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  • Rival Week: The Belles in the Biz of ShopPop

    Nov 25, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Outfits, SEC Football, Southern Women

    Rival Week usually results in fewer phone calls between divided familes; more taunting texts between otherwise amicable friends and certainly divides states right down the Navy and Crimson line. At least in Alabama.   Gridiron Belles loves a good rivalry as much as the next fan, but what Gridiron Belles loves even more is two women, graduates of rival universities, starting their own business, and finding a way to still be able to communicate during the Iron Bowl.

    Randall Copeland (University of Alabama graduate) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn University graduate) both grew up in the great state of Alabama and remained dear friends throughout college, despite their rival colors on game day.  Post graduation, both Randall and Anne Morgan started full-time careers but could not deny the entrepreneurial draw of creating a one-of-a-kind mobile fashion business.  Their story  (and their “style boxes”) are what Belles in Biz’ dreams are made of: A dream, the passion to make it succeed and a little rivalry on Saturdays!

    Below, they tell us the key to success, what to wear on game day and how they manage to speak to one another during the Iron Bowl (only during commercials of course.)

    Name of Biz:  ShopPop

    The Belles in the Biz:  Randall Copeland (Alabama) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn)

    Explanation of your Biz—tell us how it works!:

    ShopPop is a “mobile” boutique without a brick and mortar store. We sell our merchandise through a pop-up shop experience {trunk shows} and  create “style boxes” that we send to clients—locally and across the south. We launched our website {www.shoppopmobile.weebly.com} in April of this year, and now our merchandise is also available for purchase through our site.

    How did you get your start?

    Randall: Our love for shopping and fashion inspired us to start a business as a way to expand the scope of brands available to the women around us. We wanted to offer customers a unique shopping experience with high-quality, stylish, yet affordable clothing.

    AM: I have always loved fashion and styling. I graduated in Apparel Design and worked in NYC as a designer as well. This taught me a lot about business and retail. Randall and I started ShopPop in April 2013 after the idea came to us while standing in my kitchen. The next week we found ourselves applying for a business license.

    How do you all split up responsibilities?

    Anne Morgan lives in Birmingham and Randall is in Mobile so this has been a tricky part of our business. We are both responsible for selling and we both set up trunkshows in our corresponding cities. It has been nice being able to widen our customer base and touch more clients.

    How does a not so friendly gridiron rival work in a very friendly work environment?  Do you speak to each other on Iron Bowl Day?

    Randall: We keep it light. Of course I want Alabama to win, but at the end of the day, it’s a football game and life goes on. Our relationship is way more important.

    AM:We both love sports but neither one of us would let football get in between our work. I think we love clothes more. 

    Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding?

    Randall: There are not enough hours in the day! Juggling a full time job, ShopPop and life in general – it can be hard to fit it all in sometimes.  But Nothing makes me happier than seeing a customer in a ShopPop outfit feeling confident and beautiful.

    AM: The most rewarding part of my job is the smile on a clients face when you make them see how pretty they are. I think everyone is beautiful but not everyone sees himself or herself that way. My life verse and motto has always been, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made declares the Lord” Psalm 139:14 and I truly believe that about everyone.

    What’s one thing your biz would not survive without?

    Randall: Social media. Instagram has been a godsend!  (follow them here!)

    AM: Our customers. We have the best customers and are blessed to call most of them friends. Our friends and family have continued to support us and we couldn’t ask for better loved ones.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction?

    AM: Fact. I think it is very important to have boundaries with work. It can be so fun and challenging some days but to excel in business I believe you need to also live. I am inspired by so many people outside of work that make me better at what I do.

    Business/career advice to other Belles?

    Randall: Do what you love. If you are passionate about something, go for it, because people are great at what they love. Maximize opportunities and make your own momentum. Follow your instincts, stay positive and surround yourself with good people.

    AM: Never be afraid to fail. Having fear can only hold you back. Learn that failure can be a positive thing. It only makes you stronger and teaches you what not to do. Most successful people have failed at LEAST once.

    Favorite part about being an Alabama/Auburn fan? 

    Randall: Game Day in Tuscaloosa! Tailgating, meeting up with friends at Gallette’s, the energy of Bryant Denny Stadium… being in the middle of it all is so exciting. I enjoy watching football, and the years I was in school at UA were some of the very best, so it’s hard not to love it.

    AM: The community and family feel that the Auburn campus has. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help others.

    What do you wear on game day?

    Randall: Skinny jeans or leggings, boots and a silk top. If it’s cold, I’ll layer with a fitted jacket or fur vest.

    AM: Orange is honestly not my best color – I cant say that I even wear team colors…don’t judge me !

    What do most of your clients request to wear for game days? Is that a good choice?

    Randall: Slouchy sweaters, silk tops, and basic “throw on and go” dresses. I think any of these options are perfect for game day – you feel comfortable and still look cute. These styles are also easy to layer for games on colder days.

    AM: Most of our clients request something solid in their team color. For example, Crimson or Navy are probably the biggest sellers for us. And that works.

    What do you suggest/send to your clients to help them look their best that they may not know about?

    Randall: A pair of jeans or leggings that truly flatters your figure will always stay in style. I always advise them to actually try something on (even if it’s out of their comfort zone of usual style).  Some pieces look completely different on a hanger. 

    AM: I always think about their body type and what area they may or may not be self conscious about. Then I play that up. For example if someone is shorter I let them know that monochromatic schemes are best, color blocking is usually not your friend or if they are bigger in the bottom wearing a longer top is the best look verse something cropped.

    What fan base has the best dressed Gridiron Belles?

    Randall: To be honest, I have a bit of a houndstooth hangover, so I’m passing my style points to the UGA girls.

    AM: I have to say Ole Miss. The Mississippi girls really know how to dress for a game and they definitely have the best tailgating. Where else can you eat chicken fingers on china?

    Favorite tailgate dish? Recipe?

    Randall: I love making my way around a dip table, but if I had to choose one tailgate treat, it would be Stadium Dogs.

    AM: BLT Dip with Ritz Crackers. I could eat this all day. It is comprised of Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Bacon, Tomato, and Green Onions. Sounds bad but it really is the best!

    Game day drink of choice?

    Randall: Yellowhammers! {Gallette’s signature cocktail}

    AM: Honestly, a stadium Coca-Cola is my favorite thing in the world.

     

    What do you always have in your touch down purse?

    Randall: Lipstick

    AM: Stilla lip colour. My mother always taught me you must have color on your lips.

     Heads or Tails?

    Randall: Heads

    AM: Tails, always

    Who wins it all this year?

    AM: Well, I’ve got to say Auburn J But seriously I think Florida might pull it out for the big win!

    Randall: ALA-BAMA!

     To see what all the belles of ShopPop are up to or what the latest styles are, visit, follow and post here!

    Website, Instagram

     

     

  • Game Day Snacks: Walker’s Dip

    Oct 27, 2015 CATEGORIES: AL, Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Recipes, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating

    In 2012 I was on my first book tour and was scheduled for my first appearance in Andalusia, AL at a little place called Walker’s Business Machines.  Why I had agreed to promote the book at a business machine store was beyond me but I was young, and green, and any chance to showcase the book, I took!  Upon arrival, I was greeted by the type of people who are so sweet they give you diabetes. The red carpet was rolled out, the store promotions had been done, and the owner and staff all found time to visit with me in between signings.  Did I mention that “business machines” really meant beautiful office furniture on one side of the store and adorable home decor and game day gifts on the other?  

    Also at my signing table was an addicting dip that I’ll admit that I ate more of than the visitors. Whoops!  Which meant I couldn’t leave the signing without the recipe so Suzanne Williams wrote it down for me. (Handwritten recipes are always my favorite).

    Below are all of the instructions for Walker’s Dip.  It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s a crowd pleaser that disappears before half time. 

    Thank you, again, Walker’s and Ms. Suzanne Williams.  I’ve never forgotten about my second home in Andalusia!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Ingredients:

    1   16oz Sour Cream

    2   Packs Ranch Dressing mix

    1   Package of Hormel Bacon Bits (Must be Hormel)

    1    Package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or two heaping handfuls)

    1 Sprinkle of red pepper flakes to spice it up!

    Directions:  Combine sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese in bowl.  Once mixed, add ranch dressing. Mix again.  Serve with Freetos or a hearty chip/cracker of your choice.

     

     

  • SERIOUS FOOTBALL: Week III

    Sep 18, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Ole Miss Football, Outfits, SEC, SEC Football

    Not sure what to wear to the game of the week this week? We’re here to help!  Any variations of these outfits will do to keep you in GridironBelle fashion. Get creative, be comfortable and wear team colors!   Don’t forget to send us your game day photos to be used in the next edition of Gridiron Belles!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

    GAME TIMES WEEK III

    We’re grateful for the SEC for putting together our weekend schedule.  Go ahead and clear your calendar… you have no where else to be that’s as important as watching this week’s match-ups!

  • SERIOUS FOOTBALL: SEC Helmet Schedule… Our Favorite.

    Aug 5, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Serious Football

    When the SEC helmet schedule comes out each year, my fall planning becomes complete. Finally, I can circle all of the games I am attending on the helmet grid, and at a glance, I am completely in the know of each weekend’s match ups and travel schedules.

    Why all of these  organized little helmets with team logos in an enlarged excel sheet get me going is beyond me. But it does, and they do.  It’s one of life’s little joys that stays with me all season.

    I print three copies for myself: one for my planner/calendar to have with me at all times; one for my office in clear sight during any task; one on my home fridge so I have a quick reference while testing game day recipes… and so my Alabama-loving husband can see that other teams actually do exist!

    Of course, I print a handful of these handy helmet schedules, laminate them and send as treats to my SEC-adoring friends who are always quick to say yes to meeting me at games or responding to my friendly taunts, questions, or general excitement during half time.  Pre-season treats are always welcomed. Heck, anything to make kickoff seem closer.

    So we thank FBschedules.com  for doing all of the tedious work each year to bring us so much joy and fall organization.  We couldn’t be more grateful.

    Here is your chance to print, hang, laminate and send, Belles.  Trust me, you’ll love being in the know at a glance!

    Happy Pre-Season.

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

  • Game Time Week 9

    Oct 24, 2014 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC, SEC Football, South Carolina, Tennessee Football

    Sneak peek of what’s to come at the Gridiron Belle tailgate this weekend!

    We want to encourage you to get set up for game day in time for the Arkansas kick off (no SEC game should be left unappreciated), but with a non-conference match up, we just can’t suggest full schedule clearing.  We’ll be pig-sooooooie-ing as we wrap up our errands and get ready for 3:30.

    At 3:30pm on Saturday, fans in the Bluegrass will hope to recover from the merciless stomping they took from LSU last weekend… too bad this year Mississippi State is not an easy game.  Nevertheless, Stoops’ Troops have gumption. Plus, we’ll be in town with an amazing pre-gridiron spread and our fingers crossed.

    The Bengal Tigers in Baton Rouge will be in full force… tailgating, cooking and trying their damndest to knock off Ole Miss. No man, woman or child, will be spared from the taunting sound of “Tiger Bait”.  This is one of the best rivals in college football— in the parking lot AND on the gridiron. 

    For as much disdain as there is between these two schools, the Alabama v. Tennessee match up hasn’t been very exciting in recent history.   We are hoping for a good game… mainly because kickoff is at 7:30 and it just feels like those Volunteers need some hope to get through the end of the season.

    In case the BAMA game becomes a red-zone game, there will be nothing short of a battle between South Carolina and Auburn on the other channel.  Auburn is ranked, unlike Old Ball Coach and his boys, but this has “closer than it should be” written all over it. At least for the first half.

    Here is your game day schedule, enjoy!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

     

    12:00pm          UAB @ Arkansas

    3:30pm            Mississippi State (No. 1) @ Kentucky

    4:00pm            Vanderbilt @ Missouri

    7:15pm             Ole Miss (No. 3) @ LSU (No. 24)

    7:30pm            Alabama (No. 4) @ Tennessee

                                 South Carolina @ Auburn (No. 5)

    Bye Weeks:

    Georgia

    Florida

    Texas A&M

     

  • Game Time Week VIII

    Oct 16, 2014 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Tailgating, Uncategorized

    These Aggie Belles Are Ready for Tuscaloosa!

    If you ever imagined that the SEC would have half of the top ten teams for Week 8, you’re a pretty realistic fan.  If you had any suspicion that the number 1 team in the country would be a team that for so long went unnoticed, unappreciated and unsupported by almost everyone outside of Starkville…. Well, you should be applying for an analyst position at ESPN. 

    Here at Gridiron Belles we couldn’t be happier for Coach Mullen (and his Gridiron Belle of a wife, Meg) for all that the Bulldogs have built and accomplished. We are also extremely impressed by Ole Miss and their ability to translate their unmatched tailgating skills into unparalleled gridiron skills.  Wow, what a season for the state of Mississippi.  We’ve never been more eager for the Egg Bowl.

    As the battle for the top continues down in the Delta, the battle for the middle is still exciting and should not go unwatched. After all, this is just Week 8 and there is a lot of football left to be played!

    Here is your weekend schedule of sure to be thrilling match ups.  (Yes, even unranked match ups can be fun).   We are banking on The Ole Ball Coach to take his dropped ranking status out on Furman so you have until 3:30 before you need to glue yourself to the flat screen.   And glue you should, BAMA should have the Aggies in the bag, but the 12th Man is hard to stop; historically speaking, LSU beats Kentucky but there is something in the Bluegrass water that is making us think an upset is brewing for Baton Rouge.

    ENJOY!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    12:00pm            Furman @ South Carolina

    3:30pm            Texas A&M (No.21) @ Alabama (No. 7)

    4:00pm            Georgia (No. 10) @ Arkansas

     7:00pm            Tennessee @ Ole Miss

                                  Missouri @ Florida

    7:30pm            Kentucky @ LSU

     

    Bye weeks

    Auburn

    MS. State

    Vanderbilt

  • THE Big Rival of the Week

    Nov 27, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Auburn, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, SEC Football

    Never have the stakes been this big in the Iron Bowl. No.1 Alabama at No.4 Auburn….

    If Auburn knocks off Alabama, the tigers will be heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game which is not one anyone predicted in August.  Yes, we realize that there are countless other rivalry games this weekend, but none carry the weight of the Iron Bowl.  Either way, if you are going to your team’s game or watching at home while eating leftovers, we have some Rivalry Week wardrobe suggestions for home or away! 

    Good luck!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • What Shall a Belle Wear?

    Oct 11, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating

    It’s still that in between weather when it’s not quite cold enough for big jackets, but it’s no longer warm enough for fancy shorts or dresses without layers. It’s hot while you tailgate, but near frigid as you watch the fourth quarter.  Still not sure what you’re going to wear to tomorrow’s game?  Here is what our new intern, Deanna, is suggesting you wear if you’re heading to the Alabama v Kentucky match-up.  The weather is calling for 79 during the day and 57 when the sun goes down.  Take some of these ideas and apply it to wherever you’ll be enjoying game day.

    Happy Tailgating!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

  • Order the 2nd Edition of Gridiron Belles

    Sep 4, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Atlanta, Auburn v Georgia, BCS Championship Game, Football weddings, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Heisman Trophy, Lilly Pulitzer and Gridiron Belles, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Southern Women, Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    My dearest Gridiron Belle:

    Football season has arrived and with impeccable timing, we just launched our highly-anticipated campaign for the 2nd edition of Gridiron Belles! ( You can go ahead and back the project here.)

    With an overdue welcome to Mizzou and TX A&M to the SEC, I needed to add their chapters and some photos of their tailgates and traditions.  While I was at it––to keep it a second edition and  not an entirely new book–– I went ahead and added new belle photos, quotes, outfit suggestions and updated some unique tailgate ideas among other things. (It’s easy to pre-order, here, now)

    So here is how this works:  This kickstarter campaign is the only way for you to get a copy of the new book. If this isn’t a success, no one gets a copy, so be sure to spread the word.   We recommend telling all of your sorority sisters, bridesmaids, boyfriends, friends you tailgate with and gridiron-loving family members. Heck, go ahead and order a few for yourself so you have hostess gifts on stand-by.  Either way, y’all asked for more books, so here they are! You’ll be the first to have a copy of the fall’s must-reads and I guarantee you’ll understand the game of football when you’re finished reading! 

    Thanks in advance for your support; can’t wait to see you at the next tailgate!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Go ahead, order!

     

     

     

     

  • Gridiron Week 1 Recap

    Sep 3, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    And so it begins!

    There is a lot to pay attention to each weekend of the season.  Obviously, we don’t want you to miss a thing as true Gridiron Belles keep up with their team and those in their team’s division and conference.  So read on.  This is the recap for opening weekend… it’s already heating up!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    North Carolina vs. (6) South Carolina (27-10)

    The 2013 season kicked off with a classic non-conference battle between the Carolinas. The two teams hadn’t faced each other on the field since 2007. South Carolina got off to a fast start by scoring 17 points in first quarter, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Connor Shaw to sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland. Junior quarterback Dylan Thompson also got some playing time after Coach Steve Spurrier said he was going to use the dual QB system this year. Thompson’s only pass of the game led to a 29-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Kane Whitehurst. Sophomore running back Mike Davis showed his speed abilities, after dodging a couple of defenders, by running the ball into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown. The Gamecocks beat the rival Tarheels by a final score of 27-10.

    All-American junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s performance on the field wasn’t as dominant as all of the pre-season hype led up for it to be after he only grabbed three tables, but give it time. Clowney said he wasn’t very thrilled with his performance but says the hot temperature and a stomach virus from earlier in the week played some factor. Coach Spurrier says the team is going to spend a lot more time on conditioning this week before facing Georgia.

    Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt (39-35)

    The first SEC battle of the year was everything we could have wanted in a conference matchup. Ole Miss took control of the game early, scoring the only points of the first quarter to give the Rebels a 10-0 lead. The second quarter though belonged to Vanderbilt. The Commodores scored two touchdowns in just under a minute and a half to regain the lead.

    Ole Miss’s Barry Brunetti and Vanderbilt’s Wesley Tate each scored 3-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter, but Ole Miss was able to pull the game within 3 points thanks to junior quarterback Bo Wallace. Wallace ran the ball in for a 3-yard touchdown and then connected with freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell for a two-point conversion. Wallace then scored the first points of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Rebels a 32-28 lead. With 1:30 left in the game, Vanderbilt’s Carta-Samuels connected with sophomore tight end Steven Scheu for a 34-yard touchdown and took a 35-32 lead. 27 seconds later on the second possession of the drive for Ole Miss, senior running back Jeff Scott scored a 75-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 39-35 lead. The make-or-break moment of the game came with :33 left in the game and Vanderbilt sitting at 3rd and 4, Carta-Samuels pass bounces off the hands of Jordan Matthews and into the hands of Ole Miss junior defensive back Cody Prewitt for the interception. The Rebels hung-on to earn their first conference win of the season, 39-35. Both teams will face their first non-conference opponent of the season this week. Ole Miss hosts SE Missouri State while Vanderbilt gets a visit from Austin Peay,

    Toledo vs. (10) Florida (24-6)

    The Florida Gators didn’t let the suspension of five players stop them from starting the season off with a win. Junior running back Mack Brown and junior quarterback Jeff Driskel helped lead the team to a 24-6 win over Toledo. Brown lead the team in rushing, caring the ball 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. The number of carries Brown got in the first game of 2013 equaled the total amount he had during all of 2012. Driskel went 17-of-22 for 152 yards and one touchdown. The Florida offense had a total of 414 yards of offense with 262 coming on the ground. The Gators also showed some early signs of being as good as the fifth ranked defense from last year by only allowing Toledo to score 6 points in the game. Next up for Florida is non-conference foe Miami.

    Rice vs. (7) Texas A&M (52-31)

    After a whirlwind of an off-season, sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel found himself on the bench for the majority of the first game. Manziel served a first-half suspension from NCAA but found himself back on the bench after being yanked by Coach Kevin Sumlin after picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the fourth quarter. After the game Sumlin said the behavior of Manziel was not OK and the penalty was “foolish.”  Manziel wasn’t the only Aggie player who spent the majority of his time on the bench. Junior cornerback Deshazor Everett was also serving a half-game suspension for a misdemeanor assault charge and entered the game in the second half. However, in the fourth quarter he was ejected from the game for targeting. Everett will now have to spend the first half of the Aggies’ second game on the bench under the NCAA’s new targeting rule. If that wasn’t enough drama, just before kickoff the Aggies announced four players had been suspended for the first two games for violating team rules.

    With all the suspensions, Texas A&M started off slow. Rice held a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter but the Aggies started to click in the second.  At halftime, the Aggies lead Rice 28-21. To start the second half, Manziel rushed for 19 yards but the team ended up being forced to kick a field-goal after Manziel was sacked to end the drive. Even though Manziel only played for roughly a quarter and a half, he went 6-of-8 on the day for 94 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. If Manziel can manage to keep his nose clean this week, he will be able to start his first game of the 2013 season vs. Sam Houston State.

    Mississippi State vs. (13) Oklahoma State (21-3)

    The first game of the season can often times mean slow starts. That was certainly the case for the Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State game in Houston, Texas. The Bulldogs held a 3-0 lead until late in the second quarter. At halftime, the Cowboys only had a 7-3 lead. Mississippi State starting senior quarterback Tyler Russell left the game in the third quarter. Coach Dan Mullen said Russell was OK but they didn’t want to take any chances with head or neck injuries. Mullen would not specify what type of injury Russell suffered. He finished the day 10-of-16 for 133 yards before being replaced by backup sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott. Oklahoma State scored single touchdowns in the third and the fourth quarters to grab a 21-3 win.

    Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Arkansas (34-14)

    The Bret Bielema era at Arkansas started off with a 34-14 win, with big help from sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen. Allen went 15-of-22 for 230 passing yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to senior wide receiver Javontee Herndon. Sophomore Jonathan Williams rushed for 151 yards and one touchdown while Alex Collins rushed for 131 yards. The Razorbacks had 292 rushing yards during Bielema’s first game, which totaled 125 yards better than the 2012 team’s season high of 167 yards. Up next for Arkansas is Samford.

    (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (35-10)

    The Alabama Crimson Tide is looking to become three-peat BCS Champions this year, but they still have a lot of work to do. The final score of 35-10 might not show it, but the offense had a discouraging performance in the first game of the 2013 season. Three of the touchdowns scored by Alabama weren’t from the offense; two were from special teams and one from defense. Junior wide receiver Christion Jones started the game off with a 72-yard punt return touchdown and then scored a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter. In the second quarter, junior defensive back Vinnie Sunseri intercepted Virginia Tech senior quarterback Logan Thomas for a 38-yard touchdown return. The only offensive touchdowns came from a 2-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon in the first and a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jones from senior quarterback AJ McCarron late in the fourth quarter. 

    Coach Nick Saban didn’t hide his displeasure in the start of the season from the offense. Last year, the team averaged 445.5 offensive yards per game but only grabbed 206 yards vs. Virginia Tech. The Crimson Tide’s first-bye week of the season falls at week two this year. The team will have two weeks to prepare for their next game when they will  face Johnny Manziel and the Aggies in College Station, a game where the offense, defense and special teams will all need to be on the same page.

    Austin Peay vs. Tennessee (45-0)

    Some might say that Butch Jones’ debut at Tennessee couldn’t have gone any better. The team scored 45 points and held the opponent to 0. However, if you asked him, I’m sure he could still find a few things the Volunteers could improve on. Senior running back Rajion Neal and junior quarterback Justin Worley helped Tennessee get off and running. Neal rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries while Worley went 11-of-13 for 104 passing yards and three touchdowns. The two sat out the second half of the game after the team scored a touchdown on each of their six-possessions from the first half. Jones didn’t just make an impact on the field either; he made an impact in the attendance. On Saturday, the official attendance was at 97,169 while in 2012 the largest crowd at 87,921. The 45-0 win also marked the 800th victory in Tennessee football history. The bar has been set high for the first game and the Volunteers could have their hands full vs. their next opponent of Western Kentucky.

    Washington State vs. Auburn (31-24)

    Gus Malzahn barely escaped his first game as a head coach with a win. Junior quarterback Nick Marshall went 10-of-19 for 99 passing yards on the night but had zero touchdowns in his starting debut. Junior running back duo Tre Mason and Corey Grant came up big for Auburn. Mason cored an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before scoring a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second. Grant finished the day with 146 rushing yards on 9 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run. Senior kicker Cody Parkey also played a huge role in Auburn’s win, scoring 11 points for the Tigers. Next up for Malzahn and his team? The Arkansas State Red Wolves.

    Murray State vs. Missouri (58-14)

    After a disappointing season filled with lots of injuries, the Missouri Tigers are looking for redemption for year two in the SEC. Starting senior quarterback James Franklin, who missed multiple games for shoulder, knee and head injuries, was 26-of-38 with 318 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Junior running back Henry Josey made his return to the field since suffering a knee injury in 2011 that required two knee surgeries and sidelined him during the 2012 season. Josey carried the ball 13 times for 113 yards and a 68-yard touchdown. Sophomore running back Russell Hansbrough added 104 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries. Mizzou held Murray State to only 14 points, which all came in the first quarter. The Tigers pick up a game one win, 58-14.

    Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky (35-26)

    Mark Stoops was the only first year SEC coach to start the year out with a loss and it came at the hands of former SEC coach Bobby Petrino. For the second year in a row, Kentucky fell short of beating in-state rival Western Kentucky, 35-26. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow started the game for the Wildcats and went 10-of-15 for 78 yards but was pulled by Stoops in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith entered the game and led the team to a 30-yard field goal and a 34-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Demarco Robinson, but it was too little too late. Smith went 8-of-13 on the day for 125 yards and the one touchdown. Expect Smith to most likely start for Kentucky in the next game against Miami (Ohio).

    (5) Georgia vs. (8) Clemson (38-35)

    The game of the week for the college football world certainly lived up to its hype as many chose Georgia as the front-runner to de-throne Alabama of the SEC Championship. The game went neck-and-neck. Georgia’s running game proved to be the most effective against Clemson.  Sophomore running back Todd Gurley lead the Georgia team in rushing, totaling 154 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Keith Marshall added 43 yards and one touchdown. When it came to the passing game, Clemson proved to have the advantage. Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray was selected by SEC coaches to the all-SEC preseason first team, but struggled during the game. Murray was 20-of-29 on the night, passing for 323 yards. However, he didn’t throw any touchdowns and was intercepted once in the game. On the other hand, Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd had a stellar night. Boyd was only 18-of-30 for the game but threw for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns and led his team to 38-35 victory. The two teams will open up the season against each other next year, this time in Athens. 

    Georgia won’t have long to lick their wounds because next up for the Bulldogs are the South Carolina Gamecocks. The winner of this week’s game could very easily determine who heads to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game in December. There is a little bit of hope for Georgia fans. Two years ago, the Bulldogs started the season off 0-2 but ended up advancing to the SEC title game.

    (12) LSU vs. (20) TCU (37-27)

    Making changes to teams can be hard, especially when you bring in a new offensive coordinator. For LSU, bringing in Cam Cameron proved to be well worth the changes – even if it did take some time to get settled in. Things started out slow for both teams with the only points in the first quarter coming from field goals. LSU senior fullback J.C. Copeland got the first touchdown of but TCU quickly answered, returning the kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown. The Tigers were able to make a field goal as time expired in the first half and took a 16-10 lead to the locker room. The second half was a different story for LSU. They scored four touchdowns and held TCU to only 10 more points, securing a 37-27 win. In the first game of the season, the LSU offense picked up 448 yards. Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s 251 passing yards equalled almost as much as TCU’s combined total of 259 yards. Next up for LSU, the UAB Blazers.

    Weekly Recaps are written by Mizzou’s finest Gridiron Belle, Ashley Colley

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