Week five featured some pivotal SEC clashes and a future SEC rivalry in the making. The SEC West asserted their dominance with all but one team winning their respective games. That and we have a new favorite for the SEC East.
#14 Texas A&M Aggies 38, #18 Arkansas Razorbacks 42
Welcome to the SEC Texas A&M! This game was a fun one to watch. The Aggies had a 35-17 lead in the third quarter and squandered a lead for the second straight week. A big reason for the meltdown? Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson. Wilson bounced back from his game against Alabama with a 510 yard performance in which he threw three touchdowns. That and WR Jarius Wright had a ridiculous day with 13 receptions, 281 receiving yards, and a touchdown. A&M RB Christine Michael had a career day in the loss with 32 carries for 230 yards and three touchdowns. This Aggie defense is going to have to toughen up before they join the SEC next season, otherwise they’ll be cellar dwellars in the SEC West.
Mississippi State Bulldogs 10, Georgia Bulldogs 24
Gotta say, I’m kind of surprised by this score. I though Miss St. was the better football team, but Georgia proved that they deserve to be in the SEC East discussion. Now MSU is riding a three-game SEC losing streak and are winless in conference. This team needs to show their mettle right now. They can either quit and not go to a bowl, or they can compete and possibly spoil someone’s season. Meanwhile, this was a huge win for Georgia. They needed this game to stay in the SEC East race. And with everything else that happened Saturday in the East, Georgia looks like they could be the front runner for SEC Championship. There’s still a lot of season left, but Mark Richt’s seat just cooled down a little bit. Meanwhile, Dan Mullen has to get MSU to go out and compete next game against the UAB Blazers. That game they should win handedly, but with a down trodden team, this game could prove what their made of.
Kentucky Wildcats 7, #1 Louisiana State Tigers 35
No surprises here, except that Jordan Jefferson was back with LSU. Actually, the only surprise I see is that Kenucky scored some points. Putrid offense versus superb defense usually equals no points. But of Wildcats QB Morgan Newton’s 57 passing yards, one of them was a touchdown. Meanwhile, Jefferson played in his return from suspension after his bar fight, and scored the game’s first touchdown, a one-yard run.
Buffalo Bulls 10, Tennessee Volunteers 41
Once again, a this was an easy game against an inferior foe. Vols QB Tyler Bray threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns, hooking up with WR Da’Rick Rogers for 180 of those yards and two of those scores. Tennessee’s running game showed up too, with RB Tauren Poole running for 101 yards, and the Volunteers running for 199 yards overall. Tennessee did lose the turnover battle, however, two-to-one. Next week the Vols face a more formidable foe in the Georgia Bulldogs in a game that could mean a lot in the SEC East.
Auburn Tigers 16, #10 South Carolina Gamecocks 13
This was somewhat of a shocker. Partly because it was such a low scoring game, but partly because Auburn pulled out the win in Columbia. In the battle of sophomore stud running backs, Auburn’s Michael Dyer carried the Tigers (literally) with 181 yards, to South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore’s 66. The Tigers win over the Gamecocks opens up the SEC East to Georgia and Florida and puts Auburn back in the picture for the SEC West. Auburn is 2-0 in conference, just like LSU and Alabama. Arkansas is lurking just behind them with a 1-1 record in conference, but as a team with momentum. Overall, the Tigers and ‘Cocks game was a sloppy one, but one of the most important games in how the rest of the season unfolds in the SEC for both divisions.
#3 Alabama Crimson Tide 38, #12 Florida Gators 10
A complete grading of Florida’s game can be found here. However, Florida looked like they could hang with the Tide somewhat until QB John Brantley went down with the leg injury. That and Trent Richardson dragged Florida defenders for three to four extra yards every time he carried the ball. He’s a manchild and after seeing him throughout an entire game, a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Mississippi Rebels 38, Fresno State Bulldogs 28
Believe it or not, this game kind of surprised me. I thought a not-so-great Ole Miss team traveling to California to face a competitive Fresno State team? There’s no chance Houston Nutt and the Rebels pull out the win. But they did and did a good job of not embarrassing the SEC in the process. Running backs Jeff Scott and Brandon Bolden shouldered the load for Ole Miss, combining for 181 yards and four touchdowns. The Rebels also started QB Randall Mackey, which may have been the spark Ole Miss has needed to turn its season around. They still have a tough schedule playing out in the West, but Mackey along with Scott and Bolden could be the recipe for success for these Rebels. But that defense isn’t too great, giving up 444 yards to the Bulldogs. Time will tell whether or not Nutt finishes this season.
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