In the SEC just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it does. Last Saturday’s games ranged from Mississippi State beating Florida 10-7 to Auburn beating Arkansas 65-43. That is hard to explain and so is South Carolina going to Lexington and losing to Kentucky.
It really was a fun weekend of football. In the SEC it looked like Georgia has come back from dead. I don’t really have any favorite teams in the conference other than Auburn, but I will say I was glad to see Kentucky win on Saturday night
I really think that Kentucky’s Mike Hartline is the second best quarterback in the conference and he is just having a great year. He did the same thing against South Carolina’s defense that he did against Auburn. That was exciting football.
It was a really different type of game, but it was exciting for Mississippi State to go to Florida and beat a team the Bulldogs weren’t supposed to beat. Watching how hard the Bulldogs played against Auburn, I am not surprised that they played well in Gainesville.
I watched most of Ole Miss vs. Alabama game on Saturday night. Alabama played well enough to win, but didn’t look like it had fully recovered from its loss to South Carolina. If Ole Miss doesn’t drop eight or 10 passes that was going to be a close ball game. The Ole Miss receivers dropped passes all over the field and the Rebels couldn’t run much.
Around the nation this week the LSU at Auburn game is the big one and there are some other interesting games. One of the betters ones will be Oklahoma playing at Missouri. Oklahoma is a team that won some close games against inferior opponents early in the season, but that might be a team that is putting things together as the season goes along.
Everybody in the polls seems to think Oklahoma is really good so we will see. This game vs. Missouri, even though I am not sure how good Missouri is, will help sort out who is the best in the Big 12 and will have an impact on the national scene that changed again last weekend with No. 1 Ohio State losing.
I watched some of the Ohio State-Wisconsin game after watching the Arkansas at Auburn game. Both Ohio State and Wisconsin have good football teams, but they looked like they were in slow motion after seeing Auburn and Arkansas play.
I am just like everybody else here in Auburn after watching that game on Saturday against Arkansas. I have never seen anything quite like it. Trying to get a handle on what is happening with Auburn’s defense and other SEC teams struggling to stop the pass, I think part of the reason is the quality of receivers in the Southeastern Conference this year. It seems like every team in the league has one really good one and some teams like Arkansas have a lot of them.
In fact, I can’t think of a time when there were more great receivers in the league. Auburn has one who I believe fits that description in Darvin Adams. When you look at Childs at Arkansas, Jefferies at South Carolina, Jones at Alabama, Cobb at Kentucky and A.J. Greene at Georgia, those guys are great players. Plus, there are a lot of other good receivers across the SEC.
This week when Auburn plays LSU the Tigers will be facing two more really dangerous receivers in Terrance Tolliver and Russell Shepard. It’s wild what I am seeing in the SEC this year with the receivers. A lot of times when it looks like you have got them covered they really aren’t covered because they find a way to make a great catch.
Against Arkansas the Tigers did a good job against the running game, but got picked apart by passes. You can’t look at any game Auburn has played this year and say that Auburn hasn’t played hard. Even when Arkansas was moving the ball quickly down the field, at times Auburn had defensive players in position to make plays, but they just didn’t make them. That is something that Auburn will need to improve starting this week against LSU.
Offensively, the Tigers were so impressive vs. Arkansas. They scored nearly every time they had the football and the special teams play was excellent, too.
The special teams with the 99-yard kickoff return, the blocked put and the kickoff coverage played a bigger role than in any game this year. Everybody contributed to the win, even the defense, which stopped Arkansas three times in a row by turning the ball over to the offense when the defense rose up when they had to in the fourth quarter.
All things considered, it was a big win for the Tigers and exciting win. We should have another exciting Saturday of college football coming up this week starting right here in Auburn where all of the nation will be watching the LSU at Auburn game, and that is the way it should be with both of the teams undefeated.
Editor’s Note: This part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
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