SHANE SHACKLEFORD: Rambling Around SEC Football
If you are like me and love SEC football but don’t have 14 TVs to watch all of the games, here's a fast fact about every game this past weekend to give you an idea about every SEC team’s performance (in no particular order).
GEORGIA: The Dawgs won in a lightning-shorten contest 51-14 over Louisiana-Monroe. Heisman hopeful RB Nick Chubb had 120 yards and 2 TDs on 16 carries. Georgia outgained the Warhawks 435-251 in total yards. The game was called with 9:53 to go in the fourth quarter, allowing the visitors to get out of town without further damage.
VANDERBILT: Vandy, oh Vandy, where has James Franklin gone? Western Kentucky deep sixed the ‘Dores 14-12 after Vanderbilt led the game in every meaningful statistcal category. Maybe the most important category they led in was the turnover margin, 3-0. Not the best of news in Nashville.
SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks survived against rival North Carolina 17-13. The Tar Heels outgained USC 440-394 but turned the ball over three times, leading ESPN to hail the ‘Cocks defense as “sensational.” Huh?
OLE MISS: The Rebels won a squeaker 76-3 over UT-Martin. The Rebs had 662 total yards of offense against the Skyhawks. Nice way to open up.
ARKANSAS: The trendy pick to win the SEC West (or the NFC/AFC west) had little trouble with UTEP 48-13. The Hogs' Brandon Allen threw for 308 yards and the defense forced three turnovers. Look for Arkansas to be a tough out as the season unfolds.
AUBURN: The War Eagles survived against Louisville 31-24 even though the Cards outgained the Tigers 405-327 and had three turnovers. Auburn made just enough plays to hold on and beat Bobby Petrino in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons are still hot at Coach Petrino. Just sayin…
MISSOURI: The two-time SEC Eastern champion (which geographically I can’t grasp) won 34-3 over SE Missouri State. The Tigers had 407 yards of offense, led by Maty Mauk’s 12-22 passing peformance with 181 yards and 2 TDs.
TENNESSEE: Rocky Top hung 59 points in Nashville against the Falcons from Bowling Green. Bowling Green is located in Ohio, and probably wished they’d stayed there. The Vols ran for 399 yards and 6 TDs. Heisman candidate Joshua Dobbs also passed for 205 yards and a couple of TDs.
TEXAS A&M: Don’t sleep on the Aggies. They were very impressive in their opening win over No. 15 Arizona State 38-15. Gig ‘Em blistered the Sun Devils to the tune of 425 yards of offense, led by freshman QB Kyle Allen’s 198 yards passing and 24-yard touchdown run.
LSU: The Tigers game with McNeese State was canceled due to weather. At least three not so bad things happened for the visiting McNeese; they still got paid $500,000 for five minutes of football, it’s a short drive home, and they didn’t get hammered in Tiger Stadium.
FLORIDA: The Gators opened the Jim McElwain era in Gainesville with a 61-13 beating of New Mexico State. Florida’s offense looked much more potent than last year, producing 606 yards of total offense on 80 plays. And no, Jeff Driskell didn’t play in the game.
ALABAMA: The Death Star in Tuscaloosa is still strong. The Tide, led by running back Derrick Henry’s 147 yards rushing and 3 TDs, defeated Wisconsin 35-17 in Jerry’s World (aka AT&T Stadium in Dallas). Bama outgained the No. 20 Badgers 502-268 with nearly perfectly balance (264 pasing, 238 rushing). And just think, Henry is 6-3 and 247 pounds; he also runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. Can you say not fair?
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Dak Prescott led the Dogs to a 34-16 victory at Southern Miss. Prescott was 22-38, 237 yards and 2 TD’s passing and also had a TD and 72 yards on 8 carries. State had 442 yards of total offense, but gave up 413 yards to the Golden Eagles.
Shane Shackleford is an assistant coach for boys' basketball team at Harlan County High School. The Harlan County native is also a third-grade teacher at Evarts Elementary School. Shackleford is a sports junkie, fisherman, rat rod enthusiast and still trying to be raised by his loving wife, Elizabeth, in their home in Harrogate, Tenn. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.