Biggest story line for each SEC team in Week 2
Look back at the Week 1 story lines here.
After finally getting a chance to play some football last Saturday, these are the most interesting story lines for each SEC team going into Week 2:
Story line: Will the Crimson Tide settle on Jake Coker as its starting quarterback, or will the Middle Tennessee game serve as a chance for more competition?
A reporter more or less asked this question at Nick Saban’s weekly presser, and he didn’t like it. Still yet, we’d like to know the answer.
Story line: Can QB Brandon Allen duplicate his Week 1 performance?
Ladies and gentlemen, the Razorbacks may have a better than average passing attack in 2015. If Brandon Allen, who is a fourth-year starter, is able to maintain a similar level of decision-making and downfield aggressiveness throughout the season, the SEC West may be in trouble.
Story line: Was Week 1 a fluke for QB Jeremy Johnson, or is there something to be concerned at Auburn?
Perhaps a victim of his own hype, Johnson was underwhelming in Auburn’s 31-24 win over Louisville. After throwing three interceptions against the Cardinals in the opener, rest assured that protecting the football will be his top priority against Jacksonville State.
Story line: The two-quarterback attack was effective against New Mexico State; will it be something the Gators can use throughout the season?
Sure, the competition wasn’t the best, but Florida coach Jim McElwain moved Treon Harris and Will Grier in and out of the lineup with ease in a 61-13 win over New Mexico State in Week 1. Both quarterbacks flourished in his offense, in spite of their different styles. Are the Gators going back to the Doug Johnson/Jesse Palmer days in Gainesville?
Story line: Can the Bulldogs avoid a letdown at Vanderbilt Stadium?
Georgia is the SEC East favorite, and performed well in its season opener against UL-Monroe. But the Bulldogs’ last trip to Nashville involved a loss to the Commodores in 2013. Can they avoid a similar fate in their 2015 SEC opener?
Story line: The Wildcats win over South Carolina in 2014 was a signature win for Mark Stoops, can he take it to the next level with a road win in Columbia?
Kentucky’s 45-38 win over South Carolina at Commonwealth Stadium is without a doubt the best win of the Mark Stoops tenure in Lexington. If the Wildcats are going to take the next step as a program, that will involve winning conference games on the road. This is a prime opportunity to show how far they’ve come.
Story line: How much of a factor will the cancellation of Week 1’s game against McNeese State be for Week 2’s trip to Starkville?
As Les Miles so eloquently put it after the game’s cancellation due to inclement weather: “The need to play was sincere.” The Tigers needed to get a look at the offense in “live conditions” under the direction QB Brandon Harris before taking their show on the road for a conference game against a team that beat them at Tiger Stadium last season.
Story line: Can the Bulldogs duplicate last season’s success against LSU?
Looking back on the 2014 season, Mississippi State’s win over LSU at Tiger Stadium served as the Bulldogs’ “coming out party” for what was going to end up being a 10-win season that included a No. 1 ranking. If they have any plans on replicating that season, it has to begin with another impressive win over the Tigers.
Story line: What happens with Russell Hansbrough and Evan Boehm?
The Tigers’ 34-3 win over Southeast Missouri in Week 1 came at a cost, with RB Russell Hansbrough and OL Evan Boehm exiting with injuries. If they do not play against Arkansas State this week, how will Missouri adjust its offensive game plan?
Story line: Does Chad Kelly get a full game to show what he brings to the table?
Chad Kelly showed some really nice things after being named the starter for the Rebels’ 76-3 win over UT-Martin. But he shared time with others in the blowout victory. With a respectable FBS program coming to town this week, will Hugh Freeze give Kelly a chance to sink or swim?
Story line: Can the Gamecocks get the 2015 SEC season off to a better start than the 2014 conference slate?
Coach Steve Spurrier has spent most of the offseason trying to convince folks that the Gamecocks have not fallen off nearly as much as some in the media would have you think. Beating Kentucky at home to open the SEC slate at 1-0 would be the first step in proving his case.
Story line: Butch Jones could define his program’s future with a win over Oklahoma.
We spend way too much time talking about the potential of Tennessee’s program thanks to some excellent recruiting by Butch Jones and his staff. Now in his third season, it is time for a signature win that vaults his program back into national relevance, and a home game against Oklahoma might be just what the doctor ordered.
Story line: Is Texas A&M’s defense really that good that fast?
It surely seemed that way after the Aggies subdued a very potent Arizona State offense in a 38-17 win in Week 1. If John Chavis has this defense ready to be one of the league’s better groups, this could be a SEC championship caliber squad.
Story line: How do the Commodores stop the bleeding from a bad loss to Western Kentucky in Week 1?
Derek Mason’s defense looked much better in Week 1’s 14-12 loss, but it’s hard to sugarcoat a home loss to a Conference USA squad. Beating Georgia is a tough assignment, but Mason has to do something to signify that he has this program moving in the right direction.