College Football Weekend Review - (Week 5)

College Football Weekend Review - (Week 5)
October 1, 2012, 11:35 am
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Marcus Lattimore looks to carry the load versus Georgia.The calendar turns to October and that means the importance of football games goes up exponentially. The college football season is like a major championship in golf and you dont want to play your way out of contention in September. October is like Saturday at a major (moving day) this is the month where you put yourself in position to win a championship, conference or BCS. The reason this month is so much fun and so important is the league games around college football become more significant. This week we have two top ten (AP poll) match ups in the SEC alone. We have five top 25 match ups in college football this week which is the most we have had all season.This past weekend featured a ton of offense and some surprising high scores (even West Virginia and Baylor). The most consistent problem that I see on defense in college football is poor tackling. Too many guys want to make the (sports center moment) big hit and not wrap up. Other guys try to make the strip before making the sure tackle. The fundamentals have been lost for some teams in college football. I have several theories on why we are seeing this, but the main reason is the complexity of offenses in college football. Coaches have to spend all their time prepping their players for a variety of looks each week that fundamental periods in practice become shorter and shorter. I also deciphered this past weekend that there are very few teams in college football that can just show up and win. Todays game is all about motivation and if your team is not ready to play, they can lose to anybody in the country.I am going to throw out the GeorgiaSouth Carolina results from this past weekend. I dont think either defense has played its best game and I expect a typical Bulldog-Gamecock 20-17 type game this week. I keep telling people how impressed I am with Georgias offense and hopefully they are starting to listen. The Dogs lead the country in explosives (plays over 20 yards) with 43. Mike Bobo received some real praise from Mark Richt after the Tennessee game and let me tell you why its deserved. Georgia has scored on its opening possession in four of its five games this season. The Gurshell effect of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall has Georgia number one in the SEC in rushing. If there are any concerns going into the showdown with the Gamecocks, its the rush defense and turnovers. The Bulldogs are 9th in the league in rush defense and have turn the ball over nine times in five games.Mike Bobo,Georgia Offensive CoordinatorQuick ReadsTennessee- The Volunteers had a chance to steal a win in Athens on Saturday but once again they could not make a play when they needed it. This seems to define the Derek Dooley Era which is one laden with moral victories. The Vols ran the ball well, they competed but the defense is still a liability and until that gets shored up it will be a long October. Tennessee lost for the first time in school history when scoring 40 points.South Carolina- Steve Spurriers team slept threw the first half against Kentucky, but was able to wake up and win their 11th straight SEC East game. Expect Marcus Lattimore to get more work this week against Georgia. His 23 carries on Saturday were the most since the opener at Vanderbilt. South Carolina is first in the league with 22 sacks.Missouri- The Tigers offense has no rhythm right now, but they were able to get a much needed win at UCF. I actually think the defense has played well, but the offensive line has really struggled. The Tigers have given up 13 sacks already this season, compared to 18 for the entire 2011 season. James Franklin looked better throwing but Missouri was 1-11 on third down.Texas A&M- The Aggies are quietly becoming a sleeper in the SEC West. The defense is much improved and with Johnny Manziel making plays they will be a tough out in College Station. Manziel leads the SEC in total offense at 365 yards per game and has accounted for 16 touchdowns passing and rushing. The Aggies are 2nd in the SEC with 17 sacks.Johnny Manziel making plays with his feet and his arm for the Aggies.Alabama- The Crimson Tide maintain their hold on number one after shutting down the Ole Miss rushing attack and holding them to just 80 yards. The Alabama defense has now held all five of its opponents under 100 yards rushing. Alabama also got its pass rush going this past week registering five sacks. Alabama is third in the league with 32 runs of 10yards. LSU- The Tigers looked very disinterested in their game with Towson. Offensively they look jagged, while defensively they looked flat. With that said the issue may be the challenge. Les Miles team has not gone into a game yet where they felt like they could be challenged. They have won 17 in a row in the regular season and this week they should be a much focused team as they head to Gainesville. LSU is just 47th in the country on 3rd down conversions at around 43.Kentucky- Maxwell Smiths tough luck continues as he was knocked out of the game versus South Carolina. Jalen Whitlow did some good things at quarterback for the first real significant action of the season. He did have two interceptions, but overall he looks to be the quarterback of the future.Ole Miss- The Rebels did take a 7-6 lead on Alabama in Tuscaloosa behind a Jeff Scott touchdown run. The tempo offense looked decent early. I thought Bo Wallace held onto the ball too long at times and under threw some receivers as well. That can happen against an Alabama defense though. For the offense to work they must be able to run the football and 80 yards is just not going to get it done.Arkansas- The Razorbacks dont look like they have much fight in them right now. It looks like a team with a bunch of different agendas and no leadership. However you know that so lets stick to the on the field stuff. The defense has just been horrible. Arkansas is dead last (124th in the country) in big plays allowed. They have given up 101 plays of 10 yards or more in five games. To put that in perspective thats 73 more than Alabama.
Weekly Nuggets from our friends with the SEC Media OfficeSix SEC teams are ranked in this weeks Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 polls. Alabama is top-ranked in both polls while LSU is 3rd in USA Today and 4th in AP. Georgia and South Carolina, which play this weekend in Columbia, are 5-6, respectively, in both polls. Florida is 10th in AP and 11th in USA Today and Mississippi State is 19th in USA Today and 20th in AP. Texas A&M receives votes in both polls and Tennessee received votes in the AP poll. The SEC is tied with the Pac-12 for most teams ranked in the AP poll and with the Big 12 for most teams in the USA Today poll. SEC teams have recorded a record of 30-7 (.811) against non-conference foes this season. The last time the league did not have at least a .800 non-conference winning mark was in 2008 (37-11, .771).The LSU-Florida match up pits the two winning-est teams in the SEC since 2003 (last 10 seasons). The Tigers are 102-22 (.823) and the Gators are 91-31 (.746) since 2003.Winning-est active SEC starting QBs Aaron Murray, Georgia (21-11); A.J. McCarron, Alabama (17-1); Connor Shaw, South Carolina (12-1); Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (12-5); Tyler Bray, Tennessee (11-6).SEC teams have scored 136 rushing and 116 passing TDs after five weeks. Arkansas and Kentucky are the only SEC teams not to score a non-offensive TD this season. SEC teams have allowed 88 rushing TDs and 72 passing TDs this season. Alabama, South Carolina and Texas A&M have allowed just five TDs each.Alabama leads SEC, scoring on 56.9 percent of its offensive drives (TD FG), 33 of 58 drives, 56.9 percent. Georgia leads SEC in drives scoring touchdowns at 41.9 percent (31 of 74). Texas A&M is a close second at 41.8 percent (23 of 55).Alabama leads SEC, allowing scores (TD FG) on just 08.5 percent of its defensive drives (5 of 59) while South Carolina leads SEC in allowing least TDs on drives (07.5 percent, 5 of 67).LSU leads the SEC in holding opponents to three-downs-and-out. The Tigers have stopped opponents 47.1 percent of the time (32 of 68) in three downs or less.Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M have not allowed a score when an opponent takes possession on a turnover. Alabama has scored a league-high 84 points when taking the ball on an opponents turnover.