What We Learned from the SEC in Week 4 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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What We Learned from the SEC in Week 4

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The rain cooled off Mark Richt's hot seat, but Georgia's uninspiring win over North Texas helped to heat it back up. (Source: John Kelley/Georgia Athletics) The rain cooled off Mark Richt's hot seat, but Georgia's uninspiring win over North Texas helped to heat it back up. (Source: John Kelley/Georgia Athletics)
Auburn made some good plays against LSU, including this sack of quarterback Zach Mettenberger that contributed to his -7 rushing yards. (Source: Todd van Emst/Auburn University) Auburn made some good plays against LSU, including this sack of quarterback Zach Mettenberger that contributed to his -7 rushing yards. (Source: Todd van Emst/Auburn University)
Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins makes a tackle against North Texas. (Source: Radi Nabulsi/Georgia Athletics) Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins makes a tackle against North Texas. (Source: Radi Nabulsi/Georgia Athletics)
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, left, and his model girlfriend Katherine Webb may have broken up, making countless Southern bachelors - and ESPN broadcaster Brent Musberger - very happy. (Source: Katherine Webb/Twitter) Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, left, and his model girlfriend Katherine Webb may have broken up, making countless Southern bachelors - and ESPN broadcaster Brent Musberger - very happy. (Source: Katherine Webb/Twitter)
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(RNN) – Even the good games this week were bad.

But, Texas looked less terrible, Michigan kept playing terribly against teams it should steamroll, Southern Cal almost lost to a Mountain West team, Ohio State's backup quarterback set a school record for touchdown passes and ESPN's College GameDay went to a state with "Dakota" in its name.

Oregon wasn't seen wearing a stupid uniform and the Ducks didn't score 1,000 points. Of course, not having a game probably had something to do with that.

Here is the weekly list of what we learned from watching SEC games in Week 4.

1. Florida has a few problems. In the past, I have attributed Florida's woes to throwing too much. That assessment may be wrong. We got a true look at Florida without Jeff Driskel and it was perhaps the ugliest thing you've ever seen (unless you also watched when Tennessee had the ball, but more on that later).

Driskel left the Gators' 31-17 win over Tennessee early in the game and coach Will Muschamp said after the game he has a broken fibula and will miss the rest of the year. But it may not be as bad as it sounds.

Tyler Murphy entered the game and turned in a Driskel-like performance throwing for 134 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 84 yards and another score. Murphy has a lot of speed and Florida can continue running its offense with him, and might even be able to add a few other option wrinkles as well.

The Gators' defense looked as good as it always has, and as long as that continues to be true, Florida should be fine.

2. Auburn still has a long way to go. And things were going so well, too. Auburn ran into brick wall in its first road game of the season in the form of The Great Tiger Tussle against LSU. The numbers look pretty even across the board, but Auburn committed three turnovers and took a long time to get going in a 35-21 loss.

Had the Tigers (Auburn variety) recovered their onside kick attempt within the rules of the game, things would have been much more interesting in the final minutes, but the kicker touched the ball before it went 10 yards and LSU drained the clock.

The good news for Auburn, though, is it looked like a real football team, which is miles ahead of whatever it was last year. Gus Malzahn will put their upcoming off week to good use, hopefully by finding a run defense before Ole Miss comes calling.

3. Georgia did what Georgia does. This. THIS! This is why Georgia fans hate Mark Richt. Two weeks ago, I praised Mark Richt and declared him off the hot seat. I'm an idiot.

Just when Richt has earned the good graces of the Georgia fan base, he goes and acts like he's trying to lose to North Texas. I know it was raining, but it was raining for both teams and you can't expect North Texas to play nice, even if you are paying them roughly $1 million to be there. I mean, heck, "mean" is right there is their mascot – Mean Green.

Is it all Richt's fault? Probably not, but who else is there to blame, really?

The final score – 45-21 – makes it look like Georgia won comfortably, but that is misleading. The Bulldogs had a punt blocked and North Texas tied the game at 21 in the third quarter. Then Georgia scored 24 unanswered points to make it look like a convincing win, which is the most Georgia thing any team can do.

This is why Georgia fans rant and rave about Mark Richt. They have no confidence in what that team will do, because it's never done anything to give them reason to. A loss to LSU next week will get that hot seat burning again. I think Richt kind of likes it. What other explanation is there?

4. Texas A&M can't kick PATs. Well, we saw last year that "Johnny Offense" can't help in that department, but he was his characteristic self otherwise in a 42-13 win over SMU, but it was SMU, so those little one-pointers weren't that big of a deal.

But in bigger games, those misses are huge. That would have made the Aggies' one-touchdown loss to Alabama last week a 10-point loss. Even for teams that can score from anywhere on the field, PATs are important, especially when you have a defense like A&M's that ensures every game you play will require 50 points to win.

Taylor Bertolet missed the first two of those PATs and Josh Lambo was brought in to replace him and promptly had one blocked. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said they will compete for the job. I'll give you a minute to get over the inherent absurdity of Texas A&M having a competition for its PAT kicker four games into the season.

I think the Aggies should dive into that "12th Man" they won't shut up about. It's supposed to represent the fans' willingness to run on the field if they're needed. Somebody in that mass of people has got to be able to kick a football 20 yards, don't they?

5. Alabama just doesn't look right. Ever wake up in the morning and you aren't sick or hurting, but you're kind of tired even though you slept well and an extra cup of coffee just didn't do it for you for some reason, and you just don't feel like yourself but you don't know why? That's Alabama right now.

Last week's 49-42 win over Texas A&M was the most uncharacteristic game in Alabama history, and it was followed this week by a head-scratching 31-6 letdown against Colorado State. There were flashes of what we think Alabama is, but not much consistency. T.J. Yeldon was suspended for the first quarter, Anthony Steen was out from the offensive line and Amari Cooper was held out of the game with an injured toe, but that shouldn't have caused as many problems as Alabama ran into.1

Exactly what those problems were aren't easy to define. It's easy to chalk it up to inexperience, but that doesn't cover AJ McCarron's interception and a team total of 66 rushing yards.

Alabama's defense was what it always is, but offensively it just wasn't clicking. The Crimson Tide forced a fumble and scored a touchdown on a blocked punt, but the offense didn't convert a third down until there was three minutes left in the game, and it was with the back-ups in. It was like looking at one of Alabama's opponents in the mirror.

6. Mississippi State is better than bad teams. Just like last year, Mississippi State has no problem crushing bad teams as Saturday's 62-7 win over Troy shows, but throw a half-way decent opponent in front of the Bulldogs and they run for cover. At least they're consistent.

Mississippi State is still without quarterback Tyler Russell, and I haven't decided yet if that's good or bad.

7. It isn't just Tennessee's uniforms that are ugly. Sweet Tim Tebow, the Volunteers aren't getting any tacos after a game like that. Tennessee turned the ball over six times and only rushed for 66 yards in a performance that former coach Derek Dooley's pants would have thought was hideous.

New coach Butch Jones decided to try to create a quarterback controversy by starting freshman Nathan Peterman over Justin Worley, who had started the Vols' first three games. Luckily (unluckily?) for Tennessee fans, Peterman's performance ensured he won't be seeing the field much more.

Peterson attempted 11 passes, and completed four of them to his receivers and two of them to Florida defenders and racked up a total of 5 yards. Worley also threw two passes to Florida players, but he had 10 completions for 149 yards and found a way to get Tennessee in the end zone.

Tennessee's running game, which had been good up to this point, was thoroughly shut down by the Gators, who had two players rush for more yards individually than Tennessee did as a team.

8. James Franklin (player) has Missouri on the right track. Franklin, aka Johnny Football Junior, threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 61 yards and another touchdown in a 45-28 win over Indiana. At this rate, I might have to stop making fun of Missouri.2

The Tigers are undefeated, and have a very good chance to be 4-0 before starting conference play. I, for one, am … uh … impressed? Murray State, Toledo and Indiana aren't exactly – how do you say it? – good, and next week's opponent, Arkansas State, isn't much better.

If Missouri can pull out some wins over Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, etc., then I'll be excited, but only if they manage to not create a T-shirt for it.

9. Les Miles correctly managed the clock again. WHAT!? Who is coaching LSU and what has he done with Les Miles? I demand answers.

Jeremy Hill rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Tigers in a fairly respectable win. You might remember Hill for his offseason antics, which unlike Johnny Manziel's pervasive stupidity were actually criminal. Maybe Les Miles coaches this team, after all.

Heck, Even Zach Mettenberger looked good, and by good I mean he didn't look like Zach Mettenberger. If James Franklin (player) is Johnny Football Junior, then Zach Mettenberger is AJ McCarron Junior. Mettenberger threw for 229 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and rushed for 190 yards less than Hill. Truly impressive.

10. It's easy to win when you don't play anybody good. Just ask Arkansas. The Hogs finally played a somewhat decent team – for the sake of this argument Rutgers qualifies – and lost 28-24. #Karma.

Arkansas rushed for 101 yards as a team after having two players regularly go for 100 in their previous three games, blew a 17-point lead, committed six penalties for 66 yards (there's your karma) and somehow lost despite forcing three turnovers and committing none.3

But fortunately for people like me who get to mercilessly goof on teams that lose, Arkansas' next four games are against ranked opponents. Good luck with that.

Extra points: 1Of course, the real problem here is AJ McCarron may or may not have broken up with his girlfriend. (OMG, they both stopped following each other on Twitter!) Stay tuned as we bring you more on this developing story. Back to you in the studio.

2Yeah, that's not going happen. Sorry, Missouri, but you're still the outcast from the southern North and you haven't adequately assimilated into our culture yet. I mean, you played Indiana. A true SEC team would have played Indiana State.

3And worst of all, the crazy Hog lady might have decided to stop posting karaoke videos. On her YouTube channel, LizHoney posted a comment that said, "I've had a lot of fun making Razorback videos. Although the novelty has just about worn off by now, I'll still be singing and calling those Hogs!"

What does it mean?

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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