This week featured a lot of conference play, as 12 of the 13 teams who played games were facing another SEC squad. No. 1 Alabama was the only team in a non-conference match-up and No. 9 Texas A&M was the only team who didn’t play this week. Six teams from the SEC were in the AP Top 25 this week and four of them are in the Top 10. Two teams (Alabama and Missouri) still have perfect overall records, and four teams (Alabama, No. 18 Florida, No. 6 Georgia, and Missouri) are undefeated in conference play. Read on for a recap of this week’s games.
(1) Alabama 45, Georgia State 3
The Crimson Tide got on the board early and often, routing the visiting Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
Bama first found the end zone just over three minutes into the game, then added two more touchdowns in the first quarter. The second quarter was more of the same, as QB AJ McCarron hit Kenyan Drake with a 23-yard scoring pass to open things up, then the Tide put up another TD and a field goal, giving them a 38-0 lead at the half.
GSU got their only score of the day in the third quarter, when Wil Lutz’s 53-yard field goal was good. The home team found the end zone once more, and that was the end of the scoring for both teams.
The Crimson Tide more than tripled the Panthers in first downs 31-9, and outgained them in total yardage 477-175 (Georgia State was held to a measly 15 yards on the ground). The Panthers turned the ball over once while Alabama didn’t do so at all, and the Tide had the ball for a little more than half of the game.
McCarron finished the day an impressive 15-of-16 for 166 yards and four touchdowns and his Georgia State counterpart, Ronnie Bell, went 11-of-20 for 146 yards. T.J. Yeldon led Bama in rushing with six carries for 51 yards and a TD and Chris Black led them in receiving with six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Travis Evans had 19 yards on 14 carries and Albert Wilson had 60 yards on four receptions to lead GSU.
Alabama improves to 5-0 overall (they’re 2-0 in the SEC) and Georgia State drops to 0-5 overall. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will be on the road to play Kentucky and the Panthers will be home to take on Troy.
(6) Georgia 34, Tennessee 31
It was a thrilling finish, but the Vols couldn’t quite pull off the overtime upset over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
UGA got on the board first thanks to a 56-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan, then added a touchdown later in the first quarter. The downside of the first quarter for the Dawgs came when Keith Marshall injured his knee and left the game. His status going forward is unknown. UT got their first score on a field goal in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs responded with another TD to give them a 17-3 lead going into the locker rooms.
The Volunteers made things interesting in the third quarter, scoring twice and tying the game. The first score came when Justin Worley hit Marquez Norton with a 19-yard scoring pass, and the second happened when Tennessee blocked a punt and Devaun Swafford took the ball 15 yards to the house. Georgia opened the fourth quarter with a touchdown of their own, but Tennessee answered by tying the game again. Each team scored one more TD in regulation, and the Bulldogs’ came with just five seconds remaining, as Aaron Murray found Rantavious Wooten for his second score of the day. That sent the game to OT, and the Vols looked poised to pull the upset. But Alton Howard fumbled before he crossed the goal line, and the play was ruled a turnover and touchback. UGA did enough to get in field goal range, and Marshall banged one home from 42 yards out for the win.
The Dawgs tallied 21 first downs compared to UT’s 18 and outgained them 434-404 in total yardage. The Volunteers turned the ball over once while UGA didn’t do so at all and the teams split the time of possession almost equally.
Murray finished the day 19-of-35 for 196 yards and three touchdowns and Worley was 17-of-31 for 215 yards and a TD. J.J. Green led the Bulldogs in rushing with 17 carries for 129 yards and Chris Conley led them in receiving with five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Neal had 148 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and Howard had 70 yards on four receptions to lead UT.
Georgia is now 4-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play and Tennessee falls to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will host Missouri and the Volunteers will be off before traveling to face off against No. 13 South Carolina in two weeks.
Auburn 30, (24) Ole Miss 22
The Tigers pulled off an upset and showed that they may be on the right path to improvement by beating the visiting Rebels on Saturday night.
Auburn got on the board first with a touchdown, but the shutout ended a few minutes later, as Ole Miss’ Andrew Ritter connected on a 42-yard field goal. The Tigers widened their lead late in the quarter, when Robenson Therezie took a pick-six 78 yards to put his team up 13-3. Each team scored once in the second quarter, another TD for Auburn, this time by QB Nick Marshall, and another field goal for the Rebs, to make the score 20-6 at the half.
The third quarter saw Ole Miss add on another field goal and the Tigers’ Marshall find the end zone again before Donte Moncrief caught a 49-yard pass from Bo Wallace for the Rebels’ first touchdown of the night. Each team scored once more in the fourth quarter, another Moncrief TD for Ole Miss (though their two-point conversion attempt failed) and a field goal for Auburn. It was too little, too late for the Rebs, though, and the Tigers managed to come away with the victory.
Ole Miss notched 24 first downs while the Tigers had 19, and the Rebels outgained Auburn 464-375 in total yardage. Each squad turned the ball over twice and Ole Miss had possession for a little more than half of the game.
Marshall finished the night 11-of-17 for 93 yards and Wallace went 25-of-48 for 336 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks. Marshall also led the Tigers in rushing with 14 carries for 140 yards and two TDs and Tre Mason led them in receiving with three catches for 62 yards. Jeff Scott had 66 yards on six carries and Moncrief had 122 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions to lead the Rebels.
Auburn improves to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play and Ole Miss drops to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Tigers will be home to play Western Carolina and the Rebels will host No. 9 Texas A&M.
(18) Florida 30, Arkansas 10
It was a rough night for the Razorbacks, who did little to help themselves and saw an early lead disappear quickly as they fell to the Gators on Saturday.
Arkansas took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but UF got on the board three times in the second. They started by putting up a field goal, then Loucheiz Purifoy took an interception 42 yards to the house to give the Gators the lead. They followed that with a 51-yard TD pass from Tyler Murphy to Solomon Patton with 20 seconds remaining before the half, putting Florida up 17-7 heading into the locker rooms.
Patton found the end zone again early in the third quarter, and the Hogs scored their only other points of the day, a field goal, later in the quarter. The Gators had a solid lead, but just for good measure, UF scored once more, a touchdown with just under five minutes left in the game.
Both teams tallied 17 first downs, but the Gators outgained the Razorbacks in total yardage, 355-275. Arkansas turned the ball over twice and Florida had possession for a little over half of the game.
Murphy finished the night 16-of-22 for 240 yards and three touchdowns and the Hogs’ Brandon Allen was 17-of-41 for 164 yards and an interception. Matt Jones led UF in rushing with 17 carries for 50 yards and Patton led them in receiving with six catches for 124 yards and two TDs. Alex Collins had 54 yards on 13 carries and 45 yards on five receptions to lead UA.
Florida is now 4-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play and Arkansas falls to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Gators will be on the road to play No. 10 LSU and the Razorbacks will be home to square off against No. 13 South Carolina.
(10) LSU 59, Mississippi State 26
The Bulldogs kept things close for three quarters, but the Tigers’ late surge gave them more than enough points to seal the victory on Saturday night.
LSU got on the board first with a touchdown five minutes into the game. Dak Prescott ran 28 yards to the house and MSU answered with a TD of their own, but their two-point conversion attempt failed. A minute and a half later, the Tigers retook the lead when Jeremy Hill ran 69 yards to the end zone, but the Bulldogs came through with a field goal to shrink the points deficit. Each team scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter, which meant LSU had a slim 28-23 lead at the half.
Each team tacked on a field goal in the third quarter, and unfortunately for Mississippi State, that was the end of their scoring for the night. The Tigers went on to open the fourth quarter by scoring two TDs in 30 seconds, when Zach Mettenberger hit Odell Beckham Jr. with a 33-yard pass and Hill ran for another score. LSU found the end zone twice more before all was said and done, more than securing the win over the Bulldogs.
The Tigers notched 27 first downs compared to MSU’s 23 and outgained them 563-468 in total yardage. The Bulldogs turned the ball over once, while did so once and had possession for a little more than half the game.
Mettenberger finished the night an impressive 25-of-29 for 340 yards, two touchdowns, and a interception and Mississippi State’s Tyler Russell went 7-of-11 for 146 yards and two TDs, while Prescott was 9-of-20 for 106 yards and a pick. Hill led the Tigers in rushing with 16 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns and Beckham Jr. led them in receiving with nine catches for 179 yards and two TDs. Prescott had 103 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and Lewis had 111 yards and a TD on seven receptions to lead the Bulldogs.
LSU improves to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play and Mississippi State drops to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Tigers will host No. 18 Florida and the Bulldogs will be home to face off against Bowling Green.
Missouri 51, Vanderbilt 28
The Tigers started conference play and kept their undefeated record alive, trouncing the Commodores on Saturday night.
Mizzou scored four times in the first quarter, the first coming less than a minute and a half into the game, when L’Damian Washington caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from James Franklin. They followed that with two field goals and another TD and the Tigers led 20-0 before Vandy finally got on the board with a touchdown early in the second quarter. Missouri scored twice more before halftime, giving them a 30-7 lead at the half.
The ‘Dores opened the third quarter with another TD, when Austyn Carta-Samuels hit Jordan Matthews with a 26-yard scoring pass. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, that was as close as they would get. The teams traded touchdowns for the remainder of the game, but the Tigers’ lead was just way too big for the Commodores to overcome.
Mizzou tallied 29 first downs while the Vandy had three, and they outgained the ‘Dores in total yardage 523-468. Vanderbilt turned the ball over once and the teams split time of possession almost evenly.
Franklin finished the night 19-of-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns and Carta-Samuels was 29-of-41 for 338 yards, two TDs, and a pick. Henry Josey led the Tigers in rushing with 14 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns and Washington led them in receiving with three catches for 86 yards and two TDs. Jerron Seymour had 65 yards on 12 carries and Matthews had 123 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions to the Commodores.
Missouri is now 5-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play and Vanderbilt falls to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Tigers will travel to take on No. 6 Georgia and the Commodores will be off before hosting Georgia in two weeks.
(13) South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28
The Gamecocks defense struggled and Jadeveon Clowney didn’t play, but USC did just enough to eke out a win over the Wildcats on Saturday night.
The Cocks got off to a fast start, scoring a touchdown less than two minutes into the game as Connor Shaw found Damiere Byrd for a 62-yard touchdown. Mike Davis ran 22 yards to the end zone later in the quarter, then started the second quarter with another TD. UK got a touchdown of their own midway through the quarter, but South Carolina tacked on a field goal shortly before halftime to give them a 24-7 going into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter the Gamecocks added another field goal, then allowed the Wildcats to score two TDs in as many minutes in the fourth quarter, making the score 27-21. Each team found the end zone one more time before the game was over, and though it wasn’t the big victory South Carolina might have expected, they still managed to escape with the win.
The Cocks notched 22 first downs compared to Kentucky’s 19 and outgained them 453-301 in total yardage. USC turned the ball over once and the teams split time of possession about equally.
Shaw finished the night an impressive 17-of-20 for 262 yards and a TD and Whitlow was 17-of-24 for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Davis led the Gamecocks in rushing with 21 carries for 106 yards and two TDs and Byrd led them in receiving with five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. Whitlow had 69 yards and a TD on 17 carries and Javess Blue had 62 yards on four receptions to lead UK.
South Carolina improves to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play and Kentucky drops to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. The Gamecocks will be on the road next weekend against Arkansas and the Wildcats will be home No. 1 Alabama.
For a full recap of the game between No.13 South Carolina and Kentucky, visit Cocky Country.