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2011 CFN SEC Week 1 Roundup

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 5, 2011


2011 CFN SEC Week 1 Game Recaps, Standings, Roundup, & More

2011 SEC Week 1

East Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State

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Player of the Week

LSU S Tyrann Mathieu made ten tackles, a half a tackle for loss, two broken up passes, a forced fumble, and a recovery for a score in the 40-27 win over Oregon.

Three Best Games of the Week

1. at Auburn 42 … Utah State 38
2. LSU 40 … Oregon 27
3. Boise State 35 … Georgia 21

Atlantic
Conf. Overall
Florida 0 0 1 0
Kentucky 0 0 1 0
S. Carolina 0 0 1 0
Tenn. 0 0 1 0
Vandy 0 0 1 0
Georgia 0 0 0 1
Coastal
  Conf. Overall
Alabama 0 0 1 0
Arkansas 0 0 1 0
Auburn 0 0 1 0
LSU 0 0 1 0
Miss St 0 0 1 0
Ole Miss 0 0 0 1
Players of the Week
9/3 S Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

Games of the Week
9/3 at Auburn 42 … Utah State 38

Alabama at Alabama 48 … Kent State 7 … This is why there are easy opening games. Alabama needs to figure out its quarterback situation and needs to try to get out of the dual-QB format, but A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims each threw two interceptions and neither one stood out to claim the job. The ground game was fine, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and Trent Richardson ran for three scores despite averaging just 2.8 yards per run, but this was still a shaky overall offensive performance with the Penn State defense coming up next. For all the problems, 49 points against a good Kent State defense is still a positive, and the defense was tremendous allowing just 99 yards and -9 on the ground. Trey DePriest and Courtney Upshaw were sensational; they were all over the field.

Arkansas at Arkansas 51 … Missouri State 7 … To nitpick in a 51-7 win, the Arkansas running game was awful. How was the ground attack going to go on without Knile Davis? The deep group of backs struggled with Ronnie Wingo and Kody Walker each averaging under four yards per carry, and while it didn’t matter, it would’ve been nice to show that it’s business as usual without Davis. Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell did whatever they wanted, with Mitchell completing 10-of-11 passes for 104 yards and a score, and 12 different receivers got involved. The defense had no problem against the Missouri State attack, even though there wasn’t as much pressure in the backfield as the coaching staff might have wanted. It was a layup, and now against New Mexico and Troy, the running game has to start working or else forget about it any production on the ground at Alabama in the SEC opener.

Auburn at Auburn 42 … Utah State 38 … The Tigers have to figure out how to get more out of their defensive line and they have to do it in a hurry. The offense kicked it in against Ohio State when it had to, and Barrett Trotter did his part to pull off the miracle, but unless the front seven can start to tackle better, take better angles, and hold up stronger against the run, the SEC is going to roll at will. The Mississippi State game is going to be a big, big problem unless the D can be much sharper, but the offense should be able to keep up in shootouts – at least that’s the hope. Trotter completed 17-of-23 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, and Emory Blake was terrific, but the running game averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.

Florida at Florida 45 … Florida Atlantic 3 … Blowing out Florida Atlantic isn’t like blowing away Florida State, but considering the problems offensively last year, and with the problems in the opener against Miami University, 41-3 with 468 yards of offense looks great. John Brantley threw two picks, and he was shaky at times, but he did a nice job of spreading the ball around and getting the passing game going like last year’s coaching staff would’ve liked. Again, though, like last year, the ground game waited for the Jeff Demps home run a bit too much. The Jeff Driskel era got the chance to get going with the superstar recruit competing 4-of-6 passes for 42 yards and a pick. There’s still a lot of tuning to be done, and UAB is in huge trouble next week, but this was a strong debut.

Georgia Boise State 35 … Georgia 21 … The Georgia offensive line was ripped up, and that was it for the Dawg hopes. When Aaron Murray had time, which wasn’t often, he was terrific showing off the next-level arm and accuracy that made him a preseason All-SEC pick. Isaiah Crowell was fine, averaging four yards per carry with 60 yards on 15 carries, but he didn’t get much room to move. The defense wasn’t all that bad, but it couldn’t come up with the stop in key moments and the secondary got picked clean by Kellen Moore, even when the coverage was solid. Beating South Carolina next week is all that matters, and now the pressure is on more than ever. Georgia really does have talent and it has the potential to come up with a big year, but it’ll be tough if the storyline becomes all about Mark Richt’s job status.

Kentucky Kentucky 14 … WKU 3 … This couldn’t have been what Kentucky had in mind to open up the season, and while the WKU defense played extremely well, the UK offense helped the cause in the ugly win. Morgan Newton simply can’t take anything off his fastball. All the work done on his touch this offseason didn’t seem to pay off, and while he has the gun to push the ball down the field, and he has just enough mobility to get by – including a key late 58-yard to all but put the game away, his 7-of-18, 97-yard, one score, three-pick day was a disaster. On the plus side, the defense didn’t allow the Hilltopper offense to move, and Danny Trevathan was brilliant with 13 tackles and Winston Guy made ten stops with two picks, there’s a LOT of work to be done against Central Michigan and Louisville to have any prayer of being competitive in SEC play.

LSU LSU 40 … Oregon 27 … LSU might have beaten Oregon in a blowout, but it’s not like the offense worked all that well. The ground game was powerful, cranking out 175 yards and three scores, but it only averaged 3.6 yards per carry, and the passing game didn’t help ; Jarrett Lee was awful. He might not have thrown any pick-sixes, but he only connected on 10-of-22 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. LSU won on defense, stuffing Oregon all game long with Tyrann Mathieu coming up with a huge performance with ten tackles, a forced fumble, two broken up passes, and a touchdown. Now the Tigers get to take a week off against Northwestern State, and they’ll get a chance to come up with more of a passing game before going on the road to face Mississippi State and West Virginia. If the defense keeps playing this well, the offense’s job will be to keep the mistakes to a minimum. With just one fumble and four takeaways, the Tigers did what they needed to do.

Ole Miss BYU 14 … at Ole Miss 13  … The Rebels simply need to open things up a bit more. They didn’t do anything to let QB Barry Brunetti turn it loose as he completed just 2-of-3 passes for four yards and ran just three times for 13 yards. The offense went nowhere against the Cougars and was miserable at trying to run the ball. The O line is supposed to be among the best in the SEC, but it couldn’t generate any semblance of a push with the ground game averaging just 2.2 yards per try and 64 yards total. Then, with the offense needing to close the game out, instead BYU’s defense took over late. With Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt up next, the offense has to find something that works before facing Georgia.

Miss State Mississippi State 59 … at Memphis 14  ... The Mississippi State offense was humming on all cylinders, but it also helped that the Memphis defense was nowhere in sight. Everything worked for the Bulldogs, and while Vick Ballard will get the game ball after running ten times for 166 yards and three touchdowns, the defense did its part stoning the Tiger offense time and again. Tyler Russell came in with the game well out of reach and was terrific, while Chris Relf was good, but could’ve been better on third downs. With a long offseason after the blowout over Michigan, this was exactly the type of opening MSU wanted before diving into SEC play against Auburn and LSU over the next 14 days. If the offensive line can blast open holes like it did this week, and if the offense can explode like it did, even with the backups in, the team might be the real deal.

South Carolina South Carolina 56 … East Carolina 37 … Whether it was a motivational ploy or if Steve Spurrier really did believe that Connor Shaw was the better option, Stephen Garcia ended the debate once and for all. Shaw misfired on two early deep passes that Garcia would’ve connected on for touchdowns, and then Garcia took over the game completing 7-of-15 passes for 110 yards and a score, while running for 56 yards and two scores. Marcus Lattimore was Marcus Lattimore with 112 yards and three scores, but he had to grind it out and didn’t bust out many big runs. The D might have struggled with the high-powered East Carolina offense, but the defensive front looked like it could be really, really good. There weren’t any sacks, but Jadeveon Clowney appears to be the real deal out of the gate with seven tackles and a tackle for loss.

Tennessee at Tennessee 42 … Montana 16 …Remember, Montana is an FCS national title-level superpower, and Tennessee had no problems rolling to the easy win. Tyler Bray was phenomenal, especially on third downs, completing 17-of-24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns while keeping the chains moving time and again. The pass protection was spotty and the line struggled to get the running game going on a consistent basis, but the passing game more than made up for the problems with Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers combining to make 11 catches for 246 yards and two scores. The defense did its job, and now it has to deal with a Cincinnati team that hung up 72 points in the opener. As long as Bray is as efficient as he was, all will be fine.

Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt 45 … Elon 14 … The James Franklin era got off to a good start on the scoreboard, but the offense was very, very shaky. Larry Smith didn’t complete half his passes, but he threw two touchdown passes and didn’t make any big mistakes. Jordan Rodgers showed off a little of what he can do completing 3-of-4 passes for 52 yards and a score, and it’s possible the two quarterbacks rotate going forward. The running game didn’t go anywhere, and the secondary struggled, but the Commodores were +3 in turnover margin and committed four penalties to Elon’s seven. Chris Marve came up with 12 tackles and two tackles for loss, and the D came through when needed, but overall, there’s still a long way to go.
 
Thursday, Sept. 1

Mississippi State 59 ... at Memphis 14
- Ballard runs wild on the Tigers
CFN Prediction: Miss State 41-13
Line: Miss St -27.5 O/U:50

Kentucky 14 ... at Western Kentucky 3
- Newton struggles in tough win
CFN Prediction: Kentucky 41-20
Line: Kentucky -19.5 O/U: 51.5

Saturday, Sept. 3

at Auburn 42 ... Utah State 38
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Auburn 44-13
Line: Auburn -22 O/U: 55.5

at Alabama 48 ... Kent State 7
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Alabama 45-6
Alabama -36.5  O/U: 45.5

BYU 14 ... at Ole Miss 13
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: BYU 24-20
Line: BYU -2.5 O/U: 55.5

at Tennessee 42 ... Montana 16
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 27-21

at Arkansas 51 ... Missouri State 7
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Arkansas 48-3

at Florida 41 ... Florida Atlantic 3
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Florida 37-7
Line: Florida -34.5   O/U: 47

at South Carolina 56 ... East Carolina 37
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: South Carolina 35-20
Line: South Carolina -20.5 O/U: 61.5

at Vanderbilt 45 ... Elon 14
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Vanderbilt 42-27 

Boise State 35 ... Georgia 21
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Georgia 22-20
Line: Boise State -3   O/U: 51.5

LSU 40 ... Oregon 27
- What Happened? ... The Game Story
CFN Prediction: Oregon 23-20
Line: LSU -1   O/U: 55