It was a busy and exciting week for SEC football. I know it’s hard to keep up with how all of the teams did – I’d be lying if I said I sat down and watched every single game – but I’ll try and give a brief synopsis of each team’s performance from the previous week. Additionally, at the end I’ll put forward one bold prediction moving forward. With that being said, let’s get into this week’s action:
Arkansas 49, Florida A&M 7
This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Razorbacks put a beatdown on an inferior opponent, led by 135 yards passing from Austin Allen and 120 yards rushing from Chase Hayden. Arkansas did what they were supposed to, and that’s a good sign for them moving forward.
- Alabama 24, 3. Florida State 7
As someone who watched this game, I can tell you Alabama handled this in about as workman-like a manner as they could. The Crimson Tide dominated defensively and dominated with the run, led by running back Damien Harris. They did lose two starting linebackers for the remainder of the season, but having two top-5 linebackers from each of the last two recruiting classes as backups doesn’t exactly hurt.
- Michigan 33, 17. Florida 17
Yikes Florida, yikes. The defense played well, but the play of both Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire has to have Gators fanned frightened about the state of the offense moving forward. If Florida hopes to be any bit successful, one of those two will need to step up and grab the job.
- Auburn 41, Georgia Southern 7
Same deal as Arkansas. Auburn dominated a lesser team behind the play of QB Jarrett Stidham and RB Kerryon Johnson. Their excellent play bodes very well for the Tigers.
- Georgia 31, Appalachian State 10
The Bulldogs might have the best RB duo in the country in Nick Chubb (15 carries, 96 yards, 2 TDs) and Sony Michel (16/87/1). The status of QB Jacob Eason will be a question mark going forward, but having those two in the backfield should be a major boost no matter the situation under center. Keep an eye on the Bulldogs this week, as they have a big matchup against Notre Dame.
Missouri 72, Missouri State 43
There’s not much to say other than that Tigers QB Drew Lock had 521 yards passing with 7 TDs, while running back Damarea Crockett had 202 yards on the ground with 2 TDs himself. That’s how you put up 72 points, folks.
South Carolina 35, NC State 28
The Gamecocks squeezed this one out without scoring any points in the 4th quarter. They’re going to need to manage more than 31 yards per game on the ground moving forward if they hope to continue their winning ways. Still, a win is always a positive start.
Kentucky 24, Southern Mississippi 17
Even the SEC’s resident basketball powerhouse got off to a positive start on the gridiron. There’s clearly still a lot of work to be done, as they had to punt the ball an absurd nine times in this one. That’s not exactly how close they likely wanted the score to be, but like I said with So. Car., a win is a win.
Mississippi State 49, Charleston Southern 0
The fightin’ Daks didn’t have to fight too hard for this one. Nick Fitzgerald threw for 235 yards and 2 TDs, and the Bulldogs took care of business fairly easily.
Ole Miss 47, South Alabama 27
The post-Hugh Freeze era got off to a good start. QB Shea Patterson had 429 yards passing to go with 4 TDs, while receiver A.J. Brown caught eight of his passes for 233 yards and a pair of scores. You’d like to see a better performance from the defense, but they’ll have time to sort that out as the season rolls along.
Vanderbilt 28, Middle Tennessee 6
The Commodores were led by a defense that had 5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss, with Charles Wright and Dare Odeyingbo each leading the way with two sacks apiece. If they play that well defensively against better opponents, The Commodores could be a sleeper team to watch moving forward.
- LSU 27, BYU 0
The Tigers were led by 122 yards on the ground from Derrius Guice and a throttling defense that shut out Tanner Magnum and BYU. Danny Etling’s numbers look good (14/17, 171 yards), but he’s nothing more than a game manager moving forward for LSU. Ed Orgeron’s boys looked exactly how you’d expect them too.
UCLA 45, Texas A&M 44
In case you live under a rock, the Aggies managed to blow a 44-10 third quarter lead and lose the game with 45 seconds left. The good news is that Trayveon Williams had 203 rushing yards with 2 TDs. The bad news is… THEY BLEW A 34 POINT SECOND HALF LEAD. I don’t care who’s on the other team, that’s just flat out unacceptable.
- Tennessee 42, Georgia Tech 41
Well, this turned out to be quite a shootout. Quinten Dormady proved himself to be a quality replacement for Josh Dobbs, as he threw for 221 yards and 2 TDs, while running back John Kelly had 128 rushing yards and 4 TDs. The Volunteers were able to hold off everyone’s favorite triple option offense for the win in their season opener.
Bold Prediction: Kevin Sumlin doesn’t last until midseason as Texas A&M’s head coach.
Kevin Sumlin is a good head coach, but it’s time for a change at Texas A&M. That loss to UCLA could be an ominous sign moving forward, as their poor early season performances of the past couple of years, in addition to this awful start, could continue to haunt them moving forward. Sumlin will be a head coach next season; it just won’t be for the Aggies.
All stats courtesy ESPN.
Cover Photo courtesy gridironnow.com.