Another week has come and gone in the college football season. The SEC consistently gives the sport amazing games, moments, and players. Here are my five biggest takeaways in the conference from week two.
1. LSU Is Ready for a Title Run
The biggest game of the week was easily the showdown between #9 Texas and #6 LSU in Austin. Make no mistake about it, this was an absolute shootout as both teams combined for a total of 1,103 yards of offense. However, the Tigers and their new-look offense emerged victorious 45-38.
You heard it here first: LSU is going to give Alabama a heck of a race in the SEC West. The Crimson Tide have been standing in the way of the Tigers for this entire decade as LSU could never field a competent offense against them. That will change this season. I’m not saying it will happen, but this seems like the ideal season for the Tigers to finally get the job done.
Joe Burrow went off in No. 6 LSU's win vs. No. 9 Texas ? pic.twitter.com/ECPkD7wo30
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 8, 2019
Joe Burrow is on fire through the first two games of the season. His stats? 749 yards, nine touchdowns to just one interception, a competition percentage of 81.8% (!!!), and a QBR of 92.1 (fifth best in the nation). Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the timeline where Burrow is officially in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. It’s weird to see, but he totally deserves it right now in this New Orleans Saints-style offense.
I genuinely think that without linebacker Dylan Moses, Alabama is going to have a very hard time playing this offense. We are still far away from their fateful meeting on November 9th. However, that could be a day which changes the college football landscape for a longtime.
2. Let’s Talk About Tennessee
Honestly, I have no idea where to even begin here. So, I will get it right to it.
TENNESSEE LOST AGAIN!!! And this time it was in the most embarrassing way possible. With just a few seconds left in regulation, BYU completed a miracle 64-yard pass in order to kick a field goal and send the game into overtime. Of course, the Cougars won and now the Volunteers are 0-2 to start the season.
Tennessee had a 99.6% chance of winning with 31 seconds left in the game. Pruitt has similar odds of losing his job. pic.twitter.com/Iuj1HMn71D
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 8, 2019
For the first time since 1893, Tennessee is 0-2 and Kentucky is 2-0 to start the season. For full transparency, I saw this stat from a reliable source on twitter, and its just too perfect to give it an actual fact check. If it isn’t true, let’s just let it go unnoticed and just enjoy this beautiful time in college football.
Oh yea, the head coach is currently comparing his football team to the Titanic. You just love to see it.
Jeremy Pruitt’s Titanic reference via @ByMikeWilson: "When the boat starts going down, remember all the mice running to the top, right? We have had a few that left our program, but you will figure out who wants to be a Tennessee Vol & who don’t. I can tell you this: I want to."
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 9, 2019
3. A Major Loss for Kentucky
Injuries are an unfortunate reality which come along with any sport. No one can avoid them no matter how hard they try. This reality is one that Terry Wilson and the Kentucky football team are facing now.
As I’m sure you now know, Wilson has been ruled out for the season as he officially tore his patellar tendon. Thankfully for UK, former Troy quarterback Sawyer Smith transferred to Kentucky in the spring. He is best well-known for being the MVP of Troy’s win in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl where he threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns. His highlights from his amazing performance are a must-see.
Let’s get one thing clear: Kentucky will badly miss Wilson’s athleticism and experience for the rest of the season. Smith simply lacks in comparison in those areas. However, the former Troy star has a better arm and pocket presence than Wilson does. This is no secret or a “hot take.”
Overall, I don’t want to seem disrespectful here, but I think that there is a reasonable possibility that Smith ends up being a better passer than Wilson. Only time will tell.
4. Texas A&M Lays an Egg
Remember last year when the Aggies almost beat the national champion Clemson Tigers in their second game of that season? Well, what a difference a year certainly makes.
On Saturday, the Tigers took the Aggies to the woodshed. The final score reads 24-10, but it was nowhere near as close as that seems. The Clemson defense dominated A&M’s offense as the score for much of the game was 24-3. The Aggies got a touchdown later with the defense of the Tigers playing many of their second and third-string players.
This was a surprising result. Quarterback Kellen Mond was expected to take a leap forward this year, and many picked A&M to actually upset the Aggies. Reality is often disappointing.
Clemson- A+ grade from a guy who doesn’t give those out easily. They exceeded my expectations.
Clemson was never truly threatened for the second time in as many outings against an SEC powerhouse.
The D made Kellen Mond look like Mitchell Trubisky. Lawrence was Heisman worthy.
— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) September 8, 2019
Mond and company will play Lamar next weekend so they should get back on track quite quickly. However, this was a disturbingly bad performance from a team that is widely viewed as the SEC’s fourth-best squad. They should be fine, but I’m officially worried for the Aggies.
5. Hope in Columbus?
This fifth slot is always going to be what I think is the most underrated story from the previous weekend.
My pick for Week Two is the play of South Carolina freshman quarterback Ryan Hillinski. While it is true that Charleston Southern isn’t a marquee opponent to say the least, that doesn’t take away from how well Hillinski played on Saturday.
— ColonialLife (@ColonialLife) September 7, 2019
He finished the game with 24 of 30 passing for 282 yards and three total touchdowns. The freshman has natural arm talent and a very smooth release. He has high-ceiling talent even with the lack of experience. Now I’m not suggesting that Hillinski will massively turn around South Carolina’s season. The Gamecocks still have the toughest schedule in the nation, and they will most likely still miss a bowl game.
However, if the freshman can keep playing well until the end of the year, then there might be light at the end of the tunnel for Head Coach Will Muschamp and company.