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2011 Spring Preview SEC East Questions
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 22, 2011


Is it time to start thinking of South Carolina as more than just a nice story? With star skill players like Marcus Lattimore, and a potentially killer defensive front, the Gamecocks might be in the hunt for the national title, but can the secondary start to produce? This and some other big questions surrounding each SEC East team going into spring practices.


2011 SEC East Spring Preview

The Spring Questions

Click for each team's spring preview
East Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State
 
2011 SEC Spring Preview 
- SEC Spring Preview - Does SEC Champ = BCS Champ?
- 2011 SEC East Spring Buzz | SEC West   
- 2011 SEC East Spring Attitudes | SEC West
- 2011 SEC East Big Spring Questions | SEC West 
- 2011 SEC East Key Positions To Watch | SEC West
- SEC East Spring Rankings | SEC West
 
East

Florida

Can John Brantley be a real, live NFL quarterback? Florida fans, do not adjust your set; you’re going to see a quarterback throwing from a pocket. The best thing that could’ve ever happened to Brantley and his career was the hiring of Charlie Weis and the changing of offensive philosophies. There’s was never any question that Brantley had the talent, and there hasn’t been any question that he’s a far, far better pro-style passer than Tim Tebow ever was or is, but he was stuck in the mish-mosh that was last year’s Gator attack and was never comfortable. Now Brantley will get a chance to wing it around the yard and he’ll get a chance to show why he was considered one of the nation’s top recruits not all that long ago. If he can’t get the job done and if he struggles at all under Weis, star recruit Jeff Driskel will almost certainly have a say in the discussion before the opener against Florida Atlantic.

Georgia

Can the offense start to put up numbers and can it be more consistent? QB Aaron Murray’s offseason, soccer-playing, ankle injury wasn’t a great sign or a great start to the year, but he appears to be fine and he needs to be terrific to jump-start an offense that did a giant bowl of nothing when A.J. Green wasn’t making big plays. The Georgia Bulldogs shouldn’t be held to six points by a Conference USA team, even one as good as last year’s UCF, and it starts with doing more with a running game that has no excuse to be as mediocre as it’s been over the last few years. The offensive line gets three starters back and has a few all-star caliber talents to work around, but the running backs have to be better, too.

Kentucky

Can the defense stop anyone from running the ball? Pittsburgh pounded the ball down the Cats’ throat in the BBVA Compass Bowl, ripping off 261 yards. Vanderbilt , Mississippi State, Auburn, and Ole Miss all ran for over 200 yards against a UK defensive front that ended up allowing 30 rushing scores on the year. The D desperately needs a wide-load, big-butt nose tackle who can sit in the middle of the line and take up space to run a 3-4 alignment, but there isn’t one on the roster. With three starters gone off line from last year’s 4-3, the run defense might rely way too much on tackling-machine weakside linebacker Danny Trevathan and a good-hitting veteran secondary.

South Carolina

Can the secondary tighten up? South Carolina led the SEC in sacks and will only be better with Jadeveon Clowney joining the fun, but it didn’t seem to matter for a pass defense that got picked clean by anyone who could throw the forward pass with some semblance of efficiency. The big move was taking safety Akeen Auguste and making him a corner, his more natural spot, while hoping for DeVonte Holloman and D.J. Swearinger to be add more punch at safety. With Stephon Gilmore locking down one corner job and with so much experience and so many options returning, the Gamecocks have no excuse to be 97th in the nation in pass defense and 87th in pass efficiency defense again. East Carolina’s Dominique Davis will provide a nice test on Opening Day.

Tennessee

Can the offensive line block someone? The Vols had to go through some major growing pains closing out the year three freshmen and a sophomore up front, and it showed as the running game didn’t go anywhere and the pass protection was non-existent allowing 41 sacks and finishing 115th in the nation in sacks allowed. On the plus side, the line returns full of veterans and is still very, very young with four sophomores and a junior to likely form the starting five. It’s a big group that should be able to shove some people around, but the Vols aren’t going anywhere this year unless there’s a big overall improvement. QB Tyler Bray is a promising young talent, but he needs time to work.

Vanderbilt 

Can the new passing attack work? James Franklin wants to start winging the ball all over the yard and wants to start pressing teams deep. The air show might not be any good, but the opposing secondaries are going to be tested – at least that’s the hope. The Commodores were 105th in the nation in passing and 119th in the country in passing efficiency, and while Larry Smith is a big, strong veteran, he might not be the right fit. Jordan Rodgers, brother of Aaron Rodgers, was brought in to be the main man to run the offense the way the coaching staff would like, but he has to get 100% healthy after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.

Click for each team's spring preview
East Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State
 
2011 SEC Spring Preview 
- SEC Spring Preview - Does SEC Champ = BCS Champ?
- 2011 SEC East Spring Buzz | SEC West   
- 2011 SEC East Spring Attitudes | SEC West
- 2011 SEC East Big Spring Questions | SEC West 
- 2011 SEC East Key Positions To Watch | SEC West
- SEC East Spring Rankings | SEC West