The #1 college football recap returns following an explosive weekend of SEC football to open up the 2013 season. Pulling no punches as we recap a weekend of SEC football action…
Coach Boom Ball Exposed, Again
What happened to the University of Florida on Saturday in Miami could be called a philosophical loss. Miami didn’t do much, but that’s the problem with Will Muschamp’s style of football – it doesn’t take much to lose.
Last season we watched Florida win ugly… a lot. The ugly wins against good teams like Texas A&M, LSU and Florida State made it easier to overlook the ugly wins against terrible teams like Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Missouri. The wins allowed us to give the Gators a pass for their miserable offensive performance against Georgia and their humiliating bowl loss against Louisville. Saturday’s loss to Miami exposed the Florida Gators for what they really are: A Great Defense with a terrible offense and questionable coaching.
Want to beat Florida? Take some chances. Run some trick plays. Go for it on fourth down. Air it out, a lot. They might not always work out, but even if they don’t, Florida doesn’t have the offense to make you pay consistently.
That is what Miami did on Saturday. They executed their choreographed first drive and then, later in the quarter, took a chance on the deep ball and connected. 14 first quarter points. That’s it. That was all The U needed to beat Florida. Sure the Gators might also get to 14, but their offense is so lame and unimaginative and their execution of said plays will be so poor that they will inadvertently give up seven points in their efforts to score 14.
Miami’s plan was to make Quarterback Jeff Driskel beat them. They took away the run and decided to take their chances with Driskel; They chose wisely. Driskel rewarded the Hurricanes with two redzone interceptions, a fumble and a terrible effort on fourth and short. Often he had plays in which he had more time than any quarterback should ever conceivably have and produced nothing. The big question mark coming into this season was, “Could Jeff Driskel take the next step and become the quarterback he was expected to be as the #1 quarterback recruit in the country?” The answer is no. He did not take that step. He will never be that guy.
Driskel doesn’t get all the blame or even a majority of the blame for this loss. That falls on Head Coach Will Muschamp. He broke from protocol. Florida failed on a baffling first quarter two-point conversion and the team never recovered. It sounds insane that one point in the first quarter could determine the game but it did for the Gators. Muschamp can’t have it both ways. He can’t be the team that clearly despises offense, running the kind of offense that would be described as cripplingly conservative in 1980, and also be the team that goes for two in the first quarter and passes on an easy field goal inside the twenty. The irony is: had Muschamp stuck with his system of being the most miserably boring offense in the history of football, the Gators would have won the game. They would have turned turnovers into field goals and the defense would have held on. They would have forced Miami’s average QB to make the kind of plays that often turn into turnovers. Will Muschamp didn’t believe in his own system, which as we’ve now seen too many times, leaves zero room for error, be it offensive, defensive or coaching errors.
Georgia, Georgia, Georgia
Well, Georgia is still Georgia. Georgia is back in the position where you wonder if the big win outweighs the most recent big loss. Technically, it does. This win over South Carolina keeps all of Georgia’s goals in-tact: They are in the driver’s seat in the SEC East, which gives them a chance to still be SEC Champs, which has led to six of the last seven BCS National Championships.
Connor Shaw played well. Mike Davis played well. Jadeveon Clowney played fine. Aaron Murray played the game of his life. Georgia’s fast moving plan helped limit the damage Clowney could cause and reminded everyone that Clowney is just one man. If the South Carolina defense was a boy band, Clowney would be Timberlake and the rest of the guys are a mixture of Kirkpatricks and Fatones. Murray, despite having to run away from Clowney for most of the night, was still able to pick on all the backup dancers who make up the rest of South Carolina’s defense.
After not stopping anything for 1.75 games, Georgia’s defense finally got the stop they needed by tackling Mike Davis short of the goal line on 4th and 1, with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter. That stop likely clinched the SEC East for the Bulldogs.
Georgia goes 1-1 in their ultra-aggressive start to the season, which probably should have been expected. They even won the game that mattered more, but at some point Georgia has to be the team that takes the step from good to great, and through two games, they are still the same old Georgia.
Hey, Kentucky Won!
Kentucky beat Miami of Ohio. At least one SEC team could beat Miami this weekend.
Tennessee Beats Bobby Petrino
Western Kentucky had a chance to beat two SEC teams in back-to-back games (beat Kentucky 35-26 last week) and even had the lead and the ball early in the first quarter when they decided to make some history. The Hilltoppers committed five turnovers in six plays, resulting in four touchdowns and a field goal for Tennessee. After the third turnover Bobby Petrino started texting all the secretaries at WKU, hoping that act alone would be enough to get him fired.
As for Tennessee,they have to take a spanking from Oregon next week before getting back to the turnover parade with Jeff Driskel and Florida in two weeks.
A&M Cruises in Bama Warm-up
Johnny Manziel’s continues Johnny Footballin’. 403 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters of action against Sam Houston State shows that he is in prime condition for next week’s matchup against Alabama. A&M’s defense is another story. The Aggies gave up 240 rushing yards to SHSU, including 170 yards to Timothy Flanders… yep, Timothy Flanders. If some kid named Timothy Flanders can march for 170, what will T.J. Yeldon do?
My excitement for this game cannot be measured. The President should cancel work on Friday to allow for preparation.
Lane Kiffin Lost, AGAIN
Hahahahahahahahaha. I know, right? I just wanted to close with something that can unify the masses.
Plays That Mattered
Just to remind everyone how good Johnny Manziel is at quarterbacking (Quartbackery?). I imagine you’ll hear a whole lot of talk about Manziel over the next week and not enough of it will be about how good he is at football.
Tennessee Freshman Cameron Sutton jumped this route and runs in for 1 of 154 pick six’s thrown by Western Kentucky on Saturday. If you look closely, you can see Bobby Petrino gassing up his Harley in the background. Watch out, Ladies.
Trey Burton got stuffed on this two point conversion attempt. This basically ended the game. ACC, ACC, ACC.
What They Meant to Say
“I’m starting to realize that an offense entirely built around hoping for blocked punt is pretty much retarded.” – Will Muschamp, Head Coach, University of Florida
“I might not try again for the rest of this season. We’re probably not going to the SEC Championship game, so I’m not risking millions for another Outback Bowl appearance.” – Jadeveon Clowney, Defensive End, South Carolina
“That whole storyline is way overblown. I bet you guys don’t even remember the last time I lost a big game (entire media center says “last week” at the exact same time) okay, okay, I guess you do remember. You proved your point.” – Aaron Murray, Quarterback, Georgia
Image Credit: USA Today Sports