AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Tre Mason #21 of the Auburn Tigers gets past kicker Brian Egan #53 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and defensive back Charles Mitchell #4 for a big return in the first quarter on September 10, 2011 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Alabama 2-0 (0-0 SEC)
The Crimson Tide traveled to Happy Valley last weekend and came away with a very impressive 27-11 win. The game was never in doubt, as Bama continued boosting the stock of the SEC. Alabama's defense held the Penn State passing attack to 12 completions on 39 attempts. If possible, Penn State's passing game actually looked worse than that. If Penn State is good, the SEC has a lot about which to worry. Alabama made them look like a poorly coached high school team. Alabama will face off against North Texas on ESPN Gameplan and ESPN3 this Saturday at 6:30 CT. I'll let you guess where the game is being played.
Arkansas 2-0 (0-0 SEC)
Arkansas handled their business with a 52-3 win over UNM Saturday. The Arkansas offense tallied over 600 yards, and their defense obviously kept New Mexico's offense in check. Even though Arkansas spread the ball around on the ground, Ronnie Wingo got twice the carries in meaningful time as anyone else and finished with 73 yards on twelve carries. The Arkansas ground game may struggle a little bit against strong defenses this year, but they've got the right guys carrying the football. It's got to be frustrating to their halfbacks that the team threw the ball 39 times in a 52-3 win though. Arkansas takes on Troy at 6:30 CT on Gameplan and ESPN3 Saturday. Like Bama's game, it's probably not worth watching.
Auburn 2-0 (1-0 SEC)
The Tiger defense couldn't stop MSU on the ground for most of their matchup (allowing 333 rushing yards) but came up huge on the last play of the game, stuffing Chris Relf at the goal line as time expired to secure a 41-34 win. Michael Dyer continues to thrive, as he rushed for 150 yards on eighteen carries against the fake bulldogs. Perhaps more impressive was Junior WR Emory Blake who had seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. The shifty receiver had three catches for 98 yards and a touchdown against Utah State and has really gotten off to a fast start this year. The Tigers (See how easy that is? We don't call them the Eagles) travel to Clemson Saturday. Catch their game at 11 CT on ABC.
LSU 3-0 (1-0 SEC)
[Note: Most of this was written before last night's game.] LSU held Northwestern State to 94 yards of offense in a 49-3 joke. They're really, really good. There's not much more to say. If they do faulter this year, it will be due to their passing game. I still think that the Alabama vs. LSU game will likely decide the national championship this season though. LSU decimated MSU last night on ESPN. More to come on that next week.
MSU 1-2 (0-2 SEC)
State lost a heartbreaker :-) to Auburn last Saturday when they were stopped at the goal line in a 34-41 loss. State had tremendous success on the ground, but their defense struggled to hold Auburn down. Cameron Lawrence is going to be a good linebacker, but that's pretty much all they have at the linebacker spot. It's also clear that they miss Pernell McPhee (who starts for the Ravens as a rookie). I think the secondary will prove to be the saving grace of the MSU defense this year. State was humbled last night in a 19-6 home loss to LSU. More on that next week.