The 2011 campaign kicked off and my initial overall impression is, “Did college football have a lockout too?” There were some lopsided wins but several teams showed signs of serious rust out of the gate this season. Here are this week’s scores and a few thoughts on the Best and Worst from week one.
Alabama 48, Kent State 7
Arkansas 51, Missouri State 7
Florida 41, Florida Atlanta 3
Boise State 35, Georgia 21
Mississippi State 59, Memphis 14
Kentucky 14, Western Kentucky 3
Auburn 42, Utah State 38
LSU 40, Oregon 27
Tennessee 42, Montana 16
BYU 14, Ole Miss 13
South Carolina 56, East Carolina 37
Vanderbilt 45, Elon 14
The Best of the Week
Alabama’s defense appears to be exactly as advertised – big, fast, and nasty. Now it was just Kent State but against those types of opponents teams like Alabama are supposed to dominate and that side of the ball flat out did. The tests get harder starting next week though.
Florida’s new offense looked quite formidable against a decent Florida Atlantic squad as the Gators moved at will. The Florida defense showed their strength as well.
What can you say about LSU? I’ve bemoaned the Tigers’ lack of offensive identity for the last two years but now I think we know what it is – power football plain and simple. The LSU defense flummoxed Oregon’s high-powered attack, forced turnovers, and set the tone for a big opening win. LSU’s ground game is fierce. It’ll be interesting to see if they can maintain that style of play for a season.
And finally, Mississippi State looked incredibly sharp and balanced in their deconstruction of Memphis Thursday night. The third year of Dan Mullen’s offense may be the best we’ve seen out of the Bulldogs but then again, that Memphis squad was really bad. That aside, MSU fans have to be excited based on that performance.
The Worst of the Week
Kentucky – that was HORRIBLE! For most of the night, the Wildcats offense was their own worst enemy and it took a late big play finally seal the deal on one of the worst teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. When does Midnight Madness for Calipari’s crew start again?
Auburn’s defense gets the “SHAKE MY HEAD” award this week. We all knew this was a different bunch of Tigers taking the field but no one expected them to look lost and outmatched the entire day against Utah State surrendering over 200 yards on the ground. If not for a special teams miracle and some offensive firepower in the last two minutes, that would have gone down as the most embarrassing loss for a defending national champion in modern history. Gene Chizik’s reputation as a defensive guru is really losing its luster.
I hate to be the “I told you so” guy, but in case of Georgia I don’t mind one bit. Boise State carved that secondary up all over the Georgia dome and the offensive line couldn’t give Aaron Murray enough time or make enough room for a running game. If not for an 80-yard gadget play, Georgia’s rushing totals would be much more indicative of how ineffective their offensive line plays.
So that’s a look back at the first week of games. The second week games feature some conference match-ups and better quality opponents. As SEC fans, we all hope the sharp get sharper and the dull get to the grinding wheel STAT to get the chinks fixed in the armor and weaponry.