College Football Takeaways
Unrest on the Plains
Despite a 34-3 victory over Arkansas last Saturday, the Tigers appeared noticeably disturbed. Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham looked frustrated nearly all game—something coach Gus Malzahn attributed to his team’s lackluster offensive performance.
An 85-word press conference from defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, however, set the Internet abuzz with talks of unrest as Steele, who frequently gives 20-minute press briefers, was uncharacteristically silent.
Now many are left wondering just what is going on at Auburn.
Many feel it has to do with the team’s continued offensive woes. Though Malzahn was heralded as an offensive genius after his high school state title wins in Arkansas and national championship victory as offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2010, the Tigers have struggled to score for the past two seasons—adding extra pressure on the defense.
If the Tigers don’t find a way to score—and fast—they’re going to have trouble beating high-ranked opponents left on their schedule, and fans will certainly come to regret Malzahn’s 49-million-dollar contract extension signed last year.
Malzahn, for his part, assured fans that things will improve as the season progresses and noted that both the offensive line and all his running backs were new this season.
Alabama will be lucky to win another game this season.
Actually, they won’t. It seems as though no team has a chance against the Tide this year after Alabama demolished a strong Texas A&M team Saturday.
And while they appear unstoppable with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at the helm, Nick Saban urged reporters in his post-game conference to write something negative about the team.
So we did.
But that doesn’t make it true.
The only potential-negative seen as of yet is his team’s defense. Though strong, the Tide looks weaker on the defensive side of the ball than they have in years prior—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still better than most everyone else.
It’s the Tide offense that is astounding with the Tide’s new quarterback having a current rating of 203.5. Tagovailoa has already surpassed 1000 yards passing this season, and he rarely plays more than a quarter and a half.
Though it’s still early, the Alabama hype train is strong this season, and it’s hard to pick anyone but the Tide to take it all this year.
Georgia looks very beatable.
The #2 Georgia Bulldogs were tied 7-7 with the unranked Missouri Tigers at the end of the first quarter Saturday. They pulled away for a 20-7 lead by half, but the Tigers pulled within two touchdowns for a 43-29 finish.
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock recorded 221 yards passing against a porous Bulldog secondary, and the Tigers torched their way to almost 400 yards total with twenty-six first downs.
It’s not the kind of defense that UGA fans have grown to expect under Kirby Smart, and it’s something the Bulldogs will have to correct if they expect to get past the Tide in what appears to be an inevitable SEC title matchup.
Alabama has a much better quarterback than Missouri—though Lock is no slouch—and they have the defense to limit the Bulldog offense.
The Bulldogs needed three turnovers to win Saturday’s game—and they’ll be lucky to get so many against better teams they’ll face this season.
Though they don’t have much of a challenge in the SEC East, Georgia will have to play both Auburn and LSU later this year and need to be wary of an upset.
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