Alabama Crimson Tide Foottball: AJ McCarron, Eddie Lacy T.J. Yeldon And Amari Cooper Deserve Much Of Spotlight Defense Is Hogging
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray is considered a first-round prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. On Saturday, he was victim of a cave-in underneath the Crimson Tide defense.
After throwing eight touchdowns in three previous SEC matchups, Alabama’s cornerbacks had better receiving numbers than Bray’s receivers, recording a pair of interceptions. Bray failed to throw a touchdown pass.
It was the opposing quarterback that had a first-rate performance.
The preternatural exploits of Saban’s defenses will be told by analysts and opposing defenses for decades to come. Unfortunately, the offense’s brilliance has gone unnoticed by casual college football fans. After Saturday’s 44-13 victory, the Tide have now scored at least 30 points in each of their first seven games, which is the longest streak to start a season in their illustrious school history.
It’s understandable to overlook Saban’s offense when he’s got a defense that has been leveling opponents like a tank juxtaposed in a Civil War re-enactment.
The leaves are beginning to turn. The weather is beginning to cool off. The fall semester is beginning to wind down. Just another lazy third Saturday in October, huh? Not if you wear orange and reside in the hills of Tennessee.
There is nothing lazy about the third Saturday in October. That date has been reserved for a long standing rivalry. It's Tennessee/Alabama week. The Vols are hosting the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide and there is nothing lazy about it. Houston Nutt once famously said, "This is a two chin strap league." Regardless of what you think of Nutt, he's spot on. And anyone who has played the Tide this year and their bruising running game and tenacious defense, will attest to that. You better believe Tennessee knows they better strap them both up. The problem is, Tennessee is coming off a 41-31 loss to Mississippi State, the first since 1994. Their head coach is having to coach from the box due to hip surgery, which may or may not matter. And the Tide seem to be picking up steam with each passing victim...err...opponent.
What a difference a week can make. Just one week ago, this writer suggested that it would take a total collapse by South Carolina for LSU to come out of its game against the Gamecocks with a win. I should have known better. LSU is downright lethal at night in Death Valley under Les Miles. Lesson learned. Fast forward a week.
The Tigers head west across the Texas state line to College Station where the Texas A&M Aggies await. The Aggies are riding a wave of momentum coming off a thrilling victory over the scrappy Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech. They brandish one of the hottest young gunslingers in the country in Johnny Manziel, who happens to have one of the coolest nicknames in all of football as well, "Johnny Football".
LSU hosts South Carolina Saturday in Baton Rouge. A lot is riding on this clash of two top ten cross conference foes. One team has a No. 3 ranking. A punishing running game that showcases arguably the best running back in the country. The ninth ranked defense in the country that showcases arguably the best pass rusher in the country. Stomped No. 5 Georgia, 35-7 last week. And an A-list head coach. That team is obviously the LSU Tigers. Right? Wrong.
The script has been flipped. The South Carolina Gamecocks, a perrenial bottom feeder, used to be the laughing stock of the East. Add a wily old vet affectionately known as The Ol' Ball Coach, and this program has transformed into one of the premier programs in the country seemingly on the rise.
#5 Georgia at #6 South CarolinaSaturday, October 6, 7pm EDTWilliams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SCThe SEC East and perhaps BCS title stakes could be on the line in South Carolina Saturday night, as the Gamecocks host the Bulldogs. The Southeastern Conference has dominated college football for the last decade, with the SEC claiming the last six titles. 2011 was the SEC West’s time to shine, with division rivals LSU and Alabama meeting each other in the national title game. While the Tigers and Crimson Tide are both in the Top 5, three SEC East Teams are in the AP Top 10: #5 Georgia, #6 South Carolina, and #10 Florida. And if Florida upsets #4 LSU this week, this game will be even more important to Georgia and South Carolina, as one claimant to a title shot would fall and another will rise.However, Michael Bennett’s torn ACL may at least partially derail Georgia’s title hopes. The Bulldog wide receiver injured himself in practice this Tuesday, and is out for the season.