Published September 28, 2012 - 2:45pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
We’re already looked at the East’s stock watch for week five, and here’s the West:
Arkansas’ passing defense: You didn’t think it could get worse? Well, it did last week against Rutgers. They allowed Rutgers’ quarterback to throw for five touchdowns and nearly 400 yards. This is a battered secondary with the Hogs best corner Tevin Mitchell still out with an injury, and no one wants to step up at all. Something good has to happen to this group, right?
Auburn’s 3rd down conversions: Auburn’s offense as a whole has been very bad through four weeks, and their third-down conversion percentage proves that. The Tigers were 6-13 against ULM in a win, but they were just 2-12 against LSU. For the season, Auburn is 13th in the SEC with 14 conversions out of 50 attempts. That won’t get it done.
Mississippi State’s defense: The secondary has played marvelously overall, as they lead the country in turnover margin at +13. However, their defense as a whole has had two bad weeks. They started the first two weeks against Jackson State and Auburn allowing a total of 481 yards in two games, but against Troy and South Alabama, the Bulldogs’ defense has allowed 919 yards of total defense. While they are underrated as a whole, they have to pick it up before conference play if they want to shock the West.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M: Michael is in Kevin Sumlin’s doghouse. He was suspended against SMU for a violation of team rules, and he only played the second half against South Carolina State last week. Michael, a senior, had the most rushing yards of any SEC player in his career heading into this season, but he currently sits third on the depth chart behind Ben Malena and Trey Williams. Michael needs to do what he has to in order to break back into the starting lineup and have a positive effect on the team.
Ole Miss’ rushing offense: This is a fun team to watch. Hugh Freeze’s offense leads the SEC in rushing, averaging over 259 yards on the ground through four weeks. Just last week, Ole Miss had five guys who rushed for over 30 yards and racked up 304 yards on the ground. We’ll see how this fast-paced offense fares against Alabama this week. But it sure is fun to watch.
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Alabama doesn’t throw the football a lot, but when they do, AJ McCarron has been very good and efficient. Bama has seven different receivers with over five catches on the year, and the true freshman Amari Cooper leads all of them. Through three weeks, his total catches per game were two, and he doubled that output last week with four catches. It’s important that Cooper continues to develop to give McCarron a very reliable target on the outside. He’s going to be a very good player.
Spencer Ware, RB, LSU: Ware started off the year a little banged up, and it allowed Alfred Blue, Michael Ford and Kenny Hilliard to get nearly all the carries in the first few games. Ware didn’t play in the first game, and he only tallied eight carries for 38 yards against Washington. He didn’t play in the third game against Idaho either, but he showed up in a big way against Auburn. He carried 16 times for 90 yards and looked like the running back we all saw last season.