Welcome to your one-stop shop for what went down in the SEC this weekend. We’re now a third of the way through the season, which is unbelievable to me. I’m actually a little surprised by how many teams are still perfect, although many of them have played against so-called “easy” opponents, and will begin being tested more in the upcoming weeks. Tennessee was the first SEC team to have a bye week, and they’ll play at home against Buffalo next weekend. Read on to catch up on all that happened around the conference in Week Four.
Georgia vs. Ole Miss
It wasn’t a blowout win like last week, but UGA still came away with a victory, 24-13 over the Rebels this weekend. Ole Miss is certainly not a powerhouse this year, but it has to feel good for the Dawgs to have an SEC win under their belts. Georgia had 17 points before Ole Miss even got on the board, and led 24-13 at the half. Mississippi was held scoreless in the second half, while UGA got one more field goal late in the fourth quarter. The Rebels couldn’t get a ground game going at all, and they weren’t a whole lot better through the air. They only had 183 total yards to Georgia’s 475, and only 34 of those yards came from the running game. The Rebels also struggled with first downs, and they had only eight to UGA’s 25. The Dawgs were strong defensively, stymieing the Rebels on almost every possession. The only thing Ole Miss had success at were trick plays, since both of their TDs came after reverses. They also managed to recover their onside kick. Rebels coach Houston Nutt is now on an even hotter seat, while Mark Richt’s may have cooled just a little.
Georgia is now 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in SEC play. They’ll be at home against Mississippi State next weekend in a battle of the Bulldogs. Ole Miss falls to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference. They’ll travel to California to take on Fresno State (also the Bulldogs) next weekend.
(14) Arkansas vs. (3) Alabama
Alabama ended Arkansas’ bid for a perfect season Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa, defeating the Razorbacks 38-14 and keeping their own perfect season alive. Arkansas put points on the board in the first and fourth quarters, but the Tide did much better. They added points in each quarter, scoring on offense, defense, and special teams, effectively knocking almost all the wind out of Arkansas’ sails. The Razorbacks only gained a shocking 17 yards rushing and turned the ball over twice, one of which was taken back 25 yards for a Bama TD. Tide QB AJ McCarron looked sharp in his first SEC start, going 15 of 20 for 200 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was also part of a crafty play where Alabama lined up for a field goal, but then snapped the ball to McCarron, who hit Michael Williams in the endzone for a score. Marquis Maze also took a punt return 83 yards to the house. The Alabama D had 10 tackles for loss, and Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and his offense were clearly overmatched. Wilson didn’t even play in the fourth quarter, though the Razorbacks were pretty much out of the game by that point anyway.
Arkansas drops to 3-1 o on the season and 0-1 in the SEC. They’ll be home next week to face Texas A&M. Alabama improves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference. They’ll head to The Swamp next weekend to face off against Florida, who’s also undefeated.
Auburn vs. Florida Atlantic
The defending national champs bounced back from last week’s loss at Clemson to beat the Owls 30-14 on the plains in Auburn Saturday night. The two teams were nearly identical on the stats sheet, except for FAU’s three turnovers, two of which were returned for scores in the third quarter, and their time of possession, which was about seven and a half minutes more than the Tigers. The Owls actually got on the board first, thanks to an interception which led to a field goal, but Auburn wouldn’t back down, and scored twice in the first quarter. FAU hung around, getting a second quarter field goal and heading into halftime down by only dour points, but the Tigers exploded in the third quarter, thanks to the pick sixes and some offense of their own. Auburn QB Barrett Trotter was far from awesome, but he was adequate, especially considering his offense played questionably for most of the game. The Owls did manage to add a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but by then Auburn had built too big of a lead for Florida Atlantic to overcome.
Auburn is now 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in SEC play. They’ll be in Columbia next weekend to take on South Carolina.
For a complete recap of the game from an FAU perspective, visit Fly Like An Owl.
(15) Florida vs. Kentucky
The Wildcats’ hopes of being the first team to hand the Gators a loss were foiled Saturday night in Lexington, when Florida rolled to an easy 48-10 win. It was Florida’s game from the start, as they scored three touchdowns in less than five minutes in the first quarter. Two of those came thanks to turnovers by Kentucky, who pretty much just looked sloppy and overmatched all night. The game was never close, and the Wildcats didn’t even score in the second half. Jeff Demps continued his banner year for the Gators, picking up 157 yards and two TDs. QB John Brantley had to leave before the half after having the wind knocked out of him, but he was back for a while in the second half, until the Gators had a very comfortable 41-10 lead. Kentucky actually had more passing yards than Florida, but the Gators had over 400 yards of rushing, while the Cats only had 134. This was the 25th straight time that Florida has beaten Kentucky.
Florida improves to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference. They’ll be home next weekend to face Alabama in a battle of undefeateds. Kentucky drops to 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in SEC play. They’ll be in Baton Rouge next weekend to take on LSU.
Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech
This game was undoubtedly much closer than the Bulldogs of MSU would have liked, but they managed to pull off a 26-20 overtime win over the Bulldogs of LA Tech last night in Starkville. It was an interception that led to Mississippi State’s final score, and the third turnover of the night by Lousiana Tech. MSU QB Chris Relf found LaDarius Perkins for the game winning TD after Nickoe Whitley intercepted a Nick Isham pass, and the game was over. Neither team was very impressive on the stats sheet, though LA Tech had almost 100 more yards of passing (252) than MSU did (164). The scoring was pretty even throughout the game, and neither team was able to establish a big lead and pull away. The only real advantage was that Mississippi State only turned the ball over once. MSU’s Bulldogs, who were ranked as high as No. 16 this season, dropped out of the rankings after last week’s loss to LSU, and likely won’t be ranked again unless they start winning games consistently and convincingly.
Mississippi State is now 2-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play. They’ll be at Georgia (another Bulldogs team) next weekend.
(2) LSU at (16) West Virginia
The Tigers have made a serious case for a No. 1 ranking, and Saturday night continued to add more evidence, beating the Mountaineers soundly, 47-21. QB Jarrett Lee threw for 180 yards and three Tigers touchdowns (tying a career high), and LSU outgained WVU 533 to 366 in total yardage. LSU punter Brad Wing also played a key role, forcing the Mountaineers to start deep in their own territory on almost every possession. West Virginia was really their own worst enemy, though, as they turned the ball over four times (LSU didn’t turn it over once), and gaining only 70 yards on the ground. They were much better with a passing game, though, and had 463 yards through the air to the Tigers’ 180. The Mountaineers, who trailed by 20 points at halftime, mounted a third quarter comeback, but it wasn’t enough. It also didn’t help that Morris Claiborne returned a WVU kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, breaking two tackles and putting Louisiana State up 34-21 with one quarter to go. LSU added two fourth quarter touchdowns, and the fans in Morgantown went home unhappy.
LSU improves to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the SEC. They’ll be home next weekend to play the Wildcats of Kentucky.
For a recap of the (12) South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt game, click here.