Here’s a look at the SEC action from the ninth Saturday of the season.
South Carolina 24, Tennessee 21
The host Gamecocks (4-4 overall, 2-4 in the SEC) stunned the Volunteers (5-3, 2-3) on Saturday night, dealing a huge hit to the Vols’ SEC East title hopes. Tennessee’s Aaron Medley was way short on a 58-yard field goal attempt on the final play. South Carolina’s Jake Bentley threw for 167 yards and two TDs and Rico Dowdle rushed for 127 yards and a score as the Gamecocks outgained the Vols 353-321. The Vols were without TB Alvin Kamara (injury) and TB Jalen Hurd was limited to eight carries because of injury. Tennessee thus managed just 136 rushing yards. Vols QB Josh Dobbs was only 12-of-26 for 161 yards, a TD and two picks. It was Tennessee’s third loss in a row.
Florida 24, Georgia 10
Thank to a big defensive effort, the Gators (6-1, 4-1) remained atop the SEC East and won for the third consecutive season against the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-4). Florida managed only 231 yards of offense, but the Gators held the Bulldogs to just 164, including 21 on the ground. Florida was 9-of-18 on third down and enjoyed an almost 15-minute time-of-possession advantage (37:27 to 22:33). Georgia had eight first downs and punted eight times. The Bulldogs took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter, but didn’t really threaten after that. Georgia QB Jacob Eason was harassed on almost every pass and finished 15-of-33 for 143 yards and a TD. The Bulldogs went three-and-out on four of their first five second-half possessions, then were stopped on fourth down the final two times they had the ball. Florida now has won 21 of the past 27 meetings in the rivalry.
Auburn 40, Ole Miss 29
The visiting Tigers (6-2, 4-1) rushed for 307 yards and pulled away late to beat the Rebels (3-5, 1-4). Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly threw for a school-record 465 yards and three touchdowns. Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway rumbled for 236 yards and a TD on 30 carries. Ole Miss led 29-27 going into the fourth quarter, but Auburn got two field goals from Daniel Carlson and a short TD run by Kerryon Johnson in the period to come away with the win. Johnson ran for 42 yards and two TDs. Ole Miss had 570 yards of offense, Auburn 554. Each team punted just twice.
Kentucky 35, Missouri 21
The Wildcats (5-3, 4-2) took a huge step closer to a bowl appearance by downing host Missouri (2-5, 0-4). UK, which took a 35-7 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, rushed for 377 yards and finished with 582 total yards. The Wildcats have equaled their SEC win total from the past four seasons combined and are going to finish at least .500 in league play for the first time since 2006. Mizzou has allowed 500 yards in four consecutive games for the first time in school history. UK was 10-of-18 on third down and had the ball for 39:30. Wildcats freshman Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 192 yards and two TDs, and Stanley “Boom” Williams rushed for 182 yards and a TD.
Texas A&M 52, New Mexico State 10
The host Aggies (7-1) finished with 515 yards in hammering New Mexico State (2-6), also nicknamed the Aggies. A&M got two punt-return TDs by Christian Kirk (one of 70 yards, the other of 73) and three TD passes – two from Trevor Knight and one from Jake Hubenak. A&M had five tailbacks and three quarterbacks who had rushing attempts. New Mexico State was 5-of-20 on third down and punted nine times. A&M was 7-of-13 on third down.
Mississippi State 56, Samford 41
The host Bulldogs (3-5) rolled up 669 yards in beating Samford (6-2), a FCS program. But Samford was almost as productive, finishing with 627 yards. Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald threw for 417 yards and five TDs and also rushed for 119 yards and two scores. Samford QB Devlin Hodges threw for 468 yards and four TDs. Mississippi State WR Donald Gray had four receptions for 207 yards and three TDs; the scoring catches covered 51, 71 and 74 yards. Fred Ross added nine catches for 107 yards and a TD. Mississippi State led 28-20 at halftime and maintained that margin throughout the second half.
(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.