Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 9/13
Auburn RB Ben Tate
Auburn RB Ben Tate
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 13, 2009


CFN SEC Blogger Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations about week two in the SEC.

By: Barrett Sallee


Week number two of the college football season is in the books, and in the SEC, there were several compelling games and story lines. Here are the three most important things to take out of the SEC after week two:

Auburn's Offense Is Legit
For the second straight week, Auburn's offense rolled up big numbers on offense – this time against an SEC defense.

The Tigers rolled up 589 yards of total offense against Mississippi State on Saturday night, 390 of which were on the ground. Just like last week, two Tigers went over the century mark on the ground, with Ben Tate rushing for a team-high 157 yards and freshman Onterio McCalebb adding 114 of his own. QB-turned-WR Kodi Burns scored three touchdowns on the ground and added another one through the air, settling nicely into his role as the wildcat QB.

Gus Malzahn's spread offense may look similar to the failed experiment that Tony Franklin brought to the Plains last year, but the results can't be any farther apart. Malzahn's version is predicated on downhill running, and the Tigers are executing it to perfection.

Right now, Auburn is fourth in the nation in total offense, averaging 573 yards per game. This is with the virtually the same personnel that managed only 302 yards per game last season, finishing 104th in the nation. Quite the turnaround for the Tigers thus far in 2009.

Where's The Dawg D?
Like many people, I was expecting the South Carolina / Georgia game to be a defensive struggle, due in large part to both offenses not showing anyone much of anything in week one. So, what exactly happened with that?

The Georgia defense took some heat last year for giving up yards at will in big games. So much so, that there's a small contingent of Georgia fans calling for defensive coordinator Willie Martinez's dismissal. Even though Georgia got the W on Saturday, the fears of Bulldog fans can't be put to rest after the win over South Carolina.

The Georgia defense allowed 427 yards of total offense to South Carolina, including a 313-yard passing performance from Gamecocks QB Stephen Garcia. Think about that for a sec. This is the same Gamecock team that couldn't do anything offensively vs. N.C. State, and a Georgia D that held the potent Oklahoma State offense relatively in check.

Is this a parallel universe?

Maybe this was just one of those freaky games where logic takes a back seat. Or, maybe it's an indicator of things to come. What it tells me is that both of these teams are still trying to find an identity. Even though Georgia now holds a tie-breaker over the Gamecocks, the team that gets their identity first may finish second in the SEC East behind Florida.

Vols Crash Back Down To Earth
Lane Kiffin got Vol Nation hyped up in the off-season with his words. That hype was accelerated last week with a resounding win over Western Kentucky, a team that was playing their first game in FBS.

So much for that.

It was 2008 all over again for the Vols on Saturday, in a 19-15 loss at home to UCLA. The Vols defense kept Tennessee in the game, allowing the Bruins, led by offensive coordinator Norm Chow, only 186 yards of offense.

Big problem though - the Tennessee offense hasn't changed.

Jonathan Crompton threw three interceptions and the Vols offense managed only 208 total yards in a game that the Vols had to have. As it stands, they will head to Gainesville to face the Gators with offensive question marks abound.

Through all the talk in the off-season, Lane Kiffin had some people believing that this Vols team was different, and that the new blood in Knoxville could turn this team around immediately. Tennessee's performance on Saturday proves that they are still a long way off. The big question is, if Tennessee has another .500-ish season, will Vol Nation turn on the coach that sold them on an immediate turnaround?

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at
barrettsallee@gmail.com, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BSallee_CFN



Three & Out Archive:
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 13, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 10, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 7, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 3 – July 24, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 2 – July 23, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 1 – July 22, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 16, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 12, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 9, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 30, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 26, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 18, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 15, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 11, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 7, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – February 28, 2009

Click here for the 2009 blog archive


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