Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fast & Furious

First thought, South Carolina has put the SEC on notice after their dismantling of Georgia on Saturday night. However, Georgia has been terrible in games against Top 10 opponents while under head coach Mark Richt, that's a fact. Be that as it may, the Gamecocks looked pretty efficient. Running back Marcus Lattimore was workman like with the Gamecocks going up 21-0 in the first quarter, and quarterback Connor Shaw only threw the ball when he needed to while avoiding any possibility of momentum shifting turnovers. The real story is how dominating the Gamecocks defense looks. South Carolina managed to stuff Georgia on third down 9 out of 16 times while holding quarterback Aaron Murry to just 109-yards passing. Use caution when waiving the Gamecocks banner this week, traveling to Baton Rouge with the angry Tigers coming off their first regular season loss in eighteen games won't be easy for Steve Spurrier.

About that LSU loss, it was a tough pill to swallow for fans of the 'Bayou Bengals. LSU turned the ball over against Florida three times and had their porous offense exposed in 'The Swamp.' The fact of the matter is, we saw this coming for LSU. Between weeks four and five, a week in which LSU struggled to pull out a 12-10 victory against the now 1-4 Auburn Tigers, the Associated Press slid them down to #3. Between weeks five and six, when LSU had to overcome a sluggish start against Towson of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Associated Press once again dropped them to #4. So, when Les Miles & Co. rolled into Gainesville and got knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten, were we really shocked?!?! When Miles was interviewed on Tuesday and he said his team is going through a bit of a transition, we hope that transition involves finding an offense that can move the ball.

The Gators still run the State of Florida, and head coach Will Muschamp is running the show. It took Muschamp a year, but he's now got his signature win for the Gators. We loved how Florida played back on September 8th in College Station, before a raucous 82,000 plus in Texas A&M's SEC debut. The Gators slugged out a 20-17 victory on the back of senior running back Mike Gillislee. This past weekend, the Gators and Muschamp turned to Gillislee and their tough defense yet again. Gillislee turned out a 146-yard performance and hit pay dirt twice while their defense shut down the LSU offense. While the Gators were playing their way into the the top five teams in the country, their in-state counterparts were having major growing pains. Miami and head coach Al Golden got tuned up in Chicago by Notre Dame 41-3, while a previously #3 Florida State team overlooked ACC rival N.C. State and saw their National Title hopes go up in smoke. The Gators are sitting pretty and could find themselves with a shot at the BCS National Championship, or least they control their own destiny for now.

Those pesky Ducks aren't going anywhere. Oregon is very, very, good. In their first (3) three PAC-12 outings, the Ducks have shown the explosiveness we've come to expect from a Chip Kelly Oregon team. Super-backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas have set it off with a combined 19 touchdowns between them. For an offense that is averaging 50+ points in each of their first three in-conference games, that's impressive. Oregon has the speed to keep with teams in the SEC, the next question is to find out if they can make it out of the West with their unbeaten record still intact. In Southern Calfornia to meet the Trojans on November 3rd and what is shaping up to an in-state rivalry game like no other as the Ducks travel to Corvallis to meet a now #10 ranked Oregon State Beavers team. Can the video-game like play of the Ducks keep going? We think so.

AP #7 Notre Dame Disclaimer: The helmets were awful. The game was not on a neutral site, despite what the 'Golden Domers' would tell you, and we weren't impressed by the 41-3 blowout win against the Hurricanes. That being said, they have difficult road contests in Norman and Southern California which if all goes well, will write the story itself.

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