Week 10 in the SEC: Recap of Action Around the League
Rivalry week came a tad early, but it was still rivalry week.
Alabama took care of Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Ole Miss repossessed the Golden Egg, Georgia took care of its neighbors and there was a little history made in Columbia, Mo.
Here is what we learned from this week’s SEC action:
NO. 1 ALABAMA 42, NO. 22 AUBURN 13
In the Iron Bowl, Alabama bowled over its archrivals. Mac Jones had a ho-hum day for him throwing for 302 yards and five touchdowns. Five receivers caught passes from Jones Saturday and four of those receivers caught balls of 66, 25, 24 and 24 yards. That enabled Najee Harris to run for 96 yards. At this point the team with the best chance to beat Bama is Bama.
Bo knows pressure. Auburn quarterback Bo Nix was sacked three times, hurried nine more times and threw three interceptions. It did not help the Auburn passing game that the Tigers could only manage 120 yards on the ground.
NO. 5 TEXAS A&M 20, LSU 7
Frankly, the Aggies’ offense looked uninspired and A&M needs some style points to impress the College Football Playoff committee. Isaiah Spiller did run for 141 yards, but as a team, Texas A&M did not get to the 200-yard mark. Kellen Mond only completed 11 passes in 34 attempts for 105 yards. His passer rating was an abysmal 15.9. Texas A&M scored just two touchdowns and one was defensive.
LSU is playing like it wants to just get the season over. The Tigers only ran the ball for 36 yards and neither T.J. Finley nor Max Johnson seemed to be comfortable at quarterback. Finley threw a pair of interceptions and Johnson did throw a late touchdown to avoid a shutout. LSU’s defense did play well, but with Alabama coming to Baton Rouge this week, it is probably not going to be enough for the Tigers.
NO. 6 FLORIDA 34, KENTUCKY 10
Kyle Trask looked to add to his Heisman resume against Kentucky and he did throw for three touchdowns. But that is nothing new, he has done that in each game this season. Kyle Pitts made his return after sitting out a few weeks since he suffered a concussion against Georgia, and he caught five passes for 99 yards and all three of Trask’s touchdowns. Yeah, Pitts is healthy again.
Welcome back, Kyle Pitts 🐊 pic.twitter.com/hnLPhtCxUI
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 28, 2020
Did the Kentucky program club baby seals in an earlier life or something? Except for Vanderbilt, the Wildcats have been hit harder by COVID-19 than any other team in the conference. Kentucky’s depleted offense only threw for 62 yards and ran for 159. They even surrendered a punt return for a touchdown. On the bright side, after facing Alabama and Florida in consecutive weeks, the worst should be in the rearview mirror.
NO. 9 GEORGIA 45, SOUTH CAROLINA 16
On the downside, J.T. Daniels did not replicate his debut from a week ago, only throwing for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But on the bright side, Georgia did not need him to throw more than the 16 passes he attempted. The Bulldogs bulldozed South Carolina 332 yards on the ground. Four different backs ran for at least 77 yards with James Cook leading the way with 104.
South Carolina simply could get nothing going on either side of the ball. The Gamecocks threw for fewer than 200 yards and did not run for 100. Defensively, Carolina saw UGA put up 21 points in the first quarter. But hey, the Gamecocks’ punter did average 46 yards per kick.
OLE MISS 31, MISSISSIPPI STATE 24
Elijah Moore. Wow. The junior caught 12 passes for 139 yards in the Egg Bowl win. That gives Moore 86 receptions on the year, breaking the school-record for catches in a season formerly held by A.J. Brown. But keep this in mind, Moore broke the record in only eight games against SEC-only defenses. The Rebels gained 550 yards against State as Ole Miss has now won three straight games.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) November 29, 2020
Mike Leach has found his quarterback and it is not the graduate transfer K.J. Costello who shredded LSU in the season opener. Enter freshman Will Rogers. Rogers completed 45-of-61 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns while never turning over the ball. He was even the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 26 yards. Fellow freshman Jaden Walley caught nine passes for 176 yards.
MISSOURI 41, VANDERBILT 0
Larry Roundtree III ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns for Mizzou as the Tigers picked up 603 total yards. When Roundtree was not running over Vandy, Connor Bazelak was throwing over them as he completed 30-of-37 for 318 yards. Defensively, Missouri collected five sacks and had ten tackles for loss.
We have saved the best for last. Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power Five football game. The senior goalkeeper from the Vanderbilt SEC women’s championship soccer team was asked to join the depleted Commodore football team. Her teammates were never able to advance the ball inside the Mizzou 30 yard line so Fuller would not get a chance to score in the game. Coach Derek Mason did help her make history when he sent her in to perform the second-half kickoff. The senior followed her direction and sent a squib kick down the right sideline to give the Tigers possession and Fuller a spot in college football history.
Update: Vanderbilt fired head coach Derek Mason as was announced Sunday.
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.