Six biggest takeaways from the SEC’s week 2

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Week two is officially in the books, and we’re already two weeks into what will be an extremely fast season.

Here are the main takeaways from week two action:

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In the driver’s seat: Georgia beat South Carolina for the first time during the Aaron Murray era in the SEC’s only conference game of the week, and the Bulldogs are the frontrunners in the East, finding themselves in a slightly different position than years past. Still, South Carolina has the most favorable schedule in the East, and Georgia has LSU in three weeks. So, the Gamecocks are not even close to being out of it. How badly did Georgia shred South Carolina’s defense? What a display of offensive excellence by Aaron Murray.

Related: Four main takeaways from Georgia’s 41-30 win against South Carolina

Quarterbacks: The SEC has been criticized for being a purely running back and defensive league. And while that’s still true, this is a slightly different year with big-time quarterbacks putting up big-time numbers. We’ll start with Aaron Murray and the show he put on against the Gamecocks. Murray threw for 309 yards and four TDs. LSU’s Zach Mettenberger did more against a lesser opponent, as he connected on 16 of 19 passes for 282 yards and five touchdowns against UAB. Johnny Manziel torched Sam Houston State’s defense, accounting for 439 yards and four TDs. Even in a losing effort, Connor Shaw had a big game and threw for 228 yards and two TDs, and Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace and Auburn’s Nick Marshall each threw for two TDs. Kentucky’s Max Smith threw for three TDs. The SEC quarterbacks had strong performances on Saturday. Well, except for Florida QB Jeff Driskel.

Gettin’ on the board: All week one losers – Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt – recorded wins. UK, MSU and Vandy combined to dominate lesser foes 130 to 17. Mark Stoops recorded his first win as a head coach, and Kentucky gears up for rival Louisville next week. The Wildcats put up 675 yards of offense. MSU had an offensive revival against Alcorn State, posting 556 total yards and 51 points. Vanderbilt called off the dogs after it was 38-0 at halftime.

Jekyll and Hyde: Florida looks to have the SEC’s top defense, but the offense could be one of the worst. And Florida’s offense looked at its worst against Miami, coughing up five turnovers – three in the redzone. QB Jeff Driskel played his worst game as a Gator and threw two picks in the redzone and had another fumble late in the fourth. Much like last season, Florida has zero room for penalties and turnovers, and they committed way too many of each to even beat an average team. Florida is shaping up to have another top defense, but the offense is below average and searching for any type of playmaker. The Gators have the bye week to regroup before hosting Tennessee.

Related: Three takeaways from Florida’s brutal 21-16 loss to Miami

Taking care of business: Missouri took care of Toledo; Ole Miss hammered SE Missouri State; Texas A&M throttled Sam Houston State; Auburn thumped Arkansas State; LSU blew out UAB; Arkansas put away Samford. Credit these six teams with taking care of business. Henry Josey led Missouri with two TDs, and Bo Wallace led the Rebels with two TDs. The Aggies piled up 714 total yards and Manziel led the way with four TDs. Auburn rushed for over 300 yards, and Nick Marshall threw two TDs. Zach Mettenberger trumped them all with five TD passes. Arkansas freshman RB Alex Collins recorded 172 yards and one TD to lead the Hogs.

Haven’t learned: Although all five teams sit 2-0, we know little about Arkansas, Auburn, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M. But credit those five and their coaching staffs for starting 2-0. Things get real for Texas A&M this week against Alabama, and Tennessee travels across country for a date with Oregon. Missouri and Arkansas still have two non-conference matchups before starting SEC play. Auburn hosts Mississippi State in arguably the Tigers’ most important game this season.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • Orleans Lattimore: Here I am…quoting you. As you pleased. ”Quote me on this please, no way does UGA win by more than 7 if they get the victory.” UGA just won by 11 points (which by the way is winning by 2 scores because as you said “Don’t think the UGA team is better than the USC team and certainly not by two scores.”) What did I say the score would be? 41-27. I was off by a field goal, sorry. And about your run game…Gurley, Marshall, and Hicks combined for 220 rush yards, 85 receiving yards, and 3 TDs. And did that defense “overwhelm Murray” like you thought it would? And without Mitchell…5 different receivers stepped up along with Gurley, Marshall, and Hicks also contributing. And…where was Clowney? I guess “desire to win” really doesn’t triumph over actual talent.

    • HAHA Had to run away from Clowney the entire game. Fact. Your pups used the same exact game plan as UNC. Unluckily for UNC their offense isn’t on par with yours. Oh well, brag all you like. Win out or you’ll look like idiots like we did the past two years.

      • Fun stat from our game: Georgia averaged 9 yards per carry with Clowney on the field, and sub 3 yards per carry with Clowney off the field. Moreover…you boy had a single tackle, 0 sacks, 0 TFLs, and 0 QB hurries. Not once did he make his presence known to anyone.

        • No denying the per play rushing average but you might want to check your stats. Clowney did have a sack and 3 tackles, one of which he chased the player down from the opposite side of the field. There were a few times he pressured Murray as well. What’s funny is, if 1 sack and 3 tackles with a couple QB hurries were to happen to any other player the media pundits would have said that player had a great game but because it was Clowney and the hype the media threw on him, this is a sub=par outing. This is a team sport and one person cannot do it all. The defense sucked as a whole no denying that.

        • This is true David Nance…He had a decent game when he was in the game. I give the credit to Bobo and Murray for finding ways to exploit some of his tendencies.

        • You’re right. Clowney’s official stat line is: 3 tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, 0 passes broken up, 0 QB hurries, and 0 forced fumbles or fumbles recovered. When I first checked ESPN on Sunday they had him listed with only a single tackle, which I thought weird because I remembering him getting to Murray, but still accepted it. The point being though: Clowney was cracked up to be a one man wrecking ball. Georgia was able to make him a near non-factor about as well as you can.

        • Just remember… The media cracked Clowney up as a one-man wrecking ball. The media hype is impossible to live down (it is for just about any player hyped that much). Whether it’s one sack or three, Clowney will never live up to the hype the media created. Making any player a non-factor is easy to do when the majority of the plays are run on the opposite side of the line.

      • Seemed like we ran it straight down your throat pretty successfully as well. As for Clowney he spent a lot of time on the sidelines in the 4th quarter when he wasn’t taking himself out of plays on the field so yeah kind of easy for him not to be involved that way.

  • Overall good weekend for SEC football. The loss to UGA stung a little but the season is still early and the East race is still wide open (granted most UGA fans will think they’ve already signed their ticket to ATL). UGA will have their hands full with LSU in a few weeks.

    • Hmmmm….you are right Mr. Nance and SC will have their hands full of who???? Cake schedule SC has. Guess somebody has to do it right. Haha..

    • As a Georgia fan who has seen his team go to the SECCG after losing early to you guys the past two years, I can assure you no Georgia fan things they have signed their ticket to ATL.

      • Dawg780! REALITY CHECK! Your Georgia fans are just like Clemson fans. You already think you beat the world and are set for Atlanta. Go check Atlanta area hotel rooms. Georgia fans get one win and their heads get big. It’s a fact. Just don’t step foot in Columbia next year. I don’t think Spurrier will forget. We won’t be the ones breaking in a new QB next year either.

        • Yeah I’m sure you’re siked to be able to face Gurley as a junior. So what you’re trying to say is it will better to have a mediocre QB already playing? Clowney is going to get out of that town as fast as he can. I’m sure Spurrier’s memory will win you guys the game. Should we go ahead and give you the W? Also, should you maybe redefine you’re definition of fact. Man, there are so many things wrong with your post it hurts to read!

        • Oh, and honestly, I don’t think anyone cares if we have to run away from clowney the whole game. It worked, no?

        • You sound like a child that just got bullied. Re-read my post (I know, reading comprehension might not be your strong suit). I said that Georgia fans don’t think we have signed our ticket to ATL. In other words, we know of all teams that it’s early and a lot can still happen.

        • Sour grapes.

        • I wish we had Gurley for his Junior year…but at this rate that looks like a longshot

  • In week #3, TX A&M plays #1 Alabama, while Tenn plays #2 Oregon. I’d say the Vols stay closer to the Ducks than the Aggies to the Tide.

  • Jon: I applaud you sir for giving the credit where due. It was offensive excellence…with a little bit of Defensive grit and good, old fashioned, ram it down your throat power running to put the nail in the coffin.

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