Alabama is Alabama
After the offensive performance against Kent State there were many doubting if Alabama would be as good as originally anticipated this year. Well, they went up into a hostile environment at Penn State and made a statement. Penn State scored late to make it look better on the score board but Bama was up 27 to 3 with the game just about over before a late score by the Nittany Lions.
As we expected, Bama went with A.J. McCarron as their QB and he delivered a very "game manager" type performance (19-31-163). Trent Richardson (26-111) and Eddie Lacy (11-85) had solid outings as they just kept wearing down the PSU defense. That being said, the story of this game was the Bama defense. We thought going into the season that it would be elite and so far it has been. If Alabama is to win the SEC Championship, and possibly more, it will do so on the back of it's defense.
What's Next for Alabama? vs North Texas
Mississippi State is not quite ready to play with the big boys
Mississippi State looked poised to perhaps have a shot to sneak up into the upper half of the SEC West this year but Auburn put a hiatus on that journey. Mississippi State came out slow and could never quite catch up with Auburn. Led by Chris Relf (20-35-195-1), Vick Ballard (21-135) and LaDarius Perkins (11-78) the Bulldogs were impressive on offense but they just couldn't keep Auburn down. Miss State rolled up 531 yards and 333 on the ground but still lost this game.
What's Next for Mississippi State? vs. LSU
Auburn is the luckiest team on the face of the earth
Or maybe they just create their own luck. They've played in two hectic down-to-the-wire games in their first two weeks and have come out on the winning end of both of them. It took a goal-line stand as time was running out to win this game but Auburn will take it. Auburn has given up 38 points per game so far and they are 2-0.
Against Miss State, the Tigers gave up a whopping 531 total yards and 333 on the ground. Auburn was out-gained by 150 yards, lost time of possession by 13 minutes and only went 4 of 12 on 3rd down conversions while their opponent went 11 of 20. Everything points to Auburn having lost this game but they didn't. They just keeping winning (dating back to last year). Auburn won this game because they jumped on the Bulldogs early, made plays when they needed to and because they are the luckiest college football team on the face of the earth. Make no mistake about it, as the season goes on Auburn will get better and better. Watch out for these Tigers that it looks like most (including us) have under-rated this year.
What's Next for Auburn? at Clemson
South Carolina's defense is not very good but they have great individual players
There is a saying that "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts". That saying does not work with South Carolina. As a whole, their defense is simply not very good. In week one they gave up 37 points to East Carolina and this week they gave up 436 yards to Georgia. They got gashed by Isaiah Crowell (ran for 118 and had 40 yards receiving) and Aaron Murray picked them apart down the stretch. That being said, South Carolina has great individual players and because of those individual players making individual plays they won this game. Antonio Allen made a great individual play on an Aaron Murray pass over the middle and picked it off and took it back for the score.
On a fake punt, DT Melvin Ingram took a snap and rumbled 68 yards for a TD, Freshman phenom Jadeveon Clowney abused Georgia T Justin Anderson and caused Aaron Murray to fumble at a critical stage in the game and Melvin Ingram returned the fumble for a TD. Because of the individual play of Jadeveon Clowney, Melvin Ingram and Antonio Allen, South Carolina won this game. I'm not taking anything away from South Carolina, they did what they needed to do to win. But the individual players on their defense was definitely the reason they won this game and it's a reason for Gamecocks fans to be both worried and excited about the rest of the season.
What's Next for South Carolina? vs Navy
Florida and Tennessee might be better than we anticipated
For the second straight game Florida did not allow a defensive TD. Sure they haven't played they toughest competition but they've looked impressive in who they put in front of them. After dismantling FAU 41-3, they shut-out UAB 39-0. Anytime you can shut out anybody, it's impressive. Florida only gave up 212 yards, dominated time of possession and held UAB to a combined 1-13 on 3rd and 4th down conversions.
Tennessee took on a good offensive team in Cincinnati and out-offensed them by the tune of 45-23. It was back and forth early as they stood at 14-14 but then Tennessee took off as Tyler Bray connected with Da'Rick Rogers on back-to-back TDs and then Bray ran for one to give Tennessee a 35-14 lead and they never looked back. Tennessee rolled up 531 yards on a much maligned Bearcat defense but also gave up 396 to Cincy. We find out next week which one of these two teams might challenge South Carolina for the East.
What's Next for these two? they play each other
Georgia is better than we thought but they still don't know how to finish
Georgia lost a heart-breaker in one of the most-exciting games of the week against South Carolina. Georgia rolled up 436 yards in this game but they just couldn't hold on at the end. The Bulldogs found their future in Isaiah Crowell as he dazzled the crowed with 118 yards rushing on just 16 carries and had 2 receptions for 40 yards. He also scored two TDs. He did have a costly fumble in the second half but made up for it with a TD run later in the game. Aaron Murray showed that he is a big-time SEC QB but he's got to limit the mistakes. He tried to force one over the middle and Antonio Allen made a great individual play and took it back for a TD.
Later, Justin Anderson got beat and Murray got nailed and fumbled giving up a TD return. Not sure what Murray could have done there other than recognize trouble earlier and just take the sack. Georgia showed heart and desire as they continued to come back despite South Carolina taking the lead late. Murray hit Tavarres King on a fantastic throw and catch late in the game to pull within three but Georgia just doesn't know how to finish games right now. Georgia is 0-2 and reeling but the feeling in Athens is better than it was last week after being bullied by Boise State. Georgia could still have a good season but they have to learn how to finish.
What's Next for Georgia? vs Coastal Carolina
Kentucky and Vanderbilt appear headed in opposite directions
I have had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to waste time in my life (that I will never get back) watching the Kentucky Wildcats attempt to play football. I don't know about you but I have not come away impressed. They struggled to beat Western Kentucky and this week they were down at half to Central Michigan. They are 2-0 so they have that going for them but I just don't think this team is going to have a good season. It's good for them that they have scheduled down this year as they would have been in for a long one if they had a tougher schedule.
Vandy proved this blogger wrong when they pulled off the victory against UConn this weekend, sorry Pete! Vanderbilt's season could very well be defined (as could Ole Miss's) when they face the Rebels and Houston Nutt next week.
What's Next for Kentucky? vs Louisville
What's Next For Vanderbit? vs Ole Miss