First, the important stuff:
1. What did you take away from the East Carolina/South Carolina game last night? If we win the toss and don't elect to go on offense and shove the ball down Carolina's throats, I'm going to pout. Both Texas A&M and East Carolina took the opening kickoff in a hostile environment and scored; TAMU got the 7, ECU settled for a short field-goal. You can bet Spurrier is going on offense if he has the opportunity to do so right out of the gate because he knows what he has on defense. More on that in a quick tick...
2. The Gamecock pass defense is still very suspect, particularly in the middle of the field. They made some adjustments in the 2nd half, but ECU's Shane Carden made some poor decisions with two 3rd quarter picks that sank the Pirates. Still, I saw little improvement from their effort 10 days earlier. ECU isn't quite what Texas A&M is on offense, and Shane Carden, with all due respect, is not Kenny Hill. ECU did win the edge in total yardage, amassing 453 to 441.
3. Carolina's offense is different when Mike Davis plays, but we know that. He is no stranger to the party. They have a good offensive line, which bullied a thin ECU defensive front most of the night. That's the difference in the Southeastern Conference: Defensive line depth. We have it.
4. How many times will we see the bubble-screen? I think Carolina ran it 7 or 8 times to great effect. I kept waiting for a deep shot, but it never really happened.
5. As pointed out during the live game-threads, Georgia's scoring output over the years in next Saturday's venue has been, in a word, dreadful. If not for some incredible defensive performances (and some bad Carolina teams), our win-loss record there would be equally horrendous. One of these days, we are going to break out and score a bunch in Columbia. We think our offense is capable of that, at least I do. South Carolina's defense is about as weak as I've seen in at least a decade, perhaps going back as far as some of Lou Holtz's first few seasons.
6. This series is no longer a defensive one. Sure, we got routed and only scored 7 in garbage time back in 2012, but the norm over the last several seasons suggests some points will be scored. Carolina will get theirs, but I believe we are equipped to get a few more. Now watch this one turn into a 17-13 affair.
7. Thank God:
8. If we protect the football, play well on special teams, and just do what we do on offense (
RTDB! First and Bomb!), we'll be fine next week. Cliche, I know. But so is Paul Finebaum's face. Question is: When will Spurrier attempt the fake-punt and/or on-sides kick? He's got us right where he wants us...It's a Fact!
Other Thoughts for Food (because the sooner I post this, the sooner I can get me some BBQ)...
9. Was ex-Vandy coach James Franklin that important to the Commodores' fortunes? Vanderbilt is bad. Order has been restored to the Cosmos.
10. I watched a bit of Tech vs. Tulane. Tulane is bad, Tech just sucks. You would think that when they built Tulane's shiny new stadium the architects would have built a camera platform high enough to get a decent shot of the field. I thought I was watching Local Access Cable High School Football. I'm still nauseous from the production quality of that one.
11. Did USC Athletic Director Pat Haden cross some sort of line when he was summed by "text' to come down to field level on the request of Southern Cal coach Steve Sarkisian? The Twitterverse blew up immediately after that. The more I think about it, the more I really don't care despite the fact that Haden is on the College Football Playoff Committee. Now, imagine if Greg McGarity held the same title as Haden, and entered the sideline after a "targeting" call (or similar) during the Georgia-Florida game?
11a. BTW, that game was probably the stinker of the day.
The Big 10: Requiem for a Dream
12. Conversely, Hooray Hokies! When Urban Meyer is forced to eat cold pizza in the bowels of the Horseshoe (and when I say bowels, I don't mean pre-colonoscopy, clean bowels), it's a great day for America! Good on you, Virginia Tech.
13. Oh, Michigan. Brady Hoke better beat Ohio State this season because that is the only thing that is going to save him.
And now, your moment of zen. http://t.co/FWO4V0xuF2
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 7, 2014
- Iowa handled Ball State, 17-13
- Illinois dominated Western Kentucky 42 -38
- Penn State shut-out Akron, 21-3
- Purdue outlasted Central Michigan, but lost 17 - 38
- Rutgers routed Howard 38 - 25
- Wisconsin beat someone 37 - 7
- Minnesota Bunyoned MTSU by a large margin (Gopher It!)
- Northwestern edged themselves in a losing effort to Northern Illinois (a team that is probably better than the real Illinois), 23 - 15
- Maryland is in the B1G? When did this happen? ACC to the rescue!
- Oregon Highlighters topped Michigan State, 46 - 27
Non Sequitur. Don't mess with Texas, unless you want to.
Back to the SEC for a moment...
15. Everyone in the SEC won by a combined score of 2,357 to 40 (except Vandy). SEC Cupcakes, now with 100% more batter.
Back to what is most important for a moment. This is the biggest regular season game since Auburn, 2007 in my opinion. It is the biggest game since the SEC Championship of 2012. Gotta win, simple as that.