The 8 biggest busts in the SEC through 3 weeks
Things don’t always go as planned.
Through three weeks of SEC action, some things – whether they be players, coaches, units or strategies – have not lived up to expectations.
There’s plenty of time for everyone to get back on track, but here are the eight biggest busts in the SEC through Week 3:
1. Mark Stoops’ defense: After an 0-2 start to Kentucky’s season, which came from choking against Southern Miss and then getting blown out by Florida, coach Mark Stoops pledged to get more involved in the team’s defense. It sounded like it should help, Stoops being a former defensive coordinator and a brother of one of the game’s most prominent defensive minds.
The Wildcats got their win, but still gave up 42 points to the Aggies — the New Mexico State Aggies.
2. Auburn’s two-quarterback system: The media deserves a lot of blame for this as John Franklin III was unfairly hyped before playing a down for Auburn. His running stats are impressive, but he needs to be able to do more than run.
It’s understandable that Auburn is trying to give him opportunities, but he just can’t miss throws this badly:
Malzahn gave John Franklin a shot to make a big play vs A&M – (Bob Uecker voice) Just a bit outside https://t.co/21QMd6lA4O
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) September 19, 2016
3. Ole Miss’ ability to finish the game: Talk about deja vu. The Rebels jumped out to another 20-point lead, only this one was pretty much gone by halftime.
At this rate, we’re going to start seeing Ole Miss jump out to multi-touchdown leads in the first quarter and meltdown at the start of the second quarter.
This team closes the deal about as well as a nerd at his first keg party.
4. Vanderbilt’s passing game: The Commodores have the SEC’s top rusher in RB Ralph Webb. He has gained 377 yards on 67 carries.
Yet, when it comes to total offense, Vanderbilt is No. 14 in the SEC, with 287 yards per game. In a way, I’m almost impressed that Vanderbilt can have a passing game that drags the offense down that much.
5. South Carolina’s offense: After three games of using two quarterbacks, the Gamecocks struggled to get anything going on offense. USC is No. 13 in total offense (287.7 yards per game), No. 14 in cumulative rushing yards (272 yards) and No. 13 in yards per play (4.7).
Will Muschamp is giving Brandon McIlwain QB1 status moving forward, and the Gamecocks can hope that will jumpstart the offense.
6. Chad Kelly’s Heisman campaign: To be clear, Kelly is without a doubt one of the SEC’s most talented quarterbacks. Many teams would gladly take him. But his shot at a Heisman Trophy campaign is hurt significantly by going 0-2 in his two most prominent games: FSU and Alabama.
On top of that, Kelly has currently thrown the most interceptions among SEC quarterbacks. It might not all be his fault though:
Chad Kelly deserves better than this… pic.twitter.com/LNHAViPPAc
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 19, 2016
7. Tennessee’s home offense: In two games away from Bristol, against non-Power 5 opponents, Tennessee has scored a grand total of 48 points in nine periods (includes overtime).
The Volunteers need to find that same spark that helped them going against Virginia Tech at Bristol with Florida coming to Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
8. Gus Mazlahn’s fight: Nothing has happened yet, but Malzahn certainly sounded defeated in his Tuesday press conference.
This is an unusual side of Malzahn. Crestfallen. Apologetic.
— Jay G. Tate (@JayGTate) September 20, 2016
Well, I can say I've never seen Gus Malzahn like that in a press conference. Apologetic, reflective, accepting blame, "feels pain" of fans.
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) September 20, 2016
We shall see what it means for Auburn’s showdown with LSU, which some have nicknamed The Buyout Bowl. If Malzahn has a rally in him, he sure didn’t show it Tuesday.