May 19, 2024

Around the SEC: Week eight

While Alabama continues to roll, two other SEC West teams delivered statement wins Saturday. A kicker nailed a career long game-winning field goal, and one struggling SEC East suffered another bad loss.

An early look at Faurot Field's turf with the SEC logos on it before the 2012 season. Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org, no changes made.

No. 1 Alabama takes care of No. 6 Texas A&M, 33-14

With a third straight win over a ranked conference opponent, is there anything left for the Crimson Tide to prove?

Relying on a stout defense and strong running game, Alabama held the Aggie offense to under 300 yards of total offense while registering five sacks of A&M quarterback Trevor Knight. Jonathan Allen returned a fumble for a touchdown, marking the 12th non-offensive touchdown for the Crimson Tide this season.

Unfortunately, defensive back Eddie Jackson fractured his leg during Saturday’s game — a big blow to Alabama’s secondary going forward. The Tide’s impressive ground game racked up nearly 300 yards on Saturday.

For the Aggies, Myles Garrett for a force in the run game, totaling 3.5 tackles for loss. Outside of that, there weren’t too many positives for Texas A&M to take away from this game. Christian Kirk had a solid eight receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.

No. 21 Auburn delivers a 56-3 blowout over No. 17 Arkansas

With a strong running game and dominant defense, Gus Malzahn’s seat is much cooler, and this Tiger team looks legit.

Auburn, led by sophomore running back Kamryn Pettway’s near-200 yard performance, gained more than 500 yards on the ground against the Razorbacks. The running game’s numbers are impressive, but the lights-out performance from the defense deserves plenty of credit. The Tigers’ defense held an Arkansas’s offense to just around 200 yards while giving up just a field goal. Junior defensive end Carl Lawson had seven quarterback hurries for Auburn, adding to his impressive 2016 campaign.

For Arkansas, Junior quarterback Austin Allen had a rough day while trying to deal with Auburn’s defense. Arkansas also struggled to run the ball, averaging under two yards a carry, but the defense gave up nearly 10 yards per carry.

LSU beats Ole Miss — Leonard Fournette is officially back

No. 25 LSU picked up a huge win at home with a 38-21 victory over No. 23 Ole Miss.

Leonard Fournette is finally healthy again, and it showed. Fournette finished the game with 16 carries for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns. At one point, he had 7 carries for 249 yards — over 35 yards per carry. Fournette’s three touchdown runs came on distances of 59, 74 and 76 yards, respectively.

The defense delivered another strong performance, limiting Ole Miss’s offensive production. Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly’s struggles continued, as he completed under 60 percent of his passes for the second straight game. In addition, Ole Miss’s run game was nonexistent and the defense had all sorts of trouble containing Fournette. Ole Miss now sits at 3-4 (1-3 SEC) on the season.

Kentucky outlasts Mississippi State on walk-off field goal

The least-appetizing SEC matchup of the week provided tons of excitement, as Kentucky knocked off Mississippi State 40-38 with a game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.

The Bulldogs and Wildcats combined for nearly 60 points in the second half, trading scores until the very last possession. Freshman running back Benjamin Snell Jr. continued to impress for Kentucky, finishing Saturday’s game with just over 125 rushing yards on only 19 carries. Receiver Jeff Badet also had a big game, reeling in seven catches for just under 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald had over 100 rushing yards, but his limitations as a passer continue to hold the Bulldogs back. His passing numbers on the day: 13-for-21 for under 100 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The win puts Kentucky at 4-3 (3-2 SEC) on the season.

Missouri loses to MTSU at home

After back to back ugly road losses, surely Missouri could respond by beating MTSU at home, right?

Wrong.

The Tigers gave up 51 points and nearly 600 yards of offense to the Blue Raiders in a 51-45 loss. Although Missouri scored a respectable 45 points, it wasn’t enough to get the win. The loss is the Tigers’ third straight, and they have failed to give up less than 40 points in any of those three contests. On the bright side, freshman running back Damarea Crockett provided some optimism for the future by rushing for 156 yards — junior back Ish Witter also totaled over 100 yards on the ground.

For MTSU, Ole Miss transfer I’tavius Mathers proved why he was once an SEC recruit. Mathers totaled over 250 yards on the day, garnering both a rushing and receiving touchdown. After competing in the SEC Championship Game as recently as 2014, this program seems to have taken quite a step back.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by KOMUnews

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