SEC News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
ALABAMA: As expected, the top-ranked Crimson Tide had little trouble dismissing Georgia State at home, winning by a comfortable 45-3 margin. A.J. McCarron only played one half but was spectacular, completing all but one of his 16 passes for a single-game school record .938 completion percentage. He finished with 166 yards and four touchdowns before being relieved by Blake Sims, who was also impressive with 130 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-18 passing. Fifteen different players caught a pass in the victory, led by Chris Black with six receptions for 54 yards and a score. T.J. Yeldon's playing time was limited, but he made the most of his six carries by amassing 51 yards and a touchdown. The defense was dominant, holding GSU to only nine first downs and 175 total yards. Alabama (5-0) hits the road for the first time in a month this Saturday when it plays at Kentucky.
ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks were held in check by Florida in Gainesville over the weekend, amassing just 275 yards of total offense in a 30-10 setback. Brandon Allen was off the mark all night under center, completing fewer than half of his pass attempts (17-of-41) for 164 yards with an interception. Alex Collins had 18 total touches and accounted for 99 yards, while Jonathan Williams (eight carries, 32 yards) had the team's only touchdown, rushing in from four yards out in the first quarter to give the squad an early lead. The defense played well in spots, recording 10 TFL and a pair of sacks, but the unit failed to record a turnover against a Florida squad that has been vulnerable to giveaways in recent weeks. Arkansas (3-3, 0-2 SEC) will try to put an end to a three-game losing streak on Saturday when it hosts South Carolina.
AUBURN: The Tigers put forth an outstanding effort in front of their home crowd by toppling nationally-ranked Ole Miss, 30-22. Nick Marshall's final passing stats appear rather pedestrian (11-of-17, 93 yards), but he ran the read option to near perfection all night, racking up 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Tre Mason was a workhorse, gaining 77 yards and a score on 21 carries, while Cameron Artis-Payne had 49 yards on just five attempts. Mason was also the team's most active receiver with three catches for 62 yards. The defense put pressure on Bo Wallace all night, recording six sacks and another 17 QB hurries. The unit also picked off a pair of passes, with Robenson Therezie's interception going the other way for a 78-yard touchdown. Auburn (4-1, 2-1 SEC) steps out of conference this week for its homecoming matchup against Western Carolina.
FLORIDA: The Gators were impressive in all facets of the game in a 30-10 home victory over Arkansas. Tyler Murphy was outstanding in his just his second career start, completing 16-of-22 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers. Solomon Patton was Murphy's go-to guy on the outside, tallying career highs in both catches (six) and yards (124), while scoring a pair of long touchdowns (51, 38). The rushing attack was bottled up for less than three yards per carry, with Matt Jones leading the way with 50 yards. The defense held the Razorbacks to just 275 yards, and a Loucheiz Purifoy interception was returned 42 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter to give the Gators their first lead of the game. Florida (4-1, 3-0 SEC) is in for a tough matchup this Saturday when it plays at LSU.
GEORGIA: The Bulldogs were in for a much more difficult contest than they anticipated at Tennessee, but they were able to escape with a 34-31 victory in overtime. Trailing by seven with just seconds remaining in regulation, Aaron Murray connected with Rantavious Wooten on a two-yard touchdown pass to force overtime, then Marshall Morgan won it in the extra session with a 42-yard field goal following a Tennessee turnover on its possession. Murray finished with 196 yards and three touchdowns, but it was his worst passing day of the season as he completed just 19-of-35 attempts. With Todd Gurley out with an ankle injury and Keith Marshall exiting early with a knee injury, J.J. Green stepped up as the primary back by picking up 129 yards on 17 carries. Wooten (38 yards) finished with a pair of touchdowns on six receptions, while Chris Conley (64 yards) added five catches and a score. Ramik Wilson had a game-high 15 tackles, while Ray Drew tallied a pair of sacks. Georgia (4-1, 3-0 SEC) returns home this Saturday to tangle with Missouri.
KENTUCKY: For the third consecutive game, the Wildcats put forth an impressive effort against a nationally-ranked opponent, but once again they fell short, losing to the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, 35-28. Jalen Whitlow earned the start under center and played well against a strong defense. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 178 yards, led the team in rushing with 69 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns, all of which came in the fourth quarter. Javess Blue hauled in four balls for 62 yards, and Ryan Timmons and Demarco Robinson were on the receiving end of Whitlow's scoring strikes. The defense allowed 453 yards to the Gamecocks, but the unit tightened up after halftime by allowing just 11 second-half points. Avery Williamson racked up nine tackles and Dyshawn Mobley picked off a pass. The schedule only gets more treacherous for Kentucky (1-4, 0-2 SEC), which will host No. 1 Alabama this Saturday.
LSU: The Tigers held just a two-point lead at Mississippi State midway through the third quarter, but managed to rip off the final 31 points of the game to cruise to a 59-26 victory. Zach Mettenberger was once again outstanding, completing 25-of-29 passes for 340 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, giving him back-to-back 300-yard passing performances. Odell Beckham enjoyed a career night, reeling in nine balls for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Jarvis Landry was also impressive out wide, logging eight catches for 96 yards. Jeremy Hill shredded the Bulldogs defense on the ground, amassing 157 yards on just 16 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. Kenny Hilliard saw less action in the backfield (six carries, 39 yards), but proved to be an effective closer with three scores. LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) returns home this Saturday for a top-10 showdown with Florida.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs played step-for-step with nationally-ranked LSU at home for three quarters, but things fell apart late as they surrendered the final 31 points in dropping a 59-26 final. Dak Prescott was ineffective with his pass attempts, going just 9-of-20 for 106 yards and an interception, but he made up for it by gaining 103 yards and a touchdown rushing. Prescott split snaps under center with Tyler Russell, who proved to be the much better pocket passer, going 7-of-11 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Jameon Lewis had a career-best performance with seven receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown, and while De'Runnya Wilson had just two catches, one went for a 59- yard touchdown in the second quarter. LaDarius Perkins rushed for 81 yards on only 10 carries. Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2 SEC) continues its four-game homestand this Saturday against Bowling Green.
MISSOURI: The Tigers remained unbeaten this season, making easy work of Vanderbilt on the road in their SEC opener, 51-28. James Franklin was the catalyst in the victory, completing 19-of-28 passes for 278 yards while throwing for four touchdowns paired with zero interceptions. The signal caller also had 63 of the team's 245 rushing yards, with Henry Josey (69 yards, two TDs), Marcus Murphy (69 yards) and Russell Hansbrough (44 yards) making the most of the running back-by-committee setup. L'Damien Washington caught just three passes on the night but he reeled in a pair of touchdowns, starting the scoring with a 26-yard score in the first quarter and capping the contest off with a 42-yard touchdown in the fourth. Marcus Lucas led the team with six receptions resulting in 60 yards and a score. Missouri (5-0, 1-0 SEC) faces its toughest test yet when it plays at Georgia this Saturday.
OLE MISS: The Rebels found themselves down by 17 points midway through the second quarter against Auburn, and while they valiantly tried to come back in the second half, they ultimately fell on the wrong end of a 30-22 decision. Bo Wallace finished with 336 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was inefficient for most of the game, going 25-of-48 with two touchdowns. The signal caller was under duress all night thanks resulting in six sacks and 17 total hurries. Donte Moncrief continued to show his big-play ability at receiver, hauling in six balls for 122 yards and two touchdowns, while Ja-Mes Logan was also impressive out wide with five grabs for 92 yards. Jeff Scott racked up 66 rushing yards but he was limited to only six carries as the team played catch-up for most of the game. Defensively, Denzel Nkemdiche had nine tackles and a crucial second-half fumble recovery, but the offense could not capitalize. Ole Miss (3-2, 1-2 SEC) begins a six-game homestand this Saturday against Texas A&M.
SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks appeared to be well on their way to an easy win, up by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter against Kentucky, but even after allowing 21 points in the final frame, they still escaped with a 35-28 victory. Despite suffering a shoulder injury last week that was expected to take 2-3 weeks to heel, Connor Shaw suited up and completed all but three of his 20 pass attempts while tallying 312 total yards and two touchdowns. Mike Davis found ample running lanes all night, finishing with 106 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Damiere Byrd led the receiving corps with five receptions for 98 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game. The USC defense, which allowed just 301 yards, played without Jadeveon Clowney, who was scratched following pre-game warmups with bruised ribs. The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) finish the month of October on a three-game road trip, starting this Saturday at Arkansas.
TENNESSEE: The Volunteers appeared on their way to a huge upset win over sixth-ranked Georgia, as they led by a touchdown in the final minute of regulation, but after an Aaron Murray touchdown pass forced overtime, they ultimately lost in the extra session, 34-31. Rajion Neal put the team on his back late, gaining 148 yards on 28 carries with both of his touchdowns coming in the fourth quarter. Justin Worley was solid under center, completing 17- of-31 passes for 215 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Marquez North midway through the third quarter. Alton Howard led the way in receiving with 70 yards on four receptions, while also adding 46 rushing yards to the mix, but he also had a costly fumble in overtime. Although the defense couldn't buckle down late, it played well for most of the game, allowing Murray to complete just 19-of-35 passes. A.J. Johnson racked up 12 tackles, including 1.5 TFL. The road doesn't get any easier for Tennessee (3-3, 0-2 SEC), as it is set to host South Carolina on Oct. 19.
TEXAS A&M: After winning two straight games on the heels of their Sept. 14 loss to No. 1 Alabama, the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC) were idle this past weekend. They return to action this Saturday when they take on Ole Miss in Oxford.
VANDERBILT: The Commodores came out flat at home against Missouri over the weekend, trailing 20-0 after the first quarter on their way to an embarrassing 51-28 setback. Austyn-Carta Samuels put forth a fine effort on paper, completing 29-of-41 passes for 338 yards with three total touchdowns and an interception, but most of that production came with the contest already well out of reach. Jordan Matthews had seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown for his fifth 100-yard performance in six games this season. Jonathan Krause was also solid at receiver with five grabs for 81 yards and a score. Jerron Seymour earned 17 touches out of the backfield (12 carries, five receptions) and cashed in with 96 total yards. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3 SEC) has a much-needed bye this week before returning to action on Oct. 19 versus Georgia.
10/07 11:28:59 ET