This is the Friday Tailgate, the virtual tent under which we congregate to speculate on the weekend ahead in college football. Maestro, the music:
About last night
It’s unusual that the Thursday night college football action requires our attention. After all, how often does a run of the mill MAC contest draw the interest of the Bulldog faithful?
But Florida’s 24-11 loss to the Utah Utes is a special case. If you told me the Gators would travel two time zones away and lose to the Utes I’d have believed it. Utah is perennially a physical, well-coached football team. What was surprising was exactly how much the Gators were not either of those things.
Florida was 1 of 13 on third down and ran for a crapulent 13 yards on the night. And that’s to say nothing of the play where they surrendered a first down on a procedure penalty for having two players on the field with the same jersey number at the same time. Or the play on which they only had eight players on the field for a Utah field goal attempt. That’s the kind of bad that indicates that your offseason was wasted.
Week one is notoriously misleading. Teams often look much better or much worse as the year wears on. But for now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have been so dismissive of those who said Billy Napier could get fired at the end of 2023. Anyway, on to actual SEC football.
Over or Under?
It’s time for our favorite pregame diversion: Over or Under. The rules remain so simple an Auburn grad could follow them (as long as you give them a Clemson grad to help by upping the number of fingers and toes available for counting). I state a statistical proposition related to tomorrow’s football game. You tell me whether what happens will be over or under that fictitious number. For example, I say “MaconDawg will eat 2.9 barbecue sandwiches before halftime.” If you think I’ll eat two you say “under.” If you’ve ever seen me at a barbecue joint or tailgate and know that 3 is in the bag, and that other higher numbers aren’t out of the question, you’d say “over.” Easy Peasy. So I ask you, over or under:
- Carson Beck will throw 3.9 touchdown passes.
- Brock Vandagriff will throw 0.9 touchdown passes.
- Gunner Stockton will throw 0.9 touchdown passes.
- Brock Bowers will score 0.9 rushing touchdowns.
- Cash Jones will score 1.9 rushing touchdowns.
- Dominick Lovett will catch 4.9 passes.
- Georgia defenders will pick off 2.9 UT-Martin passes.
- The Skyhawks will rush for 49.9 total yards.
- Brett Thorson will punt 1.9 times.
- UT-Martin will score 9.9 points.
This will also serve as the open thread for Friday night high school football action, including the Louisville/Georgia Tech game. See y’all tomorrow, and…