SEC Nation: Weekend Review
With two weeks of the season already under our belt, it's time to delve into the meat of the SEC schedule beginning with Tennessee/Florida week.
But before we get into this week's big three SEC tilts, we have to talk about the first two SEC matchups of the season. Mississippi State/Auburn and South Carolina/Georgia were a couple of humdingers.
Even a few last weekend's non-conference SEC games were entertaining.
Here's what we learned in week two.
Team of the Week
South Carolina - Playing between the hedges, no matter how far down the 'Dawgs may be, is usually tough on the opposing team. And that was no different this week as Georgia led the Gamecocks with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
But then Marcus Lattimore took over and gave South Carolina the lead with a little over two minutes left. When Georgia got the ball back, South Carolina's vaunted defensive line forced an Aaron Murray fumble and returned it for a touchdown for the decisive score. These Gamecocks are for real.
Game of the Week
While that UGA/SC game was one for the ages, Auburn/Miss. St was even better. The Bulldogs came up a couple inches short of the endzone on the final play of the game to give Auburn the 41-34 victory. Don't let that sentence make you think it was somehow a Bulldogs mistake that led to the loss. It wasn't that at all.
It was Auburn's defense making two incredible plays to stop Mississippi State short of the endzone that landed the "W" for the Tigers.
Play(s) of the Week
South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram was involved in some incredible plays at Georgia over the weekend. Ingram carried the Gamecocks fake punt attempt 68 yards for a go-ahead touchdown just before halftime.
Later, Ingram rumbled five yards for another touchdown after picking up an Aaron Murray fumble late in the fourth quarter.
After that play, Georgia scored a touchdown of their own and lined up for an onside kick with two minutes remaining in the game. Ingram, now lined up with South Carolina's hands team, recovered the onside kick.
Player of the Week
Tennessee quarterback, Tyler Bray threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns on 34-of-41 passing against the chic "Upset Pick of the Week", Cincinnati. College football analysts everywhere took the Bearcats in Knoxville.
Thanks to Bray, and wide receivers Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter the game wasn't close after the second quarter. The Vols won 45-23 and Bray's performance landed the sophomore squarely in the 2011 Heisman conversation.
Dominant Performance of the Week
Alabama outclassed Penn State in every possible way at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. The Tide defense forced three Penn State turnovers and held the Nitney Lions to just 251 total offensive yards.
Penn State struck first with a field goal in the first quarter, but Alabama would score 27 straight before JoePa's team scored a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game. Alabama's 27-11 win was just as dominant as the Tide's 24-3 win over Penn State in Tuscaloosa last season.
Conference pride was on the line in week two as SEC teams played three non-conference games against BCS conference teams. Tennessee dismantled Big East contender Cincinnati and Alabama stymied one of the Big Ten's power members Penn State.
It was Vanderbilt's win over reigning Big East champ UConn that was perhaps the most surprising SEC victory of the young season. Sure, Vandy was favored going into the game, but a Commodore win over a team from a BCS conference is a rare occurence. The last time Vandy beat a non-conference BCS school in the regular season was in 2006 at Duke.
Coincidentally, Tennessee's victory over Cincinnati was the Vols first regular season win over a non-conference BCS program (California) since the 2006 season as well.