Sep 15

SEC Rundown - Week 2

Posted By:Wes Mewbourne- Birmingham, AL  Tags:

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Last week in the SEC wasn’t as suspenseful or eye-catching as last week, but it was important nonetheless.  While there were two close games (UT-UCLA, UGA-SC), the rest were decided by two touchdowns or more.  They say the biggest changes a coach will make in a season are between week 1 and 2.  With week 2 in the books, let’s take a look at the SEC and see what we know now…

            Starting down south, the Gators hosted the mighty Trojans.  Not USC, but the ones from Troy, AL.  Sure, they have won a share of the Sun Belt title for three straight seasons.  Sure, they won it last year outright.  But really, Florida, do you need your starters in the game during the 3rd quarter with a 35-3 lead?  I think we learned the Meyer wants Tebow to have the Heisman and a National Title in the same year.  Four years ago, Alabama’s 10-win season was marred by an injury to Tyrone Prothro in the 3rd quarter of a 31-3 beat down in Bryant-Denny.  Who’s to say that the injury bug couldn’t strike the Gators?  Be careful, Meyer.  Don’t get so carried away with punishing the Vols that you sacrifice the season.

            We slide East to Baton Rouge where the Tigers hosted an undefeated Vanderbilt team (how many times can you say that about the ‘Dores).  LSU was touted as a favorite to replace Alabama as the West champ.  After having a struggling offense two weeks straight, it doesn’t bode well for a team that will travel to Athens, Tuscaloosa, and Oxford.  Not to mention they host Florida Oct. 10.  Vanderbilt, on the other hand had a great offensive showing against Western Carolina, but struggled mightily on the road.  Luckily, they play a Mississippi State team that allowed 49 points to Auburn.

            In Alabama, there were two games of great importance, but for different reasons.  Auburn showed what it could really do with a spread offense in dropping a 49-point bomb on the Bulldogs.  The Tigers were preemptive, poised, and potent, scoring two touchdowns each of the first three quarters, and never giving up the lead.  Meanwhile, their cross-state rival Alabama had to endure a few bumps and bruises.  With starters Mark Ingram and phenom Julio Jones out with the flu and a bruised knee, respectively, the Tide had to do something it couldn’t do this time last year – rely on subs.  Mike McCoy caught 100 yards worth of passes and a touchdown, while highly touted freshman Trent Richardson showed his stuff, running for 118 yards and two much needed 2nd half touchdowns in the 40-14 win.

            One of the more competitive and defensively dominated rivalries over the past6 years or so has been the yearly meeting between Georgia and South Carolina.  Since  2003, no team has scored more than 20 points in this matchup, and the margin of victory has almost always been a touchdown or less.  With both teams scoring a combined 17 in their respective openers, that total was more than tripled by halftime (54) in an absolutely electric back-and-forth battle.  In true rivalry fashion, the final score depended on a clutch play (blocked PAT), a final drive, and pivotal 4th down play.

            And we go all the way out to Los Angeles, where the Volunteers hoped to avenge the meltdown last year against UCLA.  Kiffin’s debut last week produced hope, as they ran all over Western Kentucky.  Alas. The Bruins are apparently not the Hilltoppers.  Crompton was 50% on his throws, picked off three times, and threw for less than 100 yards.  No Tennessee running back topped the century mark, either.  In their defense, they actually outgained the Bruins by 22 yards as far as production, but that’s not going to be good enough to beat the Gators this week, which brings us to the SEC games worth your time…
1.     Tennessee @ Florida:  By the time the sun sets on Gator Nation, Tebow and Co. should be running the clock out while simultaneously using the last of their time outs.  All while Meyer smiles on the inside (and outside), and Kiffin is starting to figure out how a cheater could’ve really won.

2.     West Virginia @ Auburn:  Just like last season, when the loss in Morgantown sent Auburn spiraling to Tubberville’s worst record since his first season on the Plains, this game could signal the return to the top.  The first two games of the season have shown improvement for both teams, but Auburn would definitely benefit more with the W.

3.     Mississippi State @ Vanderbilt: This is a chance for both teams to take a step forward.  The Bulldogs, under first year head coach Dan Mullen, are looking for an identity while Bobby Johnson and the Commodores are looking to replicate last year’s bowl winning season (the first in 50+ years).

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