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Schedule Watch: Week 1

In which we take a quick look at how our 2011 opponents fared the preceding week

Just about everybody handled their season-opening mid-major cupcake better than Georgia did. That’s a joke, son. I say, a gag, that is. Given the level of competition and the fact that it was the first week, it’s difficult to glean any useful information from how our 2011 opponents did, but at this point, I’ll take anything I can.

Brief – and I mean brief – recaps below.

South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated East Carolina 56-37 Keep playin’ those mind games, Spurrier. The Pirates got a big jump on the Gamecocks, 17-0, before Steve decided it was time to put Stephen Garcia out on the field in the second quarter. Garcia led a heroic comeback against East Carolina, but his stats, while certainly good enough, probably won’t win him the Heisman yet: 7 of 15, 1 TD, but no interceptions. Speaking of stats, Marcus Lattimore got his 100+ yards, even if he got the ball stripped once. We can hope the positive we saw in our rushing defense Saturday will help us against the South Carolina O. We also can hope that we do something in practice this week about defending the short passing game: as a team, the Gamecocks averaged 5.2 yards per completion, with a long of 25. Our SB Nation Colleagues at Garnet and Black Attack have their take on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-0, 0-0 Big South) defeated Furman 30-23 I confess I don’t know nearly as much about what goes on in the FCS as I used to know, which never was much to begin with, but I think Furman used to be really good. Apparently, they’re not doing so well lately. We know how it goes. The Chanticleers ran, ran, and ran some more, holding possession for a solid 37 minutes and taking the lead with a rushing touchdown from their excellently named quarterback, Aramis Hillary, with about a minute and a half to go.

Ole Miss Rebels (0-1, 0-0 SEC) lost to BYU 14-13 Ole Miss roared out and took a 3-0 lead going into the half, piling it on until they had the game in their hands at 13-0 in the fourth quarter, but BYU got it together, including recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, and came back to win 14-13. What to take from this game? UGA is not the only team with offensive struggles. Red Cup Rebellion explores the Three Things That Changed the Game.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Memphis 59-14 The other Bulldogs ran away with this one, amassing 645 total yards. Mississippi State RB Vick Ballard was named the SEC’s offensive player of the week after rushing for 166 yards and three touchdowns. And, by the way, Chris Relf completed 202 yards worth of passes, including two touchdowns, one a nice long 44-yarder. I don’t care how good or bad Memphis is. Allofasudden Mississippi State is a serious opponent these days. For Whom the Cowbell Tolls has more coverage. I hope they’re enjoying themselves over there.

Tennessee Volunteers (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Montana 42-16 I am not prepared to say the Vols have regained their rightful place in the College Football Universe with a lopsided victory over Montana, but Tyler Bray looked pretty good: 17/24, 293 yards, 3 TDs. Do the folks in Montana know who Tennessee’s coach is? Do they know who sired said coach? Just wondering. Rocky Talk Top handed out awards, including one for a Bray-Poole-Bray-Rogers flea-flicker for a touchdown.

Vanderbilt Commodores (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Elon 45-14 Vandy thrice turned a fourth down conversion into a scoring drive against Elon. Good on ‘em. Anchor of Gold has more in-depth analysis than I can muster.

Florida Gators (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Florida Atlantic 41-3 Muschamp’s head coaching debut was successful. John Brantley was much improved over last year. Chris Rainey threatened his girlfriend’s life three different ways scored three different ways: receiving, rushing, and via text message recovering a blocked punt. Pretty good breakdown of Brantley's play at Alligator Army.

New Mexico St. Aggies (0-1, 0-0 WAC) lost to Ohio, 24-44 The Aggies won turnover margin, but not the game. Out of New Mexico State’s 368 total yards, they rushed for six. I don’t know what to say about that.

Auburn Tigers (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Utah State Auburn almost salvaged a silver lining for my weekend by losing to Utah State, but they salvaged their own game instead with a lucky well-executed onside kick. All in for a four-point victory over Utah State. Track Em Tigers reminds AU fans that they are a work in progress.

Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 SEC) defeated Western Kentucky 14-3 The Wildcats gained more than half of their total yards for the game in the fourth quarter. That is all. (A Sea of Blue has more.)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0, 0-0 ACC) defeated Western Carolina 63-21 Paul Johnson has been losing sleep for several days now. His team was credited with a win in which they cheated several times by hurling the ball through the air from one player to another in a forward direction toward the opponent’s goal line: 365 passing yards. Let’s keep an eye on this, shall we? (Paul Johnson is not losing sleep over anything. Paul Johnson takes naps with his eyes open in the middle of games and still knows exactly what his offense is doing and maintains the ability to belittle his players even while unconscious.) From the Rumble Seat breaks down the numbers. Because they take math at Tech. So, numbers.

We hope to know a little bit more about or own team and everyone else's after this coming weekend, when competition gets a bit better for most. Hang in there, friends. The season's young.