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GAMES OF THE WEEK

Nov. 28, 2011
Nov. 28, 2011

Table of Contents
Nov. 28, 2011

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
EDITOR'S LETTER
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
TIM TEBOW
MOTOR SPORTS
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
SOCCER
  • If this was indeed David Beckham's final game in MLS, he went out in style, carrying the Galaxy to a championship and affirming the value of star power in America

SPORT IN AMERICA
  • Our sports have become more and more about money and marketing. But to most of us they're still about the stories we tell one another, the transcendent moments that lift us—the very way we define ourselves

Departments

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Here are the teams and the themes to follow this week

NO. 3 ARKANSAS at NO. 1 LSU

This is an article from the Nov. 28, 2011 issue

What we've learned about the Razorbacks

This offense can give the Tigers fits. Tyler Wilson (365 yards and three TDs passing in last Saturday's 44--17 win over Mississippi State) faces a D that surrendered 463 passing yards to West Virginia.

What we've learned about the Tigers

Since edging Alabama three weeks ago, their hold on No. 1 has only gotten stronger. While the nation's other BCS hopefuls were either losing or struggling last week, LSU crushed Ole Miss 52--3.

What it will mean on Friday

Arkansas would create a three-way tie atop the SEC West—and immeasurable BCS chaos—by beating the Tigers for the third time in four years. But LSU is too good to get bitten by the upset bug that hit last week.

NO. 2 ALABAMA at AUBURN

What we've learned about the Crimson Tide

Almost by default, 'Bama is on the doorstep of the BCS title game. The Tide hardly resembled a championship team however in a much-too-close 45--21 win over Georgia Southern of the FCS.

What we've learned about the Tigers

After Auburn also struggled with an FCS opponent, beating Samford 35--16, coach Gene Chizik said, "We understand right now, we have a lot to clean up and a lot to get better at."

What it will mean on Saturday

Alabama not only has the better team and more at stake, but it also has revenge on its mind, having blown a 24--0 lead in last year's Iron Bowl defeat. This year the Tide will roll.

NO. 13 GEORGIA at NO. 25 GEORGIA TECH

What we've learned about the Bulldogs

While the offense sputtered without leading rusher Isaiah Crowell, the defense, led by linebacker Jarvis Jones, continued its lights-out play in a 19--10 win over Kentucky.

What we've learned about the Yellow Jackets

Defense remains a problem for Tech, which beat Duke 38--31 despite being burned for 250 yards and four TDs by QB Sean Renfree. The victory was just the second in the team's last five games.

What it will mean on Saturday

The Dawgs have gone 9--0 after an 0--2 start and have owned the Yellow Jackets of late with nine wins in the teams' last 10 meetings. Georgia will continue both streaks with an Old-Fashioned whipping.

NO. 18 CLEMSON at NO. 14 SOUTH CAROLINA

What we've learned about the Tigers

They played like a group that had already clinched a spot in the ACC title game (which it had) in a mistake-filled, 37--13 loss at N.C. State. Said coach Dabo Swinney, "We looked like an immature team."

What we've learned about the Gamecocks

While QB Connor Shaw continues to grow into the position (16-of-18 passing, four total TDs in a 41--20 win over The Citadel), the D remains the team's calling card. The unit ranks fifth in yards allowed.

What it will mean on Saturday

The Tigers lack the same bite on the road that they have shown at Death Valley, and they're slipping at the wrong time. Both factors point to a third straight Carolina win in the series.

OHIO STATE at NO. 17 MICHIGAN

What we've learned about the Buckeyes

They are slow starters. In Saturday's 20--14 loss to Penn State, Ohio State fell behind 10--0 for the third straight game. Led by freshman QB Braxton Miller, the offense isn't built to play from behind.

What we've learned about the Wolverines

Their 45--17 blowout of Nebraska was "probably as well as we've played with all three phases," coach Brady Hoke said. The Michigan D continued its turnaround, limiting the Huskers to 260 yards.

What it will mean on Saturday

The Buckeyes have won seven straight in the rivalry, but the Wolverines are playing like the hungrier and more confident team. They'll end their victory drought and move a step closer to an at-large BCS berth.

PHOTOWESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGESLSU LEADS SERIES 34-20-2PHOTOBOB ROSATOALABAMA LEADS SERIES 40-34-1PHOTOKEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGESGEORGIA LEADS SERIES 61-37-5PHOTOJEREMY BREVARD/ICON SMICLEMSON LEADS SERIES 65-39-4PHOTOGREG ASHMAN/CAL SPORT MEDIAMICHIGAN LEADS SERIES 57-44-6