A look at all the action from the second weekend of the season in the SEC.
The highlights: Auburn’s offense looked inept in a loss at Clemson, Georgia’s defense came up big at Notre Dame, South Carolina won the first conference game of the year by rolling past host Missouri and Arkansas looked lethargic throughout its home loss to TCU in a setback sure to increase the heat on coach Bret Bielema.
Clemson 14, Auburn 6
Auburn (1-1) dominated the first quarter but nothing went right offensively in the final three periods as host Clemson (2-0) prevailed. Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham was sacked 11 times, and he now has been dropped 14 times in two games; Auburn hasn’t allowed more than 19 sacks in a season since Gus Malzahn took over in 2013. Auburn kicked field goals on its first and third drives, but both ended inside Clemson’s 10. The failure to put the ball in the end zone cost the Tigers big time. Auburn’s defense played well and allowed just 283 yards. But Auburn managed only 117, including just 38 on the ground (on 42 carries). Stidham was 13-of-24 for 79 yards in the air.
Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19
A strong defensive effort and just enough offense enabled the Bulldogs (2-0) to get the road win over the Fighting Irish (1-1). Georgia allowed 266 total yards, including only 55 on the ground, and Notre Dame was 3-of-17 on third down. The Bulldogs also forced two fumbles, including the game-sealer with 1:27 left on a strip-sack by Davin Bellamy. The Bulldogs had three sacks. Georgia rushed for 185 yards; Sony Michel had 73 yards and a TD and Nick Chubb rushed for 63 yards. True freshman QB Jake Fromm, who was making his first career start, threw for 141 yards and a TD. The Bulldogs were called for 12 penalties and punted eight times. But the Irish had nine punts and eight penalties.
South Carolina 31, Missouri 13
Host Missouri (1-1) jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but a Deebo Samuel kickoff-return TD changed the tenor of the game and the Gamecocks (2-0) went on to the easy win. On the kickoff following the Mizzou TD that made it 10-0, Samuel went 97 yards for a touchdown; he also returned a kickoff for a TD in last week’s win over NC State. Then, on the first play of Missouri’s ensuing possession, Drew Lock threw an interception, and on the first play of South Carolina’s possession, Samuel scored on a 25-yard run to completely flip the game. Missouri outgained the Gamecocks 423-360, but the Tigers committed three turnovers (South Carolina had zero) and allowed South Carolina to go 8-of-15 on third down. In his past nine SEC games, Lock has nine TD passes and 12 interceptions. Lock was just 14-of-32 for 245 yards against a South Carolina defense that surrendered 415 passing yards to NC State’s Ryan Finley last week.
TCU 28, Arkansas 7
Host Arkansas (1-1) was shut down on offense and fell to the visiting Horned Frogs (2-0), making the Hogs 4-6 in their past 10 games. Since the start of the 2016 season, Arkansas is 6-7 against FBS foes, including 4-7 against Power Five teams. TCU was more physical than Arkansas on both sides of the ball. The Horned Frogs rushed for 195 yards and four TDs; the Hogs rushed for 129 yards and finished with just 267 total yards. Arkansas – which was 4-of-14 on third down – missed field goals of 23 and 22 yards. TCU was 10-of-14 on third down. Arkansas is off next week, then plays Texas A&M on September 23 in Arlington, Texas.
Ole Miss 45, UT Martin 23
Sophomore QB Shea Patterson threw for a school-record 485 yards in helping the host Rebels (2-0) down their FCS opponent. UT Martin (1-1) led 16-7 midway through the second quarter as the Rebels appeared uninterested. But Ole Miss scored 10 points in the final 4:07 of the first half, then pulled away in the second half. Patterson was 32-of-43 and threw five TD passes. UT Martin’s Ladarius Galloway ran for 188 yards; Ole Miss rushed 18 times, for 54 yards. Patterson broke the single-game record of 465 yards, set last season by Chad Kelly against Auburn. Patterson threw for 429 yards last week; he now has two of the top four single-game performances in school history.
Mississippi State 57, Louisiana Tech 21
Host Louisiana Tech (1-1) took an early 9-0 lead, but Mississippi State (2-0) got its running game untracked and romped to the win in a matchup of teams with the same nickname. Mississippi State rushed for 327 yards on 40 carries (8.2 yards per attempt). QB Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 111 yards and two TDs and threw for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons also scored twice, on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone and on a 90-yard fumble return. Mississippi State forced three turnovers and held La Tech to a 4-of-15 performance on third down. Mississippi State scored at least 49 points for the fifth time in its past six games dating to last season.
Alabama 41, Fresno State 10
Jalen Hurts scored on a 55-yard run on the second play of the game and the host Crimson Tide (2-0) cruised home from there against the Bulldogs (1-1). Hurts finished with a career-high 154 yards and two TDs on 10 carries as the Tide rushed for 305 yards and three scores on 39 attempts. Hurts and backup Tua Tagovailoa each threw a TD pass as well as Alabama won for the 66th consecutive time against an unranked opponent. Hurts has a TD run and a TD pass in nine games since the beginning of the 2016 season; that is second-most nationally, behind Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. The Tide outgained Fresno 497-274.
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