What happened to you on Saturday? This is the must read for every SEC football fan on Monday morning right here at Saturday Down South. Pulling no punches as we recap a weekend of SEC football action…
The SEC at its Finest
There is a great line in the movie version of Moneyball, where Brad Pitt handsomely says to Jonah Hill, “How can you not be romantic about Baseball?” That line came to my head as I watched the fourth quarter of Alabama at LSU.
It was the best of so many things. History, rivalries, toughness, fanaticism, alcohol, team work, leadership, the South. Had this game been played in last season’s BCS Championship game, the BCS wouldn’t be getting dismantled. Instead of SEC fatigue, we’d have SEC withdrawals. Nobody would have anything to bitch about. This game was more than anyone could have hoped for.
“Alabama has a chance now, but I must tell you. Based on their performance in the second half I don’t know how you can be very optimistic. They’ve not done anything with the football in this half. McCarron is one for seven for zero yards. 94 seconds to go, both teams out of time outs.” – Verne Lundquist.
Come on? That is how the table is set for the final drive? Masterful, Verne. Aaron Sorkin, who I’m assuming wrote the line from Moneyball (it reeks of Sorkin), could not have done it better himself. He was critical, but he was right. McCarron was struggling bad. 43 seconds later, Alabama had the lead.
A.J. McCarron, who seemed so uncharacteristically rattled for the entire second half settled down and just played throw and catch with Kevin Norwood for 44 yards, before hitting future millionaire T.J. Yeldon for the go-ahead 28 yard touchdown. He became the emotionless robot we saw in last year’s title game… until the clock stopped, then every bottled up emotion from his entire life flooded out of him. It flooded out of him because what he just did was so hard. 94,000 crazy humans screaming at the top of their lungs for four hours can break a man. So can the expectation to have a perfect season.
Everything was going LSU’s way. They outplayed Alabama to that point, and they deserved to win this game. Zach Mettenberger had the best game of his career when the spotlight was the brightest. It felt like LSU’s night, and A.J. McCarron knew he was the guy who had to prevent the upset that seemed so inevitable. He could have quit, but he fought and he won.
The moment reminded me of Tim Tebow crying after the 2009 SEC Championship loss to Alabama. Tebow wanted it so badly and lost. McCarron wanted it so badly and won. It’s not the result so much as it was the fight that broke both guys.
How can you not be romantic about college football?
Georgia Holds on to SEC East Lead
Mississippi showed up ready to play against Georgia. The Rebels even found themselves with the lead late in the first half, and they got really excited. Way too excited, so Georgia had to teach them a lesson in big time college football.
Bo Wallace was trying to win the game every time threw the ball in the second quarter. He would spin out of what should have been a sack and get so excited that he wasn’t dead that he’d throw into triple coverage. I’m actually not sure if that even happened once, but it felt like it happened every time he touched the ball. He looked like Brett Favre, but the Jets version.
Ole Miss’ pace became so chaotic and unhinged that Georgia felt like they had to match it. Fight crazy with crazy. At one point in the 2nd quarter there were four turnovers in five plays. I’ve never seen anything like it. The chaos was capped off with a 40 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Murray to Tavarres King with only three seconds left in the half. It never should have happened, but it did, giving Georgia the lead that they never gave back.
Aaron Muarry was sacked hard three times before he even completed his first pass, but he maintained composure and put on a clinic in the second half. Hopefully, for Ole Miss fans, Bo Wallace was taking notes.
The win means Georgia is one win from clinching the SEC East. All they have to do is get by, the walking dumpster fire, 2-7 Auburn next week. That should be easy enough, right? We’ll see. Strange things seem to happen in Jordan-Hare…
Johnny Football Can’t Be Ignored
440 total yards and two touchdowns in a 25-point win against a one loss Mississippi State team in Starkville. Huh? That’s amazing.
The Aggies are very good, folks. They have lost only to Florida and LSU, two of probably the top five defenses in the country, and probably should have won both games. A lot of people (cough, me, cough) didn’t see this season coming, but it’s legit. Kevin Sumlin is legit, Johnny Football is legit, and the best college football team in the state of Texas is playing in the SEC. It remains to be seen if they are Alabama-legit, but they are a solid team.
Saturday’s game against Alabama is must watch television.
Plays That Mattered
SCREEN!!!!! A.J. McCarron finds wunderkind T.J. Yeldon for the game winner. You saw it. No further explanation is needed.
Apparently, Ole Miss wasn’t aware that quarterbacks are allowed to fake the handoff. A lot of very pretty girls in very pretty clothes were saying very ugly words after their defense fell for this one.
Is this Marlin Lane game winner the touchdown that buys Derek Dooley one more year? I’m just kidding, guys. He’s awful and totally getting fired.
What They Meant to Say?
“We’re getting geared up for our game against Transylvania. That’s not a joke, it’s a real place and a real team. Coach Cal feels confident that we can hold them scoreless. In other news, we have a football team. I know none of you know that but it’s true, we have a team, they have a coach, his name is Joker, also not a joke. Anyways, I’m firing him… also, not a joke.” – Mitch Barnhart, Athletic Director, University of Kentucky
“Zach Mettenberger was amazing tonight. He reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger. From his size, to his ability of having his greatest game on the biggest stage. Hell, even his treatment of women in Georgia bars is similar.” – Nick Saban, Head Coach, Alabama
“Should I not have tried the fake field goal? I don’t know, should I not swim in my shark tank covered in lamb blood? Should I not drink battery acid? Should I not stick my penis in light sockets? I’m honestly asking you to answer these questions because I’m completely insane.” – Les Miles, Head Coach, LSU
“I’m proud of quarterback, Jeff Driskel. He didn’t single handedly lose this game for us, which after last week is a step in the right direction.” - Will Muschamp, Head Coach, Florida
Photo Credit: Crystal Logiudice-US PRESSWIRE