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Take a Look Tuesday: Week 2

The SEC chaos is back

Auburn QB T.J. Finley (1) throwing a pass in the team’s 24-16 victory over San Jose State Saturday night

Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving SEC teams. This was a much more chaotic week than Week 1 and included the start of conference play for a few teams. (Note: there are times where passing yards and rushing yards don’t add up to total yards. I take out sacks and sack yardage from rushing stats when necessary to put stats in appropriate context.)

#1 Alabama 20 at Texas 19

I think everyone agrees Texas would’ve blown Alabama out if Quinn Ewers didn’t get hurt. Heck, Hudson Card wasn’t even playing at 100% in this game and the Longhorns still came close to winning. Alabama looked completely lost out there, they were committing stupid penalties, blowing assignments, stuff you’d never see from a Nick Saban team. There’s one thing I’ve been extremely annoyed about since I saw it in the game: the safety. Bryce Young was in the endzone, got brought down and threw the football away. There was a flag for targeting, which was absolutely baffling. However, if you watch the replay, it’s clear and obvious that Young’s left wrist is down while he has control of the football in his right hand. The wrist is not a part of the hand, that’s why Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s apparent fumble in the 2019 SEC Championship Game was overturned. That safety would’ve changed a bunch, but it doesn’t matter now. Alabama hosts ULM at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.

#16 Arkansas 44 vs South Carolina 30

Two guys had their seasons come to a far too early end in this game. South Carolina lost OLB Jordan Strachan and MLB Mo Kaba to ACL tears, as both were expected to make key contributions this season. Anyway, this game blew me away when I looked at the rushing numbers for Arkansas. Take out the two sacks and Arkansas ran the ball 63 times for 307 yards. Those are service academy numbers. Arkansas had an impressive performance from their pass rush, getting 6 sacks and 6 QB hurries. That’s not to say Arkansas had a great day on defense, 376 passing yards and 30 points isn’t great, but it was enough. South Carolina hosts #1 Georgia at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Arkansas hosts FCS Missouri State at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Missouri State’s head coach is Bobby Petrino. It is family weekend in Fayetteville. Life is funny.

#23 Wake Forest 45 at Vanderbilt 25

This was much more like the Vanderbilt of old. The Commodores took and early 3-0 lead and forced a turnover on downs. Then Mike Wright threw a pick 6. Yeah, the wheels were off, to say the least. AJ Swann replaced him late in the game and guided the Commodores to a couple TDs, but it was far too late for it to matter. Sam Hartman made his return after blood clots forced him to miss the season opener, and he had himself a great game. His final stat line was 18/27 for 300 yards and 4 TDs. Vanderbilt’s next game is at Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Kansas State 40 vs Missouri 12

Well then, this was quite the beating. Kansas State ran the ball down Missouri’s throats, 43 carries for 235 yards and 4 TDs. They also ran back a Missouri punt for a TD. They also picked the Tigers off four times. Missouri QB Jack Abraham finished 0/3 for 0 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. Brady Cook, their other QB, finished with an NFL passer rating worse than if he spiked the ball on every play. Missouri played an awful game of football, no two ways about it. The Tigers host FCS Abilene Christian this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

#24 Tennessee 34 at #17 Pitt 27 OT

This game was bound to be a disaster, and it sure lived up to that. Pitt blocked a punt late in the game, but they missed a field goal that would’ve brought them within 4. Ever the generous guests, Tennessee gave the Panthers another chance to score the 3 when they fumbled soon after. After each team traded field goals, Pitt caught another lucky break when Trevon Flowers muffed the punt (…), leading to a game-tying Pitt TD. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost the game in overtime. It’s even more remarkable that Pitt got the game to OT considering Kedon Slovis went out with an injury in the 2nd half and back-up Nick Patti was playing on one leg at the end of the game after twisting his knee. Tennessee is a good team, but boy did they have a classic case of Tennessee football that night. Joe Moorhead makes his return to the SEC as Tennessee hosts Akron at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.

Appalachian State 17 at #6 Texas A&M 14

$1.5 million to get beat, wow. The final score fails to do this game justice because 7 of A&M’s 14 points came from a kickoff return TD. The game stats show that the Mountaineers dominated the Aggies. Appalachian State ran 83 offensive plays; Texas A&M ran 38. Appalachian State had 315 offensive yards; Texas A&M had 186. Appalachian State had 134 passing yards; Texas A&M had 97. Appalachian State had 187 rushing yards; Texas A&M had 93 (granted, 51 rushes to 13, respectively). Let’s speed through the rest. Appalachian State had 2 fumble recoveries, the only turnovers in the game, had 22 1st downs to A&M’s 9, and held the ball for over 41 minutes. I mentioned that A&M’s o-line looked bad against Sam Houston in my thing last week, and it turns out that was a big issue in this game. The Aggies don’t get a break this week, either, they host #13 Miami (FL) at 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

#2 Georgia 33 vs Samford 0

33 points on Samford seems pretty terrible if you recall that Florida put up 70 on them last year. It gets even worse, 3 of Samford’s 11 opponents last season failed to score 33 points: Tennessee Tech, Wofford and The Citadel. Georgia also went 5/13 on 3rd downs, which is very bad. Other than that, Georgia dominated in every aspect. UGA had 25 1st downs to Samford’s 3, outgained them 479-128, held the air raid offense to 109 passing yards and won the time of possession battle 40:03-19:57. This game was yet another reminder that stats don’t tell the full story, but they can tell funny ones. Georgia travels to Columbia to face South Carolina Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

#20 Kentucky 26 at #12 Florida 16

Well that was a quick turnaround. Many figured Kentucky wouldn’t win this game after they stuck around too long with Miami (OH) last week while Florida knocked off at top-10 Utah team that had potential College Football Playoff aspirations. That was a poor way to predict how this one would go. Statistically, these teams were roughly equal. However, Florida turned the ball over twice to Kentucky’s 1, including what ended up being the game-winning score on a pick 6. Yes, Kentucky had a safety on a punt attempt because this game isn’t allowed to be sane, but other than that, the Wildcats won by playing a better game. Florida hosts South Florida at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and Kentucky hosts FCS Youngstown State at 11:00 a.m. that same day.

#22 Ole Miss 59 vs Central Arkansas 3

That’s the Ole Miss team I was expecting last week. The Rebels took apart their FCS opponent in a brutal beatdown that was a great way to get back on track. 510 total yards is always nice, as is using three QBs because the game is such a blowout. Ole Miss was only 3/8 on 3rd downs and failed to convert their two 4th downs, that isn’t great. However, it seems that the old Lane Kiffin is back because the second failed 4th down conversion came on 4th and 12 at the UCA 46 (he punted in a similar situation a few yards back a couple times last week). Ole Miss travels to face Georgia Tech this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Auburn 24 vs San Jose State 16

Of all the non-conference home games Auburn’s ever played, this sure was one of them. I don’t know how to assess what this game means for Auburn going forward. Congrats on running for 200+ yards on a team that nearly lost to Portland State in their opener, I guess? Auburn hasn’t done anything to show that they’ll be a disaster or a threat this year, they’ve just been a thing. T.J. Finley is still doing his thing as starter; he ran for 2 TDs but didn’t throw any. Maybe this week will bring more clarity. Auburn hosts #22 Penn State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mississippi State 39 at Arizona 17

Mississippi State ran for 121 yards and Arizona ran for 65. Roughly a third of Mississippi State’s called plays were runs. Pac-12 After Dark warped Mike Leach’s brain to do things a normal head coach might do, it’s the only explanation I’ve got. Arizona started hot with a quick TD drive, MSU responded with a 6-point drive of their own (Mike Leach isn’t allowed to have good special teams, for some reason), and then the game went off the rails. Jayden de Laura threw the first of his three picks on the night and Mississippi State responded with a quick TD drive to make it 12-7 (another missed PAT). Arizona never regained any sort of momentum. Mississippi State opens their SEC slate against LSU in Death Valley Saturday at 5:00 p.m.