A handful of SEC teams had their second bye of the season this week, meaning that there wasn’t quite as much action as there has been recently. There were a few big games, though, as both No. 25 Georgia and No. 10 South Carolina were trying to stay alive in the SEC East and overall conference title race. That didn’t work out for the Bulldogs, but it did for the Gamecocks. They are currently one game behind No. 9 Missouri, but if the Tigers lose again, USC will be headed to Atlanta. In the West, undefeated No. 1 Alabama is ahead of No. 7 Auburn, but the winner of the Iron Bowl in two weeks will decide who plays in the Georgia Dome in December.
Nine teams from the SEC are bowl eligible, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi State must win their two remaining games if they’re going to get to the postseason, and Kentucky and Arkansas are out of bowl contention entirely. Seven teams from the conference are ranked in the BCS standings, and four are in the top 10. Read on to catch up on what happened in this week’s games.
Ole Miss 51, Troy 21
The Trojans kept things close for a little while, but the Rebels started clicking and soon were dominating the overmatched visitors on Saturday.
Ole Miss got on the board first, taking a 7-0 lead when Bo Wallace found Laquon Treadwell for a 25-yard touchdown. Troy answered with a TD of their own less than a minute later, but the Rebs scored three more times before the half, including another touchdown catch by Treadwell and a 29-yard run to the house by Wallace, putting them up 27-7 going into the locker room.
The third quarter saw nothing for the Trojans but three more Ole Miss scores, including a 43-yard TD pass from Barry Brunetti to Jaylen Walton. Troy found the end zone again early in the fourth quarter. Each team added one more touchdown before all was said and done, with the Trojans’ coming when there was less than a minute remaining in the game.
The Rebels more than doubled Troy in first downs, 31-15 and also more than doubled them in total yardage, 751-313 (the Trojans had -13 yards on the ground. NEGATIVE THIRTEEN). Each team turned the ball over twice and Ole Miss had possession for about 35 minutes.
Wallace finished the day 17-of-26 for 272 yards and three touchdowns while Troy QB Corey Robinson was 24-of-36 for 258 yards and an interception. Wallace led the Rebs in rushing with nine carries for 66 yards and a TD and Walton led them in receiving with three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Burks had eight yards and one TD on five
Ole Miss improves to 7-3 overall (they’re 3-3 in the SEC) and Troy drops to 5-6 overall. Next weekend, the Rebels will be home to take on No. 9 Missouri and the Trojans will be off before being hosting Texas State in two weeks.
Vanderbilt 22, Kentucky 6
It was another tough week for the Wildcats, who couldn’t seem to do much of anything right as they fell to the ‘Dores on Saturday.
UK got on the board first, scoring their only points on a touchdown by Jojo Kemp. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, even that had a negative twist. The extra point was blocked, and Steven Clarke ran it 97 yards to the house, making the score 6-2. Vandy tacked on a TD of their own near the end of the first quarter, and took a slim 9-6 lead into the half.
Neither team looked very sharp in the middle two quarters and each had specific gaffes in the third, with a missed field goal for the Commodores and a failed fake field goal for Kentucky. Vanderbilt pulled it together in the fourth, though. They started things off with a field goal, added another one midway through the quarter, then found the end zone with less than a minute remaining to pad their lead.
The Wildcats tallied 17 first downs compared to the ‘Dores’ 14, but Vandy outgained UK in 313-262 total yardage. The Wildcats turned the ball over four times while the Commodores didn’t do so at all, and Vanderbilt had possession for a little more than half of the game.
‘Dores QB Austyn Carta-Samuels finished the day 19-of-24 for 184 yards while his Kentucky counterpart, Jalen Whitlow, went 14-of-28 with four interceptions. Jerron Seymour led Vandy in rushing with 21 carries for 77 yards and Jordan Matthews led them in receiving with 12 catches for 141 yards. Whitlow had 69 yards on 17 carries and Demarco Robinson had four receptions for 49 yards to lead the Wildcats.
Vanderbilt is now 6-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play and Kentucky falls to 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Commodores will travel to square off against Tennessee and the Wildcats will be on the road to face off against No. 25 Georgia.
(7) Auburn 43, (25) Georgia 38
In a game with huge implications that literally came down to the last second, the Tigers managed to hang on and beat the Bulldogs on Saturday.
The first quarter was all Auburn, as the Tigers took a 10-0 lead. They added another field goal early in the second quarter before UGA got on the board with a touchdown a few minutes later. Auburn answered with two more TDs, including one on a 24-yard run by Tre Mason, and the Dawgs tacked on a field goal as time expired in the half to make the score 27-10 heading into the locker rooms.
Each team found the end zone once in the third quarter, with Georgia QB Aaron Murray taking the ball in himself and Tigers QB Nick Marshall doing the same. The Bulldogs, trailing 37-17 after an early fourth quarter field goal by Auburn, roared back and scored 21 straight points, putting them on top by one point with just under two minutes remaining in the game. Then came one of the craziest plays I’ve ever seen. With 25 seconds left to play, Marshall flung the ball downfield, it went 73 yards, deflected off of Josh Harvey-Clemons (an UGA defender), and Ricardo Louis snared it for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown. The Dawgs had a chance to tie as time expired, but Murray’s pass fluttered and fell short.
Both squads had 29 first downs, but Auburn outgained Georgia in total yardage 566-532. The Bulldogs turned the ball over once while the Tigers didn’t do so at all, and Auburn had possession for almost 35 minutes.
Marshall finished the day 15-of-26 for 229 yards and touchdown while Murray was 33-of-49 for 415 yards, two TDs, and an interception. Mason led the Tigers in rushing with 27 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown and Louis led them in receiving with four catches for 131 yards and a TD. Gurley had 79 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and Wooten had 99 yards and a TD on five receptions to lead the Dawgs.
Auburn improves to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play and Georgia drops to 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Tigers will be off before being home to take on No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl and the Bulldogs will host Kentucky.
(10) South Carolina 19, Florida 14
This game probably didn’t go quite the way the Gamecocks had hoped it would, but they found a way to win over the struggling Gators on Saturday night.
USC scored on their opening possession, taking a 3-0 lead thanks to an Elliott Fry field goal. UF answered with a touchdown, though, putting them on top. The Cocks settled for a field goal again, this time from 45 yards out, to open the second half. Again, the Gators reached the end zone, and that gave them a 14-6 lead going into halftime.
Unfortunately for Florida, that would be their final score of the night. Both sides had missed field goals in the second half, but South Carolina pulled to within one point in the third quarter, when QB Connor Shaw hit Bruce Ellington with a 32-yard TD pass. The Gators tried a fake punt, but it failed, and the Gamecocks tacked on two more field goals in the fourth quarter, giving them a lead they would not relinquish.
Both teams had 15 first downs, but USC outgained UF 377-307 in total yardage. The Gators turned the ball over once, while the Gamecocks didn’t do so at all, but Florida did have possession for just over half of the game.
Shaw finished the night 14-of-28 for 213 yards and a touchdown, while Gators QB Skyler Mornhinweg, a freshman making his first-ever start, went 10-of-13 for 107 yards and an interception. Carson led the Cocks in rushing with 13 carries for 102 yards and Anderson led them in receiving with three catches for 69 yards. Taylor had 96 yards and two TDs on 21 carries and Mack Brown had one reception for 28 yards to lead UF.
South Carolina is now 8-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play and Florida falls to 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Gamecocks will be home to play Coastal Carolina and the Gators will host Georgia Southern.
(1) Alabama 20, Mississippi State 7
It was not the Crimson Tide’s finest performance, but they did enough to top the Bulldogs and keep their perfect season alive on Saturday night.
Neither team looked very good in the first half, though Bama at least got some points. Their first score came on a field goal midway through the first quarter, then QB AJ McCarron found Brian Vogler for an 18-yard touchdown in the second, which put the Tide on top 10-0 heading into halftime.
MSU tallied their only score of the night early in the third quarter, when Charles Siddoway recovered a fumble in the end zone, which pulled the Bulldogs to within three points. The Tide responded with another TD, then tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter to pad their lead a little bit. Mississippi State had opportunities to score again, thanks to uncharacteristic sloppiness by Alabama, but they couldn’t take advantage of their chances.
The Crimson Tide doubled the Bulldogs in first downs, 20-10, and outgained them in total yardage 383-197 (Mississippi State got just 53 yards on the ground). Bama turned the ball over four times, while the Bulldogs did so once, and they split the time of possession almost evenly.
McCarron finished the night 18-of-32 for 187 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, while MSU QB Tyler Russell, filling in for the injured Dak Prescott, was 15-of-24 for 144 yards and a pick. T.J. Yeldon led the Tide in rushing with 24 carries for 160 yards and Amari Cooper led them in receiving with four catches for 45 yards. LaDarius Perkins had 25 yards on 10 carries and Malcolm Johnson had 84 yards on six receptions to lead the Bulldogs.
Alabama improves to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play and Mississippi State drops to 4-6 overall and 1-5 in the SEC. Next weekend, the Crimson Tide will be home to square off against Chattanooga and the Bulldogs will travel to face off against Arkansas.
For a full recap of the game between No. 10 South Carolina and Florida, visit Cocky Country.