SEC Summary: Week Eight

SEC_new_logoIt was Bizarro Week in the SEC, as in four of the six games played on Saturday, the higher ranked team lost, and in all of those games, the losing team lost by no more than four points. Mississippi State and Kentucky were the only two teams who didn’t play, and every squad that did have a game was facing another team from the conference. Two teams remain undefeated both overall and in SEC play, Alabama in the West and Missouri in the East (who saw that coming?!), while Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Arkansas still have not won a conference game (if only MSU and UK hadn’t been on a bye this week…). Eight teams are in the AP Top 25, a record for the most teams from one conference, though their positions will certainly change tomorrow. Read on to catch up on all of this weekend’s SEC football action.

Tennessee 23, (11) South Carolina 21

They needed a last-second field goal to do it, but Volunteers came through with an important on Saturday, their first win over a ranked opponent in 19 games.

UT took a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Gamecocks got on the board early in the second, when Connor Shaw found Damiere Byrd for a 76-yard touchdown. The Vols found the end zone twice before halftime, though, and USC missed on a field goal attempt, giving Tennessee a 17-7 lead going into the locker rooms.

The roles were reversed in the third quarter, when the Cocks scored two TDs, the first on a 21-yard run by Mike Davis, and the Volunteers missed a field goal. UT pulled within one point early in the fourth quarter, then things got serious. South Carolina’s offense, which had looked shaky all day, was hurt by poor play calling, then lost Connor Shaw to a knee injury, and the Vols went on to capitalize on their final drive, with Michael Palardy banging home a 19-yard field goal as time expired.

The teams were almost equal in first downs, with Tennessee tallying 18 and the Gamecocks 17, and USC outgained the Volunteers 384-325 in total yardage. They also turned the ball over twice, while UT didn’t do so at all and had possession for a little more than half of the game.

Worley finished the day 19-of-34 for 179 yards and a touchdown and Shaw went 7-of-21 for 161 yards, a TD, and an interception, his first of the season. Neal led the Vols in rushing with 24 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown and Marquez North led them in receiving with three catches for 102 yards. Davis had 137 yards (he has had more than 100 in every game this season) and a TD on 21 carries and Byrd had 121 yards and a touchdown on four receptions to lead the Cocks.

Tennessee improves to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEC and South Carolina drops to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Next weekend, the Volunteers will be on the road to face off against No. 1 Alabama and the Gamecocks will travel to take on No. 14 Missouri.

Vanderbilt 31, (15) Georgia 27

The Commodores rallied in the fourth quarter on Saturday and did just enough to hand the Bulldogs their second loss in a row.

UGA opened the scoring with a field goal in the first quarter, but Vandy took the lead with a touchdown five and a half minutes later. The Dawgs had an answer, though, as QB Aaron Murray took things into his own hands and scored a TD at the end of the quarter. The ‘Dores retook the lead by finding the end zone again in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs tacked on two more touchdowns of their own, one on a 39-yard pick-six by Shaq Wiggins and the other courtesy of Murray, putting them up 24-14 at the half.

Georgia padded their lead with a field goal in the third quarter, but that was the end of their scoring for the day, as the fourth quarter was all Commodores. They started with a TD, then a 40-yard field goal by Carey Spear, and finished things off when Jerron Seymour ran 13 yards to the house with just under three minutes remaining in the game. The Dawgs went on to fumble, Vandy missed a field goal, and that was that.

The ‘Dores notched 21 first downs compared to UGA’s 16 and outgained them in total yardage 337-221. Turnovers plagued both teams, as the Bulldogs gave it up three times and Vanderbilt did so twice, but the Commodores had possession for just over 35 minutes.

Austyn Carta-Samuels, Vandy’s QB, finished the day 12-of-20 for 111 yards and an interception and Murray was 16-of-28 for 114 yards and a pick. Seymour led the ‘Dores in rushing with 19 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Matthews led them in receiving with 11 catches for 89 yards. Brendan Douglas had 84 yards on 17 carries and Chris Conley had 40 yards on five receptions to lead the Dawgs.

Vanderbilt is now 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC and Georgia falls to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Next weekend, the Commodores will be on the road to play No. 7 Texas A&M and the Bulldogs will be off before traveling to square off against No. 22 Florida in two weeks.

(14) Missouri 36, (22) Florida 17

The Tigers kept their undefeated season alive by trouncing the visiting Gators on Saturday afternoon.

Mizzou got the scoring started quickly, scoring on their second play of the game, when Maty Mauk found Bud Sasser for a 20-yard touchdown. UF answered with a field goal, then the Tigers got a field goal of their own near the end of the quarter. They tacked on another one in the second quarter, putting them on top 13-3 heading into the locker rooms.

The third quarter began with the Gators’ Solomon Patton taking the kickoff 100 yards to the house, but Missouri responded by finding the end zone about a minute later. Andrew Baggett was good from 39 yards out to give the Tigers three more points, and Florida closed out the quarter with another touchdown, this one courtesy of a 20-yard run by Kelvin Taylor, bringing the score to 23-17 in favor of Mizzou. That was the end of the scoring for the Gators, as the fourth quarter was all Tigers. Two field goals and a 17-yard TD run by Mauk gave Missouri more than enough insurance.

The Tigers more than doubled Florida in first downs, 24-11, and outgained them 500-151 in total yardage (the Gators were held to just 59 yards on the ground and 92 through the air). Turnovers were a problem for both squads, with Mizzou giving it up twice and UF doing so three times, and each team had the ball for about half of the game.

Mauk finished the day 18-of-36 for 295 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and Murphy went 15-of-29 for 92 yards and a pick. Henry Josey led the Tigers in rushing with 18 carries for 136 yards and a TD and L’Damian Washington led them in receiving with three catches for 84 yards. Taylor had 74 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and Patton had 46 yards on six receptions to lead the Gators.

Missouri improves to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC and Florida drops to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Next weekend, the Tigers will host No. 11 South Carolina and the Gators will be off before playing No. 15 Georgia in two weeks.

(24) Auburn 45, (7) Texas A&M 45

It came down to the wire, but the Tigers went into College Station and took down Johnny Manziel and the Aggies on Saturday.

Texas A&M got on the board first with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Manziel to Mike Evans a minute and a half into the game, but Auburn answered with a TD of their own shortly after. They took the lead thanks to a field goal, but the Manziel found Evans again, this time for a 64-yard touchdown, to give the lead back to the home team. The Tigers added another TD of their own, but the Aggies put up a field goal and another Manziel to Evans touchdown, this one for 42-yards, to give them a 24-17 lead at the half.

Midway through the third quarter, Auburn tied the game when Nick Marshall hit Sammi Coates with a 43-yard TD pass, but again Texas A&M responded with a touchdown from Manziel to Evans (33 yards on that one). The fourth quarter was a scoring bonanza, with each team doing everything they could to get a lead. The Aggies opened the quarter with a field goal, the Tigers found the end zone again twice, which gave them a four-point advantage, but Manziel took the ball to the house himself with five minutes  left to put his team back on top. With just over a minute remaining, Auburn scored one final TD, securing the victory for the visitors.

The teams were pretty close to even in first downs, with Texas A&M tallying 29 and the Tigers 27, and Auburn barely outgained the Aggies in total yardage, 615-602. The Tigers turned the ball over once while Texas A&M did so twice, and Auburn had the ball for a little more than half of the game.

Marshall finished the day 11-of-23 for 236 yards and two touchdowns and Manziel was 28-of-38 for 454 yards, four TDs, and two interceptions. Tre Mason led the Tigers in rushing with 27 carries for 178 yards and a touchdown and Coates led them in receiving with five catches for 104 yards and a TD. Manziel had 48 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and Evans had 287 yards and four touchdowns on 11 receptions to lead the Aggies.

It came down to the wire, but the Tigers went into College Station and took down Johnny

Auburn is now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC and Texas A&M falls to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Next weekend, the Tigers will be home to take on Florida Atlantic and the Aggies will host Vanderbilt.

Ole Miss 27, (6) LSU 24

A last-second field goal gave the Rebels a surprising victory over the Tigers on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

The first half of this game was fairly quiet, with the only two scores, a first quarter field goal and a second quarter touchdown, both belonging to Ole Miss. While the Rebs took a 10-0 lead into the locker room, a major part of the problem for LSU was that QB Zach Mettenberger was intercepted three times in the first half, including being picked off twice in the end zone.

Ole Miss tacked on another TD in the third quarter, giving them a 17-0 lead before the Tigers finally got on the board with a touchdown of their own. They found the end zone again to pull within three points, but the Rebels closed out the quarter with Jaylen Walton running 26 yards to the house.

LSU scored when Colby Delahoussaye’s 41-yard field goal attempt was good early in the fourth quarter, then, with just over three minutes remaining, they tied the game with a TD. Ole Miss had one more score left in them, though, as Andrew Ritter kicked a game-winning 41-yard field goal of his own as the final seconds ticked down.

The Rebs notched 28 first downs compared to the Tigers’ 22 and outgained them 525-388 in total yardage. Turnovers plagued both teams, with Ole Miss giving it up twice and LSU doing so three times, and the Rebels had possession for a little more than half of the game.

Bo Wallace, Ole Miss’ QB, finished the night 30-of-39 for 346 yards and Mettenberger went 19-of-33 for 274 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. Walton led the Rebs in rushing with 19 carries for 106 yards and two TDs and Donte Moncrief led them in receiving with five catches for 107 yards. Jeremy Hill had 64 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Jarvis Landry had 121 yards and a TD on seven receptions to lead the Tigers.

(1) Alabama 52, Arkansas 0

A week after getting crushed at home (on Homecoming!) by South Carolina, the Hogs went down to Tuscaloosa and watched another team hang more than 50 points on them.

This game was obviously all Bama, all the time, and they got the scoring started early, taking a 7-0 lead six minutes into the game. The Crimson Tide found the end zone again in the first quarter, then twice more in the second quarter. Those two TDs came on a 46-yard run by Kenyan Drake and a 30-yard pass from AJ McCarron to Amari Cooper and put the home team up 28-0 at the half.

Alabama added two more touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter, but they weren’t done there. With a minute left in the game, Derrick Henry broke off an 80-yard run to the house that can’t have made the Razorbacks feel very good at all, especially because the Tide routed Arkansas 52-0 last year, too. The only bad news for Bama was that they lost Vinnie Sunseri to a knee injury, however they also got HaHa Clinton-Dix back from his suspension.

The Crimson Tide tallied 25 first downs compared to the Hogs’ 16 and more than doubled them in total yardage, 532-256 (Arkansas was held to just 91 yards through the air). The Razorbacks turned the ball over three times while Bama didn’t do so at all, and they also had possession for just over half of the game.

McCarron finished the night 15-of-21 for 180 yards and three touchdowns and his Arkansas counterpart, Brandon Allen, was 7-of-25 for 91 yards and two interceptions. Henry led the Tide in rushing with six carries for 111 yards and a TD and Cooper led them in receiving with three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Alex Collins had 77 yards on 18 carries and Hunter Henry had 42 yards on three receptions to lead the Hogs.

Alabama is now 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC and Arkansas falls to 3-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will be home to square off against Tennessee and the Razorbacks will be off being hosting No. 24 Auburn in two weeks.

For an alternate recap of the game between No. 11 South Carolina and Tennessee, visit Cocky Country.

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