Our weekly SEC football recap article where we celebrate the highlights and have some fun with the lowlights…

Weather delays helped sap some of the energy out of the first Saturday of the season, but thankfully Todd Gerome Gurley (also known as Todd Gurley I) decided to make love to Darlene Simmons back in late 1993, thus blessing us with Todd Gurley II in 2014. Gurley’s remarkable performance Saturday helped snap us out of weather delays and the relatively unexciting Alabama-West Virginia afternoon game .

By the end of the night, the SEC had secured wins over major non-conference foes (Clemson, West Virginia, Wisconsin) and some not-so-major non-conference foes (Southern Miss, UT Martin, South Dakota State). It was a good start to the season for the conference even if the games were broken up by unfortunate weather.

Georgia is good, Gurley is better

Despite Bachelor Josh Murray doing his best to become the face of Georgia Athletics (Did you know that he once played professional baseball?), we were treated on Saturday with actual on-field heroics by the country’s best running back, Todd Gurley. For the second season in a row, Gurley shined on opening weekend against Clemson; however, unlike last year, Gurley remained injury free and remained on the field. Also unlike last year, this time, Georgia got the win against Clemson.

Gurley’s stats against Clemson were gaudy. A cool 198 yards on the ground over 15 carries with three touchdowns. Oh, and a 100 yard kick return for a touchdown. Yes, it’s safe to say that not only was Todd Gurley one of the main stories of the season’s first Saturday, but he’s firmly on everyone’s shortlist for Heisman candidates.

Can Gurley stay healthy? If he can, and Georgia can avoid some hiccups, his season could be extremely special. The good news for Gurley’s health is that Georgia has an unfair number of running backs to throw at opposing teams to help lighten his load.

On the other side of the ball, new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt earned his money Saturday with some impressive second half adjustments effectively shutting down the Clemson offense. A stout Georgia defense combined with a stable of man-beasts at running back led by TG3 could lead the Dawgs to the promised land.

Elevator and Nick Marshall put away Arkansas

Nick Marshall started the game on the bench and Auburn responded in turn by actually looking pretty great. Jeremy Johnson threw for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns completing 12 of his 16 passes. As whispers of a potential QB controversy floated around the Twittersphere, Nick Marshall came in to start the 2nd half and the Auburn offense indeed found its groove. While his direct production was minimal, the running game dominated a sluggish second half Arkansas defense. The bottom line is that Marshall is the man in Malzahn’s offense, but it’s nice to know the guy in waiting can get the job done.

More importantly, we can crown a victor in the little feud between Malzahn and Bielema as Gus clearly got the last laugh when the Arkansas coaching staff got stuck in a press box elevator during halftime preventing them from meeting with their team. The results of “elevator-gate” certainly speak for themselves considering the Razorbacks were held to 51 yards and zero points in the 2nd half. We don’t know for sure if it was Gus holding the “door close” button during halftime, but we’re going to assume it was.

Nick Saban debuts Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin and the Crimson Tide offense played well against West Virginia, while the defense looked decent. Wait, is this becoming Lane Kiffin’s team? Just kidding. QB Blake Sims had a decent outing, but zero touchdowns and one pick is not going to cut it for a national title contender. Yeldon and Henry both rushed for over 100 yards each, and the Tide’s ground game should be outstanding all year.

A non-dominant game to open the season is nothing new. Alabama looked iffy on multiple fronts in the opener against Virginia Tech last year, and of course, the Tide went on to win the next ten games. Will the defense improve week to week? Almost assuredly. Will the quarterback play improve? That’s more difficult to answer. Thankfully, it appears that most networks will provide us with a Lane Kiffin split screen during each Alabama offensive possession this season, and it’s really only a matter of time before Saban goes nuclear on Lane on the sideline. This will undoubtedly test the planet’s internet infrastructure.

Wildcats Running….Wild

The Mark Stoops era has begun, and the Wildcats pummeled Brett Favre and UT Martin in their season opener. Oh, that wasn’t Brett? This game was even less interesting than originally thought. The good news for Cats fans is that they won’t go winless, and they’ll beat Vandy by 1,000.

Missouri’s adequate performance

Missouri was crushing a directional Dakota school, but then news broke that Michael Sam was cut from the Rams and the Mizzou team seemed to go on strike mid-game. Is it coincidence that the news broke, and then Mizzou couldn’t score for six straight possessions? Of course, it’s also interesting that Pinkel had to field questions about Sam before he even left the field.

How good is Missouri? Unclear, but we’re going to take the fifth to avoid the onslaught of “lack of respect” comments that tend to follow answering such a question.

Mississippi State beats up on Southern Miss, referee

Dan Mullen’s squad crushed Southern Miss 49-0 to open the 2014 campaign, but we were more impressed by referee / back judge Kenny Long who got annihilated by a Mississippi State wide-receiver that was going for a deep Dak Prescott pass. I mean this guy took a flying knee to the small of his back then did a face plant into the turf. He got up, cleaned up his bloody mug and stayed in the game. It’s worth noting the players involved in the collision came out of the game while my boy Kenny stayed in.

Also, Dak Prescott may have blown his Heisman chances after mishandling a hold on a FG. I mean, you can’t be the best player in the country and not get a hold down correctly, right? Maybe not.

Les Miles Pulls a Les Miles

Down 24-7 against Wisconsin in the 3rd quarter, Les Miles pulls a fake punt to flip the game and secure an impressive comeback win against a top 15 team to start the 2014 season. In vintage LSU fashion, the Tigers won the game with power defense and power run game – though, that power defense and power run game took a while to get going. Once LSU found its groove, the power run game was in full force. Interestingly, All-World RB Leonard Fournette was completely unimpactful in his first outing with 18 yards on 8 carries. Kenny Hilliard in his 11th season for the Tigers reminded us that he can still make life miserable for defenses as he carried for 110 yards on 18 carries.

LSU extends its record of 46 consecutive regular season non-conference victories. Les Miles is now 36-0 in such games. Oh, and the 28-24 score was #CoverCity for those of us who took the -3.5 line.

Idaho Travels To Gainesville For One Play

For Florida fans waiting to see the new Gator offense, you’ll have to wait one more week as a result of the biggest tease ever in college football. As the game became delayed and pushed back every 30 minutes or so, they finally kicked off just before 10:00pm after nearly three hours of delays. The Gators returned the opening kickoff back to Idaho’s 14 yard line, and then the referees called the game again. If you’re a Gator fan that made the trip to Gainesville for opening day, just remember, the entire Idaho football team traveled further – and may have to travel back to Gainesville again in the coming weeks to play the game.

Key Plays

Saturday belonged to Todd Gurley. He set an all-time Georgia single game record for all purpose yards with 293. Watch him accumulate those yards below:

Bama will rely on their running game in 2014. TJ Yeldon scored an impressive touchdown against West Virginia:

The Cats had a nice performance and it wasn’t just the offense that rolled. AJ Stamps had a slick interception in the game:

What They Meant To Say

“We expected big things from Leonard Fournette, but nobody expected him to explode for 18 yards on 8 carries.” -Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

“Listen, I’m real proud of the way our defense played tonight. To be able to fight through that weather and not allow a single yard of offense is something we can hang our hats on. That has to be some sort of record. Zero yards. Sure our only yards came on special teams, but we are really trying to save the majority of our playbook for the start of the SEC slate. I know the fans want to see us put up some yards, but at the end of the day, not losing is not losing. You can’t win a championship if you lose games. Again, really proud of the effort tonight these young men showed. Now we can focus on taking that defensive momentum into the Eastern Michigan game.” -Will Muschamp, not loser against Idaho

“I heard some of my coaches got locked in that sweat shop of an elevator at halftime. If you saw what I was wearing tonight, you might have guessed that I recently joined an experimental sweat-based weight loss program. I’m heading to the elevator myself right after the press conference.” – Bret Bielema, Experimental sweat weight loss plan participant

Wisconsin will get the ball to start after the delay.” -Brent Musberger, Arkansas vs Auburn game announcer*

“All you folks shopping at Wal-Mart in Arkansas, go home and watch the SEC Network” -Brent Musberger, SEC Network *

*actual quotes

Can’t get enough? Check out What Happened To You On Thursday Night