Noteable numbers: Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles, who threw for 369 yards last season against the Gators last season, was just 8-for-24 for 126 yards and two interceptions this time around.
Auburn entered this season as a potential College Football Playoff contender but nothing it has done on the field is deserving of a Top 25 ranking so far. This week, however, especially in the SEC, it could be argued that might be the case for a couple of teams.
They start conference play next week with Kentucky and will probably find a way to steal two wins, get blown out by Georgia and backdoor their way into the SEC championship game, where the yearly sacrificial cleansing of the SEC East will once again take place.
The same could be said for Alabama.
Lofty preseason predictions for Auburn are being reevaluated following a near-loss to FCS Jacksonville State, and the team doesn’t have much time to get things right. It’s not out of the question that Bama could win all of those games, but it will be a challenge.
The same could be said for LSU.
OLE MISS AT ALABAMA (-7)-Saturday 8:15, ESPN-Ole Miss hasn’t exactly had a ton of success in Tuscaloosa and that has to be in the back of their minds. Sure, it can be done. People were giving State a hard time for winning handily on the road against Southern Miss last week. And that’s why it’s critical to win the big home games if a team expects to make it to Atlanta.
Went 7-3 last week, bringing the two-week total to 18-4. To the games we go… With quarterback Josh Rosen struggling, Perkins carried the team on his back for most of the second half. A sputtering offense, shaky QB play and a searching defense filled with inner tension rather than inner equilibrium.
No. 15 Mississippi (2-0) at No. 2 Alabama. In just two games this year, the Rebels have scored 149 points and Kelly has thrown for 557 yards and six touchdowns, including a 347-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 73-21 blowout of Fresno State. Against Ole Miss and its stout defensive front, Alabama didn’t even try to do that until the second half. Plus, Death Valley will be rocking by 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rebels haven’t gotten tight end Evan Engram involved (one catch, five yards) and the offense is only going to get better when he’s getting targeted regularly. When quarterback Malik Zaire went down with a season-ending ankle injury, the team’s ability to make the playoff took an undeniable hit. The run game isn’t all the Jackets have going for them, however, quarterback Justin Thomas is staying in the pocket more this season and is 10 for 13 with three TDs.
He’s also facing an Auburn defense that – despite adding Will Muschamp – allowed 400 yards in back-to-back games. In the past, Auburn has been the top running team in the conference, but their best guy so far has just one rushing TD, is eighth in yardage and his longest run is for 21 yards. Lawson’s status for Saturday’s game is uncertain, which hurts the visiting team’s chances. The Tigers have won one national title and played for another during that period, thanks to an explosive offense. But there’s a reason why the Tigers haven’t won in Baton Rouge since 1999. Auburn beat LSU like a Mix Master.
Still, the conference saw several impressive individual performances from its biggest stars including LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Georgia’s Nick Chubb.
Greenawalt: Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss offense look unstoppable, albeit against non-SEC opponents. One false move, you get Swiss cheesed up.
Considering the Mountain West plays nine out of 12 games this weekend against either Pac-12 or Big 10 teams, you can bet majority will at least be worth a watch. Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake form a fantastic one-two punch at tailback – nearly a flawless blend of power and speed. Surprisingly, Auburn remained in the poll at No. 25 despite losing badly at LSU this past Saturday, sqeaking past Jacksonville State in overtime the previous Saturday, and beating a now 0-3 Louisville team by seven points the Saturday before that.