Kentucky 30 – Ole Miss 13: Maxwell Smith made his first start at QB a memorable one and UK used a 20 point 4th quarter to secure its 4th victory of the season, keeping alive its slim bowl hopes. Kentucky (4-5) used Smith’s passing attack (283 passing yds & 2 TDs) along with the hard running of Cozhik Williams (25 carries for 111 yds & 2 TDs) to subdue a game but overmatched Rebels (2-7) squad. With that loss, Ole Miss is mathematically eliminated from bowl consideration and with that, coach Houston Nutt along with Ole Miss A.D. both announced they would step down, effective the end of the season. QB Randal Mackey had a decent game for the Rebels (197 passing yds, 1 TD & 1 INT) but in the 2nd half, the offense seemed to stall. The Cats also got a big game from WR Matt Roark, 7 grabs for 116 yds; the surprising offensive output combined with a strong defensive effort, particularly in the 2nd half has UK feeling good as they prepare to travel to Nashville to play the Vanderbilt Commodores this weekend.
Florida 26 – Vanderbilt 20: Florida owned the first half as they took a 17-0 lead into the locker room. The 2nd half belonged to the Commodores (4-5) but there bid for a win in “the Swamp” fell short. The Gators (5-4) snapped a four game losing streak but they are far from being were their fans are used to seeing them. Jeff Demps ran for 158 yds & 2 TDs and QB John Brantley passed for 173 yds. But the Gators do not have the same bite that we expect from their offense. While the defense looked good in the first half, they were very sub-par in the 2nd as Commodores riddled the secondary with pin-point passing from Jordan Rodgers (297 passing yds & 2 TD). The Gators were stiff against the run as they held RB Zack Stacy to 49 yds on the ground but the pass defense will have to improve as they prepare to travel to Columbia, SC to take on former head coach, Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks.
Georgia 63 – Mew Mexico St. 16: Mark Richt’s ball club had an easy time of it on Saturday as they ran out early and fast on the visiting Aggies to the tune of a 49-7 halftime lead. Georgia (7-2) QB, Aaron Murray passed for 238 yds & 5 TDS, all in the first half as the Bulldogs prepare to host Auburn this weekend. Because of the loss by South Carolina on Saturday, the Bulldogs control their own destiny as they look to claim the SEC East Title.
Tennessee 24 – Middle Tenn. St. 0: For the 1st time since QB Tyler Bray was injured, the Volunteers (4-5) won a game, although it was not pretty. Third-string QB, J. Worley passed for 291 yds & 1 TD but the Vols used a stingy defense to prevent this game from even being in doubt. All of the scoring came in the 1st half and that was all that the Vols needed. The Blue Raiders were held to less than 250 offensive yds as they just were not able to put together any offensive consistency. Tennessee will visit Arkansas Saturday and a loss in Fayetteville puts them in real danger of not making it to a bowl this season.
Arkansas 44 – South Carolina 28: In a game that was back and forth for a while, the Razorbacks eventually showed they had too many weapons on offense for even the stingy Gamecock “D” to contain. Arkansas (8-1) QB, Tyler Wilson threw for 299 yds & 2 TDs while WR Jarius Wright had 4 catches for 103 and both of those passing touchdowns. RB Derrick Johnson also gave the Razorbacks good balance on the ground as he ran for 86 yds on 15 carries. For South Carolina (7-2), QB Connor Shaw was less than effective (128 passing yds & 1 INT) as he looked very badly for a second consecutive outing. Without the threat of RB Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecock offense has fallen off and defenses can now afford to double WR Alshon Jeffery on the outside.
Mississippi St. 55 – Tennessee-Martin 17: The Bulldogs seemed to have found some momentum after beating Kentucky 2 weekends ago. State (5-4) rolled up over 300 yds of offense, RB Vick Ballard 102 & 2 TDs on the ground and QB Tyler Russell passed for 183 yds with 1 TD. While State’s defense only gave up 17 points, they surrendered over 300 yds of offense to Tenn-Martin. They will have to do better than that on defense this Saturday as they host an angry Alabama squad. State is just one win away from being bowl eligible but I don’t believe they will get that win this weekend.
LSU 9 – Alabama 6 OT: In a game that was much anticipated in the SEC and throughout the nation, #1 and #2 in the BCS did battle in Tuscaloosa, AL. Throughout the entire game, the defenses prevailed for both coaches but in the end, special teams told the story; LSU’s kicker was 3 of 3 and Alabama’s kicker was 2 of 6 including a miss in overtime. LSU (9-0) QB Jarrett Lee never found a rhythm in this big game and eventually was pulled after throwing picks on consecutive pass attempts. So for LSU, the theme was try not beat yourself on offense and let the defense when the game. For the Crimson Tide (8-1), the thought was much the same but they had the better offense coming into the game. RB Trent Richardson managed 89 tough yards on 23 carries but was held out of the end zone. QB A.J. McCarron threw for 199 yds but everything seemed to be between the 20’s as he could not get them into the end-zone when they got near the red-zone. The Tide out gained the Tigers but when you miss 4 FGs in a game like this, you will not be the victor. With only Western KY and Ole Miss remaining before Thanksgiving, it is all but guaranteed that LSU’s last hurdle to the SEC Title game will be that 11/25 match-up with Arkansas. The Razorbacks always seem to play LSU tough and with all of the wide-outs they have and the skill level they possess, the Tigers will have to be on guard for a possible upset the day after Thanksgiving.