The #1 Monday morning recap article for SEC Fans… Pulling no punches as we recap a weekend of SEC football action…
Alabama Rolls Aggies
Well, that was fun. This game has been hyped, well, since the last one ended and despite some late game heroics from Johnny Manziel, Alabama was able to ride their balanced offense and Texas A&M’s terrible defense to the huge road victory.
Manziel, the most interesting man in college football, was worth the price of admission. A career-high 464 passing yards, 98 rushing yards and five touchdowns with miraculous plays liberally sprinkled throughout the game. He was incredible, but he wasn’t perfect, throwing two ugly interceptions. The first interception was on a terrible decision, maybe the worst of Manziel’s career, in the end zone on 2nd and goal from the 4-yard line. The second interception was a forced throw into a trio of Tide defenders. Vinnie Sunseri made the pick and returned it 73 yards for the touchdown. It was the play of the game.
All of Manziel’s heroics following that pick were fun to watch, but ultimately, too little too late. The blame for this loss doesn’t fall on Manziel, but on the Texas A&M defense. They were terrible, completely unable to get stops throughout the game. They were unable to prevent T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, and Kenyan Drake from getting a first down on damn near every carry. They couldn’t prevent McCarron from making the big plays. Manziel needed to be perfect and he wasn’t.
Alabama is so tough. They withstood the typical Johnny Football Tornado, that we’ve seen many times now to start a game. Despite and potentially deadly fumble, T.J. Yeldon had a very powerful game, picking up big chucks of yards and controlling the clock. McCarron was fantastic and, in typical McCarron fashion, didn’t make any mistakes.
Where does this leave us? Well, Alabama remains the #1 ranked team in the country and has cleared, what we all expected at the beginning of the season, to be the their biggest hurdle. However, Zach Mettenberger, Odell Beckham, Cam Cameron and Les Miles have us rethinking our previous logic. November 9th may be the next Game of the Century, and will likely determine the SEC West.
A&M will score against anyone but it is critical that they learn how to stop people. As we saw last week with Florida, one-dimensional teams have to play perfectly due to the thin margin of error. More times than not, Sumlin’s offense will provide enough cover for their defense, but continuing to get such poor performance from their defense and hoping the defense doesn’t make mistakes is dancing with the devil.
The best news for A&M? At least you’re not Texas!
America, I’d like you to meet Ole Miss. Ole Miss, this is America.
Is this why Texas created the Longhorn Network? So the rest of the country can’t watch them get their ass kicked without paying extra for the privilege? I didn’t get a chance to see this one because there is no way in hell I’m paying to watch a network built around such a terrible football team. As a consequence, I didn’t get a chance to watch the Ole Miss Mess with Texas.
Bo Wallace, likely my relative, has taken a leap this season. Last year he was a gunslinger in the mold of Brett Favre when Favre was at this very worst. He was always fun to watch, but simply too reckless. This year he’s figured out how to lead an offense. He’s making the right reads, running when he needs to run. As Bo Wallace grows, so grows Ole Miss.
Last year Texas curb stomped Ole Miss, hanging 66 points. On Saturday, in Texas, Ole Miss looked like a different program, and that is exactly what Hugh Freeze is building in Mississippi, something new. They absorbed the brief second quarter Texas comeback, giving up only 100 total yards in the second half. They knew Texas couldn’t stop Jeff Scott so they kept running him… 19 times for 164 yards. Oh, and Scott’s 74 yard punt return touchdown might go down as the play that killed Mack Brown’s coaching career.
Congrats to all the beautiful babies in Oxford. Congrats to all the dudes with short shorts and silly haircuts in the Grove. Congrats to Archie and Eli Manning, but not Peyton. Congrats to most of the young Lawyers in John Grisham novels. Ole Miss has a football team, people, and they are going to be here a while… or until Texas hires Hugh Freeze.
Oregon Obliterates Tennessee
If Marcus Mariota wasn’t a Heisman favorite before playing Tennessee’s defense he was after playing Tennessee’s defense. Damn, that was a whooping. The good news, Vols fans, is that Florida is next and Jeff Driskel is no Marcus Mariota. The bad news is Florida is still pretty good… so is Georgia… and South Carolina… and Alabama. That schedule should be illegal.
South Carolina Fights off Vandy
South Carolina was having some fun against Vanderbilt, right up until they weren’t. Connor Shaw was strutting. Dylan Thompson was running. Mike Davis continues to look like a star and Bruce Ellington was everywhere. Oh, and Jadeveon Clowney was on his game. The difference between this week and last week against Georgia was the non-Clowney members of the Gamecocks defense showed up.
Despite trailing 28-0, Vanderbilt kept scrapping, in typical James Franklin era Vanderbilt fashion. Vandy made South Carolina play four quarters. They are a nice team but in this league, decent can sometimes feel a lot like awful. Keep scrapping, Vandy.
Let’s Talk Mettenberger
Listen, I know it was against Kent State, but 2012 Zach Mettenberger wouldn’t have lit up Kent State like 2013 Zach Mettenberger lit up Kent State. We’ve seen a Mettenberger Metamorphosis and everyone should be paying close attention to LSU.
The Tigers have a tough matchup against Auburn this weekend that they need to be careful not to overlook. I know LSU is heading to Athens the following week, but be careful boys. I’m saying this for purely selfish reasons. I’m really, really, really excited to watch the LSU – Georgia game, and I don’t want a loss to a rebuilding Auburn team to put a damper on my excitement.
Plays That Mattered
Vinni Sunseri squares off against the only unit in sports worse at tackling than Texas A&M’s defense, and that’s Texas A&M’s offense. Don’t expect Manziel to pull two-way duty any time soon.
Love him or hate him, Johnny Manziel has style.
Jeff Scott retires Mack Brown
What They Meant To Say
“I don’t know if you could quantify it. It’d be somewhere between a boat-load and a sh*t-ton.” – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M, when asked how many points he would score against Texas A&M’s Defense
“At half time I had Uncle Nate reach out to our many contacts and see if we can buy an entirely new defense on Ebay. I’m optimistic. We know some real ballers in the Ebay game (winks, does his ‘Cashin’ Out’ touchdown dance).” – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M
“I really think I nailed that audition. I’m perfect the part. I like the town. It couldn’t have gone better. I think it’s mine to lose.” – Hugh Freeze, Head Coach, Ole Miss, On his Audition to be the next Head Coach at the University of Texas
Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports