Trick or Treat: Week Five Wrap-Up of SEC Action
OXFORD, Miss. – The calendar has turned to October and although Halloween is still four weeks away, the stores are already brimming with the various candies on their shelves.
Candies, like Southeastern Conference football teams, each have distinct personalities. So, this week, we will see which Halloween treat most closely resembles each team’s performance.
Also, it justifies my buying lots of candy because I can say it was for research. And if I get the Halloween reference out of the way now, I am assured no other writer will beat me to it.
Hot Tamales 50, Lifesavers 10 (South Carolina vs. S. Carolina St.)
Even with short preparation time due to Hurricane Ian, South Carolina came out as hot as the cinnamon candy in beating its in-state little brother. In fact, the Gamecocks may have stolen some candy from South Carolina State’s candy bag.
Spencer Rattler was 21-of-27 for 219 yards and 11 Gamecocks caught passes in a game that was like taking candy from a baby.
S.C. State proved to be a lifesaver because if Orangeburg was not in such proximity to Columbia, this game may have been postponed. Also, the game check the Bulldogs received is a lifesaver for the school’s athletic budget.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 22, Butterfinger 19 (Ole Miss vs. Kentucky)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups combine two great flavors into one fan favorite. Ole Miss joined a solid running game with a stingy defense to beat Kentucky.
I suppose freshman running back Quinshon Judkins – who plays like a veteran – is the peanut butter and the defense is as sweet as the chocolate that blends in to make it such a treat.
Kentucky’s fingers were a little slippery as the Wildcats dropped a snap on an extra point and quarterback Will Levis fumbled away UK’s last two chances to pull out the win.
Mini Sweet Tarts 21, Now and Laters 17 (LSU vs. Auburn)
LSU is like a pack of mini sweet tarts. Either you will get a delicious treat, or you will open the plastic package wrong, and they will fly all over the room in a chaotic fashion. Sometimes the Tigers are delightfully sweet to watch on the field, while other times they are seriously tart.
Auburn is the package of Now and Laters. As in will the Tigers fire Bryan Harsin now or later? At least the taffy-like candy can be fun while it lasts.
Dum Dums 26, Tootsie Rolls 22 (Georgia vs. Missouri)
If Georgia was not a bunch of Dum Dums Saturday, the Bulldogs were certainly a box of Airheads. The top-ranked team must’ve spent its week reading and listening to how great it is and watching the replay of Missouri’s loss at Auburn last week – the Candy Corn of all college football games this season.
Missouri is the personification of a tootsie roll. They are pleasant enough to enjoy, but if you are not careful, they can be surprisingly messy.
Blow Pops 42, Payday 24 (Mississippi State vs. A&M)
The blow pops of Mississippi State are just like this lollipop treat. As soon as you get past the good part and think all the flavor is gone, you get to the gum and have a little more fun. Will Rogers threw for 329 yards for the initial delight, and then State fans were treated to the secret inside as they watched the defense take the ball away from Texas A&M four times.
Payday. Yeah, Jimbo Fisher will still get one even though he is 3-2 and still has some tough conference games left on the schedule. The Aggies started as a Top Ten team, but after this loss fell completely out of the rankings.
Double Bubble Gum 49, Mini candy bar 26 (Alabama vs. Arkansas)
Alabama is a lot like those single pieces of bubble gum. No matter how chewed up it seems to be, it just lasts and lastts. The Tide was tested against Arkansas, but at the end of the day still put up 49 points even though Bryce Young had to leave the game with an injury.
The mini candy bars of Arkansas are just that. The Hogs are good, but they just don’t have enough. They seem to be good for a bite or two, but before you can really enjoy how good they are, they disappear to a field goal off the top of the upright or to a second-string quarterback running wild.
Almond Joy 52, Milk Duds 17 (Florida vs. Eastern Washington)
Isn’t Florida the Almond Joy of the SEC? When you bite into it, you are not sure if you are going to get coconuts or just nuts. And nuts is what the Gators are driving their fans toward. One week, they look like they could win the AFC South, the next week they look like they would finish third in the Gulf South of Division II.
Fortunately for Billy Napier’s bunch, except for Georgia, the remaining schedule sets up to be a possible stroll down the candy aisle.
Yeah, Eastern Washington is another one of those Milk Dud teams SEC squads schedule so they can Candy Crush them.
Vanderbilt was off this week, but of course, shouldn’t the Commodores be a pack of Nerds?
Tennessee was also idle this week. Perhaps the Vols need to be a pack of Starbursts. The flavor gets on you stronger and sooner than you think. Of course, UT would need to just be the orange ones.
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.