SEC Wrap-Up: Rebels win, Gators get dominated, and all the rest of Saturday’s league action
OXFORD, Miss. – In the Southeastern Conference, this week was one of what-almost-was and what-was-that?
South Carolina drills Florida, LSU nearly beats Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky have a shootout and, oh yeah, there was a great quarterback battle in Oxford.
This is the week that was in the SEC.
NO. 1 GEORGIA 43, MISSOURI 3
Okay, most people expected this one to go this way. Stetson Bennett appears to be the kind of quarterback that could take UGA to a national title. He is methodical, does not make grave mistakes and his teammates believe in him. But just in case, J.T. Daniels is healthy now.
But that Bulldog defense might be able to stop the 101st Airborne.
Poor Mizzou. A season of promise seems to be in ruins. To make matters worse, Conner Bazelak could not even play yesterday.
With South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas left, the Tigers better get on a hot streak or they will not be going bowling.
NO. 2 ALABAMA 20, LSU 14
Is Alabama the Cincinnati of the SEC? The Crimson Tide wins games, but they are not impressive in doing it at times. Saturday, somehow Bama played uninspired against a division rival. If it had not been for Will Anderson and company on the defensive side of the ball, this one could have knocked Alabama out of playoff contention.
LSU fans should be proud of their Tigers. With a lame-duck coach and not a whole lot left to play for, the Bayou Bengals gave Bama all it could handle. LSU was a Hail Mary short of possibly tying the game after the Tigers’ defense found ways to shut Alabama down and give Max Johnson’s unit a chance to win in the fourth quarter.
— Mark Heim (@Mark_Heim) November 7, 2021
Alabama had better stop taking games off in terms of intensity.
NO. 14 TEXAS A&M 20, NO. 13 AUBURN 3
Neither Zach Calzada nor Bo Nix was impressive at quarterback, and the only touchdown of the game was scored by the Aggies’ defense. It was not exactly the game fans of the respective teams were expecting.
The bright spot for Texas A&M was Isaiah Spiller who ran for 112 yards and Devon Achane who chipped in 98. But the offense could not generate touchdowns. Oh, and it was the Aggies’ first win over Auburn at home, ever.
FINAL | Texas A&M 20, Auburn 3
Isaiah Spiller gets a first down and the Aggies will take a knee. A&M beats Auburn at home for the first time ever. pic.twitter.com/cubM0RXqGM
— Alex Miller (@AlexMill20) November 6, 2021
The bright spot for Auburn? Well, Smoke Monday did have nine tackles (one for loss) and he put a vicious hit on A&M quarterback Zach Calzada.
Now Auburn is a game behind the Aggies in the divisional standings.
NO. 15 OLE MISS 27, LIBERTY 14
For one half, Ole Miss was a complete team. The Landshark defense spent most of the first two quarters in the Flames’ backfield and the offense took advantage of opportunities to open a 24-0 lead at the break.
But there are four quarters in a football game. The offense put up just a field goal in the second half, and the defense woke up from a sluggish third quarter just in time to save the day.
A.J. Finley with his second INT of the day. pic.twitter.com/p9zxprq8yq
— TeeJay (@TJOxley1) November 6, 2021
The Rebels have Texas A&M this week and if they can pull a win out at home, the teams left on the schedule are Vanderbilt and at Mississippi State Thanksgiving night. Hmmmm…
ARKANSAS 31, NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI STATE 28
After the loss, MSU coach announced he is going to have open tryouts for kickers on the Starkville campus after the kickers on his roster missed three field goals in Saturday’s loss. Not only does that take away from his kicker’s confidence the rest of the season, but does he really think if there is a student at State that could kick in the SEC, he would probably already have had a scholarship somewhere?
Miss State kickers missed three field goals against Arkansas, so Mike Leach announces open tryouts to be the Bulldogs’ new kicker. pic.twitter.com/wHfNt7hWfs
— Mason Choate (@ChoateMason) November 7, 2021
And perhaps Leach should concentrate on scoring touchdowns instead of relying on field goals.
What would happen if Arkansas played in the SEC East? Instead of Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss, the Hogs could get Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee. Sam Pittman’s accomplishments in Fayetteville would be more appreciated if the Razorbacks were not in the toughest division in college football.
SOUTH CAROLINA 40, FLORIDA 17
Well, this one blindsided pretty much everyone. Not that South Carolina won the game, but that this game was not competitive.
Shane Beamer’s team keeps showing promise. Florida keeps showing disappointment.
In Columbia, Beamer is probably the toast of the town. In Gainesville, Dan Mullen might just be simply toast.
Tennessee 45, No. 17 Kentucky 42
Tennessee snapped an 11-game losing streak against ranked opponents, beating No. 17 Kentucky 45-42 Saturday at Kroger Field.
It’s the best win of coach Josh Heupel’s debut season and puts the Vols one win away from bowl eligibility with home games against No. 1 Georgia, South Alabama and Vanderbilt remaining.
Vols’ quarterback Hendon Hooker had the best game of his career, going 15-of-20 passing for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
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.