Monday, September 22, 2008

Week 4 Grades

Georgia: A-
Another workmanlike effort from the Bulldogs. They rolled up 461 total yds, held ASU to just 4 yds rushing, committed 0 turnovers, and watched as Knowshon added another ridiculous run to an already ridiculous highlight reel. The 12 penalties for 105 yds are a bit disconcerting as is the kickoff coverage.

In another classic LSU/Auburn game, the Bayou Bengals had a few more tricks up their sleeves and came out victorious. In something of an offensive explosion for this series, LSU rolled up nearly 400 yds of offense with two QBs making their first appearances in true road games in one of the most hostile environments in the country against one of the stoutest Ds in the country. Sure they gave up a lot of yds to a team that mustered just 3 points against MSU last weekend, but games in this rivalry take on a life of their own. Miles and staff will take it.

Alabama: B+
Another strong effort from the Tide this week, particularly considering the number of young guys playing their first true road game this season. Granted the competition was weak, but still no hiccups. The defense again proved to be stout, picking off 4 passes total, and returning 2 for TDs. A 9.4 ypc average is never a bad thing, though JPW was again off target, hitting on just 43% of his passes for 73 yds.

Florida: B
A dominating defensive performance for UF, but it’s not like UT is an offensive juggernaut. The Gators again struggled a bit on offense – only 243 total yds – but the defense and special teams stepped up in a big way. The Gators forced 3 Vol turnovers, returned a punt for a TD, and connected on all 3 of their FG attempts.

Vanderbilt: B
This was a huge road win in a swing game for Vandy’s bowl eligibility, but there still has to be some concern about the offense. The defense again bent but didn’t break as they gave up yardage but no offensive scores and forced 6 turnovers. The offense though only managed 202 yds.

Auburn: B-
While the defense was shredded by LSU, there were definite signs of life from a thus-far impotent offense… at least in the passing game. With LSU stacking up against the run, AU QB Chris Todd threw for 250 yds. The defense also returned an INT for a TD in one of the strangest looking plays you’ll ever see. My hunch is that the defensive lapse was an aberration and the Tigers will be back on track next week against UT.

South Carolina: C-
The Gamecocks were predictable flat against Wofford Saturday night, but they did come away with a much needed win. Surprisingly, Spurrier stuck with one QB – Smelley – for the entire game and was rewarded with fair-ta-middlin’ play – 204 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs – which is about par for the course this year for the ‘Cocks. The defense gave up a 4.3 ypc average, but given the circumstances, I don’t think that’s anything to be concerned with.

Tennessee: C-
The Vol defense did a great job bottling up Tebow and company, holding them to less than 250 total yds. The offense though continued its inconsistency. While they outgained the Gators 258-243, the Vols had a -3 TO margin and averaged just 3.1 ypc. The 95 yds in penalties certainly didn’t help the cause.

Ole Miss: D
Can’t flunk the Rebels as the defense held Vanderbilt to just over 200 yards and scored a TD on a fumble recovery. They also returned a kickoff for a TD, so it wasn’t all bad... just the offense, which was again careless with the ball. The yardage total is not terrible – 385 yds – but 6 turnovers in this league is a recipe for disaster.

Mississippi State: D-
The Bulldogs finally managed to roll up some yards offensively – 407 to be exact – but still continued to shoot themselves in the foot with 4 more turnovers. The defense never got off the bus, giving up 500 yds of offense and 38 points, which is well over half as many points as MSU has scored in 4 games this year. This one was never close.

Arkansas: D-
The Hogs faced their first real test Saturday and predictably thigns didn’t go so well. The Razorbacks were outclassed at every position and it showed. Casey Dick did throw 3 TDs… but 2 of them were to Alabama DBs. At least the punter did his job, averaging 43.4 ypk and leaving 3 inside the 20.

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