The college football season continued another week and last weekend saw the SEC take center stage for the first time. This week on The College Football Gametime Podcast Randy McMichael joined me to recap week one in the conference. We don’t have the space to review every game in the conference from last week but I wanted to take a moment here and hit a few highlights. We’ll wrap up with a quick look ahead at a few games coming up this Saturday.
Georgia @ Arkansas:
I said Saturday I thought Georgia would win by 30. They won by 27. It’s not the margin of victory that should cause concern for Dawg fans, it was how Georgia looked in getting the win. Starting quarterback D’wan Mathis was pulled and Georgia could not run the ball. In years past we have seen Georgia line up and just blow opponents off the line of scrimmage with a power running game. That didn’t happen on Saturday against a team that Georgia clearly has more talent than. Georgia must be better on the offensive line if they have plans for a conference championship or a College Football Playoff appearance. JT Daniels, the Southern California transfer, has been cleared and should be behind center when Georgia faces Auburn this week.
Kentucky @ Auburn:
This was a pretty good game from the standpoint that we didn’t see a lot of the early season mistakes that have seemed to haunt a lot of teams early in the season. Bo Nix looked improved. Auburn’s coaches seem to have confident in the sophomore who led the Tigers last year. Count me among the one’s who thought Kentucky might surprise some people in the SEC this year. They may still do it, but at least in week one, Auburn was the better team.
Tennessee @ South Carolina:
As you can hear, Randy gave me grief for caring so much about this game. My Tennessee fandom aside, this game was important. A swing game for both teams. In a 10-game conference only schedule, this was one that both teams needed to start off the year. Tennessee didn’t play well but still managed to win the game. The Vols finished only 1 of 11 on third downs. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Garantano remains inconsistent.
Mississippi State @ LSU:
How much of “Geaux Tiger” nation is now wondering if Ed Orgeron is still the right man? The defending national champions played without defensive back Derrick Stingly Jr, but that’s no excuse for giving up a new SEC record of over 600 yards passing. When you face a Mike Leach coached team you know what your going to get. They will put the ball in the air every play. How can you not be more prepared? LSU better find some defense soon. We all hoped Mike Leach would bring a little humor and flair to the SEC. Something that frankly the conference has been missing since the Ole’ Ball Coach left. Saturday’s win was his first ever against a top 10 team on the road. As Andy Staples from The Athletic has written, Mike Leach has never had talent this good before at Washington State or Texas Tech, the Bulldogs from the west will be fun to follow. Stanford transfer KJ Costello proved he could play in the SEC with a record setting 623 yards passing. That snapped Eric Zier’s 27-year-old record.
Florida @ Ole Miss:
Florida’s offense looked good, but honestly, I don’t know what to make out of Ole Miss’ defense. I don’t think they are going to be very good. The Gators defense gave up a bunch of yards. Maybe I need to give more credit to Lane Kiffen but Florida’s defense didn’t look like one capable of winning an SEC championship.
A quick look ahead and two games on the SEC slate for this week.
Texas A&M @ Alabama:
Vandy took Texas A&M into the 4th quarter last week. Quarterback Kellen Mond and running back Isiah Spiller had flashes of what could be, but A&M must find more consistent play especially on the offensive line. That’s a position group that is going to be really tested this week. Alabama did what Alabama does in choking the life out of Missouri while quarterback Mack Jones played pretty flawless football. Saturday may tell a different tale but after one week it doesn’t appear that the gap between Alabama and Texas A&M has gotten any closer.
Auburn @ Georgia:
In a normal season, this match up comes later in the fall. This year it’s week two for the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”. As mentioned early, it took Georgia a little while (and a quarterback change) to get it going against Arkansas. JT Daniels is cleared to play and he should take over at quarterback. Arkansas is a team with 20 straight SEC losses and void of a lot of talent. Auburn will be a completely different story. Bo Nix stepped up last week when Auburn really needed him too. Georgia’s defense is fantastic and should be the difference in the game facing an Auburn offensive line with four new starters.
Appreciate Randy spending some time with us this week to talk a little college football. You can find him every weekday as part of Andy & Randy on the mid-day show on 92-9 The Game. You can also find Randy, Jon Chuckery and me this Saturday at 9 for College Football Gametime on 92-9 The Game where we’ll break down all the biggest games of the weekend.