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Take a Look Tuesday: Week 5

Top teams survive early October scares

Florida WR Justin Shorter runs past an Eastern Washington defender in the Gators’ 52-17 win Sunday.

Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving SEC teams. This Saturday was the 1st of October, and the top teams were getting into the Halloween spirit early with some scares. (Note: I remove sacks and sack yardage from rushes and rushing yardage when necessary to put stats in appropriate context.)

(Thursday) South Carolina 50 vs SC State 10

Well this game happened. South Carolina gave their FCS foes a blowout loss that wasn’t shocking, but it was a sloppy win. The Gamecocks turned the ball over three times (one of which was on an INCREDIBLE pick on the third play of the game), the worst of which was a miscue on special teams in which SC blocked a punt that traveled beyond the line of scrimmage and touched it by accident before SC State could fall on it in a quite bizarre sequence. Other than that, besides the Bulldogs getting a mere 75 passing yards and throwing three picks, there wasn’t much to this game. South Carolina’s next game is at Kentucky Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

#14 Ole Miss 22 vs #7 Kentucky 19

I watched 95% of this game live and I still don’t know if it means Ole Miss is any good or not. Kentucky did not look like a top 10 team with the ways they kept shooting themselves in the foot. Their special teams marred their first placekicking attempts. Their only field goal attempt was a 39-yard miss over the top of the left upright, their first extra point attempt got blocked and their second extra point attempt turned into a panic when the holder failed to corral a bad snap. Will Levis conceded a safety on an intentional grounding in the end zone mere inches from being sacked (part of the Wildcats’ ongoing issues along the offensive line). Ole Miss’ defense stepped up in the second half to force two Levis fumbles in the 4th quarter, but we need to talk about second half Ole Miss offense. Ole Miss has 7 4th quarter points all season, and they came on a 1-play, 6-yard drive against FCS Central Arkansas. The Rebels have scored 31 second-half points against FBS teams, 21 of which came against Georgia Tech. If Ole Miss is going to stay in the top 10, they’ll need to step up their offense when it counts. Kentucky hosts South Carolina Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Ole Miss heads to Vanderbilt Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

#2 Alabama 49 @ #20 Arkansas 26

Nick Saban has yet to lose to the Razorbacks as Alabama’s head coach, but there was a point at which it looked like that may change. Heisman winner Bryce Young exited in the 2nd quarter with a shoulder injury, which brought in Jalen Milroe, a redshirt freshman. He finished 4/9 for 65 yards and a TD. Coming out of halftime, Alabama sputtered. Arkansas scored 10 points without Alabama touching the ball with a TD drive, successful onside kick and FG drive. When the Tide got the ball back, they went 3 and out, but the punt went way back and resulted in a 24-yard loss to set up another Arkansas TD from the 3. It was 28-23 and things were looking dire. However, Jalen Milroe isn’t known for his arm, he’s known for his speed. A 77-yard run on 3rd and 15 from the Alabama 20 set up a TD run to put the Tide up 35-23. After an Arkansas 4-and-out (4-play punt drive), Alabama put the nail in the coffin with a Jahmyr Gibbs 72-yard TD run. Alabama bent a bit, but they never broke. The Crimson Tide hosts Texas A&M Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Arkansas heads to Mississippi State Saturday for a clash with the Bulldogs at 11:00 a.m.

Mississippi State 42 vs #17 Texas A&M 24

Texas A&M got humbled after escaping Jerryworld with a win last week. After the teams spent the first 18-ish minutes punting the ball to each other, Devon Achane fumbled the ball at the MSU 6. The Bulldogs went on an 11-play, 94-yard TD drive and began the demolition. An A&M 3-and-out led to a 70-yard MSU TD drive, and a Max Johnson fumble in field goal range killed any chance for the Aggies to get momentum going into the half. Texas A&M never got back any closer than 11 points in the second half, Mississippi State got a blocked field goal return TD and pick 6 later to add insult to injury, and the Bulldogs completed the blowout. It was an embarrassing performance by Texas A&M. Texas A&M’s next game is at Alabama Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Mississippi State hosts Arkansas Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

#1 Georgia 26 @ Missouri 22

Georgia trailed by double digits to Missouri. Missouri managed to pressure Stetson Bennett in the first half and forced two fumbles in the Bulldogs’ first five possessions. Georgia’s first half offense was stagnant, and the defense allowed big plays, including a 63-yard run to set up a 1st and goal at the 1. However, Mizzou was incapable of capitalizing on such mistakes, settling for field goals when they needed touchdowns. Four of those kicks came from 40+ yards, which was a nice confidence booster for Harrison Mevis after missing a game-winning 26-yard FG last week, but the 22-yarder was the result of a false start on 4th and goal. Georgia finally got their offense going in the second half, nearly tripling Mizzou 299-100. Mizzou’s 3rd down offense was as bad as usual, going just 3/13. Georgia hosts Auburn Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Missouri travels to Florida Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

(Sunday) Florida 52 vs Eastern Washington 17

81 players played at least one snap for the Gators in this absolutely dominant performance. Florida went 3/6 on third down, and six third downs is remarkably low. Anthony Richardson went 8/10 for 240 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, an incredibly efficient effort. Did you know Florida’s back-up QB is Jalen Kitna, son of former NFL QB Jon Kitna? Now you do. One final note, Florida finished with an unholy 666 total yards. Could they be cursed for this upcoming week? Florida hosts Missouri Saturday at 11:00 a.m.