LSU vs. Texas A&M
Johnny Football (Manziel) was brought back down to earth a little on Saturday. The freshman phenom was running rough shot over opposing defenses and stacking up crazy yards and records. It looked like he would continue, and validate Texas A&M as a player, in the first quarter against the, normally, ferocious LSU defense. Johnny Football was able to guide Texas A&M to twelve unanswered points, and LSU looked to be in trouble. The Tigers would make some adjustments in the second quarter that would result in 5 turnovers and only seven additional points. The LSU offense was largely a mixed bag. The passing game was poor, with a few drops and receiver issues, but largely, quarterback Zach Mettenberger was erratic with his accuracy. Mettenberger over threw several wide open targets, although he did connect on one highlight play touchdown. The running game seems to be back on track and Jeremy Hill is emerging as the go to back in the stable. The question now is if what we have seen from LSU’s offense is enough to beat Alabama. We have two weeks to wait on that answer.
Alabama vs. Tennessee
This one turned out exactly how we all thought it would: a slaughter. Give Tennessee credit for hanging around in the first half, but it was not pretty after that. The Vols were down only 13 at the end of the half, but Alabama put up another 21 in the 2nd half to beat the Vols 44-13. Ironically, Alabama has won every game by 31 points since Derek Dooley has been in Knoxville. There is not much I can say about the Tide’s performance. They have consistently been the most complete team this season. Tennessee really gave it a try, but they cannot run the ball and cannot stop the run. That is a dangerous mix in the SEC, and absolutely deadly when playing the best teams in the league. That has been the Achilles’ heel for the Vols since Dooley arrived, and he has yet to fix it. That is the biggest reason he is probably on his way out in Knoxville.
Georgia vs. Kentucky
The surprise of the weekend occurred in Lexington. Kentucky made it a fairly challenging game for Georgia, who squeaked by 29-24. Kentucky has looked awful all year, but showed up with a little determination. As for Georgia, this could be a case of looking ahead. The Bulldogs were coming off the humiliating lost to South Carolina, and know that Florida is up next, in a game that will probably decide the SEC East. While Kentucky scored a touchdown in garbage time, this is still not the performance Georgia fans hoped for going into the Florida game. The one bright spot was quarterback Aaron Murray, completing 78% of his passes and four touchdowns on the night. The Bulldogs are going to need an effort like that to get pass the Gators.
Middle Tennessee vs. Mississippi State
This was the trap game for Mississippi State. Squeezed in between an emotional Tennessee win and a showdown with the other SEC West unbeaten Alabama, the Bulldogs had every reason in the world to overlook lowly Middle Tennessee. It looked as if they had in the first half, letting Middle Tennessee stick around. The Blue Raiders scored a field goal right before half to make the score 10-3 Mississippi State. After the half, the sense of urgency returned, and State won 45-3. State flexed their muscle and did what contenders are supposed to do: put away lesser competition. Everyone will find out if State is for real next week in Tuscaloosa.
Auburn vs. Vanderbilt
And the hits keep coming for Auburn. These stats should say it all: Vandy rushed for 209 yards, Auburn had 212 yards TOTAL. Good job by Vandy for picking up their second SEC win of the season. Auburn… it is just bad. The longer it goes, the more it looks like the Tigers from the Plains are going to go winless in the SEC. No saving Gene if that happens. Really, this Vandy loss may be the nail in the coffin. Good luck with the coaching search, Auburn.
South Carolina vs. Florida
It appears South Carolina is not very good on the road. A week after getting physically dominated by LSU, Carolina forgot about protecting the ball. The Gamecocks lost the ball four times, and not surprisingly, South Carolina lost the game 44-11. The score is a bit of a mirage when it comes to the actual amount of offense that occurred in this game. The Gators scored 44 points with less than 200 yards of total offense (183 to be exact). The Gators capitalized on every turnover South Carolina decided to give them. Jeff Driskel had a career day, throwing four touchdowns for a whopping 93 yards passing. This beat down has essentially eliminated South Carolina from the SEC East race and set up a defacto championship qualifier next week in Jacksonville. Have to like the Gators’ chances after the month they have had.
What did you think of the SEC this past week? Can anyone knock off Bama? Is Florida the second best team in the nation? We want to hear from you! Let us know what you thinking.