LSU 35- Kentucky 7: For the Cats the story continues to be about their offense, or lack thereof, and Saturday was no different; LSU’s defense had little if any trouble in man-handling the Cat’s offense as the Tigers rolled to a 35-7 win. The only thing that was in doubt was whether the “Bayou Bengals” would pitch a shut-out on “D” but Morgan Newton’s late 4th qtr TD pass to Matt Roark assured the Cats of not being blanked. This game marked the return of LSU’s former #1 QB, Jordan Jefferson as he was previously suspended for an off-field incident; he scored the game’s first TD with a plunge from 1 yd line. Meanwhile, it appeared Joker Phillips had seen all he needed to see of Newton in half one so he decided to try to jump-start the offense by inserting back-up QB, Maxwell Smith. Well he didn’t fare much better and in fact he was victimized on a corner blitz in the 3rd by Tyrone Mathieu; Mathieu stripped the ball and then scooped it up and took it to the house for a TD. Jarrett Lee passed for 169 yds & 1 TD for the Tigers but they were not particularly sharp on offense either; but their defense was the difference.
Arkansas 42 – Texas A&M 38: Two straight weeks, the Aggies have taken a huge lead into half-time over a Top 20 team….two straight weeks the Aggies have managed to come out on the losing end. A week after blowing a big half-time lead to Oklahoma St., the Aggies had a case of “déjà vu” as they were up 35-17 over the Razorbacks at the break. The Hogs would go on to outscore Texas A&M 25-3 in half number two to pull of an unbelievable comeback victory. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson threw for 510 yds & 3 TDs and WR Jarius Wright had 13 grabs for 281 yds and 2 TDs. For the Aggies, the ground game is what staked them to big half-time lead as RB C. Michael ran 32 times for 230 yds (most of it in the 1st half) and 3 TDs; but with Michael being bottled up in the 2nd and QB Steve Tannehill struggling, the pressure fell on the Aggies “D” and they simply folded, as they did a week ago. One has to wonder how this team will go the rest of the way knowing they should be 4-0 right now instead of 2-2.
Georgia 24 – Mississippi St. 10: Talk about a team that is really struggling, Miss. St. looks to be fading faster than any team in the SEC and possibly the nation. Georgia jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead and never looked back in handing State their 3rd conference loss already. While neither QB was great (for State, Chris Relf passed for 157 yds and 2 INTs, for Georgia Aaron Murray passed for 160 yds, 2 TDs and 3 INTs) it was the ground game of Georgia (RB Isaiah Crowell 22 carries for 104 yds) that gave Georgia the balance it needed to win this game. Every week, Coach Mark Richt continues to fan down the flames that was under his “hot-seat”. Meanwhile, the fans in Starkville along with Dan Mullins really have to be concerned as to whether their team will be able to turn this thing around or if they will become one of the major disappointments of this season.
Tennessee 41 – Buffalo 10: The Vols jumped out on Buffalo early often taking a 31-7 half-time lead. They would ease up just a bit in the 2nd as they prepare to host Georgia this Saturday in what is a huge game in terms of the SEC East race. Volunteer QB Tyler Bray passed for 342 yds & 4 TDs & RB Tauren Poole ran for 101 yds on 17 carries. As for the visitors, they just never really could get nothing established outside of a 68 TD run by RB C. Anderson.
Auburn 16 – South Carolina 13: In what was the best game of the day in the SEC, it was Auburn going into Columbia and stunning the host Gamecocks in what was a very disappointing game for the “ol’ ball coach”. In fact, Steve Spurrier was so infuriated with the play of QB Stephen Garcia, he has already announced Garcia will be benched in favor of Connor Shaw this Saturday when they host Kentucky. Garcia completed just 39% of his passes against the Tigers in throwing for just 160 yds, 1 TD & 2 INTs. The Tigers were able to hold RB Marcus Lattimore to just 66 rushing yds (1 TD) as they played 8 and sometimes 9 in the box to slow him down. Meanwhile, Tiger RB, Michael Dyer ran for 141 yds on 41 carries with 1 TD to help overcome 2 INTs thrown by Auburn QB, Barrett Trotter. It was a pretty good display of defense by both teams but in the end, The Gamecocks were just hampered by too many mistakes. The Tigers now have to prepare to travel to Fayetteville to face the Razorbacks on Saturday.
Alabama 38 – Florida 10: In a game many viewed as the first real test for Will Muschamp’s ball club, it turned moiré into a woodshed game as the Tide throttled the Gators. Florida was able to hang in there for a quarter playing Alabama to a 10-10 tie after 1; but the Tide ran of 28 unanswered points behind a tenacious defense and the running of Trent Richardson. The Tide “D” knocked Gator QB John Brantley out of the game in the 1st half and they were able to put the clamps on the running back tandem of Jeff Demps & Chris Rainey. Meanwhile, Florida could do little if anything with Richardson who ran for 181 yds on 29 totes and 2 TDs. Both Brantley and Tide QB were less than stellar but in the end, it was too much defense and too much Richardson and that was more than Florida could handle. With Brantley already being ruled out this weekend, the Gators now have to travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU, so the result could be much the same.
Ole Miss 38 – Fresno St. 28: Behind a rushing attack that posted over 200 yds on the ground the Rebels had to go out west to get just their second win of the season. In what was a tightly contested game for three quarters (Fresno led 28-27) it was the visitors who seized control of the 4th qtr and pulled out the victory. This was undoubtedly the best offensive output by the Ole Miss so far this season. Prior to this game they were lucky to put up 250 yds of offense a game; but they went for over 400 yds in this game and that was the key. While the defense is still a “work in progress” (they gave up nearly 400 yds in this game) it was thought that the offense would be the strong point of this team. One change was that QB Zack Stoudt was benched in favor of R. Mackey; Mackey passed for 214 yds & 1 TD with no turnovers. We shall see if this is the move that turns the Rebels’ season around in a last ditch effort to keep Houston Nutt employed in Oxford.