– Texas State at Texas A&M, Toledo at Kentucky, Ole Miss at Memphis
– Mississippi State vs. Louisiana, South Carolina vs. North Carolina, Georgia State at Tennessee
– Auburn vs. Oregon, Missouri at Wyoming, Georgia at Vanderbilt
The Tide showed off just how spectacular they really are. It took a quarter to get going – gasp! Bama was shut out in the first – and then is was college football porn. The passing game was brilliant, the NFL talents were brilliant, and the defense was brilliant. This looked a whole lot like a team on a mission – it seemed, if possible, a bit more relaxed and loose. It just let the talent shine through.
Tua Tagovailoa? 26-of-31 for 336 yards and four scores. Jerry Jeudy? Ten catches for 137 yards and a score. Everything clicked in sensational fashion with the unstoppable passing game. However, the ground game might need a wee bit to get going. It was a bit ragged with Najee Harris suspended for a bit and with Brian Robinson only getting nine carries. There needs to be more pop from the rushing attack, but the line did a nice job in pass protection.
The loss of Dylan Moses obviously matters, but the linebacking corps didn’t have any problems holding up against the Duke ground game, and there was no threat whatsoever of giving up a long drive. The Blue Devils gained just 204 yards, even though the Tide didn’t sell out to do much to get into the backfield.
Why do you schedule Portland State to start the season? When you need to get a whole new starting group in place offensively, you go through the motions and still get the win. The offense couldn’t do anything down the field with a whole lot of dinking and dunking, and the running game was functional but not sensational.
The quarterback battle should continue. Ben Hicks couldn’t do anything to stretch the field – throwing for an inconsistent 143 yards – and Nick Starkel completed 4-of-5 passes for 48 yards, but with a pick. The offense is still wide open for jobs and spots, but Rakeem Boyd was in midseason form with 114 yards and a score.
The defensive front helped save the day with constant pressure into the backfield. DT McTelvin Agim took over, tying for the team lead with six tackles and two sacks. As ugly as the game was overall, Portland State still only gained 230 yards.
LSU was supposed to have a few problems with the Georgia Southern option attack … whatever. It was total and complete domination as the Tigers were flying all over the field stuffing everything the Eagles tried to do. The owned the line and didn’t allow anything outside. The great O only gained 74 rushing yards and converted 1-of-12 third down chances.
Joe Burrow was nearly perfect. He didn’t get pressured, and he did whatever he wanted completing 23-of-27 passes for 278 yards and five scores. Terrace Marshall caught three of the scoring passes, but the work was spread around enough to make the Texas secondary worry next week.
It would’ve been nice if the running game could’ve done more. It’s nitpicking, but there wasn’t much of a push for a ground game that didn’t come up with enough big gashes. That will come – sharpening up the passing attack was more important.