Rushing The Field: Another SEC Barnburner

Seriously, if we’re gonna go through this every week with SEC teams in the night game on ESPN, it’s gonna be a real long, nail-biting season.  LSU pulled out the victory in the Tiger Bowl against Auburn thanks to a late touchdown pass from Jarrett Lee, who was subbing after Andrew Hatch got concussed, to Brandon LaFell to end a game largely characterized by the hard hits on both sides along with fits and starts on offense that have to infuriate Auburn fans. I mean, just watching the passing on Tony Franklin’s offense look spectacular one minute and awful the next has to drive the Auburn faithful nuts rights now.  So much more of the game was about the heavy hitters on defense, and the eight guys LSU rotated in and out on the D-line came through and pounded Chris Todd in the end to secure the win.  Les Miles would also like to remind you about the size of his play-calling balls.

When UGA’s Rennie Curran took Rudy Carpenter’s helmet with him on a sack in the first half of Georgia’s visit to Tempe to face Arizona State, I knew this game was going to be in favor of the Dawgs, and ugly in the second half. Matthew Stafford now has a new target in A.J. Green, who caught for more than 150 yards last night and a score on top of two more touchodwns from the reliable Knowshon Moreno.  Carpenter now has a fifth off-brand orifice thanks to an offensive line that can’t protect him; at least two of them were provided by USC’s Rey Maualuga.

The Tennessee Volunteers just flat out gave up when Florida came to town. The final score does say that the Vols got on the scoreboard, but really, when you’re down 27-0 in the third quarter, do any points after that count?  It wasn’t exactly a spectacular game for Tim Tebow, and that offense still looks a little too dependent upon him and Percy Harvin, but the Vols defense had very few counters and the Vols on offense — well, this is a team with two studs at RB in Arian Foster and Monterio Hardesty whom they can’t open holes for and get the ball to. Jonathan Crompton is still being asked to do way too much.  In joining Steve Spurrier as the second Florida coach to beat Tennessee and Phil Fulmer four times in a row, Urban Meyer would be perfectly within his rights to snark, “You can’t spell Outback without UT.”

We expected Alabama to beat Arkansas — just not this badly. Casey Dick was completely flaccid at quarterback, good only at hitting the opposing cornerbacks twice for pick sixes. Glenn Coffee needed only 10 rushes to gain 162 yards and 2 TDs, as the Tide nailed down seven scores in the first half alone on their way to a final score of 49-14.

Paul Johnson is still working his magic. I know, it’s Mississippi State, but the BEEEEEEEES of GT swarmed all over the defense for a 38-7 win.

Don’t look now — but Vanderbilt is 4-0 after beating Ole Miss. This will end next week at Auburn, but just sayin’.

Will anyone finally rid me of those meddlesome Hokies? Virginia Tech is likely to wind up back in a BCS bowl game because no one can knock them off in conference. UNC actually had a very good shot today and dominated the first three quarters, and then QB T.J. Yates got hurt.  The offense sputtered under Mike Paulus, who threw a crucial pick late, and Tech pulled out a 20-17 win.

East Carolina is off the list after getting knocked off by Tom O’Brien’s N.C. State team thanks to the play of QB Russell Wilson, a forced fumble in OT, and Andre Brown deciding to make his way to the end zone in that same OT afterwards.

If the U ever gets the whole offense clicking and together like it played against Texas A&M in a 41-23 beatdown, look the fuck out. Graig Cooper ran all over the place for 2 TDs and Robert Marve threw for two. Their defense already scares the shit out of opponents; if they have an offense to match, Randy Shannon has a beast of a team on his hands. Meanwhile, after losing to Arkansas State and Miami on Kyle Field, Mike Sherman may be on just as tenuous ground with the Aggie faithful as Bill Stewart is with some at West Fuckin’ Virginia.

When Florida State is losing to Wake Forest 12-3, it’s clear that the Seminoles have a long way back still to go. It also means Wake’s defense is good enough to smother opponents, although it does not make for the best viewing.

More proof the Pac-10 is nothing outside of USC this year: Boise State knocks off Oregon thanks to the Ducks’ continuing quarterback troubles and solid play from RB Ian Johnson. Plus, Arizona demolished UCLA in the Rose Bowl, 31-10, keeping Mike Stoops employed for yet another week.

If Terrelle Pryor’s gonna throw 4 TD passes, shouldn’t Jim Tressel have played him a lot more earlier? I know it’s against a cupcake like Troy, but still.

Kirk Ferentz has another lousy team at Iowa on his hands. I mean, we are talking about beating the Wannstache, which is not a difficult thing to do, and he has fits and starts while swapping in Ricky Stanzi for Jake Christensen at times.  Pitt held on to win by a point, and I’m wondering what Ferentz really has to do to get fired.

After beating Ohio, Northwestern is 4-0 right now. Given the flux of the Big Televen, they could actually finish undefeated, but such a thought isn’t really worth pondering.

Javon Ringer is a beast on both rushes and kickoff returns.  He hit end zone twice and ran up 201 yards on a beleaguered Notre Dame defense.

Anyone not thinking BYU’s legit? It’s only Wyoming, but two straight shutouts? That’s a scary thing, and coach Bronco Mendenhall is known for his defensive coaching.

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