Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Molton Leaves LSU Program; Around The SEC


Redshirt freshman wide receiver Tim Molton has left LSU's program, according to LSU.  This is a significant blow to the Tigers' receiving corps.  Molton made lots of noise with his impressive play in practice as a freshman last year and during spring practice this year.  He was expected to contribute in 2009 before suffering a season ending knee injury over the summer.  Looking ahead to the 2010 season, I had him pegged as a guy who would be seriously in the mix.  

It's unclear why Molton decided to leave LSU's program but it's not real good news as far as I'm concerned. 

LSU's WR class of 2008 is getting smaller and smaller.  Deangelo Benton never qualified academically and is now at Auburn.  Deangelo Peterson is playing tight-end.  And now Tim Molton is gone.  That leaves just Chris Tolliver and Jhyrn Taylor.  And with LSU signing just 1 WR in 2009 (Reuben Randle), the group is looking thin for the immediate future. 

I'll make my plea, once again, for LSU to move Richard Murphy to wide receiver at some point.  I think Murphy is too good a player and too good an athlete to continue to be on the bench.  I know that he'll get more looks at running back in 2010 once Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, and Trindon Holliday graduate but I still think he's better served at receiver. 


MISSISSIPPI STATE:  Bulldog head coach and former Florida offensive coordinator may have found a guy to mimic Tim Tebow. In a bit of a surprise, 6'2" 230 pound Chris Relf got the start at QB over last year's starter, Tyson Lee. Just a sophomore, Relf was 7 of 10 passing with three touchdowns and added 82 yards rushing and another touchdown on the ground. The competition wasn't much against Jackson State, but it was a good start for the new Mississippi State offense which racked up 410 total yards. True freshman Chad Bumphis caught a pair of touchdowns. They face Auburn this weekend.

GEORGIA:  The Bulldogs were none too impressive in an opening day loss at Oklahoma State. Quarterback Joe Cox struggled to get anything going and the team managed just 10 points. On the bright side, the defense did a good job at holding Oklahoma State's high powered offense to just over 300 total yards. With South Carolina, @ Arkansas, Arizona State, and LSU coming up, the Bulldogs could be looking at a losing record five games into the season.

TENNESSEE:  The Lane Kiffin era got off to a nice start, putting up 63 points and 657 yards of offense while allowing just 83 total yards. Western Kentucky isn't the toughest test, but those numbers are impressive no matter how you look at it. True freshman running back Bryce Brown logged 104 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jonathon Crompton had a nice day but threw two interceptions.

SOUTH CAROLINA:  While Steve Spurrier continues to struggle putting a decent offense on the field, his defense once again carried the day. The Gamecocks held NC State to just 133 total yards in an ugly 7-3 victory. They held the Wolfpack star quarterback Russell Wilson to just 74 yards passing and they sacked him six times. If they play defense like that against Georgia's pedestrian offense this week, they have a real shot to win that game.

AUBURN:  Auburn's new coaching staff had a very nice debut against a decent Louisiana Tech team. Gus Malzahn's new offense racked up 556 yards of offense and 37 points. Two running backs rushed for over 100 yards and Chris Todd had a nice day at quarterback with 255 passing yards and no interceptions. Mario Fanin played receiver and caught eight passes for 83 yards, leading the team. They play a very interesting game against Mississippi State this week.

ARKANSAS:  The Hogs also had an impressive offensive performance in the debut of new quarterback Ryan Mallet. Mallet was 17 of 22 for 309 yards and a touchdown. His backup, Tyler Wilson, went 13 of 19. The offense notched 591 total yards against hapless Missouri State.

VANDERBILT:  Vandy had a surprisingly great day on offense, compiling 620 total yards with 433 coming on the ground. A pair of freshman running backs each had over 100 yards. Quarterback Larry Smith was 10 of 18 for 153 yards but added 66 rushing. Vanderbilt played their usual solid defense holding Western Carolina to just 115 total yards.

FLORIDA: The Gators had no trouble taking care of Charleston Southern in a 62-3 rout. It's interesting to note that the Gators' defense allowed over 200 yards to Charleston Southern in the first half.

ALABAMA:  Against Virginia Tech, Alabama dominated the game on the stat sheet even though the game was competitive on the scoreboard. Alabama's tough defense allowed just 155 yards while gaining 498 of their own. However, the game was close well into the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Mark Ingram had a monster day with 150 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. Greg McElroy was just OK in his first game as the Tide's starting quarterback. He was 15 of 30 with 1 TD and 1 INT. Bama gets Florida International next.

OLE MISS:  Ole Miss defeated Memphis by a score of 45-14 but their performance was not as impressive as the score indidcated. Jevan Snead threw a pair of interceptions on what seemed like an off day for him. Starting running back Cordera Eason struggled, but the other running backs did very well. The Ole Miss team has been fighting off the flu, but they are off this weekend and that should allow them some time to recover.

KENTUCKY:  In another impressive performance by an SEC team, Kentucky defeated Miami of Ohio 42-0. They also put up lots of yardage with 488 while holding Miami to 188. Ten different players carried the ball for Kentucky.


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