It’s hard to believe, but we’re already through the ninth week of the college football season. The top two teams in the country and the conference, LSU and Alabama had byes, and were likely busy preparing for next weekend’s huge showdown. Every other SEC team played a conference game, and the annual game between Georgia and Florida, also known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, took place this weekend on the neutral field in Jacksonville. Mississippi State got their first conference win this weekend, against struggling Kentucky, but UK, Ole Miss, and Tennessee remain winless in the SEC. Read on for your Week Nine recaps, stats, and commentary.
(10) Arkansas at Vanderbilt
The WLOCP would traditionally be the biggest game of the week on paper, but this one was almost bigger in real life. Vandy came close to pulling off a big upset, but missed what would have been the game-tying field goal with only 12 seconds left, giving the Razorbacks a 31-28 win. Arkansas was down by as many as 14 points in the first half, but they found a way to rally, tie the game more than once, and finally take a lead. The Commodores had an opportunity to put points on the board early in the fourth quarter, but running back Zac Stacy fumbled at the UA 5-yard line, and the Hogs not only recovered, but returned the ball all the way to the endzone and completed a two-point conversion, to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Arkansas managed only 72 yards on the ground, but they had 388 total yards and 22 first downs. Vandy had more total yardage (462) and much more of a balance between the running and passing games, but fewer first downs (19). Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson was 27 of 43 for 316 yards, a TD, and no picks, and backup QB Brandon Mitchell ran for a touchdown. Dores QB Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of the Packers’ Aaron, was 15 of 27 for 240 yards, a TD, and no interceptions. Both teams did turn the ball over more than once, but it was impressive to see the lack of interceptions. Even though they won the game, the Razorbacks lost special teams player Marquel Wade, who was ejected from the game after a dirty hit on Jonathan Krause. Wade leveled Krause, who had called for a fair catch, and then seemed to celebrate the hit. Watch the video here. Side note: Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler were both at the game cheering for Vandy, Aaron for his brother and Jay for his alma mater. I’m sure it’s the only time they’ll ever cheer for the same team.
Arkansas improves to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC. They’ll be home next weekend to face South Carolina. Vanderbilt falls to 4-4 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. They’ll travel to Gainesville next weekend to play Florida.(