Les Miles just one of 10 things I am absolutely overreacting to after Week 4
Did Georgia just drop another pass? Did Bret Bielema really run a jet sweep on 4th-and-goal at the 1?
At least Les Miles won’t lose another game at LSU.
You think I’m overreacting to those performances Saturday? You should have seen the Twitter reaction as it was happening.
Cover your ears and hide your eyes.
Here are 10 things I’m absolutely overreacting to … in a PG-13 sort of way.
1. Somebody looked like a rookie … and it wasn’t the quarterback: Kirby Smart had zero answers Saturday. Zero. It was shockingly bad, considering he’s faced this Ole Miss offense so many times. No pressure on Chad Kelly. No answer for Chad Kelly. No help for Jacob Eason. Georgia threw it 55 times last week and came out throwing Saturday. It didn’t work. Drops didn’t help, but Smart had no Plan B or Plan C.
Mark Richt’s worst loss was a 49-10 thumping against Tim Tebow and the 2008 national champion Florida Gators. That was far more explainable than what I watched Saturday.
If you ever wanted to see a honeymoon end on national TV, Ole Miss giving a good example right now w/Kirby Smart & UGA fans.
— William Gunter (@WilGunter) September 24, 2016
Worse than the result, Smart didn’t even protect his prized freshman. Eason was still in there taking shots to the ribs in the fourth quarter.
No wonder Smart won’t let the kid talk. I can only imagine what he might say.
2. It was time, Les: How do keep a team out of the end zone and still lose? Bad offense, that’s how. Les Miles built this. He deserved the chance to fix it. He had every opportunity to fix it, and it’s clear he couldn’t.
The #fireles crowd was out in force Saturday night. It was hard to blame them. Many fans wanted LSU to fire Miles last year. His firing earlier Sunday made sense. It was beyond time.
It wasn’t just that LSU lost to a team without an offense. It was how: predictable play-calling, terrible clock management, not enough timeouts at the end. Those are direct responsibilities of the head coach.
Meanwhile, Travin Dural is still running down the middle of the field, wide open, arms in the air. Maybe the new head coach and offensive coordinator can find him.
3. Florida played not to lose … and lost: Was I the only one who had flashbacks to last year’s game? Except this time, it was Florida jumping to the big lead and hoping, praying the clock would run out before its lead did. And this time it was Tennessee making a catch near the sideline and racing the distance for a critical touchdown.
Everything Tennessee did wrong to lose last year’s game in Gainesville, the Gators did Saturday in Knoxville.
Antonio Callaway is the best receiver in the SEC. He’s unstoppable, a one-man offensive show, and he showed it again in the first half with four catches for 134 yards. I’d take him over classmates Calvin Ridley or Christian Kirk. How he went the entire second half without catching a pass defies logic.
I’m not excusing his bone-headed decision to field two punts inside his 10, but Florida’s inability to get him the ball in the second half was a much, much bigger issue.
#Gators coach Jim McElwain on Antonio Callaway fielding punts at the 1: "That's not very smart."
— Graham Hall (@GrahamHall_) September 24, 2016
That was my reaction to Florida’s play-calling in the second half.
4. First-half Ole Miss is the best team in the country: And it’s not even close. How not close? The Rebels outscored the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 12 teams in the country 83-30 before the break.
Their problems have come after the break, obviously. But despite blowing a pair of 20-point leads, there were not 22 teams in America better than the Rebels, who entered Saturday ranked No. 23.
There might not be five teams in the country better than the Rebels.
5. Sam Pittman doesn’t get stuffed at the 1: Arkansas is running the ball just fine, but it was startling to watch the Hogs get stuffed, repeatedly, inside the 1 against Texas A&M.
The Hogs ran more than 10 plays from inside the Aggies’ 2-yard-line and couldn’t score a touchdown. It got so bad that Bret Bielema actually dialed up a jet sweep that resulted in a loss — and loss of downs. That play call would have happened when Pittman was patrolling the o-line.
Although some Hogs fans took delight in the beating Pittman’s new team was receiving.
Feeling really happy about Sam Pittman's decision right now.
— GO HOGS!!! (@wild_hawg) September 24, 2016
Wild_hawg was overreacting after Ole Miss smacked around Pittman’s O-line at Georgia. Later, during Arkansas’ game, he came around to my way of thinking: the Hogs miss Pittman.
We're going to have to establish the run. So far they haven't opened a single hole. Cmon hogs!!!
— GO HOGS!!! (@wild_hawg) September 25, 2016
Maybe we could start by simply blocking the man in front of you!!?? Instead of letting him run right passed you!!??
— GO HOGS!!! (@wild_hawg) September 25, 2016
6. I can make a case that Texas A&M will beat Alabama Oct. 22 in Tuscaloosa: I’ve been on the Aggies’ bandwagon since Trevor Knight arrived. I wrote Saturday morning that the Aggies would beat Arkansas by double digits, so the outcome was hardly surprising.
The offense is dangerous and only becoming more so, especially if Knight continues to run like that. Myles Garrett is dominating as if he’s trying to work his way into the first round, rather than protecting his spot as a potential No. 1 pick. The zone read running game is dynamic. The wide receivers are explosive.
Nick Saban doesn’t lose many home games, but this is the only one he could lose this season.
7. Drew Lock will lead the SEC in passing: Chase Daniel is the only Tigers QB to top 4,000 passing yards in a season. He did it twice, though before the Tigers joined the SEC. Lock is ahead of pace to do that — and the rest of his road is smoother than Chad Kelly’s.
Heck, Lock is on pace to break Tim Couch’s SEC single-season passing record (4,275 set in 1998).
8. The gap between the East and West isn’t shrinking: It’s easy to overreact to one game, but the ease and manner in which Ole Miss manhandled Georgia was telling. Unfortunately for fans of fair fights, it told the same story that’s been told since Tim Tebow left Gainesville.
The sec west needs to protest the east west alignment…. the west looks like the NFL and the east looks like Pop Warner
— Dan Anderson (@19bigdan66) September 24, 2016
I wasn’t going to go quite that far … yet. Check back on Oct. 8, however, after Tennessee visits Texas A&M.
9. I had no idea who Joshua Jacobs was: Did you? He was the No. 464 prospect in the 2016 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com’s composite. He had all of seven carries before Saturday. I’m intentionally not mentioning his school because I’m guessing you didn’t either and I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.
10. Tennessee, I never doubted you: I overreacted last week when I said I was done with you. What I meant was I was done with that version of you. You’re still the team I picked to win the East. But do me a favor, OK? How about play like that the rest of the season.
Chris Wright is Executive Editor at SaturdayDownSouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.