The SEC Week 12 Review is a MONSTER! A whopping tens games saw the SEC explode across the College Football Landscape. Sit back and enjoy the ride ahead of Rivalry Weekend.
The Bulldogs scored 7 first half touchdowns as they breezed past Charleston Southern, winning 56-7. The game didn’t get off to a perfect start for Georgia. On the first drive quarterback Stetson Bennett with all the time in the world, tried to force the ball down file but didn’t see the opposition linebacker who picked him off. Georgia soon had the ball back and were on the Buccaneers 1 yard line. It was big defensive lineman Jordan Davis who punched it in, with nobody able to put a dent into the 339lbs heading into the end zone.
From then on in the first half, the Bulldogs scored on every drive bar one that was a surprise 3 and out. Tight end Brock Bowers grabbed 2 touchdowns, one from a Bennett pass, the other from JT Daniels. Kenny McIntosh caught a 32 yard pass from Bennett and the first half scoring was finished off with scores from running backs Zamir White, James Cook and Daijun Edwards.
The final touchdown came from Brett Seither on a 9 yard pass from freshman quarterback Carson Beck. Georgia had 255 total receiving yards, with Seither leading the team with just 39. it was as comfortable as expected for the Bulldogs. They look to finish off 12-0 against rivals Georgia Tech before the SEC Championship game.
Kentucky moved to 8 wins with a convincing 56-16 win over New Mexico State. The Wildcats scored 8 touchdowns, 4 coming from quarterback Will Levis’s arm. Levis had figured of 21-31, 419 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. It was the visitors who scored the first touchdown, capitalising on the loose ball after Levis failed to hold onto the snapped ball and could not gather it when landing on the ball. The Wildcats answered straight back when Levis found Justin Rigg with a 32 yard touchdown. The Kentucky defence grabbed the second touchdown courtesy of a pick 6 from Quandre Mosley.
The third touchdown in the 1st quarter came from reliable running back Chris Rodrigues Jr, who also had another 100 yard game on the ground. The Aggies popped over 3 field goals but in between Levis had 2 passing touchdowns to Josh Ali and his second to Justin Rigg. Wide receiver Josh Ali also had two touchdowns on the day, his second a 62 yard reception in the 3rd quarter. Ali had 164 receding yards from 7 receptions, while fellow receiver Wan’Dale Robinson had 181 from 8 receptions. The final two touchdowns came on the ground, Kavosiey Smoke then Beau Allen in the 4th quarter finished off the scoring for the Wildcats. A routine win for Kentucky who have a good match-up on the road against Louisville next.
Mississippi State routed Tennessee State 55-10, scoring 7 touchdowns in the first 3 quarters. They also shut out the Tigers until the 4th quarter, limiting to 205 offensive yards. Over half of those yards came late on, with the Bulldogs stubborn on defence. Will Rogers threw 5 touchdowns and had 391 passing yards, only missing on 6 throws.
Rogers threw 3 touchdown passes to wide receiver Austin Williams and that combination got the scoring started. Williams only had 4 receptions for 75 yards,with 3 of them touchdown grabs, all coming in the first half. Malik Heath had a 56 yard touchdown reception and the other first half score came courtesy of Jo’quavious Marks on the ground.
It was a very one sided first half with the Bulldogs defence forcing 5 punts on Tennessee States first 5 possessions and only 13 yards. The 3rd quarter was much of the same with Mississippi State adding two more touchdowns. Rogers had all the time in the world for Makai Polk to get behind the secondary. He then launched a pass over the top and into the hands of Polk who casually jogged in the 50 yard touchdown. Polk was the only receiver to break the 100 yard mark in the game.
The final touchdown was a 32 yard run from Dillon Johnson to make it 49-0 with the 4th quarter still left to play. In came back up QB Chance Lovertich who managed 102 passing yards but no touchdowns. The Bulldogs did manage 2 successful field goals from kicker Nolan McCord in the 4th quarter. Mississippi State have the big one next against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
Texas A&M made very light work over Prairie View, winning 52-3. Most of the offensive yards were from running backs, with 245 yards picked up from four running backs. Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane ran in the first 2 touchdowns. Then the Aggies defence grabbed a touchdown. Aaron Hansford picked up the ball after the Panthers QB fumbled the ball after taking a big sack. Hansford ran it home for a 17 yard scoop and score. The points kept on coming in the 2nd quarter when kicker Seth Small added a 27 yard field goal.
That was just a break in the touchdown scoring as Zach Calzada’s 33 yard touchdown to Moose Muhammed III and Devon Achane’s second rushing touchdown just before the half made it 38-0. Second half and Calzada found Muhammad again for a 30 yard grab. Calzada only threw the ball 14 times, connecting with 10 for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. The visitors managed a drive of 67 yards that got them their only score, a 25 yard field goal. Just under half of their offensive yards in the game. A&M had the final word with a 8 yard touchdown run from Amari Daniels, the freshman’s first touchdown of his career. Texas A&M play LSU in Baton Rouge this weekend.
Tennessee made it 6 wins on the season with a 60-14 rout over South Alabama. The Volunteers scored eight touchdowns and two safeties late in the 4th quarter. The first two touchdowns came in the 1st courtesy of running back Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright. Small had two touchdowns in the game, the other came later in the 3rd quarter. Quarterback Hendon Hooker had two passing touchdowns and a rushing one. The senior touchdown passes came I the 2nd quarter, where he found Cedric Tillman and tight end Princeton Fant, his first touchdown of the season.
The first half scoring was completed when Velus Jones Jr. returned a 96 yard kick off to the house. Hooker’s rushing TD came in the 3rd quarter and then was brought out to let Joe Milton III take some snaps. The final Vols touchdown came when Milton handed the ball off to Len’Neth Whitehead for a 5 yard rushing touchdown. Then in the 4th quarter Tennessee scored back-to-back safeties. The defence was excellent, restricting South Alabama to just one 3rd down completion from 16 attempts. Tennessee should close out the season with a win against Vanderbilt.
LSU have their sights on a potential 6-6 season after beating Louisiana-Monroe 27-14. Quarterback Max Johnson got the start for the Tigers and had himself a good day. Johnson finished with figures of 22-33, 319 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and a rushing TD. The rushing touchdown was the first score of the game. He stood tall in the pocket looking for open receivers and with good protection decided to go it alone and into the end zone. Kicker Cade York added a 27 yard field goal, then Max Johnson grabbed the first of his two passing touchdowns.
He hit freshman receiver Malik Nabers for a 67 yard touchdown. The big touchdown reception helped Nabers to a 143 receiving yard game, his first 100 yard game. Late in the 3rd quarter and Johnson had his second touchdown. Another big reception, this time 42 yards to Brian Thomas Jr. It was mostly Thomas’s work, making defenders miss, mixed with some suspect tackling. Cade York added another field goal late in the game to give LSU their 5th win of the season. The Tigers are at home against the Aggies, hoping they can some how snatch a win to be Bowl eligible.
Ole Miss had a sloppy game against Vanderbilt but still managed a 31-17 win. Vanderbilt put up 454 offensive yards but could not convert on 3rd down, especially when in the Rebels half. Five times the Commodores found themselves inside the Ole Miss 25 yard line. Three times they settles for field goals, when twice they couldn’t convert on 3rd and long and 4th and 1 they did convert but the play was called back for a holding penalty on Vanderbilt. On 4th and 3 at the opposition 15 yard line they failed to convert and handed the ball over on downs. They even had a pass intercepted late on at the 3 yard line on 2nd and 10 at the Rebels 14 yard line.
Ole Miss defence had one of its worst performances in a long time and were lucky to escape on so many occasions. The three first half field goals from Vandy kicker Caden Costa kept them in the game. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and his offence made sure there was a two score gap between the two teams at the half.
Corral Keeps it under control
His first touchdown pass was to running back Jerrion Ealy, then his second was to his favourite target this season, Dontario Drummond on a 10 yard touchdown pass. With just over 2 minutes left of the half, Ealy added a third Ole Miss touchdown, this time on the ground courtesy of a 4 yard run.
The 3rd quarter was a scoreless one, then 2 minutes into the 4th Rebels running back Henry Parish Jr. sealed a hard fought win, even with the score at 31-9. Vanderbilt pulled it back with a touchdown run from Rocko Griffin, with the 2 point conversion a successful one. With just over 1 minute on the game clock Commodores quarterback Mike Wright had his pass intercepted near the goal line by Deantre Prince, to kill the game from having late interest. Vanderbilt closes out their season at Tennessee, while Ole Miss have the big game against Mississippi State.
South Carolina made themselves bowl eligible with a 21-17 win over Auburn. It’s a great accomplishment for Shane Beamer in his first season as head coach of the Gamecocks. The game didn’t start like it would be a Gamecocks win, with Auburn getting off to a fast start in the 1st quarter. With starting quarterback Bo Nix out for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, in stepped LSU transfer T.J Finley made his first start for the Tigers. On his second drive, he had his first passing touchdown, finding receiver Demetris Robertson with a 10 yard pass.
It got even better for Auburn when Donovan Kaufman intercepted South Carolina QB Jason Brown on his own 1 yard line and returned it 38 yards. Auburn followed that up by extending their lead to 14. Tank Bigsby rushed home for a 7 yard to touchdown, the last time the Tigers went into the end zone. Running back Bigsby had a decent day, rushing for 164 yards from 22 carries and had one reception for 24 yards.
The Gamecocks levelled the game up in the 2nd quarter. First Jason Brown found receiver ZeQuandre White with a 28 yard touchdown pass, then with 28 seconds left before the half, Brown had his 2nd touchdown pass. Before the touchdown drive Auburn decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at their own 35. Everybody expected the ball to be handed off to Tank Bigbsy, but T.J Finley stepped back and his pass fell incomplete. Brown and the Gamecocks took advantage by finding Trai Jones for the TD to level the game.
In The second half Auburn retook the lead thanks to a field goal from kicker Ben Patton. The following drive South Carolina snatched the lead back when Brown secured his 3rd passing touchdown of the game, with a nice 7 yard pass to wide receiver Jason Vann. Auburn missed a field goal after the Gamecocks defence held them out when they was 1 set and goal at their 6 yard line. Then the game fizzled out for both sides. A big win for South Carolina who welcome Clemson to town next. Auburn will need to play much better when they take on Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
Missouri grabbed their sixth win of the season with a 24-23 win over Florida in overtime. The Gators scored a touchdown on their first possession in OT, thanks to a 6 yard pass from quarterback Emory Jones pass to wide receiver Trent Whittlemore. Missouri answered back in 2 plays with their possession. Running back Tyler Badie ran in a 13 yard TD after already picking up 12 yards on the first play. With most fans expecting a 1 point extra conversion, head coach Eli Drinkwitz left the offence out there for a 2 point conversion to win the game. The gutsy call paid off as quarterback Connor Bazelak lofted a pass to Daniel Parker Jr.in the end zone, who caught the ball without a Florida defender close enough to make a challenge.
In regular time, the game was a dull affair. The first half saw three successful field goals from Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis, while Florida kicker Chris Howard was successful with two. The Gators grabbed the first touchdown in the 3rd quarter thanks to running back Dameon Pierce on a 2 yard run.
PUNT, PUNT, PUNT
After that 6 punts followed, three from each team, before the Tigers took the lead. A 41 yard touchdown from Bazelak to tight end Niko Hea, his second touchdown of the season, with the first coming in week 1. Gators kicker Howard tied the game up at 16-16 with a 33 yard field goal with still over 8 minutes on the clock.
Missouri had chance to win the game when Mevis lined up for a 46 yard attempt with 1 minute and 4 seconds on the clock. Mevis pushed the ball wide and the game fizzled in to OT. A big win for Missouri who travel to Arkansas next. The loss secured HC Dan Mullen’s sacking, when he could have been on his way out at the end of the season regardless. Florida play Florida State in a big rivalry game to end the season.
Alabama got over the line against a plucky Arkansas, winning 42-35. In a game where both quarterbacks had excellent games, the Crimson Tide could not pull away from Arkansas, constantly getting pulled back. The 1st quarter was a quiet one, with a 48 yard field goal from Alabama kicker Will Reichard the only points on the board. The Arkansas defence made sure it was only a field goal after a fumble from the Razorbacks set Bama up at their own 32 yard line.
Alabama got their first touchdown on the first play in the 2nd quarter. Alabama QB Bryce Young hit receiver John Metchie III for 20 yards to make it 10-0. The Hogs replied back, something they did all game, when QB KJ Jefferson’s pass found Treylon Burks for a 15 yard touchdown. Burks had 8 receptions for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. Alabama receiver Jameson Williams also had a day, also hauling in 8 receptions for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. His first made it 17-7 in the 2nd quarter. His second made it 24-14 at the half. That was after Razorbacks running back Dominique Johnson reduced the lead once again.
Bryce was at his enigmatic best
Alabama got their biggest lead of the half when Christian Leary was found by Young for the touchdown. Bryce Young had his best game of his short career, he finished with figures of 31-40, 559 passing yards and 5 passing touchdowns. His fifth came in the 4th quarter, finding Williams for his 3rd touchdown. KJ Jefferson also had an quality game, throwing 22 completions from 30 passes for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns.
His final touchdown was a 17 yard pass to Raheim Sanders to make it a 7 point game with 1 minute left. They tried an onside kick but the kick went out of bounds and Bama took the W. Alabama finished off the regular season with the big Iron Bowl match against Auburn. Arkansas have had an excellent season and could make it an 8 win one against Missouri.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87