by Cole Cubelic, Cube Show podcast
ALABAMA: Nice road win in division. Saw crowded boxes. 52 played his (tail) off. 65 brought it. Like designed Q runs. That’s the way the OL is supposed to look. QB made some nice throws. 84 was big, match-up problem. Cozy enough & didn’t show much. Defense was hummin’. 13 all over. 30 was flying around. Moved the front a bit too much. That got them vs stretch a few times. Big game for 41. Pass rush got home consistently. Safeties missed some run fits. But def took ball away & got points.
ARKANSAS: Tough one. 40 did some nice things in pass pro. Pick six by 1 was big. Interior DL displaced & pads turned too often. Tackling faded as game went on. Struggled with contain in run game. 50 & 7 disruptive at times. 17 struggled in coverage. Too much leakage in run game. Can’t have TE 1 on 1 vs beat defender. The tipped pick 6 just a killer. Great yo see 5 back but run game couldn’t get going. Didn’t win the LOS. Couple drops that could have helped. Snaps off, ball on the ground. Just not clean. Felt like they needed speed on perimeter to get quick game going. Gotta regroup quick.
AUBURN: Let a program changing win slip away. Defense played hard. 50 was active up front, been consistent. 52 did nice things. DL held up. Need to be more stout on the edges. 9 was monster. Super physical & played fast. Thought they tackled well & were problematic. Plan was solid, good pressure pkg. just have to have more of answer for 19 late. Loved the plan on off. Lot of visual deception. Lot of motion, cracks, etc. Just nothing home inside. QB still has to let go of the ball & pre determine less. Did a nice job with legs. Protection has to get cleaned up. That’s a whole different thread & it’s not just the OL. Backs ran hard. WRs have to make some plays.
FLORIDA: Didn’t tackle well. LBs didn’t leverage the ball well. Bad angles. Too much diving at ankles. Played under blocks. 99 did some nice things. Drops & missed throws hurt. Had some shots that were there. QB missed some pressures, 5 man pro ball has to get out. QB panicked a little under pressure. The operational stuff has to improve. Can happen. The penalties removed too many opportunities.
GEORGIA: 19 needs to be discussed as the best FB player in the country. Whiffed on a few guys up front. Have to make teams pay when you lock backside of zone. QB missed a few downfield, but I thought he played really well. He made some really big throws. Loved how he worked the pocket. I don’t get the folks upset with him. Collectively they missed a few pressures & that’s NOT just the QB/OL. Good to see 84 back in there. 86 continues to be a nice change up in backfield. Tackles played too high & tip toed some. Interior DL dominant. LBs really good. Eyes fooled them a little. Super aggressive in the alleys & got caught some.
KENTUCKY: Ray Davis is REAL! Total package, got 1 on 1 with S & made them miss. Power when needed. Speed to perimeter. Love how Liam mixed the run game. Didn’t need a heavy lift from the QB. OL was fantastic. Both tackles played well. Mayb the best I e seen from 77. TE’s were a HUGE piece of the run game success. Still can clean up drops. Tackled extremely well in open field. Specifically Afari Jr. 32 was great again, flying & knifing through. DL played well, 9, 0. White saved a few new looks for this one!
LSU: Alignment a potential problem in def. Missed tackles. Too much YAC. Light box hurt run game. Couldn’t play zone. Couldn’t hit QB. Struggled to get off blocks. Crossers were a problem. Lost contain vs run. 4 & 35 made hustle plays. QB was nuts. Still has to protect himself. But hung in pocket for tough throws. Made plays with legs. 8 & 11 just insane. 3 is the guy at RB, had it going inside. Just needed a stop. OL played well. Playmakers showed up for sure.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Hyper aggressive up front. Effort there just not as much at point of attack. Tough ask to have 36 taking on doubles. Coverage still an issue. Have to get ball carrier to the ground. The two ILBs still bringing it. Couldn’t ID pressures up front on off. Edge pressure a big problem. Turnovers hurt, can’t win that game giving points back. Missed a lot of cut offs in run game. 7 still has a great feel for the scheme. Unfortunately game dictated the adjustments. RBs really did run hard. Like them to find more touches for Tulu. Have to stretch the field at some point. Need the leadership now more than ever.
MISSOURI: QB is red hot. Looks so much more comfortable. Good under duress. Confident. Q runs are no longer a necessity they are a luxury. OL played hard but got on different levels a little too much. Missed some simple stunts. 79 had a great game! The plan just seems to marry everything up, really nice job. 3 is big time! Secondary jumped routes well. In good position most of the game. 0 really fills it up on def. 5, 90 & 99 were problematic. Lost the RB a few times & busted a slant for a TD. Still 5-0 !!!
OLE MISS: Brilliant plan that wasn’t as complex as most would think. More pistol to even up ru calls. More gap scheme to handle penetration. Take adv of light box. Let QB make quick throws so OL can hold up. Find yards after catches. Throw in some 3×1’s & formations into the boundary & you can steal yards. Lot of good decisions by the QB. Deserves more credit for toughness. 86 had some big blocks & big grabs. He’s SUPER valuable. Getting weapons back helps. 57 was good on the OL. Right solid. It’s kind of fitting they hit them with the lead toss! Mixed run game well. 99 played hard on def. 2 found some pressure. Rush lanes were a problem. 3 had the big hit award! Lost 50/50’s. 9 made some plays. Got the 1 stop they had to have.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Knew they were going to have to protect & run it to allow Rattler to get going. The edges couldn’t hold up. Difficult environment for 2 tr fr OL. Front seven not as active. Too many 3rd & longs. Couldn’t stay in field. Had some opportunities with open WRs. 24 played well on def. I do think things are headed in a good direction. OL combo is closer. Mario can help more in backfield. Just need to get healthy & get young kids reps. Bye week will be welcomed.
TENNESSEE: Big win for lots of reasons. Avenge last year & sets them up nicely headed into the off week. Getting Mays back made a visible difference. Better push in the middle & held the point better. Don’t need 15 deep balls to make the off go. RBs really seeing creases. Cut back runs have provided big plays this yr. Hated to see 15 go down. Got depth back on DL. Edges were the difference on def. 9, 19 & 27 especially. The middle of the def is playing well. Kept the hottest QB in the league in check. Obv turnovers & flags can be cleaned up.
TEXAS A&M: Continued dominance vs a rival. Balance on off & disruptive on def. Love the use of 0. Max does a great job taking the free grass. 8 runs angry!! Can see it as well, can be the feather guy. Right side of OL better in run game. QB has to be careful with predetermined throws & protect himself when he leaves the pocket. 24 is just awesome! Have to clean up protection, missed a few pressures. Had a few drops. Protect FB better! Dominant up front on def. Take your pick, 5, 0, 6, 3…it was almost non stop. Movement got them out of position a few times but didn’t matter. Still some 1 on 1 coverage concerns but overall strong performance.
VANDERBILT: Got out of gaps a few times & got gashed. Liked how they stretched the zone play out East/West. 7 can cover some ground! 5 flashed. OL has to provide more time. I like new QB decisions. Pick just sailed on him. Just can’t get past quick game or 1st read most of the time. 14 got targets. Utilized skill guys, just couldn’t create much space. They have solid plans & mostly play hard. Lot of success on wheels. Tried some wildcat.
Each week, veteran college football analyst Cole Cubelic breaks down last Saturday’s games. You can also follow Cole’s podcast Cube Show on Youtube here.