Texas A&M 58, Arkansas 10
We already knew that as long as your offense is physically able to walk out on the field and run plays against Arkansas, they will soon find themselves gorged on yards and points. What we learned this week was that as soon as plays start going against Arkansas, they decide they have other things to do, like wander around in the backyard, and leave you to do as you please.
The good news for Arkansas is that they only have to do this seven more times and then it's all over. Oh, and they play Auburn next week, so it's unlikely they'll give up 716 yards of offense to them. See, things are already looking up!
But, if the Tigers do make a run at 716, Arkansas fans can comfort themselves by naming all the coaches, and it's literally ALL THE COACHES, who they believe are willing to come to Fayetteville to try to turn things around. OBLIGATORY: Jon Gruden.
Missouri 21, Central Florida 16
BEHOLD! Me being exactly right about something. On Friday, I wrote, "always assume the Central Floridas of the world are going to screw it up in the end."
And they did. Down 21-16 with 2:44 to play, Central Florida gets the ball back, then fumbles it right back to Missouri. At least it didn't happen because a player tripped over a teammate's foot. Another team that is improving!
And a quick shout-out to Missouri's third down efficiency. 1 for 11 was a touching tribute to the 2012 Houston Nutt offense.
Georgia 51, Tennessee 44
After Georgia took a 27-10 lead early in the second quarter, they decided that a great joke to play on Derek Dooley's life expectancy would be to immediately start fumbling, get Tennessee back in the game, and then let Tyler Bray do Tyler Bray things and crush whatever chance Tennessee had to win the game. And because they executed the joke so flawlessly, Dooley's life expectancy has dropped all the way to 24.
Not counting the last possession, which Tennessee began at their own 35 with 15 seconds left, Bray closed out his day in Athens with a fantastically bad interception, followed by a fumble. It helped preserve Bray's streak of good, bad, good, bad, good, DEATH in conference games. In two conference games this year, Bray is 46-89 (51.6%), with 538 yards, 4TDs and 5 INTs (as opposed to 72-104 (69.2%), with 10 TDs and 1 INT in non-conference).
So if Tennessee could play Akron and Georgia State a combined 10 times, WATCH OUT, the Vols could be dangerous. But, it's not fair to dump all of the blame on Bray, as he has little to do with Tennessee's inability to get even lifeless bodies in the way opposing offenses. The race among Tennessee, Auburn, and Arkansas for the worst defense in the conference will be a treat for everyone. But don't count out Ole Miss and Kentucky, while they're improving, a points and yards avalanche watch is always in effect.
And speaking of defenses, Gary Danielson said during the game that Georgia's defense had the bodies of an LSU or Alabama defense, and could be as good as those groups. Then they give up 44 points and 478 yards of offense, including 197 rushing yards to a team that can't run. I was first tipped off that Georgia's defense wasn't in that elite category when they allowed Tennessee to reach double digits.
South Carolina 38, Kentucky 17
Leading 17-7, with a minute to go until halftime, Kentucky had the ball on South Carolina's 10-yard line. They then went into Kentucky panic mode, which is another way of saying, "Oh boy, we might be up 17 if we do this right, oh, man, can you believe it? 17 points! This is gonna be so great! I mean, hey, wait, what? We have to actually score? Like with a play and stuff? Oh."
They ran a play at the one-minute mark, let the clock go down to 24 seconds before calling timeout, then threw an incomplete pass, and then fumbled on the next play. However, they did recover the fumble, but time ran out, and South Carolina went on to score 31 straight points. I hope that sequence goes on a Joker Phillips YouTube tribute made by a bitter Kentucky football fan*.
*Does not exist
LSU 38, Towson 22
Towsons quarterback Grant Enders wins this week's just-made-up Chris Todd Courage Award for averaging 3.1 yards per pass attempt. Only a natural check-downer can put up a number like that.
NOTE THAT COULD BE A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME OR MAYBE NOT IT WAS TOWSON SO I'M NOT SURE HOW TUNED IN EVERYONE WAS: LSU gave up 188 yards rushing to Towson of Colonial Athletic Association fame.
Alabama 33, Ole Miss 14
Well, that certainly went better than expected, no? I'll get to the second quarter asshattery in a minute, but first the things that make me feel like if we're looking for a new coach in two or three years, it will be because Hugh Freeze wants to move up and not us starting over again.
Ole Miss put togther touchdown drives of 13 and 16 plays (75 and 70 yards, respectively) against the best defense in the country while the game was at least 25% in doubt. Obviously, there were many more problems than good things, but this offense showed what it can do when it speeds up and hits quick passes, with read-option runs to serve as a balance.
On defense, I don't know how they held up against the run, but they did, even going through stretches of making Alabama's offensive line look very average. And I know Alabama doesn't run an overly complex pass offense, but the secondary did a pretty good job in coverage, despite a lack of a pass rush. So, a genuine good job, good effort to all involved.
Now, as for that second quarter. In a single quarter of football, we scored to take the lead, gave up a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, and threw three interceptions in a five-minute span, one of which was by a running back who was so bad at quarterback that we moved him to running back, all of which lead to a 21-point quarter for Alabama and the end of the game.
I liked the Randall Mackey at QB wrinkle, but for the love of all things decent and good, WHY DOES HE EVEN HAVE THE OPTION TO THROW THE BALL? DO WE NOT REMEMBER LAST SEASON AT ALL? Him throwing can work once or twice against UTEP, but not in this game. And once Alabama showed they weren't affected by Mackey lining up at quarterback, that plan should have been ditched.
And as for Bo Wallace, I can't decide if him getting worse is due to his shoulder, Alabama completely confusing him, or him getting a bit of Jevan Snead Disease - symptoms include panicking after the first read isn't open, knowing the pass rush is closing in, and then doing something really dumb. Let's hope it's his shoulder and Alabama being really good at wrecking quarterbacks and not Jevan Snead Disease. I cannot live through another football season with a quarterback like that.
DOUBLE YOUR PAYCHECK* PICKS
Week: 1-3-1 (.200)
Season: 22-20-1 (.511)
*You will not double your paycheck
DEUCE MCALLISTER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
29-38, 453 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
14 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD
I have decided to attribute this surge of horrible defenses in the conference the Tyrone Nix effect.
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
Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
24-45, 281 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 1 fumble
In Bray's defense, there wasn't a large volume of bad play this week. Bo Wallace got consideration here, but he played poorly in a game Ole Miss wasn't going to win anyway. Bray would carry Tennessee for a few miles, then stop and shoot his kneecap. Then he repeated the process three more times.
JOHNNY VAUGHT OF THE WEEK
Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
First SEC win and proved that the Air Raid is one of many offenses that can work against bad SEC defenses.
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 7
2. Bo Wallace 6
2. Tyler Bray 6
3. Maxwell Smith 4
4. Brandon Allen 3
4. Aaron Murray 3
4. Tyler Wilson 3
4. Morgan Newton 3
8. Zach Mettenberger 2
8. Connor Shaw 2
8. James Franklin 2
8. Jalen Whitlow 2
12. Jordan Rodgers 1
12. Jeff Driskel 1
12. Tyler Russell 1
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEK
LSU at Florida
Will LSU's offense continue to its tribute to the life and times of Jordan Jefferson, including kicking someone in the head? Will Les Miles return to his not-understanding-clock ways (PLEASE COME BACK)? Has Will Muschamp already started to aggressively sweat?
Texas A&M at Ole Miss
Will the Rebels build off of last week or come crashing back to earth and lose by three touchdowns? Will Johnny Manziel use the Ole Miss defense as a crutch for individual statistical records? Will Texas A&M fans be disoriented by trees, a lack of concrete, and no one who is not in the military dressing up like they are and carrying a sword?
Georgia at South Carolina
Will Georgia's freshman running back combo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have success against a non-horrible defense? Will Georgia continue its tradition of suspending players for the South Carolina game? Will Steve Spurrier make a postgame suspended Georgia players joke?