May 27, 2024

Week five SEC football reactions

With five weeks of the college football season in the books, teams are starting to form their identities. Here are some reactions from an eventful weekend of SEC football.

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 01, 2016 - Tennessee Volunteers celebrate during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

Another week in college football means another week of wild endings, especially in the SEC. Only one SEC matchup featured two ranked teams, but that one game had arguably the best ending college football has seen this season.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the SEC in week five:

Tennessee is a team of destiny

After snapping an 11-game losing streak to Florida the week before, Tennessee created an 11-game winning streak of their own with a 34-31 victory over Georgia.

Mental mistakes left the Vols in a 17-0 hole in the first half, but like they’ve done all season, Tennessee mounted a furious rally.

Trailing 24-21 late in the fourth quarter, Derek Barnett came up with a strip sack in the end zone after Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason decided to pump fake with defenders swirling around him. Fellow defensive end Corey Vereen pounced on the ball, giving the Vols a 28-24 lead with 2:56 remaining in the game. Tennessee would hold that lead until Eason converted on a 47-yard touchdown pass to Riley Ridley with only ten seconds remaining in the game.

An excessive celebration penalty on Georgia forced a kickoff from their own 20-yard-line. Furthermore, after a solid return by Evan Berry, the Bulldogs committed an offside penalty that gave the Vols five extra yards. With four seconds left on the clock, Butch Jones called a Hail Mary.

His prayer was answered.

Josh Dobbs delivered a 43-yard bomb to Jauan Jennings, who leaped over five Georgia defenders to make the game-winning catch.

Somehow, Tennessee is 5-0. They’ve faced slow starts all season. After beating arch-rival Florida for the first time in over a decade, this team felt confident. After winning with a Hail Mary pass on the road, the confidence level is skyrocketing.

Like Auburn in 2013, the Vols are finding ways—albeit bizarre ways—to win. It’s impossible to count Tennessee out of any game because they’ve been down by at least two touchdowns on three separate occasions and have won all three times.

The Hail Mary catch by Jennings was the first touchdown scored at the end of regulation to decide an SEC game since Auburn’s “Kick-Six” from the 2013 squad that also had a little luck on their side.

Maybe it’s a fluke. Maybe Tennessee won’t be able to fall down a couple scores against Texas A&M or Alabama and come back. But maybe they can; maybe they will. Maybe, just maybe, Tennessee is a team of destiny.

Ole Miss is good

A 1-2 record stared Ole Miss right in the face after the Rebels had blown a pair of 21-point leads to Florida State and Alabama. They’ve since responded with two blowout victories.

Ole Miss’ offense hasn’t been the problem this season. Chad Kelly and the crew have put up 45 points or more four times this season against premier defenses. The defense, on the other hand, has failed to hold leads.

But after thrashing Georgia 45-14 last weekend, the Rebels avenged last season’s loss to Memphis this week, 48-28. Hugh Freeze could always rely on his offense to win games. Now he can trust his defense to close the deal.

Welcome back, LSU

One week ago, all hope seemed lost in Baton Rouge. They had just fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and longtime head coach Les Miles after a 2-2 start. Six touchdowns and over 600 yards of offense later, LSU football is back on track.

Are they for real? Time will tell. A resounding 42-7 beating of Missouri would seem to suggest that the Bayou Bengals are on the right path. Under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, the Tigers recorded their highest offensive output ever in an SEC game with 634 total yards. Even more impressive is the fact they accomplished this without the services of running back Leonard Fournette, who is nursing an ankle injury.

Orgeron may not be the head coach LSU is looking for going forward, but for now, he’s the man in Baton Rouge. The defense has been stout all year, but the offense was in serious need of a spark. Orgeron has certainly provided that thus far.

While it’s unlikely that the Tigers will compete for a spot in the SEC Championship this year, their program is far from going off the rails.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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When Robert isn't writing stories for the greatest online news site of all time, he enjoys playing the tuba, hanging out with friends, and opening the "T" on Saturdays in Knoxville. You can follow him on Twitter-@tnytuba09