Jord’s SEC Week 9 Review has some absolute belters in it. Bo Nix lit it up once again. Kentucky lost again and The Cocktail Party went from 0 to 100 in a hurry.
Auburn lifted themselves above Ole Miss in the SEC West, with a 31-20 win over the Rebels. Nearly all the scoring occurred in the first half, with Auburn taking a 28-17 lead into the break. First Tigers quarterback Bo Nix ran in a 11 yard touchdown, the first of his two rushing touchdowns on the day. Then after a Ole Miss field goal, Auburn went 72 yards down the field and capped it with a Tank Bigsby leaping over the Rebels defensive line for a touchdown. Running back Bigsby had 140 rushing yards on the day from 23 attempts, 6.1 yards a carry.
In the 2nd quarter, both teams had a pair of touchdowns each. Every time Ole Miss reduced the deficit, the Tigers answered straight back on the next drive. Snoop Connor and Matt Corral’s rushing touchdowns were cancelled out first by a Bo Nix rushing touchdown, the Bo Nix found running back Jarquez Hunter on a 9 yard pass to score. Despite the second half only having a successful field goal from each side, it had its drama.
The turning point
With the score at 28-20 to Auburn, Ole Miss had the ball inside the red zone, but failed to convert on 4th and 7 at the Tigers 13 yard line. Auburn then scored a field goal to extend the lead again. Then on their next drive, Matt Corrall threw just his second interception of the season. After good play escaping the tackle when rolling to his right, he tried to force the ball into the end zone on 1st and 10 and it was picked off by Jaylin Simpson for a touch back.
The excitement wasn’t over, as after Kobe Hudson caught a pass from Bo Nix, he had the ball stripped out by Deantre Prince, recovered by Ole Miss just inside their own half. Matt Corrall got them into the red zone again, but failed to convert on 4th and 3 at the Auburn 18 yard line. The Tigers saw the game out, to give them a big win. Next time Ole Miss will need to bounce back against Liberty. Auburn stay in the SEC, when they travel to Texas A&M.
Kentucky came off their bye week and lost their second game on the bounce, going down 31-17 to Mississippi State. Turnovers were a big problem, with 2 key ones costing them 14 points in the second half. The first Kentucky drive resulted in a turnover, the first of three interceptions from quarterback Will Levis. Luckily the Wildcats defence stepped up and forced Mississippi State to punt the ball off the error. Kentucky punt returner Josh Ali returned the ball for a 74 yard touchdown. A good start under the early circumstances for the visitors.
Kentucky then stretched their lead to 10 with a field goal, then the Bulldogs got into gear. Two 75 yard touchdown drives, either side of a 3 and out from the Wildcats gave them a 14-10 lead. First Jo’quavious Marks ran in a 7 yard score, then Dillon Johnson a 9 yard rushing touchdown. Both running backs were involved in both the rushing and passing game, with Marks having over 100 scrimmage yards. Just before the half Will Levis had his second interception. This time it was picked off by Jalen Green on the Bulldogs 1 yard line with 9 seconds left on the clock. After Mississippi State added a field goal on the first second half drive, Kentucky turned the ball over again.
Kentucky aren’t so Plucky
This time running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. ran into his own offensive lineman and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the Bulldogs at the Kentucky 22 yard line. Mississippi State took advantage In just 3 plays, with Dillon Johnson going in for his second touchdown on the day. On the first play of the next drive, Will Levis threw his 3rd interception. This time the ball was tipped in the air and caught by defensive tackle Cameron Young.
Again 3 plays later and the Bulldogs were in for a touchdown again. This time Will Rodgers hit Rara Thomas on a 25 yard score, extending the lead to 21. The game had gotten away from Kentucky in a blink of an eye. The Wildcats added a late touchdown from a DeMarcus Harris 17 yard catch, but the damage was done. Kentucky will be in the film room, looking at the turnovers before they play a home game against Tennessee. Mississippi State are on the road against Arkansas.
Missouri saw off a plucky Vanderbilt side to take the win 37-28 at the Vanderbilt Stadium. The star of the game was Tigers running back Tyler Badie. Badie finished the day with 254 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns from 31 attempts and even added 40 receiving yards. Missouri only led 17-14 at the break, which was thanks to a 45 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Connor Bazelak to Keke Chism, with zeros showing on the clock at the end of the 2nd quarter.
After taking a 10-0 lead earlier, the Commodores scored two touchdowns to take the lead. Both were 80+ yard drives, the first finished off by a 7 yard pass from QB Mark Wright to Cam Johnson. Then freshman running back Patrick Smith ran in a 10 yard TD. Smith had over 100 scrimmage yards In the game, with 95 coming on the ground.
Vandy just keep on coming!
In the 3rd quarter, Tyler Badie’s second TD on the day was answered by a Gavin Schoenwald touchdown. Then back to back field goals from Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis extended their lead 9, but Vandy pegged the lead back again with Cam Johnson’s second touchdown on the day. Any chance of that belated SEC win for the Commodores was taken away from them on the first Missouri play on the next drive. Badie raced off down the sideline and was pushed out of bounds at the Vanderbilt 2 yard line, for a 73 yard gain.
Back up QB Tyler Macon came in to run in 2 yard touchdown with 2:29 left on the game clock. Vandy couldn’t make it a nervous finish, as QB Wright was picked off by my Missouri to give them a much needed win, before they travel to Athens to play #1 ranked Georgia. Vanderbilt stay at home, as they welcome Kentucky.
Georgia’s defence was the key again, as they beat Florida 34-7 in the Cocktail Party. After a scoreless 1st quarter, with both teams missing long field goal attempts Georgia scored 24 2nd quarter points. Three of them were touchdowns and all came in the final 2:16 of the half. It went downhill fast for the Gators, having being on a high after picking off Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett at their own 4 yard line. Two plays later, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson ran the ball into a pile of players. While he was still making forward progress, Bulldogs linebacker Nolan Smith stripped the ball out and recovered the loose ball at the 11 yard line.
The first play after the turnover James Cook ran in a 11 yard touchdown. Richardson came back out and on the third play saw his pass tipped by a Georgia defender and into the hands of the man again, Nolan Smith. Again on the very first play the Bulldogs scored again. This time Bennett found Kearis Jackson for a 36 yard touchdown. Just when the Gators thought it couldn’t get any worse, Richardson was picked off again, this time by Nakobe Dean. They didn’t need the offence to finish it off. as Dean ran the ball back 50 yards for the touchdown. Just over 2 minutes of self destruction from the Gators.
A Tale of Two Halves
In the second half the Bulldogs were sloppy on offence, turning the ball over twice. Kenny Mcintosh fumbled the ball just inside his own half, then later Stetson Bennett threw his second interception on the day. Florida capitalized on the interception, with Emory Jones in the game. Jones took Florida 89 yards downfield, finishing the drive off with a 2 yard rushing TD. It was a consolation touchdown late in the 4th and even Georgia had time to reply with just under 3 minutes on the clock. Running back Zamir White finished off the rout with a 42 yard rushing touchdown.
Despite the win, Georgia will need to be better on offence before the SEC Championship game, which they have secured thanks the win and a Kentucky loss. It also should be easy enough from here till then, first they welcome Missouri. Florida also have a decent schedule to end the season. They play South Carolina next.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87