Weekend Thoughts-Week 12
(Photo: the clarion-ledger)
1 Georgia 56
Charleston Southern 7
Georgia takes care of business against the Buccaneers to improve to 11-0. The Stetson Bennett-led offense jumped out to a quick 28-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. Bennett threw the ball just 14 times, completing 8 of them for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns in about a quarter and a half of playing time. JT Daniels, Carson Beck, and Brock Vandagriff all saw the field in the remaining 2 and a half quarters. The defense continued its dominance, only giving up 126 yards to the Bucs offense. The Bulldogs take on their in-state rival Georgia Tech this Saturday in the regular-season finale before battling Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
New Mexico State 16
Kentucky breaks the 700-yard mark in win against New Mexico State. Will Levis threw for over 419 yards and 4 touchdowns and Chris Rodriguez Jr. had yet another 100-yard game. The Wildcats were finally able to get back on track this week and look to finish the season strong. They have had a rough stretch of performances against some good conference opponents before this game. After going into the half up 35-16, Kentucky’s defense stiffened, not allowing the 1-10 Aggies to score another point. The Wildcats are now 8-3 (5-3 SEC) and travel to Louisville to end the season.
25 Mississippi State 55
Tennessee State 10
Will Rogers with another 5 touchdown game in blowout win against Tennessee State. Rogers has torn up defenses all year long and that was the case again last Saturday. He completed 28 of 34 attempts for 391 yards and finished with a QBR of over 94. Makai Polk led all receivers in yards with 110, but Austin Williams caught 3 of the team’s touchdowns. But the Bulldog offense wasn’t the only one that had a good day, the defense was quite stingy as well. They only allowed 205 total yards to the Tigers and forced a turnover. Miss State goes into the Egg Bowl this weekend at 7-4 (4-3 SEC).
16 Texas A&M 52
Prairie View 3
The Aggies only give up 7 passing yards and run all over Prairie View. The Panthers only attempted 12 passes the whole game and only completed 2 of them for 7 yards. No, that’s not a typo. Texas A&M also had five different rushers with at least 45 yards. Amari Daniels and Isaiah Spiller led the team with 70 yards each. This game was never close and it never should have been, with the Aggies being the clearly better team. A&M improves to 8-3 (4-3 SEC) as they finish the season in Death Valley against LSU on Saturday night.
2 Alabama 42
21 Arkansas 35
Alabama secures its spot in the SEC Championship Game with win over Arkansas. Tide Quarterback Bryce Young broke a single-game Alabama record for most passing yards in a game with 559. To top it off he only missed on 9 of his 40 pass attempts and threw 5 touchdown passes. Brian Robinson Jr. also ran for 122 yards on 27 carries. KJ Jefferson also had a nice day, going 22-30 for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. Treylon Burks led the Razorbacks in receiving with 179 yards on 8 receptions and 2 touchdowns. Arkansas drops below .500 in SEC play again with the loss and now sits at 7-4 (3-4 SEC), while Alabama improves to 10-1 (6-1 SEC) ahead of the Iron Bowl.
Florida’s loss to Missouri leads to the firing of head coach Dan Mullen. This loss was the one that broke the camel’s back for coach Mullen. I expected this game to be a high-scoring shootout because the defenses of these two teams are bottom of the league, but they stepped up in this game. The two teams combined to convert just 8 of 33 third-down chances. Tyler Badie was really the only offensive player who had a day to brag about, racking up 146 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown. Missouri becomes bowl eligible with the win, now 6-5 (3-4 SEC), while Florida will have to beat Florida State this weekend if they want to go bowling.
South Carolina 21
The Gamecocks become bowl eligible in Shane Beamer’s first season after win against Auburn. Quarterback Jason Brown completed 10 passes for 157 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception as he led his team to a victory. Zaquandre White and Kevin Harris combined for over 150 yards as well. Even in the loss, Tank Bigsby showed why he’s one of the top running backs in college football. He ran for 164 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. TJ Finley took over for Bo Nix, who will miss the rest of the season with an injury. Finley went 17-32 for 188 yards and a touchdown. South Carolina improves to 6-5 (3-5 SEC) and welcomes Clemson into town this weekend. Auburn falls below .500 in SEC play and is now 6-5 (3-4 SEC) and will host Alabama.
Ole Miss 31
Matt Corral leads his team to victory against Vanderbilt in final home game. Corral went for 326 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception in this game, which he announced via social media before the game would be his last in Oxford. The Rebels didn’t light up the scoreboard as much as most thought they would and the defense gave up over 450 yards of total offense to a Vanderbilt team that is winless in the SEC. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win at this point in the season. Vanderbilt running back Rocko Griffin ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Chris Pierce Jr. caught 10 balls for 113 yards to lead the Commodores. Ole Miss is now 9-2 (5-2 SEC) and gets ready for a clash with Mississippi State this weekend, while Vanderbilt falls to 2-9 (0-7 SEC) and heads to Knoxville to face Tennessee.
South Alabama 14
Tennessee puts up 60 in win against South Alabama. The Volunteers rushed for 250 yards and scored 5 touchdowns on the ground in the victory. They also had two separate 100-yard receivers in Cedric Tillman and Velus Jones Jr. The defense also played well, allowing under 300 total yards and holding South Alabama to just 1-16 on third down. The Vols look to get their seventh win of the season this weekend against Vanderbilt.
UL Monroe 14
LSU gets its fifth win of the season against UL Monroe; can become bowl eligible with a win against Texas A&M this weekend. Max Johnson had a great day, going 22-33 for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tyrion Davis Price led the Tigers in rushing with 82 yards and Malik Nabers lit up the stat sheet with 4 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown. LSU only led by 10 at halftime but outscored ULM 10-7 in the second half to win the game. The Tigers are now 5-6 (2-5 SEC) and host A&M this weekend to close out the regular season.