What a fabulous weekend of football! As promised, here is our Week Two report from our SEC and ACC correspondents.
SEC Updates from Kate- Week Two
1. The biggest upset of the week goes to the Miami Hurricanes for defeating the Florida Gators 21-16. This time last week, Florida sat pretty in position #12 in the AP Top 25 Poll while Miami was completely absent from the list. Although Miami only collected 212 yards and the Gators had more than 15 extra minutes with the football in their possession, it was Florida’s turning the ball over five times that ultimately left the Gators with no bite. Luckily for head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease, the Gators have two weeks to work on their offense and prepare for their next game against Tennessee on September 21st.
2. The most exciting game this weekend may have been the SEC matchup between Georgia and South Carolina. For the past three seasons, the Gamecocks have defeated the Bulldogs but came up short Saturday, losing 41-30. Winning this game may prove essential to Georgia’s future success in the weeks to come. After a loss to Clemson in Week One, the Dawgs, with the leadership of Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley, proved they do in fact have what it takes to win high-pressure games such as matchups against LSU and Florida later this season.
3. Texas A&M ran over Sam Houston State and ended the game victoriously 65-28. The Aggies’ explosive offense gathered over 700 yards on Saturday with star-quarterback Johnny Manziel contributing over 400 yards to that total. Manziel also averaged an incredible 9.8 yards per pass, threw for three touchdowns, and allowed for only one of his 41 passes to be picked off by the opposition. A&M was impressive on the ground as well. Senior running back Ben Malena averaged 9.1 yards per carry and brought the ball into the end zone one time and Tra Carson, the Aggies’ other star running, back had two touchdowns.
4. In Week One, Auburn defeated Washington State 31-24. At the time, the score seemed too close for comfort and many thought it meant Auburn could have another losing season. But, by the end of Saturday, many fans were changing their minds. One week later, Washington State went on to upset and beat the University of Southern California, #25 in the AP Top 25 Poll, proving Auburn had faced tough competition in their season opener. Additionally, Auburn improved their season record to 2-0 beating Arkansas State 38-9. Auburn improved their number of first downs, total yards, passing yards and rushing yards even though they spent less time with the football in their possession than the week before. The Tigers need to keep working hard, though. They face their first SEC opponent, Mississippi State, on Saturday and that game will tell us if Auburn is back as a football powerhouse or if they will fall back into their losing habits of last year.
5. Overall it was a winning weekend for the SEC. Except for Florida’s surprise loss to Miami and South Carolina’s loss to Georgia (where obviously an SEC team had to lose), every other SEC team won, and won big. Most teams won by more than 15 points. Vanderbilt, LSU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Texas A&M won by more than 30 points. As we move to SEC play this weekend, there will be both winners and losers but most SEC fans can look back on Week Two with fond memories as a weekend of really big wins. Now the focus moves forward to what may be the SEC matchup of the season – Alabama and Texas A&M, the only team to roll over the Tide last year.
ACC Updates from Charlotte – Week 2
1. With Miami’s win over Florida, the Hurricanes are ranked in the AP Top 25 at No. 15 for the first time since 2010. Miami’s defense was the key to their performance resulting in the upset of a ranked SEC opponent for the second week in a row after Clemson’s victory over Georgia in Week 1. This also gives the ACC their 3rd ranked team with Clemson moving up to 3rd and Florida State No. 10.
2. Duke quarterback, Anthony Boone, became the second ACC QB to leave the game due to an injury after NC State’s Brandon Mitchell suffered a broken foot last week. Boone’s broken collarbone gave backup Brandon Connette the chance to keep the Blue Devils undefeated against Memphis. He led them to score 21 points in the second half, including 2 fourth quarter touchdowns to secure the 28-14 win.
3. NC State struggled without Mitchell against their FCS opponent, Richmond, but managed to come out of the weekend at 2-0. With the Wolfpack trailing in the final minutes of the game, backup quarterback, Pete Thomas, led a 48-yard drive to set up a game-winning field goal. While NC State escaped with a win this week, they head into their off week before hosting No. 3 Clemson next Thursday and will need every minute of preparation before facing the Tigers.
4. Virginia’s gameday experience against a ranked opponent wasn’t as exciting as other ACC counterparts, the Cavaliers lost handily to No. 2 Oregon in Charlottesville on Saturday. The Ducks never gave the Cavs a chance, leading 28-10 at halftime, and the best news for the Hoos is that their best players are their youngest so they could have a bright future.
5. Wake Forest traveled to face Boston College on Friday night and the BC Eagles proved they are more than a rebuilding team this season with a dominant win over the Demon Deacons. Eagles’ running back Andre Williams rushed for 204 yards in an impressive performance that brings his total yardage in the first 2 games to almost 30% of BC’s total rushing offense in 2012.