ALABAMA: Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram missed the first two games of the
2010 season, but made up for lost time as he made his debut in Durham this
past weekend, rumbling for 151 yards and two TDs on just nine carries in a
62-13 romp over the Duke Blue Devils. It was the first road test of the season
for the defending national champs, who rolled up over 300 yards rushing 315)
and passing (311) in the game. Sophomore Trent Richardson had a 96-yard
kickoff return for a touchdown and it marked the first for Alabama since 2004.
Quarterback Greg McElroy was solid in the passing game as well, completing 14-
of-20 passes, for 258 yards and three TDs. Wideout Julio Jones led all
receivers with five catches, for 106 yards and one TD. Ingram wasn't the only
standout to return to the field for Alabama, which also enjoyed All-American
candidate Marcell Dareus rejoining the defense after a two-game suspension to
kick off the year. The Crimson Tide will begin defense of their SEC crown this
weekend, as they travel to Fayetteville to take on nationally-ranked Arkansas.
ARKANSAS: Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks continued their fast start, moving to 3-0
on the young season with a thrilling 31-24 road win at Georgia. It marked only
the second win in Athens for Arkansas since joining the SEC and first since
1993. Heisman candidate Ryan Mallett once again led the charge offensively,
completing 21-of-33 passes, for 380 yards and three TDs. His 380 yards moved
Mallett into sixth all-time at Arkansas in career passing (4,705 yards).
Wideout Joe Adams led all receivers with six catches, for 130 yards in the big
win, which moved Arkansas to 1-0 in conference play. Going 2-0 in SEC action
won't come easy as Arkansas welcomes defending national champion and top-
ranked Alabama to Fayetteville this weekend.
AUBURN: Wes Byrum hit a 39-yard field goal in the first overtime period, and
it proved to be the difference for Auburn in a thrilling 27-24 win over
Clemson in Jordan-Hare Stadium last weekend. Auburn trailed 17-3 at halftime
but used a 21-point third quarter to take a lead before finally earning the
win in the first overtime period. Darvin Adams led the way amongst wideouts
with 118 yards on five catches, including a TD. Onterrio McCalebb led the
ground attack with 81 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Cam Newton was 7-
for-14 for 203 yards and two touchdowns and added 68 yards on the 17 rushes.
Newton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of the first three
games, marking the first time an Auburn team has thrown at least two touchdown
passes in each of the first three games since 1999. The Tigers will attempt to
move to 4-0 on the year when they continue a three-game homestand this week,
hosting nationally-ranked South Carolina.
FLORIDA: The Gators moved to 6-0 under Urban Meyer in SEC-opener, with a hard-
fought 31-17 victory at Tennessee this past weekend in front of 102,455 fans
at Neyland Stadium. The Florida offense, which has failed to live really
thrive yet this year, struggled once again, as UF managed just 317 yards of
offense, including just 167 through the air. QB John Brantley accounted for
all that yardage, completing 14-of-23 passes, for 167 yards and one TD.
Sophomore tailback Mike Gillislee scored twice on the ground, as Florida won
its 23rd straight regular season game, making it 15 in row in SEC action. The
win also improved the team to 24-2 in SEC East games under Meyer's watchful
eye. The Gators will remain in league play this weekend, as they welcome the
Kentucky Wildcats to Gainesville.
GEORGIA: The Bulldogs rallied from a 24-10 deficit, but could not complete the
comeback, falling in a heart-breaker to Arkansas last weekend in Athens,
31-24. The loss puts Georgia in an early 0-2 hole in SEC play, as Arkansas
scored with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. The Bulldogs got a solid
passing game from QB Aaron Murray, who completed 15-of-27 passes, for 253
yards and one TD. Kris Durham (five reception, for 101 yards) and Tavarres
King (four receptions, for 91 yards, one TD) both came up with solid outings,
as they try to assuage the loss of All-American A.J. Green, who remains
suspended. Georgia will attempt to earn its first league win of the season
when the team heads to Starkville to take on Mississippi State.
KENTUCKY: Tailback Derrick Locke ran for a career-high 166 yards, scoring two
touchdowns and leading Kentucky to a 47-10 rout of Akron last weekend.
Quarterback Mike Hartline provided offensive balance with 250 yards passing
and two TDs, as UK won its 18th regular-season non-conference game. The
Wildcats outgained Akron 544-172 and with 254 passing yards and 290 rushing
yards, UK has rushed for more than 200 yards and passed for more than 200
yards in all three games this season. The team posted 500 yards of total
offense for the first time since the 2007 Music City Bowl against Florida
State. For the third straight game, Kentucky did not turn the ball over and is
+4 in turnover margin. Kentucky has now opened the season 3-0 for the third
time in the last four years. Kentucky will open league play this weekend in
Gainesville, when the team takes on the Florida Gators.
LSU: Behind a stellar defensive effort which saw the Tigers intercept five
passes, including two by All-American candidate Patrick Peterson, LSU was able
to make light work of Mississippi State, 29-7 in the home-opener for the
Tigers. It marked the 11th straight win in this series for the Tigers. With
the win, LSU moved to 3-0 on the year, including 2-0 in SEC play. Placekicker
Josh Jasper got in the act as well, booting five field goals, setting the
school record for field goals in a half. With the victory, LSU has now won 16
straight games in the month of September. The five INTs were the most for LSU
since recording six against Mississippi State in 2007. The Tigers will take a
break from their SEC slate this week when they take on the West Virginia
Mountaineers in a top-25 showdown in Baton Rouge.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs were stymied by the LSU defense and as a
result, amassed just 268 yards of total offense, in a 29-7 loss in Baton
Rouge. It marked the 11th straight loss to the Bayou Bengals for MSU and
dropped the Bulldogs into an early SEC hole at 0-2. LSU forced five turnovers,
all interceptions, a key to the lopsided loss for MSU. Not much went right on
the offensive side of the ball for Mississippi State, but the defense featured
some solid play. K.J. Wright matched a career-high with 12 tackles and it was
the second straight game that he reached double-digit stops (10 against
Auburn). He now has 23 tackles in the first three games. MSU will attempt to
get in the SEC win column this weekend, when the team welcomes the struggling
Georgia Bulldogs to Starkville.
OLE MISS: Versatile QB Jeremiah Masoli passed for 190 yards and rushed for an
additional 104 yards, but it wasn't enough as Ole Miss was doubled up by
Vanderbilt in the team's SEC-opener last weekend, 28-14. Masoli is the first
QB to record at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in the same game
since Archie Manning (206 passing and 109 rushing against Mississippi State)
in 1969. The Rebels allowed just 300 yards of total offense in the game, but
allowed the Commodores to rush for 227 yards on 5.5 yards per carry. Masoli
led the offensive charge for Ole Miss, with one of his 13 carries resulting in
a TD. Linebacker Jonathan Cornell recorded 1.5 sacks and extended his team-
lead in that category to 4.5 sacks on the year. At 1-2 on the young season,
Ole Miss will take a break from conference play this weekend when it continues
its current three-game homestand, welcoming Fresno State to Oxford.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Playing an FCS team when your hot, usually is reason for
concern, as teams often look by the opponent in front of them and onto the
next game. That however, wasn't the case with Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks, who
made light work of the Furman Paladins, as South Carolina cruised to a 38-19
victory and moved to 3-0 for the first time in three seasons. The Gamecocks
used a balanced offensive attack, including 182 yards on the ground to own a
seven-minute edge in time of possession. Freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore
finished the game with 97 yards and one TD, on just over five yards per carry.
Quarterback Stephen Garcia threw for 150 yards and two more scores, while
wideout Alshon Jeffery led all receivers with five catches, for 97 yards.
Jeffery became the 23rd player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard
mark for his career (1,069) and is averaging 102.0 yards per game this year.
The Gamecocks will get back to SEC business this week, as the team hits the
road for the first time in 2010, taking on nationally-ranked Auburn at Jordan-
TENNESSEE: Despite facing a new quarterback running things for Florida,
Tennessee suffered the same fate, as the Vols dropped a 31-17 decision to the
Gators, who have now won six straight times against their rivals from
Knoxville. With the loss, Tennessee falls to 1-2 on the year and 0-1 in SEC
play. Derek Dooley's squad was limited to a mere 11 first downs in the game,
thanks in large part to a stagnant ground attack that managed just 29 yards on
1.3 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Matt Simms did throw for 259 yards and
two TDs, but he was under constant pressure all game long, throwing two INTs
and getting sacked six times. Senior tight end Luke Stocker had his biggest
game of the season, catching a team-leading five passes for 41 yards. Senior
linebacker Nick Reveiz was all over the field once again, pacing the Vols with
a career-high 14 tackles. After two straight losses, Tennessee is in desperate
need of a win and will look to get that this weekend, when the UAB Blazers
come to Neyland Stadium for a non-conference affair.
VANDERBILT: Sophomore Warren Norman rushed for 111 yards, including an eye-
popping 80-yard touchdown scamper, as Vanderbilt knocked off Ole Miss this
past weekend, 28-14 to give coach Robbie Caldwell his first career
victory. In the process, Caldwell became the first coach to win his road debut
since Fred Pancoast (9-6 win at Rice on September 20, 1975). Vanderbilt, which
is now 1-2 overall and 1-1 in SEC play, snapped an ugly 10-game conference
losing streak dating back to 2008. Vanderbilt rumbled for 227 yards on the
ground and three scores, fueled by Norman's 7.4 yards per attempt. Vanderbilt
has won 14 straight games when the team has a 100-yard rusher dating back to
2002. The Commodores have this week off and will get back to work on October
2nd with a road trip to Connecticut to take on the Huskies in East Hartford.