Welcome to this week’s wrap-up of the other SEC games from the weekend. Only four teams began SEC play, while the others played non-conference games, some against “easier” opponents. Three teams played road games this week, and two of those were conference games. Both conference games came down to the wire, with one ending in an upset. Only one SEC team, UGA, has a losing record, two, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, are at .500, and the remaining nine are all undefeated.
For the recap of the game between South Carolina and Georgia, click here.
Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
They had to come from behind to do it, but the Wildcats were victorious in their home opener, beating the Chippewas 27-13 in Lexington. Central Michigan was ahead 16-3 at halftime, and had firm control in the first half. They had two early field goals and a lone touchdown in the first two quarters, but were held scoreless after the half. Kentucky came to life in the third quarter, when QB Morgan Newton hit La’Rod King for a 34 yard touchdown, but they sealed the deal in the fourth, when freshman Josh Clemons set a school record for the longest touchdown run by a freshman, and the longest of any player since 1970. The Chippewas led in first downs and total yardage, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Wildcats.
Central Michigan is now 1-1 on the season, while Kentucky goes to 2-0 on the season and next week will play another non-conference game at home, this time against the Louisville Cardinals.
Auburn needed a last minute goal line stop to come away winners Saturday afternoon, upsetting Mississippi State 41-34 on the plains in Auburn. Bulldogs QB Chris Relf tried to take the ball to the house himself, but the backup safety for the Tigers, Ryan Smith, tackled him as time expired to seal the win. After almost losing to Utah State last week, Auburn was looking to prove they’re still a talented team, even though they lost Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, and many other starters from last year’s championship team. Mississippi State’s stats were better than Auburn’s in every way, but the Tigers still came out on top.
The Bulldogs are now 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in the SEC, and they’ll host LSU next weekend in Starkville. The Tigers are now 2-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play, and will travel to Clemson next weekend for a battle of schools with similar colors, tiger mascots, and hatred from South Carolina fans.
(3) Alabama at (23) Penn State
The Tide rolled up to Happy Valley this weekend, and then they rolled over the Nittany Lions, beating them 27-11. This was the second game in a home-and-home series between the two, and Bama was also victorious last year in Tuscaloosa, too, winning 24-3. Quarterback AJ McCarron seemed to have secured his starting role for the Tide, as he was 19 of 31 for 163 yards, a TD, and no interceptions. PSU’s QB situation isn’t as positive, though. Robert Bolden and Matt McGloin split time under center, but neither was very impressive. Penn State turned the ball over three times, and the two QBs were a combined 12 for 39 for less than 150 yards. Virtually everything went Alabama’s way, including a first down picked up off a fake punt. For Penn State, pretty much the only thing that went their way was a successful two-point conversion.
PSU drops to 1-1 on the season, while Bama is 2-0 and will take on North Texas in Tuscaloosa next weekend.
Tennessee vs. Cincinnati
It was a good day on Rocky Top for Tyler Bray, who led the Vols to a 45-23 trouncing of the Bearcats. Bray was 34-for-41, threw four touchdowns, ran one in himself, and had a career-high 405 yards. Two Vols, Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, had at least 100 yards receiving, and both scored for Tennessee. Both teams had TDs on their first and second possessions, but the momentum swung the way of the Volunteers after that. They had a field goal tipped right before time expired in the first half, and had to settle for a field goal on their first possession of the second half, after they were stopped on the 1-yard line by the Vols. Tennessee racked up 531 yards total, and continued to dominate throughout the second half, but the Bearcats did get in one more score, a touchdown that came from a Tennessee fumble.
Cincinnati goes to 1-1, and the Volunteers are now 2-0, and will travel to Gainesville next weekend for their first away game and first SEC game of the season.
Ole Miss vs. Southern Illinois
It was a close one for a while, but the Rebels managed to pull away enough to secure a 42-24 win over the Salukis Saturday night. Ole Miss had a comfotable 35-10 lead in the third quarter, but SIU wasn’t ready to give up, and got two touchdowns, closing the gap to only 10 points. Unfortunately for the Salukis, that didn’t make up for the four interceptions thrown by QB Paul McIntosh. The Rebels had Zack Stoudt under center for this game, instead of Barry Brunetti, who started last weekend against BYU. Seniors Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis, the top two RBs for Ole Miss, were out with injuries, but Jeff Scott filled in nicely, scoring three touchdowns and returning a punt for another. Southern Illinois looked better on the stats sheet everywhere but in the turnovers category, but they were certainly overmatched by the Rebels on the field.
SIU falls to 1-1 this season, and Ole Miss is 1-1 as well. The Rebels will begin SEC play next weekend, when they travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt.
(14) Arkansas vs. New Mexico
The Lobos traveled to Little Rock this weekend, and were rocked by the Razorbacks, who crushed them 52-3. Arkansas took the lead early, scoring a touchdown about two minutes into the game. The first quarter also saw Marquel Wade return a kickoff 85 yards for another Razorbacks TD, which was also the first of his career. New Mexico got their only score of the game during the first quarter, as well. Arkansas amassed 632 total yards, more than doubling the Lobos‘ total, although they also had two turnovers. The only unhappy Razorback following the win may have been QB Tyler Wilson, who had a seat on the bench for the second half of the game. Last week, Wilson dove head over heels into the endzone, something that bothered coach Bobby Petrino. He told Wilson to slide in the future, but the junior quarterback ran into the endzone for a TD yesterday and failed to slide again, earning him both a spot in the coach’s doghouse and on the pine for the second half.
The Lobos are now 0-2 this season, while Arkansas is 2-0 and will be at home again next week to play Troy.
(18) Florida vs. UAB
In the only shut out by an SEC team this weekend, Florida blanked UAB 39-0 in Gainesville. The Gators started the scoring early, putting three points on the board with only two minutes gone in the first quarter. Before the quarter ended, they’d added another field goal and touchdown to their total. There was one negative for the Gators though – they lost star Jeff Demps to an unspecified injury. John Brantley, who is trying to improve on last season’s less-than-impressive performances, was 12-for-19 for 195 yards, no TDs, and no turnovers. He wasn’t awesome, but he was good enough to win. UAB had virtually nothing go their way, and were obviously no match for the more powerful Florida team. This was the first shut out for the Gators since they blanked both Central Florida and Western Carolina back in 2006.
This was the first game of the season for the Blazers, who are 0-1. Florida is now 2-0 and will have another home game next week, when they begin SEC play against Tennessee in Gainesville.
Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut
This one was closer than Vanderbilt probably would’ve liked, but they pulled off a 24-21 win over the Huskies in Nashville. Halfway through the first quarter, UConn got on the board, but the Commodores answered with two consecutive touchdowns. There were no scores either way in the second quarter, leaving Vandy up 14-3 heading into halftime. The Huskies came out and scored twice, a field goal and a punt returned for a touchdown, which brought them within one point. They also rung Commodores QB Larry Smith’s bell, causing him to leave the game for a few downs. The Huskies would score one more TD, but Vandy did the same, and they added a field goal late in the fourth quarter to ensure the win. Both defenses were fantastic, with UConn recording seven sacks and the Commodores getting five. Both teams were also plagued by multiple turnovers, but Vanderbilt was able to find a way to overcome their miscues.
This was the second year in a row that the Huskies have lost their first road game, and they drop to 1-1 on the season. Vanderbilt is now 2-0, and this is their first winning streak since 2008. They’ll play their third straight home game next weekend when they begin SEC play against Ole Miss.
(2) LSU vs. Northwestern State
In a not surprising outcome, LSU shellacked Northwestern State 49-3 last night in Baton Rouge. QB Jarrett Lee, starting in place of the suspended Jordan Jefferson, was impressive, going 9-for-10 for 133 yards and a TD in the first half. Zach Mettenberger came in to play under center in the second half and did a good job as well, throwing for 92 yards, including a TD, and completing 8 of 11 passes. The Tigers had 400 total yards on the night, while the Demons didn’t even break 100. Northwestern State had their one and only score, a field goal, come early in the second quarter. At that point, the game was 7-3. LSU would go on to score 42 unanswered points in a dominating blowout. The two teams have met 11 times, and this was the only time that the Demons were not shut out. Michael Ford and Spencer Ware scored two touchdowns each in the rout, and many of the Tigers starters did not play in the second half.
The Demons fall to 1-1 for the season, while LSU is now 2-0. They’ll begin SEC play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville on Thursday.