While some SEC East teams were given a weak opponent in Week 1, others struggled brutally right off the bat. Let’s take a look at my three key takeaways from the SEC East in Week 1.
3 key takeaways from the SEC East in Week 1
Offensive Line Troubles for the Gamecocks and Gators
North Carolina beat South Carolina because of two factors that their offensive line failed at miserably: pass protection and run protection. This is a disaster for Shane Beamer, who watched his squad allow nine sacks and rush for negative two yards in the rivalry matchup. That is a recipe for failure in the SEC, which prides itself on being able to run the ball and stop the run effectively.
Similarly, the Florida Gators saw some good things from their new quarterback Graham Mertz, but his offensive line never gave him a real chance to win this game. He never truly felt comfortable in the pocket despite throwing for 300+ yards. Poor offensive line play and an inability to convert third downs plagued the Gators.
Tennessee (still) has an Elite Offense
Joe Milton III has arrived, and he looks very promising for Volunteer fans. He did not have his sharpest game by any means, but the talent is undeniable. Pair this arm talent up with a loaded running back room and you have a match made in heaven for head coach Josh Heupel. The Vols tallied nearly 300 rushing yards and five touchdowns against the weak UVA Cavaliers from the ACC. This offense will be fun to watch as they continue to grow and utilize their new weapons.
Georgia has the best Secondary in America
Javon Bullard and Malaki Starks are both National Champions and future first round picks in the NFL. For now, they are the best defensive duo in the country. Although he could have had another opening week INT on Saturday, Starks showed why Bulldog fans have praised him ever since his arrival on campus. His ball skills and toughness shined last year, and now his speed and composure have taken the next step. The same can be said of Javon Bullard, who makes a statement with each tackle he’s involved with. These two are must-see television!