Florida 48 – Kentucky 10: While the Cats continue to search for answers, particularly on offense, it appears the Gators have the answer for theirs, hand the ball to Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. Florida (4-0) piled up over 250 yds on the ground in route to handing UK (2-2) its second straight loss. UK QB Morgan Newton (124 passing yds, 1 TD & 2 INTs) was once again harassed into some bad throws and one again even when his throws were on target, his wide-receivers couldn’t always hang on to the ball. Newton ran for a team high 50 yds but against the Gator defense, you need a lot more offensive production than that if you want to win. The Cat’s “D” was just on the field way too much and could not prevent the Gators from ripping off several big runs against them. Demps ran for 157 yds on just 10 carries and added 2 TDs in a game that was 31-10 at halftime. Florida heads back home to Gainesville to host #3 Alabama this weekend while UK will not hit the road to go to Baton Rouge to play the new #1, LSU.
Georgia 27 – Ole Miss 13: In a game I dubbed the “if you lose, your coach will be fired” game, it was the Bulldogs (2-2) that kept Mark Richt’s job safe for at least another week. Meanwhile, the Rebels (1-3) continue to have problems on offense as they were once again held to below 250 yds of total offense. Houston Nutt’s job security in Oxford is waning with every passing week and you have to wonder at some point if he may not even make it through the season. For Georgia, QB Aaron Murray passed for 268 yds & 2 TDs and freshman RB Isaiah Crowell ran for 147 yds on 30 carries. Georgia has a huge game this weekend as they will host Mississippi St.
Alabama 38 – Arkansas 14: For at least a quarter and a half, the Razorbacks (3-1) were able to go toe-to-toe with the Crimson Tide (4-0); late in the second quarter, Alabama began to flex and then early in the third decided to apply the knockout punch to the Hogs. The tide rolled up 24 unanswered points between the 2nd and 3rd highlighted by a defensive TD, a punt ret for a TD and 61 yd screen pass to RB Trent Richardson (126 rushing yds.) for a TD. Alabama stifled the high-octane Razorbacks by stopping the run first (RB Ronnie Wingo had just 35 yds on 11 carries) and then going all out on every passing play to harass Hog QB, Tyler Wilson (185 passing yds, 2 TDs & 1 INTs). The Tide will get a much stiffer test as they head to the “Swamp” Saturday to face Florida while Arkansas will head home to host former rival, Texas A&M.
Auburn 30 – Florida Atlantic 14: For a half it appeared as though Auburn (3-1) was still hung-over from its loss to Clemson last week. That all changed in the 3rd when the Tigers rolled up 20 unanswered points against the Owls (1-3) and that was the ballgame. Tiger QB Barrett Trotter threw for 178 yds & 2 TD while the Auburn “D” forced 3 INTs (including one taken back for a TD) out of the Owls QB. Tiger RB Michael Dyer was limited to just 68 yds on the ground but his backfield mate, Onterrio McCalebb had a 51 yd pass reception for a score. Auburn has a huge road clash with South Carolina this weekend and that could be a very exciting game.
Mississippi St. 26 – La. Tech 20 (OT): The Bulldogs (2-2) appear to still be reeling after their two consecutive losses that dropped them out of the Top 25 polls. They looked nothing like a team that was thought to be a contender in the SEC as they had to fight and claw their way to an overtime win over La Tech (1-3). Bulldog QB Chris Relf passed for 164 yds, 1 TD & 1 INT but completed only 48% of his passes; RB Vick Ballard was held to just 68 yds & 1 TD on 17 carries. On the flip side, La. Tech’s QB, N. Isham was able to get the Bulldogs secondary for 233 passing yds, but they took one of his 2 INTs “to the house” for Mississippi St.’s first TD of the game. Dan Mullins knows his team must wake up this week in practice because the game down in Athens will be crucial for both teams.
South Carolina 21 – Vanderbilt 3: Coach Jeff Franklin has the Commodores (3-1) headed in the right direction; the problem is they still have a way to go to compete with the upper echelons of the SEC. The Commodores were absolutely stymied in Columbia on Saturday as the Gamecocks (4-0) just battered the ‘Dores in the 2nd and 3rd on both sides of the ball. Vandy QB Larry Smith was knocked out of the game in the 3rd after fumbling; before that he was struggling as he had just 44 passing yds and a pick; RB Zack Stacy had 18 yds on 7 carries an he was also injured. The good thing for Vandy is their defense had a good showing as they held Gamecock RB, Marcus Lattimore to 77 rushing yds but he had a receiving TD and a rushing TD. But they picked off Stephen Garcia four times in spite of giving up 228 yds thru the air. Spurrier’s club didn’t look particularly sharp on offense but the defense is rounding into form and they will get a test with Auburn’s spread offense.
LSU 47 – West Virginia 21: Coach Les Miles will not tell you his team is the best in the country, at least right now but his club expresses how they feel when they step on the field; the Tigers (4-0) can now add the Mountaineers (3-1) to he list (3)of Top 25 teams they have battered and beat-up. The Tigers thought they had TKO’d the host in the 1st half by jumping out to a 27-7 halftime lead. But West Virginia responded with two 3rd qtr TDs to cut the lead to 27-21 and get Nehlen Stadium fired-up. That was until they kicked-off after the 2nd of those touchdowns. LSU took the ensuing KO for a TD and then proceeded to add two more TDs in the 4th to stake their claim to being #1. Tiger QWB Jarrett Lee passed for 3 TDs and 180 yds and RB S. Ware ran for 92 yds on 23 carries. While WVU could not get much going on the ground (except at the end of the 2nd and into the 3rd qtr), their QB Geno Smith did throw for 463 yds & 2 TDs against a secondary that some think will send all four to the NFL one day. They did manage to pick Smith twice but he didn’t seem to be bothered much, he kept throwing & throwing. The Tigers will have to be careful not to have a let down as a down-trodden UK team comes to town Saturday. Last time they met and LSU was ranked #1, UK pulled off the upset, all be it in Lexington and not Baton Rouge.