All of the Southeastern Conference teams that were supposed to win this weekend won.
Well, almost all of them. Giving you the stink eye, Pigs.
Vandy quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels (perfect name for a Commodore QB from northern California) led his team with a strong, efficient performance in Boston. Carta-Samuels was 18 of 27 passing for 218 yards and two touchdowns. Carta-Samuels also chipped in 38 yards on the ground and even caught a 21 yard pass.
The first half was tight with Vandy only holding a 10-7 lead at the break. The second half wore down UMass to the point where they allowed 167 yards in the final quarter. The Vandy defense played admirably only allowing 248 yards to the Minutemen.
North Texas 21
The Mean Green brought some mean skies to Sanford Stadium and gave the Dawg fans plenty to worry about midway through this tilt. Thanks to some chaotic madness on special teams, UNT was able to tie the ballgame up early in the third quarter. The Mean Green return a kickoff for six as well as a blocked punt leaving the Georgia fans soaked and irritable. Despite a close game into the second half, the Bulldogs outgained the Mean Green on offense 641 yards to 245 on the day.
Ultimately, talent prevailed led by Aaron Murray and his 408 yards through the air and four touchdowns (3 air, 1 ground). Murray became only the second quarterback in SEC history to reach 100 touchdown passes. On the ground, Georgia RB Todd Gurley added 91 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.
All sights now shift to quietly impressive LSU as the Tigers visit Athens this Saturday for the game of the week.
In unfortunate news in the wake of a win, the Gators lost quarterback Jeff Driskel to a season-ending broken ankle in the first quarter. Driskel's injury tossed perennial backup Tyler Murphy into action and he did not disappoint in leading Florida over the Vols. Murphy made big plays through the air and with his feet against a hapless Tennessee defense still reeling from emasculation in Oregon.
New Tennessee coach Butch Jones seems to have a case of the "fuck-its" when naming a starting quarterback. Jones flipped the keys to freshman Nathan Peterman in lieu of Justin Worley - a perplexing decision when traveling to The Swamp. In predictable fashion, the freshman had three turnovers in 17 minutes and only tossed for 5 yards on 11 attempts. Worley ripped the keys from Peterman at the half and promptly drove the car off a cliff. The Vols had six turnovers on the day.
Noted adult film star and collegiate quarterback Gary Nova led the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a late come-from-behind (nailed it) victory over Arkansas. Rutgers was down 17 points yet managed to pull out the victory at home. Casa Gary Nova had a huge game in Fayetteville last year and kept the momentum going after sitting out last week's game with a concussion.
Arkansas was aiming for their first 4-0 start in ten years but felt the anguish and defeat that makes New Jersey famous. The Razorbacks continue to have question marks on offense. On the day, the offense was held to under 300 yards and was a dismal 3 of 14 on third down.
Texas A&M 42
We got you covered here and here. The game had a little bit of everything - improved defense, trickery, atrocious special teaming, an avalanche of yellow flags, and Johnny doing Johnny things. The Aggie defense began resembling a defense that recognizes scheme, adjustments, and assignments. Good stuff. Meanwhile, Manziel racked up his requisite 346 yards of offense on an abbreviated work assignment.
The Ags have scored at least 40 points in their first four for games for the first time in program history and prepare to take the road for a couple games split by a bye week.
Colorado State 6
You could almost hear chants of "FIRE SABAN" from the throngs of Tuscaloosa lunatics as the Tide left the field after the first half with a scant 17-0 lead. Alabama ultimately won 31-6 in what disgruntled fans described afterwards as "disgusting" and "worse than terrorism" and "unBEARable".
Of course, this is all part of The Process which now allows Saban to treat his team like scum covered garbage for a week. It's his favorite past time.
Mississippi State 62
I dunno. I guess this is a nice win for State. Quarterback Dak Prescott had a big day throwing, running, catching and playing the sport of American football. Troy is very bad at American football.
LSU jumped out to a 21-0 early lead on the back of running back and infamous human beater Jeremy Hill. Hill had 184 yards rushing and three touchdowns. LSU's success on the ground allowed Zach Mettenberger to mostly bro chill all night.
Auburn had a subtle rally in the third quarter, but it was all for naught. This certainly isn't last year's Auburn, however. Malzahn has infused a serious dosage of energy and accountability into a program that was mostly deranged, drunk and stupid for 2012.
Speaking of SEC Tigers, Missouri has a good chance of going 5-0 to start the season before a big October trip to Athens. Like everything the state of Missouri does, this all feels a little neglected and understated. Mizzou has a productive, efficient offense to go with an opportunistic defense. Defensive end Kony Ealy had an amazing athletic play to pick off the Hoosiers and return the ball 49 yards for six. Quarterback James Franklin had a ballsy day with 343 yards through the air and three touchdowns (two air, one ground).
Everyone has Georgia penciled in to face Alabama in Atlanta, but keep an eye on Pinkel's bunch. They could make things interesting.
Current SEC Standings
The Week Ahead
A couple Top 25 match ups lead the way to bushwhack us through the weeds and make some sense of the conference. There are some interesting opening lines, to boot. The games (current Vegas lines included):
South Carolina (12) -7.5 at UCF
South Alabama at Tennessee -19
LSU (6) at Georgia (9) -3
Ole Miss (21) at Alabama (1) -17
Texas A&M (10) -3 at Arkansas
Florida (20) -14.5 at Kentucky
Arkansas State at Missouri -21
UAB at Vanderbilt -20
SEC Saturday Stars
Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
184 yards, three touchdowns on 25 carries (7.3 YPC) is some mean running in Death Valley at night. 152 yards were in the first half, no less.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Sloppy game overall by the Dawgs, but Murray handled his business. After an early interception, Murray tallied 408 yards and three touchdowns on 22 of 30 passing making him Geogia's all-time leader in offense.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
244 yards passing, 102 yards rushing for three touchdowns seems par for the course. The kid is as elusive as I've seen as shows instincts that are indescribable.
Dante Fowler, DE/LB, Florida
Just some nasty, beautiful defensive football. Fowler had three tackles for loss, a sack, and two forced fumbles. I'm pleased that the Aggie offense dodges the Gator defense this season.
What did y'all see this weekend? Only one more September weekend and then shit gets really real in the best league in the land. See ya'll next weekend and gig 'em.