Ole Miss 41, Auburn 20
Today is the first Monday since October 4, 2010 that I have slogged through this weekly post in which I finally get to list Ole Miss as one of life's winners of an SEC game. I spent most of the game feeling like someone was trying to smother me with a pillow, but the Rebels avoided the disaster Auburn kept waiting for, thus ruining any chance Auburn had to win the game.
In fact, both teams adopted the wait-for-the-other-team-to-screw-up offensive strategy in the second half, making the majority of it some fine Jefferson Pilot football. Eventually, Ole Miss, after countless opportunities to hit Auburn with the kill shot, got a big play out of Jeff Scott and then Clint Moseley did Auburn quarterback things and gave the ball right back to Ole Miss, which finally ended Houston Nutt's masterpiece.
Normally, because I am a terribly selfish person, I would begin talking of the joy this brought me and how I spent the last few minutes grinning like an idiot, but, in a rare case of actual human feelings around here, I could not be more happy for the players, coaches, and people who have been in constant contact with this mess on a daily basis.
Being constantly kicked in the teeth and reminded you have failed for a long time is a pretty rough existence. It's possible a new streak could start in two weeks at Arkansas, but for now, they get two weeks of something the team hasn't experienced in two years. Enjoy, BUT DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID. WE CAN'T AFFORD SUSPENSIONS.
Alabama 42, Missouri 10
Last week, Nick Saban showed disgust for any type of football that is not Alabama-style football when basically said no-huddle offenses are dangerous for college football due to the injuries they will produce. SCIENCE. Though I respect that he is disgusted with all other forms of football that is not his, because his, while not always fun to watch, is pretty much perfect.
Anyway, other than repeatedly smashing into your opponent's face (47 times to be exact), here's a non-fast-paced way to cause injuries.
Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17
If Vanderbilt continues to defend the zone read as if Tyrone Nix taught them how to do it, Ole Miss won't have to worry about running that play on fourth down in a few weeks because we will have already scored. Jeff Driskel spent most of his Saturday night watching the Vanderbilt defensive end/everyone come crashing down the line of scrimmage, chasing after a running back who didn't have the ball. After pausing briefly to enjoy his good fortune, Driskel would take off and run for a really long time.
Driskel carried 11 times for 177 yards, AVERAGING 16 yards a carry. I won't research it, but I don't recall even a Tyrone Nix defense giving up yards so generously. But, a nod of respect from Chris Todd to the Vandy defense by only allowing 3.9 yards per pass attempt by Driskel.
One interesting note, in addition to Vandy being Vandy and dropping touchdown passes, is that Vanderbilt was able to complete some long passes, including a 53 and 37-yarder. More than likely this is attributable to Jordan Rodgers' Brett Favre throw it up and see what happens strategy or the general boredom that comes with playing Vanderbilt, but let's see if other teams can do the same.
Arkansas 49, Kentucky 7
Things were so bad for Kentucky that Morgan Newton got to play while the starters were still in for both teams. And though it was cheated out of a little over a quarter in which to showcase its sadness, the Kentucky defense still gave up 533 yards and 49 points. Going forward, it would be best for everyone if all Kentucky football games were called after three quarters.
LSU 23, South Carolina 21
My favorite part about this game, other than a highly irritated Spurrier at halftime saying, "I'm calling terrible plays" to the ESPN sideline reporter, was the collective tightening of sphincter muscles every time Zach Mettenberger dropped back to pass. It took LSU fans all of about two possessions before turning on Mettenberger and hating every second he was called on to throw.
And he was as unsharp as ever, going 12-25 for 148 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT that set up South Carolina's first score. But, LSU recovered, installed a 4th-grade YMCA flag football passing game and leaned on its ability to run and stop South Carolina's running game.
The formula of recruiting and signing the best athletes in the state to play defense and shut down the opponent's running game, then on offense run run run run run and pray Zach Mettenberger doesn't do anything that totally destroys their chance of winning the game, worked quite nicely Saturday night. And it even got an assist from Connor Shaw, who decided to be mostly average because maybe he is mostly average.
Had Shaw played at a not-too-bad level, South Carolina probably holds on for the win. Going into the last South Carolina touchdown drive, Shaw was 4-11 for 49 yards and 1 INT in the second half. And speaking of that last drive, this is why coaches can be so very dumb.
Spurrier, down 9, meaning he needs a field goal and a touchdown to win, faces a 4th and 12 on the LSU 17, with all three of his timeouts. The responsible move is to immediately kick the field goal, then play to get the ball back with a little less than two minutes left. Instead, Spurrier calls timeout, decides to go for it, and ends up getting the touchdown, except now he's down to two timeouts and has to try an onsides kick.
So he unnecessarily flirted with ending his chance to win the game with three minutes left, cost his team about 45 seconds for its last drive of the game by calling timeout, and then was forced into an onsides kick attempt. Les Miles approves of all of that.
Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31
Hey, look, Tennessee found a running game, which was immediately offset by its defense still missing in action.
/speaks into dictaphone: "Movie idea - Chuck Norris goes to Cambodia in search of the Tennessee defense"
All Mississippi State needed after that was a sky kickoff to be fumbled by Tennessee, a Tennessee fourth quarter fumble at its 30-yard line, and a Tennessee dropped interception that was likely going for a big return. So, two gift touchdowns and play that would have put Tennessee in scoring position.
But, give the Sun Belt Conference Champs (win over MTSU pending) their due, they took advantage of the clockwork Derek Dooley team mistakes and earned some bowl eligibility, while putting Dooley on the doorstep of unemployment. And Tyler Russell, minus the third quarter, looked like a quarterback who knew what he was doing, which, if State wants to come out of the Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU stretch in a few weeks with a winning record among those games, they must have from him.
Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57
With 5:20 to go in the second quarter, Louisiana Tech had 7 points, losing 34-7. In the next 35:20, they scored 50 points, with 27 of those coming in the fourth quarter. So, fear not, teams who get down to Texas A&M, a comeback is on your horizon.
And tired of looking at his two-week old SEC total yards record, Johnny Manziel decided a new record needed setting and did so, totaling 576 yards, with 181 yards coming via his short, but super-speedy legs. UGH, we have to play that three more times.
Also, on the coaches not understanding when to go for two front, Sonny Dykes made an appearance. With 12 minutes left, LA Tech scored to make it 46-44 and elected to go for two, fully knowing no one was stopping anyone and way more points were going to be scored. The attempt failed and wouldn't you know it, they were forced to go for two with 38 seconds left to try to tie the game at 59. Had they kicked that extra point earlier, they're playing in overtime.
The rule on going for two is pretty simple, unless you know you're going to kick the shit out of a team, you only try it if you're going to lose the game by not going for two. Down two points with 12 minutes to go does not qualify as losing the game territory. For the sake of my health, STOP BEING BAD AT THE EASY THINGS, COACHES.
DOUBLE YOUR PAYCHECK* PICKS
Week: 4-3 (.571)
Season: 30-25-1 (.535)
*You will not double your paycheck
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 8
1. Bo Wallace 8
3. Tyler Bray 7
3. Maxwell Smith 4
3. Aaron Murray 4
3. Zach Mettenberger 4
3. Connor Shaw 4
8. Brandon Allen 3
8. Corbin Berkstresser 3
8. Tyler Wilson 3
8. Morgan Newton 3
8. Clint Moseley 3
8. Johnny Manziel 3
14. James Franklin 2
14. Jalen Whitlow 2
14. Jordan Rodgers 2
17. Jeff Driskel 1
17. Tyler Russell 1
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEK
LSU at Texas A&M
Will Manziel set another SEC record, including the number of Les Miles seal-claps to encourage his defense who just gave up another 15-yard scramble? Will Zach Mettenberger finally give in and go full Jordan Jefferson? Will LSU fans find a way to gather the horse poop that accumulates when the non-army people parade into the stadium before the game and throw it at A&M fans?
South Carolina at Florida
Will Steve Spurrier call good plays during the first half? Will this be the week an opposing coach trolls Spurrier by throwing a visor? Will South Carolina's defense hold up in the face of another power rushing attack?
Alabama at Tennessee
Will Derek Dooley coach this game from the sideline on a golf cart or raised platform like the band directors use? Will Tennessee have the Dooley buyout checks cut by halftime? Will an Alabama defender come off the top turnbuckle with a flying elbow in Tyler Bray's direction?