Ole Miss celebrated their first ever 10 win season with a 31-21 win over Mississippi State to kick off the SEC Week 13 Review. The Rebels win over their rivals also gave them the Egg Bowl bragging rights, with the future over head coach Lane Kiffin still unclear. Kiffin, known for his gutsy play calling, started the game going for it on 4th and 1 on the Rebels own 34 yard line. Running back Jerrion Ealy couldn’t make the 1 yard gain and the ball was handed over to the Bulldogs with good field position.
Ole Miss only allowed a field goal by kicker Nolan McCord, the first of 3 field goals in 3 drives. McCord grabbed another after Rebels kicker Cale Nation slotted his home. The first touchdown came from Ole Miss running back Snoop Connor, who barged over defenders for the 1 yard touchdown. Either side of the touchdown Mississippi State kicker McCord missed two field goals, a 40 yard and 33 yard efforts.
Corral runs the show
Ole Miss’s first drive in the second half was mostly from the arm of Matt Corral or his legs. The ending was Snoop Connor’s second touchdown of the day. The Bulldogs tried to get themselves back into the game and on 4th and 7 on the oppositions 33 yard line, failed to complete and turned the ball over. Ole Miss scored straight after the turnover on downs, when Corral ran in a 4 yard touchdown himself. Corral who had a good game then had a pass intercepted by Jett Johnson, who returned the ball 48 yards to the Rebels 22 yard line. Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers took advantage with a 11 yard pass to Jaden Walley to cut the deficit to 11 points.
On the next drive running back Jerrion Ealy killed the game off with a 15 yard rushing touchdown. The defence didn’t seem to be set and Ealy took advantage, running the ball straight down the centre of the defence. Jo’quavious Marks added a late touchdown for the Bulldogs, with Rogers adding the two point conversion with a pass to Makai Polk. Both teams will be heading to a bowl game looking to finish the season in style.
A good second half performance from Arkansas gave them a 34-17 win over rivals Missouri. A quiet 1st quarter saw Arkansas grab the only points with a field goal from kicker Cam Little. The Razorbacks settling for the field goal after not able to convert from 1st and 10 at the Tigers 11 yard line. Arkansas gifted the next points to Missouri, when the ball popped out of running back Trelon Smith’s hands after a hit and was recovered by the Tigers at the Arkansas 39 yard line. The Hogs held firm and the damage was limited to just a field goal from the boot of excellent kicker Harrison Mevis.
The first touchdown came from another Arkansas running back.Raheim Sanders was handed the ball and he pushed his way in for the TD. Mevis added another field goal before the half to make it a close game going into the break. The Razorbacks came out in the second half pumped up and had touchdowns on their second and third possesions.
Retribution for Smith
Trelon Smith made up for his error in the first half by getting over the line. Then Hogs quarterback KJ Jefferson lobbed a ball over the top for receiver Treylon Burks for a 52 yard touchdown. Burks had 7receptions for 129 yards, showcasing again why he’s such a highly talked about prospect.
Harrison Mevis made it 3 from 3 field goals, which was answered by Cam Little early in the 4th quarter. Raheim sanders grabbed his second touchdown of the day, before Missouri running back Tyler Badie grabbed a consolation touchdown for the Tigers, Badie again was a shining light on this Missouri offence, finishing with 219 yards from 41 carries. Arkansas finish the season 8-4, their best season since 2011. Missouri finis with a middle of the road record, with improvements expected next season.
Tennessee ran out 42-21 winners against rivals Vanderbilt on Saturday. The win gets Tennessee to 7 wins which will get them a bowl game this season. The Volunteers started fast with the defence getting the first score of the game. Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright saw his pass intercepted by Theo Jackson who took it 55 yards to the house for the touchdown. It was an awful start for Vandy, who after a 3 and out saw their punt returned 50 yards by Velus Jones Jr. back to their 21 yard line. The defence stood firm to get the ball back thanks to a 4th down stop.
That resilience didn’t last as Tennessee scored two 2nd quarter touchdowns. The first a 6 yard run from Jabari Small, then Vols QB Hendon Hooker had a 24 yard passing touchdown to Cedric Tillman. Vols kicker Chase McGrath made it 24-0 with a 31 yard field goal, with Vanderbilt not having any answers on both sides of the ball. Just before the half the Commodores were on the board with 0 seconds on the clock. Wright showed his arm strength by bombing a 56 yard pass into the hands of Will Sheppard at about the 1 yard line, Sheppard span around and managed to get the ball into the end zone. A bit of joy to take with them into the half but that was short-lived at the start of the second.
Hooker shows his NFL attributes
Hooker and Tillman combined again, this time a 46 yard pass. Vandy running back Rocko Griffin ran in a 13 yard touchdown to go alongside his 100 yard game. Vols running back Jabari Small also had a 100 yard rushing game and he grabbed his second touchdown soon after. Mike Wright pulled it back again with a rushing touchdown of his own but it was Tennessee who had the last say. Jaylen Wright another running back with over 100 rushing yards, scurried around the Vanderbilt defensive line to grab his touchdown. Vanderbilt will be hoping their young players come back with more experience in 2022. Tennessee have made big strides this season under first year head coach Josh Heupel and their season will continue with a bowl game.
Florida held onto the win over rivals Florida State, winning 24-21. Despite the first drive touchdown from the Gators, it was a bad first half. Quarterback Emory Jones looked like he was up for it, guiding the offence 75 yards down the field, finishing it with a 47 yard pass to Kemore Gamble who shrugged off a defender and tip toed down the side-line for the TD. Then the mistake ridden first half began.
First Florida State QB Milton floated a pass straight into the hands of safety Rashad Torrence II for the interception. On the first play of Florida’s next drive, they tried a trick play. Jones handed off to his running back, who flipped it back to him, then as Jones threw the ball his arm was hit that took the sting off the ball and into the hands of the defender. The defence forced a 3 and out and again Jones threw an interception, this time a bad throw from Jones. It didn’t stop there as after Florida State tied the game up, Jones had his third interception of the first half.
After an incomplete pass in the second half, Jones came out of the game for freshman Anthony Richardson. On his first drive he got Florida into field goal range, where kicker Chris Howard slotted over the 3 points. Richardson got the offence motoring, throwing a touchdown pass to Justin Shorter, then driving them down the field again for Dameon Price to finish it off with a 3 yard touchdown run. Florida State added two late touchdowns but a bodged onside kick made sure Florida came away with the win. Gators made it 6-6 for the season, with a new HC set to be announced soon.
Georgia made it an unbeaten regular season with an easy 45-0 win over Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs had 6 touchdowns on the day, with the defence shining again. They held the Yellow Jackets to just 166 offensive yards and never making it into the Bulldogs redzone. The first points for Georgia came from kicker Jack Podlesny on a 38 yard field goal. Then on 6 of the 9 possessions, it was all 7 point drives, with two of them being to end the half and end the game. Quarterback Stetson Bennett had 14 completions from 20 attempts for 255 yards and 4 touchdowns. The first one was a 25 yard lobbed pass over the defence to receiver Jermaine Burton who made the grab at the back of the end zone.
Then Ladd McConkey had a touchdown before a huge 77 yard touchdown for impressive tight end Brock Bowers. Bowers grabbed the pass from Bennett and put on the burners to outpace the Georgia Tech defenders. Bowers grabbed his second touchdown in the 3rd quarter and had his second 100 yard game of his short career. Running back Kenny McIntosh ran in a 59 yard touchdown, then fellow running back Daijun Edwards got some hand offs. He grabbed his third touchdown of the season in the 4th quarter on a 3 yard run. Georgia didn’t need to break into much of a sweat, which is ideal for the SEC Championship game against Alabama next week.
Parting LSU head coach Ed Orgeron went out with a 27-24 win against Texas A&M, in his last match at the Tiger Stadium. The Tigers started with an opening drive field goal, thanks to a successful 50 yard kick from Cade York. Then a drive that started in the 1st quarter was finished off just inside the 2nd when LSU quarterback Max Johnson found receiver Jaray Jenkins. It was a beautifully placed pass that landed over the top of the defence, with Jenkins now having to break stride after the catch. Johnson had a good game, something we have seen flashed off at times this season. He finished with 306 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Aggies pulled it back to 3 points. QB Zach Calzada, who also had 3 passing touchdowns in the game, picked out Moose Muhammad with a floated 13 yard pass while back-pedalling. It was LSU who had the last word in the first half when Johnson dumped a pass off to Trey Palme. He weaved in and out of defenders before sneaking down the sideline for a 61 yard touchdown.
A Slow third ignites into the fourth
In the 3rd quarter both teams exchanged field goals before the turnaround came from A&M. Twice in the 4th quarter Calzada secured a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jalen Preston, giving the Aggies the lead for the first time in the game.
The go ahead touchdown started with Calzada scrambling around in the backfield, then firing a pass to Preston who ran across field leaving defenders grasping air, before going into the end zone. With just under 2 minutes left on the clock, Max Johnson and LSU drove downfield finishing it with another touchdown throw to Jenkins to win the game for the Tigers. Jenkins had 8 receptions for 169 yards and his 2 touchdowns. Texas A&M will wait to see who they play in a bowl game, while LSU will have to wait to see if they make it in.
Kentucky ran in 7 touchdowns as they routed rivals Louisville 52-21. Wildcats quarterback Will Levis had an extraordinary day but not with his arm. Levis rushed for 113 yards from 14 carries and 4 rushing touchdowns. All 7 touchdowns came on the ground as Kentucky had 362 rushing yards as a team. 3 of Levis’s TDs came in the first half, the first a 29 yard run straight down the middle. After Louisville levelled, Levis grabbed his second TD that started a streak of 38 unanswered points from the Wildcats. A Matt Ruffolo 43 yard field goal and a third touchdown from Levis closed out the first half. In the 3rd quarter Levis had his fourth touchdown, then Chris Rodriguez Jr. went down the middle untouched for a 2 yard score.
Rodriguez had another 100 yard rushing game, his 8th of the season and 4th in a row. In the 4th quarter, fellow running backs Kavosiey Smoke and La’Vell Wright had touchdowns, with freshman Wright having marking his first college career TD with a 41 yard run. The defence limited Louisville’s dual threat QB Malik Cunningham to just 145 passing yards and 35 rushing yards. Linebacker J.J. Weaver intercepted a Cunningham pass in the 3rd quarter as the defence showed up against a good Cardinals offence. The win takes Kentucky to 9-3 on the season and will be hoping to make it 10 in their bowl game.
South Carolina failed to register a point as they lost to rivals Clemson 30-0 in the Palmetto Bowl. The Tigers weren’t great on offence themselves but the run game managed to carry the team to victory. The fact that the Gamecocks couldn’t help keep their defence of the field was also a major factor. On their first 2 possessions South Carolina had 3 and outs. Then on the third possession another 3 and out, this time the out was an intercepted pass from QB Jason Brown. Another drive came around and the Gamecocks failed to get a 1st down, with the first 4 drives seeing just 7 offensive yards.
Clemson made it 17-0 with a touchdown, then on the first play Brown threw a 30 yard pass to E.J Jenkins, first down. It was short lived as 3 plays later they were punting the ball away. Another first down followed and again it was haunted, another interception from Brown. In the second half after a couple more drives, seeing just 1 first down in both, back-up Zeb Noland came in. It didn’t get much better but did manage to see 3 first downs out of his 4 possessions. 2 of them on the last drive of the game which ended on downs with the timer expired. The last drive had just under 50% of the whole of South Carolina’s offensive yards on the day. Not a great way to end the season but wins over Florida and Auburn help make is a .500 season.
It took Alabama until the 4th overtime to beat Auburn 24-22 and claim back-to-back Iron Bowls. Both defences came out strong, limiting both offences to punts on each of their 5 possessions. Bama had just 50 offensive yards, while the Tigers didn’t manage much more with just 74. The first points did come from Auburn with a touchdown halfway through the 2nd quarter. After a poor punt from James Burnip only travelled 35 yards, then on top of that Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams was called for targeting, 15 yards were added to the play which put the Tigers at the Alabama 39 yard line. Auburn quarterback TJ Finley found receiver Kobe Hudson on a 15 yard touchdown pass.
Two more 3 and outs followed for both teams, both drives resulting in negative yards. Both teams needed more from their offences in the second half but again it was hard work. Alabama had to punt out from their own end zone. Tigers returner Ja’Varrius Johnson returning the ball 19 yards to the Bama 21 yard line. Auburn failed on 3 plays to get the first down. Kicker Ben Patton made it 10-0 with a 33 yard field goal. On the next drive it didn’t get any better on offence. Crimson Tide QB Bryce Young over threw a pass that was picked off. A diving grab from Bydarrius Knighten at the Alabama 45 yard line. Luckily Auburn couldn’t make anything of it and punted away.
Blow for Blow
Bryce Young was under pressure but did manage to get Bama into field goal range, with kicker Will Reichard adding the 3 points. This was after Auburn QB TJ Finley had a pass intercepted by Josh Jobe just inside his own territory. With just over 1 minute and 30 seconds on the clock, Bryce Young started with the ball on his on 3 yard line. Young made 3 big plays in an 11 play drive that lasted just over a minute. It ended with a game tying touchdown and extra point. With Young finding Ja’Corey Brooks with a beautiful pass into the near corner of the end zone. The game went into overtime and after both teams struggled to put up points in the game. They both had touchdowns in the first OT.
First Bryce Young found Slade Bolden but TJ Finley answered with a touchdown pass of his own to Landen King. the second OT and both teams had successful field goals to take us into the third instalment of OT, the two point shoot-out. Both teams again were successful, this time with two-point passing touchdowns. The 4th and after TJ Finley saw his pass into the end zone broken up, Bryce Young was successful in finding wide receiver John Metchie III to win Alabama the game. Auburn just falling short in upsetting the reigning champions finish the season 6-6. Alabama will have to play much better on offence when they play number #1 ranked Georgia for the SEC Title.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87