Just Another Week in The West

Source:zimbio.com

Game of the Week

(2) Auburn Vs (3) Mississippi State

The State of Mississippi for the second straight week the epicenter of college football. This time Starkville the location as State tries to keep this unreal momentum going against the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers.

 

The Skinny

The Bulldogs have racked up at least 500 yards of offense in each of their games this season. Their Heisman trophy front runner (right now) Dak Prescott has thrown for 200 yards and rushed for another 100 in two of his last three games. Alabama native De’Runnya Wilson has become one of the young studs in the SEC. They have a veteran offensive line, and a sledgehammer of a running back in Josh Robinson along with a little lighting in running back/athlete Josh Holloway.

As for Auburn, the SEC Champs have played like it whether people want to give them credit or not. They’ve went on the road to play a tough Kansas State team, along with wins over what now seems like a dangerous Arkansas team. The blowout win over LSU also looks great considering how well the defense played. And oh yeah, Nick Marshall is rounding into the Nick Marshall of 2013.

 

The Bad for Mississippi State

As great as the offense looked last week against Texas A&M, the defense has a few issues. Of course you give credit to turning the Aggies over three times, but was that more of Kenny Hill making some bad throws, or was it really the State unit causing the issues? The Bulldogs have what may be the best defensive line and/or front seven in the league, but from watching the game last week, that front seven for the most part was neutralized. The costly turnovers by Texas A&M (or Kenny Hill) brought momentum in State’s favor. Are they a good team? No question. Are they a great team? We all will know by the end of this month, not by just this game.

 

The Bad for Auburn

They blew out LSU. Held the Bayou Bengals to just 7 points. True freshman Brandon Harris had just 58 yards passing (did ANYONE expect anything else from a true freshman on the road who was playing High School football a year ago?) LSU did have moments (very few) last week that showed a dual threat QB, that can

A) run, but make plays out of the pocket by

B) throwing, and throwing receivers open (circa State vs LSU this season)

can give the Tigers some issues.

 

 

What will Happen

The Cowbells will be ringing, ESPN’s college Gameday will have the State faithful in a good lather leading up to kickoff. A great atmosphere for sure, none of that will determine the game. Auburn is the better team. State obviously can change that after four quarters Saturday, but the Tigers are a spread team that’s balanced. Auburn will commit to the run, all while State will have to deal with Nick Marshall that can break off a touchdown from anywhere on the field with his legs. And guess what? *gasp* He can throw! (Wow! who knew?)

As good as the Bulldogs front seven is, the Tigers have too many play makers in the backfield, and on the perimeter. Sammie Coates, D’haquille Williams, CJ Uzomah among others will continue to make plays in this devastating run first spread attack that has a running back that’s not getting enough credit nationally (Cameron Artis-Payne). The Defense will show that it just wasn’t LSU the reason for their dominance. they’re just a dang good unit, that’s only getting better in the second year of Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme. The talk has been around the state of Mississippi all week, Auburn will head to Starkville to make a statement, that they may very well be the best team in college football.

Auburn 35, Mississippi State 17

 

Quick Hitters

—Ole Miss was outstanding last week against Alabama, they are about to run into a buzz saw Saturday in College Station. I like the Aggies to win, with Kenny Hill getting back to his “Kenny Trill” moniker Saturday night. I cant wait to watch that Rebels secondary Vs the Aggies WR’s… Hugh Freeze has some play makers in that secondary (even with Trae Eslon out for a half).

—It’s supposed to be in the 50’s with rain in Fayetteville… just like Hogs like it right? More than many other season under Nick Saban, I’m more intrigued than ever with how this Alabama team responds after a loss, against what looks like as VERY dangerous Arkansas group. My head says pick Alabama, while my gut says this will come down to the wire at Razorbacks Stadium.

—Florida State is number 1 everyone. That shouldn’t change if they continue to win.

— TCU has always had my respect under Gary Patterson. Win Saturday against Baylor, you officially get in the CFB Playoff discussion.

— Love Rich Rod and Arizona. NO ONE should be surprised if they lose to SC Saturday.

—Shout out to Paul Johnson. Option anyone? No? OK, the Wramblin Wreck will take their 5-0 record just fine thank you.

— Want to get crazy tonight? Tune in to Washington State and UCLA. Connor Halliday make throw a little bit for Mike Leach.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Five Downs

Source:sbnation.com

 

1st Down

Can We Give Auburn Credit?

College Football fans should. Yes I know that we will hear the “Auburn was fortunate, they were lucky to win in Manhattan” moniker for the next two or three days. That may be good fodder to talk about, but it’s not Auburn’s fault that Kansas State was so inept in the kicking game, and couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone.

We could also say this game would have been over had Duke Williams caught a for sure TD in the first half. He made it count in the second half with a big score, and a 3rd and 9 conversion to ice the game 20-14. And about Nick Marshall not being able to throw? Big time conversions late in this game including that deciding 3rd down throw to Duke. Auburn  is for real. K State had won 42 of their last 44 at home. Let’s give the Tigers credit for a few days. Then we can look at the gauntlet of SEC games starting October 4th.

 

2nd Down

Does Florida have a Chance?

No clue on that Saturday against 3rd ranked Alabama. The Gators Defense will be as elite as they’ve been under WIll Muschamp. We all know what the elephant in the room is. Jeff Driskel. This offense just seems lost at times, and inconsistent. I thought before the season that if the Gators could just score 21-24 points they win at least 9 games. They needed 36 points to beat a ryoung and talented Kentucky team in 3 OT’s last week.

 

3rd Down

 

As for Alabama….

Can I just say that I just want to see Amari Cooper and Vernon Hargreaves III go at it? Excited to see that. As for the Tide, we will see how much the offense has improved over a quality opponent. Blake Sims is the starter, with Jacob Coker on the sidelines. Florida will try to confuse Sims as we all know, will be interesting to see if Lane Kiffin stays with the bubble screen left, bubble screen right, handoff to running back A philosophy or will the offense continue to grow in game. Alot of question marks still for both teams as we head to kickoff.

 

4th Down

Is Mississippi State ready to make the jump?

Dan Mullen’s bunch head to Death Valley where as my guy Les Miles says dreams come to die. He also does things like this which makes EVERYONE love him even more. It’s the gift that keeps on giving:

 

As for the game Saturday, The LSU offense is still finding it’s way after a few games, while we really don’t know much about the Bulldogs (wins over  So Miss, UAB, South Alabama). Business picks up this week, I just think the Baton Rouge faithful and those 22 guys on the field in Purple and Yellow will be a little too much for State. The best thing for State, is if LSU’s offense starts slow in this one, if that happens, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bayou Bengals find themselves in trouble.

 

 5th Down

Jameis

Yes he’s 20. yes he’s been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Would I scream what he screamed in my college student union… nah, but I’ve done my fair share of REALLY, REALLY, stupid things in college. Do I have any clue on if this is a concern for Winston moving forward. Honestly no. I could be wrong, and wouldn’t have an issue in saying so in the future. Whether it was a quarter or a half, Winston got football taken away from him this week. That’s never happened. I think it would do wonders for him, realizing that he has an opportunity to play a kids game, and enjoy the rewards that surround it.

I literally laughed when I heard some of the national talking heads suggest that Winston’s draft stock would fall. Yeah right. He will be the first or second QB taken and one of the first ten players taken in the draft if he decides to leave. For all those that want to cast stones to any collegiate athletes regardless of sport. Just remember. There are far worse things going on with athletes and college students that we just don’t hear or see about.

 

Quick Hitter

The NFL.

I don’t even know where to start with the league. It would take me hours to go through it all. We all know the environment that the league is in right now. The biggest thing I hope comes from all these issues, is that it brings awareness to domestic violence. So many women are in trouble each and everyday in the world and in this great country. I hope the common sports fan understands that this goes beyond the white lines on Sunday’s. There are people in trouble, and I hope the awareness is raised even more with all the recent issues with the NFL.

 

Enjoy the weekend!