Faculty soccer Week 5 winners and losers
And frankly forgotten because Georgia’s status as a legitimate national championship candidate will be determined soon enough.
There aren’t many places to completely hide yourself during a 10-game SEC schedule, though a trip to Fayetteville turned out to be one of them. And the Bulldogs # 4 (who trailed 7-5 at halftime and didn’t reach the end zone until there were six minutes left in the third quarter) may not have fled a better team last week when they cleared their quarterback situation .
The Kirby Smart team is without the transfer of Wake Forest graduate Jamie Newman, who has retired from the season. It was untransferred to Southern California JT Daniels, who was immediately eligible but wasn’t cleared to play until this week after missing much of last year with a knee injury.
That left D’Wan Mathis and Stetson Bennett, who would have fought for third place on Georgia’s depth map in an alternative universe without a pandemic. Mathis started and wasn’t effective. Bennett relieved him and was 20 of 29 for 211 yards and two touchdowns. It was a laudable achievement for the Redshirt Junior.
It was against Arkansas too, and Arkansas is not Alabama or Florida or any of the other powers still waiting to face the Bulldogs. It’s a group that includes Auburn # 7 that will head to Athens on Saturday night for the first real heavyweight matchup of the season.
Daniels is in the mix and is likely to make his Bulldog debut against the Tigers at some point, if not straight off the slide. That could be all Georgia needs to clear itself on the offensive. And in total fairness, Georgia’s defense looked largely like the role in its opener, only allowing the Razorbacks to travel more than 43 meters.
Still, there is now at least a little more doubt about what Georgia will be than it opened. No matter how Saturday night turns out, a good chunk of that doubt will turn into certainty when the Bulldogs are through with their unusually early rivalry against Auburn.
Five with the most at stake
1. Auburn. The Tigers did an admirable job against Kentucky while taking advantage of a major coaching mistake to freeze the game. Now they are traveling to Athens, the first time since 1936 that the deep south’s oldest rivalry took place in October. Rather than serving as one of two crucial late-season games for the Tigers, this should give an early indication of how well they stack up with the top of the SEC.
2. Oklahoma. The No. 18 Sooners (1-1, 0-1 Big 12) have already used their playoff mulligan and are headed to Ames to face an Iowa bunch who are in their second game (a win at Texas Christian) looked much better. as his first (a home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette). We’re going to learn about this iteration of Oklahoma tonight.
3. Texas A & M. The No. 13 Aggies weren’t exactly overwhelming with a 17:12 loss to Vanderbilt at the start of the season, and now comes a much more severe test: a trip to Tuscaloosa to face No. 2 Alabama. Texas A&M Better Not To Lose Three Fiddles This Week; If so, little time will be wasted by the Crimson Tide making it clear that the Aggies are not a top-notch SEC team.
4. North Carolina. Tar Heels # 12 haven’t played for the past two weekends. A game against Charlotte on September 19 was canceled and September 26 was a scheduled open date. Boston College has been playing for the past two weeks, knocking Duke onto the streets, and then escaping the state of Texas at home. It’s a tough spot for Mack Brown’s team, which still looks like a plausible ACC contender.
5. Air Force and Navy. The first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will be played in Colorado Springs, where the Air Force will make its season debut. That could be a plus (a fair amount of time to prepare for an option offense) or a minus (extreme rustiness, something Navy knows all too well about considering how the opener went).
The SEC has stepped into the season … and put up some memorable performances in their first week on the field. They’re featured on this week’s Heisman Watch.
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson; 519 yards, four TDs over. One bye week only helped Lawrence get closer and closer to the year-long anniversary of his last interception (last October 19 against Louisville). This week’s assignment for Lawrence and the # 1 Tigers: Host Virginia, which received five passports from Duke last week. (Last week: 1)
2. QB KJ Costello, State of Mississippi; 623 yards, five TDs, 2 INT over. The heyday of the Heisman voters, completely blinded by goofy numbers produced by passport systems, came and went 30 years ago, although goofy numbers produced by passport systems don’t really hurt either. Step into Costello, Stanford’s graduate transfer that shredded LSU in its first game for Mike Leach. (LW: Not Classified)
3. QB D’Eriq King, Miami; 736 yards, six TDs over; 157 meters, 1 TD races. The graduate transfer had little trouble breaking up the state of Florida and helping Hurricane # 8 improve to 3-0. He has not yet thrown an interception and has completed 67 percent of his passes. (LW: 3)
4. QB Kyle Trask, Florida; 416 yards, six TDs over. Trask was likely a little underestimated last season when he threw for 2,941 yards, 25 TDs, and seven interceptions. He efficiently tore Mississippi apart at the Gators’ season opener and could be an option as long as Florida stays No. 3 in the playoffs. (LW: Not Classified)
5. QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas; 688 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT over; 81 meters, 1 TD races. The Longhorn senior has thrown five touchdown passes in two consecutive games to open the season. Texas needed them all to make a wild comeback, beating Texas Tech 63-56 in extra time in the Big 12 opener. (LW: 2)
6. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida. A close finish won’t win the Heisman – they haven’t even hit the top 10 since Notre Dame Ken MacAfee finished third in 1977 – but it’s still worth hailing Pitts’ Monster Opening Week. He caught eight passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns when the Gators handled Mississippi 51-35. (LW: Not Classified)