Week One in the SEC: A recap of league action
We finally have a week of Southeastern Conference football in the books! Since this is a season where the league’s teams will feast on one another each week with no non-conference games, let’s take a look at what we learned in Week One.
Click here for SEC standings.
NO. 5 FLORIDA 51, OLE MISS 35
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts might not only be the best in the conference, but the best in the nation. All he did was grab eight passes for 170 yards and FOUR touchdowns. Yep, half of his receptions resulted in scores.
For the Rebels, there is some good news. Head coach Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby’s offense showed plenty of spark, putting up 35 points on the Gators. The more reps the players get, the better they will be. Ole Miss will be tough to stop in weeks to come.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 44, NO. 6 LSU 34
Yeah, K.J. Costello might be a pretty good quarterback. In Mike Leach’s first game in Starkville using his air-raid offense, all his Stanford transfer QB did was set an SEC record with 623 yards passing. It is only one game, but could this guy be the 2020 version of Joe Burrow?
Wow, as for the Tigers….LSU has some work to do. The defending national champions lost a boatload of players from last year’s team and it showed. Head coach Ed Orgeron’s bunch simply looked confused on both sides of the ball, and playing in the SEC West, they better correct some things soon. Tigers’ sophomore consensus All-America cornerback Derrick Stingley missed the game due to an illness, but would he have made a 10-point difference?
NO. 4 GEORGIA 37, ARKANSAS 10
Okay, UGA has some questions at the quarterback position, but it did not matter Saturday. It will matter next week when the Bulldogs take on Auburn.
As for Arkansas, well they did score. But it is going to be a season of growing pains in Fayetteville.
NO. 8 AUBURN 29, NO. 23 KENTUCKY 13
Auburn scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to seal this one that many thought the Tigers could lose. We will find out more about Auburn next week when the Tigers take on Georgia. Should Malzahn’s team go 2-0, they could be a team to watch in the west.
Wildcats’ QB Terry Wilson came back from a knee injury last season and threw for a game-high 239 yards. The more he gets into a rhythm, the better chance Kentucky will knock off some teams in the east.
NO. 2 ALABAMA 38, MISSOURI 19
‘Bama might be upset about missing the playoffs last season. And as the adage goes, “they don’t rebuild, they reload.” The Tide has an embarrassment of riches again this year and after LSU laid an egg, Nick Saban’s team should be the favorite in the west.
Ah, Mizzou, at least you play Arkansas this season.
NO. 10 TEXAS A&M 17, VANDERBILT 12
It is safe to say the Aggies underperformed, but they did eke out a win. Kellen Mond did not look like a senior QB in the league, but fortunately his running back Isaiah Spiller ran for 117 yards.
Vandy looked good despite being hit more than any team in the SEC with players opting out of the season. If the Commodores are as competitive the rest of the season as they were Saturday, Derrick Mason deserves another year at the helm.
NO. 16 TENNESSEE 31, SOUTH CAROLINA 27
Easily the most competitive game in the SEC in the opening week. Tennessee showed flashes in all three phases of the game, but most importantly, the Vols found a way to get out of Columbia with the win. UT will cause some waves in the divisional waters this season.
South Carolina had its chances to win this one but could not pull it out. Collin Hill showed his familiarity in Mike Bobo’s offense that he ran last year at Colorado State and that will pay off dividends down the road.
South Carolina at Florida
Missouri at Tennessee
Texas A&M at Alabama
Ole Miss at Kentucky
Auburn at Georgia
LSU at Vanderbilt
Arkansas at Mississippi State
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.