Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thoughts from Week 2

By Ernest Faulkner

Three Thoughts from Week 2

1. Auburn and UGA, back to the drawing board.

It was a sad weekend for at least these two SEC powers and it is tough to where to begin to fix them. So we will start with the easier one to fix, Georgia. Fret not Dog fans, this was bound to happen sooner than later. You can’t go through season after season in the same conference as Steve Spurrier and not expect to lose one to him. I don’t care if he is at South Carolina, Vanderbilt or if the SEC brings back Georgia Tech or Suwannee, if you play him every year, he is going to get some time. That being said, the most troubling thing from UGA this weekend was its offensive decisions. When you have to call four trick plays in a game to try to get up on a team that scored 16 points the entire game, you aren’t going to win. South Carolina had a formidable defense that knew where to attack and confuse the young offensive line, quarterback Matthew Stafford and, more importantly, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Georgia has a tune-up game with Western Carolina to regain its confidence before the big showdown in T-town with Alabama in two weeks. One can only hope that Bobo and the Dogs will have a way to handle the Tide’s young defense.

With Auburn, oh where to begin. Coaches are talking about reshuffling the receivers to allow more reps for Chris Slaughter, Montez Billings and Tim Hawthorne. That move plus a stronger role in the running game from Mario Fannin should help Auburn, but most of Saturday’s problems lay under center. Brandon Cox has experience, has won tight games and should be the most reliable impact player on the Tigers’ roster. For whatever reason, but my pick is the 36 times Cox was sacked last season, the quarterback is apt to making mistakes and bad reads. With a total of five turnovers, two fumbles by redshirt freshman Fannin and three total by Cox, Auburn shouldn’t have even made it to overtime. South Florida did notch another big win in its program’s young history, but with four missed field goals of its own, the Bulls were lucky to get this one. Auburn has Mississippi State to retune on this week and Cox could make a comeback, but every team on the Tigers’ schedule now has two games to study on how to rattle the quarterback. Brandon Cox is one of the most capable quarterbacks in the SEC and is dangerous when he is on his game, however that is not now. It maybe wise to let Neil Caudle or Kodi Burns see the field some this week, just in case they may need to see it later this season.

2. Notre Dame and Michigan, who really cares?
As an answer to the afore mentioned question, two alumni organizations, northern sportswriters and maybe Ohio State. Otherwise, this is just a rebound game for two disillusioned teams. Notre Dame has to find a new leader for an offense which was the Fighting Irish’s only identity for the past two seasons. The Irish were famously bad on defense as in evidenced in match-ups with USC last season and LSU in the Sugar Bowl. What helped Norte Dame when was quarterback Brady Quinn, decent receivers and running back Darius Walker. With all of that gone, it is not unreasonable to expect the Irish to falter this year. Plus, as I have heard mentioned by other writers, what would be the 2005 class of recruits for Notre Dame— which would be juniors or redshirt sophomores at this point— had to wait until February for head coach Charlie Weis to get on campus after winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. What month is Signing Day? You guessed it. That means there is a huge talent gap for Notre Dame this season and it will take at least a year to work out.

Michigan is suffering from no real defense, as discussed in the past, and an offense that only survived because of its defensive comrades. Quarterback Chad Henne will be out for the Notre Dame game, further causing Vegas oddsmakers want to pull their hair out over this match-up, but it really doesn’t matter in this pillow fight. Some years, the gameplan just doesn’t work and for Michigan this is the year. Why do I feel both teams season highlights will come from this game?

3. Georgia Tech, whoop-dee frickin’-do
So you beat a Norte Dame team with no defense and no quarterback. Then you managed to hang 69 on a FCS team, formerly called Division I-AA. These are not the signs of a marquee season, but for the Jackets, it might as well be Mardi Gras. Georgia Tech may actually have a stable offense this season, with a solid running back in Tashard Choice, a capable quarterback in Taylor Bennett and finally a cohesive offensive gameplan, but there is nothing to be impressed about yet. The Jackets actually have a test in visiting Boston College this week and if they can manage a win, it bodes well for Tech’s season. However, these aren’t the cripples you have kicking around for the past two weeks. Boston College beat defending ACC champ Wake Forest by 10 and then rocked NC State. This maybe the Jackets only real test this side of Virginia Tech, and the Hokies aren’t that good. The ACC is weak enough that Tech will probably return to Jacksonville and win the conference this time, but it is a team that will continue to be unchallenged really until the bowl game, that is unless the Eagles put up a fight this week.

Ernest Faulkner is a professional writer who is known as being the first sports writer to be an "auteur." Mr. Faulkner operates in secrecy among the shadows of the journalism business hoping to avoid their lunacy. During his time in "the biz" he has worked for some of the top publications in the world. You can contact him at


Anonymous said...

Auburn has the worst offense in the SEC. They will be lucky to put up double digits against Croom.

Anonymous said...

Go JACKETS!!!!!!!