TGR on Facebook
TGR on Twitter
TGR Feed
Nov 29

SEC Round-Up Week 14

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 1:05 pm | Leave a Comment (10)
Category: SEC

Kentucky 10 – Tennessee 7: The “Streak” is finally over………after 26 consecutive losses spanning back to 1985, the Kentucky Wildcats (5-7), behind WR turned QB for at least this game, Matt Roark used a stingy defense and an old school offensive game plan to beat the Vols (5-7) in Lexington, KY on Saturday. With QBs Morgan Newton and Maxwell Smith both injured and less than 100%, Joker Phillips turned to Roark, a former high school QB, to run the “Wing-T” for the majority of the game and that obviously was something Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Vols were not prepared for. Roark carried 24 times for 124 yds while passing for just 15 yds. But combine that with the running of Coshik Williams and any other back that entered the game and UK piled up over 220 rushing yds against a stunned Vol’s defense. Meanwhile, the Kentucky defense played absolutely “lights-out” in stuffing the run game (Taurean Poole had 32 yds on 9 carries) and confusing QB Tyler Bray most of the day by mixing-up its coverage. Bray passed for 215 yds, 1 TD & 2 INTs in route to one of his worst performances while wearing the Orange & White. The Cats not only ended a 26 game losing streak to the Vols, but they also prevented Tennessee from gaining bowl eligibility meaning both team’s seasons are over.

Georgia 31 – Georgia Tech 17: The Bulldogs seem as if they are ready to do battle with #1 LSU this Saturday in the SEC Championship Game; so they decided to get an early win in Atlanta as they disposed of their arch-rival, the Yellowjackets (8-4) in a game they took control of early. Georgia QB, Aaron Murray passed for 252 yds, 4 TDs & 1 INT while the Georgia (10-2) defense slowed down Tech’s potent rushing attack, holding them to under 200 yds on the ground. Murray has been red hot over his last 3 games throwing 4 or more TD passes in each. He will need to be just as hot this weekend because the “LSU express” is showing no signs of slowing down as they can see the National Championship game on the horizon. For Georgia the season has turned around since starting 0-2 and they would love to cap it off with an upset if the #1 team in Atlanta.

LSU 41 – Arkansas 17: In a game that started off rather precarious for the #1 Tigers, it was their ability to just make plays that was the difference in a match-up of #1 & #3 in the BCS on Friday. Arkansas (10-2) jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind an offensive & defensive score in the 2nd Qtr. That was about all that the Razorback fans would have to cheer for though as LSU would proceed to run off 21 straight points and 24 of the next 27 scored between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The Tigers (12-0) would then add 17 points in the 4th to put the game away. Tiger QB Jordan Jefferson had his best game since coming back from an earlier suspension as he passed for 208 yds w/ 1 TD and he also had a 48 yd TD run in the 4th qtr. RB Kenny Hillard ran for 102 yds on 19 carries and the Tiger offense was just too balanced for Arkansas’s “D” to deal with. For Arkansas, QB Tyler Wilson passed for 207 yds & 1 TD but he was battered and bruised as he took numerous hits from the LSU defense. The game really changed when CB / PR Ryann Mathieu returned a punt for a TD in the 2nd qtr; however Mathieu would not stop there as he went on to strip D.J. Johnson of the football later on in that quarter when the Razorbacks were driving.  LSU will prepare to battle Georgia for the SEC Championship on Saturday; but the goal is much higher than that; they want to be there playing for the National Title in January.

Alabama 42 – Auburn 14: Alabama’s mantra all year has been “Never Again” which is a reference to their blown 24 point 2nd half lead against Auburn last season. Well this time around, there would be no magic for the Tigers (7-6) as the Tide took control early and did not take their foot off the gas until the final horn. Alabama (11-1) led 24-7 at half-time (just like last season) but they outscored Auburn 18-7 in the 2nd half to insure there would be no comeback this season. RB Trent Richardson ran for 203 yds on 27 carries and QB A.J. McCarron passed for 184 yds. & 3 TDs. For Auburn, the defense spent way too much time on the field, largely in part to their continued problems on offense. Auburn had less than 200 yds of offense as their 2 scores came via the defense and special teams. The Tide can only sit and wait to see if they will be selected to possibly oppose what is thought to be LSU in the National Title game; a rematch Nick Saban wants very badly.

Vanderbilt 41 – Wake Forest 7: The Commodores (6-6) knew their bowl hopes rested on whether they could go on the road and beat a fairly solid Wake Forest squad. Well Vandy left nothing to chance as they jumped out to a 27-7 half-time lead and cruised to their 6th victory of the season. For Wake Forest (6-6), they are also bowl eligible but they seem to struggle over their last 4 games as they had a real shot of winning at least 8 games before their mini-collapse. Commodore RB, Zack Stacy ran for 184 yds & 3 TDs and Wake Forest really had no answer for him.

Florida St. 21 – Florida 7: In a game between to in-state rivals in which neither was ranked for the first time in over 12 years, it was the Seminoles (8-4) had more juice than the Gators (6-6). If the sting of seeing their club go just .500 for the season wasn’t enough, the Florida faithful are really mad after seeing former coach (1 year removed) Urban Meyer announce that he has accepted the head position at Ohio State this week. Gator fans are going to want answers from a man who supposedly was stepping down for health reasons and is all of a sudden better and ready to coach again. Well aside from that, Gator QB, John Brantley was absolutely horrendous against the Noles “D” as he tossed 3 INTs (including 1 taking back for a TD) and passed for just 104 yds. On the other side, Seminole QB E.J. Manuel was equally ineffective as he passed for just 65 yds. Neither team’s running game ever really got going but the turnovers absolutely killed Florida.

Mississippi St. 31 – Ole Miss 3: In a game that really didn’t mean much outside of the state of Mississippi, in a battle know as the “Egg Bowl” it was the Bulldogs (6-6) gaining bowl eligibility by beating cross-town rival Ole Miss (2-10). Neither team had the kind of season either was expecting but for Ole Miss it has been especially disappointing. They will now have to look for a new coach (there are plenty out there to choose from) and then try to rebound from the last two seasons. For the Bulldogs, it just seems as if the QB play really hurt them this season and that is something Coach Dan Mullins will have to address in the off-season and recruiting wise. But back to the game, Miss. St. ran out (literally) to a 21-0 lead at the half and that meant the ending was never in doubt. RBs Vic Ballard and Ladonn Perkins ran wild on the Rebel defense as each scored 2 TDs apiece (1 receiving & 1 passing), all plays longer than 15 yds. QB Chris Relf passed for 70 yds and both of those TD passes to Ballard and Perkins and that was all of the offense they needed. Ole Miss was held to under 225 yds of offense again, which was about 8 or 9 out of their 12 games.

South Carolina 34 – Clemson 13: The Gamecocks had a plan and it did not include losing to in-state rival Clemson this season. While they fell short of their goal to play for the SEC Championship in Atlanta, it appeared that Steve Spurrier’s club took out its frustrations on the visiting Tigers (9-3). South Carolina (10-2) got 3 TD passes from Connor Shaw (210 passing yds) and he also led them in rushing with 107 yds & 1 TD. WR Bruce Ellington had 3 grabs for 71 yds & 1 TD. For Clemson, the last couple of weeks have been anything but Stellar as they have lost two straight and 3 of their last 4. QB Taj Boyd passed for just 83 yds and he struggled all day long. The South Carolina defense looked as good as they did in any game this season. While both teams are bowl bound, they seem to be heading in different directions heading toward Bowl Season.

Nov 22

SEC Round-Up Week 12

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 10:41 pm | Leave a Comment (8)
Category: SEC

South Carolina 41 – The Citadel 20: For at least a half, The Citadel looked to pull what would have been one of the bigger upsets in college football this season as they only trailed by 7 at the half (20-13). However, the Gamecocks “D” stiffened in the 2nd half and the offense tacked on 3 more touchdowns, thanks in part to great play of Connor Shaw. Shaw completed 88% of his passed in throwing for 217 yds & 3 TDs while RB B. Wilder ran for 109 yds & 2 scores. However, because of Georgia’s victory over Kentucky, it will be the Bulldogs who will represent the SEC East in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta in two weeks.

Georgia 19 – Kentucky 10: In a game that had a lot riding on it for both teams (although the stakes for each were vastly different) it was the Bulldogs (9-2) who had just a little more offense than the Cats (4-7). The Cats played hard throughout the game limiting Georgia to 4 field goals through 3 quarters. However, at the beginning of the 4th, QB Aaron Murray threw his only TD pass of the game to put Georgia up by 9 and the “D” made it stand-up. The UK defense frustrated Murray through out the game holding him to 162 pass yds and picking him off once as well. RB Isaiah Crowell went down with an injury early in the game and that may have thrown off the game-plan of the offense. For Kentucky, the offense struggled again but QB Maxwell Smith looked better than he did a week ago against Vandy. However, the running game was not a factor and that meant the young QB had to shoulder more of the load and it just didn’t work out. The Cats will wrap up their season this week when they visit Knoxville to play Tennessee. Georgia will play arch-rival Ga. Tech in what could be an interesting game for the Bulldogs.

Auburn 35 – Samford 16: For a half, Auburn did not look like the team we seen earlier in the year. Samford trailed by only 4 at the half (14-10) and looked to be in position to pull off a shocker. In the 2nd half, the Tiger’s rushing attack got going and helped the Tigers (7-4) avoid a major upset. RB Michael Dyer ran for 157 yds & 1TD on 30 carries. Not to be out done, RB J. Gates for Samford rushed for 119 yds on 28 carries. In fact, Samford appeared to have the better offense through-out the entire game but the Tiger’s defense played much better in the 2nd half. Next up for Auburn will be the “Iron Bowl” against in-state rival Alabama.

Florida 54 – Furman 32: Furman jumped out to a 22-7 lead and the crowd at the “Swamp” was stunned and shocked at what was happening. The Gators would outscore their opponent 47 -10 over the final three quarters to win a game that was much closer than anticipated. QB John Brantley threw for a season high 329 yds & 4 TDs & WR Andre Dubose had 3 catches for 151 yds & 2 TDs. The Gators will have to be much better than this on defense this weekend as they play in-state rival Florida State. This was the best offensive game Will Muschamp’s team had played in its last seven. This win also got the Gators bowl eligible.

Alabama 45 – Georgia Southern 21: At least for a half, Alabama did not look like Alabama, sluggish and unsure of themselves on defense. By the second half, the defense had tightened up and the offense was able to keep up what they had started in the 1st half. Bama QB, A.J. McCarron threw for 190 yds. & 3 TDs and RB Trent Richards ran for 175 yds & 2 TDs on 32 carries. But, the Bama “D” gave up 153 yds on the ground to D. Swope, the RB for Ga. Southern. They must be better than that when they visit Auburn this weekend.

Arkansas 44 – Mississippi St. 17: Arkansas looks to be primed for their showdown with #1 LSU on Friday as they ran thru, around and over the Mississippi St. (5-6) defense. QB Tyler Wilson passed for 365 yds & 3 TDs and Derrick Johnson rushed for 98 yds on 14 carries. Arkansas (10-1) will certainly be the most explosive offense LSU’s defense will face since the Oregon game to open the season. Arkansas’s defense has been much improved and they will need to be good this Friday too. For Mississippi St. their bowl hopes rest on whether or not they can defeat Ole Miss this Saturday in the “Egg Bowl”.

LSU 52 – Ole Miss 3: This game was never in doubt as the Tigers (11-0) ran out to a 35-3 half-time lead and cruised to victory. Jordan Jefferson started at QB and passed for just 88 yds & 1 TD. But he used his legs to avoid the blitzing Rebel defense on numerous occasions. The Tiger’s defense battered the Ole Miss (2-9) until they were just helpless. The Rebels had less than 200 yds of offense again; something that the new coach must address next season. For LSU, only Arkansas & Georgia stand in their way of a shot at the National Title.

Tennessee 27 – Vanderbilt 21 (OT): In possibly the best game in the Sec this past weekend, it was the Vols (5-6) inching one step closer to bowl eligibility with a overtime victory over their in-state rival. The Commodores (5-6) were hoping to pick-up win #6 here sp that they would not have to rely on a victory this weekend, on the road against a formidable Wake Forest team. Of course Tennessee must beat Kentucky this weekend themselves to get bowl eligible; of course UK’s last victory over “Rocky Top” was back in 1984. QB Tyler Bray was back for the Vols and he threw for 189 yds, 2 TDs & 2 INTs. RB Tauren Poole ran for 107 yds & 1 TD as well. For Vandy, QB Jordan Rogers passed for 193 yds, 1 TD & 3 INTs; the last of those INTs proved to be costly though as it was picked off in the flat in OT and taken “to the house” for a game winning, defensive TD.

 

Nov 16

SEC Round-Up Week 11

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 12:35 pm | Leave a Comment (16)
Category: SEC

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.

Nov 8

SEC Round-up Week 10

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 3:42 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

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.

Nov 1

SEC Round Up Week 9

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 10:34 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

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.

Oct 25

SEC Round-up Week 8

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 8:59 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

Kentucky 38 – Jacksonville St. 14: The Kentucky Wildcats (3-4) started slowly on offense again, but their defense jump-started the whole team as they literally ran away from the 8th ranked team in the FCS polls. The defense forced J’Ville State (5-2) QB Coty Blanchard to fumble and DB Martaveous Neloms scooped it up and took it to the house late in the 1st qtr. and that seemed to energize the rest of the squad, including the anemic offense. The Cats would rush for a season high of 250 + yds, led by 3rd string RB, Cozik Williams who ran for 148 on 22 carries. If not spectacular, QB Morgan Newton had probably his best all-around game as a Cat, throwing for 105 yds & 2 TDs as well as running for 1 himself. While the Cats offense still had some miscues they appeared to be just a step quicker Saturday and they looked a little more ready to play. The defense was back to the “D” that we saw the first two games of the year, although RB Wasaun Ealey did run for 120 yds on 16 carries; but the Cats managed to keep him out of the end zone. Joker Phillips had to be pleased but he also knows this game was just the beginning. The Cats will host Mississippi St. (3-4) this weekend and surely the loser of that game can all but forget about going to a bowl so there will be a lot on the line for both teams.

Arkansas 29 – Ole Miss 24: Well for a half it appeared that the Razorbacks were still on their bye week and it seemed as though Ole Miss would get the upset Houston Nutt may need to keep his job. Then the 2nd half came everything fell back into its rightful place as the Hogs (6-1) overcame a 17-7 halftime deficit by outscoring the Rebels 22-7 after intermission. The Rebels (2-5) had it clicking on both sides of the ball in the first 2 quarters as they dominated the #9 Team in the country. The Rebels used 3 different running backs, all with their own style to keep the Razorback defense off-balance; once they began to focus on the run, QB R. Mackey (219 passing yds 2 TDs) began to pick them apart in the air. In the 2nd, it was reversal of fortunes as Arkansas QB, Tyler Wilson (232 passing yds) began to heat up and the defense tightened up. D. Johnson had a 52 yd TD run and piled up a total of 160 on the ground and Arkansas held off a late Rebel drive.

LSU 45 – Auburn 10: Well, LSU entered this game short-handed as three players (all starters, 2 DBs) were suspended for drug-testing issues. Meanwhile, Auburn entered the game starting a new QB, Clint Moseley (1st career start) after benching the struggling Barrett Trotter. Well neither of these proved to make a bit difference as LSU (8-0) steam-rolled Auburn (5-3) in handing them their worst loss in close to 15 years. LSU is using the two QB “thing” a lot better this time around (Jarrett Lee – 165 passing yds and 2 TDs) & Jefferson passed for 1 TD as well) and together, Auburn could do nothing with them. LSU RB, Michael Ford ran for 82 yds on 12 carries (replaced the suspended Spencer Ware) and WR Rueben Randle had 5 grabs for 106 yds 2 TDs. LSU will have this weekend off before they have that huge showdown with #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on 11/5. Auburn will play host to Ole Miss this weekend.

Vanderbilt 44 – Army 21: Vandy named QB Jordan Rodgers (little brother of Aaron Rodgers) the starter early last week and it paid dividends. He passed for 186 yds, 1 TD & 2 INTs but the team seemed to be more energetic with him under center. The Commodores (4-3) led Army 23 -6 at the half largely behind the gritty play of Rodgers and the feet of RB Zac Stacy (21 carries, 198 yds and 3 TDs). The Cadets largely rely on the triple-option attack and they just could not get a lot going against Vandy’s “D”. Army has struggled at times this year with their ground game and when that happens, they are going to be on the losing end just because they ate one of the worst passing teams in the nation. The Commodores would like to build off of this victory as they host Arkansas this Saturday in a game that could move them one-step closer to bowl eligibility.

Alabama 37 – Tennessee 6: For a half, UT played Alabama (8-0) to an even affair (6-6 at half-time). In the 2nd half, the Tide woke up and the defense clamped down on the Vol offense while their offense broke loose on the Vol defense. Even though Tennessee (3-4) was able to hold RB Trent Richardson to under 100 yds, he still managed 77 on the ground and 2 TDs; meanwhile QB A.J. McCarron passed for 284 yds. & 1 TD, most of it in the 2nd half. UT QB, Matt Sims had a second consecutive week of being held below 100 passing yds (just 58 this game) and as a team, the Vols failed to reach 200 offensive yds for a second consecutive week. All eyes and minds are set for 11/5 when the Tide and the LSU Tigers collide in what may be the game of the season. Like LSU, Alabama will be off this weekend so both teams will be rested and prepared. For Tennessee, they will host South Carolina this weekend, a game they have a good chance at winning.

Oct 17

SEC Round-Up Week 7

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 10:22 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

South Carolina 14 – Mississippi St. 12: In a game that seem to lack the luster it did before the season started, it was a hard fought contest that went right down to the wire. The Gamecocks (6-1) won the war but may have lost the battle; RB Marcus Lattimore was lost for the remainder of the season with a knee / leg injury. In a contest where the defenses ruled and neither offense looked particular sharp, South Carolina made one more big play than Mississippi St. (3-4) did. The Bulldogs are now 0-4 in conference play and but can all but just about bury their bowl chances needing to win 3 of their final 5 to be eligible. For the Gamecocks, the win keeps them ahead of Georgia in the SEC East but now you have to wonder what they will do for a ground attack with Lattimore done for the season. He was held to just 39 rushing yds and 1 TD before going out so State did a great job of containing him. Both QBs, Connor Shaw for South Carolina and Tyler Russell for Miss. St. threw for 1 TD & 2 picks but Shaw had the last laugh when hit Alshon Jeffery with a 4yd TD pass with 3:50 to go in the 4th. Both teams will be off this coming weekend.

LSU 38 – Tennessee 7: The good news for Vol fans was that RB Tauren Poole was able to play after all (19 carries, 70 yds & 1 TD); the bad news was it was against LSU (7-0). The Tigers led 17-7 at the half and then defense pitched a shut-out after intermission as Matt Simms only completed 30% of his pass attempts. Tennessee (3-3) knew this would be a tough task on the road in Baton Rogue but without QB Tyler Bray, the task got just that much tougher. The Vols were limited to less than 250 yds of offense an LSU continued to strengthen their hold on the #1 spot in the Polls. Tiger’s QB Jarrett Lee passed for 115 yds and 2 TDs while the defense hounded his counterpart all game long. LSU will host Auburn this Saturday while UT will travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama.

Alabama 52 – Ole Miss 7: For the 1st quarter, Ole Miss (2-4) was just as good as Alabama (7-0); for the rest of the game, the Tide was on a different plateau than the Rebels. Bama would finish the game on a 52 – 0 run after spotting Ole Miss a TD on their opening drive. Alabama RB Trent Richardson ran for 183 yds and 4 TDs and QB A.J. McCarron passed for 224 yds and 1 TD. Ole Miss was held to less than 200 yds, most of which came on the opening series of the game. For Houston Nutt, it continues to be a problem to find any source of offense as his time in Oxford appears to be about over. The Rebels will host Arkansas Saturday and I would not expect the home fans to hold back in voicing their displeasure with how this season is going.

Auburn 17 – Florida 6: The Auburn Tigers (5-2) have been able to consistently prove the skeptics wrong this season as they took care of the Gators on Saturday. In a game that featured shaky QB play from both sides and good defensive play from both, it was poor special teams play from Florida (4-3) that proved to be the difference. The Gators muffed or bobbled 4 different punts and a pair of them led directly to Auburn scores. Without John Brantley under center, the Gators have not scored more than 1 TD in a game. They tried three different guys under center Saturday and none of them were very effective. They also had to play the game without RB Jeff Demps who was out with an injury. Add to that, RB Chris Rainey was held to just 33 yds on 16 carries and the Gators tallied less than 225 yds of offense for the 3rd consecutive week. Auburn was not much better on offense as QB Barrett Trotter continues to struggle in the passing game. He would give way to Clint Moseley who managed to pass for only 90 yds himself. Bottom line is the Tigers just made less miscues than the Gators.

Georgia 33 – Vanderbilt 28: In what proved to be the most entertaining game of the day in the SEC, the Bulldogs (5-2) held off the Commodores (3-3) in wild game. Georgia led 20-7 at the half and appeared to be on their way to an easy win. But in the second half, Vandy’s special teams (a KO return for a TD) helped ignite a Commodore rally that would eventually fall short. After Vandy had been embarrassed in its last two outings, they actually showed a lot of moxie after falling down 13 in the 1st half. RB Zack Stacy ran for 97 yds and 1 TD but the Commodores struggles can be found at the QB position where neither of the two they used were very effective. For Georgia, QB Aaron Murray passed for 326 yds & 3 TDs, because Vandy shut-down the Bulldog’s ground game. Georgia will be off this week while Vandy will host Army as they try to get that elusive 4th win of the season.

Oct 10

SEC ROUND-UP WEEK 6

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 1:00 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

South Carolina 54 – Kentucky 3: Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for UK(2-4) offensively, they are seemingly finding new lows to hit every week. QB Morgan Newton completed just 4 passes for 17 yds as the Gamecocks (5-1) unleashed a furious offensive display in the 2nd – 4th quarters after only leading the Cats 7-3 after the 1st. Newton also had 14 carries for 54 yards but fumbled once and was battered all day long whether in or out of the pocket. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks rolled up over 600 yds of offense behind back-up QB, Connor Shaw (311 passing yds & 4 TDs) and RB Marcus Lattimore (22 carries for 102 yds) in route to their best offensive output all season; WR Alshon Jeffery had 6 grabs for 95 yds and 2 TDs as he gave the UK secondary fits. UK scored first after the Gamecocks fumbled the opening kick-off; unfortunately they were only able to get a field goal. South Carolina would score the next 54 pts as UK’s bleak chance for an upset was gone by half-time.

Mississippi St. 21 – UAB: Well things are not getting much better for Dan Mullins’ ball club as they fell behind UAB (0-5) 3-0 at the half. Mullins decided to bench starting QB, Chris Relf and that seemed to jump start the offense or at least give them life. T. Russell passed for 165 yds & 3 TDS in the 2nd half and the Bulldogs’ “D” blanked the Blazers the rest of the way. State (3-3) RB Vic Ballard had 101 yds on the ground but this team still seems to be in somewhat of a daze as all of their wins have been outside of the conference thus far. The Bulldogs will finally try to breakthrough with a conference win Saturday in Starkville when they host South Carolina.

LSU 41 – Florida 11: A tale of two teams possibly heading in the opposite direction, the Tigers (6-0) beat its 4th ranked opponent of the season, further strengthen its grip on the #1 spot while the Gators (4-2) lost their 2nd straight, both in convincing fashion. Playing without starting QB, John Brantley, the Gators could never find a rhythm on offense and on defense they were helpless to stop LSU either on the ground or through the air. LSU had over 300 yds of offense while Florida was short of 200 yds for the game. LSU may have proved to every one in the nation that they have the fastest defense (the Sooners and the Tide may disagree) going sideline to sideline as the Gators couldn’t muster anything of significance on the ground as their only TD came on a 65 yd pass play in the 3rd. LSU will now visit Knoxville to face Tennessee while Florida will hit the road again this weekend to face Auburn.

Arkansas 38 – Auburn 14: For the 1st half, this game was very entertaining as the teams traded TDs with Arkansas (5-1) leading at the half, 21-14. Apparently the Tigers (4-2) forgot there was a 2nd half as they were blanked offensively while the defense could not slow down the steamrolling Razorback offense. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson passed for 262 yds and 2 TDs and the Razorbacks defense forced Auburn into 3 & outs on just about every 2nd half possession. The Tigers played without its two leading receivers and it showed as the back-ups either dropped passes or were not running the correct routes. The only bright spot for Auburn is that Michael Dyer continues run well (21 carries f/ 112 yds & 1 TD).

Alabama 34 – Vanderbilt 0: For about a quarter or so, the Commodores (3-2) defense seemed to be inspired rather than intimidated by Alabama’s (6-0) offense. The problem was that Vandy’s offense was intimidated by the Tide defense and that meant the Commodore defense would eventually get worn down and they did. Vandy was limited to less than 200 yds of offense and Alabama rolled up over 400 yds (McCarron passed for 237 yds & 4 TD, while Richardson ran for 107 & 1TD). Alabama will visit Oxford, MS this weekend to play Ole Miss while Vandy will play host to Georgia.

Georgia 20 – Tennessee 12: Oh how costly was the Volunteers’ lost to the Bulldogs on Saturday…..Tennessee (3-2) will have to go the next 4 weeks or so without QB Tyler Bray (Broken Thumb on throwing hand). While Bray may have not been having a stellar game (251 yds passing) he is the trigger man for what can be an explosive offense; he hit his right hand and wrist on a defenders helmet while throwing a pass in the 4th quarter. Georgia (4-2) also did not get a stellar performance from its QB (Aaron Murray 227 passing yds) but the difference proved to be on the ground where Isiah Crowell ran for 2 scores. Coach Mark Richt continues to stave off the “hot-seat” talk as Bulldogs have clearly put themselves in a position to be right there in the SEC East race with South Carolina. The problem is they have already lost to the Gamecocks so they will need to keep winning and hope someone else can knock off the Gamecocks along the way.

Oct 5

SEC ROUND-UP WEEK 5

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 4:44 pm | Leave a Comment (62)
Category: SEC


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.

Sep 27

SEC Roundup Week 4

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 1:18 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

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.