Monday, September 18, 2017

Early thoughts on SEC play and the Starville pups

Georgia finally opens SEC play this week. After so many years of having the Gamecocks in week two or sometimes three, it feels weird opening up the conference schedule this late. But alas, the OOC slate is shelved until November and it's time to strap em a little tighter men!

Still a little surprised by what happened in Columbia Saturday night. No, not talking about Purdue. How did anyone think Missouri would stand a chance there? Can we officially get rid of those Tigers now? I guess not since they've actually competed in the SECCG twice since they joined the conference. But man, what a joke.

I, I'm referring to Kentucky beating South Carolina at their own game. Deebo socked them in the mouth the first play and those Cats just rolled with it. I hadn't completely bought into the Gamecock hype yet, but I thought they would push the Wildcats around. After all, that was the same Kentucky team that struggled some against Eastern Kentucky and even shuffled their quarterbacks around.

And now the Gamecocks have lost their best player for the season. Hate seeing such a good player go down like that, but this is football. Wish Deebo a speedy and full recovery.

Meanwhile, down in Gainesville Butch still has his DB's in press coverage on the final play of the game more than half the field away from the Florida endzone. You think Shoop wishes he'd played that just a little differently? Give credit where it's due, the Gators saw what they were up against and went right for the win and not the 30 yard out to hope for a true field goal.

(pardon me while I spit that foul taste outta my mouth)

Shout-out to Coach Bobo for hanging tough against Bama. Sure, they never had a chance because of course they were far and away out-matched talent wise. But the Rams made it respectable by halftime and then scored some points in garbage time late. Our old quarterback showed he can move the ball against another elite defense. Good on ya Mike!

Ole Miss played their bowl game in mid-September and shat their pants. Oh well, basketball season should bring that old consortium feeling back to Oxford.

Back to the East, with Florida and Tennessee still trying to find their identity (one in the aftermath of a credit card scandal, the other perhaps at the bottom of a trashcan), is Vandy going to step up with Kentucky as the darling picks to challenge in the East? Granted, the Dawgs haven't proven to be the top dog yet, but we've had the most complete start to the season. However, if Vandy can play Bama as hard-nosed and tough as they did K-State Saturday night, then I'll be a firm believer.

Jared Stitham leads the Southern Conference in passing after torching the Mercer Bears for 364 yards Saturday. We were talking about this at the tailgate. Until Cam Newton or Nick Marshall's kid turns 18, Malzahn is gonna keep paying on that loan for the Struggle Bus.

Which leaves us with the dog fight Saturday night under the lights in Sanford. I guess I'm not surprised Miss State beat LSU. But I was shocked by the score. That Tiger defense just laid down huh? Clanga clanga.

Regardless, as a result the Fake Dogs come in boasting about being just shy of a touchdown favorite. I still like our chances. On the one hand they've got a mobile quarterback that is averaging 7.8 yards per pass and 7.78 yards per rush (via I still like our defense's chances at making their offense beat us through the air. And if Malkom Parrish can indeed play, forget about it.

On another hand, word is that Grantham has really pared down his defense. So you're telling me that gone are the days of 10 of 11 guys staring at the sideline as the center snaps the ball? Okay, good for you Toddles. But even despite my frustration with Coach Chaney's play-calling at times, I'd still take Jim against a defensive coordinator that's been run out of the last two towns largely because he can't make any mid-game adjustments.

In other words, anyone remember the MVP of the 2014 Belk Bowl?

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