Friday, September 19, 2008

Heading to the Weekend

It generally takes my brain 5 days to recover from a Panthers game, so I apologize for being absent from the blog this week. Plenty to get to in this little corner of the internet. Such as...


Big weekend of games within the state. Looking at them, individually, we start with NC State hosting ECU. NC State is a MASH unit right now. Seems like half of their roster is out for the season, or at least going to miss the ECU tilt. Normally, this game has a bowl-game feel to it, but it may not this time. ECU is, in my eyes, clearly the superior team, and they face those depleted Wolfpackers. I don't see NC State having much of a chance in this one, only because they are so banged up, however, rivalries are rivalries. Prediction: ECU by 14

UNC-Virginia Tech
The Hokies have rebounded from their opening loss to ECU, after removing the redshirt from QB Tyrod Taylor back on September 2nd. The Hokies then beat Furman 24-7, and then eeked out a 20-17 win over Georgia Tech. Taylor brings a different style to the Hokie offense (think Michael Vick without the negative press), and that could pose problems for Carolina. UNC, however, is feeling quite good after a solid road win 2 Thursday's ago against Rutgers. I like what Butch Davis and company have done so far this season, and when you factor in the expected rush of the Heels playing a homecoming game in the ACC opener, I like the Heels chances in this game. I would think Brandon Tate will be a big cause for concern for Frank Beamer, but he's not the only one that can give Tech trouble. Prediction: UNC by 4

Wake Forest-Florida State
The Seminoles have looked very good early this season, but then again, they have played the equivalent of the News 14 Flag Football team (perhaps worse) so far this season. They have outscored their first 2 opponents (Western Carolina and Chattanooga) 115-7 in 2 games. Hardly the stuff top 25 rankings are made of. Still, FSU is always athletic, and Bobby Bowden is still Bobby Bowden. Wake Forest has faced tougher teams in their early games (Baylor and Mississippi), so we may know more about what the Deacons have than the Noles. We'll find out more about Wake this weekend, with this being a roadie, but I still give Wake a punchers chance. They may be short a punch or two, and I'm going with the home team. Prediction: FSU by 8

Ryder Cup
Every 2 years, golf fans get to watch what should be, the ultimate in competition and pride. The Ryder Cup has been lacking in American pride for the past 6 years. The Europeans have punked the Americans, and won the cup 5 of the last 6 times these matches have been played. As I write this, the morning alternate shot matches are well underway, and I am seeing a difference in this American team. There is more of the fist-pumping, and high-fiving between the players, and that is a good thing. I have thought that Team USA didn't gear up for these matches like the Euros do, and hopefully, that will be the difference for the Americans to overcome a very strong team, and earn the 14.5 points needed to win the cup again.

Speaking of golf, if you missed Sports Night on Thursday (shame on you), Tim Baier cranked out a nice piece on Lorcan Morris. Morris is a local golfer trying to cut it in big time golf. Funding is his problem. His game is not. He has a handful of wins on mini-tours in the region, but is looking for some sponsor support so he can chase his dreams at the bigger levels. Lee Trevino once said that pressure is "playing a $50 Nassau game with only $10 in your pocket." That's Morris, right now. He's got the game, but needs the backing. You can see the story on Morris here, and if you would like to help him out (or know someone who can), just shoot me an e-mail through the station. I'll be glad to forward that on to him. Lorcan is a nice young man, and I am pulling for him, big time.

I'll bang out a Panthers-Vikings preview for Saturday later tonight. Steve Smith is back, and Adrian Peterson may be out. Could make for a 3-0 Panthers start. We'll break it all down for you as a primer for Sunday.

See you on Sports Night at 10, and the Discount Tire Friday Night Final at 11!

Mike Solarte

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