What mattered and what’s important from Week 1 of the SEC college football season?
– Mississippi State vs. Louisiana, South Carolina vs. North Carolina, Georgia State at Tennessee
– Alabama vs. Duke, Portland State at Arkansas, Georgia Southern vs. LSU
– Auburn vs. Oregon, Missouri at Missouri, Georgia at Vanderbilt
It was exactly the tune-up the Aggies needed before the Clemson showdown. Kellen Mond wasn’t perfect – there were a few misfires and a pick – but he was creative, in command, and able to hit the big play, completing 19-of-27 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns with a rushing score. He’s the type of veteran who might just be able to go into Death Valley and pull it off – at least he looked the part against an overmatched TXST D.
The backs were terrific. Jashaun Corbin didn’t have a whole lot of room to move, but he barrels for 103 yards, and Isaiah Spiller showed off the explosion, But going forward, the O is about Mond and this terrific receiving corps. This attack has to keep pushing the ball down the field.
The O line kept Mond clean and didn’t allow a thing behind the line. The Bobcats didn’t come up with a sack or a tackle for loss. Defensively, the Aggies allowed eight rushing yards and didn’t give up a score until it was way too late.
There isn’t another Benny Snell, but the Wildcats were able to get the ground game going with 78 yards from Kavosiey Smoke – most on one dash – and 64 hard yards from Asim Rose. It wasn’t a dominant performance up front, but it was good enough to balance things out. Fortunately …
That’s the Terry Wilson the UK fans are hoping would step up. He’s never going to be Patrick Mahomes, but he connected on 19-of-26 passes for 246 yards and two scores. He’s got the receivers who can make things happen on the move, and he spread the ball around enough to keep the offense rolling, especially in the second half.
Welcome to DeAndre Square. The sophomore linebacker had a nice first season, but he was turned loose against the Rockets with 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He’s not all that big, but he can fly around and make big stops. The defense wasn’t perfect, but it gets one more tune-up – Eastern Michigan – before dealing with Florida.
Ole Miss did the nearly impossible and made the Memphis defense look like a killer. New offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez’s offense didn’t show up. There wasn’t any passing attack, there wasn’t any running game … there wasn’t anything. Yeah, a slew of key parts are gone, but it’s Ole Miss, and it amassed just 173 yards.
The offensive line couldn’t keep Memphis out of the backfield. The Tigers’ Bryce Huff is a terror, but it wasn’t just him – MU came up with three sacks and ten tackles for loss. There wasn’t anywhere for the backfield guys to move.
On the plus side, that’s a high-powered Memphis offense that got shut down to a dead stop in the second half. Considering the O couldn’t go on any drives, the D held up despite Memphis having the ball for almost 39 minutes. It bent, but it didn’t allow a touchdown in the second half. The offense simply couldn’t help the cause.