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Keeping Tabs: How MSU's future opponents did in Week 2

 

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LSU 45, UT CHATTANOOGA 10 

 

(Insert picture of Dan Mullen with the cigar in his mouth.) 

 

How about this for a quarterback statline: Danny Etling completing eight passes for 227 yards for an eye-popping rate of 28.375 yards per completion. The question here is: have LSU and Etling found the deep ball? Watch out if they have. Of course some of that could be because wide receivers probably didn't have much trouble getting separation on UT Chattanooga's defensive backs, but give the credit where it's due to Etling for hitting those open guys downfield. 

 

The defense continues to outperform the expectation I had early for it with all the young guys in the rotation: after taking a couple of possessions to wake up, the LSU defense held UT Chattanooga to 3-14 on 3rd down, a 47 percent completion percentage and 68 total rushing yards on 2.5 yards per carry. That's what's coming to Starkville. 

 

The chinks in the armor: LSU missed two field goals, 40 and 47 yards and committed 10 first-half penalties. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Oregeron said he's going to reopen the placekicking starting position for battle. 

 

GEORGIA 20, NOTRE DAME 19 

 

A very quick glance of the box score had me wondering how Georgia won this game: Brandon Wimbush threw for 211 yards compared to Fromm's 141, Wimbush didn't throw a pick but Fromm did and Georgia ran 43 times but not well enough to hit 200 yards rushing. 

 

Then I looked at Notre Dame's rushing: 37 carries for 55 yards. Yep, that's what I expected from this Georgia defense. 

 

I don't mean to subdue the impact of this win for Kirby Smart and what it could mean for his tenure going forward, but those that know me know I'm very, very down on Brian Kelly in South Bend. I'd have to go back and watch it to see, but I wonder how much of this game was Georgia winning it and how much of it was Notre Dame losing it. 

 

CLEMSON 14, AUBURN 6 

 

I'm going to say all I need to say about this game with this. Here is a list of facts on the Auburn offense: 

 

- After running for 38 yards on 42 carries, the 2017 Auburn run game is worse on a per carry basis than teams such as FIU, Kent State, UConn, Charlotte and New Mexico State. 

 

- Jarrett Stidham averaged 3.2 yards per attempt. The only team that's done worse than that over the course of the young 2017 season is Army. 

 

- Auburn allowed 11 sacks. Most teams have played at least two games this season (the teams impacted by Irma being the obvious exceptions) and all but three teams in the nation have yet to allow 11 sacks this season, much less in one game. 

 

- Auburn had the ball for 5 more minutes than Clemson did and was outgained by 167 yards. 

 

- Auburn went 6-18 on 3rd down; that percentage, over the course of last season, would've ranked 115th in the nation. 

 

UTAH 19, BYU 13 

 

Red zone defense is about the only thing that saved BYU from this being a blowout: Utah settled for four field goals, the longest of them being 38 yards. If not for that, it would've been just like the LSU loss the week before where the offense is bordering on abysmal and the defense is fine, but nowhere near good enough to support the offense it has. 

 

I'm pretty close to coming around on this team and admitting I was wrong; I really liked this team. I'm trying to reserve judgment with just two games that have mattered (come on, who cares about the Portland State game), but that's getting harder and harder with each passing week. By the way, Wisconsin's next for the Cougars, and that's going to suck. 

 

KENTUCKY 27, EASTERN KENTUCKY 16 

 

...uninspiring. They did this weird thing with the quarterback where they brought Drew Barker in for the third series regardless of how starter Stephen Johnson was doing, but he Johnson ultimately played well and Barker did not, so it seems likely that the quarterback conversation in Lexington is over and MSU will defend Johnson in October. 

 

Reports from the team over the last week or so have been pretty critical of the offensive line, so there's something to watch out for in future games. If you're a channel flipper, maybe look over at them next week in the commercial breaks of the MSU-LSU game, as Kentucky is playing South Carolina at 6:30 on SEC Network next week. 

 

TEXAS A&M 24, NICHOLLS STATE 14 

 

Let's be honest with each other for a second, OK? After the second half you saw A&M play against UCLA, isn't this final score all you need to know? The Ags are trying to pick up the pieces. They haven't done so yet. 

 

OLD DOMINION 17, UMASS 7 

 

This is one is short and sweet, too: a week after losing to Coastal Carolina, a team playing its first ever FBS game, the Minutemen gave up eight sacks and woud have averaged 1.6 yards per carry if not for a 23-yard run but a guy who was making his only rush of the game in the process. UMass is baaaaaad. 

 

ALABAMA 41, FRESNO STATE 10 

 

Those of you waiting for the Alabama passing game to take the next step...you're probably still waiting. It wasn't bad, by any means -- Jalen Hurts completed 14 of 18 passes and threw a touchdown and backup Tua Tagovailoa completed 6 of his 9 -- but Hurts only going for 7 yards per attempt isn't quite where this attack needs to be. Then again, when he runs 10 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns, maybe it doesn't matter all that much. 

 

The big thing here was the defense, since almost the entire linebacking corps got injured against Florida State. The names to know going forward, while Alabama awaits the return of Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings, are Mack Wilson, Keith Holcombe, Dylan Moses and Jamey Mosley, who is the younger brother of the C.J. Mosley that was highly decorated in his career as an Alabama LB. 

 

TCU 28, ARKANSAS 7 

 

I hope I remember to go back and watch this game when it's time for MSU to play Arkansas because TCU absolutely, unquestionably shut the Hogs offense down. Bill Connelly's success rate measure had Arkansas reaching that threshold (which is based on a certain amount of yardage on a given down relative to the yards needed for a first down) on 19 percent of its fourth-quarter plays and ZERO percent of its second-quarter plays. How is that even possible? 

 

Well, a 39 percent completion rate is a good start. So is allowing 20 percent of your runs to be stuffed for no gain or a loss. What is wrong with Arkansas? 

 

OLE MISS 45, UT MARTIN 23 

 

Once again, the Rebels came out slow but the passing attack ultimately caught fire (489 yards, 5 touchdowns and 11.3 yards per attempt for Patterson) while the running game was underwhelming (18 carries for 54 yards). We might actually find out something about this team as it goes to Cal next week.

 

 

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