SEC News and Notes

11:05 AM, Oct 21, 2013   |    comments
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ALABAMA: The top-ranked Crimson Tide's dominance continued over the weekend as they blanked Arkansas at home, 52-0, making it the second straight season they shut out the Razorbacks. It's the first time they've accomplished that feat against an SEC opponent since 1973-74. The squad had a pair of rushers top the century mark for the second week in a row. Derrick Henry led the way with 111 yards and a score on just six carries, while Kenyan Drake was hot on his heels with 104 yards and two touchdowns on eight totes. T.J. Yeldon was also a big factor in the ground game with 88 yards and a touchdown. With such an effective rushing attack, A.J. McCarron was only asked to throw 21 passes, but he completed 15 of those for 180 yards with three touchdowns. Amari Cooper led the receiving corps with 65 yards and a score on three catches. The defense, led by C.J. Mosley's 10 tackles, held the Razorbacks to just 256 total yards. Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) continue its homestand this Saturday versus Tennessee.

ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks were stifled by the nation's top-ranked team, as they gained just 256 total yards en route to a 52-0 blowout loss to Alabama, marking the second straight year they've been shutout by the Crimson Tide. Brandon Allen was under duress all game, completing just 7-of-25 passes for 91 yards with two interceptions. A quality rushing attack was the team's lone saving grace, as it racked up 165 yards on 39 attempts. Alex Collins led the way with 77 yards on 18 carries. The defense played just as poorly as the offense, allowing the Tide to crank out 532 yards and seven touchdowns. Arkansas (3-5, 0-4 SEC) will attempt to halt its four-game slide on Nov. 2 when it hosts nationally-ranked Auburn.

AUBURN: The Tigers had one of the many upsets in the SEC over the weekend, as they went into College Station and topped seventh-ranked Texas A&M, 45-41. Trailing by three points late, the visitors scored a touchdown on a five-yard run by Tre Mason with 1:19 remaining in regulation to lift it to victory. Mason paced the outstanding rushing attack with a season-high 178 yards and the crucial score. Nick Marshall completed less than 50 percent of his passes (11-of-23), but otherwise was outstanding, throwing for 236 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 100 yards and two more scores. Sammie Coates hauled in five passes for 104 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown in the third quarter to tie the game. The offense kept pace with one of the nation's most potent scoring attacks, outgaining the Aggies, 615-602. The defense came up big when needed most, registering a sack of -22 yards on the final play of the game. Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) steps out of conference this Saturday to face Florida Atlantic at home.

FLORIDA: In a marquee matchup with 14th-ranked Missouri, the Gators fell flat on the road, dropping a 36-17 decision. The offense was stagnant all afternoon, managing just 151 total yards against a stout Tigers defense. Tyler Murphy was ineffective, completing only 15-of-29 passes for 92 yards with an interception while being sacked six times. Kelvin Taylor was the lone offensive bright spot on the afternoon with 12 carries for 74 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Solomon Patton made things interesting when he returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. While the UF defense forced two turnovers, it was otherwise gashed by the Tigers for 500 total yards. Florida (4-3, 3-2 SEC) has off this week and will try to halt its two-game losing streak on Nov. 2 against rival Georgia.

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs' slide continued over the weekend, as they coughed up a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to suffer a 31-27 upset to Vanderbilt. Aaron Murray had perhaps the worst performance of his otherwise brilliant career, completing 16-of-28 passes for 114 yards with zero passing touchdowns and an interception, although he did score twice on the ground. Despite the poor showing, Murray became the SEC's all-time leader in total offense, surpassing Tim Tebow's record of 12,232 yards. Brendan Douglas rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries, but the UGA rushing attack as a whole accounted for only 3.1 yards per carry. The defense played well for most of the game, allowing Vandy to amass just 337 total yards, but the unit could not buckle down late as it surrendered 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Georgia (4-3, 3-2 SEC) will lick its wounds during a bye week and try to bounce back on Nov. 2 against hated rival Florida.

KENTUCKY: The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3 SEC) had a much-needed bye this past weekend, giving them additional time to try and find the answers to their current four- game losing streak. They take aim at their first SEC victory of the season on Thursday night at Mississippi State.

LSU: The Tigers offense sputtered on Saturday night against the Ole Miss Rebels, and despite scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, they fell victim to a last-second field goal to lose, 27-24. Even though he threw for 274 yards and a touchdown, Zach Mettenberger had his worst game of the season, going just 19-of-33 passing with three interceptions. Jeremy Hill (64 yards, TD) and Kenny Hilliard (58 yards, TD) both finished with respectable showings out of the backfield, but the team averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Jarvis Landry made several big plays in the passing game with seven receptions for 121 yards, including a four-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 3:19 left. The defense could not stop the Rebels, who tallied 525 total yards and converted 11-of-18 third-down attempts. LSU (6-2, 3-2 SEC) will try to get healthy against FCS foe Furman this Saturday.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: After alternating losses and wins in each of their first six games, the Bulldogs (3-3, 0-2 SEC) were idle last week. They'll try to get on the board in the SEC on Thursday night, as they close out a four-game homestand against Kentucky.

MISSOURI: Even without their star quarterback, the Tigers dominated the 22nd- ranked Florida Gators at home, 36-17, to remain unbeaten. In James Franklin's absence, freshman Maty Mauk played well in his first career start, completing 18-of-36 passes for 295 yards with two touchdowns (one rushing) and an interception. Henry Josey carved up an impressive Florida defense with 136 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Mauk hooked up with L'Damien Washington (three receptions, 84 yards) on a few big plays, while Bud Sasser caught a 20- yard touchdown on the opening drive. The Mizzou defense was nothing short of outstanding, holding the Gators to a meager 151 total yards, while coming up with three turnovers and six sacks. Michael Sam was the standout with three sacks, while Aarion Penton had an interception. Missouri (7-0, 3-0 SEC) will try to continue its reign atop the SEC Eastern Division on Saturday when it hosts South Carolina.

OLE MISS: On a day chock full of upsets, the Rebels had perhaps the most shocking of all, as they kicked a game-winning field goal in the waning seconds to capture a 27-24 victory over sixth-ranked LSU for their first win against a top-10 opponent since 2008. The offense had no trouble generating yardage against a stout Tigers front with 525 yards. Bo Wallace completed 30- of-39 passes for 346 yards, while Barry Brunetti had a passing touchdown on a three-yard toss to Nicholas Parker in the second quarter. Jaylen Walton was a difference-maker in the backfield in place of the injured Jeff Scott, picking up 105 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Donte Moncrief was outstanding out wide with five receptions for 107 yards. Chief Brown led the defensive effort with eight tackles and an interception. Ole Miss (4-3, 2-3 SEC) steps out of conference this Saturday for a Homecoming matchup with Idaho.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks fell victim to a last-second field goal as they were upset by Tennessee on Saturday, 23-21. Connor Shaw had arguably the worst game of his four-year career, completing just 7-of-21 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and his first interception of the year. The signal caller did his best to make up for it with his rushing effort, picking up 78 yards and a touchdown, although he had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury. Mike Davis was outstanding out of the backfield with 137 yards and a score on 21 carries. Damiere Byrd caught four passes for a career- high 121 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The poor offensive showing masked an impressive defensive effort, as the Volunteers had just 325 total yards. Jadeveon Clowney had his best game of the season despite not recording a sack, finishing with five tackles, 2.5 TFL and two QB hurries. South Carolina (5-2, 3-2 SEC) will finish off its three-game homestand this Saturday against unbeaten Missouri.

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers earned their first SEC victory of the season in style by upsetting 11th-ranked South Carolina at home, 23-21. Down by one with the clock winding down, Michael Palardy kicked the game-winning field goal from 19 yards out. Justin Worley was far from impressive, completing just 19- of-34 passes for 179 yards, but he threw a touchdown pass and went without a turnover. Alton Howard (eight receptions, 33 yards) was on the receiving end of Worley's scoring strike in the second quarter, while Marquez North finished with 102 yards on only three catches. Raijon Neal had 77 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown. The defense held Connor Shaw to just 7-of-21 passing. Marlon Walls tallied 2.5 sacks. Tennessee (4-3, 1-2 SEC) will try to be giant killer once against this Saturday when it takes on No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

TEXAS A&M: Despite yet another dazzling performance by Johnny Manziel, the Aggies fell victim to a late touchdown drive by Auburn and were handed a 45-41 home defeat. Manziel completed 28-of-38 passes for 454 yards, ran for another 48 yards (his fifth career game with at least 500 total yards), and accounted for five touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice. He also needed to exit the game briefly in the fourth quarter with an apparent arm injury, and although he returned, it appeared to bother him down the stretch. Manziel's big game resulted in a historic night for Mike Evans, who reeled in 11 balls for a school-record 287 yards with four touchdowns, and he is now ranked second in the nation with 1,024 receiving yards this season. The A&M defense let the team down in this one, allowing Auburn to keep pace with 615 total yards. The Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC) will try to get back on track this Saturday versus Vanderbilt.

VANDERBILT: The Commodores pulled off an improbable comeback against nationally-ranked Georgia, reeling off 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to capture a 31-27 upset victory. Jerron Seymour finished with 75 yards and two touchdown on 19 carries, including the game-winning, 13-yard scoring run with 2:53 left to play. Austyn Carta-Samuels completed 12-of-20 passes for 111 yards and an interception prior to exiting the game in the second quarter with a leg injury. Patton Robinette took over under center and went 9-of-15 for 107 yards and an interception, while rushing for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Jordan Matthews was busy out wide, tallying 11 receptions for 89 yards. The Vandy defense was outstanding, holding the potent UGA offense to a meager 221 total yards. The Commodores (4-3, 1-3 SEC) hit the road this Saturday to challenge nationally-ranked Texas A&M.

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