Week Five featured performances from almost every team in the SEC, as Mississippi State and Auburn were the only two teams who didn’t play. There were also the most conference games of the season so far, with eight SEC teams playing each other. Relatedly, Missouri is the only team who still hasn’t played a conference game. Two teams (Missouri and Alabama) are undefeated overall, and three (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) are undefeated in SEC play. Also, seven teams from the conference are ranked in the AP Top 25, and four are in the Top 10. Read on for a recap of all of this weekend’s SEC action.
(12) South Carolina 28, Central Florida 25
It was much closer than the Gamecocks would have liked, but they managed to come away with a win on Saturday, despite losing quarterback Connor Shaw.
The Knights got on the board first, taking a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game. On USC’s first drive, Shaw tried to scramble and landed awkwardly. He left the field and was later diagnosed with a right shoulder sprain. The Cocks couldn’t get anything going in the first or second quarters, while UCF managed a second quarter field goal to make the score 10-0 heading into halftime.
Carolina came alive in the second half, though, as Mike Davis started things off with a 53-yard touchdown run to get his team on the board. Dylan Thompson, playing in place of Shaw, took the ball to the house himself near the end of the third quarter, giving the Gamecocks their first lead of the day. Davis ran for two more TDs in the fourth quarter, giving South Carolina a seemingly comfortable lead. The Knights answered with two more touchdowns of their own, though, including one with less than two minutes left in the game. They tried to onside kick and couldn’t recover it, though, which effectively ended the game.
The Cocks tallied 23 first downs compared to UCF’s 20 and outgained them in total yardage 490-427 (the Knights were held to just 69 yards on the ground). Turnovers plagued both teams, with each squad coughing it up four times, and they split the time of possession almost equally.
Thompson finished the day 15-of-32 for 261 yards and a pick, while Central Florida QB Blake Bortles went 25-of-36 for 358 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Davis led USC in rushing with 26 carries for 167 yards (almost all of which came in the second half) and three TDs and Bruce Ellington led them in receiving with four catches for 88 yards. Johnson had 64 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Rannell Hall had 142 yards and two TDs on eight receptions to lead the Knights.
Tennessee 31, South Alabama 24
The Jaguars hung around and gave UT a run for their money, but the Vols did just enough to avoid being upset at home on Saturday.
South Alabama started the game by taking a 7-0 lead, scoring less than three minutes into the first quarter. That was all they could do before the half, though, while Tennessee answered with a touchdown and a 40-yard field goal, then tacked on two more TDs in the second quarter to take a 24-7 lead into the locker room.
The Volunteers’ final points came on their first possession of the second half, when Raijon Neal ran 11 yards to the end zone. Unfortunately for them, they allowed the Jaguars to put up 17 unanswered points. South Alabama’s last score came with just under nine minutes left in the game, and it was just not quite enough to catch up to the lead that Tennessee had established.
The teams were almost even in first downs, with the Vols notching 24 and the Jaguars 22, but the Volunteers outgained South Alabama 482-392 in total yardage. Both squads turned the ball over three times and they each had possession for about half of the game.
Worley finished the day 20-of-36 for 204 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. Metheny was 21-of-42 for 234 yards and two picks. Raijon Neal led the Vols in rushing with 25 carries for 169 yards and TD and Jason Croom led them in receiving with three catches for 50 yards. Metheny had 67 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and Shavarez Smith had 83 yards on four receptions to lead the Jaguars.
Tennessee is now 3-2 overall (they’re 0-1 in conference play) and South Alabama falls to 2-2 overall. Next weekend, the Volunteers will be home to face off against No. 9 Georgia and the Jaguars will travel to play Troy.
(9) Georgia 44, (6) LSU 41
In one of the biggest games of the week, neither the Bulldogs nor the Tigers disappointed, but UGA rallied late to squeak by with an important victory on Saturday.
The Dawgs took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, but LSU responded with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Zach Mettenberger to Kadron Boone a few minutes later to tie things up. Each team found the end zone again in the first quarter, then they traded field goals in the second quarter before Georgia QB Aaron Murray tacked on another TD with 20 seconds remaining in the half to give them a slim 24-17 lead.
The Tigers put up another field goal to decrease the deficit, but then the Bulldogs banged one home from 55 yards out to increase their lead again. Each team scored a touchdown in the third quarter, which meant UGA was up by just seven points with one quarter remaining. LSU began the fourth by finding the end zone again, tying the game at 34-34. The Dawgs tacked on another field goal to retake the lead, and in the final five minutes of the game, each team landed in the end zone one more time. The Tigers had a chance to retake the lead on their final possession, but the Georgia defense stepped up and the LSU drive stalled.
The Bulldogs tallied 28 first downs compared to the Tigers’ 23, and outgained them in total yardage 494-449 (LSU was held to just 77 yards on the ground). Each squad turned the ball over once and they split time of possession almost equally.
Murray finished the day 20-of-34 for 298 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception and Mettenberger went 23-of-37 for 372 yards and three TDs. Marshall led UGA in rushing with 20 carries for 96 yards and Chris Conley led them in receiving with five catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Hill had 86 yards and a TD on 21 carries and Landry had 156 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions to lead the Tigers.
Georgia improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC and LSU drops to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be on the road to square off against Tennessee and the Tigers will travel to take on Mississippi State.
(1) Alabama 25, (21) Ole Miss 0
They got off to a slow start, but the Crimson Tide got it together as the game went on and cruised to a fairly easy shutout win on Saturday night.
Bama’s first half points came from three field goals, which came from 28, 53, and 42 yards out. All of Ole Miss’ trips to the red zone ended dismally, as they were either forced to punt or had to turn the ball over on downs (there was also a pick). The Tide’s 9-0 lead at the half didn’t seem all that impressive, but considering the Rebs’ ineptitude, it also wasn’t really a problem.
T.J. Yeldon opened up the third quarter with a 68-yard run for a touchdown to increase his team’s lead even more. Ole Miss couldn’t help themselves at all, but they helped Alabama out in the fourth quarter when QB Bo Wallace went down in the end zone for a safety, and then they allowed Kenyan Drake to break off a 50-yard run to the house to really put the game out of reach (although it pretty much already was).
The Crimson Tide almost doubled the Rebels in first downs, 21-11, and rolled up 434 total yards, compared to Ole Miss’ 205 (the Rebs were held to just 46 yards on the ground). Bama had possession for almost two-thirds of the game, and they turned the ball over once, while Ole Miss did so twice.
McCarron finished the night 25-of-32 for 180 yards and an interception and Wallace was 17-of-31 for 159 yards. Yeldon led the Tide in rushing with 17 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown and Christion Jones led them in receiving with five catches for 61 yards. Jeff Scott had 28 yards on eight carries and Donte Moncrief had 60 yards on six receptions to lead the Rebels.
Alabama is now 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC and Ole Miss falls to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will host Georgia State and the Rebels will be on the road to face off against Auburn.
(10) Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33
The Hogs made things interesting, but they just couldn’t quite overcome the power of Johnny Manziel and the Aggies on Saturday night.
Texas A&M started off the scoring with a touchdown early in the first quarter, but Arkansas answered with a TD of their own. The Aggies found the end zone again and tacked on a field goal in the first quarter, before the Razorbacks notched a field goal early in the second quarter. Texas A&M found the end zone again, but so did Arkansas, and they added another field goal as time expired to make the score 24-20 heading into the locker rooms.
The third quarter started with a pick-six for the Aggies, as Deshazor Everett took an interception 34 yards to the house. The Hogs responded quickly, and the teams traded touchdowns for the remainder of the game. Unfortunately for Arkansas, Texas A&M got the final score in the fourth quarter, and that, combined with the lead they already had, was enough to guarantee a win.
The Aggies tallied 26 first downs, compared to the Razorbacks’ 23, and they also outgained them 523-483 in total yardage. The teams each had possession of the ball for about half the game, although Arkansas turned it over twice, while Texas A&M didn’t do so at all.
Manziel finished the night 23-of-30 for 261 yards and two touchdowns and Allen went 17-of-36 for 282 yards, three TDs, and two interceptions. Trey Williams led the Aggies in rushing with nine carries for 83 yards and a touchdown and Evans led them in receiving with six catches for 116 yards and two TDs. Alex Collins had 116 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and Hunter Henry had 109 yards on four receptions to lead the Hogs.
Texas A&M improves to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC and Arkansas drops to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Aggies will be off before traveling to play No. 21 Ole Miss in two weeks and the Razorbacks will be on the road to square off against No. 20 Florida.
(20) Florida 24, Kentucky 7
It wasn’t the most exciting game, but the Gators found a way to click offensively and shut down the Wildcats en route to a victory Saturday night.
UF got on the board first with a touchdown midway through the first quarter, but UK tied it near the end of the quarter, when they faked a field goal and Joe Mansour took the ball 25 yards to the house. Unfortunately for them, those were all the points they could muster during the entire game.
The Gators tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half, giving them a 21-7 lead going into the half. They didn’t exactly light it up in the third or fourth quarters, scoring just once, a fourth quarter field goal, but that was more than enough to get the win.
The Gators almost doubled the Wildcats in first downs, 22-12, and more than doubled them in total yardage, 402-173 (Kentucky was held to just 48 yards on the ground). UF also had the ball for almost two-thirds of the game and both teams turned it over once.
Murphy finished the night 15-of-18 for 156 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and his Wildcats counterpart, Maxwell Smith, was 12-of-20 for 90 yards and a pick. Jones led the Gators in rushing with 28 carries for 176 and a TD and Trey Burton led them in receiving with six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Mansour had 25 yards and a TD on one carry and Alexander Montgomery had 47 yards on four receptions to lead UK.
Florida is now 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC and Kentucky falls to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Gators will be home to take on Arkansas and the Wildcats will travel to play No. 12 South Carolina.
Missouri 41, Arkansas State 19
The Tigers played their final non-conference game of the season and kept their undefeated record alive as they cruised to an easy victory on Saturday night.
The Red Wolves opened the scoring with a 41-yard field goal early in the first quarter, then added another field goal before Missouri got on the board with a touchdown late in the quarter. The Tigers followed that up by opening the second quarter with a 68-yard pass from James Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham for another TD and the lead. Arkansas State added a touchdown of their own later in the quarter, making it 14-13 at the half.
The third quarter saw another field goal from the Red Wolves, giving them the lead, although that was short-lived. Mizzou found the end zone twice more before ASU got their final score, another field goal, midway through the fourth quarter. The Tigers broke it open in the final five minutes of the game, tacking on two more TDs to give themselves some insurance.
The teams were pretty close to equal in first downs, with the Red Wolves notching 25 and Missouri 23, but the Tigers outgained Arkansas State 495-425 in total yardage. Each team turned the ball over once, and the Red Wolves had a slight time of possession advantage, as they had the ball for just over 34 minutes.
Franklin finished the night 20-of-29 for 255 yards and three touchdowns and ASU’s Adam Kennedy went 37-of-46 for 308 yards, a TD, and an interception. Russell Hansbrough led Mizzou in rushing with eight carries for 96 yards and Green-Beckham led them in receiving with four catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. David Oku had 36 yards on 19 carries and Julian Jones had 136 yards and a TD on 10 receptions to lead the Red Wolves.
Missouri improves to 4-0 overall (they still haven’t played an SEC game) and Arkansas State drops to 2-3 overall. Next weekend, the Tigers will begin conference play on the road against Vanderbilt and the Red Wolves will be off before hosting Idaho in two weeks.
Vanderbilt 52, UAB 24
They’ve struggled against SEC opponents, but the ‘Dores kept their out-of-conference record unblemished by blowing out the Blazers on Saturday night.
Vandy got on the board first with a touchdown in the first quarter, but UAB answered with a field a few minutes later. The Commodores’ Carey Spear banged home a 50-yard field goal to open the second quarter, then the Blazers added another field goal of their own. Twenty seconds later, Jerron Seymour ran 58 yards for his second TD of the night. Vanderbilt QB Austyn Carta-Samuels took the ball to the house himself right before halftime to put his team up 24-6.
UAB tacked on another field goal early in the third quarter, and the ‘Dores responded by finding the end zone again. The fourth quarter was a flurry of touchdowns, but three belonged to Vandy and only two were the Blazers’. UAB even went for a two-point conversion – and succeeded – and their final score came with just about a minute left in the game, but by then it was much too little, too late for the Blazers.
The Commodores tallied 23 first downs compared to UAB’s 17 and outgained them in total yardage 540-362. The squads split time of possession almost evenly, and Vanderbilt turned the ball over once, while the Blazers did so twice.
Carta-Samuels finished the night 23-of-29 for 334 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and UAB’s Jonathan Perry was 9-of-16 for 155 yards, two TDs, and a pick. Seymour led the ‘Dores in rushing with 12 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Matthews led them in receiving with eight catches for 115 yards and a TD. Jordan Howard had 92 yards on nine carries and Jamarcus Nelson had 69 yards on five receptions to lead the Blazers.
Vanderbilt is now 3-2 overall (they’re 0-2 in the SEC) and UAB falls to 1-3 overall. Next weekend, the Commodores will be home to take on Missouri and the Blazers will host Florida Atlantic.
For a full recap of the game between No. 12 South Carolina and UCF, visit Cocky Country.