Here at Swoozie’s, we promised you weekly updates on everything you need to know from last weekend’s gameday festivities. With the excitement brewing, the first week brought plenty of action! Please enjoy our Week One’s updates from the SEC and ACC.
SEC Updates- Week One
1. The SEC kicked off its first conference game with a showdown in Nashville between #9 South Carolina and Vanderbilt Thursday night. It was close for much of the game, with Vandy tying it up in the second quarter and taking the lead in the third. It wasn’t enough as South Carolina scored on a Marcus Lattimore touchdown late in the fourth quarter in what would be a 17-13 South Carolina victory. Vandy had a chance to come back, but after a non-call on an obvious pass interference by the Gamecocks, the game was essentially over. South Carolina’s quarterback, Connor Shaw, was injured late in the first half and sat out until late in the 3rd quarter. No word yet on the status of his injury and whether he is expected for their next game.
2. It was an ACC vs. SEC showdown in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic over the weekend. Tennessee beat North Carolina State 35-21 on Friday night in the first of two games. Tennessee debuted an improved offense from last season, leading 22-7 in the first quarter. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray threw for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. The second Chick-Fil-A game resulted in an ACC win, as #14 Clemson prevailed over Auburn 26-19 on Saturday night. It was even for much of the game, tied 16-16 in the third quarter. In the end, Auburn could not hold off Clemson’s rushing attack led by running back Andre Ellington, who rushed for 231 yards.
3. In the premiere Saturday night game, defending national champs #2 Alabama took the field against #8 Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Alabama dominated the game with a solid performance on both sides of the ball, shutting down Michigan’s running quarterback Denard Robinson, winning 41-14. Many speculated about Alabama’s defense after the team lost most of last year’s starters to the NFL, but those questions were laid to rest after the team’s solid performance, leading the way to a possible national championship repeat.
4. For some SEC teams, the first games were a shakier start in what should’ve been dominating performances against lesser opponents. The Buffalo Bulls played #6 Georgia close, scoring 23 points on their highly touted defense. Georgia ended up winning 45-23, but not without an overall sloppy performance on both sides of the ball in the first half. Bowling Green was up 7-0 early in the first quarter against the #23 Florida Gators, however the Gators were able to hold them off, winning 27-14. Florida’s quarterback situation was unclear going into the game, but Coach Will Muschamp named Jeff Driskel the starter after he threw for 114 yards and 1 touchdown.
5. Many other SEC teams led dominating performances over the weekend, including #1 LSU who beat North Texas 41-14 despite losing star player Tyrann Matheu, who was kicked off the team this summer. Arkansas beat Jacksonville St. 49-14 with star quarterback Tyler Wilson who threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. Additionally, Kentucky lost to #22 Louisville 32-14.
ACC Updates- Week One
1. Clemson looked impressive in their win over Auburn giving the ACC some bragging rights over the SEC. The defending ACC champs had arguably the best performance of the weekend, and it came against the best competition without their star receiver Sammy Watkins.
2. Miami’s standout freshman Duke Johnson scored his first career touchdown on a 54-yard run in the second quarter and added a 56-yard score in the third quarter. The Hurricanes came away with a league road win at BC, but the competition will get tougher this weekend on the road against ranked Kansas State.
3. Duke takes away a huge win from opening weekend against FIU, a very legitimate opponent. They head to Palo Alto to face Stanford this week which could present some difficulty unless the Blue Devils can capitalize off the high from this week. Considering the way Stanford struggled this weekend, it’s possible to see Duke take a lead on the Cardinal for a second straight season.
4. NCSU leaves Atlanta with a disappointing loss to the Tennessee Volunteers, whose speed proved to be too much for the Wolfpack secondary. It wasn’t an entire evening of celebration for the Vols, a fan cheering for the team fell from the 3rd level of the Georgia Dome and landed on another fan on the level below. They were both hospitalized and the Tennessee man who fell died at the hospital.
5. Although it wasn’t pretty, the Hokies are still the team to beat in the Coastal Division after their 20-17 overtime win against Georgia Tech, which was the first ever overtime game at VT’s Lane Stadium. There are big implications for the GT/VT game victor because the winner of this game has gone on to play in the ACC championship game every year since the conference divisions were created.