Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger Edward Aschoff will stop by to talk some college football.
Aschoff joined ESPN.com in 2011 after spending four years covering the University of Florida for The Gainesville Sun. He grew up in Oxford, Miss., before attending UF, graduating with a B.S. in journalism.
Send your questions now and join Aschoff Monday at noon ET!
Edward Aschoff (12:01 PM)
Greetings everyone! What a weekend in the SEC! I guess you really can't spell offense without SEC. Well, something like that. Let's get to your burning questions!
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does the NCAA need to change the targeting rule to all or nothing? Meaning it's either 15 yards and an ejection or pick up the flag.
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
I get that it's all about safety. I really do. I don't think you should get rid of it, but it has to be amended. That call on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was awful. Just awful. It shouldn't have even been a penalty, let alone a targeting call. And you have to wipe away the penalty if you overturn the targeting call. I wonder how refs are going to interpret it now after that bad call.
Chris Shelton (Virginia)
With all the prolific high powered offenses's in the SEC and in the country for that matter.....What is the definition of a good defense these days? Seems three years ago it was a defensive league and now even the great defenses are giving up 400 plus.
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
Ha, it's kind of hard to tell, but I still think there are two very, very good defenses in this league: Florida and LSU. And I do wonder what would happen if Alabama played someone outside of the SEC. Oh, wait. That DID happen ... I still think it's too early to say that the SEC is void of good defenses. South Carolina made strides against a good Vandy offense, allowing only 270 yards Saturday. Things will get better on that side of the ball.
Jimmy (knoxville) [via mobile]
What is the odds Tennessee beats Florida Saturday ?
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
If Tennessee can force turnovers it has a chance. But I worry about that defense as a whole. Florida has moved the ball well before it's reached the red zone. The home crowd should help the Gators and I think they are frustrated with last week's play. Can Tennessee move the ball against Florida's defense? I'm not so sure.
Clowney Fan (South Carolina)
Could south carolina still be a SEC east contender?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Very much. No LSU, like Florida and Georgia. This defense will get better and the offense is putting up points and yards. I still like the Gamecocks' chances, especially with LSU being so good and being a major roadblock for the Gators and Dawgs.
Casey (Fort Stewart, GA)
So far this season, what RB would you pick to be your starter? Todd Gurley, T.J. Yeldon, Mike Davis, Alex Collins, Jeremy Hill....ect? And do you see Hutson Mason getting some playing time this week against North Texas like say the entire second half maybe?
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
I'm going Todd Gurley all day. He's a better running back now than he was last year. He's not as explosive as Yeldon, but he's tougher between the tackles. He isn't as shifty, but he doesn't need to be. Gurley is the complete package and has gotten better as a football player.
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
Gurley is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Wow.
Matt (Athens, GA )
Ole Miss seems to be an underrated football team. What top SEC Team do you think Ole Miss could beat and surprise us?
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
LSU, A&M and Alabama are all on notice. This team is more complete than even I thought. I like the use of the freshmen and this team is playing well despite being down two top starters (Morris, D. Nkemdiche). That read option has been money for Bo Wallace. If his offense keeps moving the way it has, it'll beat one if not two of those teams I mentioned.
Ed (Queens Village)
Would SEC ever consider scrapping divisions and let two best teams play for conference championship?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I wish, but the NCAA says if you have a conference game you have to have divisions. Bad rule, if you ask me.
Chris Shelton (Virginia)
So do you think UGA will lose two SEC games? That would be South Carolina's only chance to win the East.
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
At this point, I don't know if any East team will have less than two SEC losses ...
Think Connor Shaw has any shot at going pro? Spurrier said he's getting a bunch of calls from NFL scouts about Shaw now, and after the way he looked on Saturday, I think there might be a shot. If not, Connor's already said he'll go into the military. Dude's as tough as nails.
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
Very tough. He's also developed more as a passer. That's important at the next level. But with the read option being used more, Shaw could find himself in a good spot on some team. He has the moxie and the grit to make it at the next level. Now, he's getting the arm too.
atl-olemissreb-terrell atl airport [via mobile]
First congrats to your Oxford Chargers for their 2nd win over my 'Dores, now do u think Texas will make a run for hugh freeze at the end of the year?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
HA! I was actually texting someone who was at the game. Talk about a beat down. Lafayette knows who really is king of Oxford! As for Texas, I don't think you'd see them make a run at anyone unless Mack Brown left on his own accord. If the Longhorns do have to go on a coaching search, I don't think Freeze would be at the top of the list. I think you go after a major name in college football. Freeze isn't there yet. Would Will Muschamp get the call? I don't know ...
2 questions.What do you think final score of UF v UT game this weekend?Do you think Alabama has a great chance of going undefeated now that he is past Texas A&M?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Did Chris put you up to that first question? You know I don't reveal my picks until Thursday. Shame on Chris. Alabama could go undefeated because that schedule isn't too bad outside of Ole Miss and LSU. Watch out for the LSU game, Tide fans. Watch ... out
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Do you think Manziel was humbled or learned any humility after this past weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
I think he showed that he's still the best player in the country. I think he showed that the pressure doesn't get to him. I think he showed that he can mix business with pleasure. I think he showed us that he can talk the talk and walk the walk. I was wrong. I didn't think he'd be focused enough. Egg on face. Eating crow. Foot in mouth. Thanks Johnny Football.
David (oklahoma city)
Bama's corners are a problem, apparently. Will that be less of an issue for the less-than-Manziel-mobile quarterbacks like LSU's Mett? Is the annual game of the century of the year going to be another good one?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
It was a problem last year when Mettenberger threw for 298 yards and almost won that game. I think it really is a problem, especially when Belue isn't in. They'll get better, but it's certainly a work in progress at corner, especially in one-on-one situations.
What did you think of Mike Evan's performance? Was it due to skill, mismatch, or chance? Do you think he will be able to maintain that level of play throughout the season and become A&M's first biletnikoff winner?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
For as much as I pumped up Amari Cooper, if I'm taking one receiver right now it's Mike Evans. He's the toughest receiver in the SEC and has some pretty good speed. He isn't a track star, but he'll make the tough catches and make defenders pay. I joked on Saturday that we should just hand him the Heisman, but I meeeeaaannnnnnnn
Butch Jones (Knoxvegas)
Hey Ed, Everyone here in Knoxville wants to know if I was playing coy this past weekend with our offense. The play calling was pretty vanilla and down right atrocious at times. So, was I just trying not to give Florida anything to see on film, after all, everyone knew we would get stumped by Oregon anyway?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Yeah, I doubt the real Butch Jones walked into that game and said, "You know, we are going to lose anyway, let's not even try." Oregon is just a much, much better team than Tennessee. This squad has a lot of talent issues. It's very clear. I think the offense has been suspect from the start, but bad defenses will make you look good. This team is about to play the SEC's best defense. I'm not sure Justin Worley and Co. are ready for that.
Travis Sanders (Fort Smith, Arkansas)
Hi Edward Aschoff! How do you think Arkansas will match up with Rutgers this weekend being that the Hogs are injury plagued and weak in the secondary?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Well the good news is that your secondary has actually played OK to start the season. Against lesser competition, the Hogs are first in the SEC in pass defense and Rutgers is only averaging 196 passing yards a game. Really, it all starts up front. The Hogs have played well along that defensive line and Chris Smith had a career game against Southern Miss. If Arkansas is going to leave NJ with a win, it will be because of the play of that defensive line. That's how you take pressure off of a secondary that still has some questions here and there.
Jon (Atlanta / GA)
With UGA's win over South Carolina, does that pretty much guarantee them a spot in the SEC championship game?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Don't you remember South Carolina beating Georgia last year? Come on. LSU and Florida are still on the schedule and don't you dare sleep on Vandy. For shame.
BYROMAN (Charleston, SC)
How much of an impact do you think Clowney's foot issue will have on his play this year? or are we already seeing some impact..
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I think it will have a major impact on him. He's still very disruptive, but we don't see the same burst we saw from him in the past. His get-off isn't as good. He's still a beast out there, but the same speed off the line that made him that much more dangerous just isn't there.
Ben (Auburn, AL)
What do you think of Auburn so far, and do you think they have a shot at LSU this weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
I like the growth that we saw from Nick Marshall Saturday, but I still worry about that defense, especially the defensive line. Dak Prescott did some damage to that line Saturday, and while Mettenberger isn't close to the runner Prescott is, he has a stable of guys to hand it off to. I want to see how this line plays against a very, very talented group of running backs. Could be a long night for that line. Also, is that secondary ready for the LSU passing attack? Not sure.
Is it only me or does it seem like there is a cloud of excuses around clowny? Ok the man has bone spurs but does that account for his conditioning? The man has barely produced in three games, I see a lot of other defenders playing better and harder than he is, I guess he thought people would give himt the Heisman.
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
I just wonder how much that injury is holding him back. He was exhausted in the first game, Georgia ran away from him in the second game, and he dealt with his foot Saturday. Tough start for sure, but you have to wonder how much that foot really is bothering him because he looks to have lost a step or two.
At least Chris already knows your pick for the LSU-UGA game next week if he's reading this chat. You think Gameday will be at that game or Alabama-Ole Miss?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. No picks have been revealed. Just say that Georgia isn't guaranteed anything right now. Lots of football still left.
With the big win against Texas this weekend, it sounds and looks like the folks at Ole Miss are starting to believe in that program once again. If they continue to progress can you see them taking down one or two of the big boys from the West? And if so which ones?
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Like I said earlier, I think that if the offense continues to play like it has, this team will be trouble for the big three in the West. The Aggies and LSU both have to go to Oxford, and the Rebels were very much in last year's game against Alabama. I smell an upset somewhere ...
Headed to GA this weekend for my first SEC game in person. In your opinion, what the best atmosphere in the SEC on game day?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Oh man, I could spend all day and night talking about this. But I'll keep it short: I don't think I've been in a louder stadium than Tiger Stadium at night. The Grove is hands down the BEST tailgating spot in America (don't even try to argue that with me). Favorite stadiums: The Swamp, Tiger Stadium, Bryant-Denny, Williams-Brice, Sanford ... I've never been to College Station :(
Konrad's Bed (Atlanta)
Last weekend was full of action and scoring for some people, others of us, not so much. What game do you think is going to be the most exciting this weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
LSU-Auburn and Florida-Tennessee are the headliners, but keep an eye on Arkansas-Rutgers. That could have the most excitement of them all. I just gotta feelin!
Mike (Baton Rouge)
Kid,A popular reason to write off LSU's title chances this year was their brutal schedule and questions about offensive production and replacing key cogs in Chavis' defense. After seeing all four of LSU'Ss biggest competitors (Alabama, A&M, Florida, Georgia) through 3 weeks play against quality opponents, who looms as the Tigers biggest hurdle, and do the Tigers have what it takes to overcome?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
Twitter is just killing me with my don't-sleep-on-the-Tigers talk. It's cool dough. If anyone is going to beat Alabama it's LSU. I think that defense still has what it takes to be elite. The offense is as balanced as ever and you forget that Les Miles loves to frustrate Nick Saban. I think an offense like Georgia will be the ultimate first test for this team. If the Tigers survive that then I expect a ton of apologies from Twitter folk! You know who you are.
Surprised that Kentucky was able to keep it that close against Louisville?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
No, because I think that was a game that team had to get up for. It's not as talented, but I thought the emotion that team would have would frustrate the Cardinals. That defensive line really played well until it tired out. Having an offense that goest 0-13 on third down will do that to you.
Jon (Atlanta / GA)
It seems that the SEC west is much better than the SEC east. Is that a fair to say?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Still too early to tell. If Florida's offense gets going and Georgia and South Carolina's defenses improve, who knows?
Geno Smith, what happened? I don't recall seeing him on the field during the A&M game. His absence and Belues injury are what hurt the Tide in the second half. This defense is still good... mark my words. People tend to forget they shut down VA Tech just 2 weeks ago.
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
He made it into the game. He's on the participation chart, but those corners were having major issues all day against those A&M receivers that it didn't matter who you were. Logan Thomas isn't Johnny Manziel and the Hokies don't have the line or receivers that the Aggies have.
Oregon showed what it can do vs. beloved Vols, but reality is we aren't what we were, how would they compete with a real SEC team, Schedule, we saw what LSU and Auburn did to them.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
Well, with the lack of defense we've seen so far, maybe the Ducks wouldn't be so bad. Certainly, it's a lot tougher down here, but that offense could put up some points on Bama, TAMU, UGA and South Carolina. I'd love to see them sneak over here for games.
Jon (Atlanta / GA)
Chances we see Vandy playing on New Years day?? They looked good in the loss to South Carolina.
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
Vandy has to put an entire game together against the big boys in the East. I was impressed with how that team came back, but man, it has to be frustrating to lose games like that. There are still six victories out there that I see right now. If Vandy gets another, the Dores will be playing on New Years.
Hogs' RB Alex Collins best Fresh running back in the SEC right now?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
Ummm yes. He's been great so far, but I'm interested in seeing what he does against a talented defense. He'll be tested against a Rutgers defense that is allowing 59 rushing yards a game. His league-leading 418 yards aren't too shabby though.
A college football fan (Unbiased, USA) [via mobile]
What is your reasoning for putting Texas AM ahead of UGA in your power rankings? Lost at home to Alabama by a td (probably should have been more) and they haven't beaten anyone of merit. UGA lost on the road to a top 5 team and has a win versus number 6 USC. Seems obvious.
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
What would happen if UGA played the Aggies right now? Do you think that defense would be able to stop Johnny Manziel? Me either. The Aggies are awful on defense, but they proved that they can score with anyone wit the talent they have on offense.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Which pair of brothers is more fearsome: Kouandjio or Nkemdiche? (Bonus question: which is harder to spell without looking it up?)
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
True story: I can spell both AND Lutzenkirchen without looking them up. Right now, I'd say the Nkemdiches when they are healthy.
Dash - if they review every targeting call in the booth and determine there was no targeting, why don't they give the 15 yards back, too?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Because it's a flaw in the system. But they can't erase the penalty once it's been called on the field. Just bad ...
Sam (Washington, D.C.)
What is your opinion on how easily it was to sale the country on Johnny Manziel's Heisman last season? I find it amazing that he really hasn't won anything yet, but he won the Heisman all while Aaron Murray get's slammed at every opportunity. He's not tall enough, but he's the same size as Manziel and Murray has been doing this much longer than Manziel in the SEC.
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
Manziel broke the SEC record for total yards as a redshirt freshman for a team that was brand new to the SEC ... He also led the Aggies to an 11-2 record AND beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He led the SEC in rushing and was second in passing. He also totaled 47 touchdowns. I don't see how you don't give it to him.
Scratchless (The Gump, AL)
I'm taking my buddy Scratches' question (real life buddy actually) and taking it an additional step. Who wins the matchup between the Kouandjios and Nkemdiches next weekend assuming Denzel is healthy to play?
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Oh nice. Hmmm I might have to go with the Kouandjios right now. But it's tough. Denzel and Cyrus are good matchups, while Arie and Robert are inexperienced. I'll give the edge to the Ks because RN would have to face Cyrus. Man that's gonna be fun.
Chris (Los Angeles)
Hey Ed, if they were to meet this weekend on a neutral field, who would win: Alabama or Oregon?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Alabama. The Tide just topped Johnny Football in College Station. Gotta go with the Tide.
jesse (san antonio)
When is Florida going to get Demarcus Robinson involved? Who should start at RB?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
He's become a pretty good blocker, but I'm curious as to why he hasn't been more involved. He made all these plays in spring and fall camp, but hasn't done anything through two games. Very weird, and some people who I talked to there are confused as well. Matt Jones should start. He's finally back to 100 percent.
Gamecock Fan (Chicago)
Dash, who has a better chance of making it through the series finale alive, Jesse or Skyler?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Oh what a great question to end on. I actually stopped watching after the first season sooooooooooo yeah. Let the bashing of Dash begin!
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Another great chat again. I couldn't have done any of it without you! Talk to you all next week!