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Vanderbilt Pulls Away Late Against UMass, Georgia Does The Same With North Texas

postgame-linksVanderbilt 24- UMass 7. James Franklin’s postgame comments

1. Leading 10-7 after three quarters, Vanderbilt pulls away late against UMass.  Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels: “I’m sick of being overly critical after a win. You know? We won.”

2. Coach James Franklin: “Prettiest win I’ve seen because we got the W.”

Georgia 45 – North Texas 21. Video Highlights

3. Tied at 21, Georgia pulls away in the second half.

4. Special teams concerns for Georgia? North Texas scores touchdowns on a blocked punt and a kickoff return.

5. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on Aaron Murray: “Personally I think he’s taken for granted.”

6. Aaron Murray’s 98-yard touchdown throw to freshman Reggie Davis; Murray’s 100th career touchdown, longest touchdown in Georgia history, first catch and touchdown in Davis’ career.

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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 9/21/2013

gameday-linksVanderbilt at UMass

1. Vandy wants to get out to fast start today.  Commodores outscored 31-3 in the first quarter this year.

2. Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop: “Right now I think we’re kind of hesitant. If you’re hesitant … I always say, ‘If you think, you stink.’ ”

North Texas at Georgia

3. Bulldogs have to get past North Texas.  Then they can focus on LSU.

4. Game like this one could mean extended playing time for young and inexperienced players.

5. $3 million in improvements coming to Georgia’s practice field.

Tennessee at Florida

6. Last year’s game in Knoxville was the beginning of the end for Derek Dooley – and a defining moment of Florida’s season.

7. Florida defensive end Jonathan Bullard on Tennessee’s offensive line: “Coach (Muschamp) said they’re the most experienced and one of the best that we’re going to face all season.”

8. Tennessee junior defensive lineman Jordan Williams is a Gainesville native.  15 tickets set aside today for family and friends.

9. How long has it been since Tennessee beat Florida?  3,290 days.

Arkansas at Rutgers

10. With quarterback questions on both sides, expect a run-oriented game today.

11. Razorbacks running back Alex Collins is the first freshman since Adrian Peterson to begin his career with three straight 100-yard rushing efforts.  Can he make it four in a row today?

12. “To a certain segment of fans…the Razorbacks either pass too much and don’t have a running game.”

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D-Coordinator Grantham On Georgia’s Porous, Young Defense: “They’re Learning”

gfx - they said itAfter two games against a couple of pretty darn good offenses, Georgia’s rebuilt and uber-youthful defense is right where many pundits predicted — near the bottom of the SEC statistical charts.  Clemson and South Carolina averaged 460.5 yards against the Dawgs, a number surpassed only by Texas A&M (489.0 yards per game) in the conference.

Georgia is also 13th in rush defense (211.5 ypg), 11th in pass defense (249.0 ypg), and 13th in scoring defense (34.0 points allowed per game).

So what does defensive coordinator Todd Grantham say about his D?

 

“They’re learning.  I think they’re learning the pace that happens (in games) and the importance of getting lined up and being exact, the importance of communication with the people around you, behind you, inside and outside.  I think each time they take the field they get a little better.

I saw improvement in individuals in the last game relative to the first game.  I think what we’ve got to do is continue to improve on that and kind of put it together a little bit with a couple of situations.  If you do that you’ve got a chance to hold guys to low numbers and win a ball game.”

 

This weekend, the Bulldogs will host a North Texas team that’s averaging 465 yards per game through its first three contests.  If UGA’s starters gives up yards and points galore to the Mean Green, then Dawg fans might want to start worrying.

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LSU Punter Wing Suspended For Bowl Game

When the LSU Tigers take on the Clemson Tigers in the Chick-fil-A Bowl next week, they’ll do so without sophomore punter Brad Wing.  The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this morning that a source inside the LSU athletic department had confirmed that Wing would not play in the game.

The website TigerRag.com is reporting that Wing’s suspension follows a failed drug test. Wing was fourth in the SEC in punting average this season at 44.8 yards per boot.  He was second in the league last year with a 44.3 average.

Backup punter Jamie Keehn — coincidentally an Australian like Wing — will likely take over for the Tigers in Atlanta.  He punted three times against North Texas this season for an average of 41.0 yards per kick.

 

UPDATE: LSU’s sports information director has confirmed Wing will not play in the bowl game. Here’s the school announcement.

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Game Roundup: The Tide Rolls, LSU Wins, And Phillips’ Seat Warms At UK

Here’s your Labor Day breakdown of each and every SEC game played this weekend.

 

Friday

Tennessee 35, NC State 21 in Atlanta

Key Stat:  524 yards.  That’s how impressive the Vol offense was in the Georgia Dome on Friday night.  Quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson put on a show that will keep defensive coordinators up at night.  UT had five plays of 20 or more yards including a 41-yard TD pass, a 72-yard TD pass, and a 67-yard end-around TD run.

Quick Takes:

* In what was a huge game for hot-seated coach Derek Dooley, his team came out and showed that they’re no longer a paper thin bunch of freshmen and sophomores.  For the first time in his three years as coach, the Vols have some depth, some maturity, and some superior athletes.

* The Vols’ rushing numbers were aided by the aforementioned end-around and there’s still a need for Tennessee to show that they can run the ball between the tackles consistently.  Too often, Bray was called upon to save the day with a third-and-long play.

* For his part, Bray’s 333 yards passing might have been his best performance as a Volunteer.  Not only did pick apart NC State’s secondary with play-action bombs, but he also wisely checked the ball down, dumped it to a back, or through it away.  For the first time, Bray’s decision-making equaled his talented right arm.

 Tennessee Video Highlights

Saturday

Georgia 45, Buffalo 23 in Athens

Key Stat:  199 yards.  That’s how many rushing yards UGA’s injury/suspension-riddled defense allowed to Buffalo.  Repeat… Buffalo.  The Dawg D will have to be much, much better when they step onto the field at Missouri on Saturday.

Quick Takes:

* Freshman tailback Todd Gurley rushed for 100 yards, returned a kickoff for another hundred, and scored three touchdowns in his debut.  As unveilings go, it was an electrifying performance.  After the game, Richt deadpanned: “He averaged about what he averaged every scrimmage, about 12.5 yards per carry.  I hope that’s a trend in his career.”

* Alex Zordich complete 14 of 24 passes against UGA’s secondary and he rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries.  Missouri’s dual-threat QB James Franklin has to be licking his chops hoping that Todd Grantham didn’t hold his guys back with vanilla defenses.

Georgia Video Highlights

Read the rest of the SEC breakdowns by clicking below…

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Wow 3D Sunday Headlines

Sunday SEC Final: Louisville 32 – Kentucky 14
Saturday SEC Scores: Georgia 45 – Buffalo 23
Florida 27 – Bowling Green 14
Missouri 62- Southeastern Louisiana 10
Mississippi State 56 – Jackson State 9
Clemson 26 – Auburn 19
Arkansas 49 – Jacksonville State 24
Ole Miss 49 – Central Arkansas 27
LSU 41 – North Texas 14
Alabama 41- Michigan 14
Friday: Tennessee 35 – North Carolina State 21
Thursday: South Carolina 17 – Vanderbilt 13
For SEC news, opinion and analysis, go to MrSEC.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/MrSEC

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Auburn Comes Up Short In Battle Of Tigers; LSU Gets Win In Mettenberger Debut

Clemson 26 – Auburn 19

1. Clemson wins this one – the fourth meeting in five years between these two schools.  Gene Chizik: “Clemson made the plays when we weren’t able to.”

2. 1,152 total yards of offense for Clemson in the last two meetings.

3. Only one early touchdown for Auburn. Chizik on red zone frustration: “You’ve got to score touchdowns down there.”

4. Is Auburn ready for Mississippi State? “We have one week to find out,”

LSU 41 – North Texas 14

5. Les Miles: ”Imperfect, but with reason to smile. Now we have to improve.”

6. Scary moment for the Tigers as quarterback Zach Mettenberger goes down hard on a sack. But the junior “Mettsiah” rose again.

7. 70-yard punt return for Odell Beckham, Jr.  He says he learned from Tyrann Mathieu. “”There’s certain things that he taught me and I just try to take those tips and use them.”

8. Scott Rabalais: “A 41-14 victory over an outmatched team like North Texas can be underwhelming.”

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SEC Football – Saturday Night Specials

The three Saturday evening SEC games featuring FBS opponents

North Texas at LSU

1. Arrests, suspensions, dismissals and hurricanes.  August is finally over.

2. Zach Mettenberger makes his debut at quarterback for the Tigers: “I’m tremendously ecstatic about the opportunity I have to be the starter for LSU.”

3. The weakest link in the LSU defense a year ago was linebackers.  Kevin Minter hopes to change that this season.

Auburn vs. Clemson (Atlanta)

4. Expect Auburn’s defense to play much of the game in its nickel formation.

5. A game Auburn has to win?

6. Just “a wee bit more firepower” for Clemson?

7. Auburn receives a pregame chat - from Cam Newton.

Alabama vs. Michigan (Arlington, TX)

8. Highest profile matchup of the weekend under the lights at Cowboys Stadium. Crimson Tide hasn’t lost a season opener in 11 years.

9. Expect frequent substitutions from Alabama – and no drop-off in talent.

10. Without tailback Fitz Toussaint, focus shifts to other playmakers for the Wolverines.

11. Critical matchup – Michigan’s front seven vs. Alabama’s running game.

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LSU-North Texas On As Scheduled

You’ve probably heard this by now, but I don’t think we’ve posted it officially — LSU’s home game against North Texas will go on as scheduled tomorrow in Baton Rouge.  Hurricane Isaac battered the area, but LSU AD Joe Alleva said yesterday afternoon that the show must go on:

 

“Our options are limited as far as opportunities to play this game and there was minimal damage to the stadium, so we are proceeding with the season opener on Saturday night.  We understand there are portions of the state that are still recovering from the storm and there may be some fans that cannot, for various reasons, make it to Tiger Stadium. We wish those people and everyone adversely affected by the storm our best wishes for a full recovery.”

 

The damage to the stadium was described as “minimal” water damage in the pressbox and Stadium Club areas.

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Tyler’s Take: Which SEC Teams Cover The Spread In Week 1?

Tyler B.

USC -7 @ Vanderbilt

The fact that I’m leading off with this game says it all. The biggest home game in Vanderbilt history – and ushering in the college football season – the outcome of this game drastically shapes the East. A Vandy win knocks USC out of the SEC East race before we even get to Week 2 and the Vanderbilt momentum marches on. For all the hype let’s not forget how good USC really is and that Vandy only won seven games last year, not 14. Vanderbilt will cause some problems in the East this year but it’s still too early to ask this much from them.

USC Covers: Cocks 31 – Vandy 21

Bama -14 vs. Michigan

The #8 team in the country is a 14-point underdog? I didn’t know that was even possible and it has to some kind of record. Despite a truckload of talent departing for games played on Sunday, “The Process” simply means Saban and his Tide roll on. I’m not sold on Michigan’s record from last year and a speedy quarterback hasn’t fared well against an SEC defense in quite some time. The best offensive line in the country means Bama continues to score late and Kirby Smart’s defense doesn’t allow cheap points.

Bama Covers: Bama 31- Michigan 14

Clemson -3’ vs. Auburn

Clemson will have a big year and it’s going to be a disappointing one for Auburn. Being buried in the deep SEC West still means Auburn can compete, but Clemson is simply better.

Clemson Covers: Clemson 24 – Auburn 13

Tennessee -3’ vs. NC State

The “any team in the SEC is better than any team in your conference” logic pulls me towards taking the Vols but UT is just really, really bad. The pressure has been on for quite a while for the Man in the Orange Pants, and the loss of Da’rick Rogers simply gives them one less weapon. Neither team exactly lights up the scoreboard, but the edge definitely goes to the Pack when comparing the two. We all know about Tyler Bray’s awesome tattoo, but Mike Glennon threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns last year. Did I mention that Tennessee is awful… and they are favored by a field goal and the hook?  The ACC sweeps the mighty SEC and Dooley has just about completed his Green Mile sprint. (I bet the Georgia Dome loves this game)

NC State Covers: Pack 24 – Vols 14

Louisville -14 vs. Kentucky

UK will not win one SEC game this year and rivals the 1994 team that ended up 1-10. This is not good for Joker Phillips who gets fired if the Cats go 5-7. It’s a home game for the confident Cards; however, the remnants of hurricane Isaac will dump a ton of rain during the game meaning one or two plays could give the Cats a chance. In a mild surprise the Cats keep it close and score late to cover the spread.

Kentucky Covers: Louisville 27 – Kentucky 17

UGA -38 vs. Buffalo: UGA Covers 51-10.

Florida -29 vs. Bowling Green: Bowling Green Covers 35-10

LSU -43 vs. North Texas: LSU Covers: 49-3

Missouri – NL

Texas A&M/La. Tech Postponed.

Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company.  A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written. 

 

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