Week Five in the SEC: A recap of action around the league
It was a light schedule for the Southeastern Conference this weekend, as only four games were played; however, we got more of the same things we have seen already. Alabama has weapons, we are not sure which Kentucky will show up each week, Auburn has a tank…and the officiating takes center stage, yet again.
NO. 2 ALABAMA 48, TENNESSEE 17
Alabama lost Jaylen Waddle for the season with an ankle injury, but no worries, Tide fans. Nick Saban will simply reload from his arsenal of five-star recruits and Bama should not miss a beat—especially with Mac Jones at the controls of the offense that features Najee Harris. Harris ran for three touchdowns Saturday, and Jones passed for 387 yards.
The Mac Jones deep ball has become one of the best plays in college football this year. pic.twitter.com/XYj6OkucLc
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) October 24, 2020
It was Alabama’s 14th straight win over the Vols. To put that into context, the last time UT beat Alabama, the current high school students had not started nursery school yet.
Jarrett Guarantano did throw for two touchdowns, but he did so without the benefit of a potent running game. The Volunteers could only muster 139 yards paced by Eric Gray’s 57. Tennessee’s defense had no answer against the Crimson Tide, but seriously, what team has this year? The Vols did do a good job protecting the ball, only turning it over once. But that fumble was returned for a touchdown.
AUBURN 35, OLE MISS 28
Auburn’s mascot is the Tigers. Although Auburn got “wins” over Arkansas and Ole Miss, perhaps the school has the wrong feline for a nickname. The Cat burglars seem to be more appropriate.
Auburn has been the beneficiary of another group with stripes – the officials. After a non-reviewed fumble that would have cost Auburn a win against the Razorbacks, a muffed fumble on a kickoff against Ole Miss was not reviewed, and the Tigers escaped with a win.
— David Walker (@DavidWalkerQB) October 26, 2020
That will not happen again this year. Overshadowed in the controversy, Tank Bigsby ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss found a way to let its two-headed quarterback duo of Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee each see the field. Although they have different strengths, the pair has something in common – they give defensive coordinators headaches. Also, the Rebel defense is playing better, so teams might want to not overlook this team.
MISSOURI 20, KENTUCKY 10
Missouri’s Connor Bazelak is the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference that no one really talks about. He threw for just 201 yards against Kentucky, but he completed 21 passes. He is doing exactly what the Tigers need him to do.
Bazelak did not turn the ball over and he relied on Larry Roundtree III who ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Mizzou defense kept the Wildcats out of the endzone until the fourth quarter.
Kentucky continues to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team. The ugly personality reared its head Saturday in Columbia. The Wildcats did not pass for 50 yards (47) nor did they rush for 100 (98). Defensively, UK did not play terribly, but with no help from the offense, they might have to start putting up some shutouts to win ballgames.
LSU 52, SOUTH CAROLINA 24
The alarm clock went off in Baton Rouge Saturday and LSU stayed away from the snooze button. The Tigers jumped on South Carolina early, and before the Gamecocks could wake up, the game was out of reach.
Myles Brennan missed the game due to an injury and he might want to look up the name Wally Pipp. He was a first baseman for the New York Yankees in the 1920s and was replaced by Lou Gehrig who never gave the job back. College football, meet true freshman T.J. Finley. All the kid did was complete 17-of-21 for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He was complimented by Tyrion Davis-Price’s 135 yards rushing.
TJ Finley : 17/21 for 265 yards, 2 TD's, 1 INT & a 93.7 QBR; 8 carries for 24 yards & a TD (1st collegiate start as a True Freshman) pic.twitter.com/IUyjgb8NmH
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) October 25, 2020
Collin Hill did throw for 234 yards and Kevin Harris ran for 126 yards, but the Gamecocks got little help from the defense. South Carolina gave up 541 total yards but 14 of LSU’s points were not the defense’s fault. Hill threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and Trey Palmer ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a score.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.