SEC Wrap-Up: How the Southeastern Conference teams fared in Week 4
OXFORD, Miss. — The publishers of the SEC preview magazines might be looking at their editors a little oddly Monday. Did they accidentally flip flop Arkansas and Texas A&M in the preseason predictions? Is Georgia better than Alabama? Perhaps Florida is better than anyone thought even after the “moral victory” last week.
Here is how Saturday played out in the Southeastern Conference:
NO. 1 ALABAMA 63, SOUTHERN MISS 14
Alabama returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Televisions in 49 states immediately turned the channel while one – guess which – stayed tuned in to watch the bloodletting.
Bryce Young set up next week’s meeting against Matt Corral from Ole Miss by completing 20-of-22 for 313 yards and five touchdowns. Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan combined for 23 catches for 207 yards. But hey, USM did score two touchdowns. Last week against Troy, the Golden Eagles only managed three field goals.
NO. 2 GEORGIA 62, VANDERBILT 0
When the winning team has twice as many touchdowns as the losing team had first downs, that is the very definition of a blowout.
Georgia led 35-0 after one quarter but look at the numbers on the Bulldogs participation chart in this one. Three Bulldogs threw passes, nine caught passes and nine more ran the ball. If Bobby Boucher had been the waterboy, he would have gotten a few stats. Vandy completed just five passes and those averaged only 1.3 yards per attempt.
NO. 16 ARKANSAS 20, NO. 7 TEXAS A&M 10
Is anyone doubting the hiring of Sam Pittman anymore? After beating Texas in Fayetteville and Texas A&M in Jerry World, do the Cowboys even want a piece of Arkansas?
The Hogs jumped out to a 17-3 lead then unleashed a methodical rushing attack to ice the game. The Razorbacks only needed to complete nine passes in the win. Isaiah Spiller did have 95 yards rushing for the Aggies, but as a team, A&M only had 121.
NO. 11 FLORIDA 38, TENNESSEE 14
For a half, Tennessee had visions of an upset in their heads. Trailing just 17-14 starting the third quarter, those visions of an upset turned into upset stomachs. Florida outscored the Vols 21-0 in the second half to easily dispatch the guys in orange back to Knoxville. Anthony Richardson missed his second-straight game, but Emory Jones is making the true freshman an afterthought lately. Jones completed 21-of-27 and ran for 144 yards.
NO. 23 AUBURN 34, GEORGIA STATE 24
Quarterback controversy, anyone? Bo Nix did not play badly, but not well enough to not get pulled. LSU-transfer T.J. Finley came on and led the Tigers to the game-winning score. It is not clear who will be the starter, but if NIL money has anything to do with it, Nix endorses sweet tea, Finley has an underwear contract. Which is sexier?
GSU coach Shawn Elliott seemed to think after the game Auburn benefited from a video review call that kept the game-winning drive alive. He may have been correct. Auburn may not want to leave things up to the officials next week – they have a Saturday Night date in Baton Rouge on tap.
LSU 28, MISSISSIPPI STATE 25
For those just looking at the score, LSU edged Mississippi State by a field goal Saturday. State put up 15 points in the fourth quarter to make this one seem like a tight game in what was a good competition between the two quarterbacks.
The Bulldogs’ Will Rogers must’ve had to ice down his arm after the game as he completed 47-of-62 passes. Yes, SIXTY-TWO passes. They were good for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Max Johnson of LSU threw four touchdowns in fewer than half of the attempts Rogers had. What is cool is both guys are sophomores.
BOSTON COLLEGE 41, MISSOURI 34 (Overtime)
Perhaps SEC teams should reconsider the idea of heading north early in the season. Last week, Auburn did not fare well against Penn State in Happy Valley. This week, Mizzou fell in Boston. The Tigers needed to score 17 points in the fourth quarter to force an overtime, but in the extra period, the Eagles were able to score a touchdown while keeping Mizzou out of the end zone. Connor Bazelak did throw for 303 yards, but two interceptions hurt the Tigers.
KENTUCKY 16, SOUTH CAROLINA 10
Many pundits expected a six-point game in this one, but most thought the game would be in the 30s and not the teens. Kentucky only managed 332 yards, but the Wildcats limited South Carolina to just 216. Chris Rodriguez, Jr., ran for 144 yards on 26 carries to provide the UK offense.
On the bright side for Kentucky, the Wildcats are 4-0. On the other hand, Florida comes to the Commonwealth this week. After back-to-back losses to Georgia and UK, the Gamecocks will look to rebound next week against Troy, a team that lost to Louisiana Monroe Saturday.
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.