By Dallas Bordon
The Raiders are in their toughest part of the schedule facing the three of the four top teams in the region. Madison County helped Stephens County remain unbeaten in the region by losing to the Indians 39-13 last week.
Take away three crucial turnovers and the battle with the Indians would have been closer than the 26-point deficit. Madison County will now host region powerhouse Buford this weekend just in time for Halloween. There’s nothing scarier than playing a mass of college recruits in a Buford team with players that well represent many parts of Georgia. This Friday night may have a lot of tricks, but not many treats for the Raiders. Buford has outscored their opponents 261-10 in the region and 379-67 overall. The Wolves hold a 7-1 overall record and are on a five game win streak. Buford’s only hiccup on the season came on Sept. 4 in a 37-14 loss to McEachern. Since that night, the Wolves have pitched three shutouts: 56-0 over Chestatee, 49-0 over North Hall, and 51-0 over Monroe Area.
Madison County lost 44-0 last season at Buford. The Raiders managed just 34 rushing yards on a cool, misty night at Buford in 2014. Unfortunately, the 1-7 Raiders won’t find this Halloween to be much fun against the Class AAAA fourth-ranked team in the state. The Wolves will visit Danielsville and will leave with all the Halloween treats. Buford wins by 41.
Georgia vs. Florida
The Bulldogs had hoped to enter their yearly rival with Florida as one of the teams battling for a trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game. So far, Florida is on track to make that appearance, but Georgia has derailed a bit. The Dawgs have struggled of late, losing to Alabama and Tennessee and barely escaping with a 9-6 win over Missouri at home. This is a “do-or-die” game for Georgia, but there’s still hope for the Dawgs, because a Georgia win over Florida will give the Dawgs a first place spot in the East standings. A loss to Florida will just about put Georgia out of the race and leave the Dawgs battling for a New Year’s Eve bowl.
Florida is coming off their first loss of the season and looking to put a little distance between themselves and Georgia. This game will be close in the early going, but the Gators will prevail. Florida wins by six.
Clemson vs. N.C. State
Clemson is coming off a 58-0 beating over Miami last week. The loss was Miami’s worst in school history and also helped end Al Golding’s job. With the win, the Tigers moved up to number three in the country and are poised in first place in the ACC Atlantic standings. The Tigers are in the hunt for a playoff spot as one of the top four teams. With the big game against Florida State taking place in Clemson next week, it’s important that the Tigers don’t overlook the Wolfpack of N.C. State. N.C. State would love nothing more than to end the Tigers’ hopes of getting into the playoffs.
Regardless of the 58 points scored for the Tigers last week, I think this one will be closer. Could the Tigers be looking ahead to FSU? This week’s game will be close, but I think Clemson will win in the end. Tigers win by 12.
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia
The Yellow Jackets have found their sting. Georgia Tech did Clemson a huge favor by defeating FSU last week, giving the Tigers first place in the ACC Atlantic. FSU looked terrible and the Jackets took advantage by upsetting the Noles. Tech faces a much weaker opponent this week at Virginia. Question is, will Tech ride the winning wave or did they leave it all on the field last week against FSU? No, Tech is on a high and will win easily at UVA. Tech wins Saturday by 14.
Dallas Bordon is a sports reporter for The Madison County Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.