The goings on of the rest of the SEC are somewhat difficult to truly follow. Because of the number of times that JUCO has seen uninformed fans make sweeping judgments of opposing teams based solely on their quarterback and halfback, he decided to start a segment where, though we will talk about halfbacks and quarterbacks, we'll also talk about the other players on teams that are succeeding or failing.
As promised, we continue to provide a look around the SEC. Yesterday, JUCO provided a look at the SEC West. Today, I will try to give you insight into the lesser important division in the SEC.
The news that no American could avoid over the past week is that of Tebow's injury. Though he "looks terrific," this poses a significant risk to the Gators' title hopes if he isn't ready for the game against LSU on October 10th. Luckily for Florida, they have an off week this week which will buy back-up John Brantley some time to prepare. He spent his first two seasons at Florida kind of like Nick Stephens has spent his at TN, holding a clipboard. He took over for Tebow in the 3rd, he was 4 of 6 for 30 yards and a td. Not too shabby for a guy that hasn't gotten any meaningful snaps prior to Saturday. This injury could throw another wrench into an already crazy 2009, and the Gator faithful will hope for the return of Tebow for their next game which is in Death Valley October 10th.
A.J. Green stole the show last weekend as he had 8 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. Honestly, haven't we come to expect this every week from Green? Not only did he do it on offense, he also BLOCKED A FIELD GOAL. With his help, the Dogs won 20-17 over undefeated Arizona State. Joe Cox didn't match last week's 5 TDs this week as he was 17 of 31 with 1 TD and 2 INTs. Georgia continues to find ways to win despite not looking amazing (I know LSU, it's an important skill to have). This week they host the Bayou Bengals in Athens, and you can find the game on CBS at 2:30 CDT.
The Wildcats finally got to see what a living, breathing offense and defense looked like when Florida visited last weekend. They lost 41-7, and there was hardly anything positive from this game. Team grandfather coach Rich Brooks said, "We got our fannies kicked all over the field in every phase. I didn't have my team ready to play." Kentucky qb Mike Hartline was 13 of 28 with 2 INTs for 85 yards and 1 TD. Playmaking extraordinaire Randall Cobb had 5 receptions for 24 yards. Those stats are not good news for the Cats that need to find a defense and a consistent offense. The only bright spot was SS Calvin Harrison who had 11 tackles (7 solo). There is no rest for the weary as they take the field Saturday against #3 Alabama at 11:21 CDT.
South CAROLina (see what I did there? Carol is a girl's name! LOL)
Do I have to talk about this? Eric Norwood owned Bradley Sowell and Co. last Thursday night in Columbia. He finished with 10 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 tfl, and a partially blocked punt. Did they even need the other 10 defensive players on the field? Another outstanding player for the Gamecocks was P/PK Spencer Lanning who was 3 of 3 on field goals, averaged 42.9 yards punting, and most importantly, tackled Marshay Green during a punt return on what would have amounted to being the game winner for the Rebs. Thanks, Spencer. The Gamecocks are set to take on in-state powerhouse undefeated South Carolina State at 6 p.m. CDT. The game will be aired on ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com.
Do you remember that time when Tennessee played Florida really closely and everyone declared a moral victory for Lane Kiffin? That seemed like an eternity ago when the Vols struggled greatly with Ohio and won 34-23. The telling statistic for UT's offense was the fact that they were out-gained through the air 319-222. Much ado has been made about super-recruit Bryce Brown, but he was overshadowed by Montario Hardesty who carried the ball 20 times for 140 yards. Kiffin will look to get his first signature win this week when the Tigers of Auburn come to town. The game is at 6:45 p.m. CDT and will be televised by ESPN.
Two years ago, The Ghost of Jay Cutler and I flew up to Vandy to witness a waxing of the Dores in Nashville (coincidentally, that is the trip on which he obtained the nickname TGOJC). Instead, we were depressed by the number of times we heard, "FIRST DOWN COMMODORES!" over the loud speaker. They also have a really annoying fog horn they blow when they score a touchdown. I digress... Vandy won last weekend over a terrible young Rice team, and they did it on the road. You've probably heard the name Larry Smith as he is the qb that led them to victory in the win over Boston College in the Music City Bowl. He was 23 of 41 for 268 yards. However, you might not have heard of CB Myron Lewis who had 2 ints and six tackles against Rice. He is an integral part of a defense that allows very few yards through the air and leads the SEC in 3rd down defense. They take own our beloved at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU.