LSU Tigers: Southern Methodist Mustangs

SEC Saturday roundup

September, 21, 2013
9/21/13
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There won't be any BCS implications in today's marquee SEC games -- so long as the big favorites in a couple of traditionally important divisional matchups take care of business.

No. 6 LSU (3-0) and No. 19 Florida (1-1) are both double-digit favorites over Auburn (3-0) and Tennessee (2-1), respectively. And both have controlled the recent history of series that have been much more competitive in the past.

Formerly THE most important annual game in the SEC East, Florida-Tennessee has become less interesting in recent seasons now that the Gators have won the last eight meetings, with only two of those games being decided by fewer than 10 points. Likewise, LSU has won five of the last six against Auburn, although the games have typically been more competitive.

We'll learn a lot more tonight about whether a last-minute win against Mississippi State last Saturday was a sign that Auburn is on the way back. The last two times Auburn visited Baton Rouge, it lost by 21 points (2009) and 35 points (2011), which was the biggest win by either team in series history. Tiger Stadium is a notoriously difficult place for the road team to win, so Gus Malzahn's Tigers certainly face long odds if they are to remain undefeated by the end of the night.

Meanwhile, Florida has been sulking for two weeks after repeatedly choking in the red zone against Miami and Tennessee has had a week to stew over its blowout loss to Oregon last Saturday. Only three Eastern Division teams have played a conference game yet, so today's winner in Gainesville will take a big step toward contending in the division.

Butch Jones' Vols could prove a lot about themselves by stealing a win in The Swamp -- and they'll have a chance if Florida doesn't clean up its act on offense. This will be a big game for Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel to begin progressing toward the more consistent play that Will Muschamp and Florida's coaches expected from him this season.

Those are the only two league games this week, with the rest of the SEC schedule featuring nonconference matchups that carry varying levels of interest (Vanderbilt AT UMass? What went into that decision?). Here are a couple more that could carry some intrigue:

Arkansas (3-0) at Rutgers (2-1) is perhaps the most interesting measuring-stick game outside of league play this week. The Scarlet Knights' 35-26 win in Fayetteville came in the middle of the Razorbacks' 1-4 start of the season -- a stretch that also included a 52-0 loss to Alabama and 58-10 defeat against Texas A&M -- and helped lead to Bret Bielema's hiring as Arkansas' head coach. It has been so far, so good for Bielema at Arkansas, with the Razorbacks beating three overmatched nonconference foes behind the running back duo of Alex Collins (second in the SEC with 139.3 rushing yards per game) and Jonathan Williams (third with 131.0).

Today will provide their toughest test yet -- their first game outside of Arkansas and a matchup against a team that has reached a bowl in seven of the last eight seasons. If Arkansas wins again today, a bowl bid becomes a much more likely possibility despite a murderous conference schedule that starts with a visit from Texas A&M next week.

And if the scoreboard at Kyle Field is still functional after the 91 points from last week's game against Alabama, SMU (1-1) at No. 10 Texas A&M (2-1) might place a further strain on its electrical supply. Texas A&M possesses the nation's fourth-highest-scoring offense at 53 points per game and should have little difficulty moving the ball against Saturday's visitors. The problem, though, is that the Aggies haven't shown an ability to stop anyone on defense. SMU is averaging just 27 points per game, but A&M has given up an average of 36 ppg to Rice, Sam Houston State and Alabama, good for 107th nationally.

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert is third nationally in total offense, averaging 393.5 yards per game -- 352.5 through the air, which ranks fourth nationally. Defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (379 ypg) is fifth in total offense, with 328 of his yards coming via the pass.

We fully expect Texas A&M to keep lighting up the scoreboard, but the Aggies might have to earn a stop to win one of these shootouts. They haven't demonstrated much of an ability to do that yet.

Here's today's lineup:
Vanderbilt at UMass, Noon ET, ESPNews
North Texas at Georgia, 12:21 p.m., SEC TV
Arkansas at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Tennessee at Florida 3:30 p.m., CBS
SMU at Texas A&M, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Colorado State at Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Troy at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m., FSN
Auburn at LSU, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
Missouri at Indiana, 8 p.m., Big Ten Network

2014 DT Jordan Wells getting looks 

December, 23, 2012
12/23/12
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pound for pound, Navasota (Texas) had one of the most impressive, stingiest defenses in Texas high school football this season. Navasota’s 39-3 win against Gilmer (Texas) in the Texas Class 3A Division II state championship proved to be the most dominant defensive effort of the entire weekend.

Leading the charge for Navasota was 2014 defensive tackle Jordan Wells, who was named the game’s defensive MVP after accounting for 10 tackles, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and three quarterback hurries. A 6-foot, 230-pound tackle, Wells was one of seven Navasota players who could have been named the game’s defensive MVP.

“Just to know we worked hard for this, it feels good,” Wells said. “I worked hard every day and push myself to be the best. With me, I feel I’m a good player. I just wanted to show that.”

2014 S John Bonney talks LSU offer 

November, 16, 2012
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Before this season, Houston Lamar safety John Bonney already possessed an offer from his father's alma mater, Houston. This week, the 2014 prospect received one from his mother's, LSU.

[+] EnlargeAlabama defense
AP Photo/Bill Haber2014 safety John Bonney enjoyed his visit to LSU for the Alabama game.
The six-foot, 175-pound rising star got the news of the LSU offer on Thursday from his head coach at Lamar, Tom Nolen. It was met with excitement from Bonney, who came into the season with offers from Baylor, Houston and SMU.

"I was kind of surprised at first," Bonney said. "I didn't expect anything coming but it was pretty good and I was happy. It's great."

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2014 safety John Bonney on the rise 

October, 10, 2012
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For Houston Lamar safety John Bonney, this year has been a little bit of an adjustment.

The 2014 prospect, who traditionally plays safety, has spent a lot of time at cornerback this year. The transition hasn't been much trouble for the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect -- he has three interceptions in the Redskins' first five games.


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ESPN 100 SG Keith Frazier likes eight 

September, 19, 2012
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Senior shooting guard Keith Frazier (Dallas/Kimball), the No. 19 overall player in the ESPN 100, is one of the best shooters/scorers in the country regardless of class.

Right now Frazier likes Providence, Florida, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Arizona, SMU and Memphis. Frazier will likely commit in April, which will allow him to get a better feel for programs, coaches and players. Without a doubt he will be a prime target for many elite programs.

[+] EnlargeKeith Frazier
Courtesy of Anthony Scott KurtzESPN 100 SG Keith Frazier will make his college announcement on March 28 between Texas A&M, SMU, Texas Tech and Auburn.
"I am looking for a school where I can instantly play big-time minutes, the coach is loyal and with me when I do something good or bad, and someone that can help me get to the next level. Make me a pro," Frazier said.

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Speed fuels 2014 ATH T.V. Williams 

July, 11, 2012
7/11/12
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Few athletes in any sport have shown the speed T.V. Williams (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) showed in previous weeks.

Small in stature at 5-foot-8 and 147 pounds, Williams showed that he is one of the fastest football players in Texas at three consecutive camps. At camps hosted by SMU, Houston and Texas A&M, Williams ran the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds. His best time occurred at a Houston satellite camp, when he finished the 40 in 4.31 seconds.

Williams, an athlete who could play slot receiver, is hoping that the blazing speed is used to his advantage this weekend, as he makes the trip to Baton Rouge, La., for the LSU camp. He will be there for the four-day camp, which takes place Sunday through Wednesday.

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Torrodney Prevot talks LSU visit 

March, 18, 2012
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ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive end Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Taylor) visited LSU over the weekend and left Baton Rouge, La., with a new appreciation for the campus and the program.

Prevot currently is balancing 18 offers, but LSU made enough of an impression this weekend to be considered among his favorites. Prevot, 6-foot-4 and 205, thoroughly enjoyed his trip and had a chance to not only take in the campus experience but also watch a team scrimmage.

“The atmosphere around the whole school, it was beautiful,” Prevot said. “I really saw myself there.”

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