SEC Football Q&A: Who Was the Most Impressive Freshman in Week 1?

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SEC Football Q&A: Who Was the Most Impressive Freshman in Week 1?
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas RB Alex Collins

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

You have SEC questions, and I have SEC answers. Thank you for your questions. If I didn't get to them this week, they will be saved and used in the future.

And we're off! 

The SEC's pick was Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who emerged as quarterback Bo Wallace's best friend last Thursday night, catching nine passes for 82 yards in Ole Miss' 39-35 win at Vanderbilt.

Nothing against Treadwell, but I'm going to go in another direction.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas RB Alex Collins

Arkansas' Alex Collins looked the part of a superstar in Arkansas' 34-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in Fayetteville. Collins rushed 21 times for 131 yards in his debut for the the Razorbacks, joining forces with teammate Jonathan Williams in topping the century mark on the ground in the opener.

The 5'11", 206-pounder from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., showed in his debut that, with a team-leading 21 carries, he can be a workhorse in the SEC. Fifteen of his carries came in the second half, which resulted in 78 yards. Two of those carries were for 10 or more yards.

He also proved that, when combined with Williams, the duo can provide the same kind of ground and pound, smashmouth offense that made first-year head coach Bret Bielema so successful during his seven-year stint as Wisconsin's head coach.

It was a fantastic performance from Collins, and a great sign of things to come for the 2013 Arkansas Razorbacks.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas RB Alex Collins

 

Not unless its offensive line play improves.

Alabama fans can write off the poor offensive line play as Alabama not showing the playbook, but that's totally irrelevant. The plays that Alabama did run didn't work very often, thanks to a good Virginia Tech defense that was confusing the unit that includes three new starters.

That's alarming.

Head coach Nick Saban commented on the poor play in his postgame press conference.

"I don't think we're talking about the inexperienced guys not playing well, I think we're talking about the entire group realizing that they need to play a little bit better. We have too good of skill players not to give them more opportunities to make plays in the game."

Saban's right.

Quarterback AJ McCarron looked thoroughly uncomfortable in the pocket because his line was simply not doing its job. More times than not, running back T.J. Yeldon was either getting tackled or being forced to change direction in the backfield, which didn't give him a chance against the fast Hokie defense.

A team typically improves most from Game 1 to Game 2, and Alabama gets the added luxury of having two weeks to do that with some bad game tape of itself to self-scout in the film room.

It can't rely on defense and special teams that much all year and contend for the SEC, much less the BCS National Championship. 

 

 

Bobby Petrino is a good coach, but he won't be Steve Spurrier's successor at South Carolina and will never be hired by South Carolina.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Western Kentucky head coach Bobby Petrino

Spurrier got a two-year extension last December that lasts through the 2017 season, according to ESPN.com. That'll probably be it for the Head Ball Coach, and he'll retire to the more frustrating world of chasing a little white-dimpled ball around a golf course for five hours each day.

Petrino would do great at South Carolina, but won't take over for a couple of reasons: South Carolina isn't that dumb and he'll already have a pretty decent job elsewhere.

Petrino's time at programs and NFL franchises never ends well. While he may be wildly successful in Columbia, South Carolina is high-profile enough to get another comparable coach without taking that risk.

If Petrino is going to make his way back to the SEC, it'll be at a place like Missouri or Mississippi State if and when Gary Pinkel and Dan Mullen either move on to other jobs or are let go. Plus, Petrino at Missouri—which is becoming Arkansas' permanent cross-division rival in 2014—would be pretty sweet.

 

*Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand. 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

 


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