Week Four featured action from 11 of the SEC’s 14 teams, as No. 12 South Carolina, No. 21 Ole Miss, and Kentucky were all off this week. Four teams (No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 LSU, Ole Miss, and Missouri) are still undefeated overall, while five (Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, No. 9 Georgia, and No. 19 Florida) are perfect in conference play. This week had two conference games (LSU vs. Auburn and Florida vs. Tennessee), while three teams, Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas have not played an SEC opponent yet. Read on for a recap of what went on around the conference this week.
Vanderbilt 24, Massachusetts 7
It was closer than the Commodores would have liked in the first half, but they managed to pull away in the second half and get back in the win column on Saturday.
Vandy got on the board first late in the first quarter, when QB Austyn Carta-Samuels hit Jonathan Krause with a 42-yard pass for a touchdown. The Minutemen responded with a TD of their own early in the second quarter, but unfortunately for them, that was the only scoring they did all day.
The ‘Dores put up a field goal shortly before halftime and UMass actually had a chance to tie it, but a field goal attempt sailed wide right. Vanderbilt took a 10-7 lead into the locker room, then added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal up the win.
Carta-Samuels finished the day 18-of-27 for 219 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and his Massachusetts counterpart, A.J. Doyle, went 20-of-28 for 133 yards and a TD. Wesley Tate led the Commodores in rushing with 14 carries for 64 yards while Krause led them in receiving with six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Doyle had 29 yards on eight carries and Tajae Sharpe had 45 yards and a TD on seven receptions to lead the Minutemen.
Vandy tallied 23 first downs compared to UMass’ 17 and outgained them 406-248 in total yardage. The ‘Dores had possession of the ball for a little more than half of them game and they turned the ball over twice, while the Minutemen did so once.
Vanderbilt improves to 2-2 overall (they’re 0-2 in the SEC) while Massachusetts drops to 0-4 overall. Next weekend, the Commodores will host UAB and the Minutemen will be off before traveling to play Bowling Green in two weeks.
(9) Georgia 45, North Texas 21
The Mean Green hung around more than the Bulldogs might have been expecting them to, but UGA pulled away in the second half to secure a victory between the hedges on Saturday.
The Dawgs scored a touchdown late in the first quarter, then added another early in the second when Reggie Davis caught a 98-yard pass from Aaron Murray to put Georgia up 14-0. North Texas answered with a TD of their own, and each team found the end zone once more before the half ended, with the Mean Green’s score coming when Brelan Chancellor took a kickoff 99 yards to the house.
North Texas opened the third quarter by tying the game at 21-21, when Zac Whitfield recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. That was the end of their scoring, though, while the Bulldogs gradually pulled away, as they went on to score three more touchdowns and a field goal in the second half.
Murray finished the day 22-of-30 for 408 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception and the Mean Green’s Derek Thompson was 21-of-36 for 202 yards, a TD, and a pick. Gurley led the Bulldogs in rushing with 21 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown while Davis led them in receiving with two catches for 134 yards and a TD. Brandin Byrd had 23 yards on 11 carries and Reggie Pegram had 53 yards on four receptions to lead North Texas.
UGA doubled the Mean Green in first downs 26-13 and way more than doubled them in total yardage, 641-245. North Texas was also held to just seven yards on the ground. The Dawgs had the ball for just over half of the game and turned it over twice, while the Mean Green did so once.
Georgia is now 2-1 overall (they’re 1-0 in conference play) while North Texas falls to 2-2 overall. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be home for a showdown with No. 6 LSU and the Mean Green will be off before they host Tulane in two weeks.
(19) Florida 31, Tennessee 17
It was a rough day for the Gators, who lost their starting quarterback for the rest of the season and didn’t play particularly well, but still did enough to beat the struggling Volunteers on Saturday.
UT got on the board first when Devaun Swafford took an interception 62 yards to the house. UF responded with a field goal and two touchdowns of their own, including one that came when Tyler Murphy, replacing the injured Jeff Driskel, hit Solomon Patton with a 52-yard pass. The Gators took a 17-7 lead into the locker room, but that was overshadowed by the uncertainty surrounding Driskel’s injury.
The Vols opened the third quarter with a field goal, making it a one score game. Unfortunately for them, that was as close as they would get. Florida went on to score two TDs, while Tennessee could only manage one.
Before he left the game, Driskel went 3-for-6 for 33 yards and an interception, and Murphy finished the day 8-of-14 for 134 yards and a touchdown. Nathan Peterman got his first-ever start for UT, but he was just 4-of-11 for five yards and two picks, and was replaced by Justin Worley, who went 10-of-23 for 149 yards, a TD, and two interceptions. Mack Brown led Florida in rushing with 24 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, while Patton led them in receiving with three catches for 73 yards and a TD. Rajion Neal had 42 yards on 12 carries and Alton Howard had 75 yards and a touchdown on four receptions to lead Tennessee.
The Gators racked up 20 first downs compared to the Volunteers’ 12 and outgained them 382-220 in total yardage. UT was also held to just 66 yards on the ground. UF had possession fo the ball for two-thirds of the game, but turnovers plagued both teams, with the Vols giving it up six times and the Gators doing so three times.
Florida improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC while Tennessee drops to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Gators will be on the road against Kentucky and the Volunteers will be home to play South Alabama.
Arkansas 24, Rutgers 28
In an unwanted case of déjà vu for the Hogs, QB Gary Nova and the Scarlet Knights did what they had to do and performed well enough to beat Arkansas and hand Bret Bielema his first loss as their coach on Saturday afternoon.
The Razorbacks scored twice in the final two minutes of the first quarter, including a 26-yard pick-six by Tevin Mitchell. That gave them a 10-0 lead, but Rutgers got on the board with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, making the score 10-7 heading into the locker rooms.
Arkansas scored two TDs in the third quarter, but that was all they could manage for the remainder of the game. The Scarlet Knights, however, dominated the remainder of the game, as they went on to score three unanswered touchdowns, including one in the third quarter on a 58-yard punt return by Janarion Grant.
Nova finished the day 22-of-43 for 346 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception and Hogs QB A.J. Derby was 14-of-26 for 137 yards and a TD. Paul James led Rutgers in rushing with 17 carries for 80 yards while Tyler Kroft led them in receiving with six receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. Alex Collins had 63 yards on 16 carries and Keon Hatcher had 45 yards on four receptions to lead Arkansas.
The Scarlet Knights tallied 24 first downs compared to the Razorbacks’ 14. They also outgained them in total yardage 400-283, although Rutgers was held to just 54 yards on the ground. They also turned the ball over three times, while Arkansas didn’t do so at all, and the Hogs had possession for just over half the game.
Arkansas falls to 3-1 overall (they haven’t played any SEC games yet) while Rutgers is also now 3-1 overall. Next weekend, the Razorbacks will host No. 10 Texas A&M and the Scarlet Knights will travel to square off against Southern Methodist.
(10) Texas A&M 42, Southern Methodist 13
This game pretty much belonged entirely to the Aggies, who dominated the Mustangs on both sides of the ball en route to an easy victory on Saturday night.
Texas A&M was up 14-0 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, but SMU’s Chase Hover banged home a 42-yard field goal at the end of the quarter to get his team on the board. The Aggies responded to that with three straight TDs, and though two of the extra points failed and the third was blocked, they still built up plenty of points.
Again, Hover sent a field goal through the uprights, this time from 47 yards out, as the quarter ended, making it 32-6 going into the locker rooms. The second half saw Texas A&M score twice more, a touchdown and a field goal, while the Mustangs got their final points thanks to fourth quarter TD.
Aggies QB Johnny Manziel finished the night 14-of-21 for 244 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and his Southern Methodist counterpart, Garrett Gilbert, went 37-of-62 for 310 yards, a TD, and a pick. Manziel led Texas A&M in rushing with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries while Malcome Kennedy led them in receiving with six catches for 83 yards and a TD. Prescott Line had 40 yards on nine carries and Holman had 133 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions to lead the Mustangs.
The two teams were almost equal in first downs, with the Aggies notching 27 and SMU 25, but Texas A&M had more total yardage, 581-434. The Mustangs turned the ball over three times while the Aggies did so once, and the two squads each had possession for about half of the game.
Texas A&M improves to 3-1 overall (they’re 0-1 in conference play) while Southern Methodist drops to 1-2 overall. Next weekend, the Aggies will be on the road to face off against Arkansas and the Mustangs will travel to play TCU.
(1) Alabama 31, Colorado State 6
This wasn’t exactly the blowout most people were expecting, but the Crimson Tide overpowered the Rams as the game went on and pulled away in the second half to cruise to victory on Saturday night.
The first half was all Bama, as they got on the board first with a touchdown late in the first quarter, then found the end zone again when Dillon Lee took a blocked punt 15 yards to the house to open the second quarter. Cade Foster was good from 46 yards out to put his team up 17-0 at the half.
CSU didn’t get into Tide territory until the third quarter, when they got both of their scores, two field goals. Alabama answered and guaranteed their win with two more TDs in the fourth quarter, one early on and one shortly before the end of the game.
Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron finished the night 20-of-26 for 258 yards, a touchdown, and a pick and the Rams’ Garrett Grayson was 24-of-38 for 228 yards. T.J. Yeldon led Bama in rushing with seven carries for 49 yards and Christion Jones led them in receiving with nine catches for 90 yards. Chris Nwoke had 27 yards on 12 carries and Joe Hansley had 82 yards on six receptions to lead Colorado State.
The two teams were almost even in first downs, with the Tide notching 16 and the Rams 13, but Alabama had more total yardage, 338-279. Neither team did very well on the ground, with CSU getting 51 yards and the Crimson Tide 66. Each squad turned the ball over once and the Rams had possession for just over half of the game.
Alabama is now 3-0 overall (they’re 1-0 in the SEC) while Colorado State falls to 1-3 overall. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will be home to take on Ole Miss and the Rams will host UTEP.
Mississippi State 62, Troy 7
After a close loss to Auburn last weekend, the Bulldogs took out their frustrations by routing the Trojans on Saturday night.
MSU got on the board less than two minutes into the game, when Jamerson love took an interception 70 yards to the house. They added a field goal later in the quarter before Troy scored a touchdown of their own to pull within three points. That was as close as they would get and their only score of the night, though.
The Bulldogs found the end zone five times in the second quarter, including once with just one minute remaining in the half, when Dak Prescott hit Jameon Lewis with a 50-yard pass. Though they already had a sizeable lead, they scored three more times in the second half, two TDs and a field goal.
Prescott finished the night 13-of-21 for 233 yards and a touchdown and Trojans QB Corey Robinson went 15-of-25 for 105 yards, a TD, and an interception. Derrick Milton led Mississippi State in rushing with seven carries for 56 yards and a touchdown while Lewis led them in receiving with two catches for 96 yards and a TD. Brandon Burks had 43 yards on eight carries and Jim Teknipp had 29 yards on one reception to lead Troy.
The Bulldogs almost tripled the Trojans in first downs, 30-11, and way outgained them in total yardage 551-186 (Troy were held to just 47 yards on the ground). MSU had the ball for more than 36 minutes and did not turn the ball over once, while the Trojans did so twice.
Mississippi State improves to 2-2 overall (they’re 0-1 in conference play) while Troy drops 2-2 to overall. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be off before hosting No. 6 LSU in two weeks and the Trojans will be on the road to square off against Duke.
(6) LSU 35, Auburn 21
Auburn made it into an interesting game, but LSU used their home field advantage and superior talent to earn a victory on Saturday night.
LSU got on the board first less than five minutes into the game, when Jeremy Hill ran 49 yards to the house to put his team up 7-0. He scored another touchdown just over a minute later, and LSU found the end zone again early in the second quarter, giving them a 21-0 lead going into the locker room.
AU opened the third quarter with a score of their own, thanks to a short run by Tre Mason. Hill answered by scoring another TD, then Mason made his way to the end zone again before the quarter was over. Each team tacked on one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, LSU’s coming when Zach Mettenberger hit Jarvis Landry with a 32-yard pass and Auburn’s on a 12-yard run by Cameron Artis-Payne.
Mettenberger finished the night 14-of-22 for 229 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and AU’s Nick Marshall was 17-of-33 for 224 yards and two picks. Hill led LSU in rushing with 25 carries for 183 yards and three TDs while Landry led them in receiving with seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Mason had 132 yards and two TDs on 26 carries and Sammie Coates had 139 yards on four receptions to lead Auburn.
AU tallied 21 first downs compared to LSU’s 16, and barely outgained LSU in total yardage, 456-437. The two teams split the time of possession almost equally, and LSU turned the ball over twice while AU did so three times.
LSU is now 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC while Auburn falls to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the gold and purple Tigers will travel to face off against No. 9 Georgia and the orange and blue Tigers will be off before hosting Ole Miss in two weeks.
Missouri 45, Indiana 28
The Tigers shut down a Hoosiers rally and found offensive and defensive strengths as they topped Indiana fairly easily on Saturday night.
Mizzou scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, but the Hoosiers responded with two TDs of their own in the second quarter. The Tigers added two more of their own before the half, though, one via a run by QB James Franklin and the other that came with less than two minutes remaining, when Kony Ealy took an interception 49 yards to the house and put his team up 28-14 going into the locker room.
Missouri added a field goal in the third quarter and both teams tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. IU’s first came on a 68-yard pass and featured a failed two-point conversion (they got the two points on their second TD), and the Tigers’ final touchdown came courtesy of a 45-yard run by Russell Hansbrough.
Franklin finished the night 32-of-47 for 343 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions and Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld went 21-of-39 for 229 yards, a TD, and three picks. Hansbrough led the Tigers in rushing with 13 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown while Dorial Green-Beckham led them in receiving with eight catches for 105 yards and a TD. Tevin Coleman had 54 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and Cody Latimer had eight receptions for 136 yards and a TD to lead the Hoosiers.
Mizzou tallied 33 first downs compared to IU’s 20, and outgained them 623-475 in total yardage (the Hoosiers were held to 98 yards on the ground). Each team turned the ball over three times, and the Tigers had the ball for more than 36 minutes.
Missouri improves to 3-0 overall (they haven’t played an SEC game yet) and Indiana drops to 2-2 overall. Next weekend, the Tigers will be home to take on Arkansas State and the Hoosiers will be off before hosting Penn State in two weeks.