1 way too early thought about every SEC team's Week 3 opponent
Why stop now?
Here’s 1 way too early thought about every SEC team’s Week 3 opponent. (Vandy is off; the first 2 weeks were exhausting?)
Alabama at South Carolina: And that’ll be the last time we hear about 2010 …
Alabama’s 2010 season was all kinds of weird, and it started with a shocking 35-21 loss at South Carolina.
They haven’t played since. Which means South Carolina fans haven’t stopped talking about it since. It’s the 3:30 p.m. CBS game, so you’ll see and hear plenty about Stephen Garcia, too, at least until Alabama jumps to a 14-0 lead.
Here’s the entire list of SEC teams that have beaten Nick Saban’s Bama teams twice in a row: LSU (2010, 2011 regular season), Ole Miss (2014, 2015). It’s not growing.
Arkansas vs. Colorado State: I remember Mike Bobo …
The most interesting thing about Colorado State is that its head coach, former Georgia OC Mike Bobo, rejected an automatic $100,000 raise after the Rams went 3-9 last year.
That, of course, might lead one to wonder why in the world it was even offered, but it was written into his contract, regardless of performance. His decision was wise, too, considering many Rams fans wanted him to be fired last September.
Bobo won’t go hungry. He’ll make $1.8 million in 2019, tops in the Mountain West.
Auburn vs. Kent State: Joey Gatewood for Heisman!
I’ve written a couple of times that I think Auburn’s defense will manhandle higher-ranked Oregon in the opener.
I expect Joey Gatewood to win the starting QB job and play well enough in Week 1, better in Week 2 against Tulane and simply go off in Week 3 against Kent State.
Cue the Cam comps.
Florida at Kentucky: Feleipe Franks will not be the Gators’ top rusher this time
Last season, Kentucky ended its 31-game losing streak to Florida, at Florida, no less.
This season, Kentucky will try to win a second consecutive game against the Gators for the first time since 1976-1977.
Could it happen? I suppose. But there’s no way Florida replicates last year’s game plan.
Florida’s true running backs got just 15 carries and gained just 74 yards. QB Feleipe Franks had 11 carries for 44 yards. Both totals were team-highs. Franks will be the Boston Red Sox’ Opening Day starter before he leads the Gators in rushing attempts again.
Lamical Perine had 4 carries in that game. He’ll exceed that on the opening drive.
Georgia vs. Arkansas State: Which school records are most likely to be broken?
I doubt D’Andre Swift approaches 300 yards rushing, which is what he’d need to do to supplant Herschel Walker (283 vs. Vanderbilt … as a freshman). And it might seem a tad unnecessary to let Swift score 6 TDs, with so many other capable guys in the backfield. (Washaun Ealey ran for a program-best 5 against Kentucky in 2010.)
Most of Georgia’s single-game passing marks are unreachable, but maybe this is the game uber-accurate Jake Fromm takes aim at Greyson Lambert’s mark of 20 consecutive completions in a game or 22 consecutive completions overall.
LSU vs. Northwestern State: Coach O needs a Pele moment
Most of you are way too young to remember when soccer great Pele played his final match, swapping jerseys at halftime and splitting time on both teams. Pele played the first half for FC Santos, the Brazilian club where his star was born. He played the second half for the New York Cosmos, the U.S.-based team he was asked to rescue in the final stage of his career. It was one of those moments you knew was significant even if you didn’t know the first thing about soccer. Which, in 1977, most of us didn’t.
Ed Orgeron, of course, started his playing career at LSU and transferred to Northwestern State. He’s in their Hall of Fame. If he can’t line up on the DL for both, maybe he switch shirts and call a few plays for both. Gatorade baths are optional.
Mississippi State vs. Kansas State: Who is coaching K-State?
Bill Snyder roamed the sidelines for 27 years before retiring after last season. Not only is he the winningest coach in program history (215), no other coach won more than 33 games. He’s responsible for 47 percent of the program’s 465 victories.
Bill Snyder is K-State football, and it’s going to take a minute to get used to seeing somebody else calling the shots. Chris Klieman gets the unenviable task of replacing the legend. Klieman built North Dakota State into an FCS super power.
Missouri vs. SE Missouri State: That’s it?
These games are a necessary evil, I suppose. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SE Missouri State will receive $425,000 and 400 free tickets for its 250-mile trip across the state to Columbia. That’s modest by SEC standards, but SEMO is an FCS program and this contract also was signed not long after the Tigers joined the SEC.
Mizzou is paying MAC member Eastern Michigan $1.1 million for its 2020 game.
Ole Miss vs. SE Louisiana: Which QB will throw for 300 yards?
This should be an entertaining, if not wildly competitive, QB battle. If he doesn’t get there against Memphis or Arkansas, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral will have an opportunity for his first 300-yard game.
LSU shut out SE La. last season, but Chason Virgil still had a somewhat productive day: 23-for-33 for 189 yards, with an interception.
Ole Miss’ defense won’t be confused for LSU’s any time soon. Virgil, a rising senior, finished with 3,034 yards in 11 games last season.
Tennessee vs. Chattanooga: Get Guarantano ready for Florida
The Mocs have scored 1 TD in each of their past 2 games against SEC opponents. So this is much less about any pretense of an upset than it is the Vols staying sharp for their trip to Florida in Week 4.
Rather than asking Jarrett Guarantano to coast through a typical 14-for-22 throwing day full of quick outs and checkdowns, Jeremy Pruitt would be wise to push him past 30 throws — a total he’s reached just twice in his career.
The Vols need a dangerous Guarantano to upset Florida, not the game-manager we frequently see.
Texas A&M vs. Lamar: Can Kellen Mond top 73?
That’s how many points Kenny “The Thrill” Hill and Kyle Allen hung on Lamar in 2014.
Texas Tech scored 77 against the Cardinals last season.