Is Arkansas’s Mallett ready for Alabama?

Five things to look for as we close out September:

1. Ryan Mallett versus the Alabama defense: A year ago the Arkansas quarterback was simply overwhelmed when the Hogs went to Alabama. He completed only 12 of 35 passes, was sacked three times and rushed eight others. The result was a 35-7 victory by Alabama. Now Mallett has the confidence of winning an SEC game on the road (where he was 0-4 last season). He threw for 380 yards against Gerogia and won the game on a last-second touchdown pass. Will he be able to handle what Alabama’s defense is going to throw at him Saturday in Fayetteville?

2. Streaks by Florida and Kentucky: There have been some close calls along the way, but Florida has beaten Kentucky 23 straight times heading into Saturday’s showdown in the Swamp. Kentucky has played token opposition in its first three games but has not turned the ball over once. That’s hard to do even against tall grass. Will either of those streaks come to an end on Saturday? I don’t imagine Kentucky’s turnover streak will stay intact against a defense that already has 10 interceptions this season.

3. A showdown of great freshman running backs: Saturday’s game between South Carolina and Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium will feature two of the brightest young stars in the SEC. Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina has carried it 70 times in three games (including 37 against Georgia) for 333 yards. Another freshman running back, Michael Dyer at Auburn, is starting to assert himself with the Tiger offense. Some folks have compared these two youngsters to Herschel and Bo (no last names needed). It’s way too early for that. These guys are good, but not sure they are in Herschel and Bo territory.

4. Is LSU starting to put things together? The Tigers still look pretty ugly on offense but the defense, after getting torched for over 400 yards passing in the opener with North Carolina, is starting to look strong. John Chavis’s group forced five interceptions last week against Mississippi State and some of them were great athletic plays (by the way, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is the best football player I’ve seen this year.) LSU has a non-conference game with West Virginia on Saturday and Tennessee comes to Baton Rouge next week. Win them both and LSU will be 5-0 going to Florida on Oct. 9. Have I written off LSU too early?

5. Ole Miss is in a “must win” situation against Fresno State: The Rebels got embarrassed by Division I-AA Jacksonville State on Sept. 4. They slopped their way to a win at Tulane on Sept. 11. Then they just got gashed by Vanderbilt in Oxford 28-14 last week.  It would be easy to blame bad karma because the Rebels took troubled quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. But the fact is that the defense has not been doing the job. Ole Miss is ninth in the SEC in total defense and rushing defense. The front seven was supposed to be the strength of this team. They had better beat Pat Hill’s Bulldogs on Saturday because the next for games for Ole Miss (1-3) are with Kentucky (3-0), Alabama (3-0), Arkansas (3-0) and Auburn (3-0).

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

233 comments Add your comment

larrymunsonthe3rd

September 23rd, 2010
7:58 am

Who cares if I'm

September 23rd, 2010
7:58 am

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

September 23rd, 2010
8:01 am

Great article Tony, Alabama is STILL the nation’s premier football team and Arky ain’t close. Coward Petrino & Co. were plays away from losing to a Georgia team that they should have put away. Tide rolls 35-14.

Hey, Tony...

September 23rd, 2010
8:01 am

…since you continue to think that you are the next Furman Bisher please go read his column today on Matt Kuchar – you might learn some pointers – he can still write, even if he is over 90 years old…now THAT is how a sports writer tells a story…

MURPHY

September 23rd, 2010
8:05 am

No way pigs beat tide. Mallet welcome to the NFL of college football. Tide will roll!

Football Fan

September 23rd, 2010
8:07 am

Are there any games involving non-SEC teams this weekend ???

Spike

September 23rd, 2010
8:09 am

This weekend, I am a Hog and an AU Tiger!! SOOEE and War Eagle!!

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Saturday in Fayettevill should be interesting.

– Don’t see Arkansas stopping Bama’s “O”.
– Don’t see Bama stopping Arkansas’s “O”

This is the sloppiest looking defense I’ve seen Saban field since early in 2007.

I give the edge to Bama. There hasn’t been a better running duo in this part of the world since Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown

zeeee Nachos aka the Living Legend

September 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Hey Spike

Why wont the barners let Corso wear the tiger head on Gameday? Do you have to be gay to wear it?

GT Dude

September 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

I see you are chilling the local scene today…
So tomorrow’s blog theme will be how UGA must win at Miss St or the season is lost?

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
8:13 am

The hogs BARELY beat those pathetic losers known also as UGAy….

No chance in hell they win Saturday.

Keep dreaming mutts and barners.

[...] season). He threw for 380 yards against Gerogia and won the game on a last-second touchdown pass. Will he be able to handle what Alabama’s defense is going to throw at him Saturday in Fayetteville…– Atlanta Journal-Constitution Share This! September 23, 2010 5:11 am Tags: [...]

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:16 am

An overrated Penn State team does not an impressive schedule make. Arkansas in an upset. 90% of the Alabama population then sets their trailers on fire.

nc4000

September 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

wow, tony can recap the games that are planned for the weekend! yippie!

Ryan Mullett

September 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

Boy that UGA defense was tough… much better than ALABAMA’s…. easy win.

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

I am a UGA graduate.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

@ GeezusDawg

I burned my trailer after the Utah game. Culverts work just fine, but the reception isn’t as good.

Just Wonderin'

September 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

Who were Herschel and Bo compared to when they were freshmen?

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

… you are correct, now use your own screen name.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

September 23rd, 2010
8:20 am

Reporter: How is it going Mr. McGarity ?

Pretty good, if Adams will stay out of my way, I’m going to clean out this ” rat hole “, and give the people of Georgia a team that they can be proud of.

Reporter: What is the smoke in the background ?

That’s the Athletic Department. It was on fire when we got here, we didn’t start the fire.

http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:21 am

Auburn and Alabama — a trailer divided.

toga

September 23rd, 2010
8:23 am

Bama – Ark will be close. In the end – Bama will be able to run the ball and eat clock keeping Mallet off the field. Bama 28-17

I look for Miss St. to beat the Dogs. Although Miss St. can not match up talent wise, they are better coached on both sides of the ball. Murray will not have a good game. State 24-23

If SC can beat Aub, look for them to win the east.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
8:23 am

I’m not sure Herschel and Bo were compared to anyone. I know that I had never seen anything close before (or since).

Odd that they both appear in the same era…..Michael Jordan came along just a year or so later.

Hmmmm…..maybe there’s something to astrology afterall

ga gator

September 23rd, 2010
8:25 am

Mallet will someday be a solid NFL QB, but in this game it will pit to former NFL coaches. Petrino’s offense against Saban’s (sorry uga buddies, it’s not Kirby’s) Defense. Saban will win everytime. Interesting side note, it is also the battle of two NFL coaches who left their former teams high and dry, and Petrino probably wins that one.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
8:26 am

@ GeezusDawg

You’re just bitter right now. Things will get better in Athens.

BTW – We have 100s of patients in the Children’s Hospital here in Birmingham. Be sure and snipe at them as well, while you’re on a tear.

Call IT

September 23rd, 2010
8:27 am

I hope Bama chokes with AR and Mallett has a record day then we all can watch the banwagon fans in the Atlanta area begin to fade!

surrealist

September 23rd, 2010
8:27 am

UGA will know a lot more about its defense by what happens in the Auburn/SC and Ark/AL games. IF ARK and SC offenses perform then it looks a bit brighter for UGA. If they get stuffed, then that will be really bad news for UGA going forward. The argument is being made that UGA has played two of the better teams in the SEC this year so the losses are not so bad. With UGA playing what is supposed to be a “pedestrian” SEC team, this weekend will be really interesting for Dawg fans.

James T. Kirk

September 23rd, 2010
8:28 am

Tony,

What is wrong with your precious puppies? They are the laughing stock of college football and an embarrassment to the great state of Georgia. Why don’t they just do the admirable thing and shutdown the football program and put all that money to better use. Like feeding the homeless or something.

WAR EAGLE!

September 23rd, 2010
8:28 am

Hey Notcho aka Liver Lilly, the only barn I know is the one you live in in Tuscaloozer. Now, what’s your gay issue? Most folks I know who make such comments are just trying to hide thier own identity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If that’s the way you want to go, fine with me, but it does make you look like a homophobic moron. Have a nice day, Madam.

WAR EAGLE!

September 23rd, 2010
8:29 am

Hey Tony, anybody can ask these questions. How about giving us some answers?

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
8:30 am

Cant blame Geezus dawg for being bitter. His team has done NOTHING since 1980…

Wait ’til next year buddy.

Loyalty is an issue for some....

September 23rd, 2010
8:32 am

Bama fans have the shortest memory of any fanbase out there. You easily forget that you were less than mediocre for the better part of the decade. You recently lost to Louisiana-Mobroe, at home.

It’s going to happen again next year when Nick Saban dons the Dallas Cowboys whistle. His recruits will be around for a couple years, then you Bamer fans will do what you do best… daydream about tge past.

ga gator

September 23rd, 2010
8:32 am

surrealist, I disagree with you. UGA will know a lot more about their team is MS State scores enough to win. UGA will find out whether they are back to being a contender in the East or if they are Pedestrian. I for one think they will struggle with the enviroment early and then play well and win going away.

zeeee Nachos aka the 'Living Legend"

September 23rd, 2010
8:32 am

bammers rule

TDone

September 23rd, 2010
8:33 am

All things SEC…

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

Sorry guys my sister called, I mean my wife called. Go dawg!!!!!

Loyalty is an issue for some....

September 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

The Yellow Hammer Elephants also deny that UGA has beat them 3 of the last 4 meetings. Seriously, they won’t admit it.

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

1. Ark has no running game and an average defense. BAMA by 17.
2. UF by 21. UK is undefeated b/c they’ve played Louisville, W. Ky, and Akron.
3. S.Car by 10. Aub has a shaky defense and sporadic offense.
4. LSU beats WV with talent, not coaching.
5. Ole Miss rights the ship and squeaks out a 6-point win.

Tomsjeep88

September 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

1. No, he’s not.
2. To inspire the players, someone in the UK locker room should end the pre-game speech with “NOBODY beats Kentucky 24 straight times!”
3. Seriously? What’s next: The Knack were better than the Beatles?
4. No Tony, you haven’t. Florida will crush LSU.
5. A team from the mighty SEC in a “must win” against Fresno State? Surprised the AJC let you print that one.

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:36 am

@3rdn8
Not bitter, just a football fan who’s tired of the alabama Kool-aid (and just doesn’t like auburn). Not sure what kids in a burn unit have to do with anything unless you are making some odd comparison to alabama or auburn football.

Paul in RDU

September 23rd, 2010
8:36 am

Five snippets from Tony and every single one involves an SEC team.
Nothing on the suspensions of the UNC DB’s, nothing on tonight’s game between Miami and Pitt, nothing on the ramifications of the PAC-10 having their championship game in Vegas….

SimpleDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

Hogs will be in Dreamland against Bama……BBQ, that is. It will feel more like they’re in the famous Tuscaloosa BBQ joint. The Tide feeds on the Porkers.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

OK…I won’t admit that UGA beat Bama 3 out of the last 4 meetings, but I’m not serious about it.

dawgfan

September 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

Mallet is ready for Alabama. The other 21 guys on his team are not. Arkansas is one dimensional and grossly overrated. Alabama will pound them and pound them hard. I wouldn’t read too much in to barely squeaking by a very average Georgia team.

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
8:39 am

Loyalty is an issue for some but it also appears that jealousy is an issue for some, as well. Another issue, apparent in your posts, is contradiction. So, do BAMA fans have a short memory or do we daydream about the past? You can’t have it both ways.

Tip of the Day: Be concerned about your team.

bamaguy

September 23rd, 2010
8:39 am

The Alabama defense only look bad compared to last year. I still think they get it done in AK.
Kentucky is still Kentucky and this isn’t basketball season.
Ole Miss is getting what they deserve for taking in that criminal.

SEC

September 23rd, 2010
8:39 am

Georgia fans are delusional to expect more of Richt. They are Georgia. Why would they expect to be considered the cream of the crop of college football? Remove one man from their history (Hershel) and they have no trophies, not titles, nothing.

Will Richt ever win it all? Nope. Should Georgia be dissatisfied with that? Nope. You’re Georgia. Just accept that.

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:39 am

At least Florida fans have a good 20 year straight record to back up their obnoxiousness, alabama flips the switch after 2 years. Nice.

ga gator

September 23rd, 2010
8:41 am

5IML, UF will struggle against a much improved and coached UK team. I am not looking for style points anymore from this years team; they are still searching for their personality. I am just happy for wins. Interesting note though for all of the gator and other fans complaining about the offense. The 31 we hung on UT in Knoxville this past week were the most since 1996.

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
8:42 am

Also, I’ve not mentioned Georgia as they are not a topic on this blog. And yes, others can have an opinion on your overrated team.