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…
Georgia Totally “Pulls a Clemson” Against Clemson
The good news for Georgia is your season isn’t over yet. The bad news is that it might be after next week. Clemson was supposed to be the team that fails to put it all together in huge games. The phrase “Pulling a Clemson” exists solely for that reason. But in primetime on Saturday it was the Georgia Bulldogs “Pulling a Clemson,” and it’s starting to become a trend.
Clemson won a shootout in a game that showcased very little defense. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd outgunned Georgia’s Aaron Murray with 270 yards and three touchdowns in the air and 42 yards and two scores on the ground; Boyd left the game as this season’s Heisman Trophy favorite. Sammy Watkins looked like Sammy Watkins again. Running Back Roderick McDowell even managed 132 yards against a gassed Georgia defense.
Murray lacked poise, specifically in moments when he really needed to make the big throw, the same kind of moments in which Boyd was consistently thriving. His overall numbers were solid on paper but not what they should have been against a shaky Clemson defense.
Running back Todd Gurley looked like the best back in the SEC, going for 154 yards on only 12 carries, but it was the end of his 75-yard touchdown run that Georgia fans might never forget. The Dawgs lost their best wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell for the rest of the season after he tore his ACL celebrating Gurley’s big play… sigh. These things happen to every team, and it’s important not to overreact, but when you’re first four games include Clemson, South Carolina and LSU it’s hard not think that this season might have just ended before it even had a chance to begin.
But fear not, at least not yet. South Carolina has to travel to Athens and a win at home instantly puts Georgia in the SEC East driver’s seat.
Bama Beats Beamer
Isn’t Beamer Ball built around special teams? Christion Jones killed Beamer Ball. R.I.P. Beamer Ball.
Less than two minutes apart, Christion Jones took a kickoff and a punt a total of 166 yards for two touchdowns. Those two returns alone were enough to beat Virginia Tech.
Jones threw in a 38-yard touchdown reception in the third to complete the best individual effort of the opening weekend. However, that touchdown was one of the rare offensive highlights for the two-time defending national champions.
The major offseason story line of A.J. McCarron being underrated took a hit after the senior’s 10 for 23 performance. He was slightly overshadowed by Logan Thomas’ 5 for 26 performance. You know, I’m starting to think Thomas won’t be the number one pick in the NFL draft after all.
I’m not going to get too caught up in Bama’s offensive numbers, mainly because Christion Jones made it hard for anyone else to rack up stats, but this was supposed to be the best offense in college football, and it didn’t look that way on Saturday.
It was an easy win for the Tide, but next week, they are traveling into the middle of Manziel Mania and they better figure some stuff out.
Kirk Herbstreit picked Toledo to Beat Florida
I’m a little worried about Kirk Herbstreit. Maybe he’s getting a little bored or maybe Lee Corso’s total lack of sanity is rubbing off on him, but Herby came out with the crazy guns blazing in the kickoff episode of ESPN’s College Gameday. Kirk, knowing the cameras were on and people were watching, picked 24.5 point underdog Toledo to travel down to 170 degree Gainesville and beat the team that beat South Carolina, LSU and Florida State last season in what is largely considered the loudest stadium in the county… it wasn’t one of his best moments… but it wasn’t his worst either.
Florida’s defense, despite having like half of their starters suspended for weed-ish activities, looked as dominant as they did a year ago, holding Toledo and their nine returning starters on offense to just two field goals and 50 yards rushing.
The sometimes offensively inept Gators offense looked strong, as well. Quarterback Jeff Driskel looked good in his new role of “efficient game manager” guy, which is a big improvement from the 2012 role of the “good athlete who we hope doesn’t make too many mistakes and blow this game” guy.
Junior running back Mack Brown’s 125 yards and two touchdowns might actually be enough to make him the best Mack Brown in college football, considering the Texas Mack Brown appears to have entered the Old Man Bowden/Paterno zone.
Ole Miss and Vandy’s scrap for your attention
Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!
The two most improved programs in 2012 played the best game of the week on Thursday in Nashville and in the Middle Child Begging For Their Parent’s Attention Bowl.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter where we find WR Jordan Matthews throwing up on the field after a big hit. He looked lost and was clearly hurt. Four plays later Matthews is back in the game on 4th and 18, the game is over without a conversion and Matthews somehow manages to pull it all together and makes a 42-yard catch. Ole Miss was clearly still wondering how the same guy who was puking on the field caught a 42-yard pass because on the very next play, while they were still cleaning his puke off their cleats when Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels hit Steven Scheu for a 34-yard touchdown, giving Vandy a 35-32 lead with 1:30 left in the game.
I know what you’re thinking, and relax. According to Vandy’s doctors, it was “dehydration” that caused Matthews to throw up. Not a concussion. Because if he had a concussion, he wouldn’t have been on the field, right? It was a common case of dehydration. Cody Prewitt simply hit Matthews so hard that it knocked all the fluids out of his body.
Not crazy enough for you? Well on the second play of the ensuing drive, Ole Miss RB Jeff Scott decided not to step out of bounds and kill the clock but instead to turn upfield and keep running for 75 yards and the eventual game winner. To which Russell Crowe wonders, “Are you not entertained?”
Pure entertainment. Both teams should be pleased with their performances and can keep getting better. Ole Miss should be really excited, not just with the win, but with how good Bo Wallace was and how good 6-year-old DE Robert Nkemdiche and 5-year old WR Laquon Treadwell will be very soon.
Johnny Football is Still Really Good
Forget about autographs, and Manning camps, and that Uncle Nate clown, because Johnny Football is back (after a short hiatus)!
Johnny Manziel threw for three touchdowns in the second half of A&M’s win over Rice. He looked just as talented and slightly more dickish than he did last season. He’s becoming a WWE bad guy both on and off the field.
He appears to be embracing the role of villain, and I’m all in on this new chapter in the Johnny Football saga. The Taking A Shit On College Football Tour, Starring Johnny Football and The Uncle Nate Backup Dancers is attacking America.
Plays That Mattered
Jeff Scott decides he might as well score, then burns past a bunch of Vanderbilt defenders who must have already had their #AnchorDown
Here Lies Beamer Ball
Died September 30, 2013 at the Hands of Christion Jones.
Todd Gurley is the best running back in the country. There, I said it.
What They Meant To Say
“All the questions about not being able to win the big games need to be directed towards Mark “I hate spiking the football” Richt.” – Aaron Murray, Quarterback, University of Georgia
“Well, I just got outcoached by a man named Dabo…It’s probably time to reevaluate my life.” – Mark Richt, Head Coach, University of Georgia
“After the game I’ll be doing a shot for shot remake of the “Mo Money Mo Problems” music video. I’m playing the roles of both Puff Daddy and the Notorious B.I.G. while Uncle Nate will be playing the role of Ma$e.” – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M
“My hair looked great tonight. It’s hard to keep it flowing all game but the NCAA requires I wear a helmet. If I had it my way I’d be under center looking like Brad Pitt in Legends of The Fall. – Bo Wallace, Quarterback, Ole Miss
Image Credit: USA Today Sports