September 3, 2012
The first weekend ofcollege football is usually more hype than substance. We are so excited for theseason to begin we latch on to a few quality games and live with plenty ofcupcake battles. The reason week one is so tough to gauge is the amount ofmistakes teams make. Penalties, turnovers and special teams are usually themost glaring areas of the game that teams will try to clean up after week one.I think the top two SEC teams look like they did in 2011, but for the rest ofthe league it was mixed bag. Because of expansion week will give us a betterpicture of what to expect in 2012.Alabama was in mid season form as the SEC once again sent a message tothe college football world with the Crimson Tide's 41-14 win over Michigan. TheTide's balance on offense and there speed on defense was too much forMichigan.TJ Yeldon looks like the real deal at running back. Nick Saban has ahungry team and there next test comes in two weeks at Arkansas. Auburn lost to Clemson in the best game of the weekend. The Tigers stillcan't slow down Clemson even with new coordinator Brian Van Gorder. AndreEllington was terrific in a win they meant a lot to the ACC and Clemson coachDabo Swinney. The game came down to the red zone offense and the experience ofTajh Boyd. Kiehl Frazier did some good things, but his inability to finishdrives in the scoring zone cost Auburn. LSU showed it has plenty of weapons on offense and special teams.Odell Beckham Jr. had a punt return for a touchdown replacing the departedTyrann Mathieu and Zach Mettenberger threw the ball down the field nicely inthe Tiger win. It was a good solid opener for Les Miles and yet he sees thingand areas they can improve on. I was very impressedwith Tyler Bray and Tennessee intheir 35-21 win over North Carolina State. If Bray stays healthy all season,the Volunteers could put up some sick offensive numbers. The addition ofCordarrelle Patterson at wide receiver could be the key to a break out year forDerek Dooley. The strength of NC State's defense was its secondary but not onFriday night. Vols will be 2-0 in two weeks when the Gators come rolling in toKnoxville. Quick Reads EAST
Georgia's run game will be in good shape and they worked on it running it39 times. Aaron Murray left some points on the field Saturday by missing somelong balls, but look for him to be sharper this week.South Carolina needs a passing game and they have 4 weeks to find one beforethere next real test. Steve Spurrier on threw it 15 times in large part due tothe health of his quarterback Connor Shaw.
Florida has to open its offense up or it could be a long season inGainesville. Teams are going to stack the box on running back Mike Gillislee.Also no team committed more penalties this weekend than the Gators.
Vandy needs a break through win soon. James Franklin has done a terrificjob, now it's time to move up. The Commodores only managed 62 yards rushingversus South Carolina. With Stacy and Norman you would expect more from that phasein coming weeks.
Missouri will find out how it stacks up this week when Georgia rolls in.The Dogs get some key players back on defense. WESTArkansas is in a two week preparation mode for Alabama this week the Hogsneed clean up the fumbles having put four on the ground the other night.
Mississippi State had two defensive touchdowns in an easy win.This week they get Auburn and a chance to make a statement win for theirprogram.
Ole Miss did get its offense going in the second half of their win. Bo Wallacehad 82 yards rushing and 262 yards passing in his debut as the quarterback. Thejob was supposed to be a split time deal with Barry Brunetti, but Hugh Freezegave Wallace the most snaps.
September 3, 2012