It was a busy and exciting week for SEC football. I know it’s hard to keep up with how all of the teams did – I’d be lying if I said I sat down and watched every single game – but I’ll try and give a brief synopsis of each team’s performance from the previous week. Additionally, at the end I’ll put forward one bold prediction moving forward. With that being said, let’s get into this week’s action:
- Auburn 26, 1. Alabama 14
While this wasn’t much of an upset, Auburn took down their top-ranked rivals to take the Iron Bowl victory. I wrote last week about how Jarrett Stidham would need to step up if they wanted to win, and he did just that, completing 75% of his passes for 237 yards and running for a touchdown. Now up to number 2 in the CFP rankings, Auburn has a chance to be the first two-loss team to make the Playoff if they beat Georgia in the SEC title game this week.
- Clemson 34, 24. South Carolina 10
Tough loss for So Car. who still finish the season with a very nice 8-4 record. Receiver Bryan Edwards had the lone Gamecock touchdown to go with 6 receptions for 70 yards. On the flip side, a solid performance from QB Kelly Bryant led the way for Clemson, as he threw for 272 yards and 2 TDs to help move his team up to number 1 in the new Playoff rankings.
- Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 7
Huge win for the Bulldogs over their in-state rivals. Big game from QB Jake Fromm, who passes for 224 yards and tossed a pair of TDs in the win. They’re going to need a lot more from him this week, as they’ll need a big-time performance to avenge the loss to Auburn and win the SEC Championship Game.
Ole Miss 31, 14. Mississippi State 28
Mississippi State lost QB Nick Fitzgerald in this one to a gruesome leg injury, and they fought back valiantly but came up just short. Ole Miss was led by WR A.J. Brown, who caught 6 passes for 167 yards and a score. Mississippi State also lost its head coach, Dan Mullen, earlier this week to the University of Florida, but quickly replaced him with Penn State O.C. Joe Moorhead.
- LSU 45, Texas A&M 21
A dominant performance for the Tigers gives them a solid 9-3 record at season’s end. Derrius Guice put together another strong game with 127 yards and a TD, and will very likely declare for the NFL Draft before the calendar year is out. Meanwhile, A&M finally fired head coach Kevin Sumlin, creating one of the more favorable head coaching vacancies in college football.
Missouri 48, Arkansas 45
Credit Missouri for completely turning their season around and rattling off 6 straight wins to get themselves bowl eligible. QB Drew Lock had yet another masterful outing, throwing for 448 yards and 5 TDs in this shootout win. On the flip side, Arkansas also fired its head coach, Bret Bielema, and it will be interesting to see who they get as his replacement.
Florida State 38, Florida 22
Both of these teams’ lost seasons ended Saturday with the Seminoles coming away victorious. UF WR Brandon Powell had a great game with 75 receiving yards and 2 TDs on 9 catches. The news UF fans are really fired up about, though, is the hiring of Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen to the same position within their program.
Louisville 44, Kentucky 17
Kentucky got destroyed by Lamar Jackson in this one. The Heisman Trophy winner went for 372 total yards and 2 passing touchdowns and completely overwhelmed the Wildcats. The good news for UK, though, is that they will be getting a bowl game with their 7-5 record.
Vanderbilt 42, Tennessee 24
Tennessee got destroyed both on and off the field this week. On it, Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur owned them to the tune of 283 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in a convincing win. Off the field, they experienced a debacle in hiring and then not hiring Greg Schiano, and then Mike Gundy agreeing to the coaching job but changing his mind and not taking it. I’m fascinated to see how this plays out.
Bold Prediction: Arkansas gets a better head coach than UT.
Although Tennessee may be the more historic program, they’re an absolute mess right now. No one seems to want that job after the way Schiano got bullied out of it, and I can’t say I blame anyone for not jumping at it. Right now, I can see the Razorbacks coming out of this with a much better coach than the Vols do.
All stats and info courtesy ESPN.
Cover photo courtesy elevenwarriors.com.