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Take a Look Tuesday: Week 3

The first quarter of the season is in the books

Missouri receiver catches pass as Abilene Christian attempts to break up pass in the Tigers’ 34-17 victory Saturday

Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving SEC teams. We’re a quarter of the way through the year. I don’t believe it either. (Note: I remove sacks and sack yardage from rushes and rushing yardage when necessary to put stats in appropriate context.)

#9 Kentucky 31 vs Youngstown State 0

Kentucky hadn’t shut out a team since September 5, 2009, when they beat Miami (OH) 42-0 at Paul Brown Stadium. That team had a sophomore Randall Cobb at wide receiver, it was that long ago. This game was absolutely abhorrent. The Penguins finished 9/24 for 134 yards and 1 INT passing. The Penguins were 0/10 on third down and 0/2 on fourth down. The Wildcats threw for 377 yards and had a generally good offensive output, but they turned the ball over three times (two picks and a fumble). With this win, Mark Stoops overtook Bear Bryant as Kentucky’s winningest head coach. Kentucky travels to Ole Miss in a top 20 matchup Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Missouri 34 vs Abilene Christian 17

This game was so unimportant, ESPN didn’t even both putting in a play-by-play. Two things from this game make me think Missouri is going to have a rough season. First, the Tigers had 9 penalties for 85 yards; the Wildcats had 1 for 5 yards. Second, and most importantly, Mizzou went 5/15 on third down. They were 6/12 on third down against Louisiana Tech and 5/16 against Kansas State, which isn’t a good look after the first quarter of the season. Missouri opens their SEC slate at Auburn 11:00 a.m. Saturday.

#1 Georgia 48 @ South Carolina 7

Georgia is a very good football team if the Oregon game wasn’t enough proof. They absolutely dominated an overmatched South Carolina team that never really had a chance. South Carolina threw 3 picks; Georgia scored TDs after the first two. Georgia dominated South Carolina’s defense, running for 208 yards on 35 carries and throwing for 339 on 30 passes. South Carolina executed a fake punt, though, so that was cool. Other than that, this was a snoozer. Georgia hosts Kent State at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. South Carolina looks to bounce back when they host Charlotte at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

#22 Penn State 41 @ Auburn 12

It took 3 weeks, but we have an idea of what to expect from Auburn. Basically, take the boat crash scene from “Speed 2” and stretch that out over a whole season. It’s going to be awesome and chaotic and stupid. Perhaps Auburn shouldn’t have turned the ball over 4 times, that might’ve helped matters. Perhaps Auburn’s o-line shouldn’t have let Penn State pressure T.J. Finley the whole game and sack him 6 times, leading to a shoulder injury that’ll keep him out for at least a week. Tank Bigsby had 9 rushes and Robby Ashford had 11. Why? Is Brian Harsin this stupid, or does he just want to get out of Auburn? The Tigers open up SEC play at home against Missouri at 11:00 a.m. Saturday.

#20 Ole Miss 42 @ Georgia Tech 0

This game was a total beatdown. I was concerned about Ole Miss after their tight opener against Troy, but it seems the Central Arkansas game was the classic “get right” game the Rebels needed. On defense, Ole Miss got their first shutout since 2014 and held the Yellow Jackets to a mere 214 yards. Offensively, the run game stole the show, gaining 327 yards on 61 rushes (which feels weird for a Lane Kiffin offense). Ole Miss opens their conference schedule by hosting Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. Saturday.

Vanderbilt 38 @ Northern Illinois 28

Vanderbilt is 3-1. Vanderbilt stormed back to win a football game on the road. This is a vastly improved football team from the squad last year. Freshman QB AJ Swann got the start for this game after his performance late against Wake Forest, and boy did Clark Lea make a good decision there. 18/28 for 255 yards and 4 TDs, three of which came in the 3rd quarter to bring Vanderbilt from down 28-14 to up 35-28. NIU had a drive going with under 5 to play in the game, but De’Rickey Wright picked off a pass and Vanderbilt ran off the remaining clock to preserve the win and exceed last year’s win total. There’s an interesting thing about the last time Vanderbilt started 3-1 and this time: their first conference opponent was Alabama, whom they’ll travel to face at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

#2 Alabama 63 vs ULM 7

That’s a lot more like it. Alabama looked undisciplined and off against Texas, lucking their way into a victory. This was much more like the Alabama that doesn’t do that. Well, except for Bryce Young’s 2 INTs, but that really didn’t impact the end result. ULM couldn’t even get past the century mark through the air, gaining a paltry 91 yards passing. This was, at the end of the day, another classic Saban beatdown. Alabama opens up their SEC schedule at home against Vanderbilt at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

#10 Arkansas 38 vs Missouri State 27

This was almost the greatest meme dream come true in college football history. Arkansas forgot how to play football for 3 quarters against an FCS team. Not just any FCS team, though, oh no, Bobby Petrino’s Missouri State Bears. It was Family Day in Fayetteville, and the Razorbacks decided to welcome back an old member of their family by completely forgetting how to play competent football for about 50 minutes. Then, they remembered that they are a good football team and scored 21 in the 4th quarter to get a win that should’ve been much easier. Arkansas is bracing themselves for a showdown in Jerryworld against Texas A&M at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.

#15 Tennessee 63 vs Akron 6

This was a total demolition from start to finish. Tennessee finished with 11 penalties for 118 yards, which likely explains how Akron got 23 first downs despite going 1/13 on third down. Hendon Hooker had an incredible game, going 14/18 for 298 yards and 2 TDs, and Tennessee outgained Akron by 400 yards. This was a bad one. Tennessee opens up their SEC schedule at home against Florida at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

#18 Florida 31 vs South Florida 28

South Florida, a team that’s 4-27 against the FBS since 2019, nearly upset Florida in the Swamp. That’s very bad, but it gets worse when you consider that this game should’ve gone to OT had USF’s long snapper not screwed up the snap on the game-tying FG (props to Spencer Shrader for making that kick look way prettier than it was). This was a ground-based game. Neither team eclipsed the 117 passing yard mark, but both eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark. Florida gave up 286 rushing yards to USF. Is everything okay in Gainesville? The Gators will have a much tougher task ahead of them when they travel to face Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

#24 Texas A&M 17 vs #13 Miami (FL) 9

Texas A&M makes no sense. Seriously, what happened here? How did they win? They threw for 140 yards and got outgained by 128 total yards, can it be explained by logic? No, it can only be described by Mario Cristobal being conservative for no reason. The Hurricanes had the ball down 17-6 with about 9 minutes to go in the game facing 4th and 4 from the A&M 16. Instead of going for it, Miami kicked a field goal to bring the game within a possession. I would’ve gone for it there because making it an 8-point game requires you to get a 2-point conversion. Going for it gives you a chance to score a TD to make it a 4-point game. Why add unnecessary risk? Anyway, Texas A&M’s next game is at AT&T Stadium against Arkansas at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.