Week 11 in the SEC: Recap of Action Around the League
Alabama got some revenge, Texas A&M remains in the playoff race, Florida had a tune up, and an under-the-radar game became the most exciting game of the year in the conference.
Here is what we learned from this week’s SEC action:
NO. 1 ALABAMA 55, LSU 17
Alabama appears to have a memory. After losing to LSU in Tuscaloosa a season ago, the Crimson Tide rolled in Baton Rouge. Mac Jones added to his Heisman resume by throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns. Najee Harris added 145 yards on the ground as Bama was not challenged at all in this one. Sportswriters around the country went ahead and penned DeVonta Smith’s name on their All-American ballot as he caught eight passes for 231 yards and three scores. He averaged nearly 29 yards per catch.
Najee Harris is the 4th player in Alabama history with 40 career rushing TD. He joins Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry & Shaun Alexander.
This is the first game in Alabama history in which they have had a player score 3 rush TD and another play score 3 rec TD (DeVonta Smith). pic.twitter.com/X0hdoYmbAo
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 6, 2020
Wow, this is what happens when you only have four starters left from a national championship team. Before coach Ed Orgeron could say gumbo mumbo jumbo, the Tigers found themselves down 21-0. Freshman T.J. Finley was no match for the Tide defense, throwing for 144 yards but only 5.1 yards per attempt. He was replaced by Max Johnson who threw for 110 yards and just 6.5 yards a pass. The running game was no help, gaining fewer than 100 yards.
NO. 5 TEXAS A&M 31, AUBURN 20
The Aggies are still alive in the playoff race, but even in the win did not look like one of the four best teams in the nation. Isaiah Spiller ran for 120 yards, but Kellen Mond again looked shaky in the passing game. The senior did complete 18-of-23 for 196 yards, but many of those yards came from the receivers’ efforts after the catch. Jalen Wydermyer caught eight passes for 89 yards and continues to be the Aggies’ most-dangerous offensive threat.
Bo Nix was the Auburn offense Saturday. The sophomore quarterback had 193 total yards, 144 of them threw the air, but he did miss open receivers on multiple occasions. He did turn in what could be the play-of-year in the conference. After dropping back to pass, he was surrounded by three Aggies and escaped them including being in the clutch of a defense lineman. He then ran around the left end and blasted through two defensive backs into the end zone.
Bo Nix with the most absurd play of the day 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 5, 2020
NO. 6 FLORIDA 31, TENNESSEE 19
Florida’s Kyle Trask better make sure his Zoom feature is operational on his computer – it is a virtual certainty he will be receiving a call from the Downtown Athletic Club during the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Trask threw for 422 yards and four touchdowns as the Gators abandoned the run, picking up just 19 yards on the ground. Kyle Pitts remained Trask’s favorite target, grabbing seven passes for 128 yards. Kadarius Toney added eight catches for 108 and a touchdown.
Looking for a spark, Tennessee played four quarterbacks against the Gators. The biggest splash was made by J.T. Shrout who completed 12-of-14 for 121 yards and a touchdown. Harrison Bailey added 111 yards in the air by completing 14-of-21. But the running game was bottled up as the Vols only managed 94 yards.
KENTUCKY 41, SOUTH CAROLINA 18
Kentucky rolled up 491 yards in an impressive performance. Terry Wilson completed 17 passes for 201 yards, but the star was Chris Rodriguez, Jr., who ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns averaging 9.9 yards a carry. Asim Rose, Jr., showed his talents as well, gaining 101 yards rushing. Wilson helped his passing day by not locking on a particular target. In all, eight Wildcats caught passes.
The Gamecocks put on a sloppy audition for Shane Beamer who is projected be the new coach in Columbia after the dismissal of Will Muschamp. Kevin Harris was the bright spot for Carolina as he shredded the Kentucky defense for 210 yards and a touchdown. The rushing attack was all the Gamecocks had as Luke Doty could only manage 85 yards through the air.
MISSOURI 50, ARKANSAS 48
Again, we save the best for last. Missouri got a last-second field goal from Harrison Mevis after Arkansas scored a touchdown with less than a minute to go and converted a two-pointer on a pass that ricocheted off a Tiger defender. Mizzou scored 27 points in the final quarter.
This two-point conversion play in the Arkansas-Missouri game is so 2020 lol pic.twitter.com/QUPVd1yrHe
— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) December 5, 2020
Larry Roundtree remains one of the best running backs in the nation that no one has noticed. The senior ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 6.9 yards each time he touched the ball. Connor Bazelak kept the Tigers balanced by completing 32-of-49 for 380 yards. Six of his passes went to Keke Chism who picked up 113 yards.
Arkansas had its own one-two punch. K.J. Jefferson threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns as he completed 18-of-33. The running game was paced by Trelon Smith who picked up 172 yards and found the end zone three times. Treylon Burks averaged over 20 yards per catch, snatching ten passes for 206 yards and scoring once.
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.