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).

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233 comments Add your comment

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

3rdn8,

I know but still they lulled them into throwing the ball and were intercepted.Even the best QB’s throw interceptions Mallett is no different.

Beast from the East

September 23rd, 2010
11:17 am

1…..Bama’s “D” ain’t UGA’s “D”. Mallett won’t fare as poorly as he did last year, but he won’t get out with a win either.
2…..UF gets the offense on track this week? I hope so!
3…..Should be a good game. I think USC wins this one witht the better defense.
4…..LSU has tons of talent. They are capable of beating anyone they play if they play well. I agree about Peterson….he’s the real deal!
5…..Karma’s a @#&$^, ain’t it?

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
11:22 am

Tide4u2c

ok…one more point.

Bama does not have a good pass rush, even with Darius. They pressure the QB by bringing one or more DBs. That means that the Bama CBs are man-to-man on the Arkansas WRs. Bama currently has one CB (Kirkpatrick) that can play man-to-man on big time WRs. Greg Childs can burn anyone. I still content that Bama’s defense and UGA’s are very similar. The difference in this game is the Bama offense….load up the box, and I think McElroy (this year) makes you pay.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
11:24 am

content=contend

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
11:35 am

Bama’s defense similar to UGA’s? Seriously? Many people compare Dareus to Ndamukong Suh. Donta Hightower is on the Butkus watch list. Mark Barron is an All-SEC safety. The rest of the front seven is loaded with talent- Josh Chapman, Kerry Murphy, Damion Square, Jerrell Harris, Nico Johnson, Courtney Upshaw. Yes, Der is the only “shutdown” corner, but you don’t need more than one. Dequan Menzie is a solid guy as a JUCO transfer, Phelon Jones is decent, and Milliner/Scott are huge talents that need a little seasonling, but work fine as Freshmen in the nickel and dime packages. This D is big time. May not be number one in the country, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ll take top 10 on both sides of the football, thank you.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
11:35 am

MikeP

September 23rd, 2010
11:37 am

Patrino has yet to put a team with a good defense on the field. He didn’t at Louisville and he hasn’t at Arky. As much as I’d like to see the piggies send the bamzos back to their trailer parks with a loss, it’s not likely to happen because Arky’s defense is non-existent.

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
11:42 am

3rdn8,

I remember Saban talking about blitzing making a point that sometimes you can focus too much on blitzing, now Saban was’nt saying he does’nt blitz everybody knows he has blitz schemse and he desquises them well too. But he was making a point that you pon’t have to blitz alot to be effective on defense.I think what you are seeing is how he lulls teams into thinking they can throw the ball but like I said INTERCEPTION ALABAMA!.Can you tell us who made those interceptions? Were’nt they back-up DB’s? A freshmen too.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
11:52 am

In fact, here you are. From USA Today:

1. Oregon 193.33
2. Texas 206.67
3. Arizona 220.33
4. TCU 222.67
5. Boise St. 224.50
6. Stanford 227.67
7. Ohio St. 236.33
8. Central Mich. 250.67
9. Alabama 253.33
10. Arkansas 255.67

In scoring defense, Bama (16 pts. allowed) is number two behind Oregon… who has played New Mexico (shutout), Tennessee (13 pts.), and Portland State (shutout). Arky has given up 34 points, 24 to UGA.

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
11:57 am

I am not saying Alabama’s defense is perfect, Saban has some issues that need to be improved on that he can use to motivate the players.But at the same time it is hard to complain with how Alabama has won so far.They have won like they have been supposed to be winning against the so-called easy teams plus Penn St. Can’t you remember back to even last year when Alabama was playing the easy games, they won but had much more problems than they have had so far this year as a matter of fact the last two years were that way.We did’nt dominate nobody last year like they have this year so far even the easy teams.

Vulture

September 23rd, 2010
12:29 pm

Hands down we have the nicest coach! Avg 10 wins! Best tanned coach! So we don’t look like an SEC team anymore? Low key coach! What bald spot?

Not so fast

September 23rd, 2010
12:34 pm

I heard Coach Richt brought in Sandra Bullock to help coach-up the OL just like in that movie.

BJohnDawg

September 23rd, 2010
12:39 pm

I would be surprised if Ark beats the Tide. Just dont see it happening. They pulled one out against Dawgs weak as cornbread stuff defense. Tide will run the ball and keep Mallet and company off the field.

SC probably takes care of Auburn as well. War Eagles, Plainsmen, Tigers, toilet paper hangers ( not sure which one they want to be called) dont have enough defense. But you never know which Old Ball Coach team is going to show up.

Hope Bobo( Bilbo Baggens) calls a better offensive game. If not…Dawgs go 0-3 in conference play.

Auburn Pride

September 23rd, 2010
12:39 pm

Wow!!! Great weekend for football!
-BAMA beats Arkansas
- Auburn beats SC.
- LSU beat W. Virgina
- Miss State beats UGA

Richt = Fulmer/Tuberville. He will be gone after 2012 season as UGA settles into 6/7 win territory the next few years. Seen this happen several times.

Arguement for the day – which coach is better – Richt or Miles?

Up until last year – I would have said Richt – but now I definately know it is Miles.

Why?
– He fired his DC and picked up Chavis (LSU was still good on defense – but needed to be better)
– As whacky as Miles is – he has won close games due to great coaching – and lost games due to whacky coaching – but his teams always play hard.
– UGA/LSU last year – LSU was clearly the better team – and despite the bad call on Green – UGA still had a chance to stop LSU. But LSU was determined to win the game.

Fast foward to this year – ARK outplays UGA for 3 quarters – UGA bows up and ties the game. ARK takes over – stops UGA and quickly marches down the field to win the game.

LSU slid behind ALABAMA in the WEST
UGA slid behind FLORIDA in the EAST – but UGA is also 2/4 against KY and SC and 1/4 against TN.
LSU still finishing nationally ranked – and appears to be getting stonger this year.

UGA – 0-2 – did not finish nationally ranked last year.

Fulmer has it going – program became stale – and they struggled to be relevent.
Tuberville – same thing – wnet 13-0 – program became stale – was passed by other prgrams like UGA and BAMA – Tuberville gone.
Richt – first 5 years – UGA was very relevant – and now below .500 in SEC East league play last 21 SEC EAST games (10-11).

Again – Richt will be given next year and 2012 – If UGA is not top 15 or relevant in 2012 -Richt is gone.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
12:45 pm

Bammer fans for bammers!!!!

LOL

September 23rd, 2010
12:45 pm

Nachos=biggest d…bag poster ever!

Congratulations, maybe your boyfriend will give you a reacharound tonight in honor of your accomplishment.

LOL

September 23rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Sorry Nachos, I meant your manfriend. I did not mean to insult your better half.

how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Auburn Pride SC beats the Tiggers by 2 scores.

Tony ...

September 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

you should call your column “The SEC Column” or something like that..I think I have read you for the last time

Roswell Hog

September 23rd, 2010
12:59 pm

This one’s easy. Hogs win by 10. Been playing decent
D since FL last year.

Iknow how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

Mr Tony….noticed you did not say anything about the team that lost to ARKY last week…have you written them off as the looser they are?

The Law

September 23rd, 2010
1:23 pm

Newton = Tebow + rap sheet – any SEC wins

Half Century Dawg Fan

September 23rd, 2010
1:24 pm

Bama will control the clock and big.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

“Decent” don’t cut it when you playing a team like ALABAMA

how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Iknow how2fish say it loud say it proud boy-o. Go!Jay Hawks!

Potentially biggest CFB story of the day

September 23rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Pitbull

September 23rd, 2010
1:50 pm

Most of the negative comments towards Georgia and CMR come from Tech fans posing as disgruntled UGA fans. I hate the Tech posers that come on UGA blogs.

I hope McGarrity drops Tech from our schedule like second period french. We could pick up Clemson or Notre Dame or FSU every year earlier in the schedule and play one of our SEC games like Kentucky as the last game of the year.

We might not win as many against Clemson, FSU, or Notre Dame as we win against Tech, but those schools’ people have a lot more class than the Tech haters, you know – the Wanna Bees.

And it would cut into the GTAA revenue so deeply that they would probably start running financial deficits (again).

So what do you think Dawg fans?

Would all of you other real Dawg fans out there like to dropkick Tech off the schedule and be done with their smart mouth arses?

After all, they have always needed us for their program and we do not need them.

gt

September 23rd, 2010
1:57 pm

“Now Mallett has the confidence of winning an SEC game on the road” all because he beat Georgia, Tony you are going to overdose on those drugs. This Alabama team is for real, more so than the one last year. Whatever Mallett picked up in Athens will be a passing memory when he sees the real SEC.

Auburn has a pretty good quarterback too. South Carolina has the best coach in the conference. South Carolina wins but these are the second and third best teams in the SEC and we will see which one comes out best. This may be the best game of the year if Bama / Auburn isn’t.

Lattimore is the best player I have seen this year. LSU hasn’t played anybody. You can play away from a cornerback, you have to deal with a running back. Lattimore will be the Heisman Trophy winner next year, cornerbacks don’t win that kind of stuff for a reason

People in Mississippi were saying they were not going to be that good this year with or without a quarterback. They were right. What is the worst team in the conference?

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

Tony …

September 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm
you should call your column “The SEC Column” or something like that..I think I have read you for the last time

I’m assuming you like ACC touch football. Based on attendance at the ACC “football” games, Tony ain’t exactly losing much market share if you all leave.

Hatfieldgeoff

September 23rd, 2010
2:07 pm

Tony, this will be more of the same. Mallet getting pressured and thowing incompletion and interceptions for the most part. Bama will win easily. Neither Arkansas or South Carolina, for that matter, are any where near as good as some what to tell us. unfortunatley beating Georgia is not much of a barometer the last few years.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
2:09 pm

No way Lattimore wins a Heisman next year. That will belong to Trent Richardson, who may be the best college running back in the last 5 years. The NFL has to be drooling over a kid that size and speed that benches 475. Unreal.

TheTaxJacket

September 23rd, 2010
2:13 pm

*** Nesbitt for Heismen ***

(((( 45 – 42 ))))

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
2:18 pm

Oh, and the Barn third best in the SEC? Beat Missy St. by 3 and Clemson in OT? No sir. Pecking order goes:

1- Alabama
2/3- Florida or USCe (too close to call- settle it on field)
4/5- Arky or LSU (same as USCe/Fla)
6/7- UGA or Auburn (ditto)
8- Missy St.
9- Tucky
10- Puke Orange
11- Vanderbilt
12- Ole Missy

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
2:20 pm

TaxJacket, you realize you’re misspelling the name of the award, right? Blasphemy.

how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
2:24 pm

BAMA dude Tax Jacket can’t spell he just cuts and pastes. TJ a word of advice…Fear the Wolf Pack!

Dr. Love

September 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

Re: Bo and Herschel

Valid comparisons back then were Tony Dorsett and Earl Campbell (only one who should even be mentioned with the Great Herschel Walker).

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 23rd, 2010
2:38 pm

Imagine the panic if Ark and Kent pull the upset.

Paul in RDU

September 23rd, 2010
2:43 pm

how2fish – GT should be worried about the NC State Wolfpack this week – my neighbours would be very upset at being confused with the University of Nevada. The Nevada Wolf Pack is playing BYU after blowing out Cal last week.

Tide Rising

September 23rd, 2010
2:54 pm

JB,

Good post. Things run in cycles and right now I’m just enjoying being in a great upcycle. As for the dawgs way too much talent, too many people who care, facilities, etc. to stay down long. Dawgs will be back soon enough.

In the mean time Mallett may put up 2 or 3 scores but there is no way in hell they stop our offense- Trent and Ingram run wild. 38-20 bama rolls.

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Where is everybody?

Loran, whatdayagot?

September 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

`
Georgia is obviously in a “must win” situation at Mississippi State also.

how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

Paul in RDU you bet, but the Bugs should fear either Wolf Pack…

From 11-3 to 13-1

September 23rd, 2010
3:55 pm

.
————————-
Go Georgia Tech
————————-
.

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
4:03 pm

Where is Patrick Sulley aka QDog aka (several other screen names)?

Tide Rising

September 23rd, 2010
4:07 pm

5IML,

simple simon is another of his popular screen names.

Patrick Sulley where are you??????????????

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
4:15 pm

TR,

It now seems so long ago that we had to endure Patrick’s delusional rants:

1. Saban is the most inconsistent coach in college football. He has never had back-to-back, 10-win seasons. He’s never had back-to-back, top-10 finishes.

2. Richt is better than Saban (following by the incessant citation of each coach’s career records).

3. Richt always follows a mediocre year with a great one.

Where are you, buddy. Come back home. We miss you.

AD formerly known as Daddy Damon

September 23rd, 2010
4:20 pm

What does it mean when a dog drools out both sides of its mouth in Alabama?

The trailer’s level!

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
4:22 pm

What does it mean when a dog drools out both sides of its mouth in Athens?

The trailer’s level!

David C, Atlanta, Ga.

September 23rd, 2010
4:24 pm

The Real question should be is Arkansas Defense upto stopping Ingram/Trent this weekend? Because if they cannot. Mallett will be just getting a sun tan on the sideline…

76-DAWG

September 23rd, 2010
4:34 pm

UGA should have beaten Arkansas, Alabama will beat them 42 -14. Alabama’s blitz will be better than UGA. and Arkansas doesn’t have any more weapons to help Mallet out.