Missouri took the week off from SEC play and ended up in a dogfight with the University of Central Florida. The Tigers were able to escape with a 21-16 win over the Knights. Even though Mizzou went in as an underdog, I thought the Tigers would take this as an opportunity to flex its muscles on a subpar opponent and get some confidence when conference play resumed. Instead, Mizzou had to recover a fumble late to ensure victory. A win is a win, but Missouri could have used the confidence after the SEC beatings they have taken. They get another chance at building some confidence this week against Vanderbilt, but if they can’t do anything positive then, this team could quit on Gary Pinkel.
Texas A&M won their first SEC game and in convincing fashion, dismantling former Southwest Conference rival Arkansas 58-10. Aggie freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel set a school and conference record of 557 total yards. The Aggies domination just added to Arkansas’s already disastrous season. Arkansas made it a game early on, taking a 10-7 lead on the Aggies following a spectacular reception by Knile Davis. That was the highlight on the day Texas A&M put Arkansas away with a one play bomb to Ryan Swope for a touchdown with just over two minutes left in the half. As they have so many times before, Arkansas quit after that play, and the Aggies took full advantage .
In a game that didn’t feature much defense, Georgia was able to outlast Tennessee in a 51-44 shootout. Georgia was in control of the game early on, leading 27-10 with less than eight minutes left in the first half. Tennessee was able to close the gap to 27-17. Then came the two Georgia fumbles, and Tennessee was able to score 20 points in four minutes taking a 30-27 lead. Georgia was able to tie it up right before half. From there Georgia was able to force Vols quarterback Tyler Bray into three turnovers to earn the seven point win. With the loss, Tennessee is pretty much out of the SEC East race and the uncertainty will continue to surround Derek Dooley. The only bright spot is that the Vols are capable of beating anyone with their offense.
The first half of Kentucky and South Carolina was not what anyone expecting. The woeful Wildcats led South Carolina 17-7 at the half and the Gamecocks were held to 26 yards on the ground. South Carolina got it going, rattling off 31 unanswered points to put Kentucky away. During that run, Marcus Lattimore was able to get it going for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Lattimore has looked tentative to this point, but Saturday was one of his best outings of the season. That is good news for South Carolina, who will need that production on the ground if they hope to win the East. For Kentucky, it just keeps raining as the Wildcats lost starting quarterback Maxwell Smith at the beginning of the game. It is unclear how long he will be out, but with Joker Phillips fighting for his job; it is always good to do so with your starting quarterback.
After the Auburn game, LSU needed to work all the kinks out of their offense once and for all. Luckily for them, they got the Towson Tigers to do just that. What resulted was one of the worse football games I have ever seen, and LSU left with more questions than it started with. The Bayou Bengals got an unimpressive victory off the Tigers from Baltimore, but did not win any confidence from anyone watching. Zach Mettenberger’s stat line seemed impressive, throwing for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it was his worse performance to date. LSU’s passing game continues to struggle as Mettenberger continues to hold the ball too long and lacks pocket awareness. Along with pass protection and the struggles of the wide receivers, LSU was not able to get any separation from Towson until late. The Tigers also continued to rack up penalties and lost three fumbles on the night. While a win is a win, this ugly win has many wondering if LSU can actually contend for a title.
This weekend the unthinkable happened, the Alabama Crimson Tide trailed for the first time this season, and to the Ole Miss Rebels. However, order was restored fifteen seconds later as the Tide ran a kickoff back to take back the lead, which they would not surrender again. Alabama defeated the Rebel Black Bears 33-14. Ole Miss has to be encouraged by their showing Saturday, as they should be. The Rebels were competitive, and may finally have a shot at that elusive SEC win, with the effort they showed. While a convincing win, Alabama finally looked vulnerable this season. The offense had difficulty getting in a flow at times, but they were bailed out by the Tide defense that forced three turnovers. Even with a less than stellar night, AJ McCarron did manage to throw two touchdowns and break the Alabama record for most passes without an interception. For Alabama, that efficiency is all that is needed from its offense to reach Miami.
Tune in on Friday when we will preview the weekend ahead for the SEC, giving our predictions for each big game! What did you think of the SEC last week? Is LSU still a top 5 team? Let us know in the comments!