No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 LSU
In another top-15 matchup between the two SEC West rivals, true freshman Jalen Hurts of Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) stole the show during Alabama’s 10-0 win over LSU (5-3, 3-2 SEC). The young quarterback outshined the Tigers’ Heisman candidate, Leonard Fournette. Hurts’ fourth quarter scramble from 21 yards out sealed a game dominated by both defenses. Hurts finished went over the century yard mark in both rushing and passing to lead the Tide to victory in a hostile environment. Alabama’s defense held Leonard Fournette to under 40 rushing yards for a second consecutive, only allowing him to churn out 35 yards on the night. Alabama improved to 9-0 on the year while LSU dropped to 5-3.
No. 7 Texas A&M at Mississippi State
Down in Starkville this weekend, the No. 7-ranked Aggies (7-2, 4-2 SEC) couldn’t slow down the Mississippi State offense, losing the contest 35-28. Bulldog quarterback Nick Fitzgerald had quite a day, throwing for 209 yards and rushing for 182 yards (including an eye-popping 74 yard run). The Aggies, who just made the cut as the fourth-ranked team in the the first College Fotball Playoff predictions, was slowed down by injuries to both Trevor Knight and Myles Garrett. Knight was injured early on, but returned shortly after and finished out the game. Conversely, Garrett played the majority of the game, only to sit out towards the end. This game essentially knocked A&M out of the playoff, barring late season collapses from multiple top-10 teams.
No. 10 Florida at Arkansas
In a big win for Tennessee fans, Arkansas (6-3, 2-3 SEC) handled Florida (6-2, 4-2 SEC) with ease this weekend, winning 31-10. The loss for Florida puts the Gators one loss away from giving Tennessee a trip to Atlanta in December; that is, if Tennessee is able to win out. Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio looked out of sync with his offense, throwing two interceptions and failing to find the end zone. He wasn’t helped by running back Mark Thompson, who was only able to find 19 yards on the ground. Razorback quarterback Austin Allen threw for 243 yards and a touchdown with just one interception, but the real playmaker was Rawleigh Williams III who scored twice on the ground and ran for 148 yards.
Vanderbilt at No. 11 Auburn
The Commodores (4-5, 1-4 SEC) trotted into the locker rooms at half leading the No. 11 team in the country 13-10. However, the wheels started turning for Auburn (7-2, 5-1 SEC ) in the second half when Sean White took over and led a mistake-free game the rest of the way for the Tigers. Kamryn Pettway ended the day with 173 yards on the ground and eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. The Tigers stayed alive against an improving Vanderbilt team, 23-16.
Tennessee Tech at Tennessee
The Volunteers (6-3, SEC 2-3) ironed out some struggles they had last week against South Carolina with a 55-0 domination of Tennessee Tech. After the sudden departure of Jalen Hurd, fans had to be happy with a shutout on homecoming. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Malone hauled in two of those touchdowns, finishing with 112 receiving yards on only five receptions. But perhaps the real star of the show was running back John Kelly, who rushed for a game-high 104 yards and a touchdown. Kelly’s 73-yard touchdown run was most notable, especially after being set up by a nice push from the Volunteer offensive line.
Edited by Nathan Odom
Featured image by Daniel Foster