Week 2 of SEC Football is in the books. With most teams playing their second game this past Saturday, the sample size is beginning to be large enough to identify who’s trending upward or who’s in a downward spiral. So, who’s stock should you be buying, and who’s stock you need to get rid of. Read on to see THE Sports & Report’s SEC Football Week 2 Stock Report, beginning with South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel.
BUY or SELL
Deebo Samuel – BUY
Despite what Georgia fans may tell you, the South Carolina Gamecocks had the biggest win of the weekend in the SEC. While winning at Notre Dame is no small feat, South Carolina won a conference game on the road. Furthermore, it was a win within the division. It gives South Carolina a leg up on teams like Georgia and Florida who are favored to win the east. However, without Deebo Samuel doing his thing, the dudes wearing Garnett and Black could easily be 0-2.
Despite the two wins, South Carolina has been out gained in both games. NC State had a 254 yard advantage and Mizzou a 64 yard advantage. That’s a total of 332 yards.
For those reasons, it’s impossible to label the team as a solid buy right now. But, buying into Samuel is a completely different story. Samuel already has five touchdowns. Two kickoff returns, two TD receptions and a TD rushing. Quarterback Jake Bentley has been ok and the defense has been very solid. If Bentley steps his game up and the defense plays more like we expect a Will Muschamp defense to play, then the Gamecocks could be a true contender to get to Atlanta.
Barry Odom / Mizzou – SELL
It’s not like Mizzou would be a solid buy in their own right. That’s whether they had beaten South Carolina or not. But, head coach Barry Odom’s firing of defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross makes it clear that not only is Mizzou not worth buying right now, but they won’t be any time soon either. The Tigers’ have been awful defensively dating back to last season, and that continued in their first game this season vs Missouri State. However, after giving up 43 points in that game, the D seemed much improved Saturday against the Gamecocks. Odom still felt it was necessary to get rid of Cross. Missouri fans seem to like the decision, understandably so. However, Odom stripped Cross of most of his defensive coaching responsibilities, last season. So, doesn’t that mean this is Odom’s defense? Difficult seeing Mizzou gathering themselves and being a factor in the SEC this season.
SEC FOOTBALL WEEK 2 STOCK REPORT
It’s hard to call freshman QB Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs a solid buy right now, but there’s no doubt their stock is rising. Fromm’s numbers (16/29, 141 yards 1 TD, 1 INT) weren’t great, but the numbers that matter the most went Georgia’s way, 20-19. Which is exactly what we expected. That’s all you can ask from a true freshman in his first road test. Especially, when that road test is at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. With ten starters back on defense, we knew things would be fine on that side of the ball. But, the question was the offense. Could Jacob Eason keep opposing defenses honest with the pass game, so things could open up for Nick Chubb and Sony Michel? Of course, Eason was benched in favor of Fromm. So, now it’s on Fromm and so far, he’s delivered.
Then again, do we really know how good this Notre Dame team is that Georgia beat Saturday night. That’s to take nothing away from the Dawgs, but let’s not forget this Irish team went 4-8 last season. Sure, they were ranked, but anyone who knows college football knows that ranking was premature. For those reasons, it’s hard to completely endorse Georgia right now. But, their stock is rising and the Dawgs will be a factor in the SEC and maybe, just maybe nationally.
This may come as a big surprise, but the Tigers stock didn’t necessarily plummet on Saturday night at Clemson. Sure, Auburn was able to manage only 127 yards of total offense, but it was Clemson. The other Tigers defense is legit, and it came as no big surprise they were able to stifle Jarrett Stidham and company. If Georgia Southern could sack Stidham three times, the Tigers were certainly capable of at least doubling that number. The fact that Auburn played without Kerryon Johnson makes matters worse. That’s not to say there’s not reason for concern. Eleven sacks is beyond alarming. It’s also a question who deserves the most blame. Should it be Gus Malzahn? Is it the offensive line, or is it Stidham? Is it all the above? Nevertheless, it’s one game against what may be the nation’s best defense. If Stidham can show that he’s what so many think he is, Auburn can recover. If not…………….Stay tuned.
BRET BIELEMA / ARKANSAS
Upon leaving Wisconsin and taking the Arkansas job, Bret Bielema promised us all that his Hogs would be physical and would be able to run the ball at will. So, how is it that TCU comes in to Fayetteville and gets more physical and literally runs the Razorback out of their own stadium? The Horned Frogs beat Arkansas 28-7, but it wasn’t that close. Gary Patterson’s squad looks to be a team that can contend in the Big 12. But, there’s no way they should dominate the Razorbacks like they did. Remember, Arkansas beat TCU in Fort Worth last season. Things aren’t looking good at all in Fayetteville and everyone’s looking at Bielema. Can he get things turned around before the SEC comes calling on the Hogs?