Published September 15, 2011 - 12:43pm
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As SEC play starts for mostly every team either this week or next week, here are several questions worth asking about teams in this conference right now.
Does Alabama really scare teams? When I look at Alabama right now, the offense is not that overpowering. AJ McCarron doesn’t scare me at quarterback, and the running game has yet to really get cranking behind this really hyped offensive line. Sure, the defense is stellar, but in a low-scoring SEC game, anyone can win if a play or two goes their way. Alabama will likely play a majority of its games close this season if the running game does not really get cranked up.
Can Arkansas keep winning without a known running back? We know this passing offense is electric with Tyler Wilson at the helm, with his four legitimate wide receivers. However, the Razorbacks became really good a year ago when Knile Davis emerged as the go-to running back and gave the offense a different dimension that was missing in the first half. Now that Davis is out, can the Hogs find a legitimate back to step in and produce? The Razorbacks are 37th overall in rushing offense, averaging 180 yards on the ground against two cupcake teams.
Can Auburn find a run defense? Right now, Auburn is sitting 112th out of 120 D-1 teams in total defense. This defense is giving up almost 280 yards on the ground per game and almost 500 yards of offense per game. The Tigers escaped the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but there are far better defensive teams than State in this conference to keep Auburn’s scoring at a minimum. They need something to happen, quickly. They will, however, win their fair share of shootouts, though.
Is LSU’s defense as good as Alabama’s? LSU has dominated two games defensively so far – one being a national contender in Oregon and one a cupcake in Northwestern State. There may not be as many big names on this defense as the Tide’s, but you can bet your boots they are as fast and as physical. We’ll re-evaluate this question when the season is over, no doubt.
Will Houston Nutt survive this season? The Rebels are sitting 1-1 right now, and Ole Miss will start this weekend against Vanderbilt in SEC play. Vanderbilt is riding a wave of momentum right now, and I can totally see the ‘Dores beating the Rebels at home. Furthermore, every game on the Rebels’ remaining schedule can be a toss-up.
Can Mississippi State consistently run the football on upper-echelon SEC defenses? State has run right though Memphis and Auburn, and both defenses have been terrible thus far. We’ll find out tonight night if the Bulldogs can run on a legitimate LSU defense. Dan Mullen will ride this rushing offense up until the last game if he has to. This will be an interesting question to be answered moving forward.