Howdy, y’all. Week 2 didn’t have the fanfare leading in like Week 1 always does, but it didn’t manage to disappoint! How’d everyone do? Let’s run it down:
WEEK 2 RESULTS
Alabama - W 48-14 vs Mercer
Arkansas - W 40-21 vs Texas
Auburn - W 62-0 vs Alabama State
Florida - W 42-20 @ South Florida
Georgia - W 56-7 vs UAB
Kentucky - W 35-28 vs Missouri
LSU - W 34-7 vs McNeese State
Ole Miss - W 54-17 vs Austin Peay
South Carolina - W 20-17 @ ECU
Tennessee - L 41-34 vs Pitt
Texas A&M - W 10-7 @ Colorado
Vanderbilt - W 24-21 @ Colorado State
MAIN THEME - DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY CARE? & WHAT WE LEARNED
Across the league, we saw nearly everyone endure the struggle bus in Week 2. It started with us and the dreaded silver bullet morning kickoff for Auburn football, as the Tigers led just 6-0 after a quarter over one of the worst teams in football. That wasn’t all, though, as we almost had a couple of upsets that would’ve really shaken things up...
- Even Alabama went three-and-out on its first two drives against Mercer (but we know how tough the Bears can be — see 2017). In the end the Tide won easily, but they clearly weren’t focused despite Nick Saban’s rant during the week about how much they actually suck.
- Perhaps the biggest near-disaster came in Boulder, where Texas A&M lost starting quarterback Haynes King to an ankle injury (of course he should be available, let me check, ah yes, right before Auburn goes to College Station), and nearly fell to Colorado. The Buffs have been one of the worst teams in college football for almost two decades, and the Aggies almost blew it. For all of the talk about A&M being strong in the run game on both sides of the ball, they only gained 96 yards on 29 carries while giving up 171 on the other side. They’ll need to regroup with Arkansas and Alabama over the next four weeks.
- Speaking of the HOGS, well, shit. Looks like they showed up. They had a laugher in the win over Texas, and the Arkansas official socials were absolutely roasting the Longhorns afterward. Must have been somebody’s job all summer to prepare content and sit on it. Unfortunately for everyone, they looked strong and motivated and ran for 333 yards on Texas. You can bet that they’ll be extra excited when we come to town after what transpired last year. Quite some time to go before that.
- Other interesting results included Tennessee falling to Pitt (welcome to the world, Josh Heupel), and South Carolina needing a walk-off field goal to beat ECU on the road (I think that road trip will be a little easier than last season). Elsewhere, LSU continued to look rocky, beating McNeese State 34-7, but doing it in the most tepid way possible. The Tigers could NOT run the ball, and now they’ve got an astonishing number of players out for the near future, including top tailback John Emery. Ed Orgeron’s got two make or break games coming up with Mississippi State and us back to back. He could be fighting for his job in an immediate manner.
- Hey! Vanderbilt won! They beat Colorado State on the road (when was the last time, if ever, that two SEC teams played in the state of Colorado on the same day?), and they used a Joseph Bulovas field goal with :19 left for the winning margin. Remember that name?
You leave Alabama and you start actually making field goals.
- There’s a quarterback controversy a-brewin’ in Gainesville, as a Cam Newton clone has appeared in the form of Anthony Richardson. The backup QB only went 3-3 for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns with another 115 rushing yards and a score on only 4 carries in the win over USF. Let’s see what Dan Mullen does, but he better do it in a hurry because the Gators have Bama in five days.
- And we had our first SEC game this week! Kentucky actually looks like they could compete for second place in the East after a 35-28 win over Missouri. At this brief point in time they’ve got the lead all to themselves, but the offense is clicking and the run game is stout (340 yards against Mizzou).
FAVORITE PLAY OF THE WEEK
In a non-Auburn effort I’m going with Anthony Richardson’s performance (all of it) against USF. We mentioned above that he’s a Cam Newton clone (almost at 6’4, 236), but he did Cam things against the Bulls on Saturday. If he does this against Bama this weekend, I’ll do exactly one complimentary Gator chomp.
THINGS TO WATCH IN WEEK 2
- Auburn goes to Penn State, so we’ll learn exactly how the Tigers compare after two warmup games. So far, the SEC has been hit or miss in non-con affairs (or... everyone but LSU, Tennessee, and Vandy have been hits), and there hasn’t been a game against the Big Ten yet this season. Will the success from the first two weeks translate into the hostile road environment? Auburn’s currently leading the nation in scoring offense and scoring defense, and if they’re still anywhere near the top on Sunday morning, then it was a strong game and a big win.
- Everyone will be hurrying to get done with their games to watch the two main affairs with Auburn @ Penn State Saturday night, and Alabama @ Florida on Saturday afternoon. The Tide demolished Miami, but were sluggish against Mercer, and now may have to play one of the most explosive new players in the league. Anthony Richardson came up with a tweaked hamstring after his long touchdown run on Saturday, but if he’s better in time to play the Tide, it could be fun. We’ll see exactly how far ahead of the rest of us Alabama is come this weekend.
- It’s another paycheck Saturday, but look to see exactly how shaky Ed Oregon’s milk crate throne gets when CMU comes to town. The Chippewas actually outgained Missouri in the opener, and were in a competitive game the entire time. Do they have enough to challenge LSU in Death Valley? If so, Mike Leach will be smelling more blood after last year, and Auburn fans everywhere will be aching to pop the champagne breaking the Baton Rouge streak.