Posted: 9:36 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
By Juco All-American
#12 Florida 1-0 (0-0 SEC)
Calling for the Toledo upset of Florida was the sexy pick. Kirk Herbstreit did it as did others. Terrence Owens was a quarterback to watch out for. Then Florida's defense happened. Owens went 17/38 with a QB rating of 17.2. At some point, people are going to have to realize that despite how mediocre the Gator offense is (Jeff Driskel had a rating of 62.1), their defense is astonishingly successful, and they're capable of grinding out wins. Florida plays the U this Saturday at 11:00 CT on ESPN. That's definitely the game I'll be watching at that time.
#11 Georgia 0-1 (0-0)
The Bulldogs didn't have too much trouble stopping the pass against the Tigers. In fact they held Tajh Boyd to eighteen completions on thirty attempts. The problem is that when the bulldogs allowed completed passes, they went for big yardage. Those eighteen completions yielded 270 yards, or fifteen yards per completion. They also struggled to stop Clemson's running game, allowing 4.3 yards per carry including 132 yards to Roderick McDowell, the Tigers' starting halfback. The Bulldogs will have to shore things up if they hope to beat South Carolina this week. The Gamecocks weren't sterling in their first game, but they handled UNC pretty easily. The UGA - USC matchup is Saturday at 3:30 CT on ESPN.
Kentucky 0-1 (0-0)
Oh, Kentucky. I think people expected Kentucky to be bad, but getting blown out by Western Kentucky wasn't easy to forecast. The Wildcats have problems everywhere and have already announced a change at quarterback. They'll be going with Maxwell Smith, who hasn't shown much in 316 career pass attempts, instead of Jalen Whitlow, the sophomore who ended last season as the starter. Kentucky's defense struggled against Western Kentucky in all facets, allowing 216 yards on the ground at 5.3 yards per carry and 271 through the air. If you want to watch the Wildcats, I pity you. You can catch their game against MIami of Ohio (in which Kentucky is shockingly favored) at 11:00 CT on ESPNGameplan. Don't watch it.
Missouri 1-0 (0-0)
There we go, Missouri. Winning 58-14 over Murray State is probably a good feeling for Missouri fans. Senior QB James Franklin came out firing, passing for 318 yards and three touchdowns. The team was also successful on the ground, rushing for 358 yards at EIGHT yards per carry. Essentially none of their backs struggled. I'm not sure there's any takeaway from this game, since Murray State is probably pretty terrible. That said, the offensive output can't mean they're terrible on that end. On the other hand, their defensive performance was only average, considering the competition. Missouri plays Toledo this Saturday at 2:30 CT on ESPNU.
#6 South Carolina 1-0 (0-0)
The media sure made a big deal about one weird game. Rain and a lightning delay can mess things up, and South Carolina struggled in week 1 last season as well. Do they think that Jadeveon Clowney just forgot how to play football? The UNC team they beat 27-10 won eight regular season games last year. It's not like they were a pushover. The line was 11. South Carolina covered. Yet, they apparently need to be really concerned. I don't get it. Connor Shaw is a capable quarterback, and the team averaged six yards per carry on the ground. North Carolina was held to 2.8 yards per carry and had to settle for dink and dunk passes at an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. As mentioned earlier, they play Georgia on Saturday. It's a pretty big game...
Tennessee 1-0 (0-0)
Tennessee beat Austin Peay 45-0. It wasn't an interesting game. They passed for 132 yards and ran for 315. Nothing was ever in doubt. They play Western Kentucky this Saturday in what could be a season-defining game. If Tennessee struggles with or loses to Western Kentucky, they'll have trouble in the SEC East (which is loaded this season). If not, they could show that this Butch Jones-coached team is real. This game is only available on ESPNGameplan, which kind of sucks. It's a game I would love to watch.
Vanderbilt 0-1 (0-1 SEC)
Oh, you know. They played a game against someone and were heartbroken at the end. Vanderbilt has a rebound opportunity against Austin Peay, and I'd hate to be in their shoes right now. After getting dismantled by Tennessee, they take on a talented team that's very angry. Don't watch this game. It will be boring.