Published September 7, 2010 - 5:00am
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Looking back at week one of the season, we are hearing all sorts of negatives, and some positives, when it comes to SEC play. I never like to take a negative outlook on anything, so I put together some of the positives from week 1. I can tell you from experience that its always tough to get into flow as a team in week one and in the SEC because some of these matchups are tough to get real excited about. On the other hand, this is typically the biggest game of the year for our opponents.
Florida – Relax Gator fans… it was ugly, but there are a few things to look at that should help you sleep between now and next Saturday at noon. Keep in mind that you lost quite a few big time players. Lets start with Brantley. When he was allowed to look down the field, he was pretty good (17-25, 113 yards, 2 TD). He hit his receivers on some big 3rd and 4th down plays and had a deep ball for a third TD dropped early on that could have changed the entire flow of the game. There is definitely work to be done at the Center position (13 mishandled exchanges) and the running game had a slow start. Things sure are different when 2-3 defenders don’t have to keep an eye on #15. The defense seemed to take on a ‘bend but don’t break’ attitude and only gave up a solid .2 yards per rush (4 total yards), and Janoris Jenkins looked great for week one. Regardless of who you play, not giving up a touchdown when the opponent starts with good field position is a good accomplishment.
LSU – Big games like this are much like rivalry games where no matter what your team or record looks like, both teams come to play. SEC/ACC matchup, 2 ranked teams, Georgia Dome, ESPN night game… All of this things make for a tough matchup a large majority of the time. Yes North Carolina was down quite a few men, but keep in mind that these are still big time athletes with a good football coach. Going into the 4th quarter, the Tigers were up 30-10 and in control. A late surge by the Tar Heels made it a close one. North Carolina was held to 24 rushing yards on 33 carries. Say what you want… but this is a big win for LSU.
South Carolina – Finally a week one game for the Game Cocks to get excited about. Garcia living up to the hype maybe?! He looked good, his receivers looked HUGE (I would throw to Jeffery every time as well), and Lattimore is going to be a stud. Next weekend against Georgia in Columbia will be a fun one to watch. Should be the 7th SEC team to be in the top 25 this week.
Auburn – Cam Newton (SEC offensive player of the week) can take all of the laptops he wants on Auburns campus after week one. He surpassed expectations and was able to run and throw very effectively. 186 in the air and 171 on the ground is not too bad in his debut. Dyer looked like a ball player and the trickery on offense was at full force. The defense will need to step it up next week against Dan Mullens Mississippi state offense but the crew of defensive backs who sat out most of last year with injuries will begin to shine due to their experience as Auburn moves forward.
Alabama – 48-3. Take your time Ingram. Apparently Alabama is about 5 deep at the running back position. Next week will be fun as Penn State comes to town to continue the SEC over Big Ten trend.
Arkansas – 44-3. Big time game by Ryan Mallett.
Georgia – 55-7 win without Aj Green.
Mississippi State – 49-7. 569 yards of offense.
Kentucky – Big rivalry win over Louisville and coach Charlie Strong. UK Coach Joker Phillips wins his first game as SEC coach.
Tennessee – 50-0. 537 yards of offense.
Vandy – It’s Vandy – what do you expect?
Ole Miss – Don’t remind me.
Keep your chins up! All in all, not too bad. The SEC should have 7, yes 7, teams ranked after this week. The bottom of the barrel (Vandy and Ole Miss) seem pretty week but the top 10 teams in the conference may be as strong as its been as a whole in a long time.