What happened and what mattered in the Week 2 of the SEC college football season?
5. The “other” games
Oh no, Arkansas. No, no, no, no, no. You’re not allowed to lose to Colorado State – the Rams won 34-27 – and you’re especially not allowed to collapse like that in the fourth quarter. EVERYONE has been bombing away on the Ram defense – actually, that everyone is Hawaii and Colorado – and Arkansas only managed 128 yards with the two quarterbacks combining hit just 11-of-22 passes. The ground attack almost hit the 300-yard mark, but the secondary was non-existent in the meltdown, giving up 17 fourth-quarter points. And now the Hogs have to deal with the high-powered North Texas offense.
That’s a very, very good Wyoming defense that Missouri just hit for 398 Drew Lock passing yards in a 40-13 win. It was a controlled attack, the running game helped, and overall, the Tigers managed 601 yards of total offense, with Emanuel Hall catching ten passes for 171 yards and a score. The Tigers controlled the clock, controlled the ball, and controlled the game. With a shaky Purdue up next, Mizzou should be 3-0 before dealing with Georgia.
After shutting down Middle Tennessee last week, Vanderbilt took care of yet another high-powered passing game, keeping Nevada to just 216 yards and a score with two picks in a 41-10 win. Kyle Shurmur completed 23-of-32 passes for 258 yards and two scores, Ke’Shawn Vaughn ran for 93 yards and two scores, and the defense did the rest, holding the Wolf Pack to 250 yards of total offense and forced four takeaways.
Ole Miss had to work for it in the 76-41 win over Southern Illinois, but the D that got hit for 38 first half points allowed just three the rest of the way. Jordan Ta’amu threw for 448 yards and five scores, AJ Brown caught two touchdown passes, and Scottie Phillips ran for 107 and two scores as the offense kept rolling and rolling. But allowing 629 yards of total SIU offense was scary. Fortunately, the O should be good for 600 a game … but Alabama comes to town next week.
Auburn did what it was supposed to do in a 63-9 win over Alabama State. It got up 42-2 at halftime and got the backups in. However, even though Jarrett Stidham ran for a touchdown and threw for another, he only hit 6-of-11 passes. Whatever … JaTarvious Whitlow ran for 122 yards on 14 carries, the ground game rumbled for over 400 yards, and the team got in a light scrimmage before LSU.
Arkansas State is going to finish with one of the nation’s statistically best offenses, and Alabama shut it down in a 57-7 win. Fine, so the pass D gave up some yards for the second straight week – 391 yards in all – but whatever. To answer the quarterback question – both were fantastic. Tua Tagovailoa was brilliant – throwing for 228 yards and four scores – and Jalen Hurts connected on 7-of-9 throws for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Najee Harris tore off 135 yards and a touchdown.
Of course LSU was going to beat SE Louisiana, but it would’ve been nice if Joe Burrow was a wee bit sharper in the 31-0 win. He only hit 10-of-20 throws, with a bulk of his yards coming on a Hail Mary late in the first half. The running game rumbled – Nick Brossette cranked up 137 yards – and there weren’t any turnovers. The team got to go through the motions and win easily.
It might have only been a win over East Tennessee State, but as a program, Tennessee needed a 59-3 blasting. Keller Chryst hit all three of his passes, Jarrett Guarantano was okay, and the running game was whatever, but it was a 54-pound win. There weren’t any turnovers, only three penalties, and the D forced three takeaways.