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Around the SEC in Week 3

How will injuries, adjustments and growth affect teams in week 3?

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 in the SEC was much more normal with SEC teams performing pretty much as projected. The only exception was Tennessee. I tried one more time to go with them, but no, they caved in again, which broke up perfection for the week. I don’t know if I can ride that wagon again.

I really enjoyed the weekend. I drove over to Columbus on Friday and went to eat at The Mexican Kitchen owned by “Taco.” I went there every week when I was a student at State, but a “couple” of years have passed since then. The food was awesome and the company was great. I met “The Ice Man.” He explained that it’s his nickname because his company supplies all the ice to MSU athletic events. We shared a few stories, some of which were even true, sort of.

I got to campus early on Saturday so that I could visit with several people. I enjoyed the Dawg Walk and the Famous Maroon Band marching in. This year the Maroon Band is the largest ever with 435 members. If you don’t get up to see the Dawg Walk, our awesome spirit squads, and the band, then you have missed so much. The pregame does a lot to set the atmosphere for the day. I went in about 45 minutes before kickoff through the Junction gate. The security people and everyone else there were great. It took maybe two minutes. I sat down under section 2 and 3 on bleachers provided and enjoyed meeting several of our player’s parents. We went up about 15 minutes before kickoff after getting waters and a snack, no waiting . 45 rows up was already shaded and a light breeze felt so nice. Humid and warm, yes, but all in all very enjoyable.

I encourage you to buy season tickets, arrive early, enjoy friends, family and the pregame festivities. Then go in, cool down and visit before going up for the game. Cheer and ring true responsibly while encouraging our team. Keep the passion up with the spirit squads and The Famous Maroon Band. Hang around right after the game while the players and spirit squads join the most famous band in all the land as they play our Alma mater with the words on the big screen in case you don’t remember them. State will always be a special place in my heart and singing the Alma mater stirs the soul again every time as you wave goodbye to “Mom” once again before leaving “home.”

Next week will be more conference games than non-conference. The “warm-ups” will be over (dang Volunteers) and the conference race gets serious. Several teams are now trying to find answers to problems, including losing essential players to injuries. I like what Coach “Jo Mo” told Shrader (beard and all) this past week, “Stevens is hurt. OK kid, next man up.” The true freshman responded very nicely. What will happen this week with us and others?

Arkansas St. @ No. 3 Georgia: Interim Coach David Duggans got his first win as a head coach last week and will now take his Red Wolves to Athens, Georgia after hearing there are some Dawgs running loose over there. The Eastern Division Dawgs haven’t hit their full stride yet, but they hope to get the last little burps worked out by chasing down misplaced wolves Saturday morning. Jake Fromm should have no problem getting the cooking pits going between scoring drives. The Dawg’s defense, still looking to define itself, will have the Sanford Stadium hedges covered in Red Wolf pelts by mid-afternoon. Kirby ordered plenty of sugar for the Irish tea and Mardi Gras beads to start getting in the mood for next week and beyond.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Georgia 62 – 3

Chattanooga @ Tennessee: Jeremy Pruitt has seen his long-rifles misfire so many times already in the last two weeks. His Volunteers’ aim has never been so bad, and to think that deadly snakes will be all in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. The Moccasins will be aggressive as always and try to inflict fear, pain and venom into every Volunteer.

Jarrett Guarantano is already on shaky ground and trying to take any leap he can to get him and Old Smokey back in the hunt before a trainload of SEC misery comes into view. If Smokey and the Volunteers get bitten too many times the venom will result in a season long slow death.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Tennessee 29 – 27

No. 2 Alabama @ South Carolina: Nick Saban got highly irritated that he was forced to spend so much time in the sun each Saturday. This week he must take his Red Elephants to South Carolina to clean out a bunch of smelly chicken coups. Tua and his big footed friends have stomped on every irritation in their way so far and there isn’t much reason to think Muschamp’s feathered flock will have a better outcome than all the others.

I think we would all like to see a youngster like Ryan Hilinski have success, and he probably will down the road. This Saturday he would be best served by finding a tall tree to go roost in and fight another day. This could get a little ugly.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Alabama 49 – 27

SE Louisiana @ TSUN: Lions roaming Louisiana? I’ve never seen any, but Matt Luke knows there is a report of those Lions headed toward Oxford. Luke knows that one group of felines has already left deep claw marks on his Black Bears and frankly they are a little shy around big cats now. Matt Corral helped his fellow bear cubs dine on a few bony hogs last weekend. He has learned to consume what is available because the next meal could be way in the future.

Luke has tried to use his whip to get his Black Bears dancing in the center ring, but Lions might not react as well to a whip lashing their hide. Luke will keep cracking his whip trying to entertain as long as he can hoping no-one takes his whip away. The Black bears try to dance at least one more time.

T-Dawg’s Winner: TSUN 38 – 30

Colorado State @ Arkansas: Mike Bobo and his Rams come to Fayetteville, Arkansas looking to pick up their second win even if they must butt heads with a hog. The Rams are used to walking along narrow trails, but the path to pay-dirt in Fayetteville has been broad and easy to maneuver. John Chavis came to join Chad Morris as his defensive coordinator and hoped to build some sturdier fences around the pig pen but so far about the only thing slowing teams down is the manure stench which may make them run even faster.

Morris knows the Razorbacks opportunities for wins are being consumed faster than corn in a pig sty. Bobo’s Rams don’t intend to be knocked down and ripped apart by a bunch of stinking pigs with an “A” brand. Sorry Chad.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Colorado State 31 - 24

Kent State @ #9 Auburn: The Kent State Golden Flashes, fresh off their thrilling win over powerhouse Kennesaw State blow into the plains to see if they can brew up a storm that brings the War Eagles down to earth. If they can make enough bolts of lightening strike the Auburn village anything is possible.

Gus is starting to put on a few pounds living it up at the Waffle House every weekend but when you know trouble may be coming you tend to consume more in anticipation of times of hunger. Bo and company haven’t gotten all the kinks eliminated yet, but the freshman is learning on the job. Gus can call and have the waffles waiting because Kent State will be done in a Flash.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Auburn 49 - 7

No. 8 Florida @ Kentucky: Feleipe Frankfurter has shown some growth so far this year. The problem is the Gators have yet to face a quality opponent. On Saturday, Mullenex and DC Todd Grantham will back the trailer up to Commonwealth Stadium and let their Gators loose knowing Big Blue is having to go with their backup QB Sawyer Smith (Troy grad. Transfer) for the rest of the year. Grantham’s defense has been dominant so far, but don’t bet the farm on the Gators just yet.

Coach Stoops won’t hesitate to call every play he has in his playbook as they attempt to repeat the history his Wildcats made in Gainesville last year. If it wasn’t for the large lock-down jaws of Grantham’s defense this could be a seasonal Gator hunt, but the Mild-Cats don’t have enough heat to boil this Frankfurter.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Florida 30 - 21

Lamar @ No. 15 Texas A&M: The Lamar Cardinals could not have picked a worse time to pay a visit to College Station (actually, they are getting paid). Jimbo’s boys are working to recover and prove themselves again after being mauled in Death Valley. Kellen Mond looked like he reverted to last year’s form and couldn’t meet the challenge confronting him.

The “Gus Bus” will be arriving next week, so Reveille knows her Aggies must get the reception committee ready and swatting down every Red Bird in sight will be good practice.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Texas A&M 55 - 7

N.W. State@ No. 4 LSU: The Demons from Natchitoches are headed up to the state capital to apply for aid after not being able to compete with NAIA teams. Big Baby danced the night away after his Cajuns roped and tied the Longhorns in Austin. Normally, you might think this is a trap game after winning the rodeo in impressive fashion and opening conference play next week. Orgeron has tried to position his Tigers to challenge in not only the SEC West but also the playoffs.

Joe Burrow is making it his mission to lead the Tigers over mountains they couldn’t climb in the past. If that is going to happen then performing an exorcism Saturday night will be good practice.

T-Dawg’s Winner: LSU 62 - 3

S.E. Missouri St. @ Missouri: The SE Missouri Red Hawks come to Columbia already trying to nurse injured wings after being wounded by Bobcats from Montana St. last week. Coach Choate (SE MO St.) hopes to find some safe nesting for his birds to rest and heal. A deadly mistake has been made though.

Barry Odom got a few people’s attention after their Nevada disaster. QB Kelly Bryant got his felines back on track at home and forced the Mountaineers to throw down their rifles and run for the hills. Now that it seems to be clicking again, Bryant and company do not intend to let some little parakeets distract them. If the Red Hawks believe they have escaped to safety, they are sadly mistaken.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Missouri 52 - 13

Kansas St. @ Miss. State: Coach Jo Mo has the Dawgs trending in a positive direction. All parts of the Dawg pen worked together again to send a pack of yellow buzzards back where they came from, minus the piles of feathers left behind. Tommy Stevens, Kylin Hill and others played well. They then suffered minor injuries that allowed even more young Dawgs to step up and begin to grow up for the games and years ahead.

The purple-striped Wildcats are under new leadership in Chris Klieman, who coached North Dakota State to four Div. I FCS Championships. While they haven’t won anything of significance yet, the season is just two games in. The Wildcats are a dangerous team. At this point in the season, this will be the hardest and most important game. Both teams enter their league play schedule and will try to use this as a positive jumping-off spot to accomplish lofty goals.

Coach Jo Mo has the Dawgs growing more and are more ready for two key conference games before a week off. Optimism is slowly growing in what can be accomplished with this team. Treeing some purple Wildcats will provide good training for doing the same with blue Wildcats next week. Kylin Hill is on a mission this year and can hurdle any obstacle in sight.

T-Dawg’s Winner: Miss. State 41 – 20

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Hail State!