Mississippi St. 28 – Kentucky 16 – Well the UK offense was not great (better than it has been in other SEC contests) but this time it was the defense that just could not make enough plays as the Cats are still winless in conference. The Cats (3-5) scored first but the Bulldogs (4-4) responded with a pair of touchdowns to take control of the 1st qtr. and the game. From that point, the game was fairly even with State outscoring the Cats 14-13 in the final 3 quarters. UK QB Morgan Newton went down early with leg / arm injuries but Maxwell Smith performed admirably in a back-up role. He passed for 174 yds with almost a 79% completion. Although a majority of those passes were within 10 yds or less of the line of scrimmage, he showed good poise and pocket presence. RB Cozik Williams ran for 64 yds on 15 carries, a far cry from what he got against Jacksonville St. the week before. For State, they used the “2 QB System” as Tyler Russell passed for 172 yds and 1 TD and Chris Relf ran for 2 scores as the Bulldogs pounded the Cats “D” with a bruising running game. The Cats will host Ole Miss this Saturday as both clubs are still looking for that first conference victory.
Arkansas 31 – Vanderbilt 28 – For consecutive weeks, the Razorbacks (7-1) have fallen behind only to rally for victory in the 4th; the Commodores (4-4) have to learn how to finish games if they want to take that next step. At one point, Vandy led 28-17 late in the 3rd but the Razorbacks turned up the defense and it was horrendous fumble in the red zone by Commodore RB, Zack Stacy that gave the Razorbacks a 94 yd defensive TD and new life. That potential TD for Vandy would have undoubtedly locked up the victory for them but instead it led to the loss. QB Jordan Rogers continues to show improvement for Vandy as he threw for 240 yds, 1 TD and also ran for a pair of TDs. Despite the costly fumble, Stacy had a great game rushing for 128 yds& 1 TD (a 62 yd scamper). Razorback QB Tyler Wilson shook off a sluggish beginning to throw for 316 yds & 1TD and WR Jarius Wright had 10 grabs for 135 yds & 1 TD. Arkansas will host South Carolina this weekend while the Commodores will visit the “Swamp” to play Florida.
Georgia 24 – Florida 20 – For almost 2 quarters, the Gators looked to be on the way to snapping their 3 game skid; but then the Bulldogs woke up and the Gators could not withstand the Georgia rally. Florida QB John Brantley made his return after injury (245 passing & 1 TD but only 35% completion) but it was not enough as the Florida fell to 4-4 overall. Georgia (6-2) QB Aaron Murray passed for 169 yds with 2 TDs but he continues to have his struggles against the Gators. RB Isiah Crowell ran for 81 yds and that provided enough balance for Mark Richt’s ball club.
Auburn 41 – Ole Miss 23 – The visiting Rebels played hard and tough for the 1st half (17-17 tie at half-time). The 2nd half belonged to the home team as the Tigers could not be stopped on offense. Auburn (6-3) RB Michael Dyer piled up 177 yds on the ground on 27 carries and he also scored 1 TD. Rebel (2-6) RB Brandon Bolden was almost equally as impressive with 114 yds and 2 TDs. The difference was at QB where Clint Moseley (making 2nd career start) propelled Auburn with 4 TD passes in route to throwing for 160 yds. Auburn’s “D” was very good in the 2nd half as Ole Miss couldn’t continue the momentum they had built up in the first 2 quarters. The team is playing hard for embattled coach Houston Nutt but the “rumor mill” is swirling and the players know Nutt’s time in Oxford is coming to an end.
South Carolina 14 – Tennessee 3 – In a game that was devoid of a lot of offense it was the Gamecocks out muscling the Volunteers in Knoxville. Playing its first full game without All-Conference RB, Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks (7-1) seemed even more conservative but back-up RB B. Wilds did run for 137 yds on 28 carries. QB Connor Shaw had a very pedestrian game throwing for just 87 yds & 1 TD. For the Volunteers (3-5), no Tyler Bray and the offense continues to struggle badly. The Vols were held to less than 250 yds of offense and Derek Dooley has to be scratching his head. His ball club is pretty much on the brink of being eliminated from “bowl” contention and one has to wonder if it would be worth bringing Bray back this season.