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SEC Football Power Poll: Week 2


  1. LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 2nd last week): The Tigers made their case to be the top team in the country after a convincing 40-27 win over No. 3 Oregon last Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The defense flew around, made plays and forced four turnovers. While the offense managed only 273 total yards, sophomores Spencer Ware and Michael Ford emerged as a powerful one-two punch at the running back position with 195 yards on the ground.
This week: Northwestern State (1-0), 7 p.m., Pay-Per-View
2. Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 1st last week): It’s hard to move the Crimson Tide down after its 48-7 blowout win over Kent State last Saturday. Junior running back Trent Richardson never really got it going with 13 carries for 37 yards and three touchdowns, but it didn’t really matter. The defense allowed only 90 yards of total offense. Sophomore AJ McCarron got the start at quarterback and threw for 226 yards and a touchdown.
This week: at Penn State (1-0), 2:30 p.m., ABC
3. Arkansas (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 3rd last week): Senior wide receivers Jarius Wright and Joe Adams were the stars of a 51-7 romp of Missouri State. Wright hauled in six catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns while Adams returned two punts for touchdown. Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson completed 18 of 24 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Ronnie Wingo Jr. got the bulk of the carries at running back but gained only 43 yards on 11 carries.
This week: New Mexico (0-1), 6 p.m., ESPNU
4. South Carolina (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 4th last week): East Carolina jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter and led 24-14 at halftime, but South Carolina senior quarterback Stephen Garcia rallied the Gamecocks to a 56-37 win over the Pirates. Garcia threw for 110 yards and a touchdown, while adding 56 yards and two more scores on the ground. Sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore had 112 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in the comeback win.
This week: at Georgia (0-1), 3:30 p.m., ESPN
5. Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 6th last week): Senior quarterback John Brantley looked comfortable in the pro-style offense, completing 21 of 30 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown, and senior running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey led the way on the ground in a 41-3 blowout win over Florida Atlantic. Demps finished with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries while Rainey scored touchdowns on a 14-yard reception, 14-yard run and 22-yard scoop and score on a blocked punt.
This week: UAB (0-0), 6 P.M., Fox Sports Net
6. Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 7th last week): The Bulldogs set a school record with 645 total yards, including 405 in the first half, and routed Memphis 59-14 last Thursday in Memphis. Senior running back Vick Ballard led the way with 166 rushing yards and three touchdown on 10 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run. Senior starting quarterback Chris Relf threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and sophomore backup quarterback Tyler Russell threw for another 138 yards and a touchdown.
This week: at Auburn (1-0), 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
7. Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 9th last week): Sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray and the Volunteers cruised to a 42-16 victory over Montana. Bray completed 17 of 24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, and a pair of sophomore receivers, Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers, both finished with 100 yards or more receiving and a touchdown catch. The opportunistic defense also forced three turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown.
This week: Cincinnati (1-0), 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
8. Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 10th last week): The Tigers escaped with a 42-38 win over Utah State last Saturday. Trailing 38-28 with 3:38 left in the game, Auburn pulled off the comeback with two late touchdowns and an onside kick recovery. Junior Barrett Trotter looked great in his first start, completing 17 of 23 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. The running game never got going with only 78 yards on the ground, and the defense struggled, giving up 221 yards passing and 227 yards rushing.
This week: Mississippi State (1-0), 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
9. Georgia (0-1, 0-0 SEC, 5th last week): It wasn’t so much the 35-21 loss to No. 5 Boise State last Saturday in Atlanta, but more that the Bulldogs failed the eye test. Particularly at the line of scrimmage, they were out-matched and looked no better than last year’s 6-7 campaign. Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and the rushing attack, led by senior cornerback Brandon Boykin and freshman running back Isaih Crowell, accounted for 137 rushing yards. Head coach Mark Richt’s hot seat keeps getting hotter in Athens.
This week: South Carolina (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ESPN
10. Ole Miss (0-1, 0-0 SEC, 8th last week): The defense is improved, but can the offense move the ball and put points on the board? Junior quarterback Zack Stoudt, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 140 yards in relief of sophomore Barry Brunetti, was named the starter, but it remains to be seen how Brunetti and junior Randall Mackey will be used. There’s also the uncertainty in the running game with injuries to seniors Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis. The receivers are still young, and the offensive line did not live up to the hype in the 14-13 loss to BYU.
This week: Southern Illinois (1-0), 5 p.m., Pay-Per-View
11. Vanderbilt (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 12th last week): The offense converted three fourth downs that led to 17 points and forced three turnovers in a 45-14 win over Elon. Perhaps not yet explosive, the offense was balanced with 177 passing yards and 132 rushing yards. Senior quarterback Larry Smith accounted for 159 total yards and three touchdowns in the win. The Commodores can equal their win total from each of the past two season with just one more win.
This week: Connecticut (1-0), 6:30 p.m., CSS
12. Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC, 11th last week): In its 14-3 win over Western Kentucky last Thursday in Nashville, the Wildcats set football back a century, or at least back to Auburn’s 3-2 win over Mississippi State in 2008. The teams combined for 24 first downs, 424 total yards, seven turnovers and 19 penalties for 180 yards in the game. After throwing three interceptions, junior quarterback Morgan Newton put the game away with an 80-yard drive, capped by a 31-yard touchdown pass.
This week: Central Michigan (1-0), 11 a.m., ESPNU