I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get back to doing a Talkin' Tape... in lieu of that, you'll have to settle for another edition of Saturday Tailgate.
AoG WEEK IN REVIEW
We won y'all! Not only that, we won-won. No limping impotently over a team we should have soundly beaten like the UMass or CSU game. We won, and we won convincingly. Sure, we let ODU get entirely too much offense on us, surrendering 336 yards and 3 TD offensive TD drives. Two of those drives were under 2 minutes, and all three were under 2:30. We are having trouble on defense, which really none of us saw coming.
Still, Johnny Mac put up FIVE touchdowns. This is his team now. One thing VI pointed out that I think really bares repeating - all everyone involved with the TD passes (passing or receiving) are FR. No matter how they did it, this offense played worlds better. The coaches weren't perfect, but the offensive gameplan was largely solid (barring a ridiculously terrible double reverse). The bigger fact we all need to take away here? This offense is improving and will continue to improve, and these games will continue to give them confidence they need going forward.
"But it's just ODU/Mizzou," I hear some of you saying. I encourage y'all to remember we played terribly against bad teams all season until Johnny took the helm. It's been a long road to get to this point, but we're here. Johnny is the future of this offense (please don't leave us J-Mac!). Yes, a number of us thought that this was the way to go from the very beginning. That said, it should be pointed out of us also had doubts after that Temple game. Still, has football people, it is perplexing how our coaches missed such obvious talent.
That's actually all in terms of football talk on AoG this week. Honestly, I suspect it'll pick up if a miracle happens against Florida. We're still reeling a bit from just how anemic this team can be at times. Still, if you're looking for a basketball fix, we've got ya covered. Our position and team reviews continue!
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Ok, so there were a LOT of good games last week. Yes, even the TCU game, which I still contend are generally not exciting, was a good game. I already covered the FSU team of destiny stuff over Louisville last week, so let's get to the others.
- #3 Auburn 35 - #4 Mississippi 31. It's over. My glorious dream is over. I dreamed of a world where the Egg Bowl would be not only relevant but a sort of semi-final game. This game was a brawl, and in my opinion, the game of the week. Aside from 2minutes in the 3rd, the game was always within one score. And boy, there was a lot of that as both teams put up ~500 yards of offense. With 3:20 left in the game, and down 4, Bo Wallace led a wonderful drive going 51 yards. Then, on 3rd and 2 on the Auburn 20, Bo delivered a pass to Laquon Treadwell, who fought with all his might to the goalline. He fractured his fibula and dislocated his ankle to do it. His first words to Hugh Freeze? "Did I get in? Did I get in the endzone? Did we win?" Unfortunately, no. Upon review, it was clear that Treadwell dropped the ball moments before getting across the goalline. Auburn recovered, and won. No, I will not post a video of it... it's gross and you can youtube it if you really wanna see it.
- #1 Mississippi St. 17 - Arkansas 10. Do you seriously not believe VU04's assertions that Arky is MUCH better than they get credit for right now? You should now, as Arkansas gave State the game of their season. Mississippi State, who has never scored under 35 points all year, was held to 17 in Starkville. Arkansas' defense has been great this season, but who would have thought it was THIS good? State only claimed the early in the fourth with a 69-yard TD pass from my personal NCAA heartthrob, Dak Prescott. Even then, it wasn't over for the Razorbacks who put together a great job with 2:30 left in the game. Unfortunately, Brandon Allen decided that on 1st and 10, 15 seconds left in the game, and on the State 16-yard line, this was a good time for a underthrown pass to the endzone which would be intercepted and end the game.
- Florida 38 - #11 Georgia 20. I think it's pretty clear why I'm listing this game. Not only was it a blowout, it was a giant upset. Oh yeah, and we're playing them this week. Maybe they'll get cocky and combined with their giant victory, and us having a generally terrible rep this year, they'll look past us and we'll have a great upset of our own. Florida simply dominated Georgia. They ran ALL OVER UGA, with both Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones getting over 190 yards on the ground, averaging >7.7 yards a carry.
Finally, I just want to point out that Temple beat #23 East Carolina 20-10. They got it in a similar way to how they beat us - an early lead that was never taken back. East Carolina fell to 6-2. Temple is NOT a shitty team this year y'all.
One final football-related note - I'm going to start linking the playoff rankings. We should all be aware of what's at state right now as we remember...
THERE'S OTHER FOOTBAW
I'm sure AoG regular "Your Uncle Mike" will not agree with me, but that Thursday night Clemson-Wake game was somehow less interesting than a Jets game. You could only like that game if you were a fan of the Tigers.
As always, we have our full schedule (with new layout!) here. Now let's get to my distilled list. There's a number of top-25 matchups this week. #6 TCU plays #7 Kansas State, #10 ND is at #9 Arizona State. I'm going to tell you that I'm not planning to watch either game. I'll tell you why below.
- #12 Baylor @ #15 Oklahoma - 12:00 ET (11 CT, FS1): Unless you really wanna watch UK get shellacked by an angry UGA (ESPN) or Mississippi stomp Presbyterian (SECN), or if you've endured brain damage and think watching #22 Duke @ Syracus is a good idea (ESPN3)... this is your midday game. Baylor recently has been a fun team to watch just because they're still in that "people don't expect them to win" mode. I don't have strong feelings one way or the other on Oklahoma, but I still want Baylor to win, because despite the ranking, Baylor is a 5.5 point underdog. Should be a reasonably good game to watch as you'
- Aggie @ #3 Auburn - 3:30 ET (2:30 CT, CBS). My SEC homerism is well known, but I cannot see how anyone reading this wouldn't see why I'd pick this over watching #10 Notre Dame @ #9 Arizona State. I mean, unless you really like rooting against Notre Dame, in which case, you have my blessing. Aggie is a solid team, and people seem to have forgotten that. Auburn now is in prime position to get the playoffs and must defend that in a tough conference game. Speaking off...
- #5 Pure Evil @ #16 The Purple and Gold Army of Light - 20:00 ET (19:00 CT, CBS). There was no way I wasn't putting this game down, and you knew it. I'm literally sitting here wondering how I possibly would need to explain why you need to watch this game, or at the very least turn to it when the UF-Vandy game is out of control, or just have it on your laptop/tablet. You do know that Bama is still in the playoff hunt right? You know that LSU, despite everything, only has 2 losses and has completely turned around right? Ok, you might not know that last part. LSU IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TEAM THAN THE ONE THAT GOT KILLED BY STATE. This team is also at Tiger Stadium, who has only lost THREE times at home in the last 5 years (#1 Florida 2009, #1 Alabama 2012, Mississippi State 2014). LSU doesn't lose at home, and they are getting better by remarkable amounts each game. LSU can put the nail in the Tide's playoff dreams, and we all hope they will. Grand Poomba CDA seems to favor the TCU-KSU game during this time, but to each their own.
- #4 Oregon @ #17 Utah - 22:00 ET (21:00 CT, ESPN). Your Pac-12 degenerate game of the week. I hope Mariotta throws 100 INTs so I can finally be freed of all these Jets fans swooning after him like a teenage girl at a Justin Beeber concert.
PREPARE THYSELF, FOR VU FOOTBAW
McCrary has earned the starting position and no longer has the ‘or'. He's our guy, and he's undeniably the best chance we have to win. We're playing the Gators as a 14 point underdog. I don't know how you couldn't know our dear friends in Gainesville, but in case you don't CDA has you covered. In case you forgot, we beat Florida last year, breaking a 25-year losing streak to them. We've not beaten Florida twice in a row in 38 years. Granted, we have ONE thing going for us - Will Muschamp.
We hosted a Q&A with our brothers and sisters over at SBN Florida blog, "Alligator Army". In addition, I spent time to sit down with them to talk some football strategy, but as of now, the article hasn't gone up yet. I'll link it here later if it goes up. UPDATE: HERE IT IS. Finally, we have the normal predictions post, but unfortunately only CDA had the time to write an in-depth prediction for it. His call? A bold 23-21 victory for Vandy.
I'm not as optimistic. Look, our defense is extremely young, particularly in the middle of the field. Florida had two RBs nearly go for 200 yards each against UGA, which has a considerably better defense. If we win this game, it will be in a shootout. Now, with Johnny Mac and an energized offense, it's entirely possible that we'll be able to keep up. I'm still going to go ahead and call a loss. Florida 35 - Vanderbilt 24. That's right AoG fans, I finally trust our boys to score points!
You could also prepare thyself in a rather unique way, thanks to YouTube. In looking for a video to complain about the Earl Bennett celebration call, I found the WHOLE GAME. Enjoy!
The games this week are considerably good, and it's easy as a footbaw fan in general to forget about our game. That said, we invite y'all to join up our game thread and talk with your fellow Commodores. We hope to see y'all there!
Just a reminder - the audio feed is now FREE on VUCommodores.com (link below) and starts at 17:45 ET (16:45 CT)
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GAMETRACKER: Click this link
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VIDEO FEED: ESPN3.com (cable agreement required)