Alabama's defense answered the challenge from upstart Ole Miss in shutting out the Rebels for the first time since 1998. The Crimson Tide defenders actually outscored their opponent 2-0, showing that they are still the team to beat in college football. The offense was led by AJ McCarron's career high 25 completions and the second 100-yard game of the season by TJ Yeldon to suffocate the Rebels 25-0. Many experts had this game on upset alert noticing some imperfection by Alabama early in the season; however, Nick Saban had his ream ready to play. The Rebels were held to 4-14 on third down and could only muster 205 yards on the night. Bo Wallace was under duress most of the night without the aid of a running game, which averaged just 1.8 yards per carry. Give some credit to Bama's special teams as punter Cody Mandell hit three of his five punts inside the 20.
We expected a track meet in Athens and they did not disappoint. With Georgia's victory over LSU, a couple of observations could be concluded.
1. The Bulldogs are squarely in the middle of the national championship picture.
2. It appears highly unlikely that South Carolina can win the East. The Dogs would have to lose twice and one would be a huge upset at Vandy, Auburn, or Tennessee.
3. LSU is still in the National picture like Georgia with just a point road loss. However, their remaining schedule includes Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida.
Aaron Murray should be in the Heisman discussion after a five touchdown performance in which he lost Todd Gurley to injury. I hope that fans can appreciate his greatness after two top ten wins at home in September. Murray winning touchdown drive was a thing of beauty and his now ranked 2nd in passing yards all-time in the SEC and school history just 99 yards behind David Greene. Give the Dog defense some credit as they sacked Mettenbeger 4 times and held LSU to 15 yards rushing in the first half. Josh Harvey-Clemons had a career high 15 tackles to pace the unit.
Zach Mettenberger had a career high in yards with 372 yards, which was the most by a Tiger quarterback since 2002. LSU's offense went over 450 yards for the fifth straight game for the first time in school history. The loss ended LSU's streak of 29 straight September wins.
- South Carolina rode the legs of Mike Davis to 28 straight points in a win at UCF 28-25. Davis had a career high 167 yards and his first multi-touchdown game of his career with three tying a school record. Connor Shaw was lost in the game due to injury, but the defense responded with three interceptions.
- Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy started 11-11 en route to a 24-7 victory over Kentucky in his first career start. Matt Jones set a career high for carries and yards with 28 for 176 yards. Florida was 8-13 on third down after going 10-18 last week versus Tennessee. The Gator defense had five sacks and eight tackles for loss.
- Texas A&M rolled up 523 yards in their 45-33 win at Arkansas. The Aggies have won nine in a row away from home and have gone north of 40 points in eight consecutive games. Mike Evans had his third 100-yard plus receiving game while the offense scored on its opening drive for the 15th time in 18 games.
- Tennessee built a 31-7 lead and had to hang on versus South Alabama. The Vols won their 15th in a row over a non-BCS team behind three interceptions by the defense. Tennessee now has 15 takeaways on the season. The Vols rushed for 188 yards but quarterback Justin Worley had three interceptions.
- Vanderbilt's offense was on a roll in their 52-24 win over UAB. The Commodores had a 300-yard passer (Carta-Samuels 334) a 100-yard rusher (Seymour) and two 100-yard receivers (Mathews/Krause) for the first time in school history. Vandy is 10-2 in their last 12 games.
- Arkansas went 5-6 in the red zone had just one penalty. Alex Collins rushed for over 100 yards for the 4th time this season, and yet they lost at home by 12 to Texas A&M. Brandon Allen returned at quarterback to throw for a career high 282 yards, but they could not get stops against the high powered Aggies.
- Missouri is 4-0 for the first time since 2010 thanks to James Franklin in their 41-19 win over Arkansas State. Franklin threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another while the defense recorded its 10th interception of the season. The Tigers have the nation's longest streak of having forced a turnover in 34 straight games.
This and that
- Do not rule out the long shot of a rematch of Texas A&M and Alabama this season in the BCS title game. The Pac 12 has four teams on a collision course to knock each other off in Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Washington. Ohio St. plays a weak schedule but looks beatable and the Big 12 is down overall. The ACC is the fly in the ointment; however, South Carolina and Florida could ruin the top two teams (Clemson/FSU) chances at going unbeaten depending on who wins Oct 19th in Clemson.
- SEC look ahead -- Missouri travels to Nashville looking to stay unbeaten and prove they are ready to be a factor in the East. Ole Miss must get off the deck against Auburn on the road while the Tigers have had two weeks to prepare for the Rebels. Dan Mullen faces the biggest opportunity of his career as the Bulldogs welcome in LSU to Starkville. Can they catch the Tigers licking their wounds after the Georgia loss and spring a huge upset? Mississippi State currently has the second rated defense in the SEC.