Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC reporter 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 (12:04 PM)
Greetings everyone! Sorry for the delay, but it's time to get to your questions!
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Edward,Missouri really put on a beat down on Vandy, did you see that coming and can they go to Athens and win?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Well, I did see Mizzou winning that game, but I didn't think the Tigers would lay the hammer down like that. It's clear that Vandy has some glaring issues on defense, but Mizzou's offense is really clicking. It's second in the SEC in scoring and total offense and the defense is second in sacks. I like this team and players are really confident. If this team stays healthy, watch out. Saturday should be a real shootout. Can either defense make a play to win this game?
JB (Tallahassee, FL)
With the way they played against Georgia this weekend, what do you see as Tennessee's shot against South Carolina? I mean, they let UCF and Kentucky almost come back on them and have to go on the road to Arkansas while Tennessee has a bye week to repair and prepare.
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
Tennessee showed some signs of life against Georgia and probably should have won that game. The thing is, can that offense be consistent? And can South Carolina's defense plug some holes? I think the focus of this South Carolina team is bad right now. Big leads were blown against UCF, Vandy and Kentucky. That's not good. That will catch up to you and Tennessee gets South Carolina at home. You better believe fans will be pumped for this one.
With all of the dawgs injuries at the offensive skill positions, what are Mizzou chances of pulling off a victory between the hedges this Saturday?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
If Gurley is out, Mizzou has a really good chance. If Gurley is 50-50, it might be a tossup. I like this Mizzou offense and Georgia's defense just isn't improving the way you'd like it to. Tackling is a major issue and Mizzou has a lot of offensive talent. It's gonna be a fun one in Athens.
Doc (Mobile,AL) [via mobile]
First time on here but I'm always reading your stuff on the blog. To the question I'm guessing Ha-ha will be back for bama by the time lsu comes to town but have you heard anything else and is it possible that the great and powerful NCAA (lol) gets involved?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
Saban didn't offer an update on Clinton-Dix, but I would expect him to miss some more time while the school investigates everything. Clinton-Dix did pay back the money he was given and Alabama self-reported the incident, so that's good for the Tide.
what is the deal with JD CLowney. Is there something going on besides a sprain?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
He just doesn't look like he wants to play. I'm really surprised. I expected him to have a monster season and he's been a monster disappointment. He looks tentative, out of shape and disinterested. I don't know what's going through his head and he's claimed injuries, but it's obvious that Steve Spurrier isn't happy with him. You hate to question a guy's heart, but ...
Ole Miss and Auburn. Was the outcome of that game the result of Ole Miss being overrated, or Auburn being underrated. Did Alabama destroy Ole Miss' confidence? Or is Auburn gaining steam?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
I don't think either team is overrated or underrated. I just think Ole Miss made some bad decisions with the ball and had some bad play calls. But give credit to Auburn. The running game was outstanding and the rush defense was great. I like the way this Auburn team is playing and I think Ole Miss has to get a win here in the next two weeks to get its confidence back.
Kyle (Dallas, TX)
Howdy! With the Aggies and the (LSU) Tigers boasting 2 of the best offenses and 2 of the most youthful (worst) defenses in the conference, do you see significant improvement from either defense before they square off in Death Valley? And who has the upper hand in that game (taking away LSU's obvious home field advantage)?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
It might not even matter when these teams meet. That's how good their offenses are. Expect another game like the UGA-LSU one. I think the fact that it's in Tiger Stadium gives the Tigers an advantage but Johnny Manziel wins on the road. He has yet to lose a game on the road!
Frank (New Jersey)
Ed - do you feel the targeting rule is actually doing more harm than good? Players who normally would attack from the shoulders to the waist are now going for lower hits which is having an impact on the knees. Are we trading one problem for another? I'd rather deal with a concussion than an ACL injury.
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
I wrote about this last week and I look at the Keith Marshall injury. It wasn't dirty by any means, but when I first saw it it looked like the defender hesitated and then went lower because he was afraid to hit high. It's good an bad because he didn't aim high but he took Marshall's knee out. E.J. Gaines told me he aims lower out of fear of the penalty and has caught him self hitting guys legs. It's not intentional but it is a problem.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
Is Dan Mullen's seat getting hot? They seem to be losing steam and are slowing becoming the Kentucky of the West.
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
I think there's a little heat on him because this team just doesn't have the horses right now to compete in the West. The Bulldogs had a strong effort for three quarters against LSU and then just had nothing left in the tank. The good news is that Ole Miss has dropped two straight. Ole Miss' success and failure will dictate a lot for Mullen, but right now he's sliding in the West.
Jason (Orlando, FL)
Hey Ed, do you think the Florida offense will do enough to win in Death Valley this weekend. We all know their defense will be good enough to keep them in the game.
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
I think this offense is still a work in progress, but you have to be impressed with what it's done since Tyler Murphy took over at quarterback. Want a fun fact? The Gators are the only SEC team to have 3 WRs over 270 receiving yards and are 1 of 10 teams nationally to do so. Yep. Sounds crazy, right? With how poorly LSU's defense has played, Florida has a chance to move the ball on the Tigers. This will be the biggest test for LSU's offense as well and Florida's defense. It's tough to say what to expect from this game right now.
Ed, LSU hung half a hundred on Mississippi State last weekend. Where has all this offense been the two years when there was a defense? Are Tiger fans scratching their heads?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Talk to Zach Mettenberger. He's delivering some NFL throws and has a top RB in Jeremy Hill. Cam Cameron has done a great job with Mettenberger, but the guy is also very, very confident in his play and is very comfortable with the offense.
Strapp Nasti (Marathon, FL)
I think Florida looks great on defense and their offense is starting to look good as well. I think if they knock off LSU this weekend they will have some serious momentum for the rest of the season. Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Yes, and then you have to really consider the Gators a serious contender in the East.
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Edward, why are the coaches so surprised by Clowney's actions. He sat out the spring game, he sat out a scrimmage in August. Signs have been there all summer that Clowney was uninterested.Also, has anybody said how he got injured last week?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
He had a rib issue against UCF I believe. But Spurrier made it clear that he wasn't too concerned with his work ethic before fall practice. Then he was questioned by the Head Ball Coach. Then he stinks against UNC. Now, he's always injured. The whole thing is bizarre. He isn't even talked about at all anymore, unless we are talking about who didn't show up in a game ...
When will Todd Grantham feel some heat among the talking heads? His defense can't give up less than 30 points a game to any offense...
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Players have to develop and improve. Grantham should take some heat, and I think he knows that. But players have to be accountable as well. A lack of tackling isn't Grantham's fault. He's not the one going in with poor form.
CWE (CLT, NC)
how about my boy Carl Lawson eh? Has the DLine started to turn the corner in AU? Could the improvement there really get this team going?Dufner for President 2016. Shout out to Cassanova McKinzy, glad your injury wasn't too serious.
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
I was really impressed with that defensive line against Ole Miss. The Rebels had their worst rushing outing of the season and Auburn's line just made the game a nightmare for Ole Miss' offensive line and Bo Wallace. Six sacks?! Wow. Lawson with two. Gonna be pretty good.
Bruce (Tampa) [via mobile]
Was Jeff Driskel given a medical redshirt and what do you think happens next season when he comes back from the injury? He was the starter for a reason but Murphy is certainly doing better in my opinion. Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
No word on if he has one or not. Driskel has a high ceiling but Murphy has been very good so far. Next year should be interesting with Will Grier also coming in. The plan is to redshirt Grier, but the battle for No. 1 should be interesting.
Richard (Tallahassee, FL)
Any chance Kentucky can give Bama a tough game? They only lost by 7 to SC and by 14 to Louisville
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I just don't see it. Alabama is playing its best all right now. I think Kentucky has made some good strides here and there, but Alabama is just too talented. I don't think the Tide will have any issues this weekend.
AB (Little Rock)
Ed: I am getting down and out about my Hogs...Should I just consider this season lost?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
No. Florida's defense is the best out there. The Hogs were going to have a hard time winning that game. But the passing game has to improve because it's clear this team can't win with a one-deminsional offense. The pass defense has to improve a lot too. Tyler Murphy threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns Saturday.
Jonathan (ga) [via mobile]
Purifoy and Roberson were touted as two of the best corners in the nation if not the best but Hargraves has came in and showed both of then up I feel. In your opinion is he better than both of them?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
I talked to someone down there who said he was the best pure corner on the team. That's saying a lot. Purifoy is the best athlete on the team and pro scouts love what they think teams can do with him because of how athletic and physical he is. Roberson is an NFL CB right now, but Hargreaves is something totally different. He has it all and is only going to get better.
Concerned Gamecock (Chicago)
Dash, why are there still folks, both Gamecock fans and media types, who say Thompson is a better passer than Shaw, that clearly hasn't been the case this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
I think as a pure drop-back passer he is, but Shaw is playing really, really well. He's easily the toughest player in the SEC. Maybe someone on his team should take notes ... But Shaw really is playing well and is throwing the ball better than he has in the past.
Marilyn (San Antonio, TX)
A&M's offense is good enough to win most games, but do think if one big playmaker like Demontre Moore had stayed one more year he could have made a difference in a game like Alabama where one more defensive stop could have been the difference?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
Sure. The Aggies are missing a game-changer on defense. The defensive line is getting gashed and the secondary gets beat a lot. If this team had a Moore on it I think that would help a lot, but more parts have to improve on this defense for the Aggies to to push pass a team that has a solid defensive performance against them.
Brett (Daytona Beach)
Earlier, you said "Then, you would have to consider the gators a serious contender in the east"What are you watching that I'm not that shows that they aren't already a contender, if not, the team to beat in the east? You've been spending a little too much time out west. Around here, defense still wins championships.
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
From where I am, that's a physical impossibility. I haven't been out West since last summer. What is is it that I keep saying about UF? The offense has to be consistent. Right now, against UT, UK and Ark, the Gators' offense has played well, but consider the opponents. Now, LSU's defense has really struggled lately, but if UF makes some plays and wins that game, I will say that the Gators certainly are a legit contender. Have to be if the defense continues to play well. No team adjusts better on defense than Florida right now.
Joe (Columbus, Ga) [via mobile]
UGA needs Jonathan Rumph to get healthy quick. He measurable are crazy. Do you think he could step up and make a difference if healthy?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
We've barely seen him at all this year. He has to get healthy and step up now because the Bulldogs are down to Conley and some unproven hands. Not good.
wayne (columbia, sc)
thoughts on SC chances to win the east?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Defense has to improve and guy have to stay healthy. Arkansas won't be easy this weekend and Florida is still on the schedule. It's gonna be tough if this team doesn't turn things around defensively. Clowney has to show up.
What was going on in the Georgia/tennesee game that it was so close?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
Tennessee showed a lot of heart, Georgia's defense got gashed and the Bulldogs sustained some key injuries.
you need to win one game...who do you take....Murray or metzenberger?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
Oh man. Gosh. Hmmmm. That's tough, but I'm taking Murray right now. He beat Mettenberger this year and has looked so freaking calm and collected on the field. There was no panic when he drove down and tied Tennessee. The kid has come so far. He can also make plays with his feet. I'm going Murray. He's been in the big games.
Joe (Columbus, Ga) [via mobile]
If you had an Heisman vote how would your ballot look at the moment?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
1. Manziel 2. Mariotta 3. Boyd 4. Murray 5. Bridgewater
Unproven hands? I think Wooten, who has had a touchdown catch in 5 straight seasons, would beg to differ. I believe that has to be some kind of record.
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
Wooten ... The guy with 42 career catches? He's been a while but has never lived up to his potential.
What faults will pro scouts find with Murray? Accuracy? Touch? Reads/progressions?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Size and arm strength. That's what people have told me about him.
JMD (South GA)
Mariotta? Are you serious? Have you seen Oregon under pressure this year? No and that's because of a weak schedule. Call out Mariotta AFTER Stanford
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
So who would you have over him? Come on, he's been great this season with 1,358 passing yards and 14 TDs to 0 INTs. Also has 338 yards and seven touchdowns.
Patrick (St. Louis)
Should Mizzou really be an 11 point underdog at Gerogia this weekend? The Vandy game could have been 65 - 28, and DGB didn't even have a big time game. How much better is Georgia's DEF vs Vandy's?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Pretty high, considering how Mizzou's offense is playing and UGA's defense is playing. I think you see another LSU-UGA-type game.
JMD (South GA)
What do we know about Mizzu? THey are 5-0 and tore up Vandy, but that's not really saying that much is it? They've got a scary offense, but have scored a lot of points on the no-no's this year. How do you ssee that game going this weekend when they come to Athen's?
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
Mizzou passed a big first step with the win over Vandy, but we will find out how resilient this team is Saturday against that UGA offense. But if UGA is without Gurley, this could be an even tougher one for the Dawgs. Mizzou is an defense's nightmare right now.
Ryan Nelson (Tallahassee, FL)
How long do you think it will be realistically before Tennessee can go toe to toe with other major SEC as well as national programs? Could one good recruit class/offseason do it?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I still think two more years before they really compete. The offense and defense need major work and playmakers have to be found. They aren't there right now, but you could see guys like Howard and North develop. I like the current class, but it has to stay together. Can those young guys step up immediately? They'll have the chance.
Ed, What's for lunch??
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Grilled chicken salad my man! Carbs in the morning. Lean protein all day! Gallon of water as well!
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
OK guys, that's my time. Hope you can get through the week before a great Saturday of games!