Friday, October 28, 2005

Aerial Fireworks

Florida State has usually had great offensive firepower over the years. Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Warrick Dunn, Peter Warrick and many others made sure that the Seminoles would always be able to put points up against any defense. Over the last few seasons that hasn't been that same threat from FSU. Some would argue it is the offensive coordinator, Bobby Bowden's son. Maybe, but the talent in Doak isn't up to the historical level recently. Chris Rix was an overall disappointment and there has been no dominant game breaking receiver the last 3 seasons. The Seminoles always have speed, but they haven't had many football players on offense. Highly coveted freshman WR Fred Rouse was supposed to help change that but he is most well known for his public feuding with the coaching staff instead of big plays. The offensive line has also dealt with injuries and inconsistency.

True freshman Greg Carr is making an impact. He has an amazing 8 touchdown catches this year and is averaging 23 yards per reception. About half of his receiving yards and 5 touchdowns came against Duke and the Citadel but at 6-6 he is an impressive target.

Lorenzo Booker and Leon Washington are splitting the tailback duties. It's not exactly Thunder & Lightening but they are getting the job done. Neither has a 100 yard game this year on their own but together they make a decent running back. With Maryland struggling to stop the run the two of them will be formidable indeed.

Drew Weatherford has been the starter at QB for most of the season but backup Xavier Lee has also seen action. Lee is a threat with both his legs and arm but hasn't seen much action this season. Weatherford is more of the classic pocket passer but like Sam Hollenbach is prone to throwing interceptions.

Maryland's defense had struggled at forcing turnovers until they got four from Virginia Tech last week, including three interceptions from Marcus Vick. If they can do the same to Weatherford then the Terps have a chance. If the offense can keep from reciprocating then they may be able to shock the Seminoles again this year.

The game really boils down to the health of Sam Hollenbach. Ralph Friedgen is engaging in a little gamesmanship and won't reveal the starter until game time tomorrow. If Hollenbach is healthy and effective then the Terps stand a fighting chance, if not then it will be another blowout.

My prediction:
Maryland 17
Florida State 38

Other notes

I happened to watch most of the Boston College and Virginia Tech game. As opposed to VT I am not unhappy that BC is part of the ACC now. I respect their school and athletic programs and if expansion had to happen and you forced me to pick new schools you could do much worse than BC. They don't have much in common with the rest of the ACC but the days of small and tight conferences that had a neighborhood feel are long gone.

Those special Nike jerseys that VT wore were horrible. Truly a fashion nightmare. They looked like a knockoff of a bad Star Trek uniform. Nike was clearly trying to copy off the Under Armor jerseys that UA makes for Maryland. Virginia Tech's uniforms are bad enough but Nike managed to make them look worse.

I could not believe Mike Tirico actually compared the backgrounds of BC's Mathias Kiwanuka and Marcus Vick. In a bumbling and awkward moment he mentioned something about the "leadership" that Vick and Kiwanuka had in their families. For those who don't know Kiwanuka's grandfather, Benidicto Kiwanuka, was elected as the first prime minister of Uganda in 1961 and after losing an election was jailed as a political prisoner. After being released he was appointed as Uganda's first chief justice which brought him into conflict with the ruling hunta resulting in his assassination by the monstrous Idi Amin in 1972.

To compare this brave and noble heredity on equal terms to the ignoble and sordid behavior of Mike Vick is worse than ridiculous, it's obscene. Vick is well known for having to use aliases to cover his testing for genital herpes and being sued for passing the disease along to women he has had sex with. To mention him in a comparison to Benidicto Kiwanuka, let alone in the same sentence, is a sick mockery. Apparently ESPN will stoop beyond the lowest sewer to hype both the Vick brothers. I was so outraged I had to turn off the game.

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