Friday, September 13, 2013
SEC Week 3: Did you know?
By Greg Ostendorf
The talk all week has been on Alabama and Texas A&M, but there are plenty of other intriguing games across the SEC. It’s time to take a look at some notes from the ESPN Stats & Info:
College Station is the place to be this week when top-ranked Alabama seeks revenge for its only defeat last season against No. 6 Texas A&M. Alabama is 7-1 in revenge games under Nick Saban with an average margin of victory in those wins of 20.9 points. The only “revenge” loss came to LSU in the 2011 regular season.
Johnny Manziel completed 4-of-5 passes thrown 20 yards or longer in Texas A&M’s 29-24 victory over Alabama last November. Alabama’s other 13 opponents combined to complete fewer than 25 percent of their passes of this distance and threw 10 interceptions on 66 attempts.
Perhaps the schedule-makers did A&M no favors by making this the SEC opener for both teams. Alabama has won 21 straight SEC openers, dating back to the 1992 season. Not only is that the longest active streak for any team in FBS, nobody else is even close. The next longest? Boise State, who’s won 13 straight conference openers, but have done that in three different conferences (Big West, WAC, Mountain West).
Alabama is coming off a bye week, but the Tide have had mixed results in the regular season when having an extra week to prepare for teams. Under Saban, Alabama is 4-3 when coming off a regular season bye, with all three losses coming to LSU (2007, 2010, 2011).
ESPN’s College GameDay will be in College Station this week, and the Aggies will be looking for a different result. This will be the fourth time GameDay has broadcast from College Station, and the Aggies are 0-3 the previous three times. However, if history repeats itself, expect a nail-biter. Those three games were decided by a combined eight points.
LSU has won 30 straight games in August and September, the longest active streak in the FBS. LSU also has won 43 straight games vs. nonconference regular season opponents.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger set a single-game school record with five TD passes in last week's win over UAB. He has 10 touchdown passes in his last six games, after having just four in his previous six games.
South Carolina has won four straight meetings against Vanderbilt since losing in Nashville in 2008. The Gamecocks are 18-4 all-time against the Commodores and have had two previous seven-game winning streaks in the series.
Jordan Matthews is third in the nation with 289 receiving yards in Vanderbilt’s first two games. He has a touchdown reception in seven straight games, the third-longest active streak in FBS behind Fresno State’s Davante Adams (10) and Louisville’s DeVante Parker (8).
Ole Miss is ranked in the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since they ended the 2009 season ranked No. 20. The Rebels are 4-0 in road/neutral site games against unranked teams under Hugh Freeze.
Texas is 6-1 against Ole Miss all-time, including a 66-31 win in Oxford last season. Ole Miss is making its first trip to Austin since October 3, 1925.
Mississippi State is looking to win its SEC opener for the second straight season. Before that, the Bulldogs lost their conference opener 12 straight years from 2000-11.
Gus Malzahn is looking to become the fourth straight coach to win his first three games after being hired by Auburn (note: does not include interim coach Bill Oliver). Gene Chizik (5 in 2009), Tommy Tuberville (3 in 1999) and Terry Bowden (20 from 1993-94) all started at least 3-0 on the Plains.
Tennessee is 2-0 in Butch Jones’ first season as head coach. No Tennessee head coach has started 3-0 in his first FULL season with the school since General Robert Neyland in 1926. Neyland and the Vols started that season 7-0 before falling to Vanderbilt (NOTE: This was Neyland’s first of three separate tenures as head coach).
After blowout wins over Austin Peay and Western Kentucky, Tennessee’s schedule picks up quickly. Beginning Saturday, the Vols face five AP-ranked teams in their next six games including road matchups with No. 2 Oregon, No. 18 Florida, and No. 1 Alabama. Tennessee has lost 16 straight vs. ranked opponents since beating No. 21 South Carolina in 2009.
Arkansas freshman Alex Collins ranks first in the SEC and sixth in the NCAA in rushing with an average of 151.5 rushing yards per game, and his 303 total rushing yards are fourth in the country. Collins’ 172 rushing yards vs. Samford last week ranks as the ninth-highest single-game total and highest by a freshman in the NCAA this season.
Louisville and Kentucky play annually for the Governor’s Cup trophy, which Louisville currently owns thanks to wins in the last two meetings. Kentucky won the previous four meetings including knocking off a top-10 Louisville team (AP No. 9) in 2007.