THE SEC REPORT

Mississippi State lost a close game, Tennessee finally won and Florida looked vulnerable

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

LAST WEEKEND...

This weekend in college football was a surprisingly tame one. The SEC saw only great days on the field with the exception of Mississippi State having to go to their Freshman back up in the second half and losing to Kansas State. Tennessee finally found someone they can beat and Florida may want to start celebrating their run in the top ten in days and not weeks.

THE THREE STARS OF LAST WEEKEND

Isaiah Spiller, running back, A&M, ran for116 yards on only 14 carries and made two housecalls against Lamar. A monster of a game.

Cale Garrett, inside linebacker, Missouri, had a pick 6 very early on in their dominant win against The Redhawks and finished the game with a shut out.

The SEC as a whole; which after 3 full weeks has 5 teams in the top 10. Alabama, Georgia and LSU in the top 5 and Florida and Auburn towards the bottom and while I don't think Florida will stay up there and one of Alabama, Georgia and LSU will eventually come out of that top 5, it is impressive right now.

GAMES TO WATCH

This weekend, there are exactly three games that need to be watched in the SEC. Florida hosting Tennessee, simply because I feel like this is where the upset could happen; Florida has been a shaky high rank and Tennessee has actually started to feel good about itself. In the afternoon slot, Auburn comes to Texas A&M in a powerhouse matchup that will be worth the watch as the true Freshman quarterback of Auburn, Nix, continues his dream season. Saturday night, Notre Dame comes to Georgia and we'll see if they brought a golden fiddle.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

The Three Players to Watch this week:

Jarrett Guarantano, quarterback, Tennessee had three touchdowns on 7 completions and 142 yards of offense. That's the kind of efficiency and killer instinct he'll need to stay in this game against Florida.

Bo Nix, quarterback, Auburn, this kid is too young to know how impressive he's playing and hopefully he isn't listening to any of the praise and staying levelheaded. He's proven he doesn't get rattled by the moment, so can he win on the road in one of the loudest stadiums in college football, Kyle Field?

The Georgia defense. They are going to be playing a potent, hard to stop, mobile quarterback-based offense. Every time there isn't a great pass open, he's going to run, so they have to cover everyone including him, it's going to be a true test.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

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Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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