Week 9 Thoughts
(Photo: John Reed, John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)
The SEC slate for week nine only featured four games, but all four were jam-packed with excitement and consequences. Turnovers and bad play-calling doom the Gators in Jacksonville, Missouri gets its first conference win, Mississippi State upsets #12 Kentucky, and Auburn keeps a hobbling Matt Corral in check in win over Ole Miss.
1 Georgia 34
Stetson’s done a great job. Completely exceeded expectations after JT’s injury. But there were times in this game that he was fooled by coverages and didn’t realize it until after he threw the ball. We’re not completely sure what JT’s situation is, but its clear that the Georgia offense runs smoother when he’s under center. As for Florida, the fans got what they’ve been asking for in Anthony Richardson and he played really well except for a few moments in which his lack of experience showed. The whole Florida team fought a lot harder than the score showed, the offensive line, the defensive line, and quarterback play were good for most of the game. These were keys for Florida, but turnovers before the half completely changed the game and took the wind out of the sails of the Gators. It also allowed Georgia to cruise and get settled into their running game. The blame for that has to fall on play-calling because it took not one, not two, but three turnovers in their own territory for Dan Mullen to just run out the rest of the clock. So instead of going into the half down 10-0, they went down 24-0, which against this Georgia defense, is just about impossible to overcome.
Missouri quickly jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but then gave up 14 unanswered. They took the lead on the last play of the half thanks to a 45-yard hail mary. With about 3:00 left in the game, Vandy cut the lead to 30-28 but allowed a touchdown on the very next Missouri drive that sealed the game. These two defenses came into the game at the bottom of the league, but both were stiffer, especially in the red zone, than expected. Ultimately, it was Missouri’s ground game that broke the back of the Vanderbilt defense. They rushed for 284 yards, with Tyler Badie earning 254 by himself.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) November 1, 2021
12 Kentucky 17
Mississippi State 31
Kentucky’s hot streak comes to an end at the hands of Mississippi State. Will Levis looked anything but himself in this game, throwing 3 interceptions and only 150 yards. Down 14-10 with seconds left in the half, Kentucky was threatening until a deflected pass ended up in the hands of a Miss State cornerback. The Wildcats didn’t play terribly, but the four total turnovers changed the game drastically in Miss State’s direction. Unlike Levis, Will Rogers set an SEC record for completion percentage, threw for 344 yards, and 1 touchdown. The Bulldogs outgained the Wildcats by over double and only allowed the run-heavy offense to gain 66 yards on the ground. Miss State also ran 74 plays to Kentucky’s 48.
10 Ole Miss 20
18 Auburn 31
Auburn is right back in the driver’s seat after beating Ole Miss. Bo Nix was outstanding, throwing for 276 yards, scoring three total touchdowns, and did not turn the ball over. He showed composure and patience in the pocket that we sometimes struggle to see from him. Ole Miss’s Matt Corral went to the locker room with an injury in the 1st quarter but returned after x-rays showed no break or fracture of any kind. He was 21/37 for 289 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and an interception. Offense ruled this game as the teams combined for almost 1,000 yards of total offense. With the win, Auburn remains tied with Alabama in conference record and looks to keep pace with the surging Tide. The two teams play on November 27th in Jordan-Hare.