Mississippi State 28, Auburn 10
The day has finally come when it can no longer gleefully pointed out that Dan Mullen has never beaten an SEC West team outside of Ole Miss. All it took was some standard bad Auburn defense and Mississippi State making sure they didn't get in the way of Auburn's offense repeatedly backing into a tree while trying to get out of the garage.
Tyler Russell looked as good as I've ever seen him (had a couple of really, really nice throws to Chad Bumphis), but he'll continue to struggle against average and above defenses due to his offensive line being very Auburn-ish and his love of holding onto the ball for at least five Mississippi. It also might lead to him taking a sack with a whiplash factor of 278. Not sure how to read the scale of something I just made up, but 278 sounds pretty high.
As for Auburn, it looks like they have three options to try to disengage the self-destruct mode on offense. One, add more spread elements, like A LOT of spread elements, to the current offense. Two, dump the pro-style and run something similar to last year. And three, send Kiehl Frazier to the bench.
But, coaches are stubborn, so we'll probably hear some Gene Chizik coach-speak this week that says, "We're gonna simplify the offense" and they'll keep running the same thing and keep being terrible. If you're not going to use Frazier's athleticism and he sucks running the current offense, WHY PLAY HIM? Either coach to his strengths or give Clint Moseley a chance. THIS ISN'T THAT HARD.
South Carolina 48, East Carolina 10
Spurrier's first comment coming off the field at halftime up 21-0, "We punted five times."
Florida 20, Texas A&M 17
So, it turns out, Florida's offense CAN look like something other than a hot plate of casino buffet garbage. While they were far from good, they looked like they had a plan and put together enough drives to win the game. But, they didn't have to be that good thanks to their defense doing some Alabama-like shit to the Texas A&M offense.
The Aggies opened with 14, 13, and 10-play drives to put up 17 points and looked like they were on their way to 30+ points. Quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose speed was underestimated by everyone, was doing as he pleased, then Florida made some changes and the open spaces in front of him closed down. It looked like they gave him the treatment Alabama gave Cam Newton in that, while the defensive line rushed, the defensive ends made sure not to go past him, thus keeping as many bodies in front of him as possible (they also added a spy linebacker). And I don't know if A&M's receivers stink or Manziel doesn't throw a good deep ball, but the coaches tried almost zero deep throws to try to back off the Florida defense.
Slightly related, but I think we're all getting a little cheated this year since Mississippi State and Florida don't play one another. I would love to see the game of chicken played by Tyler Russell and Jeff Driskel to see who can hold on to the ball the longest. I think both players could easily break 6 seconds, and if they pushed each other, possibly 8 seconds.
Alabama 35, Western Kentucky 0
PAWWWWWLLLLLL, THIS TEAM IS SOFT. SOFT, I TELL YA. ANY REAL ALABAMA TEAM WINS BY 50. IT'S THE SUN BELT WE'RE TALKIN' ABOUT, PAAWWWLLLLLL.
Tennessee 51, Georgia State 13
Former Houston Nutt right-hand man and a Murray State Mafia member, Mike Markuson was fired by Wisconsin after his offensive line paved the way for 35 rushing yards in a 10-7 loss to Oregon State. Ole Miss fans should remember Markuson's work from the times Zack Stoudt was nearly killed in the pocket and how Jeremiah Masoli spent most of his brief Ole Miss career running for his life.
Louisiana-Monroe 34, Arkansas 31
And THERE IT IS! John L. Smith doing John L. Smith things. Maybe it doesn't happen if Tyler Wilson isn't injured, but even with your backup's backup you should be able to handle a team from the Sun Belt at home (Little Rock) and up 28-7 with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter. Of course, it helps if your defense doesn't give up 550 yards of offense (412 through the air).
I only saw the last few minutes of regulation and then overtime, but I never understood why Arkansas completely abandoned the run. Looking at the play-by-play recap, I count 5 Arkansas runs TOTAL from the fourth quarter and overtime. God forbid you use your superior physical advantage. Letting your backup quarterback throw 20 times seems like a much better plan there, Mike Martz.
The good news for Razorback fans is that expectations for the Alabama game are now non-existent, and if you need to can John L. this week, Phil Fulmer and Houston Nutt are on standby.
LSU 41, Washington 3
A small child could put together a competent defensive game plan against LSU, but it matters not because unless his team has the players to hold up against LSU's pound-you-in-the-face offense, the defense will crack and the yards and points surrendered will start piling up. Looking at LSU's schedule, the only team on it that has the defense to hold up under such pressure is Alabama, and I'd throw South Carolina in the maybe pile.
Of course, it's possible LSU knows they can run pretty basic stuff right now and still win, saving some of their less conservative material for later games, but these are the geniuses who, after giving Nick Saban a month to fix his defense, used the exact same game plan when they faced Alabama a second time last season, and had no alternate plan.
Ole Miss 28, UTEP 10
I still haven't figured out how to form coherent sentences when talking about Ole Miss because the level of organization and attention to detail is something we haven't seen in such a long time. Staggering is probably an understatement to describe experiencing such.
Yes, the era of good feelings has come against some bad competition, but we have done what you do against bad teams, collecting lots of yards and points on offense, while playing stretches of smothering defense. Things will jump up a notch or 50 this weekend, but for right now, let it be known we didn't fart around with a C-USA team and got CONSECUTIVE RED ZONE TURNOVERS ON DEFENSE, which probably hasn't happened since Joe Lee Dunn was relevant in college football.
Kentucky 47, Kent State 13
I believed in you, Joker Phillips. And maybe Rich Brooks did too between casts while fly fishing on some river in Oregon.
Georgia 41, Missouri 20
Even Mike Bobo couldn't break the gifts given to his offense by Jarvis Jones, who intercepted a pass and forced a fumble on a sack that lead to Georgia getting the ball on Missouri's 5 and 1-yard lines late in the fourth quarter. And in doing so, Jones taught Missouri the essence of old man football. Keep it close, don't do anything overwhelmingly stupid, and wait for one of your super duper awesome players to take over the game.
Northwestern 23, Vanderbilt 13
Really looking forward to all the articles this week about how James Franklin has changed everything at Vanderbilt. The old Vandy never would have been able to do this.
DEUCE MCALLISTER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble
Most importantly, he made it impossible for the Georgia offense to keep Missouri in the game.
ERIC OLIVER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play
Kiehl Frazier, QB, Auburn
13-22, 125 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Our first back-to-back winner of the season! Things were so bad, according to the Interwebs, which if you changed its name to "sources", ESPN would publish the report, that Frazier's dad was punched by a member of the Auburn family. ALL IN, Y'ALL.
JOHNNY VAUGHT OF THE WEEK
Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
The streak has ended, which means it's now time to start a new streak.
2012 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the regular season
1. Kiehl Frazier 4
2. Bo Wallace 1
2. Zach Mettenberger 1
2. Connor Shaw 1
2. Jordan Rodgers 1
2. Justin Worley 1
2. Tyler Wilson 1
2. Brandon Allen 1
2. Aaron Murray 1
2. James Franklin 1
Double Your Paycheck Picks
Season: 9-9 (.500)
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEK
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn
Will the Warhawks go 2-0 versus the SEC West? Will Kiehl Frazier NOT throw an interception? Will the Auburn family even reach 50% all in?
Florida at Tennessee
Will Tyler Bray throw 5 interceptions or 5 touchdowns? Will Jeff Driskell take more than the 8 sacks he took against Texas A&M? Will Derek Dooley lose this game due to the helmet rule, which is his destiny?
Texas at Ole Miss
Will Mack Brown steal a little more money from Texas? Will 'Freezus Saves' stickers be readily available in the Grove? Will Ole Miss be reminded that, oh boy, we need many more good players?