The Tide rolled up 557 yds of offense, held the ball for 37:21, had a 30-9 first down edge, and converted 9/14 3rd downs. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers managed less than 160 yds of offense.
Much better effort than inexcusable loss @UCLA 2 weeks ago. The Vols amassed 540 yds of offense and actually stuck with the running game this week, instead of abandoning it like Game 1. Their running game gives them at least a puncher's chance against the Gators next week.
Another solid win for the 'Dores. Positives - The defense pitched a shutout in the 2nd half, VU rushed for 270+ yds, and they committed 0 TOs. The only real negative was that they were again inefficient throwing the ball. Once they get to the meat of conference season, they'll need to be able to go to the air to keep the Ds they face off balance.
It wasn't easy or pretty, but the 'Dawgs got the job done, and I guess that's the bottom line. They committed 0 TOs, held SC to 18 yds rushing, and averaged nearly 50 yds per punt.
Let's assume it was rust from the hurricane, but North Texas gave up 45 pts to Kansas State and 56 to Tulsa, so it's somewhat surprising to see LSU "only" score 41. The D was again dominant, but the QB play was less than great against a porous pass defense.
South Carolina: C+
The defense again was stout, holding UGA to ~250 yds of offense, but - again - the offense just couldn't score any points. It's hard to grade them any lower here because I don't know how much better they really could've done.
UK was a shoestring tackle on the 2 yd line away from almost a repeat of the Bluegrass Miracle against LSU a few years back. The 352 yds passing they gave up is way too much, though 1.3 ypc the defense put up is much better. Offensive inefficiencies still concern me headed towards conference play.
Ole Miss: C-
The Rebels were flat as expected after the heartbreaker last weekend @Wake Forest. The defense forced 0 turnovers and QB Snead didn't throw a TD, but did end up with 2 interceptions. A 77 yd punt return for a TD was the bright spot in an otherwise lackluster game.
Mississippi State: D+
The defense was good, forcing 3 TOs, but the offense set new records for ineptitude: 6 first downs, 118 yds of offense, 0/14 on 3rd downs, 1,3 ypc, etc. etc. One of the ugliest games I've ever seen.
Yes, their defensive numbers were gaudy, but that had as much or more to do with the fact that MSU's offense is horrible than it did AU's performance. AU managed just 3/16 3rd downs and lost 3 fumbles. It's a win, and Tuberville will take it, but his confidence can't be high heading into the uber-showdown next week with LSU.
Sunday, September 14, 2008