What We Learned: Week 4

1. Mississippi State is a threat to everyone in the SEC West. 

Mississippi State took care of business Saturday night, dominating LSU for three quarters in their 34-29 upset of the Tigers. Junior quarterback Dak Prescott proved he’s one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, slicing LSU’s defense with his play-making abilities.

State’s defensive line is the real deal. They controlled the line-of-scrimmage the entire night and surrendered only 89 rushing yards.

The Bulldogs will have an off-week to prepare for their date with Kenny Hill and the Texas A&M Aggies on October 4.

2. LSU will have to make a decision at quarterback. 

The Tigers showed their youth this past Saturday night, struggling to keep tempo with the more experienced Bulldogs. Les Miles will have an important decision to make at quarterback, one he feels he can stick with because the two-QB system has been subpar.

Sophomore Anthony Jennings struggled against the Bulldogs and sometimes has trouble connecting on intermediate passes. The sophomore completed  just 13-of-26 passes for 157 yards before being pulled for freshman Brandon Harris.

True freshman Harris came in down and gave the Tigers a huge spark and showed great potential. He threw for 140 yards on just six completions for 140 yards and two touchdowns. His only interception came on a hail mary pass at the end of the game – thus, it was not indicative of his performance.

Harris obviously has the better arm talent but reports are Jennings’ grasp of the playbook won him the job. It will be interesting to see what head coach Les Miles does moving forward but LSU fans can only hope they avoid the dreaded two quarterback system.

3. It may be time for a new regime in Coral Gables. 

You can’t help but give Al Golden credit for enduring and overcoming the Nevin Shapiro NCAA scandal. He deserves that much. But you have to draw the line when it comes to wins and losses.

Golden is just 24-17 since taking over for Miami in 2011, is 0-3 against Florida State,  and has yet to lead them to an ACC Championship appearance. The defensive scheme has not changed and opponents have taken advantage.

The elite South Florida recruits have lost interest in the program and its showing. I’m aware some players are eager to venture elsewhere and play for other schools but the numbers show something is wrong.

There is no excuse to let players such as Amari Cooper, Matthew Thomas, Alex Collins, Sony Michel, Dalvin Cook, Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane, etc. sign elsewhere. Letting a few slip through your grasps is one thing, but Golden is consistently whiffing on the top-tier talent.

Golden still has time to right the ship, but time is ticking fast.

4. There is no clear-cut favorite to win the national championship, yet.

Florida State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Oregon…..

Through four weeks of the season, there really is no one team that stands out and makes you say, “That team is the best in the country.” All the above mentioned are pretty even.

It makes this college football season even more intriguing and exciting.

As we dive into conference play, we may get a clearer picture as to who is ready to walk above the rest.

 

*Section photo credit to Wilfredo Lee ; Featured photo (above) credit to Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports 

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