Around the SEC: Week five storylines

Here are the biggest stories from another wild week across the Southeast.

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 01, 2016 - running back Jalen Hurd #1 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. Photo By Hayley Pennesi/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee escapes Athens with yet another comeback victory

In a game fans will remember for a long time, Tennessee surged back from yet another first-half deficit to snatch a 34-31 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Vols were down 17-7 at the break, but after trading blows with the Bulldogs for two more quarters, Tennessee looked to have the game won.

The Vols led 28-24, and the seconds ticked toward zero.

Suddenly, Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason found Riley Ridley on a 47-yard bomb down the sideline, and the Bulldogs took the lead with 10 seconds remaining.

An excessive celebration penalty on the ‘Dawgs, combined with Evan Berry’s solid kick return, put Tennessee at Georgia’s 43 yard line. And in miraculous fashion, quarterback Josh Dobbs found a leaping Jauan Jennings in the end zone as time expired.

Dobbs went 16-for-26 for 230 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, as well as rushing for 26 yards.

On the other end, Eason racked up 211 yards through the air with two touchdowns and one pick.

With this win, Tennessee moves to 5-0 for the first time since 1998, and now sits in the driver’s seat in the race for the SEC East.

LSU throttles Missouri in wake of Les Miles firing

No Les, no problem was the story for LSU on Saturday.

Perhaps even more impressive than that, was LSU’s running game in the absence of injured running back Leonard Fournette.

Despite the circumstances heading into the game, interim head coach Ed Orgeron’s Tigers dominated in a 42-7 beat down over Missouri.

Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams punched in three touchdowns apiece for the Bayou Bengals, racking up more than 290 yards combined.

After the game, Orgeron commented, “We played for 60 minutes. We put the pedal to the metal… We’re just getting started.”

Next week, LSU looks to build off this performance as it faces the Florida Gators in Gainesville, while Missouri has a bye week before facing the Gators on Oct. 15.

Florida squeaks past Vanderbilt in low-scoring slugfest

In a low-scoring matchup, the Florida Gators outlasted Vanderbilt 13-6.

Neither team scored during the first quarter, but Florida put up 10 points before the half on a Jordan Scarlett run and a 42-yard field goal from Eddie Pineiro.

Tommy Openshaw knocked a 38-yard field goal through the uprights to get Vanderbilt on the board in the second quarter, and he reduced Florida’s lead to four near the end of the third quarter.

Pineiro put one more kick through the goalposts after another stand by the Vanderbilt defense, and it was enough to put the Gators up by seven with eight minutes remaining for the final score of the game.

Florida quarterback Austin Appleby went 19-for-28 for 144 yards, while Vanderbilt’s Kyle Shurmur completed just nine passes for 82 yards, giving up an interception to star cornerback Teez Tabor.

Florida will host LSU next week, while Vanderbilt travels to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats.

Ole Miss cruises to victory over Memphis

This time last year, the Memphis Tigers were celebrating a 37-24 victory over what many thought to be a powerhouse in Ole Miss.

It was a different story on Saturday, as the Rebels cruised past the Tigers in a 48-28 victory in Oxford.

Defense was the name of the game for Ole Miss on Saturday, as three interceptions off passes from Tiger quarterback Riley Ferguson gave the Rebels several chances to capitalize.

They did just that, as Eugene Brazley ran for 124 yards and two scores, while Jason Pellerin, a backup quarterback, added two of his own.

Damore’ea Stringfellow led the way for the Rebels’ receiving corps, grabbing six receptions for 94 yards, but Evan Engram hauled in the only touchdown catch of the day on a 12-yard pass from Chad Kelly.

Ferguson accounted for two of the Tigers’ touchdowns on the ground, while Doroland Dorceus and Anthony Miller ran for one each.

After the revenge win over Memphis, Ole Miss gets a bye week before traveling to Arkansas.

Aggies outlast Gamecocks in win over South Carolina

Both teams’ running games shone on Saturday, as the Texas A&M Aggies beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 24-13 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

On the first play of the game, A.J. Turner raced 75 yards to the house to put the Gamecocks on the board early. The Aggies returned fire quickly, as a seven-play, 75-yard drive ended in a Trevor Knight touchdown to tie the game.

Both defenses battled fiercely through the rest of the half, but Trayveon Williams put the Aggies up for good on a 49-yard run in the third quarter.

South Carolina’s Elliott Fry knocked two field goals through the uprights in the second half, but another Aggie touchdown and a 35-yard kick by Daniel LaCamera late in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for Texas A&M.

Williams led the way for the Aggies, rushing for 98 yards on 14 carries for a touchdown, while Knight added 84 rushing yards and a score of his own on 12 carries.

The featured matchup of ESPN’s College GameDay, No. 8 Texas A&M hosts No. 9 Tennessee next week, while South Carolina hosts division foe Georgia.

Other scores this week in the SEC:

Auburn 58, Louisiana-Monroe 7
Arkansas 52, Alcorn State 10
Alabama 30, Kentucky 6

Edited by Dalton King 

Featured image by Hayley Pennesi, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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Sports editor Jake Nichols has been part of the TNJN staff in two different capacities. His freshman and sophomore years, Jake worked as a staff writer before moving on to write for Rocky Top Insider, and he also worked with VFL Films and the SEC Network for a semester his junior year. When asked the summer before his senior year to return to TNJN as the sports editor, Jake jumped at the chance to end his time in Knoxville working with the organization he first began with as a freshman. Jake is excited to help lead younger writers, much like former editors Cody McClure and Jordan Dajani aided him. Jake also does freelance sports coverage and photography for The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tenn., and in his spare time, he can be found with family, his girlfriend or driving his Jeep, most likely with his Canon in tow. Be sure and follow Jake on Twitter and Instagram at @jnichols_2121, and keep up with TNJN Sports on Twitter as well!