Eleven of the conference’s 14 teams were in action this week, and almost all of them were playing another SEC team (Auburn, LSU, and Ole Miss were the three exceptions). Unlike last weekend, this slate of games ended with only one upset (South Carolina over Missouri), and featured a couple of blowouts. Only one team, Alabama, remains undefeated, both overall and in conference play, while Kentucky and Arkansas (who had a bye this week) are still winless in the SEC (and UK has only one win overall). Six teams from the SEC are now bowl eligible and those six teams are also ranked in the BCS standings (that’s the most teams from any conference). Read on for a recap of this weekend’s football action.
Mississippi State 28, Kentucky 22
In a battle of struggling teams, the Bulldogs managed to do just enough to get their first conference victory of the season on Thursday night.
MSU got on the board first, taking a 7-0 lead when QB Dak Prescott found Malcolm Johnson for a 60-yard touchdown. The Wildcats answered three minutes later, though, tying things up when Maxwell Smith hit Ryan Timmons with a 51-yard TD pass. The Bulldogs retook the lead two minutes after that, when Jameon Lewis ran 19 yards to the house. Lewis scored another touchdown in the second quarter, and UK added a 45-yard field goal from Joe Mansour to make the score 21-10 at the half.
The Wildcats pulled within two points in the third quarter, thanks to a safety and a TD from Jojo Kemp, but Prescott and Lewis hooked up for a touchdown late in the quarter to give the Bulldogs a slightly more comfortable lead. Kentucky made things interesting with another long field goal from Mansour midway through the fourth quarter, but couldn’t muster any more points after that.
The Bulldogs tallied 24 first downs compared to the Wildcats’ 20 and outgained them 447-325 in total yardage. Neither team turned the ball over, and MSU had possession for a little more than half of the game.
Prescott finished the night 23-of-34 for 268 yards and two touchdowns and Smith was 18-of-34 for 160 yards and a TD. LaDarius Perkins led the Bulldogs in rushing with 12 carries for 65 yards and Johnson led them in receiving with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Raymond Sanders had 86 yards on 15 carries and Timmons had 69 yards and a TD on five receptions to lead UK.
Mississippi State improves to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEC and Kentucky drops to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in conference play. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be on the road to take on No. 20 South Carolina and the Wildcats will host Alabama State.
(16) Texas A&M 56, Vanderbilt 24
It was close in the first half, but the Aggies pulled away in the second and bounced back after last weekend’s upset as they cruised to an easy victory over the Commodores on Saturday afternoon.
Texas A&M took a 7-0 lead about five minutes into the game, and then found the end zone again three minutes later. Johnny Manziel threw his third scoring pass of the day near the end of the quarter, finding Mike Evans for a 43-yard touchdown. The Aggies added another TD to open the second quarter, then it was Vandy’s turn to get some points. They started with a field goal, then Patton Robinette, starting at QB in place of the injured Austyn Carta-Samuels, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Krause, and with less than a minute remaining in the half, another TD made the score 28-17 going into the locker rooms.
Any momentum the Commodores may have had died quickly, though, as the third quarter started with Howard Matthews taking an interception 26 yards to the house for Texas A&M. After that, the Aggies added two more touchdowns, while the Vandy offense didn’t do much of anything. Each team found the end zone one more time in the fourth quarter, but the Commodores trailed by so much that it didn’t really matter.
The Aggies racked up 28 first downs compared to the ‘Dores’s 19 and outgained them in total yardage 558-329 (Vanderbilt was held to 95 yards on the ground). Turnovers plagued both teams, with Texas A&M turning it over five times while the Commodores did so three times, and Vandy had possession of the ball for just over 35 minutes.
Manziel finished the day 25-of-35 for 305 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception and Robinette went 15-of-28 for 216 yards, a TD, and two picks. Trey Williams led the Aggies in rushing with six carries for 65 yards and a touchdown and Malcome Kennedy led them in receiving with eight catches for 83 yards. Seymour had 53 yards and a TD on 16 carries and Jordan Matthews had 92 yards on eight receptions to lead the ‘Dores. He also set the SEC record for total receiving yards with 3,172.
Texas A&M is now 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC and Vanderbilt falls to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in conference play. Next weekend, the Aggies will be home to play UTEP and the Commodores will be off before traveling to face off against Florida in two weeks.
(1) Alabama 45, Tennessee 10
The Crimson Tide kept their undefeated season alive by trouncing the Volunteers in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
Bama scored early and often, first getting on the board just over a minute into the game, when AJ McCarron hit Amari Cooper with a 54-yard touchdown pass. The Tide tacked on another TD midway through the quarter, and added another one when McCarron found Kevin Norwood for a 22-yard score. Alabama added two more touchdowns in the second quarter, including one on an 89-yard pick-six from Landon Collins, giving them a 35-0 lead heading into the locker rooms.
UT finally got on the board in the third quarter, thanks to a 37-yard Michael Palardy field goal. It didn’t do much to cut into the deficit, though, and the Crimson Tide answered with another touchdown late in the quarter. The Vols’ Raijon Neal found the end zone to open the fourth quarter, while Bama added a field goal later on, just for good measure.
The Tide almost doubled Tennessee in first downs, 26-14, and outgained them 479-322 in total yardage. Alabama turned the ball over once while the Volunteers did so twice, and the Crimson Tide had possession for a little over half of the game.
McCarrron finished the day 19-of-27 for 275 yards and two touchdowns and UT QB Justin Worley was 8-of-15 for 120 yards and two interceptions. Kenyan Drake led Bama in rushing with 14 carries for 89 yards and Norwood led them in receiving with six catches for 112 yards and a TD. Neal had 70 yards and a touchdown in 13 carries and Marquez North had 87 yards on four receptions to lead the Vols.
Alabama improves to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC and Tennessee drops to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will be off before hosting No. 13 LSU in two weeks and the Volunteers will be on the road to square off against No. 5 Missouri.
(21) South Carolina, (5) Missouri
In a thrilling double OT finish, the Gamecocks rebounded from last week’s upset at Tennessee and rallied for an upset victory of their own, handing the Tigers their first loss on Saturday night.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but Mizzou was first on the board, thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by Marcus Murphy. They followed that with another TD in the second quarter, this time courtesy of a 96-yard run by L’Damian Washington. For USC, meanwhile, QB Dylan Thompson got picked off, the Cocks came close to scoring but Mike Davis fumbled at the 2-yard line, and they pretty much couldn’t get much of anything going, so they trailed 10-0 at the half.
The Tigers added a field goal midway through the third quarter, but a fourth quarter attempt was no good. After all of that, it was finally South Carolina’s turn to get on the board in the fourth. After a semi-injured Connor Shaw came in to replace Thompson, he got his offense clicking. They opened up the fourth quarter with a touchdown when Shaw found Bruce Ellington for the score, then Elliott Fry, who’d missed an earlier field goal attempt, was good from 20 yards out. With under a minute remaining, Shaw connected with Nick Jones for another TD to tie the game.
In overtime, Mizzou got the ball first, and they marched to the end zone to take a 24-17 lead. The Gamecocks responded with what appeared to be an improbable touchdown of their own, once again knotting the score. On their next drive, USC had to settle for a 40-yard field goal, which put them up 27-24. The Tigers had to kick as well, but Baggett’s 24-yard try was no good, giving the Cocks the win.
South Carolina tallied 28 first downs compared to Missouri’s 17 and outgained them in total yardage 498-404 (though they managed just 75 yards on the ground). The Gamecocks turned the ball over three times while the Tigers did so once, but the USC had possession for a little more than half of the game.
Shaw, who played about 20 minutes of the game, finished the night 20-of-29 for 209 yards and three touchdowns and Thompson was 15-of-27 for 222 yards and an interception, while the Mizzou’s Maty Mauk went 10-of-25 for 249 yards, a TD, and a pick. Mike Davis led the Cocks with 19 carries for 51 yards and Ellington led them in receiving with 10 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Henry Josey had 79 yards on 15 carries and Washington had one reception for 96 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tigers.
South Carolina is now 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC and Missouri falls to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Next weekend, the Gamecocks will be home to take on Mississippi State and the Tigers will host Tennessee.
(13) LSU 48, Furman 16
The Paladins kept things close in the first half, but the Tigers pulled away in the second and avoided the upset on Saturday night.
Furman put up the first points, scoring a touchdown about five minutes into the game, when Reggie Thomas intercepted Zach Mettenberger and took it 74 yards to the house. LSU tied the game about a minute later, thanks to a 55-yard TD run by Jeremy Hill. Ray Early’s 46-yad field goal attempt was good and gave the Paladins back the lead, but Hill found the end zone again before the end of the quarter to put his team back on top, 13-10 (they missed the extra point). The Tigers opened the second quarter with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mettenberger to Odell Beckham Jr., then Furman tacked on two field goals, so LSU held a slim 20-16 lead at the half.
Unfortunately for the Paladins, that was the end of their scoring for the night. Their defense also struggled, as the Tigers added two TDs in the third quarter and two more in the fourth, one on a 39-yard run by Terrence Magee and the other on a 63-yard pass from Mettenberger to Beckham Jr.
LSU doubled Furman in first downs, 26-13, and rolled up 672 yards of total offense compared to the Paladins’ 198 (they were held to just 92 yards on the ground). The Tigers turned the ball over three times while Furman only did so once, and the Paladins had possession for just over 35 minutes.
Mettenberger finished the night 16-of-24 for 328 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions and his Furman counterpart, Reese Hannon, was 16-of-28 for 104 yards and a pick. Hill led LSU in rushing with 14 carries for 143 yards and two TDs and Beckham Jr. led them in receiving with six catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Hank McCloud had 79 yards on 16 carries and Ryan Culbreath had 24 yards on four receptions to lead the Paladins.
LSU improves to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC and Furman drops to 3-5 overall. Next weekend, the Tigers will be off before traveling to play No. 1 Alabama and the Paladins will be on the road against Georgia Southern.
(11) Auburn 45, Florida Atlantic 10
Despite losing starting quarterback Nick Marshall to a shoulder injury, the Tigers beat the Owls handily on Saturday night.
Auburn got off to a fast start, scoring their first touchdown two minutes into the game. They found the end zone again a minute and a half later, when Corey Grant ran 43 yards for a score, and Marshall took the ball in himself later on in the quarter. Marshall left the game early in the second quarter, but that didn’t disrupt the Tigers’ offense. Jeremy Johnson took over and threw a 36-yard TD pass to Sammie Coates to open the quarter, Cody Parkey was good on a 42-yard field goal attempt, and Johnson and Coates hooked up for another long touchdown pass, this time for 67 yards. A minute later, FAU finally got on the board when QB Jaquez Johnson took matters into his own hands and ran 29 yards to the house. That made the score 38-7 heading into halftime.
The Owls second and final score of the night came early in the third quarter, when Mitch Anderson banged home a 31-yard field goal. Auburn also had only one more score, a touchdown midway through the third quarter.
The Tigers came close to tripling Florida Atlantic in first downs, 27-10, and racked up 628 total yards, compared to the Owls’ 247. Each team turned the ball over once and Auburn had possession for just over 35 minutes.
Jeremy Johnson finished the night 10-of-16 for 192 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and Jaquez Johnson went 9-of-20 for 133 yards. Cameron Artis-Payne led the Tigers in rushing with 13 carries for 93 yards and a TD and Coates led them in receiving with three catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Jaquez Johnson had 58 yards and a TD on nine carries and Daniel McKinney had 64 yards on five receptions to lead FAU.
Auburn is now 7-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play and Florida Atlantic falls to 2-6 overall. Next weekend, the Tigers will be on the road to face off against Arkansas and the Owls will be home to take on Tulane.
Ole Miss 59, Idaho 14
After last weekend’s upset over Texas A&M, the Rebels stayed in the win column and routed the visiting Vandals on Saturday night.
Ole Miss’ first score came three minutes into the game, when QB Bo Wallace found Ja-Mes Logan for a 37-yard touchdown. A few minutes later, Jaylen Walton ran 40 yards to the house for another Rebs TD, and Andrew Ritter banged home a 50-yard field goal near the end of the quarter to pad his team’s lead. Idaho got on the board early in the second quarter and cut the lead to 17-7, but Ole Miss responded with a touchdown of their own, making the score 24-7 at the half.
Logan and Wallace connected again in the third quarter, this time for a 65-yard TD, and less than a minute later, Dehendret Collins recovered a fumble and took it to the end zone to increase the Rebels’ lead even more. The Vandals got their second and final score of the night when quarterback Taylor Davis hit Dezmon Epps with a 62-yard touchdown pass, but unfortunately for Idaho, the home team wasn’t done putting points on the board. I’Tavius Matthews ran 64 yards for a TD later in the third quarter, then Ole Miss and backup quarterback Barry Brunetti found the end zone twice more in the fourth quarter, both on pass plays of 30 or more yards.
The Rebels more than doubled the Vandals in first downs, 28-12 and also more than doubled them in total yardage, 572-253. Idaho turned the ball over once, while Ole Miss didn’t do so at all and had possession for a little more than half of the game.
Wallace finished the night 15-of-22 for 186 yards and two touchdowns and Davis was 12-of-30 for 166 yards and a TD. Mathers led the Rebs in rushing with 14 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown and Logan led them in receiving with six catches for 122 yards and two TDs. Kristoffer Olugbode had 33 yards on 10 carries and Epps had 89 yards and a touchdown on five receptions to lead the Vandals.
Ole Miss improves to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC and Idaho drops to 1-7 overall. Next weekend, the Rebels will be off before hosting Arkansas and the Vandals will be home to square off against Texas State.
For a full recap of the game between No. 5 Missouri and No. 20 South Carolina, visit Cocky Country.