Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday (Wednesday?), a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving SEC teams. We’ve now hit the halfway point for most teams, and I can barely believe it myself. (Note: I remove sacks and sack yardage from rushes and rushing yardage when necessary to put stats in appropriate context.)
Florida 24 vs Missouri 17
Missouri went 9/17 on 3rd downs in this game, their first game over 50%. They held the Gators to 297 total yards and 66 passing yards. They even held the Gators to a mere 65 yards in the first half. Jaydon Hill had a first-half pick-6 to put the Gators up 10-0, but the Tigers managed to equalize before the half. Florida got back up by 14 early in the 4th thanks in part to another Hill pick, but Missouri wasn’t ready to quit. They struck back with a TD, then picked off Anthony Richardson with just under 3 minutes to go and a chance to tie. However, Missouri failed to convert a 4th and 2 at the Florida 48 and gave the game away. I don’t know if Florida is good this year. They went 3/11 on 3rd down against a bad defense, but they ran for 7.5 yards per carry. This game shouldn’t have been close, but Missouri fought hard. Missouri gets to take some time off this week with their bye. Florida hosts LSU Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
#23 Mississippi State 40 vs Arkansas 17
KJ Jefferson didn’t play in this game. That would be a decent excuse if he played defense. He does not, so I’m not going to excuse Arkansas for how they lost this game. They never recorded a sack on Will Rogers, who set the SEC career completions record in this game. Aaron Murray needed 52 games to set the record, Will Rogers needed 28. This was an utter embarrassment for the Razorbacks, they allowed a Mike Leach team to have a 100-yard rusher and score 3 rushing TDs, one of which was 30 yards. The Bulldogs are on fire right now, this is the team that was promised coming into this season. As for Arkansas, fix your defense. For some reason, Arkansas travels to Provo face BYU Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Mississippi State has a road trip to face cross-division rival Kentucky Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
#2 Georgia 42 vs Auburn 10
Brain Harsin is still employed, this is incredible. The 1st quarter of this game was a mess of punts, a fumble and a missed field goal. Then Auburn faked a punt on 4th and 6 from their own 34 that got a whole 2 yards. Georgia capitalized with a TD, but it took until the second half for the rout to commence. Georgia finished with 500 total yards and 301 rushing yards. Their sacks-included 292 rushing yards were better than Auburn’s 258 total yards, and they were never sacked. The highlight of this game was Stetson Bennett’s 64-yard romp to the endzone, because of course he did. Auburn travels to face Ole Miss Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Georgia hosts Vanderbilt Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
#9 Ole Miss 52 @ Vanderbilt 28
Congratulations Ole Miss! You scored 4th quarter points against an FBS team! In fact, Ole Miss more than doubled their second half scoring output against FBS teams by scoring 35 points. They were down 20-10 late in the 2nd quarter, but the Rebels stormed back to take this one. I should note that Vanderbilt went up 20-10 with a 15-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:54, which is quite impressive. What was more impressive was Jonathan Mingo setting an Ole Miss receiving yardage record with 247 yards on 9 catches, two of which went for TDs. Jaxson Dart had a remarkable game, going 25/32 for 448 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. Vanderbilt still hasn’t won an SEC game since before Covid was discovered, dropping their 20th straight. Vanderbilt goes on the road to face Georgia on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Ole Miss hosts Auburn Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
South Carolina 24 @ #13 Kentucky 14
It had been over a year since Shane Beamer got a road win, last coming in a 9/11/21 victory at East Carolina in Beamer’s second game at South Carolina, and what a way to end the drought. South Carolina came in shorthanded, but it was Kentucky who had the most important missing piece. Will Levis wore a protective boot on his left foot and watched freshman Kaiya Sheron lead the Wildcats that night. This couldn’t have started much worse for the Wildcats, as Chris Rodriguez Jr. fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, setting up a 2-yard MarShawn Lloyd TD run on the next play for the lead just 13 seconds in. The 1st quarter was a disaster for Kentucky, also including a blocked punt and a missed field goal. Kentucky somehow had more 1st downs than South Carolina despite going just 3/12 on 3rd. What even was this game? Kentucky hosts Mississippi State Saturday at 6:30 p.m. South Carolina is on bye.
#1 Alabama 24 vs Texas A&M 20
What is up with Alabama this year? Bryce Young didn’t play in this game, forcing Jalen Milroe into the starting spot. Once again, the Tide offense struggled to put up points and keep the ball. Alabama finished -3 in the turnover margin thanks to 3 fumbles and a pick. They also missed two field goals up 24-17 that would’ve pushed the Aggies to be a bit more desperate. Instead, it allowed A&M to kick a late field goal, which should’ve come earlier if not for two straight false starts that cost about a minute. The Aggies held Alabama to a 3-and-out after the kickoff and got a potential game-winning drive going thanks to Alabama penalties. A pass interference call in the end zone after a 3rd and 10 from the 15 gave Texas A&M an untimed down to win the game. Jimbo Fisher decided to call one of the worst possible plays for the situation at hand, failing to fool the defense with anything and having Haynes King throw to a receiver who was on a route taking him out of the end zone. That might’ve worked in 2002, but it doesn’t work in 2022. This was another game where Alabama made a ton of crucial mistakes and won because their opponents failed to capitalize. One last thing, Jimbo calling Haynes King his “back-up” rings hollow when he was the starter for the first two games of the season and lost the job due to his performance on the field. Texas A&M is on bye this week. Alabama travels to face Tennessee Saturday at 2:30 p.m.