AJ McCarron is the nation's most efficient passer.This past weekend offered us more of the same in the Southeastern Conference. We saw great defense, opportunistic offense and of course the Alabama machine just rolling along. The Crimson Tide washed Tennessee right out of Knoxville fueling the message boards and talk shows with the speculation of Derek Dooleys future. If a win over Alabama was needed to keep his job, that wasnt necessarily a fair deal. Nick Sabans team looks focused and determined after winning a championship last season. Over the next few weeks, they will get the chance to prove the few naysayers still left out there that they are truly the number one team in the country. LSU and Florida still control their own destiny, while Georgia and Mississippi State do as well. We head to late October and believe it or not, very little have been decided in the SEC.Quinton Dunbar and the Gators are 7-0 for the 5th time in school history.Florida held South Carolina to 3-14 on 3rd down and forced four turnovers in the 44-11 win. The Gators are now 11 in the turnover margin, which is a complete turnaround from the -11 in 2011. Florida held South Carolina to 36 yards rushing and without a touchdown. Thats two straight SEC top ten opponents (LSU) that the Gators have kept out of the end zone at home. The Gators scored six touchdowns in 7 red zone trips with the one they didnt convert was a kneel down at the end of the game. Carolina looks like a tired team in need of a bye week and will get one finally after playing Tennessee. Marcus Lattimore was nonexistent although the Gamecock defense was very good. South Carolina had 10 tackles for loss in the game.LSU went to Kyle Field and beat Texas A&M 24-19 despite going 2-16 on third down. Zach Mettenberger threw his first touchdown against an SEC team this season and the Tigers rallied for the win. The defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions which made it 25 consecutive games in a row that LSU has won under Les miles when winning the turnover margin. Jeremy Hill went for 127 yards on the ground, a career high also improving the Tigers to 31-2 under Miles when a back rushes for 100 yards. Eric Reid had a great game on defense scoring 11 tackles, the most he has had since the BCS title game. The Aggies dominated early but could only come away with two field goals and a touchdown en route to a 12-0 lead. The 410 yards by A&M is the most given up by an LSU team this season. The defense did not force a turnover for the second consecutive game which is a concern. However Damontre Moore showed he is one of the best leading the way with 10 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.LSU's defense smothered the SEC's leading rusher Johnny Manziel.Alabama is known for great defense, but it may be time to look at the offense. The Crimson Tide has now scored 30 or more points in all seven games this season. That is an Alabama record and AJ McCarron is a big reason for that. He had a career high 306 yards and tied a career high with four touchdown passes. Amari Cooper set an Alabama freshman record with 162 yards and is providing the Tide offense with a serious deep threat. The Tide just jump on you and never gives you much of a chance, especially in the first quarter. Alabama has scored in the opening quarter of every game and outscored its opponents 90-3. The Tennessee defense continues to struggle giving up the most touchdowns in a game since 2007.It is kind of pick your poison right now against Alabama on what you game plan to stop. The high octane Tennessee offense just couldnt keep up. Tyler Bray was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season and threw two interceptions.Around the leagueGeorgia defeated Kentucky 29-24 behind a record setting performance from quarterback Aaron Murray. Before you get all over the Dogs, give Joker Phillips credit for keeping his team competing during some adverse times in Lexington. Murray now has the all-time record at Georgia with 75 touchdown passes and its good to see Malcolm Mitchell back in the fold at receiver. He had a career high nine receptions as the Bulldogs had two 100 yard receivers (Tavares King) in a game for the first time since 2010 against Florida.Kentucky competed and did rush for 206 yards on 43 attempts which was a season best. Morgan Newton became the fourth different quarterback to throw a touchdown for the Wildcats this season. It was his 15th touchdown pass of his career.Mississippi State exploded in the 2nd half to roll Middle Tennessee State and set up a showdown with number one Alabama. Ladarius Perkins continues to impress has he went for 125 yards which was his third straight 100 yard game. He is one of only two backs in the country to rush for a touchdown in every game. Keep an eye on the health of Johnthan Banks this week as he twisted his knee on his 16th career interception. Vanderbilt got a huge win 17-13 over Auburn and Zac Stacy became the all-time leading rusher with 169 yards. The Commodores ran for 209 yards as a team and Stacy has carried the ball 80 times the last three games. He is now third in the league in rushing and with a win this week against UMASS; Vandy can get back to .500. The Dores defense also registered a season high five sacks.Auburn is last in the league in total offense and their 212 yards against Vanderbilt is not going to help. This was the fourth time in eight games that they have been held under 220 yards. The 54 offensive snaps were the second lowest this season, behind the 52 they had versus LSU. The 209 yards rushing given up is the most they have allowed since the season opener against Clemson (320 yards).Notes from the SEC OfficeThe SEC has seven teams in both the Associated Press and USA Today Top 25 polls this week. Alabama is the top-ranked team in both polls followed by Florida (3rd in both polls), LSU (6th in both polls), Georgia (11th-USA 12th-AP), Mississippi State (12th USA 13th - AP), South Carolina (16th-USA 17th-AP) and Texas A&M (21st-USA 22nd - AP). The BCS Standings and Harris Poll will be released later today.This Saturdays games feature games pitting the top two teams in each division. In the Eastern Division, Florida and Georgia play in Jacksonville in the CBS Sports contest at 3:30 p.m. ET. In the Western Division, Alabama hosts Mississippi State on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Gators currently have a 1.5 game lead over the Bulldogs and in the Western Division, both the Tide and Bulldogs are undefeated in league play.SEC National Individual Stat Leaders: Passing Efficiency A.J. McCarron, Alabama; Punting Kyle Christy, Florida; Tackles for Loss Damontre Moore, Texas A&M; Sacks Damontre Moore, Texas A&M.SEC National Team Stat Leaders: Pass Efficiency Defense Alabama; Net Punting- Florida; Passing Efficiency Alabama; Rushing Defense Alabama; Scoring Defense Alabama; Total Defense Alabama; Turnover Margin Mississippi State.SEC teams are 32-7 (.821) against non-conference foes this year, the second highest among all FBS conferences (Big 12 25-3 .893). The SEC has had an 80 percent-or higher winning percentage in non-conference games in six of the last seven seasons, with the exception being 2008 (37-11 .771). Since 1992, the SEC is 76.7 percent against non-conference foes (including bowl games).The Georgia-Florida rivalry is the fourth most competitive (by average scoring margin) in the SEC since 2000. In 12 games between the teams since 2000, the average winning margin is 11.25 points per game. Seven of the 12 games have been decided by single-digits.
College Football Weekend Review - (Week 8)
October 22, 2012, 12:49 pm