between transfer Austin Appleby and true freshmen Kyle Trask or Feleipe Franks. Will McElwain take the redshirt off one of his talented freshmen against South Carolina, or go with the seasoned Appleby? Someone asked about the rookies, McElwain said on Monday. Well see as the week goes on where and how well play those guys.SECs hopes of two playoff teams not dashed Texas A&M, ranked No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff rankings last week, was the SECs best shot at landing a second team in the field. But that idea isnt completely over despite the Aggies loss at Mississippi State. If Auburn beats Alabama in the Iron Bowl and wins the SEC with two losses, it would likely make the playoff field. Then, would a one-loss Alabama team sneak in? Its certainly possible.Extra points: Texas A&M has given up an average of 311 yards rushing per game in its last three SEC games against Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi State. ... Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason has now orchestrated two game-winning drives in his freshman year - against Missouri and Kentucky - while having a third taken away from him on Tennessees Hail Mary. ... ESPNs Bowl Projections last week had one interesting matchup: Georgia vs. Miami in the Independence Bowl. Would there be any storylines in that one? ... Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is now fifth in the league in rushing yards with 839. Looks like Dan Mullen has identified, and developed, another quality quarterback to run his system. ... 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ATLANTA -- Deshaun Watson and No. 5 Clemson finally turned in the performance everyone was expecting, totally dominating Georgia Tech in the first half on the way to a 26-7 victory Thursday night.After sluggish wins over Auburn and Troy, and a practice-like rout of FCS school South Carolina State that meant nothing, the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won at Georgia Tech for the first time since 2003 to set up a huge showdown with No. 3 Louisville.Watson was 32 of 48 for 304 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams and a 9-yarder to Jordan Leggett with just 4 seconds left before halftime to complete a stunningly lopsided showing that wasnt entirely reflected in the 23-0 lead. Wayne Gallman added a 1-yard TD run.Clemson finished with a 442-124 lead in total yards.Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-1) didnt get into positive yards until early in the second quarter and the halftime stats were almost comical: Clemson held a 347-22 lead in yards, was up 19-3 in first downs, and ran 56 plays to only 21 for the home team.The Yellow Jackets picked up one first down on a debatable pass interference penalty, another on a meaningless 14-yard run at the end of half. Clemson looked as though it was playing a lower-division school for the second week in a row, not its ACC opener.This was a virtual repeat of last years meeting at Clemson, where the Tigers raced to a 33-10 halftime lead on the way to a 43-24 victory.Clemson backed off over the final two quarters, and Georgia Tech managed to avoid its first home shutout since 1957 when Dedrick Mills scored on a 2-yard run with 13:21 remaining.Even when Georgia Tech came up with a big play, it wound up costing points. Lance Austin intercepted a pass in the end zone and tried to bring it out -- only to be whacked inadvertently by teammate Corey Griffin, knocking the ball loose.Austinn fell on it in the end zone, but that was a safety for Clemson.dddddddddddd It was a far cry from a prime-time game last season, when the defensive back returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play to give Georgia Tech a stunning victory of Florida State.There wouldnt be an upset on this night.THE TAKEAWAYClemson: Dont read too much into the sluggish showing in the second half. It was only natural that the Tigers let down a bit after dominating the first two quarters. For sure, this was just the sort of confidence-boosting performance that Clemson needed heading to their showdown with Louisville.Georgia Tech: After opening with three straight wins over mediocre opposition, the Yellow Jackets dont seem to have made much improvement over last years 3-9 debacle. Coach Paul Johnsons triple-option offense was totally manhandled and increasingly looks like a gimmick that other teams have figured out. Poor recruiting seems to have caught up with the Yellow Jackets when they face elite competition.UP NEXTClemson: When Louisville visits Death Valley on Oct. 1, it will have all the makings of a national playoff game. Assuming the Cardinals (3-0) get by Appalachian State on Saturday night, two unbeaten powerhouses will meet to establish the pecking order atop the ACC.Georgia Tech: No. 15 Miami (3-0) and longtime nemesis Mark Richt visit Bobby Dodd Stadium on Oct. 1. Richt is in his first season as the Hurricanes coach after 15 years at Georgia, where he went 13-2 against the Yellow Jackets.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . 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