Alabama showed Tennessee that it is more than just the “team in red” blitzing them with a 35-0 first half en route to an easy 45-10 win. The Crimson Tide showed everyone in the nation that they are truly the No. 1 team in the country and maybe have as many weapons on offense as any team in the country.
TJ Yeldon had three touchdowns but Kenyon Drake continues to impress as he led the Tide with 89 rushing yards. The combo of Kevin Norwood and Amari Cooper combined for 11 receptions for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense even got into the end zone with Landon Collins returning an interception 89 yards for a touchdown, the fifth longest in school history. Alabama’s performance combined with the domination of FSU, Oregon and Ohio St. on Saturday elevates the four above all in college football.
Missouri’s loss to South Carolina did not cost them the East, but the way the Tigers lost could disable them mentally going forward.
The Tigers dominated for three quarters but missed two field goals and gave up a fourth-and-15 play in overtime to give away a gut wrenching three-point loss. The Tigers were just 4-for-14 on third down and completed just 10 passes in the game, a season low to absorb the loss. Many will talk about the laces not being out on the field goal attempt, but the fourth-and-15 play in overtime was just a killer.
South Carolina found success with a play Spurrier likes to call “Blue Draw Margie” which is a middle screen to the tailback. The Gamecocks were having a hard time with the pass rush of Michael Sam and the Tigers, so the screen play worked on several big occasions.
The Gamecocks had 498 yards of total offense which is the seventh time this season they have gone over 400 yards. Bruce Ellington had a career high with 10 receptions for 136 yards.
Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M showed no signs of a sore shoulder as he fired three quick touchdowns to put the Aggies up 21-0 on the Commodores. However, it may have been the best defensive performance of the season for a much maligned unit. The Aggies had 12 tackles for loss and held Vanderbilt to 95 yards rushing, its lowest output of the season.
LSU shook off a shaky start to route Furman, 48-16, behind a career high 204 yards receiving by Odell Beckham Jr. Zach Mettenberger threw a pick on his second pass of the game, but bounced back to throw three touchdowns giving him 32, putting him seventh all-time on the LSU list. Jeremy Hill has 24 rushing touchdowns in his two-year career putting him 10th all-time.
Auburn made quick work of FAU, 45-10, rolling up 628 yards with 422 yards coming on the ground. Nick Marshall left the game with a shoulder injury, but Jeremy Johnson filled in again going 10-for-16 and throwing two touchdowns. Auburn’s defense held the Owls to 247 yards, the second opponent in three games to gain less than 250 yards.
Ole Miss set a season high in yards (572) and rushing yards (292) in its rout of Idaho, 59-14. It was the most points since 2009 and Jaylen Walton had two rushing touchdowns for the second straight week. Barry Brunetti was 7-for-7 with two touchdowns and now has five scores in his last 13 passing attempts. The Rebels continue to improve on defense, holding Idaho to 4-16 on third down.
Vanderbilt tried to battle back in the second quarter against Texas A&M closing the gap to 28-17 at halftime. However Patrick Robinette threw a pick-six to begin the second half and Vanderbilt could not recover, losing 56-24. The lone bright spot was the fact that Jordan Matthews passed Terrence Edwards as the all-time leader in Southeastern Conference history. The defense also forced five turnovers in the loss.
This and That
LSU and Alabama are off this week before the showdown in Tuscaloosa. The key for the Tigers will be taking care of the ball with Zach Mettenberger. He goes into the bye week having turned the ball over six times in the last three games. The other issue is the secondary and it will have its hands full with the Alabama passing attack. The Tide is playing their best football of the season.
Florida and Georgia get together this week in Jacksonville with both still hoping for a chance at the SEC East. The loser of the game will be eliminated and be looking to scratch out two wins for a bowl game at least. Both teams are banged up, but key players could return for both sides. Georgia hopes to have Todd Gurley and Michael Bennett, while Florida hopes to have Ronald Powell and Damien Jacobs.
Missouri has to get off the deck and take on Tennessee at home in its third straight game in Columbia. The Volunteers could be starting freshman quarterback Josh Dobbs if Justin Worley can’t go, while the Tigers need to put last week’s game behind them and focus on winning the East. The passing game has to get back on track this week for Missouri and Tennessee’s secondary really struggled this past weekend.