SEC ROUND-UP – WEEK 1
Kentucky 14 – Western KY. 3: This game was not for those who like to see a lot of offense. Kentucky’s day was filled with dropped passes, missed opportunities and an all-around disappointing offensive game. For WKU it was a very similar day on offense with missed opportunities, especially in the first-half to add to an early 3-0 lead. Both defenses played well, at least in comparison to the offenses. For WKU, they showed they can compete and will compete with some teams this year; if the offense can get in gear behind RB Bobby Rainey and QB Kawaun Jakes, then they may even win a few of those games. For UK it will be about guys at the skilled positions stepping up to make plays; the offensive line, an expected strength also appeared to struggle as well. On the defensive side, LB Danny Trevathan and DB Winston Guy held Rainey in check and kept WKU’s offense in neutral in the second half.
Mississippi St. 59 – Memphis 14: The Bulldogs used a balanced attack to jump out to a 31-7 halftime lead as they cruised to an easy victory over the Tigers. QB Chris Relf passed for 202 yds and 2 TDS and RB Vick Ballard ran for 166 yds & 3 TDs on just 10 carries. The Bulldogs were tough on defense and had no problem holding the Tigers’ offense in check.
Auburn 42 – Utah State – 38: In possibly the most thrilling game of the first weekend, the Tigers overcame a 10 point, 4th qtr deficit to knock-off the Aggies of Utah St. Auburn QB Barrett Trotter threw for 261 yds and 3 TDs but the Tigers’ ground game was anemic for most of the day with Michael Dyer getting just 57 yds (2 TDs) on the ground; however he did score the game winning TD after the Tigers were successful in recovering an on-side kick. For almost 3 ½ half quarters the visiting Aggies looked like the better team as they went up and down the field at will on the Auburn defense. A lot of it was set-up by Auburn having poor field condition and their inability to move the ball on offense. However, the story of the day was the porous Auburn “D”; they will have to get a lot better as the Tigers host Mississippi St. this weekend.
Alabama 48 – Kent St. 7: The Crimson Tide welcomed a new season of college football by downing Nick Saban’s alma mater, Kent St. The Tide was never really threatened as Kent St. struggled to mount any offense against a stout defense. The only Kent St. score came when they ran back 1 of 5 INTs thrown by Alabama QBs. The ground game for the Tide was not great as RB Trent Richardson was pretty much held in check. If Nick Saban has a reason for concern it would be the inconsistent play at QB (A.J. McCarron (2 INTs) and Phillip Sims (3 INTs) as they head to Happy Valley to play Penn St. this weekend.
BYU 14 – Ole Miss 13: In another contest that lacked a lot of offense from either team, the Cougars out fought the host Rebels for a 1 point victory. The Rebels were only able to muster 2 FGs on offense while their lone TD came off of a 96 yd INT ret. for a TD in the 3rd qtr. For BYU, both of their TDs came in the final stanza as they were able to overcome a horrendous first 3 quarters of play. The Rebels had no real passing attack and even worse of a ground game as they looked confused and discombobulated on offense.
Tennessee 42 – Montana 16: The Vols jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead and never looked back as they crushed the Montana Grizzlies. Tennessee QB Tyler Bray threw for 293 yds and 3 TDs and RB Tauren Poole provided 98 yds on the ground; Justin Hunter had 6 grabs for 148 yds as well. The Vols secondary may need to tighten-up just a bit as they were picked apart in the 2nd half but by then the outcome was pretty much determined.
Arkansas 51 – Missouri St. 7: The Razorbacks came out smoking and led 30-0 at halftime. Tyler Wilson passed for 260 yds and 2 TDs; Jarius Wright had 6 catches for 108 yds and 2 TDs and the Razorbacks had plenty of offensive balance. The defense was not bad either to less than 250 yds of total offense.
Florida 41 – Florida Atlantic 3: In Will Muschamp’s debut, the Gators got off to a quick start and carried a 24-3 lead into halftime. They added 17 more in the 2nd half while shutting out the Owls. QB John Brantley threw for 229 yds and 1 TD but he had 2 INTs. Jeff Demps had 105 yds and 2 TDs on the ground and the defense was fast to the ball, particularly against the run, in a good debut for their new coach.
Vanderbilt 45 – Elon 14: The Commodores were led by QB Larry Smith (125 passing yds and 2 TDs & a rushing TD) and the defense was pretty stout for most of the game. However, the secondary for Vandy needs to be tweaked as they were torched by Elon QB T. Wilson for 233 passing yds and WR A Mellette who had 11 catches for 180 yds and 1 TD. The “D” was much better against the run holding D. Taylor to just 25 yds on 10 carries.
South Carolina 56 – East Carolina 37: Steve Spurrier decided to bench QB Stephen Garcia and start Sophomore Connor Shaw….it is a good thing Garcia at least made the trip. The Gamecocks fell behind 17-0 before Spurrier pulled Shaw and inserted Garcia; the Gamecocks would go on to outscore the Pirates 56-20 from that point on. Garcia only threw for 110 yds and 1 TD but he ran for 2 scores and he energized a team that began the game like they were still sleep. RB Marcus Lattimore ran for 112 yds and 3 scores and Alshon Jefferey had 5 grabs for 92 yds but he was kept out of the end zone. The Pirates took advantage of a Gamecock defense that seemed confused and disoriented early scoring on passes of 25 and 19 yds. ECU QB D. Davis threw for a total of 4 TDs and 260 yds. Spurrier would like to see some improvement as they had to Athens, GA this weekend to battle the Georgia Bulldogs.
Boise St. 35 – Georgia 21: In what was thought to be the second biggest game of the day for the SEC (behind the Oregon / LSU match-up) it was the visitors from the Blue Turf who owned the Georgia Dome. BSU QB Kellen Moore looked great in taking apart the Bulldogs secondary to the tune of 261 yds and 3 TDs; RB Doug Martin was limited to 57 yds & 1 TD but the story of the game was the BSU passing game which saw Moore hit 9 different receivers with passes. For Georgia, Aaron Murray was admirable going for 236 and 2 TDs through the air but he had absolutely no running game to balance him out, and Georgia will need to fix that before they face South Carolina this weekend. The Dome was basically clearing out with the fans in red, black and white early in the fourth and before they left, they voiced their displeasure with the play of Mark Richt’s team.
LSU 40 – Oregon 27: With all of the turmoil the Tigers have been going thru in just the last month and a half, they came out and made a huge statement by throttling the high-powered Ducks and basically eliminating them from the National Title scene with a knock-out similar to one in a “Rocky Movie”. Jarrett Lee was serviceable at best as he past for a measly 98 yds and 1 TD but LSU used several backs in pounding the Oregon front 7 into submission early in the 3rd qtr. But the Ducks also had problems on the offensive side beginning with an anemic running game that was just stifled by the quick, physical and athletic LSU “D”. Speedy Oregon RB LaMichael James was held to just 54 yds on 18 carries and 1 TD; he also led the Ducks in receiving with 6 catches for 61 yds. The Tigers have now served notice to the rest of the SEC and the country that their defense will not take a back-seat to any defense out there.