Can Bucs pull off sweep of Carolina?

by Gary Shelton on October 12, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Godwin caught eight passes for 121 yards in the first meeting./CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 4 a.m.

There are reasons beyond the jet lag that the Bucs might have a tougher time against the Carolina Panthers than in their first meeting.

It has been only since Week Two that the Bucs won a 20-14 game over the Panthers, stopping Christian McCaffrey on the goal line to preserve the win.

Since then, however, the Panthers have rediscovered McCaffrey, who was held to 37 yards on 16 carries in that first game. Since then, he's rushed for 422 yards in three games. The Panthers have won them all.

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Also, they have discovered quarterback Kyle Allen. Allen lacks the athletic prowess of Cam Newton, but he's been steady and he's led the Panthers back into contention. He's thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions in his three starts.

During that time, the Bucs' defense has disappeared. Tampa Bay has given up 103 points in its last three games, and teams are averaging 323.6 yards a game through the air.

So what has to happen this time for the Bucs to bring a win home from England. It's simple, really. The Bucs have to contain McCaffrey again. They've made some stars out of opposing quarterbacks, but if Allen is mortal, and if Shaq Barrett can get going again, the Bucs have a shot.

Still, the Panthers seem to be a more controlled team than they were.

Prediction: Carolina 20, Tampa Bay 17.

In other games:

Kansas City 31, Houston 21.

L.A. Rams 33, San Francisco 28.

Green Bay 28, Detroit 24.

BYU at USF: The Cougars are playing without starting quarterback Zach Wilson, which should be a boost to the USF secondary, which has had its problems so far. However, BYU has already posted wins over Tennessee and USC, so they're used to playing against the big boys.

Freshman starter Jordan McCloud has shown flashes of ability for the Bulls, but it would help if he could hit a big pass or two.

Prediction: BYU 29, USF 14.

FSU at Clemson: The Seminoles have been marginally better in recent weeks, but they still aren't a national contender. Clemson is. The Tigers are likely to wear down the Seminoles and pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Clemson 24, FSU 14.

Florida at LSU: The Gators' fast start hasn't been slowed by the move to back up quarterback Kyle Trask.

But the Tigers are a fine team, led by quarterback Joe Burrow. Playing on Saturday night in Baton Rouge isn't fun, but the Gators will again look to their defense to be the difference.

Prediction: Florida 21, LSU 20.

Other games:

Penn State 24, Iowa 14

Notre Dame 30, USC 21

Alabama 30, Texas A&M 14.

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