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Clemson Football

The SEC is back. What did we learn?

September 27, 2020

No. 1 Clemson was on a bye this weekend, here's what we learned about the top teams in college football, and it wasn't pretty for a lot of the Top 10.

From No. 3 Oklahoma’s second-half meltdown to No. 6 LSU’s four quarter defensive disaster, several top teams looked very flawed after the SEC’s opening weekend.

Here are a few quick notes.

© Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
K.J. Costello blistered the LSU defense for an SEC record 623 yards passing in Mike Leach’s opener as the Bulldogs’ head coach.


What did we learn?

No. 2 Alabama (1-0) - @ Missouri W 38-19

The No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide looked about like we expected them to look, jumping out to a 28-3 halftime lead over Missouri. 

From ESPN: Mac Jones threw for 249 yards and two scores in less than three quarters of work, and Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris had dynamic performances on offense, helping Alabama roll to a 38-19 victory over the rebuilding Tigers.

"I think from a team standpoint, when you play a first game you sort of figure out who you are," Nick Saban said after finally taking off his mask. "You figure out where you and the last thing is, `What do I have to do to get better?' Everybody on our team has a lot of maturity in what they need to do to get better."

Note: Saban has never lost an opener as the head coach at Alabama.

No. 3 Oklahoma (1-1) - vs. Kansas State L 38-35

That felt and look like the Boomer Sooner crash from a season ago for Oklahoma fans. 

The No. 3 ranked Sooners held a 28-7 lead with 6:35 left in the third quarter before the Wildcats went on an incredible run.

Are the Sooners done? Not yet, but losing to a team that lost to Arkansas State isn’t exactly a good look.

While Oklahoma should bounce back, whether or not they can compete with Spencer Rattler at QB or slow down anyone with an offense remains to be seen.

No. 4 Georgia (1-0) - @ Arkansas W 37-10

It was an ugly first half for the Georgia Bulldogs as they trailed Arkansas 7-5 at the break (one of two SEC games to pull off that feat Saturday afternoon).

The Dawgs still don’t have their quarterback situation settled as former transfer Stetson Bennett returned to lead Georgia with 

Bennett transferred from Georgia to Jones County Junior College a year ago, only to return this season and save the season opener. Bettett finished the game 20-29 for 211 yards and two touchdowns. 

If Georgia is going to be a Top 10 team, they better get to work soon as they face Auburn this coming weekend.

No. 5 Florida (1-0) - @ Ole Miss W 51-35

You would like to say impressive after watching the Gators this past weekend, but I’m still not sold. Tight end Kyle Pitts has four TDs on eight catches for 170 yards in Week 1. 

I’d imagine teams will take him away as much as possible moving forward and then we will see if the Gators are legit.

No. 6 LSU (0-1) - vs. Mississippi State L 44-34

Uh-eaux! The reigning, defending national champions could not slow down Mike Leach’s air-raid assault. The Tigers lost a ton of talent this offseason but this was a disastrous start to the 2020 season. 

While there is always time to bounce back, that didn’t look anything like what we saw from the Bayou Bengals a season ago. 

From ESPN:

K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked LSU 44-34 on Saturday.

"I don't know if any individual could visualize this taking place," said Costello, who was Stanford's starter in 2017 and 2018 before head and hand injuries sidelined him last season. "I wasn't visualizing sitting here breaking records. ... I'm excited about the potential that this offense has because, believe it or not, we did leave a lot on the field today."

No. 8 Auburn (1-0) - vs. No. 23 Kentucky W 29-13

The best way I can explain this one is good, not great. Someone has to move up after the losses that Oklahoma and LSU had this past weekend. I guess it will be this Auburn team.

No. 8 Texas (2-0) - @ Texas Tech W 63-56 (OT)

See above....I guess it will be this Texas team too??

No. 10 Texas A&M (1-0) - vs. Vanderbilt W 17-12

And this A&M team? Nah, they have to drop right? 

No. 12 Miami (3-0) - vs. Florida State W 52-10

Miami was impressive again this week on offense and D'Eriq King was impressive throwing for 267 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-10 win over Florida State.

I thought that outside of Notre Dame, Miami would be Clemson’s toughest test, which only seems to be growing as the weeks go bye. The Hurricanes will enter Death Valley undefeated following a bye this week.

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The SEC is back. What did we learn?

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