Another week, another lackluster SEC schedule. Let's run down last weekend's games and what wisdom those games imparted upon us.South Carolina 17, Vanderbilt 24
The weekend started off with a bang, with one of the most exciting games of the weekend going down on Thursday night.
This game was fairly even in the box score, and if you watched, you could clearly see that these were both mediocre SEC squads on the field.
South Carolina's offense continues to be a mess. With Spurrier appearing even more uncertain about his quarterback situation, it seems likely this is going to get worse before it gets better in Columbia. Especially with Knowshon Moreno and Georgia rolling into town this weekend.
In Nashville, the folks think Vanderbilt is on a roll. Ironically, they are also trying to manage expectations as people begin to talk big things for the Dores. I still have to see Vanderbilt finish a season without a total train wreck before I'm a believer, but the PapaJohns.com Bowl seems not entirely unlikely for them.
Southern Miss 13, Auburn 27
Auburn appears to be past their QB controversy for now. Chris Todd looked pretty darned decent and the spread offense operated like it is supposed to; Todd completed passes to 11 different guys, and 8 different rushers carried the ball.
On the downside, this was still Southern Miss, and ball security continues to be an issue. There were 3 fumbles and an interception (during a Cody Burns cameo). Additionally, the rushing offense generated a scant 132 yards.
However, as Todd matures in the system, this offense could get interesting.
Central Michigan 17, Georgia 56
Knowshon Moreno is a man. He's 40!
OK, so, he's more like 20, but he's ready for prime time. It was Central Michigan, so the abject destruction of the Chippewas didn't tell us much, but this video is illustrative of Moreno's skills:
Moreno can fly. Be afraid.
Norfolk State 3, Kentucky 38
I'm glad this game wasn't on TV.
Kentucky's defense was again stout... but it's Norfolk State. And, the quarterback controversy is once again in full swing as Randall Cobb impressed with his 6/11 87 yard performance (one TD, one INT). Cobb also had success on the ground as he led three late Wildcat touchdown drives.
Mike Hartline had a slightly more pedestrian line - 9/15, 60 yards (no TD, no INT). Reports say Cobb was more impressive.
It's hard to divine any actual knowledge against Norfolk State, though.
Ole Miss 28, Wake Forest 30
This was the game of the week. Jevan Snead is looking pretty good so far - 20/31 for 253, with four TDs and one interception. If Snead continues to grow within Nutt's offense, the Rebels could be a contender.
However, their defense is still weak. Wake managed 30 points against them - and moved the ball when it counted most. Still, if not for a bad call by the officials late, we could be talking about a top-25 Ole Miss team. They were that impressive.
SELA 10, Mississippi State 34
It's amazing what a directional Louisiana can do for your offense. After a sluggish spring and fall, followed by a slow start at Louisiana Tech, the State offense finally made some progress. Wesley Carroll was 15 of 23 for 158 yards and two touchdowns. That those numbers represent light years of improvement is a story in and of itself.
State will once again live and die by its defense. They gave up just 115 yards passing and 33 yards on the ground. This week, the Bulldogs play host to the Auburn Tigers. It will be fascinating to see if they can keep up the defensive tenacity against an actual SEC team. I predict no.
Miami 3, Florida 26
Oh, Urban Meyer, why are you so... classy?
With 25 seconds remaining, Meyer kicked a field goal. That drive was led by... you guessed it... the irrepressible Tim Tebow! Meyer does this week after week. Against Hawaii - another Florida blowout - Tebow was in the game late in the third quarter. He came out after he threw the touchdown that made it 42-0.
That Meyer allows his franchise to take hits that late in a game that was out of hand is irresponsible.
Especially when you consider that Tebow is the offense. Florida had 345 total yards of offense. Tebow had 311 yards of total offense. That's more than 90%. The fragile Percy Harvin accounted for another 27 yards on the ground (nearly 8%).
And, it's not like Tebow's backup can't use the work; Cameron Newton is a sophomore who has 10 pass attempts and 16 rushes in his career.
My point here is that Florida's season is a house of cards. If they were to be unlucky in injuries, it could get ugly quick. And, instead of getting backups valuable experience, he continues to thrust his guys into the line of fire when the game is out of reach. Not smart, Mr. Meyer...
Louisiana-Monroe 27, Arkansas 28
Bobby Petrino's high-flying Hogs once again flirt with disaster. They trailed 24-6 in the fourth quarter, and ULM missed a field goal with time running out that would have won it for the Warhawks. The defense is terrible in Fayetteville.
Casey Dick appears to be adjusting nicely on offense, though. He was 22/34 for 323 and two touchdowns via the air. This offense will almost certainly set every meaningful passing record at Arkansas.
But if you thought Corey Smith looked sketchy for Alabama, it could have been worse. From ESPN.com:
Alex Tejada missed field goals of 45 and 25 yards in the first quarter, then missed an extra point early in the second. After missing the extra point, Tejada was called for delay of game on the ensuing kickoff and then kicked the ball out of bounds, giving Louisiana-Monroe the ball at its 45.
I'm still saying that Arkansas and Mississippi State will battle it out for the West cellar in November. Stay tuned.
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