This week the SEC Week 5 Review has normality resumed as the top teams mostly won and the top two cemented themselves as the teams to beat.
Georgia continued their impressive start to the season with a 37-0 win over Arkansas. The Bulldogs dominated in all areas of the game for the most part. The first quarter set the tone, with Georgia scoring 3 touchdowns on their 4 on the day. Stetson Bennett got the start at quarterback as JT Daniels was still suffering with a lat injury. Bennett wasn’t called upon much as a high percentage of the damage was done on the ground.
Ground and Pound
The Bulldogs reeled off 273 rushing yards from 56 attempts, with four running backs sharing the workload. Zamir White and Milton Kendall scored touchdowns from Georgias first two possession’s of the ball. The third score came from a blocked punt in the Arkansas end zone, Zamir White recovered for the score. White showing his special teams ability as well as a running back. He even added a 3rd touchdown in the 4th quarter with a 1 yard run, that capped a 93 yard drive. The Razorbacks failed to stop the run, it was a constant barrage of positive yards. There were never many big yard gains, it was just enough yards on 1st and 2nd downs for them to have manageable 3rd down runs. The Georgia offensive line was excellent in bullying up front and into the second stage.
It didn’t help the Hogs defence with the offence not being able to stay on the field. Arkansas managed only 9 first downs and 162 offensive yards. 60 of those yards came in the last drive of the game, with 4 first downs. The Bulldogs stifled the Arkansas run game and put the ball in KJ Jefferson’s hands. The coverage was excellent all game and limited Jefferson to holding on to the ball too long and only finding his targets 8 times for 65 yards. Arkansas are still a good team and at the end of the season we could be looking back and saying they got beat by the national champions. Georgia looks like that type of team at the moment. The Bulldogs will look to stay unbeaten as they go on the road to Auburn. Another difficult road game for Arkansas as they play Ole Miss.
Kentucky came through their first test of the season, beating Florida 20-13 and staying unbeaten. It was a close match up all the way through the game, with the Wildcats landing the last blow in the final quarter with a touchdown from running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. The touchdown came after Emory Jones was picked off on his own 49 yard line by J.J Weaver, who then returned it 20 yards to make it a short yard drive.
After the Rodriguez touchdown, Kentucky’s defence helped win the game. First they held Florida to a field goal after they got into the red zone. Then the real impressive stand came on the final Gators drive. After driving 53 yards, Florida found themselveson the Kentucky 9 yard line on first and goal. After 2 stops by Kentucky, they had a facemask call against them, giving Florida another set of downs. The Wildcats stood tall and stopped all 4 attempts, which won them the game.
Defensive end Josh Paschal had an impressive day, the senior was a constant problem for the Florida offensive line. He even managed to block a field goal attempt that resulted in Trevin Wallace running it 76 yards for a Kentucky touchdown. Florida’s only touchdown came early to give them a 7-0 lead thanks to a Ja’Quavion Fraziars touchdown from Emory Jones. Florida continues to be up and down this season, next they have SEC whipping boys Vanderbilt. Kentucky should be a ranked team the next time they play against LSU.
Texas A&M lost two in a row against SEC opposition, as they lost to Mississippi State 26-22. Will Rodgers threw for 408 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Bulldogs. The offence diced up the Aggies defence with their air raid offence, averaging 6.9 yards a reception from 46 catches. On the other side of the ball, it was again a constant struggle for sophomore Zach Calzada. He had figures of 12 from 20, 135 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The interception coming on the first drive of the game. The Aggies were reliant on the run game again, with Isaiah Spiller hitting 100 yards rushing from 16 attempts.
A&M failed to convert on 3rd down and couldn’t get their playmakers into the game. Tight End Jalen Wydermyer bagged himself a touchdown but only had 1 other catch for 6 yards, while Ainias Smith had 5 receptions for just 30 yards. The air raid of the Bulldogs has no problem moving the ball through the air when the game plan clicks and it did Saturday. Wide receiver Makai Polk had himself a day, with 13 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The other touchdown coming from sophomore receiver Jaden Walley. After 2 losses in a row Texas A&M will find it hard not to make it 3 when Alabama come to town. Mississippi State also have Alabama next, after their bye week next week.
Auburn piled more pressure on LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron, as they beat the Tigers 24-19 in Baton Rouge early Sunday morning (BST). LSU gave themself a 13-0 lead inside the 2nd quarter, thanks 2 a touchdown and 2 field goals. The touchdown came on the Tigers first possession. A 91 yard drive that ended with a Kayshon Boutte touchdown. It was nearly all courtesy of Max Johnsons arm. The LSU quarterback started off with a 55 yard pass to Boutte and ended it with a 31 yard touchdown pass. This was after 22 yard fumble knocked them back from 1st and goal on the Auburn 9 yard line, to 2nd and goal on the Auburn 32 yard line after Johnson recovered the fumble.
Two more converted field goals in the 3rd quarter was as good as it got after that for the Tigers, with Boutte passing 100 yards receiving for the second time this season and taking his touchdown total to 9 on the year. Bo Nix got the start for Auburn after being benched last week. He was better throwing for 255 yards and a touchdown, while adding 74 yards on the ground and a further touchdown. His rushing touchdown got Auburn back into the game in the 4th quarter. He capped an impressive 75 yard drive that made it 19-17.
Bo Drives The Tigers Home
The teams exchanged punts, then Bo Nix took the Tigers 92 yards, which ended with a touchdown from running back Jarquez Hunter, to give Auburn the lead for the first time in the game with 3 minutes on the clock. LSU came out to try and get a game winning drive. Max Johnson was picked off by Bydarrius Knighten on 4th down to seal the Auburn win. Auburn improve to 4-1 and will play unbeaten Georgia in Athens next week. LSU are under pressure once again and also play unbeaten opposition in Kentucky.
Tennessee trounced Missouri 62-24 in impressive fashion at Faurot Field. The Volunteers scored 45 points in the first half, with running back Tiyon Evans rushing in for 3 touchdowns in the 1st quarter. Evans finished with 156 yards on the day, with one of his touchdowns being a 92 yard burst that had defenders chasing shadows. Quarterback Hendon Hooker had 80 yards rushing himself and a rushing touchdown. Hooker also had 3 touchdown passes and 225 passing yards. In total Tennessee had a whopping 683 offensive yards and 35 first downs.
Yes the Missouri defence has struggled this season, but you cant take away how good the Volunteers were on offence. The game got away from the Tigers in the 1st quarter, after 3 touchdown scores from Tennessee, Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak was intercepted in his own half of the field. One play later it was 28-3 with three quarters left to play. The Tigers heads dropped and never recovered. They did add a touchdown in each quarter, one an impressive 100 yard kick off return from Kris Abrams-Draine. Running back Tyler Badie had 21 carries for just 41 yards. The Tigers never won a quarter and have a lot to address when they welcome North Texas next week. Tennessee will look to continue this form against South Carolina.
South Carolina got their 3rd win of the season against Troy, with the game finishing 23-14. The Gamecocks turned over the ball 3 times with fumbles, one of the from QB Luke Doty, who also had another fumble which was recovered by South Carolina. Luckily the turnovers did not become an issue, as Troy was just as culpable of turning over possession to the Gamecocks. Two of the four Trojans turnovers were interceptions from Damani Staley and David Spaulding. DB Spaulding returned the pick 74 yards for a defensive touchdown.
The other touchdown came from Luke Doty’s arm, when he found E.J Jenkins with a 16 yard pass. The Gamecocks only two touchdowns on the day, both coming in the 2nd quarter. The interception score came right at the end of the 2nd quarter, to five South Carolina a 17-7 lead going into the half. The Gamecocks defence held Troy to just 303 offensive yards and made it hard for Troy to move the ball. The offence is still the vulnerability, with the defence being the main reason the Gamecocks won this game. They will need to work it out before they travel to Neyland Stadium to play the Tennessee Volunteers.
Struggling Vanderbilt got their second win of the season, in a close 30-28 victory over win less UConn. It was a last second 31 yard field goal from Vandy kicker Joseph Bulovas that secured the win. The Commodores were lucky as they threw away an 11 point lead in the 4th quarter The Huskies had two 78+ yard drives for two touchdowns, but they failed to convert both 2 point conversion attempts, which only gave them a one point lead. Vanderbilt capitalised on that with a 47 yard drive to the UConn 12 yard line.
This was after the Huskies put Vanderbilt in favourable field position, with a personal foul on Vanderbilt that put the ball on the Commodores own 40 yard line, instead of their own 25. Vandy QB Ken Seals had a better day this week, with 333 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.Both Seals touchdowns were caught by receiver Will Sheppard, who also had over 119 receiving yards. Chris Pierce Jr. also had over 100 yards receiving on the day. It was better for Vanderbilt in areas, but they still struggled against a poor UConn team, nearly coming away with a loss. Next its back to the SEC match ups and a trip to play Florida at the Swamp.
In what was seen as a potential banana skin for Alabama against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide ran out 42-21 winners. This was a comfortable win for Alabama, with two 4th quarter touchdowns from the Rebels making the score closer than the match actually was. Alabama were 28-0 up going into the half, with three touchdowns in the third quarter. 3 of the 4 touchdowns came after Ole Miss had turned the ball over on downs.
Rebels coach Lane Kiffin seemed to think that punting the ball was never going to win the game for Ole Miss, rightfully or wrongfully the plan backfired. Twice in the first half Ole Miss went for it on 4th down in their own half. Both times the ball was handed over to QB Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide offence with favourable field position. Young found TE Cameron Latu and the other was run in by Brian Robinson Jr. Robinson had 4 touchdowns on the day and went off for 171 rushing yards on 36 attempts.
Young Continues to Impress
Young still managed to throw the ball 26 times, completing 20 of them, while throwing 2 touchdowns and an interception. John Metchie III caught the other touchdown. The first score of the game which was a 16 yard bullet from Young. Matt Corral’s numbers weren’t too bad either, to say how much pressure he was under all the way through the game. Corral had figures of 21 from 29 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked twice and was hurried 7 times. One of those sacks came from defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, who also managed to dislodge the ball before Corrall could throw the ball forward. The ball was recovered on the Ole Miss 14 yard line by Alabama’s Justin Eboigbe and 4 plays later Bama had another touchdown, 1 minute before half time to make it 28-0. A real dagger blow for the Rebels.
They kept it close with those two late touchdowns from Snoop Conner and Chase Rodgers, but the damage was already done. Similar to Arkansas against Georgia, Alabama are just the better team. No shame in losing to a powerhouse like them. What Ole Miss needs to do is regroup and bounce back in another big match up against Arkansas. The Crimson Tide keep on rolling towards another play off appearance. Next week they are on the road against the Aggies.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87