Vanderbilt 38 – Kentucky 8: In a battle of teams trying to inch their way to bowl eligibility, it was the Commodores (5-5) who wanted it more than the Cats (4-6). RB Zack Stacy ran for 135 yds and 3 TDs and Jordan Rogers had another efficient outing, passing for 207 yds and 2 TDs. For the Cats, it was more of the same, an anemic offense that couldn’t generate enough plays down the field. QB Maxwell Smith threw for 179 yds and 1 TD but he didn’t seems as crisp as he did against Ole Miss. A lot of that can be contributed to the Vandy defense, which spent an abnormal amount of time in the UK backfield. Vandy turned up the heat early and often with a variety of blitzes that the Cats could not pick-up. The Cats now have to travel to Athens to face a Georgia Bulldog team that can clinch the SEC East with a victory over the Cats on Saturday. For Vandy, they will travel to Knoxville to battle instate rival Tennessee for one of two shots they will have to get bowl eligible. The Commodores will play Wake Forest to end the year.
South Carolina 17 – Florida 12: The Gamecocks “eeked” out a win in Columbia but it still may not be enough to get them the SEC East title and a trip to the SEC Championship Game. The Gamecocks (8-2) now need UK to upset Georgia on Saturday for South Carolina to make the SEC Championship. As for the game against Florida (5-5), it wasn’t spectacular for either team but Connor Shaw found a way to “will” his team to victory even though he continues to put up less than stellar numbers. Shaw passed for just 81 yds but he ran for 2 scores and RB Barry Wilder added 120 yds on the ground as well. For Florida, RB Chris Rainey ran for 132 yds on just 17 carries, but a lot of that was between the 20s as the Gators did not score a TD until the 4th; QB John Brantley continued his own struggles as he passed for only a 119 yds. The Gators should get win# 6 to become bowl eligible this weekend as they host Furman but they finish the season against Florida St., another potential “L” that would leave them just 6-6.
Georgia 45 – Auburn 7: It is safe to say that after starting the season 0-2 and their coach “squarely” on the proverbial “hot-seat”, Georgia (8-2) has turned it around and is one of the hottest teams in the country. The Bulldogs can roll into the SEC Title game with a victory Saturday over UK, as they are fresh off a “wood-shed” game over Auburn (6-4). The Tigers were good for about 1 quarter and then after that, Georgia decided to flex for those who don’t believe in them. QB Aaron Murray threw 4 TD passes (all in the 1st half) and RB Isaiah Crowell ran for 132 yds & 1 TD as the Bulldog offense was nearly flawless. For the visiting Tigers, the offense was stuck in neutral for the majority of the game as the revolving QB door is not impressive at all. Clint Moseley managed just 140 yds thru the air and the Auburn ground game was completely stifled.
Arkansas 49 – Tennessee 7: The Volunteers have been absolutely abysmal since losing QB Tyler Bray and now they are not even looking competitive. The Razorbacks (9-1) used a steady stream of good offense along with an amazing punt return for a TD by WR, Joe Adams to hand UT its 6th loss of the year, putting them on the brink of being knocked out of bowl contention. The Vols would have to beat Vandy and UK to make themselves eligible for bowl selection. Razorback QB, Tyler Wilson passed for 224 and 3 TDs and RB Derrick Johnson ran for 97 yds & 2 TDs; the offensive attack was very balanced. For the Vols, they did manage to show some signs of life offensively as they totaled nearly 300 yds of offense for the 1st time in several games, but they could not get in the end zone more than once. Arkansas will host Miss. St. this week before their big date with LSU the day after Thanksgiving; that game will determine the SEC West Champion.
LSU 42 – Western Ky. 9: The Tigers seemed a little sluggish in the first half against an opponent that was inferior in talent, but not heart. The Hilltoppers (5-5) came out and played with a lot of character and fire and had the game knotted at 7 until late in the 1st half. After half-time, the host Tigers (10-0) woke up and on both sides of the ball and pounded the visitors with a bruising running attack. The Tigers used 4 or 5 different running backs to help them pile up over 200 yds on the ground against the small WKU defense. WKU B. Rainey was held to just 85 yds on the ground but against LSU, that is pretty good. LSU will travel to Oxford to face Ole Miss this weekend as they await the anticipated game with Arkansas on 11/25.
Louisiana Tech 27 – Ole Miss 7: Ole Miss (2-8) struck first on a 34 yd TD run by Brandon Bolden mid-way thru the 1st qtr. They would not score the rest of the game as the visiting Bulldogs got their 6th win of the season. La. Tech was not great offensively but they were balanced (nearly 200 yds passing and over 150 yds rushing) and they played better than the Rebels. Once again, Ole Miss was held under 200 yds for an entire game s the Houston Nutt era in Oxford cannot end soon enough for the Rebel fans. With #1 LSU coming to town this weekend, expect more Tiger fans than Rebel fans in the stadium.
Alabama 24 – Mississippi St. 7: Much like LSU, Alabama looked sluggish in the 1st half against State (7-0) Tide lead at the half. After half-time the Tide (9-1) used its ground game to subdue the Bulldogs and remove any hope of an upset going down in Starkville. RB Trent Richardson ran for 127 yds & 1 TD on 32 carries and RB Ed Lacey also contributed a TD as well. QB A.J. McCarron threw for only 163 yds but he was not required to pass for big yardage as the running game was all Nick Saban’s team needed in this match-up. For the Bulldog’s (5-5) offense, the sledding was much tougher as RB Vick Ballard was held to under 25 rush yds and QB Tyler Russell passed for just 110 and 1 TD. Mississippi St. still needs one win in their last two to be bowl eligible; meanwhile the Tide will tune-up with Ga. Southern this week before preparing for the Iron Bowl against Auburn to end the regular season.