10 things I am absolutely overreacting to after Week 3
Shea Patterson has to be wondering, why not me?
True freshman quarterbacks are taking over the SEC. Three started and won Saturday, two on the road. You expect me to act like I’ve been there, seen that? No way.
This is special.
It’s their world; we’re just scanning the thesaurus trying to find new adjectives to describe it. “Amazing” doesn’t do it justice.
Here are 10 things I am absolutely overreacting to after a wild Week 3 in the SEC.
1. The kids can play: I’ve been on the Jalen Hurts and Brandon McIlwain bus since the spring. Hurts is on an entirely different level — I’ll take his college future over anybody’s in America — but both possess one strength that’s essential for any freshman hoping to survive in this league: Escapability skills.
Hurts ran for 146 yards Saturday. That’s not only a season-high for any Alabama rusher in 2016, it’s the fifth-most by an Alabama quarterback — ever.
“He showed that he’s not your typical freshman,” linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton told AL.com. “First SEC game. On the road. We were down, and he led the team. … He really grew up this game.”
2. Jacob Eason is just as dangerous … in an entirely different way: My biggest concern with Eason was his ability to get back up after being hit, because I knew he’d get hit. He took some shots Saturday … but got up and delivered the knockout blow. Just like Hurts, he rallied his team, on the road, only he did it entirely with his arm.
There isn’t a conference in America with four better true freshman quarterbacks than the SEC has … and if Ole Miss stumbles again, we’re going to see Patterson start getting some snaps as the Rebels start preparing for 2017.
3. I was yelling at Lane on Saturday: Lane Kiffin was curiously cautious with the play calls Saturday. I noted that in real time …
Jalen Hurts: 11-for-13 for 37 yards. That's hard to do in Pop Warner, when the kids can only throw it 5 yards. Enough bubble screens, Lane.
— Chris Wright (@FilmRoomEditor) September 17, 2016
… but it’s even more puzzling today. Granted, Ole Miss’ safeties were about 30 yards off the ball, but Hurts’ strength is stretching the field. No doubt ArDarius Stewart’s first-half departure altered the plan, at least I hope that was the case.
4. The best thing Nick Saban did all day … was sticking with Jalen Hurts all day: No more random quarterback rotations. Rejoice! I wanted to see Saban let his rookie ride through some rough patches, on the road, and Saban did. QBs are not running backs or defensive linemen. You rotate them, and everything around them changes. Credit Saban for learning his lesson last year against Ole Miss.
5. I have no idea what Gus Malzahn is doing: I’m not even sure this needs an explanation. I expected Texas A&M to cruise and pressure Sean White into being, well, Sean White. Auburn should just hire Paul Johnson and go triple option already.
— Fire Gus Malzahn (@MalzahnFire) September 18, 2016
6. Nobody scores 50 on Mark Stoops! They can’t even get to 46 against Kentucky’s defensive guru. You Kentucky fans don’t know what you’re missing.
A few more fans have made it out of the concourses and into the drizzle for kickoff pic.twitter.com/QtLxabSw2i
— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) September 17, 2016
7. Derek Mason, what was that? Paul Johnson makes a lot of smart people look not-so-smart, but I really expected Mason to provide more of a schematic challenge. Unlike the service academies, Tech is running the triple option with Power 5 recruits, which makes them oh so much more dangerous in space. Still, I was shocked at how poorly Vanderbilt handled the scheme, how easily Tech kicked out the corners to repeatedly create four-lane running holes.
8. College officials … you’re watching, but can you see? The 10 consecutive reviews/overturns in the Alabama-Ole Miss game were annoying, tedious and a reminder that some of these guys need to visit their eye doctor a bit more often. I thought I was watching a scene from “My Cousin Vinny.”
“So, as your eyes become more and more out of whack, as you’ve gotten older, how many levels of thickness have you gone through?”
“I don’t know, over 60 years, maybe 10 times.”
“Maybe you’re ready for a thicker set.”
Missed calls on where knees hit and whether a football breaks the plane are one thing. But a key part of officiating is keeping players safe.
I’m still outraged that this was deemed egregious enough for an ejection …
— Only Gators .com (@onlygators) September 18, 2016
… but this was not?
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 17, 2016
College officials, man.
9. Georgia is winning the East: I’m done with Tennessee. (This week, anyway.) If the Vols returned seven starters and played this way, they wouldn’t even be receiving votes in the AP Poll. Maybe the question we should have asked is: How many of those 17 starters would start at Alabama? Or even Appalachian State?
10. ACC football? Slow your roll, young fella. Nick’s watching:
Great win today! ACC FOOTBALL!
— Justin M.B. Thomas (@smooov) September 17, 2016
Easy, kid. That was Vanderbilt, our Wake Forest.
Chris Wright is Executive Editor at SaturdayDownSouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.