Here’s a look at the SEC action from the 10th Saturday of the season.
Alabama 10, LSU 0
The top-ranked Tide (9-0 overall, 6-0 in the SEC) played stifling defense Saturday night in easing past the host Tigers (5-3, 3-2). It was Alabama’s 21st consecutive win. All 10 Tide points came in the fourth quarter; this was the first FBS game this season to go into the fourth quarter scoreless. LSU had won three in a row under interim coach Ed Orgeron, rolling up an average of 536.0 yards per game. But the Tigers managed just 125 yards against the Tide, including only 33 rushing yards. Leonard Fournette had 35 yards on 17 carries; he had 31 yards on 19 carries last season. LSU, which was 4-of-15 on third down, finished with just six first downs. Alabama true freshman QB Jalen Hurts threw an interception and also lost a fumble, but he scored the only TD on a 21-yard run two minutes into the fourth quarter. On the Tide’s next possession, it moved 50 yards in 15 plays, consuming 9:51 of the clock, with the drive concluding with a 25-yard field goal by Adam Griffith with 2:41 left. Hurts rushed for 114 yards and threw for 107.
Mississippi State 35, Texas A&M 28
The idea that Texas A&M had a shot at a College Football Playoff berth lasted less than a week as the host Bulldogs (4-5, 2-3) pulled a shocker. The Aggies (7-2, 4-2) were ranked fourth in the initial CFP rankings, but didn’t look ready to play in the first quarter; Mississippi State took advantage and led throughout. The Bulldogs rushed for a season-high 365 yards. Texas A&M played a majority of the game without QB Trevor Knight, who suffered a shoulder injury on a scoring run in the first period. Mississippi State led 14-0 late in the first quarter and 28-7 late in the second quarter. Texas A&M got a punt-return TD from Christian Kirk late in the first half to cut the lead to 28-14 at halftime, but the Aggies couldn’t get any closer in the second half. Mississippi State outgained the Aggies 574-388; QB Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 182 yards and a TD and also threw two TD passes. Last week, Mississippi State outlasted FCS foe Samford 56-41 but surrendered 627 yards in the win. While the Aggies are out of the playoff mix, they remain in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl. Bowl eligibility for Mississippi State, meanwhile, remains a tough road; the Bulldogs’ final three regular-season games are Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Arkansas 31, Florida 10
The host Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3) thrashed the SEC East-leading Gators (6-2, 4-2), outgaining Florida 466-241. The Razorbacks had been allowing 330.8 rushing yards in SEC play, but held the Gators to just 12 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Florida has rushed for 100 or fewer yards in three of its past four games, and has rushed for just 112 total in the past two. The Hogs, meanwhile, rushed for 223 yards and two scores. Both TDs came from Rawleigh Williams II, who had 148 yards on 26 carries; it was his fifth 100-yard game of the season. Each team had a pick-six in the first quarter, with Arkansas’ coming on Florida’s first play of the game. Florida’s only offensive points came on a 49-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro in the fourth quarter. The Gators came into the game leading the SEC in third-down conversion percentage, but were just 1-of-11 on Saturday.
Auburn 23, Vanderbilt 16
The host Tigers (7-2, 5-1) muddled through to win their sixth in a row. The Tigers played some of the game without starting QB Sean White, who has a shoulder injury and didn’t start. In addition, RB Kamryn Pettway came up lame late in the game on a long run. Pettway rushed for 178 yards on 25 attempts, his sixth 100-yard game of the season and his fourth in a row with at least 169 yards. Auburn rushed for 284 yards and threw for just 103. Vandy (4-5, 1-4) was held to just 120 rushing yards, with star TB Ralph Webb managing just 46 yards. Commodores QB Kyle Shurmur threw for 221 yards, with a TD and an interception; the pick came in Auburn territory in the final minute of the game. Vandy led 13-10 at halftime, but Auburn outscored the Commodores 10-0 in the third quarter.
Georgia 27, Kentucky 24
Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 26-yard field goal on the final play of the game – his four of the game – to lift the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-4) over the host Wildcats (5-4, 4-3). UK would’ve moved into the lead in the SEC East with a victory; the Wildcats still have a shot at the division title if they win at Tennessee next week and Florida loses to South Carolina and LSU. Georgia got its rushing game cranked up again, with 215 yards; Sony Michel ran for 127 and a TD and Nick Chubb ran for 85. Georgia had 460 yards of offense and held UK – which had won three in a row – to just 308. Kentucky true freshman RB Benny Snell Jr. ran for 114 yards and two TDs, and spent part of the game running out of the “Wildcat” formation.
South Carolina 31, Missouri 21
The host Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4) won their third in a row and took a big step toward bowl eligibility by downing the Tigers (2-7, 0-5). South Carolina needs one win in its final three games to go bowling, and plays FCS opponent Western Carolina on November 19. The Gamecocks also play at Florida and at Clemson in the regular season. Jake Bentley was 22-of-28 for 254 yards and two touchdowns for the Gamecocks, and fellow freshman Rico Dowdle rushed for 149 yards and a TD on 27 carries. Missouri now has lost 11 consecutive SEC games.
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